The Warrior Poet Samurai springs to mind for a tengu. Good mobility, can finesse a katana, resolve compensates for the bad Con, and can use slashing grace for dex to damage (Might not stack with Graceful Strike). The Order of the Songbird was made for the archetype, but the Flourish Kitsune Mystique combines well with that order that grants sneak attack (Can't remember it's name.)
Now about the swordmaster rogue. The Swordmaster is kind of a trap option, and is only semi viable when combined with Scout. Doing so let's you use Tiger Trance to perform a full attack at the end of a charge and deal sneak attack damage. Decent if you use natural weapons and fairly pointless if you use TWF (You'll just miss most attacks, then eat a full attack from the monster you just charged)
Perhaps an audit of your parties characters is in order. It sounds as though your magus may have too high a static bonus to damage and your ranger may be underpowered. An Archer Ranger should be pumping death downrange, particularly with a high point buy. He should have 3-4 attacks per round, with each dealing minimum 1d8+5 damage (Assuming at least an enchanted +1 composite longbow and 18 Str). He shouldn't be mixing it up in melee either, your team should be enabling him to full attack melt any priority targets. He should be buffing too! Gravity Bow is a 1st level ranger spell.
And your summoning wizard shouldn't be getting punched in the face on the regular, that's what your cannon fodder is for. When your cannon fodder isn't ready, your magus should be guarding you, not your ranger. Some coordinated teamwork may solve a couple of your issues.
It sounds like your GM may have his expectations for CR off. A CR Equal encounter should get demolished quickly, particularly when the party is buffed. A CR equal to your party should take roughly 25% of your resources to fight, meaning you should be able to do 3 before the 4th one puts you in real danger.
On the other hand, it also sounds like you guys have a very high point buy, meaning your parties APL is probably slightly higher than your GM has calculated it to be. There's a good chance that those CR=APL encounters are actually CR-1 or CR-2 encounters. Getting your encounters into a normal CR may require some modifying.
You might be able to pull off your general concept with just Magus, using the Cardcaster and Hexcrafter archetypes. But there could be a conflict between them.
Cardcaster and Hexcrafter may or may not be considered compatible magus archetypes. There's a gray area with your Magus Arcana. Role Dealer replaces your 3rd level Magus Arcana, however you will still gain your 6th level magus arcana. The Hexcrafter gains Hex Arcana, however it does not explicitly modify or replace Magus Arcana, nor does it list a level at which you gain it. It appears to simply add options to your Magus Arcana.
By my reading you should be able to take both archetypes. You'll simply have delayed access to your Hex Arcana/Magus Arcana.
I agree with Greatwot about gambling being mostly playstyle. There are certainly mechanics to enhance it, but you still have to drive the risk taking choices of the character. You could consider taking the Doubt drawback, which causes you to take an hour long -4 penalty to any ability or skill check you fail. There may be other drawbacks which would up the ante on certain checks.
Another possibility is playing a cartomancer witch, and taking the fortune and misfortune hexes. There's a Rogue archetype that gets hexes too.
A Gunslinger who never stops using Deadly Aim is also thematic. Deadly Aim is just ranged Power Attack.
Hell, Maverick Gunslinger 1/Cartomancer Witch or Hex Rogue X would be a great blend. All the risk of firearms, plus a lower BAB to increase that risk, plus gambling themed hexes.
Gunslinger comes to mind, as firearm miss fires are one of the only risky mechanics I can think of. The gunslinger archetypes Maverick, Mysterious Stranger, Black Powder Leaper and Firebrand lean into this risky style. Gunslingers/Swashbucklers even have an alternate Daring Act ruleset for regaining grit/panache for taking risks. They also have Dares, which kick into effect once they're out of grit.
There are also a few class options which carry the risk of going into a confused, berserk state. The Rageshaper Shifter and the Wild Rager barbarian are both examples of this, but usually need GM permission and are a sure fire way to piss off all of your friends.
The Card Caster magus has a spellcasting mechanic based off drawing harrow cards.
The Dare Chaser prestige class does give you bonuses to taking risks, and rewards you for succeeding, BUT they are still risks, sometimes big ones! The class facilitates an adrenaline junky playstyle very well, and I think you should take a second look at it.
Welp, that's a bit unfortunate. I'm unfamiliar with PFS rules. If PFS legal, the Strangler brawler is worth looking into. Grants you sneak attack on grapple checks (Might be less DPR than getting standard SA, I dunno)
Would you be able to post his build so we can do an audit? He's doing A LOT of damage per round, and I can't help but think he must have made a mistake while building his monk. Or perhaps the macro he built for his phone is faulty.
If his build is kosher, then my next suggestion is to buff the other players. Offer them a free rebuild in order to match his optimization. Ask the monk player to help them optimize their builds! He seems fairly good at it. If they're not interested, then they may need to accept that he built his character better.
Finally, and as others have said, have an out of game conversation with him. If his level of optimization is making him a killjoy, kindly and politely point it out in a non accusatory way. Ask him to help you out by lowering the power of his characters.
The Ninja talent Vanishing Trick is a standard Sneak Attack set up and is incredible for a scout. Ranged Feint+Improved feint is another sneak attack set up which let's you make a single ranged sneak attack per round. I'd ask your GM if he would allow you to use the Unchained Ninja from Everyman Gaming.
I'd also look into the Flying blade Swashbuckler. Ask your GM if they're open to you modifying the archetype to be compatible with shuriken. Possibly trade out the starknife?
EDIT: Forgot to include Combat Expertise as a prerequisite for Improved Feint. When considering this detail a dip into swashbuckler becomes more attractive, in order to qualify for combat feats with charisma rather than intelligence.
The build I'm playing, or the build I wish I was playing?
Both builds are crit fishers focused on high DPR and mobility. Flurrying with a waveblade lets you crit very often. Precise strike isn't multiplied on a crit, which means you want to boost other damage sources. Piranha Strike and an Agile weapon form the base damage for both builds. Cav boosts DPR with his challenge, while Swash boosts DPR with Weapon Specialization.
The Unmonk/Cavalier will continue taking Cavalier levels until he dies or the campaign ends. The damage from challenge and precise strike is simply too good to leave on the table.
The Unmonk/Okayo is slightly less clear cut. After Swashbuckler 5th you don't gain many worthwhile deeds or features. But your Precise Strike damage continues to grow, which makes more levels tasty. And your swash levels count as fighter levels for feat prerequisites.
On the other hand, continuing onward in Unmonk nets you many more options. Evasion, Fast Movement, Style Strikes, Ki Powers, ect. Keep in mind that Unmonk and Okayo levels stack for the purpose of meeting feat prerequisites. Taking Ascetic Style becomes very attractive in this build. If you want to devote the feats to it, taking the Weapon Style Mastery Feat plus another Style feat could be very worthwhile.
You also have the option of selecting a third synergistic class. Unmonk and Okayo have some overlapping features and you might prefer to diversify. Slayer for Sneak Attack or Samurai/Cavalier for Challenge. Order of the Cockatrice fits the fear that Kenshin struck into his foes. Hell, Unmonk 1/Slayer X could set you up for some amazing combo's with Dazzling Display and Shatter Defenses.
I'm currently playing a Weapon Adept Unmonk 1/Daring Champion Cavalier 5 and it's amazing. The build really captures the feel of a wondering, vagrant ronin. A better option (not available during the creation of the above character) is Scaled Fist Unmonk 1/Okayo Corsair 5 wielding an Agile waveblade. The DPR get's intense and the Okayo really evokes a lot of the fast, lone swordsman vibe. Keep in mind that Slashing Grace isn't compatible with flurry, thus making the Agile enchantment the best means to add dex to damage.
If you're interested in polearms, Look at the Warrior Poet samurai archetype and the Bladed Brush feat.
The Ironbound Sword Samurai is literally Kenshin during his peaceful years.
The second photo you posted is almost certainly a Falx. It was primarily a piercing/chopping weapon with the edge running along the inside of the curve. Here's a video of a modern Falx replica. The weapons could be made one or two handed and varied in curvature.
I'm not aware of a weapon which would function as a straight analogue to the Falx. As other's have said, the closest thing is likely the falchion. Weapons with the trip property or the ability to alternate between slashing and piercing damage are likely the best way to emulate it's real world function.
The human only feat Martial Versatility would allow you to apply the effects of Starry Grace to all Light Blades. A swashbucklers bonus feats may be used to select fighter only feats. You could have Dex to damage with all light blades online by 4th level. The downside being that you must sacrifice a feat for Weapon Focus (Starknife).
Slim Jim wrote:
Well this seems somewhat derivative :P
Two quick nitpicks: Should go Scaled Fist Unmonk for Charisma based monk abilities (Cha to AC, though I'm fuzzy on that stacking with Osyluth Guile) and no attack penalties from flurry. Also, the waveblade doesn't function with the class features of the standard Swashbuckler. He'll need to be an Okayo Corsair as well.
He'll have a light load of 12 pounds, be vulnerable to str and cha damage and he can't use unrogue. Before getting an agile weapon, he'll have a -3 to all damage rolls. Your build has great DPR under normal parameters, but doesn't fit the OP's restrictions.
Building for charisma with a Goblin is an uphill battle. It's an inefficient use of resources that could be better spent. I personally wouldn't play a charismatic goblin, the suboptimal use of resources would hinder my enjoyment. You and others had demonstrated to him why it wasn't the best idea, he's been informed. But the OP seemed keen on a gregarious goblin, so I built a solid option for that route.
The old 3.5 book Unearthed Arcana had an option for building characters using three "generic classes. You would start as either an Expert, Spellcaster or Warrior as the main chasis. Class features such as Evasion or Smite Evil were turned into feats with various prerequisites. I suggest looking into this as a basis for what you're trying to build.
Slim Jim wrote:
You're underestimating the power of a +4 Dexterity in point buy. He'll easily have a Str 10 (2 Points, -2 Racial), Dex 20 (7 Points, +4 Racial, +1 at lvl 4), Con 14 (5 Points), Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 12 (5 Points, -2 Racial.) Flurrying with an 18-20 Crit weapon gives him a strong flow of panache, which becomes near constant after unlocking Swash Weapon Training. I've played a very similar build and rarely struggled for Panache. A pool of 3 is plenty high enough, particularly when you consider that most deeds take a swift or an immediate action to activate. Additionally, he'll probably never really use Opportune Parry and Riposte, as he'll suffer a penalty against bigger opponents (AKA, all of them.) Like I said, the builds only big weakness is it's Will save, and even then the Sohei dip starts you off very well. Is the build optimal for a Charisma penalized race? No. But it's certainly functional.
However, I do like the build you posted above. Other than dumping Str, and dumping Cha quite that low, it'd be a very effective and fun build.
The spell Allegro seriously compliments your build.
So my first build focuses on damage and survivability. It hits it's peak at level six, with each attack adding a +16 to Damage. (+5 Dex, +5 Precise Strike, +2 Weapon Specialization, +4 Piranha Strike). Chained Monk Flurry often leads to many misses, so you should forgo Piranha Strike when attacking enemies with high AC. Your weakness will be your Will Save, so look for ways to shore it up.
EDIT: You can also apply precise strike to shuriken when attacking enemies within 30 ft.
Okayo 1, Sohei 1, Okayo 4. Overall level 6.
The concept of this build is to flurry a high crit monk weapon enchanted with Agile. As Precise Strike doesn't multiply on a Critical, the crit range is for gaining Panache. You begin with a level of swash for HP, BAB and armor. At level two you dip into Sohei Monk to pick up the ability to Flurry in armor as well as Devoted Guardian. You then continue with four more levels of Okayo to reach Ki Panache and Swashbucklers Weapon Training. Ki Panache ups your damage by allowing you to make extra attacks, while Swashbucklers Weapon Training doubles the crit range of your preferred weapons. After that you may continue with Okayo for more Precise Strike damage, or exit and begin leveling another synergistic class.
Ability Scores: 10 Str, 19 Dex, 12 Cha, 14 Con. You'll be wearing armor, so you can't afford the low carry capacity of an 8 strength. Put your 4th level ability score boost into Dex to reach 20.
Slim Jim wrote:
The OP expressed an interest in bumping his Charisma, despite the racial penalty. Doing so isn't optimal, certainly, and is painful on a pointbuy. But so long as his Dex and Con are high enough, his charisma really has very little bearing on the effectiveness of the builds I have suggested.
The Okayo Swashbuckler is phenomenal, and stacks well with a 1 lvl dip into Scaled Fist Monk. Flurry and Precise Strike? Yes please. Any Light weapon with a decent crit range will let you recoup Panache and use Piranha Strike (I suggest the waveblade). Your AC will be obscene, and at 4th level your damage will be fantastic.
An alternative build with even more damage is the Daring Champion Cavalier. First level Kata Master Monk, then Daring Champion X. At level 5 you'd be precise strike flurrying with monk weapons AND stacking Challenge on top of it all.
The Warrior Poet Samurai is also worth a look, BTW. Less optimal, but still very fun. Works in place of Daring Champion in the above build.
Coinspinner's Song wrote:
I suspect this is a typo, and that Meirril intended to say Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot and Rapid Shot. You can't take Point Blank Shot more than once.
As far as crafting goes, either a caster will need to provide the spell components or you'll need to increase the DC. So yes, you've got the right idea. However, by picking up the Magical Talent trait you can gain the ability to cast a single cantrip, such as mending. This would allow you to create a Reliable pistol without increasing the DC by 5 for the missing prerequisite. I'm uncertain if it's worth a trait, but it's an option.
The Training enchantment has some fuzzy rules though. I'm not sure if you can increase the DC to ignore the special combat feat prerequisite or not.
Getting all those feats is going to be a challenge, no matter what you do. I was messing around with a progression earlier, but forgot to include crafting feats. My first draft was built with the assumption of taking Trench Fighter, and goes as so:
Char lvl 1, Gunslinger 1
Point Blank Shot
Char lvl 2, Fighter 1
Char lvl 3, Gunslinger 2
Char lvl 4, Fighter 2
Char lvl 5, Gunslinger 3
Char lvl 6, Gunslinger 4
Char lvl 7, Fighter 3
I set it up to to try and front load as many feats in as I could. Hopefully it will be a helpful framework for working in your crafting.
The Firebrand Gunslinger archetype stacks with Maverick, and uses Charisma for Grit. It even keeps the quick clear deed! It does trade out the bonus feats though, which hurts for a gun twirling build.
Alternatively, we can use this rule to work around the standard grit pool.
"Grit, luck, and panache represent three different means by which heroes can gain access to the same heroic pool, using it to accomplish fantastic feats. For characters with a mix of grit, luck, and panache, they pool the three resources together into a combined pool. (Those who use panache and luck do not gain twice their Charisma bonus in their pool.) For feats, magic items, and other effects, a panache user can spend and gain luck points in place of grit or panache points, and vice versa.
A luck user does not count as a grit or panache user to satisfy feat prerequisites. Swashbuckler levels stack with gunslinger levels for the purpose of satisfying Signature Deed’s level requirement."
Using the text above, we can dip into a class with panache or luck to gain your charisma modifier to your Grit pool. The vanilla swashbuckler achieves this, with the Musketeer Archetype adding back Quick Clear and the Picaroon archetype adding a decent melee option. The Sleuth Investigator gets luck. Off the top of my head, the Kata Master, Virtuous Bravo, Hooded Champion and the Daring Champion all gain panache.
As for your other questions, I'll help you later tomorrow. For now, I need sleep.
I just noticed! The Gun Chemist Alchemist's Gunsmith feature allows him to spend a use of Alchemical Ordinance to remove the broken condition, so long as it was gained from a misfire. It's possible this combined with Strangers Fortune would be enough misfire mitigation to make dual wielding viable for the Mysterious Stranger.
A pit fall in building a dual-wielding mysterious stranger is the archetypes removal of Quick Clear. When making multiple shots a round with cartridges, you're going to have a lot of misfires. Possibly more than the Strangers Fortune feature can mitigate. This creates a conflict between character flavor/concept and character mechanics. If you feel that Maverick gives you enough of the flavor you want, then Pistolero is a good substitute for Mysterious Stranger. If Mysterious Stranger is integral to your character concept, I might reconsider the dual wield route. I'm certain someone on the boards can show you the statistics for firearm miss fires when dual wielding, and that's worth looking up when making this choice.
If you stick with the dual wielding route, you might consider an Alchmemist dip for Vestigial Limb. Maverick/Guntwirling/Dual-wielding route is badass, but extremely resource intensive. Two levels of alchemist gets you dual wielding, plus Mutagen and a competence bonus to Craft Alchemy. Flavor wise, he'd be a third-rate alchemist who up charges fools for low level extracts and peddles useless snake oils and placebo's.
As far as fighter levels go, there's a couple archetypes worth considering. Cad adds character flavor and Weapon Master get's early access Weapon Training. Trench Fighter get's Dex to firearm damage rolls, which can build on a musket wielding Mysterious Stranger.
I'm brainstorming some other concepts, so I'll be back with more. I hope this was helpful, and that you find a way to make your concept come to life :)
At low levels, he won't have the funds for a massive number of alchemical cartridges. Without free action reloads, Rapid Shot is useless. Deadly Aim is a good damage boost that doesn't depend on cartridge consumption. Granted Point Blank Shot is only 1 less damage a round, with an accuracy boost at the only range that matters. Perhaps Rapid Reload/Point Blank Shot would be more optimal at first level.
Have you thought about swapping your charisma and dexterity scores? You are a front line ranged character without Nimble, you're gonna need the AC. Without quick clear, you likely won't be burning through grit too quickly. I actually would forget extra grit as well. Firearms are feat intensive. You shoot on touch AC, so any accuracy you can trade for damage is a good deal. A good basic feat progression would be as so: Lvl 1 Deadly Aim, Human Feat Rapid Reload, 3rd lvl Point Blank Shot, 4th lvl Precise Shot, 5th level Rapid Shot.
After 5th level, the Gunslinger has few features left to gain. Consider multi classing. The Gun Chemist, the Fermenter or the Mixologist Alchemist could both be lovely additions to your concept.
The Mysterious Strangers Lucky class feature basically requires you to take Fates Favored as a trait. Maybe considered replacing Never Stop Shooting or Iron Liver? Could go all in and switch to a Half-Orc with Sacred Tattoo. Take Shamans Apprentice too for free Endurance, and you open up easy access to Diehard.
That's all I've got, my friend. Your concept sounds fantastic. Have fun with your character :)
Have you considered the Sacred Fist Warpriest? It's a single class version of the Monk/Paladin build you were debating. You'd be providing much needed healing and divine magic. Fervor and Blessed Fortitude let you tank like a paladin.
There are two major downsides to this option: Strange Flurry of Blows and not Charisma based. The Sacred Fist's Flurry of blows does not treat his Flurry BAB as equal to his level. I'd ask your GM if he'd be willing to allow your flurry to function as the standard Monk's flurry.
As far being Wisdom based rather than Charisma focussed, I feel this can be worked around. Pick up the Persuasive feat for a +2 to Diplomacy and Intimidate.
I would get an Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists instead. Much more cost efficient than two +1 Agile Gauntlets.
Maybe even a repurposed scrabble board?
For mat and mini based play, perhaps you could label the grid Battleship style? "The Hobgoblin shifts from A2 to B3 to flank you with his ally." That kinda thing. Perhaps you could track HP with physical tokens in a bag or stack? Would be hard when GMing, but as a player it could really help. Or perhaps pegs in a pegboard? Additionally, you could potentially make your own braille character sheets. Wikihow outlines how people write in braille here https://www.wikihow.com/Write-in-Braille