It should be close range; and should take advantage of it's ability to see when others can't. I suggest a character with a familiar that can see for you, to indicate direction and distant targets, and then some part of it should create
After that, you can fight creatures within your dangerous range (30ft) no problem, and avoid those that are not.
So...maybe some sort of close range Shaman, or Wisdom Based Sorceror ala Celestial wildbood variant, with a bloodline familiar.
I've intentionally chosen stats like that; and emphasized my character's versatility.
My advance would be go into that full alchemist route; but also consider this:
1 level of Urban Barbarian, or Urban bloodrager. This allows you to boost a stat on the fly, and can combine with your extracts, and mutagen.
If you need to be come a melee warrior, use both on Str. Dex: both rage and mutate on Dex.
To date, the character (James Carver, a Half-Orc Alchemist/Urban Bloodrager with a celestial bloodline familiar) has been one of my more successful, and memorable PCs among my groups.
I would say:
Enforcer feat (lvl 1), Merciful Scimitar combat trait, wield a scimitar. Power Attack, and if human, get Hurtful; which lets you swift action melee attack someone who you just demoralized.
If you want a Sap instead, that works too and doesn't cost a trait, but you cannot 2h a sap like you can a scimitar for additional damage. The scimitar is also optionally lethal or nonlethal with the trait, and has a high crit range.
3) Vigilante. Its the martial build a class these days, overtaking even fighter in my mind. Dual identity and spywork is also something I enjoy greatly.
2) Medium. Its the class that can be any role, and change each day. For those moments when I want a little bit of anything.
1) Oracle. My favorite thing is to create 'Godlings'; Choose 4-5 domains and base all your spell choices on these. Its a fun, thematic game for me. Its also very 'build a class' with all of the mysteries, curses and spell choices. It can even get Martial flexibility if your feeling it.
Non-Magic: It's a tie between Unchained Rogue and Vigilante. I like Rogue cause it can finally be a good sniper, including once its been spotteded disappearing again. I like Vig cause of Dual Identity. Though since both can borrow from eachother, it's variable.
Arcane: In theory, Sorcerer due to my love of their themes, but in practice I tend to favor Alchemist (if hes arcane considered), or wizards; since I enjoy always having an option open.
Divine: Oracle, since I can make 'godlings' with it.
Nature: Druid for the same reason as Wizard.
Occult: I like the mesmerist most; in a way I kind of identify with it, being a tricky person, who wants to help others but tends to do so in an evasive fashion.
My only real gripe about Ultra-Optimizing is when it is based on an ambiguous rules area; IE if someone else can make a solid counter-interpretation of a ruling, then your build is on shaky ground of legality.
My other irritation is from a narrative point, when someone makes what I call a Stitch-Job. A character who is X amount of class 1, Y of this, Z of that, Q of that prestige class, and it creates a convoluted mess, all for mechanical stacking's sake.
Saw a tengu medium 1 barbarian 1 alchemist 1, all for the sake of Rage + Mutagen + Champion spirit with three natural attacks @ lvl 3. The player justified it with a story, but I felt it lacked any depth; essentially saying he was a drug addicted who learned to make his drug, ODed, sees spirits now from the brain damage, and also has emotional issues now. It's felt like it was all to excuse the class stitching.
If anything, it often makes it more irritating. That's really more of a pet peeve of mine though, so I don't expect anyone to echo those thoughts.
I remember a dev comment about not liking the idea of double a single ability score being applied to things like saves, dex to damage or attack rolls etc, but seeing as this is 1) All will saves, and 2) Certain will saves, that might be different waters.
Since both have conditions where they do not function, its plausible
For the smog pellet, you could go with a Spring Loaded wrist sheath; swift action to deploy into your hand. Between attacks you deploy it, then continue.
In my games, we also let people simply deploy it towards the ground, instead of into their hand, to create the smog in their square as a swift action.
If you want to be able to stealth without people seeing you, there's this:
Hellcat Stealth (feat)
The former allows you to stealth while being observed in normal or bright light.
The latter allows you to stealth while being observed in dim light. Some argue whether you can also stealth in darkness, but that will vary with GMs. This means that at worst, you can stealth in 3/5 states of illumination, regardless of all other factors:
Questionable, or successful:
You can combine them, but you can only do so, if those archetype changes the same features, and if those features appear at the same levels as the base class.
This hurts Monk and Summoner A LOT.
But for Shaitan Binder, as far as I see, it works with Unchained.
Student of Stone is a nope, because the features it aims to trade out are instead made into Ki Powers, which is a different feature.
I view Archetypes more like alterations to be applied, and not really the means of identifying or characterizing my PC. I usually reimagine the fluff attached to the crunch, to fit elusive character concepts.
One idea would be Synthesist Summoner for creating an Iron Man-like power armor. Still dismissal, why? Cause its spends more time in a pocket dimension, so its extraplanar. It has a "voice" and can be split into two later? Duplication and AI. etc
Makes for fun
In my personal campaigns, backstories are important for establishing the motivations of the Pcs, and elements I can use to target, or empower them, to make the experience more tailored.
In a published adventure path, I try to do the same thing, but I also cite the player guide that comes out with each path, to try and inspire them into using the elements in that game.
In an example with Kingmaker, if a dwarven ranger wanted to hate giants, I'd probably suggest Fey as an alternative to hate, as they are more common. Together we'd work on a means for it to be a part of his story.
Furthermore, I enjoy adding in some Npcs I create here and there, and these characters can serve as a bridge between the Adventure's Needs, and the Player's Needs.
For Hell's Rebels, I have a PC who wants to be a Monk from the Dragon Empires (I think that's the region name...), while having a reason to be in Kintargo, so I suggested he have been sent here to contact a certain group dedicated to Irori, and that his character comes from one of the Tian regions that is enslaved by Oni. This way he has parallels to his home here, and a reason for arriving. In the future, I'll probably replace a devil of low importance with an Oni he remembers from home.
I say whenever possible, work to use their backgrounds; afterall, for a player like me, the story is most important, and my contribution to it means a lot to me. When I'm Gming, I imagine my players feel the same way.
I used an aboleth on my players when they were lvl 5 too!
Our team was an Alchemist Vivisectionist, a Bloodrager, a Mystic Theurge hopeful (Wiz/Cle), a Rogue (Not yet unchained), and a Ninja.
The Blood rager and alchemist were dominated, even after I pulled punches with tentacle attacks from below for a couple rounds. They were the strongest. THe only reason they survived a TPK was there was a campaign hook to bargain with an evil outsider in exchange for a favor; the Rogue used his boon, to recall to before appearing before the aboleth, in full power along with his friends.
They rested, prepped tons of Protection from Evil, and returned while super buffed, and curb-stomped the aboleth. My advice becomes from all this; identify your target's lair first if possible, while having readily available countermeasures like Protection from Evil, Invisibility to avoid it's sight, and detect magic to begin discerning what is real and what is not.
I would also imagine that someone with an incredible faith in themselves, such as many pro athletes would be able to get a benefit.
Or those of us with enough Deadly Sin: Pride, to constantly say to ourselves, "I've taken worse, this isn't enough pain to make me even pause.". I know I do... (Yay the power of Sin?)
I saw a documentary on Joan of Arc, where they wanted to explain how she could have done some of the things they claimed.
On the note of her pain tolerance during a particular battle, they did an experiment where they scanned the brains of Christians upon being shown two images (one of significance to the faith, and one not). They did the same to admitted Atheists. During this whole process, they asked patients to rate the pain of stimulation they were being provided.
The brain scans showed an area of the religious people's brains lighting up, an area signifying pain tolerance, but it only lit up in relation to the religious portraits, while the atheists' region of the brain did not activate, or if so it was markedly weaker.
The documentary was called Mystery Files: Joan of Arc, from Netflix
(Btw BDTB, I'm not particularly religious myself, so there's no fervor fueled backlash brewing here.)
Tidbit more then story;
We have a famously unlucky player who rolled 7 1s in a row, when fighting Kobolds.
Thing is, this was Darksun in 4e, so his weapon was supposed to break, on every 1 rolled. We only remembered after the fact.
The image of his PC breaking his weapons with every swing will never leave us.
It's been proven that religious belief and powerful faith can help reduce pain reception, and the knights of old were supposed to be holy warriors.
It's believable that Resolve works for both concepts; the Samurai applies their resolve to the protection and honor of their Daimyo, while knights apply it to their belief in God.
Now make that kind of thinking interchangeable between Knight/Cavalier/Samurai, and it all makes sense.
I apply a method of mixing;
To get the meeting with nobility established they can rely on Diplomacy to overcome a guard barring access, and when they arrive their role playing with the noble grants them a bonus to eventually necessary Diplomacy check.
Or, if you deem it so, a penalty. The key thing about social and political games is that the players need to start to KNOW who they speak to, and how those people think; that why they can change their words to suit the listener's taste, just like with regular people.
That sort of stuff is how I run it. Each important npc has a few quirks, whether for good or ill of those trying to use them.
I'd have to suggest heavily focusing on the engineering side with crossbows and firearms, with the artistic side being an additional flair, using Craft. If you want pictures and symbols to play a part, you could also use a spell caster with sigils, or claim that your somatic gestures create floating works of calligraphy before activating the cast.
In fact, an Oracle w/ Deafness, and Secret signs feat could cast with somatics only, using your finger like a brush. Could be fun.
I believe it's original (because I also believe it's heritage from 3.5 and older) intent was to mark the assassin as a dedicated murderer who places value in mortal life, only as long as the opposite end of the weight stays down.
They don't have creeds, death is a service, and they instigate the violence.
Mind you, I think a lot of Pathfinders who are good aligned, or even neutral would consider nonlethal approaches if:
I really hope the Rogue gets redeemed in this book. I'm definately going to get my PDF. But, if it's got some much needed Rogue love, I'll probably by a Book copy to show to my friends.
On an aside, is there any chance that the Rogue can gain a strong pool of abilities for countering mages? I really like the idea of a rakish character being able to throw off these Omega-Threat enemies, with wit and guile. A different sort of genius to fight a genius.
Everyone will have their take on this.
However, for those of us who care about PFS, because we plan on attending those events, it's more important for us to be aligned with that set-tup's thinking.
Thus, we need to determine what the Devs, and PFS think about Armor Training, and the Sash.
I believe that because the Dragoon says that Spinning Lance replaces Armor training 2, he gains no benefit from the sash. Armor training two has been confirmed as being a thing that can be lost, by the Devs quote above.
However, everyone is free to do as they will at their own table, which Gauss does. So, now that we know Gauss plays at his table, and we wish to play at PFS, we can simply agree to disagree, since our interpretations don't affect each others' gameplay.