My playgroup is coming back to pathfinder and I’m planning on playing Tengu Eldritch Scoundrel Rogue (unchained) in an upcoming Carrion Crown AP. I’m wondering what the best fighting style is. I’m sure I’ll mostly be using my magic for skill monkey purposes but will be able to save a couple spell slots for combat buffs, especially as levels progress. I understand that my damage isn’t going to be optimal, but I’d like to be at least viable. Tengu receive a free bite attack and can further choose between proficiency with all swords/knives OR two claw attacks. There are three options (that I can see) which are available to me: natural attacks, elven curve blade, or TWF. As far as damage goes, are these roughly on par with each other, or does one outshine/ fall behind the rest? Has anyone run the numbers on these styles with the reduced sneak attack damage dice? Has anyone run the numbers on these styles with a secondary bite attack? I’m looking to the forum wisdom to guess which style is best.
I would prefer natural attacks or elven curve blade, unless TWF is far and away the best. If all styles are roughly equal, there are other things to consider:
Free hands for casting
No mandatory feats that I’m aware of: this allows space to pick up extra rogue talents, accomplished sneak attacker, etc. to make up for the class features I’m trading away for spells. Effectively trading feats for 6th level spellcasting.
3 attacks at no BAB penalty (5 later on with helm of the mammoth lord and wyvern cloak): Works well with sneak attack; 3 attacks early and 5 attacks later at full BAB keeps up with the number of iteratives that have a chance to actually hit if you go TWF. Amulet of Mighty fists + no BAB penalty from TWF means Piranha Strike will be used a lot more too.
I get to be a crow man who claws zombies in gothic horror: CAW
Wyvern cloak takes the slot of the mandatory cloak. Offset by the +4 Will but losing 1 Will and 5 Fort hurts.
Dex to Damage: No dex to damage on Bite until 11th, then that’s it. An agile AoMF takes care of this but it feels bad buying it for only two attacks (gore and sting)
Elven Curve Blade
Free action to take one hand off to cast: effectively have a free hand at all times
Not feat heavy
Best damage when you don’t get to full attack
Fewer attacks means shorter turns in combat (this belongs under Cons if overall damage is worse than the other options, but this option is hurt the least by the reduced sneak attack die progression.)
Need Str 13 for Power Attack: I’m not delaying spell progression by dipping ranger
Drow razor looks like a great weapon
Weapon Focus and buff spells have the highest impact.
No free hands
Does anyone have a rough idea or suggestion? Is there something I'm missing that makes one choice obviously better than the others?