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Meirril wrote:
Skirnir is a Magus archetype that uses shields. While its a slow to develop Magus it is going to have a much higher AC than other Magus. At 8th level it will be tempting to switch to a Buckler, and thanks to your ability to buff it at will it won't be a bad choice.

That looks interesting,I must've missed it while browsing the SRD. I might choose to build that,too. It's interesting to have the class features built into the shield as well.


Cuup wrote:

The most obvious answer here is to make a Magus, but they don't get a whole lot of Necromancy toys. Bards can be capable melee fighters as well (especially the Arcane Duelist, who can eventually wear heavy armor), but their spells are even farther from the mark than Magus'. Bloodrager is your top tier melee fighter who also happens to cast Arcane spells, and you can really flavor them up with Bloodlines to be closer to a dark warlock-ee theme, but their offensive spells aren't going to stick very often, due to their lower caster level and slower spell progression. Summoners could be a cool class to flavor into a dark magical fighter; you can have your Eidolon visually match that theme, and flavor it as some sort of dark conduit from which you gain your powers. Most of the Summoner's spells involve buffing/supporting your Eidolon, which feeds right into that theme, plus, they're not too shabby in melee, even though lots of people seem to forget that.

I think your best bet is the Warlock Vigilante. They're at the same level of melee proficiency as the Bard or Summoner, and though you're not going to be blending your spells with your melee attacks like a Magus, the Warlock's spell list is directly pulled from the Wizard spell list, which is easily the closest to what you seem to be looking for. They get a great melee/ranged attack baked into their class called Mystic Bolts (think of Doctor Strange's weird energy tendril thing he uses in the Marvel movie). Plus, you get the added flavor of the Vigilante's secret identity feature, which I suppose you can just ignore if you don't want to bother with that side of the class. They're proficient in Light armor and Shields (but not Tower Shields).

As for race, you want to look for weapon proficiencies, since that's going to be your biggest handicap when it comes to keeping up in the melee damage department, so your best bet is either Half-orc for Greataxe proficiency, or Half-elf for proficiency with a single Exotic weapon. Hobgoblins can also gain proficiency with...

Thanks for all your suggestions! As I said,necromancy was kind of optional,I just thought that Evocation and some Abjuration would be the kind of spells that serve in direct combat,fitting the "magic fighter" theme.

I think I'll look at building a summoner,or an avenger warlock vigilante.


Skull wrote:

I don't play casters much myself, but arcane casters that melee are the Magus and the Blood Rager. Bards might also qualify to some extent.

Im not a fan of the Blood Rager, as a barbarian that can cast spells even while raging sounds a bit on the "stronger than most base classes" side of the spectrum... :P

Yeah,I'm aware of the Magus and Bloodrager classes,wanted to know if anyone who played them might have some insight into builds/spell choices.

I imagine that bards do fight in melee but can't quite be tanky,since they'll suffer from arcane spell failure chance from medium and heavy armor.

Thanks for the response,though!


Lately I've kind of been interested in shields/armor,and I got the idea of building a dark knight/warlock kind of character that wades into combat and both casts offensive spells and does reasonably well in melee.

What are your build suggestions?

In terms of which spell list they need access to,I imagine this character using mostly evocation and abjuration and maybe necromancy,spells that you cast in combat,and less if any "tactical" stuff


lemeres wrote:

Don't underestimate wis for this kind of character. I remember my own arguments when discussing the wis requirement for an alt racial trait on drow in an old thread:

I wrote:

I like the wisdom requirement. It calls to mind not only sense motive, but also the profession skill.

As in, this person's ability to manipulate people is not some innate talent born of natural magnetism, but instead it is a carefully and coldly calculated skill that allows them to have others eating out of their hands and licking their boots.

Essentially it brings to mind a dominatrix that is as jaded and pessimistic about ..'mortal'? 'humanoid?'...nature as the ranger going on about how "The only good orc is a dead orc". Bonus points to both since I can see them taking a long drag of a cigarette and then flicking it in some naive kid's face.

I understand,though I was definitely going for more of the "revenge" part than the "charm" part for Calistria,picking the Trickery and Luck domains and being a sort of travelling vigilante/bounty hunter/rabble rouser.

Still,thanks for the advice!


lemeres wrote:

Well, there is the Elder Mythos Cultist that casts through force of the will that spawns from his ever crumbling mind.

...but unfortunately, that kind of precludes the "cleric of Calistria" bit, as the archetype name implies.

Well,thanks for the info,at least. I remembered seeing a reference to a cleric using Cha for spell DCs in the SRD,and that must be where it came from. I suppose when I do make this build,I'll just have to keep Wis higher than Cha instead of the other way around.


I'm trying to build a light armor Dex cleric of Calistria,whose favored weapon allows for the use of weapon finesse.

As a result,I could probably do better if I put points into Dex and Cha (to make use of the class skills granted by Trickery domain),and lesser points into Wis and Int (for a few extra skill points).

Wasn't there a feat you could take that might allow one to select a different stat for spell DC? Even if it doesn't change the Wis requirement for bonus spells.


avr wrote:

Working by 6th, good by 10th, OK.

Nicholas Storm's fighter dip (or an equivalent master of many styles monk dip) is about the easiest way to defeat blindness short of spending 12 000 gp on a blind man's fold. To use weapon finesse with a reach weapon you could get proficiency with an elven branched spear one way or another, or you could take weapon focus (glaive) and bladed brush. To get the double weapon quality on one of those you want spear dancing style.

Putting that together, something like Master of many styles monk 1 / bard X might go

Blind zeal trait: Blind-fight
Half-elf (ancestral arms): Exotic weapon proficiency (elven branched spear)
1: Improved blind-fight
MoMS monk 1: Blinded blade style, improved unarmed strike, stunning fist
3: Blinded blade competence
5: Weapon finesse
7: Greater blind-fight
9: Blinded master

You could swap those last 2 feats for others - combat expertise and moonlight stalker perhaps, or combat reflexes and intrepid rescuer, or TWF and spear dancing style (using the MoMS monk fuse style ability to use it at the same time as blinded blade style - unarmed fighters don't get that option if you go that way). I think being able to know the location of everything within 30' is best but YMMV.

Thanks for the suggestion! Just to make it clear,I brought up that a cane sword would work with Weapon Finesse as a melee weapon for this character if I happened to allocate stats to Dex instead of Str.

As it is,I'm fine with a more conventional Str polearm build too.

But I'll keep your suggestions in mind with regards to minimizing blindness penalties.


avr wrote:
How quickly does it need to come online? There are various relevant feats (spear dancing style & successors or bladed brush) but it's a little tricky making it work early on a class with no relevant bonus feats.

Other people have given suggestions already,but I would say perhaps at least being able to land hits on your typical low AC humanoid enemy at the start of a typical level 6 start campaign.

If you want a target to suggest to me based on,let's say level 10?


As mentioned above.

Specifically,I've got this concept of a blind bard who carries some sort of polearm that doubles as their walking stick/performance prop.

Of course,a fighter or monk would suit the "blind swordsman" concept more,but I do want the arcane spells and performances.

I'm specifically thinking about any that have the reach,and maybe the double and/or brace tags,but those latter two aren't mandatory.

While I do not necessarily intend to make the use of the polearm highly optimal,I figure if I'm going to build a concept around the weapon,the character should at least be decent with it.

(And I understand a sword cane would both match the flavor and work with Weapon Finesse,but I want to know if I can make a reach polearm work with it,first.)


Even taking into account archetypes,the bardic performance list has a mix of visual and audible components,which means you need one of each type of performance to be able to use that to contribute. But taking 3 or more seems like a waste of skill points you could put somewhere else.

Perhaps the only reason why you'd take more than two perform skills,as I see it,is if you want to use versatile performances to really compensate for your lack of other skills,which itself results from having too many perform skills.

Also,would a deaf and/or mute bard be allowed to compensate for a lack of audible components in performances and verbal components in spells by using sign language or telepathy? By beaming the words directly into the target's head,as it were.

(Disregarding the fact that instruments can provide audible components as well.)


Zwordsman wrote:

howdy. you certainly need these sneaky silent up your firearm! Much much easier than getting the oil over and over.

Outside of that. yeah there are quite a few overlaps yeah.
I'd probably go to 5 gunslinger and the rest Ninja or something ninja like. I wouldn't get a two handed firearm myself either.

I'd also consider this buckler this way you can relatively speaking, gun in CQC which is something a Ninja should do. and with a flank friend (in adition to maybe improved unarmed or armour spikes) allow you to properly flank and get sneak attack with "GunFu" style.

lastly, something I think is beneficial in flavor and in mechancis is shadow shooting with this you won't have CQC reload provoking issues. One issue though, is that it might reduce your sneak attack to minimum.. I read it as minimum weapon damage. Because sneak attack is not weapon damage, it is just the same damage type. I think? But your milage may vary. So it may or may not be useful for you. This is more useful when you have lv 5 gunslinger,deadly aim and such. but visually it is quite.. "ninja" like.

If you don't like Shadow Shooting you could and should also consider a Dragoon Pistol. and maybe efficient bandolier (but I don't remember if this is a chest slot (like it should be) or if tis a belt. probably belt.). If its a belt slot and you aren't playing PFS then I would suggest you take the money hit and combine it with a Physical Belt; if you want to save the reload feat.

uhm... there are also some newer and cool alchemical ammo as well as some magic stuff like "mage shot" that would simulate some fantasy ninja tricks.

might not be exactly what you want.. considering a lot of this is based out of my long...

Thanks for your explanation! I'll definitely keep the spiritualist archetype in mind,that sounds like I could work it into something similar to what I want.


The presence of the Scattergun Assassin ninja trick (which is on the SRD,but is third party) somewhat suggests that this is a combination that carries some synergies to it.

With or without the aforementioned trick,the intent would likely be to go for either Musket Master or Bolt Ace archetypes to create a character that uses the Smoke Bomb and Vanishing Trick ninja tricks to appear to move rapidly around the battlefield and make sneak attack shots against enemies while they engage the tougher party members in melee.

At any rate,I don't remember anything saying that firearms can't sneak attack.

Another possibility,I suppose,given the ninja's Charisma reliance,would be to go with Mysterious Stranger archetype instead,to reduce multiple attribute dependence.

With that said,those are just the possibilities I can think of. When you think about "gunslinger/ninja multiclass",what possibilities come to mind? In terms of things like archetypes/feats and the ninja tricks you would pick. As well as how many levels of gunslinger to gain before switching to ninja,or vice versa.