You have sneak-attack dependent combatants and no beefy front line. Consider something that can provide both, like a summoner with a combat eidolon (or Master Summoner to flood the field with extra bodies). If you want more skills, then maybe Inquisitor, with either Sacred Huntmaster or Monster Tactician archetypes.
PhD. Okkam wrote:
A "Beat and Yeet" Barbarian, if you will. Grab people and smash them into other people, regardless of if said other people are adjacent or across the room.
Are you intending to run around in your natural kitsune form? Because you'd lose the benefit of Shifter Claws in either human or Fox Shape.
That said, the claws aren't the entire class. You could run something like Adaptive Shifter (which I think is generally stronger than the base class), since those abilities are usable in any form. You could even do something like nab the Fox Shape bonus feat from the racial trait, then pick up the movement, stealth, and sense boosting forms to become an excellent scout type. Spiked Form also allows you to make a viable thrown ranged build with self-regenerating ammunition.
I was poking through the Martial Arts Handbook, and a particular interaction of feats and abilities popped into my head. Specifically, the Shikigami Style chain and the Barbarian Rage Power "Body Bludgeon". Shikigami Style increases the damage you deal with improvised weapons by a total of 3 size categories for the chain, and Body Bludgeon treats the foe you're hitting someone else with as an improvised weapon. A Small sized foe would both take and deal 4d6 damage when used as a weapon, with a Medium enemy taking and dealing 4d8 damage.
My question is, what class would best build towards this? There's several classes that gain access to rage powers. Bloodrager has easy access to things like Enlarge Person, and had Bloody Knuckled Rowdy to help ease the feat burden. Barbarian has a number of other rage powers to help a grapple stick. Fighter (Viking) has the benefit of lots of feats to help the chain. Skald has things like Magic Warrior to make your wielded foe also a magic weapon. Ranger (Wild Stalker) doesn't offer much. There's also Spiritualist (Exciter), but I'm not familiar enough with the class to know what else it can offer besides spellcasting.
The shifter class makes mention of a "natural form" as a prerequisite for gaining claws, presumably to restrict the ability to add claws to various Wild Shape forms.
The Skinwalker race has a Change Shape supernatural ability to assume a more bestial form. This is not a spell, nor does it mimic one (as Wild Shape does), and as a function of the race it is a "natural form", though it is possibly still considered a polymorph effect.
Can a Skinwalker Shifter in their bestial form sprout Shifter claws?
High Knowledge skills, strong thematic consistency, synergy between class and prestige class abilities, high defenses, 9th level casting. Magdh is one of the easier and more effective Eldest to build around. It's not really building towards a specific high level ability, but rather it remains effective at its role throughout the entirety of the characters lifespan.
I'm personally a fan of a Paladin (Virtuoso Bravo) of Shelyn, with Bladed Brush, Slashing Grace, and a glaive. You get high AC, high saves, good mobility, reach that can be changed as a move action, and deal 1d10+Dex+level in damage per hit. You can easily pull it off by level 5, too.
A human build could look like
Level 1: Weapon Focus, Bladed Brush, Weapon Finesse (bonus)
Could you slap the Versatile Design weapon modification on the tankard to let it be considered a close weapon?
Alternately, do you HAVE to use the tankard as a light mace, or can you use it as a gauntlet (which is what the Two-Weapon Drunkard feat says is the normal rule)? If it can simply be counted as a gauntlet, then the Shielded Gauntlet feat line would allow you to scale up the damage, gain defensive benefits, and perform free Steal or Disarm on an AoO.
Looking at the boons granted by the various Eldest, Magdh seems like hers is the most useful, with a +4 to all Intelligence-based skills. While this may seem best suited to an Intelligence-based class, I actually had a different idea.
Gnome Lore Oracle. Lore Keeper lets you use Charisma instead of Intelligence for Knowledge-checks, but the Boon bonus should still apply. Sidestep Secret on top of being small would give you solid AC and Reflex saves, aided further by Magdh's second boon. Alien Mind would boost AC, Reflex, and spell DCs. Pick up the Irrepressible trait and you're using Charisma to Will against charms and compulsions. Play an older gnome and take Breadth of Experience for a further +2 to Knowledge skills. Take the Magical Linguist alternate racial trait to get the most out of Spontaneous Symbology.
Unchained Rogue 4, for Finesse Training and Debilitating Injury. Take Sneaky Maneuver and Underhanded Trick. Pick up Agile Maneuvers (not necessary if you're doing the maneuvers with your weapon) and Kitsune Style.
Vigilante 6. No archetype, either Stalker (for diluted hidden strike) or Avenger (for higher BAB). Take Deceitful Trick, Turnabout, and Expose Weakness.
From there, you can dip back into Rogue for more Sneak Attack and another talent, continue Vigilante for fun toys, or go Slayer (Bounty Hunter) for a better version of Sneaky Maneuver that lets you as SA dice as a bonus.
Make sure you finish Kitsune Style and the standard Dirty Trick feats. You'll have nice bonuses, good damage, lots of skills, and some flexible Dirty Trick options.
A different sort of approach, but a Kineticist with the Kinetic Healer talent could work out, and eventually let you spam the elemental side of things all day.
Warpriest, Druid, and Inquisitor would also work with proper spell/domain choice, especially if you roll a Samsaran and get to mix up the spell lists a bit.
Honestly, this concept is something you can pull off with most of the 3/4 BAB claster classes.
Throw in a level of Brawler (Constructed Pugilist) and Deific Obedience for Brigh and you'll be more machine than man.
The favored class bonus for both Oracle and Shaman let you add spells from the druid list, which may open up some fun thematics. You could even run as a Spirit Guide Oracle of Wood or Nature, to nab some cool things from both classes. The Solar mystery also gives you basically photosynthesis, which is pretty thematic.
Depending on your GMs take on paladin deities, you could play a Paladin of Desna and take her Divine Fighting Style with a starknife and be even more Charisma-focused.
Hero's Hauberk armor would net you a luck bonus to skill and ability checks while performing and reduce penalties, which could be useful for stuff like Power Attack or Two Weapon Fighting. Throw on Harmonizing to gain a pseudo-Lingering Performance and a boost to Perform. Poet's Cloak would let you have the option of a 4th level Raging Song.
Flagbearer+Banner of the Ancient Kings has been mentioned.
If you did go something like VMC Cavalier, dropping your paladin spellcasting for Tempered Champion would net you some bonus combat feats, which would be even more worthwhile if you planned on going into Battle Herald where you wouldn't have spellcasting scaling anyways.
Divine Defender would let you boost allied defenses. Warrior of the Holy Light would also give you more aura bonuses, though of a type largely redundant with bardic performance.
An odd choice, and one that painfully costs Divine Grace, is Empyreal Knight, which gives you the ability to summon celestial creatures and have a flying mount.
My partner has heard me ramble about Pathfinder enough that they're willing to push past their usual dislike for high fantasy games and give the system a whirl. I figure a good way to do that while giving them a range of story and theme options is to run them through an Adventure Path. The problem is, it's just one player.
Which of the AP's is best suited towards solo play, and what are some general tips or tweaks that can be made to make it flow easier? I'm thinking something like giving them an extra level or two to start out with, and maybe beefing up some of the NPCs to help cover some bases.
Based on my experience with a handful of the APs, something like Skull and Shackles or Jade Regent seem like they'd be solo friendly, but I haven't been very far into either of them or played a good half or more of the APs.
I'm playing a Kitsune Rogue in a Kingmaker game, and I've attempted to integrate some fox-like behavior into the character. Things like really loving food, particularly fruits and berries, as they make up a good chunk of a foxes diet. Or being very much not a morning person, because foxes are naturally nocturnal. A mix of skittishness, playfulness, and curiosity can help round out an interesting character personality.
I might be getting into a Carrion Crown game, and figured I'd take a closer look at the occult classes as they fit the horror theme. While doing so, I noticed the Phantom Blade archetype for the Spiritualist, which goes well with my general like of classes that can create their own cool weapon. I also noticed it had the option to store the weapon inside yourself and gain the weapon bonuses on unarmed strikes instead, which made me also remember the existence of the Possessed Hand feat.
Thematically, especially if you never actually manifest the weapon, the spirit possessing the hand could be the same one as Phantom Blade. Mechanically, adding on a +1 to hit and damage on top of the Phantom Blade abilities seems pretty solid, and helps compensate for the lack of damage dice from using a real weapon.
I was thinking a dwarf would be a good choice for this, with the option to use the Barrow Warden racial option, on top of the Corpse Hunter religion trait and Subject of Study campaign trait, for a total of +2 hit, +1 damage, and +1 AC vs undead.
My question is, with this concept, what's the best way to build? Getting bonus feats helps, but I don't really know where to go besides "punch things with zombie hand".
You can't really easily apply MMO mechanical concepts to tabletop RPGs like Pathfinder. It's a turn-based game that relies on resources that are limited on a per-day basis to establish an adventuring day, rather than rapid action and resources that regenerate over the span of seconds. Having mechanics where health, one of the primary limited resources, could be easily and rapidly replenished while simultaneously dealing damage would throw the system entirely out of whack. There's a reason "tanks" in Pathfinder (which is really just the most durable characters, since there is no aggro system) generally focus on avoidance or mitigation, because those let the limited resources of HP/healing stretch further.
That said, you could conceivably reflavor something like a paladin's Lay On Hands as "vampiric" healing if the GM was willing to be flexible. Only use it after dealing damage, maybe allow you to heal by the amount of damage you deal rather than rolling (if that amount is in the range of healing the ability could normally do at that level).
So poking around the forums I found out that, like clerics, paladins don't have to follow a specific deity and can simply be divine agents of a given ethos.
Can a paladin be such a godless sort in terms of his power source, and still count as "worshipping" an actual deity (with less alignment restrictions) and qualify for, say, a Divine Fighting Technique (which is normally locked to a follower of that deity, and paladins as far as I know can't serve CG deities).
This is something that could be easily justified in-character, too. For instance, a paladin could align himself with the divine concept of travel, luck, goodness, or liberation (none of which is inherently chaotic) and still revere Desna despite not directly serving as her agent.
There's a feat called Lunging Spell Touch that works like Lunge for touch spells, and has a Spellcraft 6 requirement rather than BAB 6 requirement, making it easier to get early.
There is also a newish feat called Exotic Heritage that functions as a Skill Focus prerequisite for Eldritch Heritage and lets you get Wildblooded bloodlines. The Warped bloodline for Aberrant trades out the useless Acidic Ray for Warp Touch, another touch ability that dazes. A decent setup for a touch cleric working towards Improved Eldritch Heritage for Long Limbs and further reach.
Without archetypes, you don't really have a lot of room for customization. Just go sword and board with two-weapon fighting and shield bash feats, or if you need to be more damage-oriented you can grab Power Attack and a greatsword.
If you want to get fancy and have an ally-protection theme, you can look into Vanguard Style, though the full chain requires a whole lot of feats, something paladins are short on relative to fighters.
Which or what kind of campaign? Different campaigns might have different needs and themes.
Why Archon blooded? It boosts a tertiary stat and a dump stat for paladins. Why not Angel blooded, for +2 Str +2 Cha, the primary paladin stats?
Pathfinder doesn't really have an "aggro" mechanic, so the best ways to fill a tank role are to be a big enough threat that they can't ignore you, while still being able to take the punishment.
I'm personally a fan of archetypes like Virtuoso Bravo, the pseudo-swashbuckler, because it has good mobility, high defenses, and solid damage. I also like combining it with defensive style chains like Crane Style or Archon style, which can synergize nicely with Opportune Parry and Riposte and your ability to heal yourself as a swift action. Those feats also work well (and require less of a feat tax) for the Iroran Paladin, the pseudo-monk.
For a more traditional paladin sort, the Sacred Shield archetype makes for a decent tank, sharing defensive abilities with allies. It's a good idea to invest in Two-Weapon Fighting with it, to ensure you have that "enough of a threat" covered, though the loss of offensive smite bonuses makes that a bit harder to land.
Have you considered taking something like Monk (Menhir Savant), to gain flurry, and pick up buffs via Qinggong? It wouldn't disrupt your claws or AC progression, either.
Or something like Brawler (Mutagenic Mauler) if the mutagen is specifically what you're looking for? You'd continue BAB progression and gain some bonus feats. You could also stack it with something like Turfer for Favored Terrain or Verdant Grappler to leverage high Strength forms and keep a nature theme.
Or even Fighter (Mutation Warrior), possibly adding on Savage Warrior, netting you Weapon Training bonuses on ALL your natural attacks that could be improved with Gloves of Dueling and enable you to pick up something like Advanced Weapon Training to give you defensive bonuses that scale off AoMF/Magic Fang.
Dipping into alchemist just for a mutagen feels like wasting a lot of the class features, when other class combinations can give you the mutagen while contributing more directly to your combat effectiveness.
I haven't quite worked out a build, but I was contemplating a Kinetic Knight/Fighter gestalt that uses two-weapon fighting and focuses on Aether. Using the shield as the object you charge with energy for kinetic blade as the "main hand", with a good old fashioned sword as the "offhand". You can mix it up, too, and use shield bash feats and kinetic blade on the sword as needed.
Aasimar Nature Oracle with Celestial Servant, Huntmaster (via Scion of Humanity), and the FCB applied to the Bonded Mount revelation to get a companion of level+1+1/6 HD. Add in fun stuff like Evolved Companion, Totem Beast, Genie-Touched Companion, etc. to have a Celestial Magical Beast horse that's probably stronger and smarter than you are.
The Superior Shapeshifter alternate racial trait from Blood of the Beast lets you swap out Kitsune Magic for Fox Shape at level 1. The only downside being that it's exclusive with the ARG Fast Shifter option that makes it a move instead of a standard.
I just started a Kingmaker campaign and decided to make a Kitsune Unchained Rogue with the Vexing Dodger archetype, with the idea being to do a lot of fighting in fox shape, with a focus on dirty tricks.
The build so far is this
1. Unchained Rogue (Dirty Fighting, Fox Shape, Finesse)
And that's about as far as I've gotten. I'm considering trying for Cloak and Dagger Style as well, but that takes an investment to be able to use both at once.
The biggest problem I'm running into, though, is that my fox shape has all of one attack, and that my actual damage will probably lag pretty far behind other rogues with TWF and iteratives. The solution would be to get more natural attacks, but that's proven harder than I expected because of the fact Fox Shape is a polymorph effect that is incompatible with a number of the normal ways to get things like claws.
The legit ways to get claws that work with Fox Shape that I've found so far:
Things I'm unsure of
Is there anything I'm missing? I've seen things like Helm of the Mammoth Lord for gore attacks, but I'm largely interested in things like claws, or maybe slams, so I don't look like a mutant fox.