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I'm gonna concur on bringing a Fighter and a Paladin. In Emerald Spire you'll find a lot of evil creatures anyway, and moreover the Lay on Hands will be useful as an emergency resource. And if you survive long enough to get Aura of Justice? Well, that's a freaking amazing ability that will make everyone murder better.

The Ki Channel shenanigans also just sound perfect for this group.

One important thing to consider with a 16 hour adventuring day group is that you'll find that ambushes CAN happen at night, so be sure to bring all the necessary tools to booby trap the paths your enemies will likely take to get to your campsite. My party actually got ambushed while resting by something like 3 Driders at level 5, and that was pretty... interesting.

(We won, though don't ask me how.)

For booby traps, I'd recommend that for the early levels you bring marbles, caltrops, string, bells, and a broomstick to sweep all that crap up. A mixture of caltrops and marbles will hinder a lot of early game enemy movement, and string + bells over a door is a poor man's alarm. You can get more advanced as you get higher level and eventually get rid of that stuff, but it's useful at level 1 when you're camping and 100% need to make it hard for something to approach you.

And if you plan on sleeping in armor, you'll want a way to remove fatigue available.

For music, why not permanency'd Ghost Sound from an item, activated on command word perhaps? You could potentially have a restaurant worker voice things with a Ventroliquism-casting item (X uses / day?) from somewhere. Those are the lowest level spells that come to mind.

Also, this restaurant owner is creepy as s&#+, I just want you to know. Actual monstrous humanoid corpses being used like this... Oof.

"You're not a peregrine falcon stooping on a pigeon at 200mph, you're a hovering object imparting enough force to move an 800lbs opponent 5'. Newton's third law: 'For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction'."

You seem to have forgotten about Newton's little known Fourth Law. It states that D&D is an abstraction and there's a difference between scrutiny and outright houseruling things, and a PFS DM is meant to NOT House Rule but to run the game within the RAW.

If this was a home game thread, the laws of physics stuff would make more sense, but this is a thread concerning a PFS DPR race. It will be silly no matter what you do, because DPR races inevitably are showcases of extremism within builds, especially when minimum defensive benchmarks are thrown out the window for the sake of raw DPR.


On the note of bull rush builds: I saw some really funny gloves the other day: these ones. Gauntlets of Giant Fist. Might they be used for some sort of shenanigans?

(Another forumgoer showed them to me in a Bull Rush related thread.)

Boot the player and move on. Pathfinder can be balanced for a 3 player group.

Also, it sounds like your DM may just need to be firmer with the rules in general when dealing with new players to the group.

I think this is where I'm going to go with my character idea:

Level 1 = Fighter, 2-6 = Wizard, 7-16= Eldritch Knight, 17-20 = Wizard
Level 1 = Barb, 2 = Wizard, 3 = Barb, 4-7 = Wizard, 8-17 = Eldritch Knight, 18-20 = Wizard

Whichever is the case, my stats will be:

20 Point Buy, Dwarf
STR 16
DEX 14
CON 15 (13+2)
INT 15
WIS 9 (7+2)
CHA 7 (9-2)

The reasoning being that I will go Transmutation (+1 CON), which won't be a great decision in the long run but in the short term will give me an effective 16 CON. My first stat bump will go into INT for sure. That leaves 4 stat upgrades to go into STR, which brings me to 20 eventually.

Alternatively, I can go for 16/15/14/15/10/7 instead and use the Divination spell school. It's... pretty tempting. Divination has a lot of cool abilities.

Either way, I am definitely making Evocation and Necromancy my opposition schools. I will definitely be using Enlarge Person and True Strike a lot at the beginning, I think, along with Color Spray and Mage Armor - some combination of those.

I will go for Arcane Armor Training, and I will try to convince the GM to let me get a Still Spell Metamagic Rod eventually (which can be paired with a Glove of Storing). The GM has already let another player take the Arcane Healer Bard archetype, so this isn't an impossible request; but I need to be VERY sparing with my requests, and my goal is to stay within Core as much as possible.

For feats and such, I like the general layout presented by Mr. Charisma. Combat Reflexes + a reach weapon, Weapon Focus + Weapon Spec (eventually), Arcane Armor Training... Stack on Arcane Strike for those rounds when I'm not casting spells and I think I have a straightforward build.

I may be able to eventually convince my GM to let me use a Dorn-Dergar or Dwarven Longhammer, which are dwarfy reach weapons that are cool and bludgeoning. Fingers crossed. I can keep a Dwarven Waraxe as a sidearm if I can't take the Dorn-Dergar.

For armor, I'll either be using Mithral Full Plate or a Mithral Breastplate... or, if the DM is generous, Celestial Plate Armor. Fingers. Crossed. Again, I may not be allowed this, but it seems like this is a mostly Core game with a few exceptions. (Arcane Healer Bard, and the sorcerer is a Tiefling, apparently. Otherwise, it's all Core so far.)

I think this is a solid enough build. It's not meant to break the game, but it will serve in its role as a beefy warrior-mage very well. And it should have room for crafting feats, too!

Any last suggestions? I'm liking how this idea is shaping up, especially since my DM may be willing to make concessions.

Note: I know this is not the smartest caster choice for a dwarf. I know that. I have accepted that. My goal is to make this character work.

So on the to-do list:

1) Dump Necromancy instead of Illusion.
2) Try to adjust stats accordingly.
3) Change specialist school to Divination, perhaps? That gets me True Strike at least.
4) Start as Fighter at level 1 for extra HP if DM allows?
5) Seriously, don't dump Illusion.

Again, this is a Lawful character, and the DM probably won't let me have Barbarian on a Lawful character as a houserule.

Any other key suggestions? Things not to do? Things to consider?

Uh, illusion includes mirror image, your best personal defence spell. Color spray could be a life-saver for you early on. Don't dump it. Necromancy is more dumpable, false life just isn't as important.
Ditching Illusion means no Mirror Image, no Displacement, no Greater Invisibility... it's not just ditching "sneaking". You *can* go that way, but creating a melee Wizard while ditching really good Wizard defensive spells doesn't sound like a great plan. Mirror Image is arguably the best reason to go Core Eldritch Knight.

All fair points. Noted and changing accordingly!


Personally I would table the Eldritch Knight idea.

While fun, they take quite a bit of time to be an effective melee combatant and before they get in a couple EK levels they are really just wizards that can fight a bit when they have backup.

If you want a spells-and-melee Core Dwarf, a fighting/casting Cleric would be an awful lot easier to pull off. Just saying.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty hard set on wanting to do a Dwarf Eldritch Knight. I already made the pitch to the DM, and the concept of a dwarven runemage carving runes into his equipment to do cool stuff just feels right fluff-wise, and it's definitely wizardly. Dwarf Fighter/Wizard is the goal.

If I *had* to go core Dwarf Eldritch Knight, I'd go Barbarian 1 with some Extra Rage. You don't need to be able to cast spells and fight at the same time; you Rage when you're done casting spells and getting into melee. The last thing a melee character wants to do is pick fights that they're really bad at finishing.

My big concern is that you end up Fatigued and unable to rage between spells. What if you end up needing to cancel a spell to do some emergency magic? Now you can't rage again.

Plus, it would require a Non-Lawful alignment, and this is definitely a Lawful sort of dwarf.

Would you take a paladin into sorcerer into dragon disciple instead?

Not on a dwarf. -2 Charisma.

Alternatively, core Eldritch Knight works very nicely with Weapon Finesse, Power Attack and elven curved blade. Dwarves have no more STR bonus than DEX bonus, which is to say they get neither. Transmuter works well with Finesse and curved blade; you get a DEX bonus item for attack, and put the Transmuter bonus into STR. You can still even take Barbarian 1 for the bonus damage; the AC penalty is then offset by higher DEX.

Of course, all that requires dumping a feat into Exotic Weapon Proficiency, losing out on some probably considerable damage... I'm not sure this is the angle I want.

It's an interesting idea, and I may consider it, but it'll be hard to justify learning to use an Elven Curve Blade when there's perfectly good swords lying around.

Note that the Transmutation ability score bonus is an Enhancement. It won't stack with items or most spells. So beyond very early levels, it's not very effective to be using it on STR. An Eldritch Knight with Transmutation eventually gets a +2. Personally I would redo those ability scores to something that suits a Wizard/melee; you're talking about cracking skulls and "offense is the best defense", but you've got weak attack and damage as well as weak defense.

I never said offense is the best defense, note. The problem is that with a dwarf I have neither a +STR or +INT, and I definitely want both. I'm having trouble getting any decent stat block with it. It's a 20 point buy game, so I can adjust the stats, but finding the right stat array is a battle.

The good thing about the dwarf racial selection is the frankly amazing saving throws, honestly, plus the Darkvision (which is an often undersold racial), and the free proficiency with Dwarven Waraxes won't be bad either. +CMD vs. bull rush and trip can't hurt, either.

On the spell school: what school would you choose to keep? Sure, the Transmutation bonus is negligible in the long run. It won't stack with Bull's Strength or the like. However, it provides a distinct bonus in the beginning. The Universalist bonuses are interesting, but don't provide bonus spells; Abjuration might provide me with a +2 Deflection AC bonus later, and that's only for INT bonus rounds and takes a standard action to activate. (Still could be nice early game.) Divination is really tempting though. Initiative is never bad.

I've considered dumping my WIS down to 9 (natural 7), as 1 Will could be worth reapplying some stat points. Dumping CHA to 5 sounds like I'm just waiting to be struck with a single light CHA-targeting attack and be turned into a brainless pile of stupid. (See: having less than 3 in a mental stat is not a good thing.) However, boosting my STR or INT would be really nice.

So far as my defenses go, I plan to eventually snag Mithral something. A Mithral Breastplate could be worn with Advanced Arcane Armor Training, has a max DEX of +5 (I could have +4 with a 14 DEX and Cat's Grace), and I would be able to use Arcane Strike when I just wanted to hit things really hard. Arcane Strike + Weapon Spec (Eldritch Knight stacks with Fighter for feat selection) could be an acceptable building point?

For a Core Only game, I've decided to roll with a Dwarf Eldritch Knight. I've learned that I'm also my group's only melee component, as the rest of the party is a ranged ranger, a sorcerer, and a max CHA bard. We're starting at level 1.

A quick rundown on the decisions I've made:

15 STR (16 with Transmutation)
14 DEX
16 CON
15 INT (to be bumped at level 4)
10 WIS

Toughness (Level 1) - as the only melee component, having more HP feels critical to me.
Scribe Scroll (Bonus) - Wizard extra.

Transmutation. I want the physical enhancements.
Evocation, Illusion. I'm a dwarf. I don't sneak. And my damage will come from cracking skulls, not throwing fireballs.

Bonded Item - Warhammer. I wanted to start with a Masterwork weapon right away to get +1 attack bonus. I can always change my Arcane Bond to a magical ring later.

Now, a few notes:

1) Given that we 100% lack a melee character besides me, I may be able to convince the GM to let me start my first level off as a Fighter instead of a Wizard. This would give me better starting HP, but I'd have to get rid of whatever armor I start with once I hit level 2 and start casting spells.

2) If I start Fighter, I won't feel obligated to take Toughness as a bonus feat. That's always nice to not have to take. I can get Weapon Focus (Dwarven Waraxe) instead, or Power Attack, or both.

3) As the game will be Core Only, I'm assuming that any non-Core item will be unavailable to me. Therefore, I can't hope for Celestial Full Plate or the like. I can, however, hope for Mithral, so with Mithral and Arcane Armor Training a lot of things become possible.

4) I may be able to ask to adjust my stats.

5) DWARF IS NON-NEGOTIABLE. I am a dwarf and you can't stop me from dwarfing.

So, with all of the above notes: what can I do to make an effective Dwarf Eldritch Knight?

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I bet I could squeeze in a fourth if the horse wears a corset.

♪ This horse is on fire ♫


But you're both staggered and disabled, so unless you're immune to those conditions you don't have a Standard Action left.

But otherwise it's a sound strategy.

The Disabled Condition can be worked around by being a Half-Orc, just as a solution off the top of my head (Ferocity). The point is really just to throw out some ideas to start off for a squishy, since someone was stating earlier they didn't think the contest was fair to Squishies.

The Staggered condition would be harder to work around, however. I actually forgot the Staggered condition was listed along with Disabled. But there are ways around that too, as others have demonstrated in their own victories, mostly by having 12th level companions.

Again, I myself don't want to make a build for this, as I'm not a master builder. But I want to leave a few ideas for casters.

Unless something has changed recently in that campaign, your wizard won't meet the "crafting requirements" because "crafting" requires crafting feats, which PCs cannot take in PFS.

To quote the Wizard's Arcane Bond section:

A wizard can add additional magic abilities to his bonded object as if he has the required Item Creation Feats and if he meets the level prerequisites of the feat. For example, a wizard with a bonded dagger must be at least 5th level to add magic abilities to the dagger (see Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat). If the bonded object is a wand, it loses its wand abilities when its last charge is consumed, but it is not destroyed and it retains all of its bonded object properties and can be used to craft a new wand. The magic properties of a bonded object, including any magic abilities added to the object, only function for the wizard who owns it. If a bonded object’s owner dies, or the item is replaced, the object reverts to being an ordinary masterwork item of the appropriate type.

And to quote PFS rules:


Can I upgrade an arcane bonded item?

A character with the arcane bond class feature may create a bond with any item he owns, either magical or mundane, as long as the item falls within the categories permitted by the arcane bond ability (the cost for bonding with a new item still applies). If a caster later wishes to upgrade an existing bonded item, he may do so for the cost (not price) of the final item as listed in the item's statblock.

For items which can be enhanced incrementally (such as weapons or a ring of protection), the caster must meet all prerequisites for the item as outlined in the item crafting rules. For example, a caster can enchant a nonmagical bonded dagger to a +1 dagger for 1,000 gp instead of the normal 2,000 gp, but he must be at least 5th level (a prerequisite for the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat). To upgrade the item further to a +2 dagger, the caster must have a caster level of 6 or higher (three times the item's enhancement bonus).

A bonded item that is enhanced must still conform to all the campaign rules for access to and upgrading of magical items. Use the final and total price of the item (not the cost) on the Fame chart to determine whether a caster can apply such an enhancement to a bonded item.

You can find those rules here. So, yes: Arcane Bond is the exception to the rule. This is Wizard 101.

Note the example involves taking a Non-Magical dagger and turning it into a magical one.

Unfortunately you don't have such a ring since it's 40,000gp price-tag exceeds the limit: "Equipment: you have 110,000gp to spend, no more than a third of it in one object.

Except you CAN afford it, because it's your bonded item. You can enchant your own bonded item. Enchanting the item yourself makes it cost 1/2 the normal price. Bonded Items are great like that.

I.E. you can 100% afford it because 20,000 gold is under 1/3 the 110,000 gold limit.

And this is PFS legal, note, and requires no crafting feats. You do, however, need to meet the crafting requirements.

It's never been stated that you were "grappled" per se in round 3; you just have a thousand pounds of hungry monster on you crushing you under the force of gravity. Maybe you tripped on your shoelaces or were beaned in the head and went down, and it merely wandered over to help itself to the chocolate-crème Belvitas out of your pack. It's hard to remember what happened and you're a little woozy right now because all the air is getting squeezed out of your lungs.

Fair enough. Your contest, your rules. But the Pinned condition comes from grapple, and with the above ring, you cannot be grappled. Still: your rules.


So, what occurs to me thus far is that with a Swift Action self-heal of some kind, the Ring of Freedom of Movement (only with Bonded Item + meeting crafting prereqs), and Signature Skill (Escape Artist) as a feat for a Move Action Pinned condition escape (which you auto-succeed thanks to the ring), you can escape the Round 3 scenario on a character with CL 7 and Arcane Bond. This leaves you with a Standard Action to spare. That's a start for squishies in need. You're still in the bad boy's reach, which stinks, but it's possible to Defensively Cast your way out of this one.

And again, the ring costs 20k in this scenario because you use Arcane Bond and crafting to reduce the cost by 1/2.

Mike Schneider wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
TheVillageIdiot wrote:
I'm not actually going to make a build, but I wanted to check: for the Round 3 situation, if you have an Unfettered Shirt you can activate it in one of the previous rounds and avoid the Pinned condition in Round 3 entirely, right?
That's up to Mike Schneider to decide, but my guess is that the effect is debuffed, and that you're pinned regardless of if you have an effect that normally would have avoided that.

Correct. The conditions of the DPR scenario (now near the top of the previous page) were as follows:

"...If you have an effect or ability which does not require an action to trigger, you may evade the Staggered, Shaken, and/or Sickened conditions. This effect or ability cannot be from a spell buff ongoing at the end the previous round. You remain pinned and at 0hp under the monster. While at 0hp, you have the Disabled condition. You do not have the Helpless condition."

But does the Ring of Freedom of Movement apply? After all, THAT effect is always on, not an on/off thing.

How can you start pinned if you're unable to be grappled permanently due to the ring which you can afford because it's your Bonded Item (which lets you use Crafting Feats you don't even have on it)? The enchanting of Bonded Items is PFS legal, note, including the discount for doing it yourself.

Given that terrain description, I definitely suggest either bull rushing flying creatures, ranged creatures, or Dasrak's very cool suggestion. Indeed, you could have flying creatures bull rush the party into the bog below, deal fall damage, then have creatures that attack whoever is down at the bottom. Lots of tactical depth to deal with from that. (This could be a rare opportunity to use both flying creatures and water creatures, in fact!)

And as I said, Dasrak's idea is cool beans.

I REALLY like the cleric and Malefex options. Lots of good angles to pursue here. The Hexcrafter looks really good, too.

Potion Glutton was erratad and now is a Move action.

The Ring of Freedom of Movement on a Wizard should work (assuming bonded item) because you just cannot be grappled in the first place, period.

For creatures...

Firstly, Will-o'-Wisps are always fun creatures to include in swamps, even subterranean swamps. And since they have natural invisibility, they could invisibly approach, attack the PCs, then retreat when things go south... and return again after healing up from whatever might be around that provides them with Fast Healing 5. They're immune to magic and generally just annoying things to fight, and they're technically aberrations.

However, "stuck on a rope bridge" tells me that one of the most fun - and rude - things you can leverage against the PCs is Bull Rush. With that in mind, a high Strength monster (or monsters) could Bull Rush your PCs off the bridge one by one with flyby attacks or the like.

There's also this Dracolisk which looks really fun.

The Gryph might be a sick and twisted thing to use as well, and you can have a veritable flock of them thanks to the low CR.

Any other good options? A quick look at the Hexcrafter Magus is very tempting to say the least, but I'd love to know if there are other ways of going about this.

I've always liked the roleplay value of the Hexblade from 3.5, even if I thought the actual mechanics were pretty bad. I'd like to recreate one in Pathfinder.

What would be the closest thing to a hexblade from 3.5 style-wise? Here are the requirements for this sort of character, in order of greatest importance to least:

1) Debuffs, especially curses / hexes (like a Witch). This character should feel like the debuff-centric fifth man of the group while still being a melee warrior.

2) Martial character. Has to be able to endure and perform well in melee combat.

3) Spellcasting, either divine or arcane. (If Divine, I'd like to have access to the Luck domain, or perhaps the Fate or Curse subdomains.)

Bonus points: the character should be themed around luck and misfortune if at all possible. Even more bonus points for a character that is fully functional in its role by level 3, and extra still if you don't need to play a specific race to make this work.

I'm not actually going to make a build, but I wanted to check: for the Round 3 situation, if you have an Unfettered Shirt you can activate it in one of the previous rounds and avoid the Pinned condition in Round 3 entirely, right? (Since it keeps you out of grapple entirely.) It says you gain the benefits of Freedom of Movement for 10 minutes; does that mean you have the actual Freedom of Movement spell on you (which can be debuffed) or that you're treated as if you had those benefits? It doesn't list an action to use it, so is it a free action?

Using a Ring of Freedom of Movement would be best but without Crafting feats you have to pay 40k for it, which means it's not available. Although... I think it *is* available for someone that uses a Bonded Item ring, right? (Lets you pay 20k for the ring if you can meet the crafting prerequisites.)

My instinct is that Gloves of Storing + Potion Glutton feat (BECAUSE the feat removes Attack of Opportunity from the equation) lets you put a CL 15 Potion of Cure Serious Wounds in your hand at the end of Round 2 from your gloves in preparation for Round 3, and in Round 3 you drink the potion as a move action without provoking. This heals you a lot, and then you still have a Standard Action and a Swift Action with which to beat up the monster.

Alternatively, you could use the Accelerated Drinker trait if you can find a way to get rid of the attack of opportunity or leave the monster's reach.

Finally, I can't help but imagine that a Time Stop scroll + various cool multiple round duration combat spells (Wall of Fire, etc) could be really a fun combo. Perhaps a really high Tumble (Move Action) + the scroll (Standard Action) + a form of Swift Action self-healing (Lay on Hands?) = sufficient? And you can certainly start nuking the place with things like Cloudkill and Wall of Fire before getting the heck out of dodge.

Yeah, even if your Bull Rush succeeds by 20 points, you can opt to only bull rush him 5ft-- you don't have to shove him the full 25ft if you don't want to. I do the multiple shoves and push him through my allies' threatened spaces in 5ft increments and provoke as many AoO's as possible. Also, with Haste, I get 30ft bonus, so that's a lot of extra movement to Bull Rush with.

This is REALLY important info for me. Hey, thanks!


The way that you're able to move with a target while Bull Rushing with every Flurry hit from the Giant Fist Gauntlets is done via the free Overrun attempt you gain with every successful Bull Rush via the Siegebreaker2 ability.

"Breaker Momentum (Ex)

At 2nd level, when a siegebreaker successfully bull rushes a foe, he can attempt an overrun combat maneuver check against that foe as a free action.

This ability replaces the feat gained at 2nd level."

So you can still only move your movement speed tops (which is why things like Haste and +speed effects are important), but because you're Overrunning you can move with the enemy you're Bull Rushing, essentially. Okay, that makes sense.

3. Not unless the characters have reach with their unarmed strikes or natural attacks. While the movement generated by a bull rush provokes attacks of opportunity from the rusher's allies, movement only provokes when leaving a threatened square. If the two rushers do have reach (e.g., they're large), then it works fine. Difficult to set up, but fine. Note that it would also end as soon as someone fails their CMB check.

Or if they were under the effect of Long Arm, or had some other source of reach, right. I explicitly state the two characters have reach in the scenario parameters. But it's a funny idea: two bouncers standing opposite of one guy, punching him spinning back and forth? I dig the imagery.

Slim Jim wrote:
TheVillageIdiot wrote:
So why not take both and generally speaking have no penalties to your archery at all?

Q. Why not take every nice feat in the book?

A. There's not enough room for them all.

Yeah, of course that's true. But for any kind of campign where you have reason to believe you'll be fighting indoors and you want to be an archer, Shooting Into Melee and Soft Cover are going to be common problems, especially if you have multiple party members that engage in melee. The Emerald Spire, for instance, is a campaign that immediately makes me say "Both of these things will be a problem."

When it comes to attack bonus, very few things can give you the equivalent of a +4 bonus to attack for the cost of a single feat or trait. You'll be hard pressed to find something like that. So, if you have either multiple melee buddies OR reason to believe you'll be indoors a lot, abilities that erase these penalties are going to be tantalizing.

So, in the end, no: Precise Shot is NOT useless. It is, in fact, far from useless, because in actual gameplay I've always found that Shooting Into Melee was actually a very common penalty I would have to face. Now, it is annoying that you have to take the feat, because there's so much I'd rather be spending my feats on, but archers pull so far ahead of other martial builds generally speaking that I'm okay with this feat tax in the end.

Here are some techniques I'd consider that are not spell-specific:

Firstly, make sure the kobold has an Alarm spell or similar mechanisms so that he can self-buff in anticipation of the party. Otherwise, have an invisible spy or something tell him when the party is approaching. This could also let him apply spells to the battlefield in preparation. Even standard kobold runners could inform him ahead of time.

Secondly, my next suggestion is don't have him be alone. Standard Kobolds may not seem like much, but they can block charges and such. They can also use Aid Another shenanigans to get a few good hits in on someone if they really pile in.

Thirdly, I would consider using elevation and difficult terrain in this room. You potentially may want him to have a means of traveling from high elevation point to high elevation point, giving him a mobility advantage, not to mention cover from which to fire.

Finally, I'd also consider placing a couple traps in his room. Because why not?

As far as spells go:

Summon Monster scrolls can be really fun. Crocodiles are a favorite. They can grapple the party's caster from the rear and have at it.

Grease is a cheap spell that functions remarkably well with Spiked Pit traps or the like.

A scroll of Heroism would certainly help the little guy out in dealing some damage.

I mean, there's TONS of good spells to use. Others will make far better, more comprehensive lists than me. But definitely consider spells that will last 10 min/level or 1 hour/level.

So why not take both and generally speaking have no penalties to your archery at all?

-4 to hit can translate to a 20% decrease in accuracy. It hurts a lot. Sure, it can be overcome with raw numbers, but it's better not to suffer the penalty than to actually suffer it.

Also, you can already ignore the soft cover penalty through smart ally positioning and through elevation. In fact, things like Flight and such at later levels help tremendously with the -4 soft cover penalty, not even taking traits or feats into account, if you are at the level where spells / potions of flight are a thing. And your melee allies can maneuver into positions where you can avoid the soft cover penalty in the first place in general, either through Five Foot Free Steps or choosing to place themselves in the right positions to make your turn work. (Smart opponents can, of course, five foot free step as well if the terrain allows.)

Both the trait AND the feat are handy to have. Again, 4 Attack can translate to a 20% chance of hitting depending on how high the enemy's AC is and your Attack is.

EDIT: Also, in a "corridor fight" Deadeye Bowman may actually be useless depending on group composition. If you only have one melee combatant as an ally, sure, that works perfect. Two or more? Well, assuming the typical 10 foot wide corridors we know and love, yeah, that trait loses its power REAL quick, especially when we factor in multiple enemies as well, or large enemies, or allies with reach weapons, or the Ranger's animal companion, or the Eidolon, or...

So, just to check:

Assume all hits connect and all bull rushes succeed.


Let's say we're a Human in Light or No Armor, and we're unencumbered. We have a 30 foot speed. We attack from melee range.

Character punches enemy. Enemy is Bull Rushed 10 feet. As the character Bull Rushes as a free action, can the character continue their full attack? (See: Punch+Bull Rush again, another 10 feet; and again, another 10 feet?)


Same character charges from 10 feet away with Pummeling Charge. How far can this character travel with their target during the bull rushes total?


Does this mean that you immediately move the enemy following each Bull Rush, and so you cannot just Punch+Bull Rush multiple times without moving with the enemy?


Two characters with Greater Bull Rush, Combat Reflexes, and Greater Bull Rush stand 20 feet apart with an enemy in the middle. They have Reach. One of them punches the enemy, sending him in a Bull Rush that leads him to the other character. Said character gets an Attack of Opportunity and immediately punches him back into the reach of the first character. Repeat until one character runs out of AoOs.

Is this correct?

Slim Jim wrote:
You can get about 87.5% of Precise Shot's value via the Deadeye Bowman trait. If I were making a "real" (i.e. to-be-played) character, I'd take Deadeye Bowman + some other nice thing via Additional Traits at 3rd, then retrain them later when I absolutely needed Precise Shot for a tax-feat.
Deadeye Bowman wrote:
Benefit(s) When you are using a longbow, if only a single creature is providing soft cover to your target, your target does not receive the +4 bonus to AC.

It gets about 87.5% of Improved Precise Shot's bonus. It does nothing for Shooting Into Melee.

I.E. you still have the problem that is only solved by Precise Shot.

So, here's something that's come up in another thread that makes me scratch my head a little:

Let's say you're in a position to Full Attack someone. You have Giant Fist Gauntlets, which let you free action Bull Rush people. You have Greater Bull Rush, which lets your allies get AoOs off on people you Bull Rush. Combat Reflexes would let them get multiple AoOs.

Let's say you get a full attack off on someone with unarmed strikes. Do you get to trigger multiple Bull Rushes AND a full attack on this opponent, or does the first attack Bull Rush the opponent away from the original position and send the opponent flying?

Also, if you have Pummeling Charge, does that change anything?

An exchange? And you want a moral quandry? How about...

A prisoner exchange. She has someone that someone else wants, and they have someone she wants. The thing is, she doesn't want to actually give her prisoner to that person. She the PC do the exchange, then kill the other team's prisoner and/or the other team entirely.

Basically, you make this a Law vs. Chaos problem. She's chaotic and has no problems with breaking her deal. He, however, believes in upholding deals, doesn't he?

For bonus points, give him a way to "technically" do what she wants without actually doing what she wants, as befits an Asmodean, but make sure he has to deduce the solution on his own rather than spelling it out for him.

Also, make the enemy fairly easy for him to kill, so it doesn't entice other players to join. After all, he's a skilled warrior. The real trick is getting the prisoner out alive.

You really want 3 levels of Siegebreaker if possible because you want Poised Bearing and Imposing Bearing, actually. You need Armor Training for those. If you don't take those, you'll eventually fight creatures too big to fight, and if something is too big you can't use your combo at all.

See, Bull Rush and Overrun only work on creatures 1 size category larger than you. So if you Enlarge Person, you can affect Huge. But to affect Colossal, you need Poised Bearing + Enlarge. For Gargantuan? Poised AND Imposing Bearing + Enlarge. Otherwise, those creatures are literally immune to your abilities.

Now, you can space out the times at which you grab these feats. Poised Bearing + Enlarge covers most of your needs, and you could theoretically just use Martial Flexibility (if brawler) to get Imposing Bearing. But still, it's good to have the first one if possible. (And note, even if you don't want to take them as feats but use Martial Flexibility to grab them, you still need 3 levels of Siege Breaker for Armor Training.)

And the other thing is the Bulette Style line of feats lets you affect multiple foes with Overrun as well, so you effectively can act as a sort of moving lightning bolt vs. a "Punch one guy really hard" guy. It's very different from your build, but functions in a highly comparable way.

Still, I like your build, and that may be the route I go with my next martial build. But for this one, I'm quite frankly just looking for things that supplement the current choices I already made in a discussion with the GM: the Bulette Style stuff. Raging Throw and Charge Through look like they'll do the trick (as you can Charge Through one creature in front of your target as part of the Bull Rush, THEN successfully Bull Rush and Overrun again).


One thing I am confused about, though: how are you Bull Rushing the opponent 5 times in one round as part of your Flurry? EDIT: Ah, the gauntlets. But doesn't the enemy go flying once Bull Rush succeeds, so they're out of range? This seems a bit odd.

You're going to be Large sized because of Enlarge Person. You can flank a medium creature even with your medium ally on the corner. You have to draw the imaginary line to YOUR center as well as your ally's center.

Except you still can't choose where you Bull Rush the enemy to WITHOUT a feat or ability that explicitly says you can. This means you sometimes will only be able to Bull Rush into your ally if you're flanking, especially if you're charging (which is how you're doing things if you're using Pummeling Charge). Here's some examples to eyeball:

X = Ally, Y = You, O = Enemy


In the above example, no matter where you stand you're not flanking the creature, because no part of you is actually in flanking position with your ally when you connect.


In this scenario, you're in flanking position when you connect, and you can, indeed, hit your opponent away from you and NOT into your ally. This one checks out.


In this case, however, your charge would leave you with only one option: bulldoze this guy into your ally, because you charged from that direction.


In this example, you're charging diagonally at the enemy. You are not flanking, however, and thus don't get a flanking bonus.


Now you DO get a flanking bonus, but your ally is going to get smacked by the enemy.

This is why flanking and bull rushing don't generally work out, especially when charges are concerned. Now, if you're able to have Enlarge Person open each fight, you CAN avoid this problem by just walking into position and THEN Bull Rushing the enemy (as compared to Charging). This lets you more easily throw the enemy around. However, remember that according to the Core Rulebook and PFSRD...

A bull rush attempts to push an opponent straight back without doing any harm.

So you can't really pick and choose the direction. It has to be STRAIGHT back from whatever direction you're pushing. So, charges muck things up a bit to say the least. To me, this means that in order to diagonally shove a creature you must should have an angle like this:


And that you can't push diagonally from:


As "straight back" in this case is pretty clearly not diagonal.

Unless there's an FAQ on this that says otherwise, I think this holds true.

Again, given my understanding of the rules, I don't believe you can safely Bull Rush and Flank in most situations, especially when you factor charges in.

I would still like you to consider the other points I made, Slim Jim. Again:


I'd like to know how many rounds that takes. Theoretical damage outcomes are great, but this thread IS called the "best / strongest archery build," not the "most possible damage in a single round build," and the difference there does lie in this:

1) If you spend several rounds NOT doing damage, you're probably already dead.
2) If you spend several rounds NOT doing damage, you do less damage than other archers because they've already done their damage, and your typical fight lasts 4 or less rounds I find.

As I said earlier, I like the huge numbers the build can pull off. But I personally want to know how many rounds of setup it takes to get to that point, and how much damage your character can deal without any setup, and whether the build passes the various defense benchmarks. I assume AC is fine, but what about saving throws? What about CMD ("Aw, crap, the Dire Crocodile grappled me")?

Because in the end, if it's theorycraft all is well and good, but if it can't actually perform this well for several rounds what is it doing in the previous rounds? Each round with no offensive action is a round with 0 DPR, so knowing how many rounds of 0 DPR are required to arrange this might be good to know for an actual DPR situation.


If you shoot or throw a ranged weapon at a target engaged in melee with a friendly character, you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll. Two characters are engaged in melee if they are enemies of each other and either threatens the other. (An unconscious or otherwise immobilized character is not considered engaged unless he is actually being attacked.)

If your target (or the part of your target you’re aiming at, if it’s a big target) is at least 10 feet away from the nearest friendly character, you can avoid the –4 penalty, even if the creature you’re aiming at is engaged in melee with a friendly character.

Good to know, actually. I actually did not know about the 10 foot rule, so I'll keep that in mind.

But with an actual full party, you probably will still encounter this problem if you spend multiple rounds just self-buffing before firing. Either the enemy already died, the enemy's already in your face, or your melee buddies are locked in battle. And no, those melee buddies aren't necessarily summons. Are you going to declare a fellow PC on the field to be a non-friendly for the +4 bonus? (I doubt that would fly.)

Precise Shot is so necessary because it removes what is a frequent penalty to attack. You can't always pick and choose what to shoot. Sometimes there is only one target available. Sometimes you're a Human without darkvision and all you can target is the thing you can see. Sometimes every enemy is a melee enemy and has already engaged the rest of the party. Sometimes the large-sized troll is, in fact, facing you from the same direction your ally is, and you can't help but shoot at a part that is less than 10 feet away from your ally because nothing else is exposed. The fact is, there's a whole lot of "sometimes" that come up that make Precise Shot necessary. It is effectively +4 attack bonus in a lot of situations, not rare situations, and lacking it - especially early game - is painful on an archer.

Now, with all that said, note that I agree with the "versatile warrior" concept for early-game archers. I try to build mine that way, too, because ranged combat doesn't always work out early game. Playing as a switch hitter for several levels before eventually transitioning into a pure ranged character just makes sense except in a few very specific circumstances. But eventually you do want Precise Shot, because it is that good, and I have never seen a game where an archer lamented that he never got any benefit out of Precise Shot.

(The archer WOULD lament that he had to take it, but Precise Shot was always used. The cover + shooting into melee rules are just rude, that's all, but they serve to balance archery vs. everything else.)


Don't set it up like this:

X<-0<-Y <--- Bull Rush

Because yeah, you will hit your ally like this.

Set it up like this where your Ally is on his opposite corner:

<--0<-Y <--- Bull Rush

That only works with large or larger creatures. With medium sized creatures you do, in fact, have to be perfectly opposite.


When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.

When in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent in the middle, trace an imaginary line between the two attackers’ centers. If the line passes through opposite borders of the opponent’s space (including corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked.

Exception: If a flanker takes up more than 1 square, it gets the flanking bonus if any square it occupies counts for flanking.

Only a creature or character that threatens the defender can help an attacker get a flanking bonus.

Creatures with a reach of 0 feet can’t flank an opponent.

Click me for image to accompany quote


#1: The fighter and the cleric are flanking the ogre because they can draw a line to each other that passes through opposite sides of the ogre. Both the fighter and the cleric receive a +2 bonus on attack rolls made against the ogre.

#2: The rogue is not flanking the ogre because she cannot draw a line to the fighter or the cleric that passes through opposite sides of the ogre. The rogue cannot draw a line to the sorcerer because the sorcerer is not adjacent to the ogre and does not threaten it.

#3: The goblin and the ogre flank the sorcerer, as they can draw a line between them that passes through opposite sides of the sorcerer‘s square. If the ogre didn’t have reach to the sorcerer, though, he and the goblin would not be flanking her.

Basically, in your example, the line between X and Y does NOT pass through opposite sides, period. They don't flank. The only way to get a flanking bonus against a medium creature is to be on completely opposite sides of the creature, which means bull rushing your own ally.

Trust me, I have studied the Pathfinder art of shoving people around.

Either way, due to the houserules in place I don't really need Dirty Fighting. I don't have the DEX 13 or Imp. Unarmed Strike, but Vicious Stomp isn't the route I'm going. Raging Throw does the trick, and then I'll need Greater Bull Rush and a few other choice feats, but my damage is not coming from unarmed strikes. It's coming from being a living bowling ball.

If you ever want to make Fighters feel awesome, check out the Weapon Master's Handbook. Advanced Weapon Training is awesome. Also, this book has the amazing Molthune Arsenal Chaplain, the best warpriest archetype around for murdering things.

But in general, I think any books that add more base classes are worth considering. I definitely advocate the Advanced Player's Gate and Advanced Class Guide. Pathfinder Unchained offers the Unchained Rogue and Unchained Monk, which are pretty good. Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic add the Magus and Gunslinger. Occult Adventures offers several classes... these are all good books to look into.

I'd definitely put Advanced Class Guide and Advanced Player's Guide at the top of the list.

Another good Divine Dark Knight idea would be the Molthune Arsenal Chaplain Warpriest (though it's just called Arsenal Chaplain on the PFSRD). 6th level spellcasting (divine spells) drawn from the Cleric spell list, but but you get to really wade in and murder stuff if you build correctly.

I do dips all the time. I've had some ugly looking character sheets where I had 6 different classes at play, in fact. But those are usually martial characters trying to make some gimmick work.

Losing two caster levels sucks, but it's bearable if the payoff is big enough. But you're not just losing out on spellcasting abilities here. You're losing out on BAB - two points of it, in fact. And Flurry of Blows reduces your to-hit further with just a 1 level dip because it's basically Two-Weapon Fighting, and your weapon selection becomes limited. The sneak d6 also doesn't help if you're not flanking the enemy or attacking an enemy that's lost their DEX bonus.

Plus, if you want Darkvision, why not take a race with Darkvision? Dwarf has +2 WIS and +2 CON, not to mention awesome racials.

In general, make sure to consider everything you lose when multiclassing. BAB, differences in Saving Throws, spell progression, class ability progression... Ask yourself if the trade you're making is worth it. And if you need to limit your options when taking a class, consider what you could do without utilizing that option.

On races:

Dwarves are a rarely-used race for some reason, but if you want tanky you don't need to look any further than a dwarf. +2 CON and WIS with a +2 racial save bonus vs. spells AND a +4 racial CMD bonus vs. Trip / Bull Rush gives you a lot of flat defenses. You have some nice alternate racial traits available, too. -2 Charisma means that anything CHA-based is a no-go, but the dwarf functions just fine as a +INT caster if you plan on entering the line of fire. The biggest penalty is the 20 foot speed (vs a 30 foot speed).

On classes:

As others have said, the Summoner, Bladebound Magus, and Warlock Vigilante are all fine choices. But you have a few other good options, too.

Note that I'm mostly going to be talking about the Arcanist. Now, you mentioned earlier not being interested in tactical stuff, so this may not apply to you. However, if you want a breadth of options, look in the spoilers below.

The Arcanist offers two really interesting Archetype options for you, the first of which is the transmutation-focused Brown Fur Transmuter. The Brown Fur Transmuter is all about making tasty Transmutation buffs even better, and if your physical stats are up to par you can effectively turn yourself into a beast of war and wade into combat. What's also really cool, however, is with the right spells you can do this on allies, too, even getting the ability to cast self-only buffs on your party's Fighter, for instance. Pack an Extend Spell rod, and take the Transmuter of Kordoba trait. What's good is you still get all the nifty Wizard spells out there. And honestly, you could probably stop going Arcanist after 9 levels and instead go Eldritch Knight if you want more BAB, or a similar prestige class.

Another interesting option from Arcanist is the Blade Adept. Basically, you get a little bit of the Bladebound Magus' power with full spellcasting progression and a MUCH better list of spells than the Magus. Now, let's be clear: the magus is outright better at melee than you for the majority of the game, and you won't really have the same Magus Arcana options as the Magus. However, your volume of options is greater, and due to the Eldritch Knight PRC is also an interesting option for this character because of this special Arcane Exploit option:

Blade Adept wrote:
ldritch Blade: A blade adept with this exploit uses her caster level instead of her class level for the purpose of advancing her bonded sword’s powers.

Meaning that if you PRC into Eldritch Knight your blade will level up with you. Again, Blade Adept is NOT as good at straight-up murdering people as a Magus, but it IS acceptable in melee while also being a good caster.

Now, there's another character that I actually find to be quite interesting, but it doesn't use Arcane spells. It's the Kineticist. Specifically, the archetype I'm thinking of is the Kinetic Knight.

The Kinetic Knight is an armor-wearing Kineticist that can function fairly well in melee thanks to the nature of Kineticist abilities. It relies heavily on CON, and for combat feats uses CON instead of INT to qualify (and counts as having Combat Expertise to boot). And if you really want to be silly, you can even take the Artful Dodge feat to use CON for both INT and DEX when qualifying for feats, if there's anything you want that requires those. Juicy stuff. Your choice of elements is really important, note, but overall I think the Kineticist is a fun choice if you want to use cool energies in melee.

If you REALLY want to go the Dark Melee Warlock route, consider a Dhampir (Jiang-Shi Born) Kineticist. Choose Void as your element. At level 2, take Void Healer. Congratulations, you have functional self-healing on a race that normally has trouble with that, and your abilities are all negative energy themed.

Also, as mentioned earlier, you yourself said it takes multiple rounds of self-buffing / preparation before your character starts shooting.

Tactics: we have a wide variety of ways to step up damage, and it would normally be very unlikely to have them all activated simultaneously. But supposing a fight in which we’re unable to do much in the first few rounds other than buff, before unloading…

Which, again, I'd like to know how many rounds that takes. Theoretical damage outcomes are great, but this thread IS called the "best / strongest archery build," not the "most possible damage in a single round build," and the difference there does lie in this:

1) If you spend several rounds NOT doing damage, you're probably already dead.
2) If you spend several rounds NOT doing damage, you do less damage than other archers because they've already done their damage, and your typical fight lasts 4 or less rounds I find.

As I said earlier, I like the huge numbers the build can pull off. But I personally want to know how many rounds of setup it takes to get to that point, and how much damage your character can deal without any setup, and whether the build passes the various defense benchmarks. I assume AC is fine, but what about saving throws? What about CMD ("Aw, crap, the Dire Crocodile grappled me")?

(Also, I do agree with Derklord that the wording of Amplified Rage and Savage Technologist make their interaction dubious. Some GMs might let it fly, but I'm not sure it'd fly in, say, PFS.)

Also note that because you lack Precise Shot your attack bonus will sometimes effectively be +32, not +36. Is that still good? Oh, of course. But I think it's noteworthy.


A List of Reasons Why I Hate Precise Shot:

It's a useless feat unless the opponent is in melee.

But in an actual group scenario where your character takes multiple rounds to set up, it's inevitable that your character will encounter battles where your character HAS to fire into melee.

If the target is really big, I might not need Precise Shot to avoid a -4 penalty anyway even if it is melee with an ally. ("Yo, Mr. Troll! Did anyone ever tell you that you have a huge ass?" <poink!>)

Some GMs may allow that, but RAW a creature locked in melee is a creature locked in melee. The penalty applies no matter the angle of the shot or how large the creature is.

Again, let me reiterate: I like the build idea and that it's pure theory and not meant to be played. But in an actual DPR contest, it really does matter how many rounds of combat are skipped, what you can do if you don't spend those rounds just self-buffing, and whether you will be able to endure a lazily-cast Will targeting spell by an enemy spellcaster.


Knowledge is Power is something to build around when starting out, rather than something to tack on to an existing character with insignificant INT. Start out with a Dual Talent Human with something like 17STR/17INT, put a point in INT at 8, and buy a headband +2; now Knowledge is Power is granting a +6 CMB bonus. Also take the Foresight Wizard School and you get 9/day uses of pre-reroll. It's a strong option, anyhow.

You might even be able to build some sort of Battle Wizard around a Siegebreaker core; there are huge support things you can do with spells, and some good PRCs for adding spells and combat.

The Living Monolith Prestige Class grants a pretty great ability for a combat maneuver oriented character.

The thing is, I'm not having terrible trouble with accuracy right now, and the character concept I have has already been passed over to the DM, and it uses Barb/Siegebreaker as its base.

What I'm looking for isn't more CMB, but ways of boosting my actual damage at present, dips or the like that might reinforce my preexisting build.


Brawlers with the Dirty Fighting feat make amazing combat maneuver-focused characters. Brawlers get plenty of feats to make it all happen, and then you can use Martial Flexibility to pick whichever combat maneuver you want to excel at during that particular combat too. If you want to be really extra pushy-shovy with Bull Rush, dip a level in Barbarian around lvl 6-7 and pick up the Raging Throw feat and you're in business.

At level 8 with a 20 Str and 16 Con, you could have 8BAB + 5Str + 4Imp/Grt BullRush + 2Rage(Str) + 5RagingThrow(Con) + 2ManeuverTraining = +26 to CMB to BullRush, and increase that by an additional +4 if you're flanking. And that's +26 or +30CMB without any items.

All you need is:
Brawler7 / Barb1
Dirty Fighting
Imp/Grt BullRush
Raging Throw

If you get Vicious Stomp, you can really pile on the hurty-hurt with AoO's when you knock people prone with Trip and Overrun.

The Raging Throw route definitely looks like the angle I need. It gives more damage, is an easy investment for the stuff I already have. 7 Brawler levels... Brawler is one of the classes I've been debating taking, so that's worth considering.


So, notably, my DM is using the Elephant in the Room feat tax removal, which clears up Power Attack and Combat Expertise already. He also allowed us to use Major Drawbacks, which gives me one more feat. My build at present has the following:

Rogue 2 (Scout)
Fighter 2 (Siegebreaker)
Barbarian 2 (Armored Hulk)

Due to the nature of our character generation and my wanting to be a dwarf, my character's strength is a bit lower than your suggestion, @Ryze. My defenses are really, really solid, though. My dwarf right now has:

+12 CMB Bull Rush (+14 raging), STR+3 damage - +2 more if flanking, +2 more if charging
+17 CMB Overrun (+19 Raging), 1d8+(3.5*STR)+8 damage - +2 more if flanking

He can bull rush and overrun multiple opponents in a single round. He has the following feats:

Bulette Charge Style (level 1)
Powerful Maneuvers (Drawback) - this basically acts as both Imp. Bull Rush and Overrun
Bulette Leap Style (Level 3)
Bulette Rampage (Rogue Talent)
Spiked Destroyer (Level 5)

And I have the Overbearing Advance rage power. I have 13 rage rounds a day.

My next goal is Rogue 4 (for an additional Spiked Armor attack on a charge, which is how I'll be bull rushing people), Fighter 3 (for Armored Training, which lets me get Poised Bearing and Imposing Bearing later to tackle EVERYTHING when enlarged). Now, however, I realize I DEFINITELY need Raging Throw, which will make use of my 13 rage rounds and really bring the hurt on. Assuming no magical items, that would boost my CMB by +4 outside a rage and +6 inside a rage. So, that'll be my first feat pick at level 7... And the bonus damage it can deal honestly sounds amazing.

Beyond that, I definitely need Greater Bull Rush to make this build shine later, and I could always swap out Spiked Destroyer if the DM permits.

There is, however, one HUGE problem with a Flanking Bull Rush:

Combat Rules wrote:
If there is another creature in the way of your bull rush, you must immediately make a combat maneuver check to bull rush that creature.

Meaning that if you're flanking a Medium sized creature and you bull rush it, you're bull rushing it into an ally. That means you're bull rushing your ally. You might see how this could be unwise.

Nevertheless, with Raging Throw at level 7, by level 8 I should be able to do:

STR+3 (Bull Rush)
STR+CON to potentially multiple creatures (Raging Throw)
1d8+(3.5*STR)+8 (Overrun)

If I keep the Rogue levels and take 2 more, I can also on a charge be dealing 3d6+STR, which isn't too shabby, but I start hitting Damage Reduction problems. Thus, swapping the rogue levels for brawler levels is tempting to say the least.

Overall, feats I definitely need to take seem to be: Raging Throw, Greater Bull Rush, Combat Style Mastery, Poised Bearing, and Imposing Bearing. Quick Bull Rush might be fun if I can pair it with the Knockback rage power.

You could introduce some method for transferring the magic from one weapon to another. Say magic pommel stones that imbue whatever powers to the weapon they are affixed to.

That's an interesting idea. I've seen that in 3.5... I'll have to consider that.

in 1st edition there was a blade called a Longtooth, was a short sword that was useable with both Proficiency Dagger and Short Sword and would benefit from specialization in either weapon. It would also, iirc, resize to the wielder if small or medium.

Yeah, that's similar to what I was looking to make.

On Automatic Bonus Progression: I've been using it in a home game and one issue I noticed pretty quick is it actually kind of punishes martials. Namely, it makes it harder to get high enhancement bonuses on weapons, because you pay for weapon special abilities with your ABP attunement values.

It's a kind'a borked system to be quite honest, and the whole "attunement" thing actually bugs me with that system. I'd rather just say "This bonus applies to all weapons you wield" or "all armor you wield," as that actually reduces bookkeeping. And I definitely don't like ABP effectively capping the total bonus of any weapon you wield to +5.

But that's a rant for another day.

So I'm thinking about creating a dungeon that lasts for levels 1-12 or so, but one thing I've always hated in Pathfinder is when you find a weapon that simply doesn't match your weapon choices, and when you find magic weapons that are just another +whatever. And the thing is, I want this dungeon to be a trapped in the dungeon, no shops ever sort of dungeon. That's right: the players will get few if any opportunities to spend their gold.

With that in mind, I've got three options:

A) Use the Elephant in the Room feat tax system, which I am considering.

B) Make magical weapons that can suit a variety of characters.

C) Why not both?

With B and C in mind, I'm making this thread. Here's my first idea:

I was thinking of having a few transforming weapons in the dungeon, weapons that can change their shape. These would have a certain number of similar forms. For instance, a magical sword that can transform from a shortsword into a longsword, greatsword, bastard sword, or estoc is a pretty cool idea to me (all straight-edged swords). Then again, I could also have a magical axe that simply counts as a battleaxe, dwarven waraxe, or greataxe depending on how you wield it (instead of having it transform). Yet a third direction would be to make, say, a spear that deals damage as a spear, but can be wielded as a longspear or shortspear and thrown as a returning weapon.

I also like the idea of a magical weapon that has a magical effect that can manifest in a few different ways. Say, for instance, you have a magical longsword. This longsword is a +2 weapon that shines with a strange light (shines light like a torch). It has <X> number of Magic Points on it, and you can spend these to cast one of several light-themed spells: Searing Light, Daylight, and Faerie Fire. Alternatively, you can spend a Magic Point and a swift action to make the sword trigger a DC 16 Reflex Save from a monster when you hit them or be blinded for 1 round.

Yet another example might be a painted skull staff that acts as a magic staff as well as a Bouncing Metamagic Rod that laughs when its powers are activated. It provides the caster with an array of abilities as you'd figure a staff should, but also gives them a little-used Metamagic as a bonus - a Metamagic you just about never see at a table otherwise.

I think you get the idea of what I'm getting at. I still plan on there being ordinary magic weapons, but I also want some truly unique ones that offer their wielders a sort of toolbox, or offer them choices they might not consider if they weren't dropped in their laps. Any thoughts?

Okay, so #1 is good to know. #2... Yeah, I'm at a loss still, but it's less vital if I can stack the damage high enough.

The only issue with Knowledge is Power is it gives +1 CMB... which is what you get from 1 BAB, which you lose by going Wizard. However, I've been looking at several strong options for this character. Siegebreaker and Barbarian (Armored Hulk) are really good choices, and then I'm looking at taking the Furious Guardian PRC to get combat feats, Greater Rage, and Rage Powers. Early access to Greater Rage = always good.

Otherwise, I'm still searching for dip options, stuff to add more damage or boost strength. If I could somehow get Mutagen without dropping my BAB, that might be a good route.

Tactics: we have a wide variety of ways to step up damage, and it would normally be very unlikely to have them all activated simultaneously. But supposing a fight in which we’re unable to do much in the first few rounds other than buff, before unloading…

How many rounds, if I may ask?

It's definitely a hilarious idea to whip this out as a means of ending a boss fight guaranteed, but I'm wondering how its defenses stand benchmark-wise (especially its Will save). Still, solid CON and CHA vs. Charm/Complusion must help a bit.

My big concern with this is how many rounds of actual damage dealing does this character miss out on in combat before it begins actually killing things? And if you wanted to immediately start killing things (say, you got ambushed and your friends need help NOW), what sort of damage does it have instead?

One of the big boons of playing a Warpriest (Arsenal Chaplain) is that Fervor lets you slowly swift-cast your buffs and stick them on mid-fight, and you have the caster level to slap on the right, long duration self-buffs that you need to survive the adventuring day. It's not the best pure damage dealer for archery, but it won't have a problem with poor saves / defenses / etc, nor with very long setup.

Of course, an Arsenal Chaplain can't reach the same amazing damage numbers as the build you showed, so.

Hi, I've been tinkering with some bull rush / overrun shenanigans using Siegebreaker and Bulette Style and I wound up encountering a few problems. Frankly, this thread could probably fall under either the purview of Advice or Rules Questions, but here goes:

1. Firstly, I'm pretty sure that even though the same action is dealing damage when you combine Siegebreaker's Breaker Rush and the Bulette Rampage feat these count as separate sources of damage, and so DR applies twice (once to Breaker Rush, and once to Bulette Rampage). Is this correct?

2. What are the best means for overcoming damage reduction with anything that relies on Bulette Rampage and Breaker Rush as primary sources of damage, or similar abilities that stack damage onto Bull Rush / Overrun? The only thing that immediately comes to mind is Paladin, which automatically overcomes the DR of evil creatures with Smite Evil but has no effect on non-evil creatures.

(Note: the crux of the issue is that combat maneuvers are NOT weapon attacks, so most things that overcome DR don't work in this case.)

3. In the event of using multiple Bull Rushes in the same round - say with the Knockback rage power and Quick Bull Rush - can you effectively bull rush + overrun the same target twice in the same round? And how far can you travel with Bull Rush when you use it twice? Can you even move twice with Bull Rush at all?

Thanks in advance for any help provided!