Aldori Swordlord build


Advice

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One of my players wants to play an Aldori Swordlord and needs some advice on the character build.

Before I get too busy with it I would like to hear if any of you have some good suggestions on building an Aldory Swordlord or a good sword and board fighter. A link to a good fighter's guide will also be appreciated.


I think the generally consensus is that the best sword and board fighters are the ones that take the TWF chain so they can go sword and board without gimping their damage.

Dwarven fighter can take dwarven waraxe as a martial weapon, but otherwise pick your favorite one-handed martial weapon and add a heavy shield.

There are 3 feat chains you need to pull this off.
Two-Weapon fighting, double slice, Improved Two-weapon fighting, greater two weapon fighting, two weapon rend

Improved shield bash, Shield focus, Shield Slam, Shield Master

Weapon focus, Weapon Spec, Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Spec for both your main weapon and shield.

Then there are general feats like power attack, cleave, step up, and disruptive.

In short the only class that has the feats to pull this off is a fighter, and it will take every feat you have to do it.

Strength is your most important stat, but you need a 19 dex by level 11 to get greater two weapon fighting. Con is third in importance.

Pick your main hand weapon for your first weapon group, and bows your your second weapon group. Since you will have a decent dex, a composite longbow will make a solid backup weapon.


There is a Sword Lord feat in the Campaign Guide. Don't have it on me, so I don't recall the details but a fighter in my group is from Brevoy and is working his way towards it. You need BAB +12 and all of the Weapon Focus/Finess/Mastery feats for Aldori Dueling Sword. I forget the rest.

The Aldori Dueling sword itself has received an update in the new Adventure's Armoury to be used as either a one or two-handed weapon. It is now, technically, a 1.5 handed weapon like a Katana.


I agree with Charender that two-weapon fighting with a shield is a worthwhile idea. But Shield Focus and Greater Shield Focus are not particularly required.


Take the Heirloom weapon trait from the 'Adventurers armoury which allows him to have a Masterwork Aldori Duelling sword for only 20 Gp and not have to spend the feat to use it.

Silver Crusade

What are you using to determan stats? What race dose he want to play?
Human 20 point buy it will be easyer to pull it off. Half Elf and Half Orc can work to depending on what your end game plan is.


A non-human Sword Lord breaks a lot of the fluff!


Denim N Leather wrote:
A non-human Sword Lord breaks a lot of the fluff!

With the feat requirements of a sword and board two weapon fighting fighter, human is a very good choice.

Scarab Sages

Someone mention not having a reference for the Aldori Dueling Mastery feat?

BAM!

Aldori Dueling Mastery feat

and while I'm here...

Heirloom Weapon trait

and

Aldori Dueling Sword description (table with stats at top of page)


The Grandfather wrote:

One of my players wants to play an Aldori Swordlord and needs some advice on the character build.

Before I get too busy with it I would like to hear if any of you have some good suggestions on building an Aldory Swordlord or a good sword and board fighter. A link to a good fighter's guide will also be appreciated.

If he takes the Sword Scion trait and the Heirloom weapon trait he starts with:

- +1 to hit (trait bonus, you get it twice and it doesn't stack)
- A free masterwork weapon (Heirloom gives a masterwork for non-masterwork price, Sword Scion gives free regular price dueling sword)
- Free exotic-weapon proficiency (though if he loses the weapon, he's going to need to take exotic weapon proficiency pretty darn quick)

Stats of:

Str: 14
Dex: 18
Con: 12
Int: 13
Everything else at 10.

Use feats to increase damage and AC. You need a hit + to hit because a lot of what you do reduces it.

1st level: Weapon Focus, Weapon Finesse, and Power attack
(+8 to hit with Heirloom dueling sword, -1 from power attack, damage of 1d8+6, ac of 18 with chain shirt)
2nd level: Dodge (Ac 19 w/ chain shirt)
3rd:
4th: Weapon Spec (damage 1d8+11)
5th: Combat Expertise (Ac 21 w/ chain shirt)
6th:
7th:
8th: Weapon Focus, Greater
9th: Improved Crit (could reverse order with Weapon Focus, Greater)
10th:
11th:
12th: Aldori Dueling Mastery (+1 attack per round, all attacks at -2 to hit, +1d4 to damage, +2 shield bonus, so +11 to ac from feats and starting dex)
13th: Weapon Spec Greater (damage 1d8+19+1d4 from feats and starting strength)

Feats to consider - Mobility, Spring attack, Lunge, Various Vital Strikes, Cleave, Step up, Toughness, Disarm, Various critical feats.

So at 12th level you can take a -10 to hit to increase damage by 12, ac by 4 (with an extra +2 without cost), and attacks by 1. Your base to hit with starting masterwork weapon and starting stats at that level is 20.


I think the character will be a human. We use 20 point buy.
For traits he has already said he will take Sword Scion. Heirloom is not really an option if he goes for the Aldori Duel Master feat since it requires an actual exotic weapon proficiency (Aldori dueling sword) feat.


I just threw this together:

Human Fighter

20 point buy

Str: 15
Dex: 17
Con: 14
Int: 10
Wis: 11
Cha: 10

Trait 1: Sword Scion
Trait 2: Heirloom Weapon (Aldori dueling sword)

Human bonus feat: Weapon Focus (Aldori dueling sword)
1st lvl feat: Weapon Finesse
1st lvl fighter feat: Power Attack
2nd lvl fighter feat: Two-Weapon Fighting
3rd lvl feat: Two-Weapon Rend
4th lvl fighter feat: Weapon Specialization (Aldori dueling sword)
5th lvl feat: Improved Shield Bash
6th lvl fighter feat: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
7th lvl feat: Shield Slam
8th lvl fighter feat: Greater Weapon Focus (Aldori dueling sword)
9th lvl feat: Improved Critical (Aldori dueling sword)
10th lvl fighter feat: Critical Focus
11th lvl feat: Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
12th lvl fighter feat: Aldori Dueling Mastery
13th lvl feat: Shield Master
14th lvl fighter feat: Greater Weapon Specialization (Aldori dueling sword)
15th lvl feat: Blinding Critical

I think these are all good feats, but I am warried that it lacks combat options like Vital Strike.

Comments anyone? Which feats should be substituted, if any?

EDIT: I am not quite sure if exotic weapon proficiency (Aldori dueling sword) is necesary for this build. Aldori Dueling Mastery requires proficiency, but the exotic weapon proficiency (Aldori dueling sword) feat is not specified.


Cainus wrote:
... lots and lots ...

Thanks, that is great.


The Grandfather wrote:
Comments anyone? Which feats should be substituted, if any?

Improved Critical can be ditched if you have access to a friendly wizard or a Scabbard of Keen Edges. It also looks like you're missing Double Slice.


Two Weapon Rend has a BAB requirementof 11. You may be thinking double slice, its prereq that allows full off hand str damage.

I would personally do 16 str and dex, and drop weapon finesse and never go up to 19 dex. Greater TWF is not really worth it IMO.


Caineach wrote:
I would personally do 16 str and dex, and drop weapon finesse and never go up to 19 dex.

Weapon Finesse is a prerequisite for Aldori Dueling Mastery.


Caineach wrote:

Two Weapon Rend has a BAB requirementof 11. You may be thinking double slice, its prereq that allows full off hand str damage.

I would personally do 16 str and dex, and drop weapon finesse and never go up to 19 dex. Greater TWF is not really worth it IMO.

This.

You can get a belt of physical perfection +6 or a Belt of Physical Might(Str/Dex) +6, and thus you never need to put points into dex. If you are dropping greater TWF, then you only need a +4 dex.

With the belt at level 20
Str 16 +2(racial) +6(belt) +4(levels) = 28
Dex 14 +6(belt) = 20
Con = 14 +6(belt) = 20

So, +9 to hit and damage.

Also, another reason to shy away from weapon finesse is that it does not help you shield to hit.


Charender wrote:


Also, another reason to shy away from weapon finesse is that it does not help you shield to hit.

It does if it is a light shield.


I think there is a discrepancy between the S+B stile and the Aldari Dueling Mastery.
To get the full benefit of the ADM you have to fight two-handed with it.

Would it be a good idea to fight two-handed and wield a large sized Aldori Dueling Sword? for a -2 to hit the dmg dice is upgraded to 2d6, thats an average +2.5 dmg pr. hit. Since the sword permits Weapon Finesse with two-handed style combat it might be viable.


Caineach wrote:

Two Weapon Rend has a BAB requirementof 11. You may be thinking double slice, its prereq that allows full off hand str damage.

Thats it!


Cainus wrote:


1st level: Weapon Focus, Weapon Finesse, and Power attack
(+8 to hit with Heirloom dueling sword, -1 from power attack, damage of 1d8+6, ac of 18 with chain shirt)

Is this a two-handed build?


The Grandfather wrote:
Charender wrote:


Also, another reason to shy away from weapon finesse is that it does not help you shield to hit.
It does if it is a light shield.

True, using a light shield is probably the best choice all around because a heavy shield is not a light weapon. The +1 AC and 0.5 damage per shield hit is just not worth a -2 to hit on all attacks when two-weapon fighting.

A dex build would have a 28 dex with a +9 to hit and a 20 strength. A strength build would have a 28 strength and a 20 dex.

If you have dual slice and you go the strength route, you gain +4 damage on every hit that lands with the sword or the shield.

If you are using mithril full plate you will be unable to benefit from more than a +7 dex bonus to AC, so the extra dex from a high dex build really only helps your AC by 2. To get the full +9 dex bonus you have to downgrade to a mithril breastplate which results in +2 touch AC with a net loss of 1 to your normal AC.

So the choice of focusing on strength vs dex comes down to +4 damage per hit vs +2 AC vs +1AC/+4 touch AC. To benefit from the higher dex to AC, you have to fork out the money for mithril armor.


The Grandfather wrote:
Cainus wrote:


1st level: Weapon Focus, Weapon Finesse, and Power attack
(+8 to hit with Heirloom dueling sword, -1 from power attack, damage of 1d8+6, ac of 18 with chain shirt)
Is this a two-handed build?

It is both. At low levels you will probably be better off fighting two handed until you pick up the dual wield feat chain. Even at later levels you will have the option of dropping your shield for more offense. Even better get a gauntlet of storing for your shield hand.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

im playing a bard with heirloom weapon and sword scion traits, with weapon finesse. my dm let me write a greater weapon finesse to use dex for damage

ps. i think the aldori dueling sword is the way i would represent a katana.

Grand Lodge

Once you hit 12th level, unless your shield is magical, wouldn't your shield be useless, except for shield bash? Shield bonuses do not stack, right?


Aeshuura wrote:

Once you hit 12th level, unless your shield is magical, wouldn't your shield be useless, except for shield bash? Shield bonuses do not stack, right?

Shield Bonuses do not stack.

The shield is still viable as a weapon, but you need to enchant it both as a shield AND as a weapon if you want it to grant enhancement bonuses to both attacks and AC.

Which rises the seaparate question of, whether a +1 AC/+1 attack enchanted shield has a cost of +3,000 or +3,500 (mwk component and base price not factored in)?


I have worked a bit more on possible builds:

S+B/2H - Some shield feats:
Human Fighter, 20 point buy
Str: 16, Dex: 16, Con: 14, Int: 10, Wis: 10, Cha: 10
Trait 1: Sword Scion
Trait 2: Heirloom Weapon (Aldori dueling sword)
Human bonus feat: Weapon Focus (Aldori dueling sword)
1st lvl feat: Power Attack
1st lvl fighter feat: Two-Weapon Fighting
2nd lvl fighter feat: Improved Shield Bash
3rd lvl feat: Double Slice
4th lvl fighter feat: Weapon Specialization (Aldori dueling sword)
5th lvl feat: Lunge
6th lvl fighter feat: Vital Strike
7th lvl feat: Shield Slam
8th lvl fighter feat: Greater Weapon Focus (Aldori dueling sword)
9th lvl feat: Improved Critical (Aldori dueling sword)
10th lvl fighter feat: Weapon Finesse
11th lvl feat: Improved Vital Strike
12th lvl fighter feat: Aldori Dueling Mastery
13th lvl feat: Shield Master
14th lvl fighter feat: Greater Weapon Specialization (Aldori dueling sword)
15th lvl feat: Critical Focus
16th lvl fighter feat: Blinding Critical

S+B/2H - Shield is optional:
Human Fighter, 20 point buy
Str: 16, Dex: 16, Con: 14, Int: 13, Wis: 11, Cha: 7
Trait 1: Sword Scion
Trait 2: Heirloom Weapon (Aldori dueling sword)
Human bonus feat: Weapon Focus (Aldori dueling sword)
1st lvl feat: Power Attack
1st lvl fighter feat: Toughness
2nd lvl fighter feat: Dodge
3rd lvl feat: Cleave
4th lvl fighter feat: Weapon Specialization (Aldori dueling sword)
5th lvl feat: Lunge
6th lvl fighter feat: Vital Strike
7th lvl feat: Weapon Finesse
8th lvl fighter feat: Greater Weapon Focus (Aldori dueling sword)
9th lvl feat: Improved Critical (Aldori dueling sword)
10th lvl fighter feat: Critical Focus
11th lvl feat: Improved Vital Strike
12th lvl fighter feat: Aldori Dueling Mastery
13th lvl feat: Combat Expertise
14th lvl fighter feat: Greater Weapon Specialization (Aldori dueling sword)
15th lvl feat: Blinding Critical
16th lvl fighter feat: Greater Vital Strike

The first of these builds has two fighting modes:
S+B) The character is primarily defensive but can easily adapt to a purely offensive role.
2H) The second build fights offensively with S+B but will more often than not forego the shield entirely and fight 2H (this bould is probably the closest to Cainus' vision.

Input needed.


The Grandfather wrote:

5th lvl feat: Lunge

6th lvl fighter feat: Vital Strike
7th lvl feat: Weapon Finesse

Lunge needs BAB 6, swap it with Weapon Finess to make the build legal.


The Grandfather wrote:
Cainus wrote:


1st level: Weapon Focus, Weapon Finesse, and Power attack
(+8 to hit with Heirloom dueling sword, -1 from power attack, damage of 1d8+6, ac of 18 with chain shirt)
Is this a two-handed build?

Yup. The dueling sword just begs for two-handed finesse fighting. This way you get decent damage with a decent ac.

Fluff wise sword and board just doesn't fit. I always got the impression that the swordlords offense and defense came from the sword, and that they wouldn't be caught dead with a shield.

If you don't have exotic weapon proficiency the dueling sword is basically a longsword. If you want the two handed finesse and other benefits you need the exotic feat.


I made a thread with a build a few weeks ago, with a Fighter/Bard/EK Aldori Dueling Master.

You can find it HERE.

The build:
Aldori Dueling Master
Race: Human
Stats - 20 point buy

Str: 13 (3)
Dex: 16 (10)
Con: 13 (3)
Int: 11 (1)
Wis: 8 (-2)
Cha: 14 (5) +2 (Human bonus)

Favored class: Bard (always +1 HP)

Skills:
Max out: Intimidate, Perform (Oratory), UMD, Acrobatics.

Traits:
Sword Scion (Kingmaker players guide), Natural leader

Level - Class - feats
1 - Fighter - Exotic Wpn prof (Aldori dueling sword), Wpn Finesse (Human), Wnp focus (Aldori dueling sword) (Fighter Bonus)
2 - Bard
3 - Fighter - Arcane Strike, Power Attack (Fighter Bonus)
4 - Bard - +1 CON, Versatile Performance (oratory)
5 - Bard - Dazzeling display
6 - Bard
7 - Bard - Leadership
8 - Bard - +1 STR, Versatile Performance (wind)
9 - Bard - Shatter Defenses
10 - Fighter
11 - Eldritch Knight - Wpn spec (aldori dueling sword), Imp Critical (Aldori dueling sword) (EK Bonus)
12 - EK - +1 DEX
13 - EK - Critical Focus
14 - EK
15 - EK - GWF (Aldori dueling sword), Staggering Critical (EK bonus)
16 - EK - +1 DEX
17 - EK - Blinding Critical
18 - EK
19 - EK - Aldori Dueling Mastery, GWS (Aldori dueling sword) (EK Bonus)
20 - EK - +1 DEX

Final stats:
Fighter 3/Bard 7/Eldritch Knight 10
HP: 164
BAB: +18/+13/+8/+3 CMB +20/CMD +34
Saves: Fort +12/Ref +13/ Will +8


Charender wrote:

I think the generally consensus is that the best sword and board fighters are the ones that take the TWF chain so they can go sword and board without gimping their damage.

...

Pick your main hand weapon for your first weapon group, and bows your your second weapon group. Since you will have a decent dex, a composite longbow will make a solid backup weapon.

I think you might be right about S+B and TWF but it feels like the build lacks in tactical choices. The only real trick up his sleeve is the shield bull rush.

On the other thing you wrote. Why take bow as the second WT? Why not shield?


Cainus wrote:


Yup. The dueling sword just begs for two-handed finesse fighting. This way you get decent damage with a decent ac.

Fluff wise sword and board just doesn't fit. I always got the impression that the swordlords offense and defense came from the sword, and that they wouldn't be caught dead with a shield.

If you don't have exotic weapon proficiency the dueling sword is basically a longsword. If you want the two handed finesse and other benefits you need the exotic feat.

You are of course right. Combining S+B and Aldori does not really work. My impresion when comparing the two is that the S+B character has better AC, while the Aldori is more mobile and has better choice of tactical feats such as disarm (Since the build is lest feat hungry). Damage wise they appear pretty equal. Is that your take of it too?


Just to be clear the Aldori Duelist use one weapon, not two. If you are going to stick with fluff that might be a point of contention.

However the feat Aldori Dueling Mastery gives you an extra attack with the weapon, and extra 1d4 damage per hit, and a +2 shield bonus when using the Aldori dueling sword two handed.


JaceDK wrote:

I made a thread with a build a few weeks ago, with a Fighter/Bard/EK Aldori Dueling Master.

You can find it HERE.

** spoiler omitted **

I think that build might work poorly for us, since we need a dedicated fighter.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Just to be clear the Aldori Duelist use one weapon, not two. If you are going to stick with fluff that might be a point of contention.

However the feat Aldori Dueling Mastery gives you an extra attack with the weapon, and extra 1d4 damage per hit, and a +2 shield bonus when using the Aldori dueling sword two handed.

I will encourage the player to stick to the fluff if he goes for the Aldori. At least for the first few levels.


Honestly (this is just my 2 coppers here) I think he'll do fine if he does a switch hitter sort of build. The stats needed for the duelist are almost the same as needed for an archer and he'll do well to use the dueling sword two handed anyways.

So popping a few feats for point blank, rapid, manyshot and deadly aim would probably be a good idea. If he sticks with straight fighter and takes bows as his second weapon group he'll do good damage at all ranges.

I would also suggest that the fighter variant in the pathfinder chronicles would be an excellent choice for this sort of fighter too. The extra skill points and class skills would fit the concept well I think.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Honestly (this is just my 2 coppers here) I think he'll do fine if he does a switch hitter sort of build. The stats needed for the duelist are almost the same as needed for an archer and he'll do well to use the dueling sword two handed anyways.

So popping a few feats for point blank, rapid, manyshot and deadly aim would probably be a good idea. If he sticks with straight fighter and takes bows as his second weapon group he'll do good damage at all ranges.

I would also suggest that the fighter variant in the pathfinder chronicles would be an excellent choice for this sort of fighter too. The extra skill points and class skills would fit the concept well I think.

Agreed, except I think it is a waste of feats to invest that heavily in archery. I think Deadly Aim is a good one though.

I think he needs the other feats for melee choices.


The Grandfather wrote:

Shield Bonuses do not stack.

The shield is still viable as a weapon, but you need to enchant it both as a shield AND as a weapon if you want it to grant enhancement bonuses to both attacks and AC.

Which rises the seaparate question of, whether a +1 AC/+1 attack enchanted shield has a cost of +3,000 or +3,500 (mwk component and base price not factored in)?

The Shield Mastery feat allows you to add your shield's shield bonus as an enhancement bonus to attack and damage. You don't need enchant it as a weapon. This makes shield bashing worth it, IMO. A heavy shield will bash for plenty. Base shield bonus of +2, then up to +5 from magic, then perhaps shield focus and greater shield focus.

If feats are tight, skip Vital Strike chain and pick up Cleave instead. More bang for your buck. Of course, as a TWF, he wants to do full-rounds all day. Investing in feats that don't synergize with this strategy may be a waste.


A human Fighter is going to have 22 feats.

With that (assuming he's going Aldori Dueling master) we have:

Weapon Focus
Greater Weapon Focus
Weapon Specialization
Greater Weapon Specialization
Weapon Finesse
Aldori dueling mastery
Power Attack
Cleave
Combat Expertise
Improved trip
Greater trip

11 feats.

He's got 11 left:

Iron Will
Improved Initiative
Toughness
Nimble Moves
Acrobatic Step
Dodge
Mobility
Spring attack

that leaves three.

Now he's great at melee -- that's all well and good -- but what about range weaponry? Flying creatures? Other things he can't hit with a sword?

We can already have
Point blank shot
Rapid Shot
Multi Shot

That gives him an extra attack (which is worth more damage wise than deadly aim is) and an extra arrow hit for full damage if his first ranged attack succeeds.

If you drop one feat he's got deadly aim too.

This means he can full attack with a bow with 5 shots with 6 arrows without haste -- he's deadly with a bow now. If they close (and he wants them too) he can then change weapons and cut them apart with his dueling skills -- drop another feat (I would suggest dropping out the trips and combat expertise honestly) he can have quick draw and do it all at once.

Point being Melee is nice and all -- but without a good means of ranged combat the fighter is a one trick pony and not a good one -- he's the guy that brought a knife to a gun fight -- and that's unhealthy.


The Grandfather wrote:


You are of course right. Combining S+B and Aldori does not really work. My impresion when comparing the two is that the S+B character has better AC, while the Aldori is more mobile and has better choice of tactical feats such as disarm (Since the build is lest feat hungry). Damage wise they appear pretty equal. Is that your take of it too?

Where does "more mobile" come from?


Where can I find the Sword Scion Trait ?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
hogarth wrote:
The Grandfather wrote:


You are of course right. Combining S+B and Aldori does not really work. My impresion when comparing the two is that the S+B character has better AC, while the Aldori is more mobile and has better choice of tactical feats such as disarm (Since the build is lest feat hungry). Damage wise they appear pretty equal. Is that your take of it too?
Where does "more mobile" come from?

Medium Armor instead of Heavy Armor. Starting at 3rd lvl you are back to moving 30 ft.

Grand Lodge

Bladesinger wrote:
Where can I find the Sword Scion Trait ?

Kingmaker Player's Guide. ^_^ Free download!


Tim Statler wrote:
hogarth wrote:
The Grandfather wrote:


You are of course right. Combining S+B and Aldori does not really work. My impresion when comparing the two is that the S+B character has better AC, while the Aldori is more mobile and has better choice of tactical feats such as disarm (Since the build is lest feat hungry). Damage wise they appear pretty equal. Is that your take of it too?
Where does "more mobile" come from?
Medium Armor instead of Heavy Armor. Starting at 3rd lvl you are back to moving 30 ft.

Thanks Tim.

+ @ hogarth: I keep forgeting about the last part of Armor Training.


Abraham spalding wrote:

A human Fighter is going to have 22 feats.

With that (assuming he's going Aldori Dueling master) we have:

Weapon Focus
Greater Weapon Focus
Weapon Specialization
Greater Weapon Specialization
Weapon Finesse
Aldori dueling mastery
Power Attack
Cleave
Combat Expertise
Improved trip
Greater trip

11 feats.

He's got 11 left:

Iron Will
Improved Initiative
Toughness
Nimble Moves
Acrobatic Step
Dodge
Mobility
Spring attack

that leaves three.

Now he's great at melee -- that's all well and good -- but what about range weaponry? Flying creatures? Other things he can't hit with a sword?

We can already have
Point blank shot
Rapid Shot
Multi Shot

That gives him an extra attack (which is worth more damage wise than deadly aim is) and an extra arrow hit for full damage if his first ranged attack succeeds.

If you drop one feat he's got deadly aim too.

This means he can full attack with a bow with 5 shots with 6 arrows without haste -- he's deadly with a bow now. If they close (and he wants them too) he can then change weapons and cut them apart with his dueling skills -- drop another feat (I would suggest dropping out the trips and combat expertise honestly) he can have quick draw and do it all at once.

Point being Melee is nice and all -- but without a good means of ranged combat the fighter is a one trick pony and not a good one -- he's the guy that brought a knife to a gun fight -- and that's unhealthy.

I see your point now.

We are playing Kingmaker, so I expect the character will onæy progres to lvl 17

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

xAverusx wrote:
The Grandfather wrote:

Shield Bonuses do not stack.

The shield is still viable as a weapon, but you need to enchant it both as a shield AND as a weapon if you want it to grant enhancement bonuses to both attacks and AC.

Which rises the seaparate question of, whether a +1 AC/+1 attack enchanted shield has a cost of +3,000 or +3,500 (mwk component and base price not factored in)?

The Shield Mastery feat allows you to add your shield's shield bonus as an enhancement bonus to attack and damage. You don't need enchant it as a weapon. This makes shield bashing worth it, IMO. A heavy shield will bash for plenty. Base shield bonus of +2, then up to +5 from magic, then perhaps shield focus and greater shield focus.

If feats are tight, skip Vital Strike chain and pick up Cleave instead. More bang for your buck. Of course, as a TWF, he wants to do full-rounds all day. Investing in feats that don't synergize with this strategy may be a waste.

Then you enchant the shield as a weapon with +5 defender, set the spikes to always defender, and use the shield bonuses to attack and get a great AC. You can also add supplemental damage or effects. My favorite is the Enhancement from Tome of 9 Swords which lets your specialization feats apply to the weapon...no need to double spend on feats.

Costs of the enhancement for weapons and shields are treated completely seperate. Add them up as if the other Enhancement did not exist.

Get Gloves of the Balanced Hand from the MIC to save you picking up the second TWF feat.

Get Shield Ward so your Shield Bonus applies on Touch AC and combat manuver defense.

You are always going to get mithral armor because of armor training, and adamantine not stacking with your high level benefit.

==Aelryinth


Tim Statler wrote:
hogarth wrote:
The Grandfather wrote:


You are of course right. Combining S+B and Aldori does not really work. My impresion when comparing the two is that the S+B character has better AC, while the Aldori is more mobile and has better choice of tactical feats such as disarm (Since the build is lest feat hungry). Damage wise they appear pretty equal. Is that your take of it too?
Where does "more mobile" come from?
Medium Armor instead of Heavy Armor. Starting at 3rd lvl you are back to moving 30 ft.

Huh? They can both wear Medium armor, if they want. What am I missing?


I've been toying around with making an Aldori Swordlord myself. After looking at the archetype, the feats, etc, this is what I've come up with:

There are really 2 versions of this, depending on whether the Kensai (Magus) archetype or Free Hand Fighter (fighter) is more appealing. I can see the benefits of playing either, though for the Kensai I might suggest a slightly different route (which I will get to later)

THE PREFIX (for both builds)

Human Master of Many Styles 2 (monk archetype)
Feats: Crane Style (1st level Monk bonus), Weapon Finesse (1st level), Quick Draw (human bonus), and either Crane Wing or Snake Style (2nd level Monk bonus)

REASONING:
In addition to phenomenal starting saves, Evasion, and a good unarmed strike damage, it will get you 2 free style feats WHICH YOU DON'T HAVE TO MEET THE PREREQUISITES FOR.

I have found that for a Swordlord character, a heavy emphasis on defense is ideal, and so my personal favorite is to take Crane Style and combine it with Snake Style, though you could swap out Snake Style to get Crane Wing at level 2 if you'd prefer. I'm partial to getting both style feats because they dovetail WONDERFULLY together, and you can use Snake Style to help mitigate ranged and melee attacks until you get Crane Wing later on. Plus, as a Master of Many Styles you can combine 2 stances in 1 anyway and you gave up Flurry of Blows for it, so you may as well have 2 complementary styles!

Why quick draw and weapon finesse right away? Because at these levels, you're relying on unarmed strikes and ranged weapon attacks (don't forget you can use javelins! Daggers work well with finesse and can be thrown if need be as well.)

This leads into.....

OPTION A: THE FREE HAND FIGHTER

At 3rd level you go into Free Hand Fighter, where you remain for the rest of your career. If you'd like to rush into Aldori Dueling Mastery right away, take EWP: Aldori Dueling Sword and WF: Aldori Dueling sword now, then pick up Aldori Dueling Mastery next level with your fighter bonus feat.

From then on, you're free to pursue whatever feats you'd like, and there's already been some great ideas on how to expand the archetype. Look into getting Improved and Greater Disarm when you can, and picking up Crane Wing and Crane Riposte are sound choices as well. It's possible to get an AC in the 30's without wearing armor by combining Combat Expertise, fighting defensively, and the natural dodge bonus you get from the Free Hand Fighter archetype.

OPTION B: THE KENSAI

At 3rd level, pick up Kensai, where you remain for the rest of your career. Obviously you'll get proficiency in the Aldori Dueling Sword (and get WF to boot), so with this version you can get Aldori Dueling Mastery immediately at 3rd level.

Picking up Maneuver Mastery (disarm) is a good choice, because Combat Expertise dovetails really nicely with this type of build.

If your campaign uses traits, you don't even need to lag behind in caster level if you take Magical Knack: Magus as one of them.

.... but my favorite so far is

OPTION C: THE KENSAI DERVISH

For this one, ignore the Aldori Dueling Sword completely. Instead of Quick Draw, take Combat Expertise at level 1 and be a Kensai proficient with the scimitar. Your 3rd level feat should be Dervish Dance.

Now we're talking! You could potentially get Wis, Int, and Dex to AC, Dex to attack and damage, the best critical range in the game for spell combat/spellstrike purposes, and still have great defenses between good AC and a free hand to use Crane Wing and Snake Style. Since you'll always have a free hand open, if you'd like another layer of protection it's child's play to pick up Deflect Arrows if you need it.

I like to pick Threatening Defender and Magical Knack: Magus with this build, since you can be using Combat Expertise and Crane Style together from level 1 and suffer only a -2 penalty. In return you get a +4 dodge bonus to your AC, which is huge at level 1.

It's not unreasonable to have an 18 Dex at level 1 though not required... and even before factoring in Canny Defense or the Monk AC bonus you could have an AC of 18 unarmored. With even a modest Wis (say 12) and a reasonable Int (say 14) that goes up to 21 AC at 1st level. Your enemies will have a hard time getting an attack through from the get-go and you have really solid saves, so it's a very survivable build at low levels and becomes quite fun later on even if it's not a powerhouse of damage initially.... you're still serving a valuable role in being a nimble tank and soaking attacks others might have taken.


I've been revisiting these Aldori threads a lot for my Kingmaker game and have come up with a hilarious problem. What does a duel between two Aldori end up looking like? Cause with these stats it sounds like it could end up being really boring and long.

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