Rogue Eidolon's Guide to Fighters (Optimisation)


Advice

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Another really nifty potentially game changing thing for some builds might be the dirty trick combat maneuver(APG) and agile maneuvers(UC?APG?)


Nicos wrote:
Hi, anyone think that lunge is a good feat for the defender of the weak? you full atack and use shield slam wen the oponent move they will provoke and if they want to atack again they will provoke

Lunge is totally worth it...

I am just stuck whether I think the punching dagger is a better choice than anything else...

I mean it misses out about 2 average damage... so if you have weapon training 2 you get 2 more damage with your shield than you otherwise would have and thus it about equals out... if you let out that you also get to hit with your shield...
So I guess its worth it... but 1d4... :(

And I like more crits better than hard crits so the x3 is also weird...


I started a thread for this but thought Id come here as well for advice/comments/critique.

Im working on my PC for an upcoming Kingmaker campaign. Ive been looking over the Aldori Swordlord archetype. It seems pretty cool and is a nice fit for the setting and story. Im looking for some advice/comments/critiques on my build thus far. Keep in mind were starting at level 1 but Ive got it mapped out to level ~ level 4 so far. Here we go:

Human Fighter Aldori Swordlord
Stats (20 point buy)
Str 14 Dex 18 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8
Feats:
1. Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Aldori Dueling Sword), Quick Draw, Weapon Finesse
2. Weapon Focus (Aldori Dueling Sword)
3. Aldori Dueling Mastery
4. Weapon Specialization (Aldori Dueling Sword)

Ill be taking Greater Weapon Focus and Specialization at level 8 & 12 repsectively.


YrdBrd wrote:

I started a thread for this but thought Id come here as well for advice/comments/critique.

Im working on my PC for an upcoming Kingmaker campaign. Ive been looking over the Aldori Swordlord archetype. It seems pretty cool and is a nice fit for the setting and story. Im looking for some advice/comments/critiques on my build thus far. Keep in mind were starting at level 1 but Ive got it mapped out to level ~ level 4 so far. Here we go:

Human Fighter Aldori Swordlord
Stats (20 point buy)
Str 14 Dex 18 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8
Feats:
1. Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Aldori Dueling Sword), Quick Draw, Weapon Finesse
2. Weapon Focus (Aldori Dueling Sword)
3. Aldori Dueling Mastery
4. Weapon Specialization (Aldori Dueling Sword)

Ill be taking Greater Weapon Focus and Specialization at level 8 & 12 repsectively.

Aldori Swordlord is a wonderful fit flavorwise for Kingmaker. My Kingmaker character is actually a Bard with the Aldori trait from the Player's Guide whose uncle was a Swordlord. I recommend taking it for the flavor, so ignore the following if you don't want pure optimization advice, but you did come to my optimization guide thread, so, being forewarned--

Aldori Swordlord as an archetype generally loses a lot unless you are playing a system other than point buy and rolled up an insane character. This is because by default you are obviously going to be strength heavy, and losing Armor Training is a huge huge loss. Losing Weapon Training for Disarming Strike is also overall a bad trade. Counterstrike for Armor Training 3 is actually pretty nice, but the other things you get in exchange for the other Armor Trainings just aren't worth it...at least with a standard build.

There's a few feats, however, that synergize so well with Steel Net and Counterattack that they can catapult you back into a very strong build for what it does. These would be Crane Style, Crane Wing, Crane Riposte. With the full set, you are taking no penalty to fight defensively and gaining as much as +6 AC from doing so. Furthermore, the first enemy to hit you in melee each round misses, giving you and attack, and the next time someone hits you in melee they do hit, but you get another attack from Counterstrike (assuming you have Combat Reflexes). Now the trouble with this is that it is hard to get the prereqs you need to get those Crane feats. It may be worth it to pick up a few levels of Monk (Master of Many Styles) to do so. Here's how it shakes out:

Human Fighter Aldori Swordlord
Stats (20 point buy)
Str 18 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8

1. Monk(Master of Many Styles) using a Temple Sword instead of the Dueling Sword--Dodge, Crane Style (human bonus), Crane Wing (Monk bonus, ignoring prereqs as per usual)

So right away you can duel the crap out of your enemies, fighting defensively, and deflect one attack per round

2. Fighter(Aldori Swordlord) Weapon Focus (Aldori Dueling Sword / Longsword) and Improved Initiative (replace Improved Initiative with any other feat you like if you want)

Don't take exotic proficiency in it, since you won't be finessing it. In fact, what you'll want to do is two-hand the thing whenever you make the attacks on your turn, shifting it to one hand for the rest of the time so you can block attacks. Aldori Dueling Mastery isn't worth the feat cost--Crane Style and Dodge have already given you back all of the lost AC (plus a free block every turn) from a better stacking bonus type (Dodge bonus stacks, shield bonus doesn't), and you can replace the lost initiative with Improved Initiative (or do anything else you like)

3. Monk(Master of Many Styles) taking Crane Riposte (Monk bonus feat, ignoring prereqs as usual) and whatever you want (I recommend Deflect Arrows)

Here you get Evasion and Deflect Arrows. Aldori Swordlord is wonderful for this multiclass since you have to stay in light armor anyway to keep Evasion, so losing Armor Training isn't even that bad. Obviously you'll wear light armor, even though you lose the +1 Wisdom bonus to AC. Net gain that way. If you take Deflect Arrows, there's yet another thing that you can block every turn--this guy is a real master of whirling blades, blocking almost any sort of attack the enemy can throw your way with a barrage of steel. Even worse for your enemy, the first time they would hit you with a melee attack per round, you get a counterattack!

4 and beyond. Fighter (Aldori Swordlord)--continue much as you expected. Take thing like Power Attack for extra damage, Combat Reflexes to let you get more AoOs, etc. This build really comes into its own at level 9, when you gain Steel Net. At that point, you are taking no penalty at all to attack rolls to fight defensively, and assuming that you took 3 ranks in Acrobatics (and you did, right?), you're getting +6 to AC from it. That's snazzy. Plus you also get +2 more to AC against melee attacks, a free auto-block for both melee and ranged, Evasion against AoE, and a counterattack if they actually would hit you. You should be able to take out a small army of lesser swordsmen by yourself without so much as a single scratch, since you can even deflect a natural 20!


Well, I checked out your suggestions, and wow. Totally ends up where I would want to take this type of fighter. A bit unconventional, but it totally fits the flavor and mechanics. Definitely solve the damage issue I was worried about.


YrdBrd wrote:
Well, I checked out your suggestions, and wow. Totally ends up where I would want to take this type of fighter. A bit unconventional, but it totally fits the flavor and mechanics. Definitely solve the damage issue I was worried about.

Yeah, for damage, you go full Strength as much as possible, with Power Attack and two-handing the sword when possible--you'll make up the lost damage dice (and then some!) from the fighter who uses a Greatsword by virtue of your counterattacks, and you can rely on your get-out-of-hit free cards to keep you out of trouble.


Ive done most of my tabletop gaming in the 4th edition D&D system, and in that system, the general concensus is around the end of heroic - beginning of paragon tier (levels 8-12) you look to pick up feats to improve your non-AC defenses. Theres a nice little feat called Improved Defenses that bumps all your NADs by 1 per tier (+1 levels 1-10, +2 levels 11-20, +3 levels 21-30). Unfortunately I dont think a feat exists in this game that takes care of all 3 saves at once, but if/when I started taking those sort of feats, Will would be 1st, Fort, then Ref. Im wondering in Pathfinder around what level should I start worrying about improving my saves? That level area I mentioned in 4th D&D is where the arms race with the mobs starts to take off and you as a PC have to start keeping up with defense and accuracy boosts.


YrdBrd wrote:
Ive done most of my tabletop gaming in the 4th edition D&D system, and in that system, the general concensus is around the end of heroic - beginning of paragon tier (levels 8-12) you look to pick up feats to improve your non-AC defenses. Theres a nice little feat called Improved Defenses that bumps all your NADs by 1 per tier (+1 levels 1-10, +2 levels 11-20, +3 levels 21-30). Unfortunately I dont think a feat exists in this game that takes care of all 3 saves at once, but if/when I started taking those sort of feats, Will would be 1st, Fort, then Ref. Im wondering in Pathfinder around what level should I start worrying about improving my saves? That level area I mentioned in 4th D&D is where the arms race with the mobs starts to take off and you as a PC have to start keeping up with defense and accuracy boosts.

Cloak of Resistence? It's a lot easier in 3.5/Pathfinder to increase saves and AC than 4E since you can stack up some cheap magic items (as long as they grant different named bonuses)


I guess I shouldve phrased my question a little better. Im not worried about magic items, the campaign Im gonna be playing in soon is starting out at level 1, so no items for a while. My question is really at what point level wise does a PC really need to start worrying about bumping saves? I would like to stay away from relying on magic items because I have a feeling our DM is a magic-lite kinda guy. At some point I would like to pick up Dodge, Toughness, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, and Lightning Reflexes. Im just wondering if I should delay this til later levels to go hardcore with combat feats, mix and match, or try and grab the buffs asap. I would like to get my toon planned out, dont like trying to figure out feats every time I level.


YrdBrd wrote:
I guess I shouldve phrased my question a little better. Im not worried about magic items, the campaign Im gonna be playing in soon is starting out at level 1, so no items for a while. My question is really at what point level wise does a PC really need to start worrying about bumping saves? I would like to stay away from relying on magic items because I have a feeling our DM is a magic-lite kinda guy. At some point I would like to pick up Dodge, Toughness, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, and Lightning Reflexes. Im just wondering if I should delay this til later levels to go hardcore with combat feats, mix and match, or try and grab the buffs asap. I would like to get my toon planned out, dont like trying to figure out feats every time I level.

protection from <alignment> protects you from dominate, charm, suggestion and other compulsion spells, so will can be almost ignored if you have support

death and negative energy effects are something you don't want to take chances on, and those come up depending on how much your GM wants you to suffer. after the fact, restoration works fine, but in the heat of things they are expensive to protect against as deathward is a 5th level spell for a druid. so again, if you trust your party and your GM, you may not need to protect against this

reflex saves generally only do damage, as a fighter you have a huge amount of hitpoints hopefully.

so it boils down to how much of this is going to be a team effort. if you can rely on your friends, you can rely on holding off attackers and beating them to a pulp. if you don't have a party that will support you enough and your GM likes status effects, levels 5-9 is where you should concentrate on raising your saves as that is when status effects can start to get heinous. otherwise level 9-12 is when saves should be boosted if you have a party that will support you


dragonfire8974 wrote:
YrdBrd wrote:
I guess I shouldve phrased my question a little better. Im not worried about magic items, the campaign Im gonna be playing in soon is starting out at level 1, so no items for a while. My question is really at what point level wise does a PC really need to start worrying about bumping saves? I would like to stay away from relying on magic items because I have a feeling our DM is a magic-lite kinda guy. At some point I would like to pick up Dodge, Toughness, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, and Lightning Reflexes. Im just wondering if I should delay this til later levels to go hardcore with combat feats, mix and match, or try and grab the buffs asap. I would like to get my toon planned out, dont like trying to figure out feats every time I level.

protection from <alignment> protects you from dominate, charm, suggestion and other compulsion spells, so will can be almost ignored if you have support

death and negative energy effects are something you don't want to take chances on, and those come up depending on how much your GM wants you to suffer. after the fact, restoration works fine, but in the heat of things they are expensive to protect against as deathward is a 5th level spell for a druid. so again, if you trust your party and your GM, you may not need to protect against this

reflex saves generally only do damage, as a fighter you have a huge amount of hitpoints hopefully.

so it boils down to how much of this is going to be a team effort. if you can rely on your friends, you can rely on holding off attackers and beating them to a pulp. if you don't have a party that will support you enough and your GM likes status effects, levels 5-9 is where you should concentrate on raising your saves as that is when status effects can start to get heinous. otherwise level 9-12 is when saves should be boosted if you have a party that will support you

Great asnwer, thanks.

Our party is 4 PCs, myself as a Fighter, my wife as Rogue, her best friend as a Cleric, and my buddy as a Gunslinger. We may have a 5th member from time to time, Im not counting on it though. I can pretty much count on the Cleric (the whole reason shes playing it is for heals/support) but I think with 2 squishies (Rogue for sure is, Gunslinger has the same hit die as me but is definitely offensively oriented) Ill worry about staying upright sooner than later.


just remember though, you may have to rely on your other party members to beat things for you if you fail some saves, but if you think they have effective enough characters then it should be no problem.


Anyone have play experience with the Two-Handed Fighter archetype? All the goodies seem worth it, except losing armor training and being stuck at slow in medium and heavy armor and dealing with full armor check penalties.


They get the best damage PER hit. Bar none. suck at other stuff though. Power gamers tip:bows are also two handed weapons!!

Going the full eldritch heritage line (Orc bloodline is so worth it.


In your guide Rogue Eidolon, you mention in the skills section that most Fighters are going to have 1 skill point, 2 if human, 3 if you spend a Favored Class Bonus on it. This is of course if you dump Int. Now, when using trovetokens 3.75 PF character generator, making a Human Fighter with Int 7, Im only getting 1 skill point. Is there a flaw in the character gen, or is someone elses math wrong? Does a character get a minimum of 1 skill point regardless its Int score? If so, then a Human Fighter with 7 Int should have 2 skill points. If it runs strictly off your Int mod, then a Human should have 1 and non-humans 0. Help.
Im going to be playing a 2-handed fighter starting Friday. Right now, I rolling with stats of 18 Str 14 Dex 14 Con Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8 so I have some skills. This is going off the assumption Id only have 1 skill point if I follow your stat recommendations. If Im wrong, I would love to have + 2 Wis and therefore + 1 Will saves.


Re> above, that is almost certainly a problem with whatever 'chargen program' you are using.
I don't use them.
If you just use the rules and write it down (or type it out) you don't have problems like that...
And you end up 'knowing your character stats' alot better.
Rule is CLASS SKILLS +/- INT BONUS has a Minimum 1 skill rank/level.
Race modifications are on top of that, so Human Minimum = 2.
Anybody who is getting Combat Expertise will have minimum 2/3(Human) per level.

--------------------------------------------------

re: Grappling, there actually is a way to get Weapon Training for it: Natural Weapon Fighter Archtype. Of course, most people think that Archetype is very weak (the Save bonus needs to apply vs. more stuff... like Channel Energy, or merged with Unarmed Fighter's save bonus. the weapon bonus should also apply to UAS.) Savage Charge is nice especially for CMBs like Bullrush or Sunder... The Archetype is really made for creatures with Natural Attacks, and if you can combine that with Pounce, that is crazy good. I personally don't understand why Grapple wasn't put in the Close Weapons group or something similar for ANYBODY to be able to boost it somehow (even if via 2ndary/3iary weapon groups for Vanilla Fighters)

The guide isn't really getting into them, but I disagree with the opnion that all Archetypes are worthwhile, many aren't, or are better realized with a different Archetype than 'the obvious one'. Some of them retain at least partial Armor Training, which is signifigant IMHO (lets you ignore any Movement AoOs if you can Tumble).

You mention Shielded Fighter, which is weak, but I believe needs Errata re: bypassing 2WF Feats as Pre-Reqs for Shield Feats: the whole point of one of it's abilities is mixing Shield Bashes with other attacks without using 2WF, yet 2WF is a Pre-Req of many Shield Feats... The ability itself 'With a full attack action, a shielded fighter may alternate between using his weapon or his shield for each attack. This action does not grant additional attacks or incur penalties as two-weapon fighting does. ' is superfluous, because we know from Paizo that ANYBODY can do that. That also goes for the Pole-Arm Archetypes' ability to Trip with a Pole-Arm... ANYBODY can already do that (but not the other stuff they get).

The Weapon Master Archetype's early Weapon Training is a big deal for anybody DIPPING in Fighter, since once you get it you can use the Dueling Gloves, and need less Fighter levels to do so... Of course dipping in Fighter for Armor Training 1 is also a good goal, so it's a trade-off. If you wanted to go into the specifics of Fighter dips, comparing the archetypes would make alot of sense.

Thunderstriker is interesting... You add the ENHANCEMENT bonus of the Buckler on att/dmg, which would seem to stack with the Shield Feat which adds the 'base' Shield bonus to those. Reducing and eventually negating 2WF penalties means you don't need the DEX OR any Feats to 2WF with great effectiveness. And it keeps most Weapon Training, with access to multiple groups.

If you go into Archetypes at some point, I suggest discussing them separately from the example builds you have, since the builds are really where you are getting into Feat combos, which apply to any Archetypes... Maybe mention how different Archtypes could work well with the different example builds, but don't just fix 1 build with 1 Archetype. 2 hander is very flexible style, and can go with many Archetypes very well, for example. 2wf is a toss-up whether to go for 2WF or Mobile Archetype, or even others. Unbreakable is good to mention in the context of the Fighter Will Save Issue.

Weapon Enhancement Advice: I would amend the 'Wizard in your group = Pass on this' to 'Wizard who always pre-casts Haste or casts on 1st round'. As it happens, Wizards can do alot of stuff, so if they don't spend their Spellcasting Actions on Haste, that opens up alot of option. Not to mention the Weapon can't be Disrupted by Readied Attacks or Counterspelled, which any intelligenet opposition who is aware you have Casters should be doing if they have the men to spare for that (archers, etc). Not to say having a Wizard doesn't affect the relative value, but it doesn't remove the case for Speed entirely.

I liked the Shield recommendation for scrolls. Definitely my pick when dipping Sorceror for Dragon Disciple, and any way to get that working is very good.

I like that you snuck in some Treantmonk style low key humor :-)


re: Archery, I would go further into it's benefits for everybody. For those with Feats to spare (2 Handers?) getting Rapid Shot is mostly lowhanging fruit and makes their ranged full attacks all the more awesome. The 'obligatory archery feats' (negating cover/concealment) aren't actually obligatory if you don't plan on using archery against melee combatants, but only against enemies at range, i.e. switch-hitting. Many opponents, like Hydras, are a b!!@~ in melee but are smooth sailing plinking at them from range, possibly while riding a horse (either during movement at penalty or pausing to fire single shots).

re: 2 handed weapons, I would drop the comparison to barbarians, honestly such comparisons are better to keep out of this guide. POSSIBLY the 2 handed archetype can exceed a barbarian at least on a consistent basis, but that didn't seem to be what you're saying. APG and UC really buffed up barbarians alot. ...ANYWAYS, one of the best benefits of 2-handed style is indirect: less feats are needed to take care of the basics, leaving you more options to shore up weaknesses, cover tangential abilities, or take side specializations. Really, that is as huge as any other part of it, being able to be competent at your core task AND have plenty of feats to spare for other stuff.

re: Sword and Board and your invocation of a lack of hate mechanism: actually there is one, in Ultimate MAGIC of all things, which uses Intimidate (the lovely skill whose DC doesn't scale efficiently) to force opponents to attack you. people mostly went nuts vs. it's implications vs. casters, but using it vs. melee types is completely viable as well, and accomplishes what is desired here. archetypes will have alot of effect here i think, between shielded fighter, thunderstriker, armor master, not to mention others (whether or not they deal with shields directly, any that are compatable with the style can synergize, especially ones boosting AC, like aldori swordlord).

re: 2WF, you should distinguish that Sword+Shield WITHOUT 2WF is different than Sword+Shield WITH 2WF (current RAW requires 2WF as Feat PreReq for Shield Feats but you don't have to use it, and that seems like plausible Errata). I would mention the higher rate of Crit Triggers, since besides competing for DAMAGE, higher rate of Crit Triggers affects the status conditions from Crit Feats, etc (as well as Feats like AoOs triggered by Flanking Ally's Crits, etc).

re: Armor Training> you really need to mention the implications of Movement for Tumbling right up front, IMHO.

re: Armor Mastery not stacking with Adamantine... Totally Agree. Wearing Adamantine is a trade-off vs. Mithral in other areas, I don't see why you also have to cancel Class Features for it (albeight, the 20th level Fighter Capstone is VERY VERY NICE, which obviously has implications for other high level abilities... compare to Barbs whose 20th is merely So-So, but they are looking very strong at 16, 18th, etc.) This makes me think of an idea for Fighter Only Feat: letting their DR stack with that from Adamantine Armor. (Armor Master Archetype DR *DOEES* stack with Adamantine by the way, just not with OTHER sources of DR - only change there I would make is to stack with any armor-like source, e.g. including Stoneskin)

Favored Class: I disagree with the blanket advice to favor HPs, skills are very nice, and PRPG gives disproportionate benefits to putting 1 to a few ranks in a skill (class skill bonus, things like acrobatics, etc). If you get into newer material, racial favored class benefits seem worth covering.

re: Intimidate, I just don't agree with 'Otherwise, it’s Charisma-based and takes a lot of work to be good enough for it to work, so I’d pass.' Check the Intimidate DC. It doesn't really scale well (which is a design flaw IMHO... even Fighter Bravery doesn't help here!). Even with a poor CHA (or average), you will eventually pass these routinely without special Feat investments. Also, theres TONS of Feats for Intimidate, whether using STR, or giving free opportunities like on a Crit, etc... where even if it isn't AUTOMATIC, a so-so chance to Intimidate will have a signifigant effect statistically.

re: Ride and Mounted Combat (which you don't mention directly), obviously what you say is broadly true, but Mounted Combat and a good Ride means MELEE ATTACKS are less likely to drop your mount, only AoEs will. The Mounted Fighter archetype actually does buff their mount signifigantly, if not to Animal Companion level stats in all areas, but they get save bonuses, etc. The idea that all these attacks are going against the mount (nobody knows if a mount is a companion or not) also implies that mounted combat is an amazing defensive capability, 'deflecting' all these attacks to focus on your mount instead. With a good Ride skill, your mount getting obliterated and you falling off doesn't have to be an auto-Trip against you, so while PETA may not like it, it's a decent approach.

re: Climb and Swim... sometimes 1 rank may suffice, these are both using STR after all. besides armor penalty, I would advise actually looking at what you can achieve (with all STR, armor factored in) when taking 10. you may want to some more extra ranks when taking that into account, although truly maxing them out isn't really needed... more so with Climb (Swim DCs dont' really scale again...) but even with Climb by the time you really 'max it out' there is so much magic in the game ti doesn't really matter... except maybe in low-magic games.

re: Elf, I disagree with your Panning of it, ESPECIALLY for Archery. CON matters less for Archers generally speaking. DEX and INT helps what an Archer needs, and equals Human benefit for skills. They get nice save bonuses vs. stuff that is a weakness for Fighters. Same lowlight vision as Half Elves. They are definitely decent for 2WF, although being in melee means CON is a good thing, the save bonuses kindof cancel it out... You put favored class in HPs and you should be OK.

re: Improved Init, I don't disagree here, but you don't mention 2 crucial factors: Init means being able to move first, to avoid getting smashed in melee/provoking AoOs from firing while threatened (Combat Reflexes lets anybody take AoOs even before they act). Init also means you can Ready Attacks more easily... Great for disrupting Casters, which is important enough to mention it IMHO.

re: Iron Will, this is something you should probably break out from the specific builds since it applies across the board... maybe mention with 'generally useful feats' how 2handers have more spare feats, and mention how dwarves dont' need save boosts as much, etc, but putting them in a 'general feat advice' section makes sense to me.

re: Fleet, it's OK, but with all the other great feats you aren't even mentioning, on top of the ones that you do, i don't see it here. recommending fleet but not weapon finesse just doesn't make sense to me.

re: Mobility 'Mobility: Your Acrobatics won't be great and you'll sometimes have to get out of range. This can at least leave you a graceful option without resorting to withdraw.' I don't disagree that this is a decent feat, as well as opening up great feats, but why isn't their Acrobatics good? Perception and Acrobatics are probably the prime skills to cover, and while maybe Acrobatics isn't as high as a Rogue or Monk, it's certainly in the higher tier with Archer or 2WF DEX scores. Tumble DCs DO scale high (though avoiding nasty Touch Attack AoOs from medium BAB opponents is definitely valuable), but just being able to jump high/far is valuable in itself.

re: blind-fight for archers, you're missing the point I think, blind-fight only applies to MELEE :-). I think blind-fight is great for melee-ists, and Improved BF is even awesomer (the 3rd BF feat is a waste IMHO... 20% miss chance x 20% miss chance is 4%, less than a Natural 1) so should definitely be recommended for melee builds. For archers, melee is secondary enough that taking blindfight for those corner cases is way too marginal.

re: agile maneuvers, your points are broadly true... but archery fighters can deliver CMBs via arrows. i'm not sure what the RAI is, but per RAW CMB is with STR, so using DEX here is useful for doing this abilities. i know you didn't cover the archetypes really, but archer archetype is insanely great for archer fighters, so it seems relevant.

re: IUS, besides that there is now Archetypes that explicitly are about IUS and Monk Weapon Fighters, or that work well (2WF, etc), I would expand your advice: If you want IUS, dip a Monk level and get other benefits. AFAIK, it's a requirement for Style Feats, so when you take into account UC material, IUS DOES have a role to play.

re: weapons, you should really mention 1/handers, unless the baseline assumption is nobody ever gets grappled, much less wants to do something like draw one item for free during a movement to have it in hand ready to swallow the next round. there really isn't that much difference in base dmg, and alot more flexibility.

re: weapon focus for the bruiser, i think you should mention the concept of over-kill... and tons of attack bonuses tend to mostly help lower iteratives, i.e. full attacks, which this build is less focused on than others. not that it isn't useful, but i don't know if it's really a TOP tier feat for them, even if it qualifies as the 2nd best tier. i don't see the difference why it should be better than weapon spec, for example. weapon training is really great :-)


Quandary wrote:

Re> above, that is almost certainly a problem with whatever 'chargen program' you are using.

I don't use them.
If you just use the rules and write it down (or type it out) you don't have problems like that...
And you end up 'knowing your character stats' alot better.
Rule is CLASS SKILLS +/- INT BONUS has a Minimum 1 skill rank/level.
Race modifications are on top of that, so Human Minimum = 2.
Anybody who is getting Combat Expertise will have minimum 2/3(Human) per level.

Thanks for the reply. I thought this was how things worked, but no matter how hard I looked, I couldnt seem to find anything that stated you get the minimum 1 point per level.


A little outta left field but the Orc Bloodline Eldritch Heritage Feats probably need mentioning.

1. Skill Focus: Survival is not a bad feat choice.
2. Touch of Rage is a nice buff to put on someone. Later with Quicken SLA you can put it on yourself. Want a +9 to attack AND Damage on your next full attack?
3.Strength of the Beast is awesome. +6 Inherent bonus to strength and starts to come online before you could afford the wishes to do it.
4.Power of Giants, doesn't come online till 19, but worth it even at that level.
5.Fearless- Probably the least likely one to take, but fear immunity, +4Natural Armor is OK.


Still cant find anywhere in the hardcopy books or online that states you get a minimum of 1 skill rank per level. Ive brought this to my DMs attention and he hasnt been able to verify this either. Anyone know where this is stated or have some insight other than "Re> above, that is almost certainly a problem with whatever 'chargen program' you are using. I don't use them. If you just use the rules and write it down (or type it out) you don't have problems like that...
And you end up 'knowing your character stats' alot better. Rule is CLASS SKILLS +/- INT BONUS has a Minimum 1 skill rank/level. Race modifications are on top of that, so Human Minimum = 2."? Cuz I did this, and still have no clarification.


heh, Quandary, y'know the guide was written before the APG and has not been updated since, right? I do agree with many of your points vis-a-vis the power creep of certain styles in new material (take a look at the advice I just gave YrdBrd involving UC stuff). Good stuff, not that I agree with all of it, but I'm always a fan of many opinions--I don't think I have the answer to everything, not by a long shot!


At roughly what level does Cleave outlive its usefulness and any recommendations for what feat to swap it out for?

The Exchange

Oh, Great and Mighty Rogue Eidolon, what are the odds of you doing this to other classes?


He has done it with the rouge as well, although I would personally love to see a ninja and samurai guide.


What do yall think?

Race: Human
1. Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Greatsword), Cleave
2. Step Up
3. Combat Reflexes
4. Weapon Specialization, retrain Cleave to Following Step
5. Iron Will
6. Step Up and Strike
7. Disruptive
8. Greater Weapon Focus
9. Improved Critical
10. Spellbreaker
11. Great Fortitude
12. Greater Weapon Specialization, retrain Step Up and Strike to Dazing Assault
13. Lightning Reflexes
14. Teleport Tactician
15. Improved Iron Will
16. Stunning Assault, retrain Dazing Assault to Penetrating Strike
17. Improved Great Fortitude
18. Greater Penetrating Strike
19. Improved Lightning Reflexes
20. ?

Were playing Kingmaker starting from level 1. The rest of my group is a Cleric (not really sure where shes taking her toon, my guess is the dreaded "healer"), Rogue, and Gunslinger.
Going for a combination of high damage via Greatsword, save buffs, and maximum stickiness/disruption. My main goal is to, well, be the tank. Provide flanks for the Rogue and keep her from getting crushed and keep the other 2 out of trouble. To this end, Im liking the 2-handed archetype to up the ante with damage. However, losing out on Armor Training is causing me some concern. Granted, staying slow from losing AT would be mitigated somewhat with the Step Up line, Dazing/Stunning Assault later on, and the fact that 2-handers arent hurt as much by having to move and losing full attacks.


YrdBrd wrote:

What do yall think?

Race: Human
1. Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Greatsword), Cleave
2. Step Up
3. Combat Reflexes
4. Weapon Specialization, retrain Cleave to Following Step
5. Iron Will
6. Step Up and Strike
7. Disruptive
8. Greater Weapon Focus
9. Improved Critical
10. Spellbreaker
11. Great Fortitude
12. Greater Weapon Specialization, retrain Step Up and Strike to Dazing Assault
13. Lightning Reflexes
14. Teleport Tactician
15. Improved Iron Will
16. Stunning Assault, retrain Dazing Assault to Penetrating Strike
17. Improved Great Fortitude
18. Greater Penetrating Strike
19. Improved Lightning Reflexes
20. ?

Were playing Kingmaker starting from level 1. The rest of my group is a Cleric (not really sure where shes taking her toon, my guess is the dreaded "healer"), Rogue, and Gunslinger.
Going for a combination of high damage via Greatsword, save buffs, and maximum stickiness/disruption. My main goal is to, well, be the tank. Provide flanks for the Rogue and keep her from getting crushed and keep the other 2 out of trouble. To this end, Im liking the 2-handed archetype to up the ante with damage. However, losing out on Armor Training is causing me some concern. Granted, staying slow from losing AT would be mitigated somewhat with the Step Up line, Dazing/Stunning Assault later on, and the fact that 2-handers arent hurt as much by having to move and losing full attacks.

Where's the furious focus feat?


This is just my opinion I like the guide but I prefer vital and friends just cause its less situational I can just do the double dice instead of 1 round do intimidate next stagger the foe then finally do x2 dice and some con bleed. Like I said just my opinion otherwise like the guide as I said.


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
YrdBrd wrote:

I started a thread for this but thought Id come here as well for advice/comments/critique.

Im working on my PC for an upcoming Kingmaker campaign. Ive been looking over the Aldori Swordlord archetype. It seems pretty cool and is a nice fit for the setting and story. Im looking for some advice/comments/critiques on my build thus far. Keep in mind were starting at level 1 but Ive got it mapped out to level ~ level 4 so far. Here we go:

Human Fighter Aldori Swordlord
Stats (20 point buy)
Str 14 Dex 18 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8
Feats:
1. Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Aldori Dueling Sword), Quick Draw, Weapon Finesse
2. Weapon Focus (Aldori Dueling Sword)
3. Aldori Dueling Mastery
4. Weapon Specialization (Aldori Dueling Sword)

Ill be taking Greater Weapon Focus and Specialization at level 8 & 12 repsectively.

Aldori Swordlord is a wonderful fit flavorwise for Kingmaker. My Kingmaker character is actually a Bard with the Aldori trait from the Player's Guide whose uncle was a Swordlord. I recommend taking it for the flavor, so ignore the following if you don't want pure optimization advice, but you did come to my optimization guide thread, so, being forewarned--

Aldori Swordlord as an archetype generally loses a lot unless you are playing a system other than point buy and rolled up an insane character. This is because by default you are obviously going to be strength heavy, and losing Armor Training is a huge huge loss. Losing Weapon Training for Disarming Strike is also overall a bad trade. Counterstrike for Armor Training 3 is actually pretty nice, but the other things you get in exchange for the other Armor Trainings just aren't worth it...at least with a standard build.

There's a few feats, however, that synergize so well with Steel Net and Counterattack that they can catapult you back into a very strong build for what it does. These would be Crane Style, Crane Wing, Crane Riposte. With the full set, you are taking no penalty to fight...

Would this work if going Fighter at 1st level then multiclassing into Monk at 2nd?


YrdBrd wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
YrdBrd wrote:

I started a thread for this but thought Id come here as well for advice/comments/critique.

Im working on my PC for an upcoming Kingmaker campaign. Ive been looking over the Aldori Swordlord archetype. It seems pretty cool and is a nice fit for the setting and story. Im looking for some advice/comments/critiques on my build thus far. Keep in mind were starting at level 1 but Ive got it mapped out to level ~ level 4 so far. Here we go:

Human Fighter Aldori Swordlord
Stats (20 point buy)
Str 14 Dex 18 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8
Feats:
1. Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Aldori Dueling Sword), Quick Draw, Weapon Finesse
2. Weapon Focus (Aldori Dueling Sword)
3. Aldori Dueling Mastery
4. Weapon Specialization (Aldori Dueling Sword)

Ill be taking Greater Weapon Focus and Specialization at level 8 & 12 repsectively.

Aldori Swordlord is a wonderful fit flavorwise for Kingmaker. My Kingmaker character is actually a Bard with the Aldori trait from the Player's Guide whose uncle was a Swordlord. I recommend taking it for the flavor, so ignore the following if you don't want pure optimization advice, but you did come to my optimization guide thread, so, being forewarned--

Aldori Swordlord as an archetype generally loses a lot unless you are playing a system other than point buy and rolled up an insane character. This is because by default you are obviously going to be strength heavy, and losing Armor Training is a huge huge loss. Losing Weapon Training for Disarming Strike is also overall a bad trade. Counterstrike for Armor Training 3 is actually pretty nice, but the other things you get in exchange for the other Armor Trainings just aren't worth it...at least with a standard build.

There's a few feats, however, that synergize so well with Steel Net and Counterattack that they can catapult you back into a very strong build for what it does. These would be Crane Style, Crane Wing, Crane Riposte. With the full set, you are taking no

...

Sadly, it doesn't work with Monk at 2nd. Monk must be either 1st or you have to wait all the way until 3rd (this was sad for my similar build because I wanted him to have a sword from the get-go). This is because you have to have Dodge and Crane Style at or before your first monk level so you can use the bonus feat from MoMS as Crane Wing. Since Crane Style requires Monk 1st or BAB +2, you can't get it at level 1 unless your very first level is Monk. So you would need to do Fighter2 and then both Monk levels afterwards if you don't take the first in Monk. With the first in Monk, you can wait as long as you like for that second Monk level (though Crane Riposte and Evasion are nice, so it may be worth picking up sooner than later).


HorsemanDeath wrote:
This is just my opinion I like the guide but I prefer vital and friends just cause its less situational I can just do the double dice instead of 1 round do intimidate next stagger the foe then finally do x2 dice and some con bleed. Like I said just my opinion otherwise like the guide as I said.

Thanks for giving your opinion--this guide is 200% better with lots of comments from various people who like different builds, as I know I'm not the be-all-end-all for Fighters.

That said, Vital Strike usefulness depends heavily on your campaign. In most campaigns I've seen, the party takes effort such that the Fighter probably only makes one or two attacks per fight where they can't full attack (there may be other rounds that the Fighter has to spend completely in positioning, but usually once he reaches the enemy, full attacks will follow). Often this might be the first round of combat, in which case you can use Deadly Stroke immediately if you win init (and with a Fighter, that isn't hard). Vital Strike only adds the damage dice again, which only adds up to appreciable numbers if you're two-handing, in which case you could use, for instance, Cornugon Smash, in order to get your intimidation and your flat-footed all in the same full-attack (first hit initmidates, second hit flat-foots). Depending on how good you are at intimidating, this could even allow you to make multiple consecutive deadly strokes (if you beat the DC by 5 or more), as each Deadly Stroke makes them flat-footed again, not that you necessarily need the consecutive attacks, as all but the mightiest foes are probably dead, and the Con bleed screws them if they don't have healing.

Anyway, that's still my opinion on Vital Strike. Others' mileages may vary. It's not a terrible feat, but I think it's the most overrated due to how much some people love it and tout it as essentially a 'Blue' level of must-have.


What if my level 1 feats included Dodge?


YrdBrd wrote:
What if my level 1 feats included Dodge?

It's not enough. If you start Fighter1, you can take Dodge but not Crane Style. Then at level 2, if you take Monk, the *only* feat you get is the monk bonus feat, and that forces you to spend it on Crane Style. That's not what you want. If you take Monk 1st or 3rd, you can get Crane Style as either your Human bonus feat (if Monk is 1st) or your 3rd level feat (if Monk is 3rd), thus allowing you to use the Monk bonus feat for Crane Wing, ignoring the prereqs. Then you can ignore the prereqs for Crane Riposte with your 2nd Monk bonus feat, gaining that feat as soon as you hit Monk2 (which could be as soon as level 2) instead of at level 9.


I feel like the best TWF build is now the sword/board route (kukri/large shield to be honest). A bashing large spiked shield is doing 2d6 damage, and that's clearly the king of all the one handers, which is why the shield is actually used in the mainhand and the kukri is just there to trigger more free hits with criticals later on. After 11th level every critical hit is giving you a free shield bash (which is ridiculous) so you should be knocking people all over kingdom come. Once you factor in the shields enhancement bonus being applied to attack and damage you begin to see some additional benefits as well. I like the mobility fighter due to the fact that he only needs to move 5' to get his weapon training bonus to both his attacks, a feat easily accomplished if you have shield slam, movement should be your bread and butter anyway.

This also works very well for a ranger.


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
People said Fighters don't get any love. To prove them wrong, here's my Fighter Guide link!. The scope of the guide is only the most basic Fighter builds (Archery, Two-Handed, Sword and Shield, Two-Weapon Fighting), but you can use some of the tips to help with a variety of different build types.

Perception isn't a fighter skill, yet you have it marked as blue? Also I fail to see how deadly stroke is better than Vital Strike could you please elaborate on this?


A quick thanks for the guide I used it as inspiration for a TWF tripper wielding dual sickles. Not the best for damage etc but allows a trip per attack. At the moment that's just got to 3 (Greater Trip not Imp TWF @ 6) and 5 AOO with combat reflexes. My party are loving the "provokes AOO when tripped"!


Hey there. I've been planning on a melee build for my next character, and the idea of a flail-and-shield fighter specialising in manoeuvres is a tempting one. I'm also thinking about taking a 2-level dip (at levels 2 and 3, or maybe 2 and 4) into barbarian; I think ~8 rounds of rage, fast movement, uncanny dodge and a (sucky) rage power is a decent trade of for a feat and a level of weapon or armour mastery.

So, I'm looking at starting with something like this at 1st level:
Weapon focus (flail), Combat expertise*, Improved trip

Having read through this thread, lunge + whirlwind attack looks like something I'd want to pick up. I thought about some shield-fighting suff, but that looks like it's just going to use too many feats, so I'd rather concentrate on manoeuvre and battlefield control (step up, stand still, spellbreaker...) feats.

Anyone have any thoughts?

* With the trait Threatening Defender, to make it worth using in its own right, as well as as a perquisite


Rogue Eidolon wrote:

It may be worth it to pick up a few levels of Monk (Master of Many Styles) to do so. Here's how it shakes out:

Human Fighter Aldori Swordlord
Stats (20 point buy)
Str 18 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8

1. Monk(Master of Many Styles) using a Temple Sword instead of the Dueling Sword--Dodge, Crane Style (human bonus), Crane Wing (Monk bonus, ignoring prereqs as per usual)

So right away you can duel the crap out of your enemies, fighting defensively, and deflect one attack per round

2. Fighter(Aldori Swordlord) Weapon Focus (Aldori Dueling Sword / Longsword) and Improved Initiative (replace Improved Initiative with any other feat you like if you want)

Don't take exotic proficiency in it, since you won't be finessing it. In fact, what you'll want to do is two-hand the thing whenever you make the attacks on your turn, shifting it to one hand for the rest of the time so you can block attacks. Aldori Dueling Mastery isn't worth the feat cost--Crane Style and Dodge have already given you back all of the lost AC (plus a free block every turn) from a better stacking bonus type (Dodge bonus stacks, shield bonus doesn't), and you can replace the lost initiative with Improved Initiative (or do anything else you like)

3. Monk(Master of Many Styles) taking Crane Riposte (Monk bonus feat, ignoring prereqs as usual) and whatever you want (I recommend Deflect Arrows)

Very interesting! One thing which puzzles me, though (and maybe I'm just overlooking something obvious): how does the build get two feats at level 2? Obviously the fighter bonus feat (weapon focus, for example), but where does the other (the suggested Improved Initiative) come from?


More fun stuff with punch daggers; you can now use a heavy shield. Suddenly, the shield is your main weapon, and the punch dagger is the light off-hand weapon.

Spiked armor and gauntlet probably deserves at least a mention for the sword-and-board as well.


Sorry for being a noob and all, but I can't understand how in the guide you get a feat every level.

"

Level 1: Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Shield Bash, Power Attack
Level 2: Weapon Focus [Scimitar]
Level 3: Iron Will
Level 4: Step Up

"

How can I get the level 3: Iron Will? I'm a human fighter level 3 now.
http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=910160


Hey Ashen--everybody gets a feat every odd level. Also, don't feel the need to conform to that exact set of feats. It was only one example.

Cheers!
RE


Thanks! =) Happy Roleplaying weekend!


It seems that the link to the guide is broken. It says that it was in violation with the "terms of service" by google.


Lifat wrote:
It seems that the link to the guide is broken. It says that it was in violation with the "terms of service" by google.

It's not even in my Drive any more. Does Google sometimes just pull things out of your drive completely if some person claims it violates the terms of service? I just checked the ToS and there's none that it comes even close to violating. I hope Google can recover it, as unfortunately I may not have another copy of that file.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Lifat wrote:
It seems that the link to the guide is broken. It says that it was in violation with the "terms of service" by google.
It's not even in my Drive any more. Does Google sometimes just pull things out of your drive completely if some person claims it violates the terms of service? I just checked the ToS and there's none that it comes even close to violating. I hope Google can recover it, as unfortunately I may not have another copy of that file.

I hope someone has a copy of it somewhere. While there's plenty of elitists online who hate on people's hard work, I found your guide to be a great crash course for my friends creating a fighter. Here's hoping for a quick fix to this!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Found your guide in another place. Rogue Eidolon's Guide to Fighters

Silver Crusade

I hope someone has a copy of it somewhere. While there's plenty of elitists online who hate on people's hard work, I found your guide to be a great crash course for my friends creating a fighter. Here's hoping for a quick fix to this!

Found a pdf version on-line. Uploaded it elsewhere. Should stay around for at least 60 days.

https://www.docdroid.net/x7KHtVv/rogue-eidolon-fighter-guide.pdf.html

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