Build around Aid Another - madness?


Advice


In my game I've yet to see anyone use Aid Another in combat (fairly common for skill checks out of combat though) largely, I believe, because of the action economy of it. It never makes sense to spend your standard action helping someone else get a +2 to AT or AC.

However, reading through the APG the Bodyguard feat allows a PC to spend attacks of opportunity (AoOs) instead. UC has a feat, Swift Aid, that allows a PC to grant a +1 to AC or AT as a swift action. Also, in the APG the Cavalier class has an Order (of the Dragon) that grants another +1 to Aid Another (plus another every six levels after second) and an archetype (Honor Guard) that gives another +1 when used to boost someone else's AC.

So I'm thinking of putting together a human Honor Guard Cavalier (Order of the Dragon) with the following feats:

1 Combat Reflexes
1C Tactician -> Precise Strike
1H Iron Will
3 Power Attack
3C Honor Guard -> Bodyguard
5 Furious Focus
6C Swift Aid
7 Gr Iron Will

With a 14 DEX he's looking at giving a +4 bonus to AC to an adjacent ally against a specific attack three times a round using AoOs (+5 at 8th level) and giving a +2 to AT as a swift action to an ally for their first attack in addition to his usual full attack. He should do solid if not spectacular damage with his glaive or great sword while buffing his fellow melee-ers in ways that are complementary to those of a bard or cleric.

* All of this was inspired by the fact that we have a barbarian with tons and tons of HP but an AC so low that enemies have trouble not hitting him so after a certain point he becomes a huge draw of in combat healing (no bueno!). I got to thinking about what an ideal cohort for him would look like and decided that this might be a fun character to play.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like it.

EDIT: As an aside, IME Aid Another is more useful than it appears sometimes. The bonus to attack may only be for one attack roll, but against certain targets it may be a better use of your action than attacking.

Take your situation: big scary barbarian in the party. If said character can dish out tons of damage in a single hit, and you cannot, it may be better to help ensure a hit from the barb then deal small damage yourself. Especially against foes w/DR that you can't overcome.

example: i've got a longsword dealing d8+4 damage vs a target w/DR 10/adamantine. my buddy is rocking a greatsword at 2d6+6 damage before power attack. it's better for me to aid my buddy then to attack on the scant hopes of dealing, at most, 2 damage.


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http://www.d20pfsrd.com/traits/race-traits/helpful


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

This looks really interesting. I think the next character I play will be a cavalier that does this.


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Just be sure to name the character Kyoji.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I actually played with a build like this at a convention. He was a Halfling with the "helpful" trait, and used a reach weapon to stay behind the barbarian while assisting.


@Stream and Rainy - Is the 'helpful' trait for halflings only? It doesn't specify on the linked page.

@Rainy - How did the 'helpful' halfling work out? Did it annoy the GM to have you rolling for Aid Another all the time? I was thinking that I'd roll everything in advance and hand the sheet of random numbers to the GM, having him check off each used roll. At mid-levels it should hardly be necessary since you'll be auto-confirming almost every time.

* Edited for grammatical correctness


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I have a bard that does Aid Another frequently. What generally happens is the melee types charge (2x move distance plus attack) while the bard begins a performance and makes only a single move. In the following round, the bard is often close enough to make a full attack with the whip but the whip wouldn't actually be able to hurt the other guys (they have too much armor). Rather than have to switch weapons and then get a single attack, the bard will opt to just aid whoever's in reach.


SlimGauge wrote:
I have a bard that does Aid Another frequently. What generally happens is the melee types charge (2x move distance plus attack) while the bard begins a performance and makes only a single move. In the following round, the bard is often close enough to make a full attack with the whip but the whip wouldn't actually be able to hurt the other guys (they have too much armor). Rather than have to switch weapons and then get a single attack, the bard will opt to just aid whoever's in reach.

For two feats (Combat Reflexes and Bodyguard) your bard can be adding +2 AC for your frontline guys at the cost of only AoOs (assuming you can hit AC 10 consistently). If he had the helpful racial trait it could be +4 AC.

For a high dex character Combat Reflexes + Bodyguard might be worth it. For the same character with 'helpful' or some other bonus to Aid Another it becomes a really good deal because AoOs go largely unused on a round-by-round basis.


I didn't check everything to make they really work together, but it sounds good.

I would suggest a reach pole arm to make sure you can aid lots of people.


Instead of Honor Guard archetype, if you are allowed 3rd party material, you might enjoy the Inspiring Commander archetype from this book (I recently bought it and it is simply amazing) for your Order of the Dragon Cavalier. You can add your Int mod to all Aid Another attempts, grant temp HP, and Aid Another from 30 feet away with a DC 10 Perform (Oratory) check.

At level 2, with only an int of 12, that is +4 to Aid. By 20th level you can easily grant a +10 bonus with Aid (and 10d6 temp HP)

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