Finesse Sword and Shield build


Advice


i have an acquaintance who asked with my help for an upcoming pathfinder game.

He is quite intent on a finesse, sword and shield character, though i stressed the myriad of difficulties such a build would bring.

So... my first thought was a Fighter Rogue, my next thought was a Freebooter Ranger, my next thought was a Ranger with wands of instant enemy, my fourth thought was... Urban Barbarian something?

Any help would be appreciated, thanks everyone!

Shadow Lodge

a towershield specialist would be his best friend.
just pure fighter, and weapon finesse with a rapier or... something.

insane ac, with total cover. the main issue is lack of damage, but he cant get away from that.


Ranger 2 Fighter the rest of the way. Ranger gets you power attack without prereqs, but a finesse fighter will have no problem with the TWF dex prereqs. Light shield is a light weapon so you can bash using dex as your attack stat.

If your point buy or stat rolls allow a 13-14 strength don't even bother with the ranger levels.

You need a lot of feats to make this work. You're taking a TWF finesse build and adding the shield bash feats. And you probably want iron will unless you're rolling stats and get enough high stats to put one in wisdom.

You definitely want weapon training to get you the damage you're not getting from strength, and I think you want armor training because your dex is eventually going to hit the limits of even light armor without it. I'd say, therefor, that you want an unarchetyped fighter.


agile weapon. /loot


actually, a weaponmaster archetype, take weapon finesse at 1st and work toward an +1 agile scimitar. pick up two weapon fighting feats and shield feats. And put a celestial breastplate on the agenda for future purchases.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

"If you carry a shield, it's armor check penalty applies to your attack rolls." From the Weapon Finesse feat. Be sure you take that into consideration.


also get him a +1 agile shield spike. thats pretty much victory.


celestial shield has no armor check. and make the breastplate a mythril celestial variant. that should make it +11 dex.


CELESTIAL SHIELD
Aura moderate evocation [good]; CL 7th
Slot shield; Price 13,170 gp; Weight 7 lbs.
88
DESCRIPTION
This bright silver or gold +2 blinding heavy steel shield is
impossibly light and handy despite its size. It has no armor
check penalty or arcane spell failure chance, and it allows the
wielder to use feather fall on himself once per day. A creature
wearing celestial armor while wielding a celestial shield may
command the armor to provide overland flight rather than fly
once per day.
CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, feather fall,
overland flight; Cost 6,670 g


Scimitar gains nothing for being agile: Agile only works with weapon that you can use weapon finesse with. You cannot use a scimitar with weapon finesse without the Dervish Dance feat, which then precludes the use of a shield.

Also, I am trying to use no homebrew/random crafted stuff. I am not playing in a game with this guy, nor am I his DM. So I have no idea what his limitations are. Lets keep it official as possible? (no celestial mithril whatevers)


oh okay. Don't even consider that homebrew but whatever. I've been living under the misguided belief That a scimitar was a finesse weapon for years!!!! /facepalm

anyway, the rest is sound. Any finesse weapon and a high dex is fine with a weaponmaster. It makes a hell of a lot more sense than "I have twelve bajillion strenth so I ars super accurat!!! >.>


also, the shield is from the advanced race guide so its totally legit.


On the original question:
I'd personally go with Fighter/Rogue or Freebooter, depending on how many other martial types there are in the party. Wand of Instant Enemy is just too expensive for my taste, and dextrous Barbarians usually do best as two-weapon pouncers rather than sword and shield types. TWF sword/shield is tempting, but so feat intensive you would likely have to go nearly straight Fighter. At low levels you can use a masterwork buckler to avoid penalties, eventually upgrading to a mithral heavy shield (though the free wand hand of a buckler might be nice for Rangers). A 13 Strength for Power Attack would be preferable, though less will suffice if willing to use a light weapon and Piranha Strike.

On some of the advice given:
1) Agile cannot be placed on a scimitar, as it is not a finesse weapon.
2) Celestial cannot arbitrarily be switched from chainmail to breastplate, and many GMs would prohibit making it out of mithral due to the mention of specific materials. Regardless, it is a custom item, and straight GM terrain.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You could wield two agile light shields.


^awesome O,O


so just out of curiosity, why can you not make a type of magical armour with a breastplate? Isn't the properties it gives inherent in its magical qualities? I'm not sure I understand this from a logical standpoint. (if logic can even be applied to a fantasy game)


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I swear, if another person suggests two shields as a weapon choice, something bad will happen.

Did anyone EVER in the history of anything use two shields as a weapon? No mythological figure I can think of, no historical figure, no character from fantasy.

Its not heroic, it looks stupid, and no one would ever do it... except as a meta-gaming optimization attempt.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

That would make an awesome Shield Dancer build. Twin Agile Madu.

Go straight Shielded fighter. Kick butt.


rofl, no doubt. but it totally makes for a hilarious image... if its a halfling its even better.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Kat Tenser wrote:

I swear, if another person suggests two shields as a weapon choice, something bad will happen.

Did anyone EVER in the history of anything use two shields as a weapon? No mythological figure I can think of, no historical figure, no character from fantasy.

Its not heroic, it looks stupid, and no one would ever do it... except as a meta-gaming optimization attempt.

Your tastes are your own.

In a game with double weapons, giant needles, battle ladders, chainsaw glaives, and metal fighting beards, it is shields that trip you up?


Trogdar wrote:
so just out of curiosity, why can you not make a type of magical armour with a breastplate? Isn't the properties it gives inherent in its magical qualities? I'm not sure I understand this from a logical standpoint. (if logic can even be applied to a fantasy game)

because Celestial chain is a specific magic item. Adapting those abilities to another armor is not covered in the rules, and there is no specific item "celestial breastplate". Sure, logically you can apply it, but that is something for your DM to decide, not for you to make a build around.

Rather, plan for Dark leaf Cloth leather armor. same max dex, but lower base armor.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Kat Tenser wrote:

I swear, if another person suggests two shields as a weapon choice, something bad will happen.

Did anyone EVER in the history of anything use two shields as a weapon? No mythological figure I can think of, no historical figure, no character from fantasy.

Its not heroic, it looks stupid, and no one would ever do it... except as a meta-gaming optimization attempt.

Your tastes are your own.

In a game with double weapons, giant needles, battle ladders, chainsaw glaives, and metal fighting beards, it is shields that trip you up?

Yes. because though the weapons you mentioned are impractical/unrealistic, at least they are a weapon that, should you only have that lying around to practice with, you might actually try using it. Who would actually train to use two shields in conjunction? No one. Except someone who was under the belief that using two shields was more efficient when taking feats. i.e. meta-gaming ridiculousness.


Trogdar wrote:
so just out of curiosity, why can you not make a type of magical armour with a breastplate? Isn't the properties it gives inherent in its magical qualities? I'm not sure I understand this from a logical standpoint. (if logic can even be applied to a fantasy game)

While this applies to the generic item qualities, specific item qualities are often tied to the specific type of item they are attached to. Rhino Hide, for example, is literally the hide of a rhino. Presumably some aspect of that, within the context of the game, contributes to its magical qualities. Likewise, Celestial Armor is described as "bright silver or gold" chainmail. Within the game, you could say it is literally made of a special gold or silver material, and thus cannot also be mithral. The specific material and enchantments also works well when formed into chains, but poorly as plates, limiting it to that type of armor. Real world materials are often better or worse at applications like these because of arcane material science issues, making this at least somewhat reasonable as an explanation.

Balance wise, celestial armor is already really, really good. Allowing more things to be stacked on it gets weird and overpowered (if not in the "too strong" sense, at least in the "excessively better than all other options" sense). While certain GMs might allow it, it is not illogical or unreasonable to not allow the option for balance reasons and make up a magical in-game reason to support that ruling.

Kat Tenser wrote:
I swear, if another person suggests two shields as a weapon choice, something bad will happen.

I am not a fan of two shield style either. It is a weird form of combat, made useful by how errata and clarifications on how shields (and specifically Shield Mastery) work. I love me some optimization, and there is nothing wrong with using a weird form of combat, but it feels wrong when a pair of shields being more effective that, you know, a weapon.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I think this is cool enough a weapon to wield two of.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

In fact, the idea of wielding a pair of these, these, or these, sounds awesome to me.


In any case: barring my dislike of using two pieces of defensive equipment as weapons, suggesting such ignores the title of the thread: sword and shield. It is not shield and shield.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

A Klar is a sword and board in one.

Also, you could always go Dervish Dancer alchemist.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9uILn0iCUs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKv1lzePA6M
There's your dual-shield style.

As far as sword-shield finesse fighter, a paladin with a weapon bond perhaps? Would add some nice damage to each hit, or some nice AC to your shield.

Liberty's Edge

Scimitar, Dervish Dance and a Buckler would work wouldn't it? You just need a free hand for Dervish Dance and a Buckler provides that whilst still being usable?

That essentially turns the Dex into Str so you do decent damage, though you cannot go down the TWF sword n board route.

Otherwise fighter is the obvious choice due to additional damage and feats like Weapon specialisation. They also have the feats to get the TWF shield style.

His Str should still be enough for Power Atk (13) because with a sword, shield, armour and equipment he may struggle for capacity otherwise.

Course, if he is at all flexible with the Shield demand, he could always be a Weapon Finesse 2h user - pretty cool concept using the Elven Curve Blade so that you still get good damage via power attack but also get to be the guy using finesse rather than the typical brute force.

I would also look at going Half Elf to essentially get +4 Will saves along with the Indomitable Will trait for another +1, then eventually use a Feat for Iron Will to get a total of +7 Will which is of course the fighters biggest weakness


I'm pretty sure a buckler violates dervish dance, RAI, though it does leave the hand free. Thanks everyone, keep it coming if you got more!


See if you can get him to skip the shield and have him play a Dervish Dance Magus

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kat Tenser wrote:
Scimitar gains nothing for being agile: Agile only works with weapon that you can use weapon finesse with.

The Agile enchantment is intended as an alternative to dervish dance, not a supplement.


What about an Inquisitor for a Finesse sword and shield character? Seems like you could keep your damage decent via Bane and Judgements, and could have a slightly ridiculous AC via Magic Vestments and a rod of Extend... which could also give your weapon some extra oomph via Greater Magic Weapon.

thoughts?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Inquisitor's do rock.
If the Guided enchantment is allowed, you can be a wisdom based sword and board.
An Inquisitor/Cleric of Dhalavei could go Temple Sword and shield, and get the Guided Hand feat, allowing you to use wisdom for trip rolls.

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