Need advice for building a character for a friend in PFS


Advice

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Crosswind wrote:
Defensively: Your AC will not be awful

Wrong build for Chuck, then.

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I know I'm late to the party, so forgive me if anything I say is redundant.

John-Andre wrote:
Purchasing anything more than normal equipment in PFS is dependent on getting Fame points with your chosen Faction, and it takes 27 points of Fame to get to the point of affording items costing 8,000 gp. With the way Chuck plays, that'll be around 9th level, so don't start saying 'pick up mithril heavy armor early' -- no, expect the earliest we'll be able to get it at 9th level.

This is actually inaccurate - all Core special materials except dragonhide are considered "always available", as are +1 versions. So you could buy +1 mithral full plate with 0 fame. Which is weird, since you couldn't buy a potion of Bull's Strength, but hey, whatever. Anyway, keep that in mind.

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

Might I suggest a ranger? The skirmisher archetype will take away the spellcasting, you get martial weapon proficiency, free feats, good skills, etc. You could even spend a feat on heavy armor proficiency.

STR 18 (16+2 human)
DEX 12
CON 13 (bump at 4th - you'll get retroactive HP)
INT 10
WIS 14
CHA 10

At first level, take Heavy armor proficiency and Power Attack. Use a nodachi from Ultimate Combat for your weapon - it's two handed, d10 damage (meets his minimum!) while also having 18-20 threat range so maybe he can develop a taste for that. Otherwise, go with greatsword.

Give him favored enemy (human) at 1st level. He'll enjoy his +11 damage against random Warrior1 thugs with 6 HP. ;)

Until you can afford full plate, your AC will be around 17-ish, then jump dramatically once you upgrade. By 4th level you're rocking +1 full plate and a ring of protection for 22 AC (or 23 if you take Dodge at 3rd). And you're dealing 1d10+12 damage against non-favored enemies. And getting 7 skill points per level.

I really think a two-handed skirmisher ranger with Heavy Armor is the way to go for what you asked for. :)


John-Andre wrote:
Crosswind wrote:
Defensively: Your AC will not be awful
Wrong build for Chuck, then.

...Not-awful AC, DR/-, and godly saves? Does not meet your definition of defensive?

Also, truth. I did not read the thread - I read the OP, which suggested that one of Chuck's archetypes was a big damage dealer (A).

If you want the highest AC in all the land, go straight fighter with a shield. You don't need much of a build to do it.

-Cross


Odd, it seems to me that rage is just as scarce a resource as grit. But what do I know.

I still feel that since he wants the armored turtle approach that fighter is a better choice than barbarian.

Unfortunately, you descriptions just do not leave many options.


John-Andre wrote:

Antipaladin is illegal in PFS play, isn't it? Can't play an evil character.

And Chuck isn't about to use a two-handed sword, no matter how much sense it would make for the character. Maximize AC, remember? A shield WILL be used by the tank. I've told him he should use a two-handed weapon -- he's seen how much damage my 2H paladin does -- and he's vehemently refused. Defense is far more important to him than damage. The rule is, You Can't Hit Me Therefore You Can't Hurt Me.

Chuck (and I) are both 3.5E players, and it's probably Chuck's desire to have a 3.5E version of the tank, when it was possible to have an AC in the low 50's at 12th level. So, AC must be maximized. Chuck won't give up his shield.

And I was told, again by our Venture Captain at the time (yesterday), that the Prestige/Fame limit is for total cost of an item. If he wants to buy mithril full plate, he has to not only be able to afford the 1500g for the full plate and the 7000g for the mithril, but he has to have the fame to be able to buy 8500g or so of item value. And when what the rules say and what our venture-captain says differ, we take the Venture-Captain's words as he's the final arbiter. You can argue with him. Well, no, actually you can't; he stepped down today and Mike Lindner is now our Venture-Captain. Don't know what Mike will say, haven't had a chance to ask him yet.

I could in fact be completely wrong and I admit this; it was my understanding that this was the case.

I just happened across this thread, so why don't I just make my view known, eh? I am a very much by the book sort of person. You may have already picked up on that to some degree, but I'll state it plainly just in case. I fully expect every character at tables I run to be 100% PFS legal. While I'm not going to go around auditing characters willy-nilly (yeesh that would suck), I will question anything that sounds fishy. Clint was definitely right about the purchase limits you noted.

Chuck can certainly continue playing the gunslinger, but only after he properly converts it to the current rules. I had not actually known until this last weekend that it wasn't a legal character.

As for the new character ideas, I think a straight fighter or barbar is a good idea. From what I have seen of his playstyle, a vital striking barbar would probably work fairly well. I can see him playing up the rage. Toggle rage on and take one big hit per round. Almost all the math can be done ahead of time beyond rolling the dice to minimize fiddlyness. If you go with power attack (and for him I would) make sure to pick up furious focus as well. If you want to push the skills thing, ranger archetypes that replace spellcasting may also be good; otherwise, dump that Int, Cha, and maybe even Wis. :D

A half-orc with dodge, ironhide, and defender of the society may be a good start.


The problem with Chuck is getting him to own the books required. He likes playing Pathfinder at the Cavs; he has no problem with spending $30 for a 4E book. In fact he's been rather disappointed that the last book (Menzo) had no rules in it, no reason for him to buy it.

I don't get, then, why he won't get the Pathfinder books. Admittedly the sheer number of books is a bit daunting -- and the fact that he has to pick up the $60 hardbacks and can't avail himself of the $10 PDFs is another factor against purchasing. (I love my brother for giving me his old iPad.) But it's the same as buying 2 4E books.

When I start running PFS up at GZO, I'll try to steer him (and Rich) towards buying the books, as well.

I have no idea why Chuck didn't go straight fighter ... no, wait, now I do. When he started that barbar, PFS was still fairly new, and I think he started the character as a 3.5e character. In fact, now that I think about it, it might still be a 3.5e character in some respects. I'll have a chance to sit down with him this weekend and go over that character to make sure it's PFS-legal.

The gunslinger during that module Karl ran... I don't recall him ever using Grit at all. Now that I think about it, I really need to check the rules on the gunslinger, and how they really work. I know Chuck is still using that playtest packet and the rules on the gunslinger really changed from the playtest to the final version. He might be seriously shorting himself.

Mike Lindner wrote:
If you want to push the skills thing, ranger archetypes that replace spellcasting may also be good; otherwise, dump that Int, Cha, and maybe even Wis. :D

I'm pushing the skills because of what happened that last game. Chuck ran into the new thinking for faction missions, and without some form of social interaction skill, he couldn't do the mission. Which I guess is sometimes a good point; it emphasizes the need for non-combat skills in PFS, but Chuck is not a social roleplayer -- he's a munchkin. He does the intimidation thing fairly well, and I was thinking a fighter with the intimidation feats -- Intimidating Prowess, Dazzling Display, maybe Skill Focus: Intimidation -- would suit Chuck's role-playing temperament. In fact, those and Improved Overrun and he'd probably have the time of his life.


If hes gonna use a 1 handed exotic weapon he might as well use the highest dpr weapon in the game, the falcata... even 1 handed it could easily do 50 damage crits by mid levels..


Chuck
Angel-Blooded Aasimar (Angelkin) Fighter 1
CN Medium Outsider (native) Because you are immune to person spells, don't even have to roll
Init +2; Senses Darkvision; Perception +1
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+5 armor, +2 shield, +2 Dex)
hp 14 (1d10+3) (favored class +1)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +0
Resist acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5 Every tank loves DR
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 20 ft.
Melee Heavy Shield Bash +5 (1d4+4/x2) and
. . Falcata +6 (1d8+4/19-20/x3) Because it is the best 1 handed in game
Spell-Like Abilities Corruption Resistance (vs evil, 1 hr/lvl on self)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 19, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 9
No int because Chuck hates both spells and skills, therefore useless to chuck
Base Atk +1; CMB +5; CMD 17
Feats Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Falcata), Weapon Focus (Falcata)
Because always on, and lead up to your weapon specialization

Traits Anatomist, Planetar’s Visions Traits of the Aasimar crit junkie
Skills Acrobatics -3 (-7 jump), Climb -1, Escape Artist -3, Fly -3, Heal +2, Perception +1, Ride -3, Stealth -3, Swim -1
Languages Celestial, Common
Combat Gear Falcata, Heavy wooden shield, Kikko armor; Kikko combines the highest AC/Dex mods with the lowest armor check penalty
--------------------
TRACKED RESOURCES
--------------------
Corruption Resistance (vs evil, 1 hr/lvl on self) (Sp) - 0/1
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Anatomist +1 to confirm critical hits.
Damage Resistance, Acid (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Acid attacks.
Damage Resistance, Cold (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Cold attacks.
Damage Resistance, Electricity (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Electricity attacks.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Planetar’s Visions On melee critical reduce evil outsider's DR by the weapon's critical multiplier.

If you want to jump, go Barb.


Alternative to above:

All the same, but now in weapon master. Just makes the falcata more sick and wrong. narrows his field though.

Oh well. hard to be chuck some days.

Chuck
Angel-Blooded Aasimar (Angelkin) Fighter (Weapon Master) 1
CN Medium Outsider (native)
Init +2; Senses Darkvision; Perception +1
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+5 armor, +2 shield, +2 Dex)
hp 14 (1d10+3)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +0
Resist acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 20 ft.
Melee Heavy Shield Bash +5 (1d4+4/x2) and
. . Falcata +6 (1d8+4/19-20/x3)
Spell-Like Abilities Corruption Resistance (vs evil, 1 hr/lvl on self)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 19, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 9
Base Atk +1; CMB +5; CMD 17
Feats Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Falcata), Weapon Focus (Falcata)
Traits Anatomist, Planetar’s Visions
Skills Acrobatics -3 (-7 jump), Climb -1, Escape Artist -3, Fly -3, Heal +2, Perception +1, Ride -3, Stealth -3, Swim -1
Languages Celestial, Common
Combat Gear Falcata, Heavy wooden shield, Kikko armor;
--------------------
TRACKED RESOURCES
--------------------
Corruption Resistance (vs evil, 1 hr/lvl on self) (Sp) - 0/1
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Anatomist +1 to confirm critical hits.
Damage Resistance, Acid (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Acid attacks.
Damage Resistance, Cold (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Cold attacks.
Damage Resistance, Electricity (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Electricity attacks.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Planetar’s Visions On melee critical reduce evil outsider's DR by the weapon's critical multiplier.

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Wait, why can't Chuck just get the PDFs? Why does he have to get the hardbacks?


I believe he is looking for CRB only.
So no aasimar, anglekin, falcata, or weapon master.

But yes, if will use non-CRB that is pretty good.


I think he said no computer access.

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Someone else couldn't print the relevant pages for him?


He said he has a gun slinger, so I assume he has access, at the very least he can use SRD. If he PFS's with them, then the PDFs are nominal, (think the Blood of series are under 5 each) If you can afford a con to play PFS, you can afford the PDF. Just print the pages you need at school or whatever, the important part is the embossing of your name top and/or bottom.

Same as Chuck the Fighter, but this Chuck has a 1d12 weapon like chuck loves, an additional +2 to confirm crits, a prehensile tail for grabbing that potion from your pack, much better resistances (Fire is king), and can bite the enemy in the face with rows of razor sharp demon teeth for 1d6+4!

OOOOH. Don't care about AC because you are a barbarian. You don't care about AC.

When raging: 1d12+12 (1d12+13 if flanking) damage with +6(+8 if flanking) to hit on Greataxe.
Also, 1d6+4 (1d6+5 if flanking) damage bite at +1 (+3 if flanking) to hit at the same time!

Chuck
Oni-Spawn Tiefling Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager) 1
CN Medium Outsider (native)
Init +2; Senses Darkvision; Perception +4
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 13 (+3 armor, +2 Dex)
hp 16 (1d12+3)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +0
Resist cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 40 ft.
Melee Bite (Maw or Claw (Bite)) +0 (1d6+2/x2) and
. . Greataxe +5 (1d12+6/x3)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 19, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 6
Base Atk +1; CMB +5; CMD 17
Feats Power Attack -1/+2
Traits Bellis Axe Master, Dirty Fighter
Skills Acrobatics +5 (+9 jump), Climb +3, Escape Artist +1, Fly +5, Perception +4, Ride +1, Stealth +1, Swim +3
Languages Abyssal, Common
SQ Fast Movement +10, Prehensile Tail, Rage (7 rounds/day)
Combat Gear Greataxe, Studded leather armor;
--------------------
TRACKED RESOURCES
--------------------
Rage (7 rounds/day) (Ex) - 0/7
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Bellis Axe Master +2 trait bon to confirm critical hits with axes.
Damage Resistance, Cold (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Cold attacks.
Damage Resistance, Electricity (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Electricity attacks.
Damage Resistance, Fire (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Fire attacks.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Dirty Fighter +1 damage when flanking.
Fast Movement +10 (Ex) +10 feet to speed, unless heavily loaded.
Power Attack -1/+2 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Prehensile Tail Your tail can retrieve small objects on your person as a swift action.
Rage (7 rounds/day) (Ex) +4 Str, +4 Con, +2 to Will saves, -2 to AC when enraged.


Depends upon how strick the Venture Captain is. I have been told that by the actual rules, you can only use materials you own.

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Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Depends upon how strick the Venture Captain is. I have been told that by the actual rules, you can only use materials you own.

He could still have someone else download and print them, under his name. But hey, whatever floats his boat.


I own them all in PDF, and I bring my kindle. cheap, fast, easy, light. (Especially compared the the PDF packers who tote the 20 pound laptop, or the PDF people who PRINT the ENTIRE book and keep in in binders.... WTF? PDF is so you don'thave to carry books. Why buy PDFs to make a more bulky, less totable version of the books?) -End Rant-

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Arizhel wrote:
Why buy PDFs to make a more bulky, less totable version of the books?

Because it's cheaper. :)


Jiggy wrote:
Arizhel wrote:
Why buy PDFs to make a more bulky, less totable version of the books?
Because it's cheaper. :)

It's only cheaper if you can get someone else to pay for the printing, paper, ink, and toner.

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Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Arizhel wrote:
Why buy PDFs to make a more bulky, less totable version of the books?
Because it's cheaper. :)
It's only cheaper if you can get someone else to pay for the printing, paper, ink, and toner.

I don't think the paper/ink come out to the $30 difference between a hardback and PDF. But I could be wrong.

The only person locally who I know sometimes prints entire sources is able to use the printer where he works, so it's definitely cheaper for him! ;)


Indeed, by PFS rules you can only use stuff you have a legal source for. The PRD doesn't count (neither does the SRD).

Ultimately it is up to each table GM to determine what is acceptable for them. At a minimum the physical book or a print out from a watermarked PDF is always okay. Personally, I am fine with a watermarked PDF on an electronic device without needing it to be printed out, and if asked by any local GMs I would encourage them to allow it as well since it certainly satisfies the spirit of the requirement.

Getting the PDFs and only printing the relevant pages is actually a pretty viable way to do things. It also means lugging a lot less around. That's how I handle my own characters in fact, even though I own the physical books for most of what I use. Even for my characters where I freely pull stuff from lots of sources I don't usually have more than 10-15 pages of supporting material to print out.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Depends upon how strick the Venture Captain is. I have been told that by the actual rules, you can only use materials you own.

It depends on whether you are going by the letter of the law (Guide to Organized Play), or by what has been said on the forums. The GtOP says that players must bring references to the table (hardcover books, or a printout from a watermarked PDF) for anything used from resources beyond the "core assumption" (PFRPGCRB, Pathfinder Society Field Guide, and the GtOP). It doesn't actually say that you must own that reference material, just that you must have it at the table.

On the forums, though, Mike Brock has implied that players should have their own copies of the material (with exceptions made for sharing among a group of friends who always play together at the same table, or for a couple living under the same roof). He's also said he doesn't want to spell out every last variation of the rules in infinite detail, so there is some wiggle room for your VC or Event Coordinator to allow other exceptions.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
John-Andre wrote:
The gunslinger during that module Karl ran... I don't recall him ever using Grit at all. Now that I think about it, I really need to check the rules on the gunslinger, and how they really work. I know Chuck is still using that playtest packet and the rules on the gunslinger really changed from the playtest to the final version. He might be seriously shorting himself.

He's not even correctly running the playtest version. That one used grit as well. He may well be stuck in the "OMG I only have a couple of points in this" mentality so he may be saving them for rainy days that never come. Either way though, he has to upgrade to the current rules or retire the gunman.

Part of this however, falls to the OP. You want him to play a character a certain way, and Chuck clearly does not want to do so. At the most, I think the closest you two can come together is to get him to get exotic bastard sword proficiency so he can keep the shield that he's not going to let go of. The way Chuck wants to play is perfectly legal, even if his mechanics use needs to be fixed.

Grand Lodge

I will confirm here that the play test is no longer legal and hasn't been since the book became available. Please change the character to conform to the current rules.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
John-Andre wrote:
Right now Chuck plays a 7th level Barbar and a 4th level Gunslinger (and uses the playtest rules, NOT UC -- our Venture-Captain said it was all right, so whatever)

I never said any such thing. I wasn't aware Chuck was still using an illegal build.

Clint


Consider this build.

An absolute blast to play right off the bat, tons of damage dealing - At 6th level I once made 12 attacks in a single round, all at full BAB (9 with Whirlwind Attack and then 3 with Attacks of Opportunity from Combat Reflexes). No spells.

I'd actually recommend a Paladin build I put together, but your friend Chuck sounds awfully picky...


cblome59 wrote:
John-Andre wrote:
Right now Chuck plays a 7th level Barbar and a 4th level Gunslinger (and uses the playtest rules, NOT UC -- our Venture-Captain said it was all right, so whatever)

I never said any such thing. I wasn't aware Chuck was still using an illegal build.

Clint

Let me correct. Chuck said that you said it was all right.

It quite obviously is not and I told him he can't use the playtest rules any more.


Jiggy (and others) wrote:
Wait, why can't Chuck just get the PDFs? Why does he have to get the hardbacks?

Chuck does not really have access to a computer or a printer. While he does have a computer at home, it's so ancient it refuses to run flash (thus, no browser access). Chuck cannot afford a new computer. Money for him is extremely tight. In a lot of ways, Chuck is stuck back in the 1970's and refuses to join modern society, so you work with what you have. He's a true friend even if he sometimes shows a definite lack of what we'd call 'wisdom'.

It scares me that I'm almost 10 years his younger and _I_ show far more maturity than Chuck does.

In any case, I sat down with Chuck and looked over his characters. I told him flat-out he can no longer use the playtest for the Gunslinger, and if he wants to play the character again, he's going to have to buy UC. (I'd lend him my books, but they're on my iPad (a gift from my brother). Plus I have no way to print them. I'm disabled, on welfare, and y'all do realize printer ink runs about $50 a reload... $10 for a PDF I can handle. $50 for a full reload is something I have to save up a bit, for.)

The problem with Chuck's barbar was that, in true Chuck form, the character wasn't correct; he didn't have all the character's skill ranks written down because, it's Chuck, skills aren't important. So he was shorting himself severely with skill usage. Also, all his feats weren't written down either. Chuck's barbar is eighth level and had three feats written down: EWP with the Bastard Sword, Toughness, and Shield Focus. That's all. Also, he was shorting himself majorly in hit points. He had his defenses figured properly, but almost nothing else.

His Gunslinger was in almost the same exact condition. 5th level Gunslinger, three feats written down (and one of those was Gunsmithing), short on HP, definitely shorted on skills.

In short, Chuck needs the books in order to continue playing PFS.

My advice to him was to find a used tablet or iPad at the pawn store, pick up iTunes (it'll run on his computer), and download the PDFs, or save up and pick up the big three: the CRB, APG and UC. UM he doesn't need right away (as I said before, Chuck hates spellcasters, he doesn't deal well with resource management), and ARG, well, Chuck loves his Humans. Plus so many races in PFS, you have to check which ones need special certification to play, you never know which ones to use. Let's just keep things simple, as Chuck's a simple guy (in more ways than one).


Have Chuck check this out [url=http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateCombat/classArchetypes/fighter.html[/url] when using a shield his touch armor improves. All types of armor provide damage reduction, so if you can scrape up enough cash for heavy adamantine armor thats DR6. At 9th level he gets light fortification. Give him his bastard sword and let him go to town.


cmess wrote:
Have Chuck check this out [url=http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateCombat/classArchetypes/fighter.html[/url]

On what computer is he supposed to check that out on?

As both Mike and Clint can confirm, Chuck is not me. I haven't been using "Chuck" as a term to refer to my own preferences. My name is John (and my nickname, Andre, thus my user identity, John-Andre). Chuck is a completely different person. Telling me to have him check out rules or builds on the web is completely pointless. His computer is an ancient dinosaur which, I think, still runs on Windows 95. He can read email on it and not much else. He certainly can't browse the web.


John-Andre wrote:
cmess wrote:
Have Chuck check this out [url=http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateCombat/classArchetypes/fighter.html[/url]

On what computer is he supposed to check that out on?

As both Mike and Clint can confirm, Chuck is not me. I haven't been using "Chuck" as a term to refer to my own preferences. My name is John (and my nickname, Andre, thus my user identity, John-Andre). Chuck is a completely different person. Telling me to have him check out rules or builds on the web is completely pointless. His computer is an ancient dinosaur which, I think, still runs on Windows 95. He can read email on it and not much else. He certainly can't browse the web.

Sorry I know chuck is not you, but I did not realize he didn't have web access. This is off the Paizo Reference Document site out of the Ultimate Combat book. I think it might be helpful because it doesn't add any strange rules or abilities that need activation.

Armor Master (Archetype)
All fighters have two main tools of their trade—weapons and armor. While many fighters hone their weapon skills to a point of inescapable grace and lethality, there are those who live under the maxim that a good offense can be accomplished though an impenetrable defense. To these fighters, proper use of armor and shields ensures that they can fight another day, and that the frustration of enemies who can't seem to crack an armor master's superior defenses is just the first symptom of his foes' eventual defeat.

Deflective Shield (Ex): At 2nd level, an armor master specializes in using his shield to deflect attacks. He gains a +1 bonus to his touch AC, and this bonus increases for every four levels beyond 2nd (to a maximum of +6 at 20th level); however, this bonus cannot exceed the sum of the armor and enhancement bonus to AC provided by the shield that the armor master is currently carrying. This ability replaces bravery.

Armored Defense (Ex): At 5th level, an armor master gains DR 1/— when wearing light armor, DR 2/— when wearing medium armor, and DR 3/— when wearing heavy armor. At 19th level, this damage reduction increases to DR 4/— when wearing light armor, DR 8/— when wearing medium armor, and DR 12/— when wearing heavy armor. This damage reduction stacks with that provided by adamantine armor, but not with other forms of damage reduction. This damage reduction does not apply if the armor master is stunned, unconscious, or helpless. This ability replaces weapon training 1 and 3, and armor mastery.

Fortification (Ex): At 9th level, an armor master can use his armor to shield critical areas from injury. He treats any armor he wears as if it had the light fortification special ability. At 13th level, his armor gains the moderate fortification special ability. This fortification does not stack in any way with armor that has these special abilities. In these cases the armor master takes the better of the two fortifications. This ability replaces weapon training 2 and 4.

Indestructible (Ex): At 20th level, an armor master gains complete immunity to critical hits and sneak attacks while he is wearing armor. In addition, unless his armor has the fragile armor quality, it cannot be sundered while he is wearing it. This ability replaces weapon mastery.


John-Andre wrote:

The problem with Chuck is getting him to own the books required. He likes playing Pathfinder at the Cavs; he has no problem with spending $30 for a 4E book. In fact he's been rather disappointed that the last book (Menzo) had no rules in it, no reason for him to buy it.

I don't get, then, why he won't get the Pathfinder books. Admittedly the sheer number of books is a bit daunting -- and the fact that he has to pick up the $60 hardbacks and can't avail himself of the $10 PDFs is another factor against purchasing. (I love my brother for giving me his old iPad.) But it's the same as buying 2 4E books.

When I start running PFS up at GZO, I'll try to steer him (and Rich) towards buying the books, as well.

I have no idea why Chuck didn't go straight fighter ... no, wait, now I do. When he started that barbar, PFS was still fairly new, and I think he started the character as a 3.5e character. In fact, now that I think about it, it might still be a 3.5e character in some respects. I'll have a chance to sit down with him this weekend and go over that character to make sure it's PFS-legal.

The gunslinger during that module Karl ran... I don't recall him ever using Grit at all. Now that I think about it, I really need to check the rules on the gunslinger, and how they really work. I know Chuck is still using that playtest packet and the rules on the gunslinger really changed from the playtest to the final version. He might be seriously shorting himself.

Mike Lindner wrote:
If you want to push the skills thing, ranger archetypes that replace spellcasting may also be good; otherwise, dump that Int, Cha, and maybe even Wis. :D
I'm pushing the skills because of what happened that last game. Chuck ran into the new thinking for faction missions, and without some form of social interaction skill, he couldn't do the mission. Which I guess is sometimes a good point; it emphasizes the need for non-combat skills in PFS, but Chuck is not a social roleplayer -- he's a...

I am baffled by the "number of books" statement. As a person who's played PF and 4E, I can attest that the sheer number of 4E rule and class books is so incredibly much more overwhelming than the basic PF books. Putting aside Mods and AP's, consider that 4E has no less than three Player's Handbooks and a DMG to PF's Core Rulebook, and numerous Monster Manuals to PF's, like, two bestiaries?

Moreover, 4E does not exist online for free.

Okay, I know that technically, PFS rules state that you must bring along a copy of the book if you want to use a feature that only appears in that book if it's non-core. I understand why that rule is there ($) and I don't begrudge Paizo for putting it in their rules. I really don't. But I don't own a copy of the APG, and I play PFS games with my Alchemist all the time. Never once have I been asked to show my copy of the APG, and never once have I been asked to show a receipt for the digitial copy of UM that I bought. (For the record, I use an ipod ap for rules that I paid for and that I assume Paizo gets a cut of).

I have to ask - why doesn't the SRD count? What is this draconian club that refuses to allow perfectly legal feats/classes/features, just because the player can't afford the books that feature them? I wouldn't play in such a game. Is there something I'm missing? Unless I have a really wrong impression here, I feel like you're burying the lead.


This character plays as a reckless meat tank, who takes Aggro by growing to huge sizes, rushing in to the middle of the battle field and being so easy to hit that enemies will attack him out of convenience. His non-existent AC is made up for by the fact he will have massive Damage reduction and an ungodly pool of health to back it up by the time high levels roll around. This makes him great for dealing with waves of small minions or going toe-to-toe with a powerful enemy that would otherwise kill anyone else in the party in a full-round-attack. Not only that, his damage potential is amazing, easily dealing over 60 damage in a full round attack.

Throw caution to the wind with Goregutz Ironhide. He hits things. He hits things good.

This one definitely falls under flavor 1 for your friend Chuck. AC is almost always falls below 10 in combat, so don't even try to salvage it. Stack as much DR/- as you can. This build is weak at low levels, but it really hits its stride at level 13 where you can easily have DR 10/- and Greater Rage to make you an unmovable wall of meat and steel. Also, you get 4 skill points a level you require.

Dwarf (Half Orc, Half Elf, or Human can work too. Adjust accordingly) (8 Barbarian Invulnerable Rager / 1 Alchemist)
The alchemist level is not meant as a caster, it is simply meant for the purpose of making Goregutz hit more good. Enlarge person 1/day and his Mutagen is the only thing he keeps track of.

STR 17 +1LVL +1LVL (+2BELT IF POSSIBLE)
DEX 10
CON 16 +2RACE
INT 11
WIS 10 +2RACE
CHA 7 -2RACE

HP 125 (+27 while raging, +18 if you prepare a CON mutagen)
SAVES 14/4/3
(Hardy racial trait, raging, and rage power [Superstitious] will raise these to a respectable level. Also you drink poison for gits and shiggles)
AC (If it's higher than 10, you're doing it wrong)
DR 4/- (+2 While raging) (+X from addy armor if available)
CMB 13 +2 RAGE
CMD 23 +2 RAGE

ATTACKS
1d12/2d6+8 (+15/+10 to hit)
Pretty bad, right? Now let's see what full buffs look like.
(Rage, Large Size extract, +4 STR mutagen, power attack)
3d6+25 (+23/+15)
YE GODS! That's a lot of damage.

FEATS
1 Weapon Focus (Great Sword/Great Axe, take your pick)
3 Power Attack +9 dmg -3 to hit
5 Furious Focus
7 Raging Vitality
9 Extra Rage power

RAGE POWERS
2 Reckless Abandon (+3 to hit -3 to AC)
4 Superstition (+4 to saves vs spells, spell-like, supernatural)
6 Guarded Life
8 +DR 1/-
9 +DR 1/-
(next rage power will be +DR 1/-)

Items
+1 Great Sword / Great Axe (Enchant as high as you can afford)*

*Funny thing about this build, it makes Vicious weapons amazing. Depending on what your GM rules it, once you hit DR 6/- Vicious weapons could stop damaging you and you're getting an extra 2d6 damage for only a +1 against all targets. This ends up being a more versatile pick than Bane, and a cheaper pick that Holy, Axiomatic, Unholy, or Anarchic.

Addy chain shirt or breast plate (don't waste your money enchanting these, you just want the DR X/-)
+2 Belt of Stregth (Con works well too)
Whatever else you can afford


Would it be at all possible to tell us which books you guys do have access to? I'm assuming you have the Advanced Player's Guide but it would help to know which books can be plundered for material and which ones we need to leave be.


I have access to everything up to but not including Ultimate Equipment. However, as I stated above I can't lend Chuck my books. They're PDFs on my iPad. Also, I am not as familiar with the books as most of you are. I have to keep four different game systems current in my head and I lose track of a lot. Oh, wait, five different game systems. D&D 4E, D&D Next, Pathfinder, Shadowrun 3rd and Shadowrun 4th.

Chuck has nothing.

Our previous Venture-Captain, Clint Blome, put a moratorium on people using borrowed materials for characters and stated that if you didn't own the book (either hardback or PDF), you couldn't use materials from it, excepting only the CRB. This might not be what Pathfinder Society rules say, but my understanding is that the decision was made to support both Paizo and the game store at which we play. Printouts were not an acceptable source material. As it looks like, our new Venture-Captain will maintain that policy.

Joanna Swiftblade wrote:
This one definitely falls under flavor 1 for your friend Chuck. AC is almost always falls below 10 in combat,

Then stop right there, Chuck won't touch it with a ten foot pole. Reread the original post. Armor Class is the priority. What Cannot Hit Me Cannot Hurt Me. Sorry to throw all your work down the hole, but Chuck doesn't get that DR > AC. He thinks AC < ALL.

Again, the answer is that Chuck buys his own books. He seems to love going through his 4E books and coming up with the best builds for his characters; if he buys the books he needs for PFS, he'll be able to do the same for Pathfinder.


With access purely to the Core Rule Book, your friend's best bet will be the good old, sword and board human fighter. The bonus feat and extra skill point will be a boon...and nothing else is gonna get the same AC and not have any spells.

Give him semi-decent Dex and have Dodge and Shield Focus in his first three feats to further boost his AC. You could even have him grab Tower Shield Proficiency, and a Tower Shield, although the harsh negatives to some skills may make him think twice...even for +4 AC.

With, say, 16 dex, Dodge, Shield Focus and a Tower Shield his AC would be 19...before putting on any armour.

Does that sound like it would suit your friend?


Fighters get Tower Shield Proficiency for free.


True, I knew I forgot something. My last fighter was a Tactician, so I lost that little perk. I guess it means he can have Power Attack or Cleave something to help negate that -2 to hit instead.


EWP(Bastard Sword) sounds like one of his requirements, so Shield Focus, EWP(Bastard Sword), and Dodge, plus take the Defender of the Society trait for +1 AC in Med or Heavy armor. I'm not certain he needs a 16 dex, since he's probably going to be wearing heavy armor; 13 (for Dodge) or 14 (for the extra +1) is probably enough.


Normally I'd agree, but since this is a level 1 character Scale Mail is the best he's gonna get, at least to start with, and the gentleman wants his AC to be somewhat higher than usual. Between a Bastard Sword and a Tower Shield he's already down 65gp, so Scale is the best armour he can have for now.

Later, with a Breast Plate he'll be able to keep his dex bonus and give him a slightly better than usual Touch AC...at least, until he can afford Full Plate. And with a Fighter's Armour Training it won't be wasted later, either. By Level 7 he can have the +9 of Full Plate and the +3 from his dex.

So, if he has a 16 dex (+3) plus Dodge (+1) plus Shield Focus (+1) plus the Defend of the Society Trait (+1) plus a Tower Shield (+4) and finally some Scale Mail (+5) he comes out a total AC of...25. At level one, that's none too shabby, although he is suffering from a -2 to hit. If he can find a cheap copy of the Adventurer's Armoury he could boost that by a further +1 with an Armoured Kilt for another 20gp.


You're right, I totally forgot about armor training. Armored kilts are unfortunately not PFS-legal.


Well, you might as well make it 14...I forgot Tower Shields have a Max of +2 Dex bonus. Whoops. It would kick in at level 3, though. And still, 24 AC could be worse.


He wasn't doing too badly with the (incorrect) Barbarian. He still has feats to pick up, and skill ranks to apply, before he becomes PFS-legal. He could easily get Heavy Armor Proficiency, and the main problem I saw -- lack of noncombat skills -- will go away once we apply the missing skill ranks.

As far as the gunslinger goes... that character will have to wait until he gets UC. Perhaps by then he'll want to play the Musket Master archetype; he really liked that. (The only problem I had with MM was that his character had hit 5th level, and I couldn't figure out anything to get with that new feat slot that would help him in ranged combat without sacrificing action efficiency. The feat progression went:

1: Point-Blank Shot
H: Precise Shot
B: Rapid Reload (muskets)
B: Gunsmithing
3: Rapid Shot
and then I was stuck. Manyshot requires bows (and a BAB of +6); Weapon Focus seemed like a little much, given that the class relies so heavily on ranged Touch AC.)


John-Andre wrote:

He wasn't doing too badly with the (incorrect) Barbarian. He still has feats to pick up, and skill ranks to apply, before he becomes PFS-legal. He could easily get Heavy Armor Proficiency, and the main problem I saw -- lack of noncombat skills -- will go away once we apply the missing skill ranks.

As far as the gunslinger goes... that character will have to wait until he gets UC. Perhaps by then he'll want to play the Musket Master archetype; he really liked that. (The only problem I had with MM was that his character had hit 5th level, and I couldn't figure out anything to get with that new feat slot that would help him in ranged combat without sacrificing action efficiency. The feat progression went:

1: Point-Blank Shot
H: Precise Shot
B: Rapid Reload (muskets)
B: Gunsmithing
3: Rapid Shot
and then I was stuck. Manyshot requires bows (and a BAB of +6); Weapon Focus seemed like a little much, given that the class relies so heavily on ranged Touch AC.)

Deadly Aim! It's power attack for ranged weapons, and pretty much the coolest thing ever.


Killstring wrote:
Deadly Aim! It's power attack for ranged weapons, and pretty much the coolest thing ever.

Uh doy. I did give him Deadly Aim, with the 4th level bonus feat that Gunslingers get.

So the feat path went:

Gunslinger, Musket Master
B: Gunsmithing
B: Rapid Reload (Muskets)
1: Point-Blank Shot
H: Precise Shot
3: Rapid Shot
B4: Deadly Aim
5: ...


John-Andre wrote:
Printouts were not an acceptable source material. As it looks like, our new Venture-Captain will maintain that policy.

Print outs were not disallowed by Clint and not by me either. They are called out as explicitly legal on the additional resources page. I don't carry much beyond the CRB and heavily rely on print outs from PDFs myself.

Let me be clear about the intent as well. The problem isn't with borrowing materials because it's easier than pulling your own book out of your bag. It does become an issue though if, for example, you don't show up one day and now Chuck can't access the rules to play his character.


I really wish I hadn't deleted that email...

I have a memory like a steel trap. Rusty and prone to mechanical error.


Quickdraw and Improved Initiative can be not only flavorful for a gunslinger, but also quite useful.

Ricochet Shot Deed is pretty awesome. The only downside is that Blind Fight is a prerequisite, and depending on how your games go, it is either highly useful, or a feat tax - your mileage may vary.


It's PFS, so it may or may not be an issue. I've seen situations in which a ricochet would have been handy -- but also, simply moving would also clear up the line of fire. However, given the requirement, and the fact that Chuck wouldn't get the full benefit until level 7 -- and he can't play the character anyway -- I'd probably rather have suggested Extra Grit.

However, the problem with Grit is that until level 7, it's fairly limited in usefulness. There are situations in which it becomes _awesome_ -- but until those situations arise, it's better to let it sit there and give you some nice passive bonuses.

Quickdraw could be useful, if it weren't Chuck. Chuck is not going to draw another weapon, he's going to keep blazing away with his musket. Improved Initiative, well, have I mentioned how often Chuck rolls 20's?


taking mobility at 5 would let you take shot on the run if that would fit his play style.

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