Pathfinder Deadliest Warrior


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Come on guys this doesn't have to be that hard.

1. 11th level
2. Multiclassing, Prestige classes and PHB races allowed.
3. Core, UC, UM, APG, ARG (No races... just Classes, items, alt racial featurs, ect).
4. Build must be legal.
5. Standard character WBL for level 11. Only magic times from allowed sources. No single item can cost more then half your wealth. No single consumable can cost more then 1/10 your starting wealth (820 gp). All items are up for review. Some items can be/will be banned as voted by the community such as incense and such. No partial magic item purchases. Wands, rods etc must be made/purchased full. Charges refunded at the end of the fight.
6. 3 rounds of prep time. Only pre-buffs allowed are those that are Hour/lvl.
7. Different battlefield maps rolled randomly as the battle begins. Maps are still being discussed, but should be varied and play off weaknesses and Strengths of class types.
8. No Leadership feat.
9. 20 Point buy. May pick two traits. No hero points. Average HP each level after first.

Its that simple. Its the closest example of what a REAL character would have in a NORMAL game. Limiting Magic items, no Prestige classes, or giving max HP would stray from what a real game would have. And creating rules to favor certain types (melee) defeats the whole point of the contest as your cheating in favor of a specific build.


cp wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
Casters should fight casters and martials should fight martials... so long as combat feats are allowed, I see no reason why feats such as the Eldritch Heritage feats can't be banned...

These are your ideas - they are not the OP's. Op stated any class should be eligible to participate.

If you wish to open your own thread, that thread might also be interesting. But generally speaking I think the more interesting competition as I said a couple of posts ago, is one where you allow people to make the character they want.

There are a lot of trade-offs in the game. You trade BAB for spellcasting, stealth or a dip in another class. You trade Nova ability vs straight line damage.

The point of the OP's competition I think is to determine, over a reasonable set of challenges, what character is the best.

What this arena-style contest fails to grasp is that characters weren't designed to be effective in one-on-one match-ups against other PC's... they were designed to handle a wide variety of challenges and threats. A skill-based character like a Bard who makes his entire party more effective in combat, keeps them alive through heals, negotiates and tricks his way past deadly threats, etc. might well be the most effective character in the game... and would get slaughtered in any arena style face-off.

Since the characters weren't designed to face similar challenges and situations but rather to complement one another, comparing like-to-like makes far more sense.


Wiggz wrote:
cp wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
Casters should fight casters and martials should fight martials... so long as combat feats are allowed, I see no reason why feats such as the Eldritch Heritage feats can't be banned...

These are your ideas - they are not the OP's. Op stated any class should be eligible to participate.

If you wish to open your own thread, that thread might also be interesting. But generally speaking I think the more interesting competition as I said a couple of posts ago, is one where you allow people to make the character they want.

There are a lot of trade-offs in the game. You trade BAB for spellcasting, stealth or a dip in another class. You trade Nova ability vs straight line damage.

The point of the OP's competition I think is to determine, over a reasonable set of challenges, what character is the best.

What this arena-style contest fails to grasp is that characters weren't designed to be effective in one-on-one match-ups against other PC's... they were designed to handle a wide variety of challenges and threats. A skill-based character like a Bard who makes his entire party more effective in combat, keeps them alive through heals, negotiates and tricks his way past deadly threats, etc. might well be the most effective character in the game... and would get slaughtered in any arena style face-off.

Since the characters weren't designed to face similar challenges and situations but rather to complement one another, comparing like-to-like makes far more sense.

Arena-style contest should never be used to defend the weakness/strength of a class because, as you pointed out, in game situations are much different. However they can be fun. And limiting it to a certain type of character is less fun imo. I would rather see all classes vs each other.


I would go 10th level over 11th.

3 rounds of prep time are insane. Really insane. 1 round prep time. No more. Maybe even none, because you might to buff in the arena as well due to the distance. Hybrids who can get 3 or 4 buffs before even entering the combat will just blow pure melees away. Shield + Displacement + Mirror Image and so on is really going to change the outcome of the fight dramatically

Furthermore no magic items that copy spells unless they're triggered by UMD.


Wasum wrote:

I would go 10th level over 11th.

3 rounds of prep time are insane. Really insane. 1 round prep time. No more. Maybe even none, because you might to buff in the arena as well due to the distance. Hybrids who can get 3 or 4 buffs before even entering the combat will just blow pure melees away. Shield + Displacement + Mirror Image and so on is really going to change the outcome of the fight dramatically

Furthermore no magic items that copy spells unless they're triggered by UMD.

I dont think you understand the point of all this. If your trying to find the deadliest class... if you are trying to see which class is the most powerful... an arena death match isn't going to do anything for you... no mater how many stipulations you place. This should be a good old fashion Death Match (for fun).

You have to simulate each at their normal OPTIMAL load out. Hybrids buff... that's how they fight. Most normal fights in pathfinder allow for buffing... either before you enter the room or dungeon... or during the fight. If you limit buffs your are catering to those classes that dont rely on buffs. Not to mention Melee can use potions and such to buff also.

Second there should be no limiting magic items. Why? In a normal game you wouldn't. Are you saying you dont want Fighters to have access to Fly? Rogues to Improved Invisibility? These are spells that melee usually use... and have items or consumables to replicate those spells.

The only stipulation on magic items should be the following.

Only magic times from allowed sources.
No single item can cost more then half your wealth.
No single consumable can cost more then 1/10 your starting wealth (820 gp).
All items are up for review. Some items can be/will be banned as voted by the community such as incense and such.
No partial magic item purchases. Wands, rods etc must be made/purchased full. Charges refunded at the end of the fight.
NO CUSTOM ITEMS.


Dragonamedrake wrote:

...*good stuff*...

Its that simple. Its the closest example of what a REAL character would have in a NORMAL game. Limiting Magic items, no Prestige classes, or giving max HP would stray from what a real game would have. And creating rules to favor certain types (melee) defeats the whole point of the contest as your cheating in favor of a specific build.

My vote goes to this, personally. Keeping it as close as possible to a real game is most effective. By level 10 or 11, a character sure ought to be making use of items to cover their weak points or they would have some major problems in a game.

That said, the one thing I am against is the prep time. Some classes will definitely benefit from that more than others. I think hour/level buffs or longer are fine to assume to be on, but otherwise it should depend on what the characters can do in battle. A wizard or cleric who wants to buff themselves for three rounds, and has the opportunity to do so, gets far more use out of that than a Barbarian who wants to rage, charge, and slaughter immediately. This would, in fact, favor them a lot, because the Barbarian will be most effective before they get any of those buffs on, but may be done for if they don't fell their opponent before they reach full power.

Dragonamedrake wrote:
You have to simulate each at their normal OPTIMAL load out. Hybrids buff... that's how they fight. Most normal fights in pathfinder allow for buffing... either before you enter the room or dungeon... or during the fight. If you limit buffs your are catering to those classes that dont rely on buffs. Not to mention Melee can use potions and such to buff also.

Related to what I said above, but even if most fights allow for buffing, not all fights allow for buffing. Doing so 'before entering a room or dungeon,' in this case, isn't really a legitimate thing, because this is essentially PVP. Neither combatant is going to be waiting in a dungeon for the other to enter when they are ready.

As for whether or not the classes are fighting at optimal strength... this is still important for addressing real drawbacks of a class/build. If a wizard gets knocked out in the first round of combat, that's a big problem with them, and it should be considered accordingly.

Actually, it might be worth doing both. Fights with prep time and fights without, to get something of a balance. A strict 'all fights will begin with X rounds of preparation' will mean a lot of different things to a lot of different characters.


Dragonamedrake wrote:

Come on guys this doesn't have to be that hard.

1. 11th level
2. Multiclassing, Prestige classes and PHB races allowed.
3. Core, UC, UM, APG, ARG (No races... just Classes, items, alt racial featurs, ect).
4. Build must be legal.
5. Standard character WBL for level 11. Only magic times from allowed sources. No single item can cost more then half your wealth. No single consumable can cost more then 1/10 your starting wealth (820 gp). All items are up for review. Some items can be/will be banned as voted by the community such as incense and such. No partial magic item purchases. Wands, rods etc must be made/purchased full. Charges refunded at the end of the fight.
6. 1 rounds of prep time. Only pre-buffs allowed are those that are Hour/lvl.
7. Different battlefield maps rolled randomly as the battle begins. Maps are still being discussed, but should be varied and play off weaknesses and Strengths of class types.
8. No Leadership feat.
9. 20 Point buy. May pick two traits. No hero points. Average HP each level after first.

Its that simple. Its the closest example of what a REAL character would have in a NORMAL game. Limiting Magic items, no Prestige classes, or giving max HP would stray from what a real game would have. And creating rules to favor certain types (melee) defeats the whole point of the contest as your cheating in favor of a specific build.

+1 to this. But 1 round of prep.

The Exchange

Wiggz wrote:

What this arena-style contest fails to grasp is that characters weren't designed to be effective in one-on-one match-ups against other PC's... they were designed to handle a wide variety of challenges and threats. A skill-based character like a Bard who makes his entire party more effective in combat, keeps them alive through heals, negotiates and tricks his way past deadly threats, etc. might well be the most effective character in the game... and would get slaughtered in any arena style face-off.

Since the characters weren't designed to face similar challenges and situations but rather to complement one another, comparing like-to-like makes far more sense.

Wouldn't it make sense, then, to have 2 different Arenas? I mean, why not have 1 set so that it's a 1-on-1 fight to the death, while the other one is a 4v4 or 3v3 game where 1's the melee, 1's the Divine caster, and 1's the Arcane caster? It would either take time to pull together people, or have 1 person create the 3/4 characters, in which they'd already be designed to fight well together.

I don't think we should allow the characters magic weapons. Mainly because if we have a Cavalier with a +2 longsword going up against a Barbarian with a +1 Icey Touch Longsword, we'll have different resaults, but if we have a Longsword wielding Cavalier against a Longsword wielding Barbarian, then we have a legitemate resault. I understand where you guys are coming from, Every game has magic items, but we are purely testing the capability of the classes, not seeing what items match better with the class, or having the player knowledge against each other. One person would know that a Fighter would want to have a Gloves of Dueling, but the other person might not know that a Druid's Vestimates even exists for his Druid.


1 Round of prep should be good. It gives hybrids time to at least get up their most important buff... and if they want more they will have to spend rounds of combat buffing. Seems fair.


I think we should have tournaments with 3v3. That could be fun XD


This sounds like it could be interesting. Are the builds going to be chosen at random? I assume no custom items, that would be silly.

Prep is an interesting subject. 1 round would allow others to buff and I guess that fighters could have potions and what not to buff themselves, but what about builds that do best by rushing their opponents?


i should hope magic items'd be in--it'd sure be a kick to the jewels for monks-who-are-not-archers


You'll never agree on the rules of combat, that much is obvious!

The Exchange

Actually I think the rules are pretty much agreed.. I'd leave the final consensus to the reffs but it looks to me as

11th level
magic items in
hours / level buff (but I'd be okay with 1 buff round)
PFS hit point rules....

I have three builds that could compete under those rules -I'm ok to go with one if people prefer.


I still think magic items should be left out, as well. It's an extra variable we don't need. Like people say--spending money on the magic item can totally change how the battle goes. Suddenly, it doesn't matter if my armored hulk barbarian has an optimized armor and greataxe that can dominate anyone in melee--if he gets pulled to face the ranger with any access to flight or levitation, the battle's over. Likewise, different magic abilities even on just weapons and armor could drastically alter how the battle goes.

If you're dead set on allowing magic items, then I'd suggest allowing only the absolute most vanilla ones: basic +x weapons and armor, +x stat-raisers, +x save raisers, that sort of thing. Allows you to get a better feel for what a character of that level would have in the way of gear, while also taking out the possibility of accidental cheese. And, after all, in an actual campaign, most of the magic items a character has are based on what they've found, crafted, or occasionally purchased in that specific campaign, for that specific character. If we're trying to play a generic fighter, or generic bladebound magus, or what-have-you, then special magic items should be right out.

The Exchange

1. Many classes have flight as a class feature. Without magic (aka potion of fly) your armored hulk just loses.

2. No one plays pathfinder magic item less. Magic items are as much a feature of the game as class is. Shall we all just play 11th level commoners? Cutting out magic items and you cut out participation of 3/4 of the classes and players.

Renders the concept of 'best' kind of moot.

3. Why not let people play whatever crazy build they want?

4. All magic can be bought by any player - so it isn't a question of accidental cheese thats the issue. There's as much care and thought that goes into your item choice as your classes and stats.


Alright, but that's not very realistic to how you're going to play the class in an actual game. It's my understanding that most GMs don't operate strictly on a wishlist system of magic items where given player A wants items X, Y, and Z, and will automatically receive or "find" them when the treasure based on treasure by encounter and/or wealth by level gives him/her enough gold to attain it.

Going to 3, I'm not arguing against builds. But the question of the build, for the purpose of seeing what class is the "best" or "deadliest," should be about feats, traits, skills, stats, etc. Picking and choosing what about your character makes them great, not what about their equipment makes them great. This is like the question of Tony Stark v. Iron Man--if the suit makes the man, you have to admit that he's not a superhero without the gear. Likewise, if your given build is only worth a flying flumph because of the magic items you manipulate, then I'm sorry, but it cannot be considered the "best" build outside of a vacuum.

As for magic items, there are indeed low-to-no-magic worlds out there; just look around. Certainly, it changes the style of play; in many ways, it makes it more realistic and cautious, because if you run in and get killed by those mercenaries, you CAN'T just run back to town and get resurrected. You're dead. As for doing this completely without magic items, as I said, I'd perfectly understand basic magics to raise attack, defense, even skills. But I don't think boots of striding and springing or different staves are a good basis for judging the strength of an actual class, archetype, or build.

Finally, I don't know how many classes get flight as a class feature. Certainly, many spellcasters can attain it, which again brings up the idea of separating magic-users from martial types. But I digress. The point I was trying to make is that niche items, or one-time-uses, can lead to classes that may dominate one, specific kind of warrior.... which would definitely skew results.

The general point I'm trying to make is that if this is supposed to actually mean anything, then we need to make sure we're not operating in a vacuum, where a given representative in the tournament has a predilection for absolutely dominating certain other types, but could completely flop if it ever went on a real adventure or faced an opponent of another type. The only way to avoid the latter is if every entry fights every other entry, which frankly seems a little ridiculous.

If this is all just for fun, you guys really ought to submit to DM Heterocephalus' arena campaign.


The thing is this game was not balanced for dueling. Magic items equalize the characters - the more items you have the less your class matters. Those classes who can naturally fly will completly lose this advantage when the opponent uses a potion of fly - even though having access to flight by class is way superior to just using a potion.

On the other hand, non-magic characters wont be able to compete anyway because their flight potion will be dispelled and thats about it. At least it would be like this. But due to people knowing about this (or at least now knowing about this) they will purchase 3 or 4 potions of flight. so idk, this is more like a theoretical duel that does not have anything to do with comparing classes or actual gameplay but with covering every weakness as good as possible. This instrumentalizes combinations of classes and items.

So yea, who wins that will be good at considering what is needed to defeat different types of characters - but it wont say anything about classes. One missing item can make the difference. one silly potion or scroll, wand or activation item can completely change the result of the fight - more than probably any class can (not saying classes do not matter because they do).


That may be true, but if you take magic items out, you don't need to hold this contest at all. Caster with greater invis and fly wins, end of story.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Removed a post. Please post civilly.


Very interesting, sure it will resolve pretty much nothing about the game. Mostly it's a build making contest. But that does not mean it is not fun, quite the opposite.

Some comments.

1) I would be inclined to say that consumables would not replenish, but the rule suggested of 1/10 of WBL should make that unimportant, because then getting replenished would not be that big of advantage. Also it takes away the option of 9th level scrolls and such things.

2) Leadership is a definate no go. Every character would take it, so the only difference would be charisma scores. Now that being said it would be kinda fun to see a arena fight with Leadership, mostly because of the followers not the cohort. Suddenly Bard looks real good, AoE spells are much more powerful etc. But PC as leader of small army would merit it's own thread.

3) Magic items should be included and no limits except based around WBL. Synergy with items is part of class. For example minor metamagic rods are much more appealing to casters who don't get 9 spell levels. Adaptive is mere 1000gp but to a barbarian that is +2 damage minium with bows if you dont want the penalties when out of rage.

4) Now this is iffy, but one could make the restriction that the character needs to be build so that it could concievably survive to the starting level. No good example comes to mind. Might be just more trouble than it's worth though.

5) Level 11 is better than 10, my reasons are. First any decent build should have come to it's own by this point. Full BAB get one extra attack versus 3/4, prepared casters benefit from the fact that they get new spell levels one level before the spontaneus.(This could be argued either way being better.) Most classes get something nice at this level.

6) Buffs, I think there should not be any time allowed to. That said some of the maps should have distance and terrain that allow for buffing. On the hour/lvl buffs being allowed on, I would like to consider little restriction on that. Perhaps say that it needs to be X hours, even if that is only 1. The idea is that there are 10min/lvl with 11th level that is 1 hour 50 minutes, why should that not be allowed if the wand of mage armor to monk is cool that only lasts 1 hour? This would also allow things like using extend spell have a meaning. This is from the hip but if wanting to make the added complexity I would say choose between 2, 3 and 4 hours as the limit. 2 is so that without at least some investment you don't get 10min/lvl(+1CL), 3 is investment(extend) and 4 is without rather dedicated investment they are a no go.(+1CL and extend minium)


I read through the the suggestions and revised the rules.


  • Level: 11th level seems to be the consensus.
  • Class: Single Class (with optional archetypes) only and no prestige classes. This will make it easier for the GMs to adjudicate legal characters and focus the contest on the best builds for classes. Maybe later contests can allow multi-class builds, but this first competition will be single class.
  • Allowed Material: Anything from Core, APG, UC, and UM. You can use Monster Feats from Bestiary if you qualify for them.
  • Magic items: allowed. No artifacts, cursed items, intelligent items, or custom items. (You can make wands, scrolls, armor, and weapons using the formulas and costs listed but nothing else.) The reason why is it would unfairly disadvantage fighters and other non-magical classes to go with all mundane equipment.
  • 82,000 gp starting funds (Level 11 WBL). You cannot buy anything after submitting your character.
  • Leadership: allowed. I don't want to start a slippery slope of banning feats. Also, some classes are naturally geared towards buffing others and having them do the fighting by proxy or in concert. However, Leadership in this contest only allows you to choose stock NPCs from the Gamemastery guide. You are not allowed to modify them in any way, This includes taking or giving them items. Cohorts must be level 9 or lower. See Allies below for additional information.
  • Allies: You can have no more than 2 allies with you. This includes any combination of familiars, eidolons, mounts, animal companions, cohorts, simulacrum, animated undead, and followers. Summoned non-eidolon creatures do not count towards this limit. This small change has to be done to prevent the duels from becoming overly long and tedious. I believe this limit would only adversely affect broodmaster summoners (should this be a concern?).
  • No hero points. They would add complexity and I have not seen anybody claiming their build depends on them.
  • Traits: 2 traits from the APG will be allowed.
  • Resting/Consumables: Since GM guidelines say that an equally matched encounter should use 25% of your resources, you must go 4 duels without resting or replenishing. Spell effects, beneficial or hostile, will continue to affect you for their full duration, with no time lost between duels, or until your 5th battle, whichever comes first. On the 5th duel, your character is reset to the state as originally entered. For example, a ninja uses his Invisible Blade ability in the first battle. His opponent also casts Bestow Curse on him. He is both invisible and cursed until the beginning to his 5th battle where his character is restored to be identical to his originally submitted stat block. This helps discourage, as one poster said it, contestants from "going nova" on every battle. If your build is a one-shot-wonder, it just isn't that great of a build.
  • Buff/Prep Time: The GM referee will roll for a 50/50% chance of 1 round of buffing or none. I read the arguments for and against buffing and I see this as having the best of both worlds.
  • Alignment: You can have any alignment allowed for your class. For this competition, in order to use abilities/spells/items with alignment descriptors/restrictions, you must be that alignment. For example, you must be evil or neutral to wield an unholy sword. You cannot be good and choose to accept the negative level. You must be neutral or good to summon a Hound Archon, and so on.
  • Crafting: Yes, you may craft your own items, however, you can only use 1 week of craft time and must take 10 on your craft check. This essentially lets you get a discount on some items.
  • Maps: It's sounding good and I like the maps having default lighting levels. There should be 8 maps and which one is randomly selected.
  • GM/Referees: I would like at least 3 to oversee duels and decide on characters.
  • Characters: Your build must be legal and uncontroversial. You must use the Paizo stat block format and include a breakdown of your math. Two of three GMs must agree it is legal. All characters must have unique names. Only 1 character per person.
  • Performance Combat: Two of the maps will have spectators that can be used for performance combat bonuses.
  • Ability Scores: 20 point buy [Thanks Third Mind]

Did I miss anything?


Point buy or rolled? Didn't see it in your line up, but I may have missed it.


Any other questions or suggestions?


I'll be posting a sample character in a couple of days. Also, anybody who wants to GM/referee, please let me know.

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