Super buff party!


Advice


I'm trying to build a party that, when combined, can boost each other far beyond what they could normally do. So far I have:

Freebooter ranger: +1 to attack and damage, +4 bonus for flanking
Order of the Dragon cavalier: +1 to attack, aid another gives +3
Nimble Guardian monk: +4 bonus to AC for an adjacent ally
Evangelist cleric: +1 to attack and damage, take Luck domain to give allies rerolls
Archivist helpful bard: +1 to AC and saving throws, take Helpful trait and use a whip to give +4 on Aid Another
Enhancement wizard: +2 to an ally's ability score, cast all the buffs
Visionary Researcher alchemist: allow allies to use mutagens
Fortune witch: spam Fortune hex to allow your allies rerolls

Are there any awesome buff builds that I'm missing? Would this party (even just the ranger, cavalier, cleric, and bard) just rip through standard adventures?

Liberty's Edge

I really don't think a party where every character is focused on buffing everyone else in the party would have any more success than a standard party.

Eventually, somebody actually has to focus on killing the enemy, and the problem is that the resources that go to focus on killing are instead being focused on buffing your allies.

Plus, early on, channeling is a very efficient way to heal the party - it's most crucial at level 1, when the evangelist misses out. Also, losing medium armor, especially at low-levels, is a pretty big deal unless you've got ridiculous point buy or have focused almost entirely on dexterity, which makes buffs on your cleric's attack and damage from other party members wasted, as he doesn't have the strength to capitalize. You could run an archer cleric, but archery is really feat-intensive, especially for a cleric (who doesn't get bows by default anyways). Also, Aid Another is a pretty useless ability so long as it takes a standard action, especially when it's soaking the standard of your beatsticks. Also, the Fortune hex could only work once per ally per day. You could get a war-trained mount and cackle all game long directing it as a free action, but that'll get you reprimanded by your DM pretty fast.

Focusing on buffs loses a lot of punch to each individual character, and I don't think it's worth it. If having an entire party like this focusing entirely on buffs achieves 10/10 buff effectiveness, then having just a specialist wizard and a vanilla cleric casting buffs will get you to 8/10 buff effectiveness and the rest of the party (and those two characters) has a lot of resources left over to more than make up the difference.

It's an interesting idea, but at first blush seems less effective than characters who are just solidly-built or optimized in their own right.


The melee characters aren't really making sacrifices as far as killing things go. The cavalier is using a swift action for his challenge. The freebooter uses a move action for his bane. The monk loses evasion for his defensive aid.

The cleric can either use a crossbow or worship Calistria and use a whip, which will allow it to attack from a decent range. The bard will also use a whip. The low damage from the whip is enhanced by the buffs.


I like the standard buffs in most cases, and being able to throw in additional buffs would be gravy so long as they don't require too many actions to bring into being.

Bard - inspire courage, good hope (can have both up in 1 round at level 7)
Wiz/Sorc/Alch - haste (in the right party, but we have 6 players and we like to slug it out with things so it's glorious for our group)
Cleric or Oracle - bless and/or prayer, weapon of awe (or awww as we like to quip)

Any other buffs are done as able/deemed necessary. This is just standard stuff, though, so not as dedicated as you are looking for.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

I suggest noting the buff bonus type, such as morale, dodge, etc to make sure you don't end up with things that don't stack.


Petty Alchemy wrote:
I suggest noting the buff bonus type, such as morale, dodge, etc to make sure you don't end up with things that don't stack.

Fair point - I believe all the ones I mentioned do stack, but maybe I should have included that info in the post.

Freebooter ranger: +1 untyped bonus to attack and damage, +4 bonus for flanking
Order of the Dragon cavalier: +1 circumstance bonus to attack, aid another gives +3
Nimble Guardian monk: +4 circumstance bonus to AC for an adjacent ally
Evangelist cleric: +1 competence bonus to attack and damage
Archivist helpful bard: +1 insight bonus to AC and saving throws
Enhancement wizard: +2 enhancement bonus to an ally's ability score
Visionary Researcher alchemist: allow allies to use mutagens (+2 alchemical bonus to a physical stat)

So yes, all of them stack as written.

Additionally,

cleric can cast:
Bless for a +1 morale bonus to attacks
Weapon of Awe for a +2 sacred bonus to damage
Magic Weapon for +1 to hit and +1 damage
Protection from X spells for +2 deflection to AC and +2 resistance to saves

wizard can cast:
Enlarge Person for boosted damage
Magic Weapon
Protection from X
Shield (+4 shield to AC)

Everything there stacks with ALL of the class features above.

And that's just at first level.


Definitely consider the Elven Void Mage. His debuff ability is tremendous elven favored class option allows them to use it almost at will. He also has an excellent group buff at 8th level that is the rarer 'insight' bonus so should stack with whatever else you've got going.

We ran a four-man group for second Darkness made up of a Human Arcane Duelist, an Elven Void Mage and Spellbinder, a Half-Elven Summoner and a Half-Elven Master Summoner. The buffs and de-buffs were flying fast and thick in that campaign!


Damocles Guile wrote:
Definitely consider the Elven Void Mage. His debuff ability is tremendous elven favored class option allows them to use it almost at will. He also has an excellent group buff at 8th level that is the rarer 'insight' bonus so should stack with whatever else you've got going.

Wow, with no saving throw that ability is almost too good to believe. And while I don't want to get too far into debuffing, the level 8 buff that stacks with everything means that you're on the team! That is better than Transmutation wizard for sure.


RumpinRufus wrote:
Damocles Guile wrote:
Definitely consider the Elven Void Mage. His debuff ability is tremendous elven favored class option allows them to use it almost at will. He also has an excellent group buff at 8th level that is the rarer 'insight' bonus so should stack with whatever else you've got going.
Wow, with no saving throw that ability is almost too good to believe. And while I don't want to get too far into debuffing, the level 8 buff that stacks with everything means that you're on the team! That is better than Transmutation wizard for sure.

Our version of it picked spells that reflected his connection with the darkness, silence and vacuum of space... particularly Blindness/Deafness and Suffocation, both of which worked well with the debuff ability, especially when Quickened. You should have plenty of casters though - buffs are nice but being able to pretty much gaurantee failed saving throws trumps a LOT.


Yeah that is pretty insane that you can use Reveal Weakness to drop their saves and AC with no save or SR and then use (a rod of) quicken to hit them with the real spell.

I guess it's not really useful in the early levels, but at later levels your opponent is going to be very surprised when their painstakingly forged defenses suddenly drop by 5-10 points and they're hammered with a volley of spells and swords.

Was there intended to be a Will save?


Don't forget the luck cleric alt. channel ability that allows a sacred bonus to an attack, save or skill roll to everyone in range during the turn following the channel (or a penalty to the baddies if you channel neg., but not sure if the alignment and domains match on that). Also there is an ability (can't remember what it is called offhand) that allows a +3 or higher on aid another (vs. +2) for the cleric standing behind the tank. That plus luck domain rerolls and channel bonuses (and being in range to heal) /add shield other spell is pretty awesome for a buffer.

I am making a PFS PC like this.


RumpinRufus wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:
I suggest noting the buff bonus type, such as morale, dodge, etc to make sure you don't end up with things that don't stack.

Fair point - I believe all the ones I mentioned do stack, but maybe I should have included that info in the post.

Freebooter ranger: +1 untyped bonus to attack and damage, +4 bonus for flanking
Order of the Dragon cavalier: +1 circumstance bonus to attack, aid another gives +3
Nimble Guardian monk: +4 circumstance bonus to AC for an adjacent ally
Evangelist cleric: +1 competence bonus to attack and damage
Archivist helpful bard: +1 insight bonus to AC and saving throws
Enhancement wizard: +2 enhancement bonus to an ally's ability score
Visionary Researcher alchemist: allow allies to use mutagens (+2 alchemical bonus to a physical stat)

Unless this is for a one shot first level adventure (in which case the monk and alchemist get you nothing) you can do better.

The Void wizard has been mentioned already.

Witches are better at debuffing than buffing. A no save debuff is as good as a buff and the first round of evil eye has no save. It's like aid another on AC at range, but with the possibility of lasting. Or like aid another on spellcasting for everyone targeting the monster that turn if used against saves. At level 8 it's like aid another twice.

Your Evangelist can stand to be dipped in fighter. It'll help with feats and weapon selection and unless you plan to wind up in elven chain or celestial armor will help with AC. It's particularly tempting for a human or dwarf (human to have +1 BAB to qualify for better stuff with the human bonus feat, dwarf because they suffer no penalty for heavy armor and therefore want to wind up in adamantine full plate in the long run.

The visionary researcher is still subject to the one mutagen at a time limit without Infuse Mutagen, and Infuse Mutagen costs significant amounts of money and int damage. I think Swift Alchemy might be a better party benefit.

If you have a fixed party size you're trying to fill out you might replace the alchemist with a second Cavalier. Tactician will stack with itself as long as the two cavaliers are providing different teamwork feats.

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