I'm considering rolling up a reach weapon type something for PFS, but never having used reach weapons (as a player) I'm not sure what to do. Are there any good builds someone could point me to or otherwise some handy advice? I'm not necessarily looking for an optimized build, just something fun. Perhaps something with a naginata.
|Chris P. Bacon|
A couple of considerations:
You'll need a way to threaten the squares adjacent to you, to control your area in addition to the reach weapon, and,
You probably really, really want the combat reflexes feat.
Both really good starting points. I also <3 the lunge feat for getting the most out of your reach.
If you have access to martial weapons, spiked armor is a good way to threaten adjacent tiles (or the dwarven boulder helmet, but I find it kinda silly). Unarmed strikes will also work, particularly if you want to be a monk or something, though it's hard to actually get the monk reach weapons without dipping into something like ninja.
Yet another way is to go for a fighter with the phalanx soldier archetype for the ability to use a polearm one-handed while gripping a shield in the other hand. This gives you the rare opportunity to use TWF with both a reach and non-reach weapon, which is neat once you can get shield slam to push adjacent targets back into your polearm's range.
If you're into spellcasting, here is a link to a thread about clerics with reach weapons; I find it pretty nifty.
Another idea that seems popular is to put together a bard (typically arcane duelist, but it could be anything) with the flagbearer feat and (funds permitting) a banner of the ancient kings. It's a great, simple support build, if you can wrap your head around the idea of stabbing people with what amounts to a pointy flag pole.
You can go with the while threatening adjacent and reach threaten but there is an alternative to this that actually becomes fairly powerful in the later levels when full attacks are lethal (assuming you're in a campaign with mostly humanoid enemies. If it grows into a large+ creature campaign I suggest you take this as a fighter feat to retrain). This allows you to attack your enemy, knock them back, and force them to move 10 feet to get back at you, provoking an attack of opportunity. Now add a trip weapon and improved trip. This really looks good for the Sohei since they can get improved trip without the prereqs.
Fighter (Lore Warden)
-Stats (20 point buy)-
DEX 17 (+2 racial)(+5 leveling)(+6 item) = 30
01 Exotic Weapon Prof Scorpion Whip, Weapon Focus Scorpion Whip, Weapon Finesse
02 Combat Expertise, Whip Mastery
05 Improved Whip Mastery
06 Spring Attack
07 Whirlwind Attack
09 Piranha Strike
10 Weapon Specialization
11 Greater Weapon Focus
12 Greater Weapon Specialization
13 Improved Trip
14 Greater Trip
15 Combat Reflexes
16 Two-Weapon Fighting
17 Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
18 Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
19 Penetrating Strike
20 Greater Penetrating Strike
Its not a naginata but the whips are a very effective reach weapon that threatens 10ft and can attack with at 15ft. When using Whirlwind Attack combined with lunge that is a 20ft aoe attack against all around u.
|Chris P. Bacon|
How about the sohei archetype for monk? Spiked armor sounds fun, but I think I like the idea of unarmed strikes more, and a level of monk would give me the most flexibility there.
The sohei is okay, but it's real strength is in mounted combat. I completely discounted the sohei the first time I read it, until it dawned on me that monk bonus feats do not have to meet prerequisites... Good morning, level one Spirited Charge, and level two Mounted Skirmisher, how do you do? Won't you come in and have a seat on my character sheet? ^___________^ I love to dip into Cavalier long enough to grab Horse Master; or, if you are just dipping into the sohei, take it up to 4th and then grab Boon Companion instead.
If that sort of thing interests you, the combination of your mount's attacks plus your own unarmed strikes makes you very deadly in close quarters. And of course you're great with a reach weapon, too, whether it's a lance or a naginata or a monk weapon of some kind.
I would do the build as a Fighter. Go for Lunge and Whirlwind Attack to sweep a wide area (and note you can 5 ft step in the middle of your Whirlwind Attack). And Combat Reflexes, of course. Towards the end of PFS, you get to pick up Pin Down and Dazing Assault to make your AoOs much more dangerous, and your WWA more dangerous (in the case of Dazing Assault).
I like the Mobile Fighter archetype so at 11 you can Whirlwind Attack on the move just by not attacking the guy closest to you, though I guess in PFS Mobile Fighter (along with any archetype that loses Weapon Training, even if they get something functionally the same) is underpowered because they wouldn't let you benefit from Gloves of Dueling.