Only Melee PC...


Advice

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Ok, so the rest of my group has decided to be either ranged classes (a crossbow wielding ranger, a sniper rogue) or a spellcaster (our cleric) and that leaves us open to melee...badly. Our GM warned us that we WILL be screwed when when he throws them at us, so I want to go melee...but I have NO idea how to go about this, because I'm essentially gonna be taking the hits from most of the melee enemies. Any ideas on what kind of build I could go for?


Paladin is the most durable class in the game. Barbarians are second. Paladins get letters hp, but can heal themselves. Barbarians get so many hps that you can normally outlast the enemy.
Fighters are versatile and consistent. Rangers bring the most to the table. Cavaliers are somewhere between rangers and fighters when it comes to combat and out of combat scenarios.


Summoners are pretty good at melee, especially early on.

The Eidolon can fight effectively in melee combat, and the summoner can go counter-melee relatively well, using spells like communal mount to prevent enemies from charging, or buffs like haste to either help keep the group out of reach of enemies, or to just allow them to mete out more fire than they ordinarily would.

Once you hit higher levels, the ranger and rogue will appreciate having another person to throw dispel magic at fickle winds.


I had considered Paladins and Summoners, but we're running a VERY low magic campaign...it took convincing for the GM to allow our cleric. As for the Cavalier, I see mounted characters as a liability, because if my mount dies I am crippled. Barbarian seems like a good idea in a way, though


NaturalSuccess wrote:
I had considered Paladins and Summoners, but we're running a VERY low magic campaign...it took convincing for the GM to allow our cleric. As for the Cavalier, I see mounted characters as a liability, because if my mount dies I am crippled. Barbarian seems like a good idea in a way, though

Cavaliers don't need to focus on their mount. Tactician along with challenge, and the bonus feat make them just as viable in combat as a paladin. The mount, if nothing else, can carry your loot in a low magic campaign where bags of holding are unavailable.


In that case, fighter is probably one of the best options.

Go sword and shield with two weapon fighting, and eventually shield slam for the ability to reposition enemies while still fighting them, and if you can slam them into a wall with an attack of opportunity, completely halt their movement.

Shield bashing is a pretty feat intensive build, but it's probably going to be the best option for mixing battlefield control, durability, and respectable damage at the same time in a game without magical effects.


That is true, but I'm also anticipating quite a bit of indoors activity, and the mount would be rather useless waiting outside while the rest of the party and I attempt to deal with whatever we need to deal with.


NaturalSuccess wrote:
That is true, but I'm also anticipating quite a bit of indoors activity, and the mount would be rather useless waiting outside while the rest of the party and I attempt to deal with whatever we need to deal with.

If the mount is just there to handle loot and carry extra weight and/or your banner the maneuverability becomes a non factor imo since you aren't going to focus on charging. The hunt master archetype may be useful to you.


Hmm...that's kinda interesting...how would a build of that archetype look?


NaturalSuccess wrote:
Hmm...that's kinda interesting...how would a build of that archetype look?

How do you want it to look? You can two weapon fight, or two hand a big weapon. Archery, really anything. Full bab and challenge makes you more than competent in combat regardless of how you use your mount. Also you get at least one bonus feat.


Screw melee, make a Control wizard who wins initiative and stops melee from happening.


Pupsocket wrote:
Screw melee, make a Control wizard who wins initiative and stops melee from happening.

Low magic campaign.


How about a brawler fighter, with a shield? Brawlers get the most out of their replacement for weapon training, getting +1 to hit, and +3 to damage as early as 3rd level (compared to the +1/+1 of other archetypes at level 5). That kind of numbers makes TWF a very attractive build. The fact that it applies to shields means you will not have to worry too much about soaking up damage and giving it back out. For an off hand weapon, I am inclined to suggest the cestus, which is kind of like a mix of a boxing glove and Hellraiser's overmit. It has the same basic stats of a dagger, which makes it one of the better weapons of the close weapons group.

Another key feature is that they make good lock down specialists. That means you will be able to waylay anything that tries to go for the squishies. It also means that you can get in plenty of full attacks (with all those attractive static bonuses). And while you are next to these enemies, you will have threatening stance going on. That means that they experience drops in their attack rolls and concentration just because you are standing there, which will be appreciated by the group.


I'd go mad dog barbarian, huntmaster cavalier or wildshape druid.
All of them are good at melee and bring a second melee in form of their companion onto the battlefield.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

How does Low Magic hurt a spellcaster?

Has the traditional meaning of this term changed?


You could ask the cleric to make sure he has plenty of hit points so he can cast shield other on you.

The Ranger could take Boon Companion and have a decent fighting pet.

The Cleric could summon monster to aid you in melee, and provide a flanking buddy for the Rogue so he doesn't feel the need to always use his bow.

I recommend you play an Inquisitor. They have decent armour, decent damage output, decent saves and judgement customization.

Or

An Oracle [battle, metal, wood] that can do a decent job in melee and summon your own monsters to aid you.

Or [if you feel like dishing out some payback]

A Druid focused on summoning, with a defensive pet, and just stand even further back than everyone else!

[I'm not a big fan of archery type builds in small groups [less than 5]. It seems a bit selfish - I'm playing a full bab dude who stands at the back, someone else can deal with the front line... who? the wizard!, the rogue!]


low magic i would consider running :-)

i would however argue a Magus because you dont have anny arcane class.

but if its not alowed go for barbarrian or fighter they are best in low magic


i would +1 the huntmaster cavalier it is every close to a one man party. if built right you will end up not needing another melee pc


Kyras Ausks wrote:
i would +1 the huntmaster cavalier it is every close to a one man party. if built right you will end up not needing another melee pc

Same could be said about a sylvan [fey] Sorcerer with an Animal companion, one man army!


blackbloodtroll wrote:

How does Low Magic hurt a spellcaster?

Has the traditional meaning of this term changed?

It hurts a spellcaster because their DM isn't allowing heavy spellcasting characters from what I gathered. Apparently it took them forever to actually get the cleric allowed.

NaturalSuccess wrote:
I had considered Paladins and Summoners, but we're running a VERY low magic campaign...it took convincing for the GM to allow our cleric. As for the Cavalier, I see mounted characters as a liability, because if my mount dies I am crippled. Barbarian seems like a good idea in a way, though


I don't think a GM should throw things that need heavy melee if your group doesn't have one. At least a good GM shouldn't do that, it just kills the fun. Unless that encounter means something in the story. Every player should allow to be what they want to be. Just because it has low magic, doesn't mean you can't have it. Or you can be the only one who has it, makes it even more interesting.

Anyway, if you want to go the most melee of all melee, you should go fighter. Fighter would give you best AC, to hit and melee damage late game.

If you want to take down few ankle bitters in one swing, go barbarian. Damage reduction makes those little bolts and arrows from short bow and hand crossbow seems nothing. On top of that, you will have better will save than fighter.

If your GM allows, Paladin would be the best I guess. Heavy armor with self heal ability, able to cast spell and deal decent damage. Best choice for a leader in a group.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Freebooter/Trapper Ranger.

Switch Hitter.

You can handle melee, contribute in ranged, pump yourself and allies, handle traps, stay away from "too much casting" and have the skills to contribute outside of combat.

The Exchange

I'm putting in a vote for Mad Dog Barb also....or a class with a pet. Doubling your melee ability is a good idea if you are the only frontliner and the massive hit points and rage abilities will really be helpful.


A Fighter of some flavour with a weapon with the reach and trip property, such as a Guisarme to give you a bit of reach in case the enemy wants to get by you to attack the squishies/ranged types (use a Cestus or Spiked Gauntlet for those nearby). Combat Reflexes and a relatively good Dex for more AoOs along with Stand Still (for those moving past adjacent squares and Combat Expertise/Improved Trip (for those within reach of the polearm) to keep opponents from getting past you. If you go with an archetype, try to pick one that keeps armor training so that you can still have some mobility if you have to go if anyone actually does gets by you.

I suppose you could also look at a Monk with the Flowing Monk archetype with a reach weapon for it's immediate action reposition maneuver, but it doesn't work for allies until 4th and it's an immediate action so it only works once a round.


A Paladin with the Warrior of the Holy Light Archetype may work even in the low magic campaign. Since it is not a spell caster the DM may allow it. You also get more lay on hands which makes it even more durable. Combine it with Oath of Vengeance for more smites.


Hmmm....stuart haffenden suggested inquisitor. They also can get animal companions if they take the right domain.

I note that we have a strong impulse to go towards animal companions here, huh? Do we feel that his party is in that much of need for meatshields?

Scarab Sages

lemeres wrote:

Hmmm....stuart haffenden suggested inquisitor. They also can get animal companions if they take the right domain.

I note that we have a strong impulse to go towards animal companions here, huh? Do we feel that his party is in that much of need for meatshields?

It's not so much meat shields as it is battlefield control and action economy. It's asking a lot of a single front line character to do all the work clogging charge lanes and such. That extra body provided by the AC gives the ranged characters an extra round or two, and can also provide flanking for the solitary guy in front.

It also gives the option of getting a melee character back to defend the ranged cohort when inevitably the enemies in front were cover for the invisible melee guy to step in from behind. With only one frontline, there is no one to disengage to pull back and help.


I think go Fighter and get lots of feats for defense and to stop enemies from getting past you.

Feats like Combat Reflexes, Stand Still, and Improved Trip would keep enemies from getting past you to the ranged people. A weapon with reach that you can trip with would be helpful. Something like a Guisarme or a Hooked Lance would be good for that. If you want to use a shield then you could go with a light flail to still get your tripping use.

Or go with a pet class like Ranger to get a little more control of the line but focus on the same kinds of control feats.


How low magic are we talking?

Assuming it's also a low WBL game too(no wizards mean no loot usually), monk. I think Monks perform well in a vacuum vacuum of magical gear. Their AC is decent, Crane & Deflect will give you good attack attack mitigation in aaddition to a grab bag of other abilities.

Otherwise, just go Barb/Fighter as suggested.


How about a whip and shield dex based fighter? You get the shield & dex for AC, nice if you're expected to take all the hits for the party, and whip is the finesse one-handed reach weapon. Human is pretty much the only race because you need so many feats early on, and you need some means of getting whip proficiency, my recommendation is the heirloom weapon trait (whip).


Darth Grall wrote:
Assuming it's also a low WBL game too(no wizards mean no loot usually), monk. I think Monks perform well in a vacuum vacuum of magical gear. Their AC is decent, Crane & Deflect will give you good attack attack mitigation in aaddition to a grab bag of other abilities.

Monk is probably good here because it sounds like

1) They're going to be lucky to get masterwork items.

2) His character is going to get targeted a lot & expected to intercept all enemies before they get near any of his more dainty party members. So high AC & good speed will help.


For animal companion, something that has trip looks like it might be good in this situation, since that helps to limit the enemies' action economy.

Wolves can be a good, classic choice, especially since they can become large sized as early as level 5 if you get boon companion, which means they would have an easier time tripping the higher size categories.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

A ranger can switch hit and the cleric can stand toe-to-toe.

Monks do not perform better in a low-magic campaign than anyone else. Monks perform well in a low-magic-but-also-low-weapon-and-armor-availability campaign.


low magic make those who posses magic so much better...
so, a inquisitor > cleric/oracle/magus etc.
and the best 2:
druid and summoner

Scarab Sages

Yeah, I'd go with either a Brawler Fighter, Monk, or an Unarmed Fighter/Monk. Depending on style feats and maneuvers, they car all very good at controlling the battlefield though lockdown of targets to make sure the rest of the party doesn't get overwhelmed.

Also depending on build, the cleric can be quite useful in melee, especially if they take the Crusader archetype.


A Halfling or Gnome caviler solves the problem of having a mount indoors and the wolf's trip ability is really nice at low levels. If you focus more on control then damage a trip build would be the way to go. It takes a while but the bodyguard archetype for you animal would allow it to take some hits for you that you can negate with a ride check.

Since you are front line by your self, reach plus combat reflexes plus lockdown capability will go a long way. A pet that can do this as will not hurt anything either.


I second monk. If possible, try to get a reach weapon and focus a bit on tripping - don't overinvest in it as many opponents may be immune, but putting a feat or archetype or two can be very useful. Monks can be quite useful at controlling the battlefield, especially against an army of mooks which is probably what you're up against - that's the main reason for needing a good melee in my experience.


Sword and Board high AC fighter or Paladin, you are the barrier that makes the two archers have any chance of being a viable party offensive strategy. Also if your dm allows teamwork feats there is an excellent one to give each archer an attack of opportunity when the other hits - note that is teamwork not magic.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, if Bard is fine, then what about a Dawnflower Dervish Bard, with Eldritch Heritage for an Arcane Bond Scimitar.

You won't be "too magic", and you will have one of best weapons of your group.


strayshift wrote:
Sword and Board high AC fighter or Paladin, you are the barrier that makes the two archers have any chance of being a viable party offensive strategy. Also if your dm allows teamwork feats there is an excellent one to give each archer an attack of opportunity when the other hits - note that is teamwork not magic.

The risk with this - the combination of lack of reach and low mobility will mean many many opponents will simply ignore/go around the fighter to target the more offensive characters.

To work effectively as a "tank", you need to either be a major threat if not targeted, or be more maneuverable than your opponents (either by being maneuverable yourself or by reducing their movement - hence tripping or monking or both).


Or either pouncing or pseudo pouncing. There are archetypes for fighter for example that can perform conditional pounces. Good examples include the mobile fighter and the fighter's dawnflower dervish. At level 11, both of these can combine a move with a full attack, minus the highest BAB hit.

Mobile fighter might be good, since it retains the first two armor trainings, which allow you to ignore the speed penalties for medium and heavy armor respectively. Bit annoying that you HAVE to move 5 feet to get the bonuses from weapon training though, but since you are the only real melee character, you might not mind how troublesome flanking would be with that condition.


NaturalSuccess wrote:
Ok, so the rest of my group has decided to be either ranged classes (a crossbow wielding ranger, a sniper rogue) or a spellcaster (our cleric) and that leaves us open to melee...badly. Our GM warned us that we WILL be screwed when when he throws them at us, so I want to go melee...but I have NO idea how to go about this, because I'm essentially gonna be taking the hits from most of the melee enemies. Any ideas on what kind of build I could go for?

Had this same situation crop up in my home game, and it's surprisingly common in the PFS sessions I've attended too. It seems that frontline fighters are becoming an endangered species.


Sorry I haven't responded to these great suggestions. I've been rather busy with other stuff. At any rate, I do thank all of you for your feedback. In other news, my GM has allowed me to be either a Paladin or a Druid. With these two new options, which seems to be the best option?


I'd vote paladin.


I'd go Pally as well.

I'm a bit late to the suggestion box, but I'll throw out the Mr. Hyde Alchemist, with stuff like enlarge person and haste, plus their mutagens they can kick it up at the front line.

Shadow Lodge

Since you're the only melee, I'd focus on taking care of #1 first:

STR:14 INT:12
DEX:14 WIS:07
CON:14 CHA+17 ...20py buy human, paladin favored class

01 fighter [dragoon:(Mounted Combat)(Skill Focus:Ride)], EWP:Faucard, Combat Reflexes

...your bases are covered mounted and on foot (where you're wielding the grooviest melee weapon in the game).

02 cavalier [gendarme](Ride By Attack)]

...you'll own an ordinary warhorse; don't sweat your GM's emphasis on indoor adventures, because quadruped mounts are just low-level life insurance.

03 paladin (CRB archetype), Power Attack
04 pala2 [Divine Grace], CHA>18 (+4 all saves)

...rationale: just because the PCs are low magic doesn't means the NPCs are. Paladin keeps you ahead of the curve

07 pala5 [Weapon Bond], Quickdraw

...Quickdraw means you never miss a full attack at BAb6+ due to a solitary adjacent enemy going down on your first attack. (Avoid buying a masterwork shield until now unless it's a light quickdraw shield.)

09 pala7 Leadership (pegasus or giant owl cohort)

...if the campaign is still going, the GM has probably loosened up by this point. So, mount up a flying badass.


By the way we rolled stats. I got 18, 17, 16, 15, 13, 13
Nice stats, if I do say so. As for the mount, GM pretty much said that mounted combat isn't really worth it in this campaign, because there won't be very many opportunities for a charge. Using the horse as a life insurance policy is ok I guess...but we're starting at level 2 with 1000 gold, so it would be rather expensive to keep horses around as fodder, and to feed the thing.
Also, the entire campaign is low magic; NPCs as well as PCs. Magic items will be painfully rare and expensive, which is why I was thinking a Hungry Ghost/Master of Many Styles/Quingong Monk for a bit.

Shadow Lodge

KingmanHighborn wrote:
I'm a bit late to the suggestion box, but I'll throw out the Mr. Hyde Alchemist, with stuff like enlarge person and haste, plus their mutagens...

His GM is running a low magic campaign...probably (I'm just guessing) because some of the "non-medieval" classes are annoying the piss out of him as they mess with the atmosphere of his conception of a Tolkeinesqe fantasy world, which alkies and synths front and center for scorn. (I wouldn't advise making a gunslinger either for that reason, even thought they're non-magical.)


I'd go with a Paladin with those stats, assuming you'll regularly be fighting evil.

He can't complain about the small bits of magic a Paladin has if he allowed a friggin' cleric.

I don't think a Monk will do as well as people think. They still have a relatively poor BAB compared to full BAB classes. Also, they can't use masterwork weaponry (which should be available, as it is utterly mundane).

The main argument for Monk is AC, but that doesn't help all that much if you don't have magic to boost the AC stats. Otherwise it really just makes up for not having armor.

That said, I don't really get low magic games unless they end by level 6 or so. Otherwise the fact BAB scales with level but AC doesn't is going to get everyone killed (appropriate monsters for that don't exist).

Shadow Lodge

NaturalSuccess wrote:
By the way we rolled stats. I got 18, 17, 16, 15, 13, 13. Nice stats, if I do say so.

Oh, gosh, no; 53pt buy just won't do.

STR+20, CHA:17, DEX:16, CON:15, WIS/INT 13/13.

Quote:
As for the mount, GM pretty much said that mounted combat isn't really worth it in this campaign, because there won't be very many opportunities for a charge.
Assuming you can actually sit on a mount at any point, you only need 10' movement to charge. But if he's strongly hinting "never", then delay the dragoon and gendarme dips to coincide with Leadership later on.
Quote:
Also, the entire campaign is low magic; NPCs as well as PCs. Magic items will be painfully rare and expensive, which is why I was thinking a Hungry Ghost/Master of Many Styles/Quingong Monk for a bit.

Low-level monks are very fun in pirate-ship type campaigns where everybody is always crammed together like sardines (and no one wears metal armor), but have problems elsewhere (miserable AC until Ki), and some of their best abilities (such as Evasion) will seldom see use in a low-magic campaign. You'll also be unable to "buy your way out of suck with magic items" (which is why, if you do monk, I'd recommend Four Winds so at least your damage sorta keeps up)

But no low-level monk is going to out-damage or out-survive a STR20/DEX16 Combat Reflexes heavy armor tank with an 18-20 threat d10 reach/trip weapon who has Smite and Power Attack by 3rd at the latest.

Also, monks don't have Diplomacy on their class list, which means they're typically not yukking with the NPCs much. Something to consider.

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