Need ideals for a PFS character based on this Mercenary General mini.


Advice

Lantern Lodge

I managed to get my hands on a Mercenary General mini from the D&D Desert of Desolation, and I'm totally in love with it.

Can anyone help me come up with a character ideal/s that fits this mini's look?
I currently thinking of Paladin, Lore Warden fighter, Magus, Ranger or a Prestige Class.


He's unarmoured (though could easily be light armour underneath), using a one-handed sword (looks like a sabre, which could be a rapier or scimitar). He also looks quite well dressed, so maybe more of an urban theme rather than wilderness.

Perhaps a dervish-dancing, scimitar-using magus?

Lantern Lodge

Dervish Dance looks really nice! Any advice on the 2/3 bab? I notice magus users in PFS games seems to have a hard time landing hits.


I think the Magus Arcane Pool bonus goes someway to helping with the base attack issue.

To be fair I haven't played a magus but there are some great guides on here I believe - just search for magus guide or scimitar magus.


How about a Dawnflower Dervish archetype for bards? It gets dervish dance as a bonus feat at level 1, and it alters some of the key buff performances so that they are almost as good as rage for damage (Battle Dance makes it so that inspire courage only works on you, but you get double the bonuses, which means a +2 to attack and damage at level 1)

Sure that is only for 4+CHA rounds per day at level 1, but the Dawnflower Dervish has enough room to spare for a high CHA in point buy since they only use STR for carrying capacity and such. Plus you do not have to deal with that fatigue stuff Barbarians have to deal with, so you can decide when to start and stop performing. It takes a move action to start, but by the time you would want to full attack with 3/4 bab, you would have enough perform rounds to spare.

Lantern Lodge

@lemeres,

Here is where I am a little torn, the Dawnflower Dervish looks really cool, but when I saw the Freebooter Ranger... the Freebooter makes the Dawnflower looks bad.

While the Dawnflower gets a great boost at the start, the Freebooter can SHARE his buff, the bonuses stack with everything as it is untyped and the Freebooter gets unlimited uses of it! :o

I can't make up my mind... T_T


Darn, there is a certain point in that. I mean, you are working off of a mercenary general. Dawnflower dervish does make an excellent swashbuckling vigilante, but it is ultimately more selfish than just a regular bard since it hoard all those pluses.

Plus there is generally not as much support for using a one handed weapon one handed. With a ranger, you could use your style feats to TWF (maybe with akukri in the off hand so you have double 18-20/x2) or take archery and play as a switch hitter.

So, close your heart to the pain as you go forth and become a leader of men! *cue dramatic poses and sad orchestra music*


Duelist, Lorewarden, Magus or a highborn Rogue could all be fitting for this dude IMO.


Although I suppose we should not necessarily restrict ourselves to which classes are 'supposed' to use scimitars. I mean, it is a weapon you can two hand and it has 18-20 critical threat range. I somewhat doubt that the actual damage dice matter that much. Any strength build would do well with it

So, since we want something in light armor, and I see that he has something of a robe (which could be interpreted as desert style clothing), how about a nice, solid brick of an invulnerable rager barbarian? You would have appropriate thematic reasons for picking the resistance towards fire. The light armor would do well in allowing you to keep fast movement's benefits, and the DR would more than make up any defensive deficiencies.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'd also add Arcane Duelist for the bard love. If you go half elf you can take Ancestral Arms as an alt race trait and then weapon finess an aldori dueling sword. (Assuming APG and ARG of course)

"trying to give away all my secrets?" - Mayim

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

what about lore warden 5/master of many styles 2/duelist?
only 1 below full BAB; add Dex, Wis, and (eventually) Int to AC... take snake for one of your styles, weapon finesse and dervish dance, and the 2wpn fighting feats- RAI this is probably a no-no but RAW you can gain all the benefits of Dervish Dance and the Duelist abilities (like precise strike) with off-hand piercing unarmed strikes, in addition to with your scimitar!

take lore warden lvl 1-2, spend 2nd level feat on Dervish Dance and from them on you'll only need Str for carrying capacity (and only really until you get muleback cords or a handy haversack), and you can completely dump Cha. if Aasimar can grow beards, Plumekith is probably the way to go... otherwise, i don't know- the mini looks human.

Lantern Lodge

@lemeres, aawwwww... nooo!!! We got way too much barbarian love in my local chapter. Everyone is dipping into barbarian for rage.

Not to mention the last invulnerable rager barbarian player has made a name as a high damage, Adamantium hammer bashing, kill anything, always play up character.
People are going to say I'm copying that character! :P

@nate lange,

Interesting... I kinda like it... but why 5 levels of Master of Many Styles? Would not 2 be better as a dip?

Please help with a lvl by lvl breakdown? :)

Grand Lodge

I suggest the OP fix the thread title. That should be 'ideas' not 'ideals'.

Lantern Lodge

Dennis Deadsky wrote:
I suggest the OP fix the thread title. That should be 'ideas' not 'ideals'.

Sorry about the typo. But its too late to change it... :(

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

perhaps my notation was not clear enough, my suggestion would look as follows if broken down level by level:
1- lore warden 1; 1- weapon finesse, f1- dodge
2- lore warden 2; f2- dervish dance, bonus- combat expertise
3- master of many styles 1; 3- two weapon fighting, m1- snake style
4- master of many styles 2; m2- snake fang
5- lore warden 3; 5- combat reflexes
6- lore warden 4; f4- mobility
7- lore warden 5; 7- improved two weapon fighting
8+- duelist

at 8th level you get 2 attacks with your scimitar and 2 unarmed strikes (all of which use your dex for attack rolls and damage, and all of which gain 1 point of precision damage)... plus every time someone misses you it provokes an AoO (which you should get plenty of).


nate lange wrote:
(all of which use your dex for attack rolls and damage, and all of which gain 1 point of precision damage

I am a bit confused.

1. How do you get the dex to damage with your unarmed strikes?
2. The dualist gives precision damage only for light or one-handed piercing weapons. The scimitar is not ligth nor a piercing weapon. So i think this will not work? Or did i miss something?

Breiti

Lantern Lodge

nate lange wrote:

perhaps my notation was not clear enough, my suggestion would look as follows if broken down level by level:

1- lore warden 1; 1- weapon finesse, f1- dodge
2- lore warden 2; f2- dervish dance, bonus- combat expertise
3- master of many styles 1; 3- two weapon fighting, m1- snake style
4- master of many styles 2; m2- snake fang
5- lore warden 3; 5- combat reflexes
6- lore warden 4; f4- mobility
7- lore warden 5; 7- improved two weapon fighting
8+- duelist

at 8th level you get 2 attacks with your scimitar and 2 unarmed strikes (all of which use your dex for attack rolls and damage, and all of which gain 1 point of precision damage)... plus every time someone misses you it provokes an AoO (which you should get plenty of).

@ nate lange, As Breiti mentioned, can you break this down further? How does this build do all damage as dex?

I understand that dervish dance allows you to use Dex for Att and Dmg when using a scimitar and snake style would be useful for more damage, as dervish dance works with unarmed strikes... but how does it deal Dex as damage as well?


The agile weapon property applied to an Amulet of might fists, which can be done for only 4,000 (the equivilant of a +1 AoMF) since that item does not need to have a +1 in order to add weapon properties.

But it might not be the best course of action, since it takes up your amulet slot and it costs twice the normal price in order to enchanct, meaning you will not be able to afford a very high bonus on it until late game. The problem comes up when you face DR, since you typically need it to be +3 just to get past silver and cold iron, and it is hard to get that if you are not specializing in unarmed strikes.

You could also look for the body wraps of mighty strikes, which is similar, costs less (only 1.5x the normal price), but it only enhances a certain number of hits per round. Also, it DOES need to start off with a +1, so it is 12,000 gp at the cheapest to get the agile property. As you can see, this is also a rather large draw on your resources.


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Here's the Mercenary General mini painted:

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

dervish dance makes a scimitar count as a one-handed piercing weapon, snake style makes your unarmed strikes (which are always light weapons) deal piercing damage- thats how they both deal precise strike damage. the dervish dance feat says that when wielding a scimitar in one hand and not carrying a weapon or shield in the other "you can use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on melee attack and damage rolls." this may not be RAI but RAW that does not in any way confine the bonus to only scimitar attacks, thus you use your dex for all attack rolls and all damage rolls while fighting with a scimitar in one hand and nothing in the other (meaning you gain that on your unarmed strikes as well)!


Thank you for the explanation!
I realy missed the extra lines in the dervish dance discription. ;)


Seconded! And my Halfling just picked that up Dervish Dance but I didn't think to be doing unarmed strikes with the open/free hand.

If you tried to attack with both the scimitar + the open hand, would that then be the same as attacking with 2 weapons?

Also, for what it's worth, WotC write up on the Mercenary General: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mi/20071018a

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

yeah- unarmed attacks along with a weapon follow the normal 2 weapon fighting rules (i.e. normal penalties and benefit from the same feats).

precise strike (which neither of you have asked about) does say you "cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand" so some GMs might give you guff about an unarmed strike being a weapon... it doesn't say you can't attack with your other hand, it just says you can't use a weapon to do so, plus a monk can attack with any body part so you could 2wpn fight with a (piercing) kick instead...

like i said its probably not RAI, but techically it is RAW (plus fighting with 1 single-hand weapon is sooo statistically inferior to a 2-hander or 2wpn style that i doubt anyone will object too much to this build).


Nate, thank you for the advice/pointers. My particular Halfling is doing the Crane Style build (which unlike TWF or THS, I've never tried) so for me the "hand open" was a requisite.

However, being able to whack people using this free hand with the Dex damage & Attack benefits from Dervish Dance would seem to make him dealing Nonlethal Damage quite decent: his Dex of 20 = +5

So this would help us capture opposing NPCs instead of always killing them.

Thanks again.


This was my bards mini for 3 years :). Nothing useful to offer!

Shadow Lodge

That mini is totally a samurai. Alternatively, call that a temple sword and make him 2hPA monk.


Matthew Morris wrote:

I'd also add Arcane Duelist for the bard love. If you go half elf you can take Ancestral Arms as an alt race trait and then weapon finess an aldori dueling sword. (Assuming APG and ARG of course)

Without exotic weapon proficiency, it is only a longsword. The elf stuff will not help here.

Lantern Lodge

nate lange wrote:
dervish dance makes a scimitar count as a one-handed piercing weapon, snake style makes your unarmed strikes (which are always light weapons) deal piercing damage- thats how they both deal precise strike damage. the dervish dance feat says that when wielding a scimitar in one hand and not carrying a weapon or shield in the other "you can use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on melee attack and damage rolls." this may not be RAI but RAW that does not in any way confine the bonus to only scimitar attacks, thus you use your dex for all attack rolls and all damage rolls while fighting with a scimitar in one hand and nothing in the other (meaning you gain that on your unarmed strikes as well)!

:o!!!!

Wow, never know that raw was that crazy.....

Lantern Lodge

Ok, taking in everything, I just thought of a really crazy ideal...

What are your opinions about a Dex focused Paladin, using Dervish Dance?
With maybe a lv of Dawnflower Dervish?

May also work using nate lange's ideal, but replaces lvls of Lore Warden with Paladin instead?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

i actually really like the idea of a pally/dawnflower dervish (i was recently toying with the idea of making one for a gestalt campaign i'm playing in). getting dervish dance feat for free will really help because feats will be in short supply- the biggest issue with the build is that you almost need a monk level for the unarmed strike, which would be the second point of lost BAB (after bard 1)... combine that with the -2 for 2wpn fighting and you'll definitely be lagging behind a fighter or barb's chance to hit (though smite will help with that). you could spend one of your very limited number of feats on Improved Unarmed Strike but then you only do 1d3 damage and (more importantly) you cant effect your unarmed strike with effects that modify weapons ("A monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons" ~CRB; meaning a paladin can apply Divine Bond bonuses to his unarmed strike if he has at least 1 monk level).

for race, the Musetouched Aasimar would be a great choice.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Jack Rift wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

I'd also add Arcane Duelist for the bard love. If you go half elf you can take Ancestral Arms as an alt race trait and then weapon finess an aldori dueling sword. (Assuming APG and ARG of course)

Without exotic weapon proficiency, it is only a longsword. The elf stuff will not help here.

Actually, it will.


nate lange wrote:
yeah- unarmed attacks along with a weapon follow the normal 2 weapon fighting rules (i.e. normal penalties and benefit from the same feats).

Nate, so to be clear: "Off-Hand Weapon: When you deal damage with a weapon in your off hand, you add only 1/2 your Strength bonus. If you have a Strength penalty, the entire penalty applies."

When you Dervish Dancing w/ your trusty scimitar + unarmed striking, the Dex damage bonus for the unarmed strike will still be halved, because it is your off-hand. Using Dex modifier instead of Str modifier doesn't mean you can just ignore the Off-Hand weapon penalty, it just means you can make it a little easier to bear.

Am I interpreting this right?
And is there anything (Ambidexterity?) that would reduce the Off-Hand weapon's damage penalty?


I didn't read anything but the first post, but to me, that looks like the perfect Lore Warden, maybe going into Duelist.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

DM.com- the rules for what to do with dex (or any other stat you might get to substitute for str) when making off-hand or 2-hand attacks are hard to nail down... fortunately, "There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes." (CRB, under monk's "unarmed strike" ability) so it doesn't really matter here :)


I'd say free hand fighter into duelist. Put your points into imp unarmed to get up to crane style and you can be a duelin, attack deflecting badass.

Lantern Lodge

I was thinking of paladin more for the ability to by pass evil DR and throw special abilities on to a sword.

The unarmed strikes is just for more firepower?

So many choices.... maybe I should just wait for the Advanced Class Guide... :P


nate lange wrote:
DM.com- the rules for what to do with dex (or any other stat you might get to substitute for str) when making off-hand or 2-hand attacks are hard to nail down... fortunately, "There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes." (CRB, under monk's "unarmed strike" ability) so it doesn't really matter here :)

WHAT?! PAIZO DIDN'T ANTICIPATE THAT I'D MAKE A HALFLING NINJA WHO DIPS INTO DAWNFLOWER DERVISH BECAUSE MY DM ADDED A MAGICAL SCIMITAR TO THE THISTLETOP SECTION OF RUNELORDS?!

Seriously though, while my character calls himself a 'Monk' (and my party/fellow players, have believed that), I'm not a Monk-Monk. So at least for me, it's still confusing. Granted I have Improved Unarmed Strike, but Ninjas not being Monks & vice versa, I'm thinking I should (sob) halve my Dex bonus; at least until I dip into Monk.

Also, apologies for the thread jacking.

Lantern Lodge

So, I have been talking to a Dawnflower Dervish & Snake style player and the feedback is that two weapon fighting is very costly for PFS characters.

There just isn't enough gold to spend on 2 weapons (or an amulet of fists) if one wants a good weapon to by pass DR... More so with Year of the Demon upon us.

I may just switch back to making a pure single weapon Dervish Dancer...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

if you're going to go purely 1-hander (with no off-hand unarmed strikes) pally/dawnflower should be good (the fighter levels are pretty much essential for the other build because it is very feat heavy)

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