Critique A Dwarf Fighter Please!


Advice


Hi Everyone!

I'm seeking advice for a new dwarf fighter build that I'm working on for a new game coming up soon. We are only a party of 3 so this character needs to take on the role of a melee combatant, party face, and magic item crafter. I know humans are ideal for the extra feat but I am pretty set on being a Dwarf.

I imagine this full-platted dwarf swinging his longhammer around him like a monk flourishes a quarterstaff. Except, I want to focus on the cleave feats and pure damage rather than trip or other combat maneuvers.

We are starting at 5th level. All Paizo stuff is allowed. We also have more starting gold than normal to compensate for being a small party.

Thodin Anvilstrike:

"Profane magic hollows Torag's masterpiece. I buff out the dents." - Thodin Anvilstrike

NG Dwarf Fighter 4/Inquisitor 1
Fighter Archetype: Two-Handed Fighter
Inquisitor Archetype: Spellbreaker
Domain/Inquisition: Conversion
Favored Class (Fighter 4): Extra HP
Caster Level: 3
Deity: Torag
HP: 48, AC: 23*
Fort: +9, Ref: +2, Will: +5
Bonus Saves: +4 vs. Magic, +2 vs. Poison
Initiative: +3, BAB: +4
CMB: +9, CMD: 20
*AC 21 w/ Cleave, AC 27 w/ Tower Shield

Abilities:
STR 20 (17+1+2), DEX 12, CON 16 (14), INT 8, WIS 14 (12), CHA 5 (7)

Feats:
1: Ironhide
F: Power Attack
F: Cleave
3: Steel Soul
F: Cleaving Finish
5: Craft Wondrous Items

Traits:
Magical Knack (magic), Reactionary (Combat)

Skills - 9 ranks:
Climb 1 (+3), Diplomacy 1 (+6), Know Religion 1 (+3), Sense Motive 2 (+8), Spellcraft 3 (+9), Swim 1 (+3)

Attack+*:
Dwarven Longhammer (PA/OC): +8, 2d6+17 x3, reach
Dwarven Longhammer (PA/Cleave): +8, 2d6+14 x3, reach, AC 21
MW Dwarven Boulder Helmet (PA): +8, 1d4+9
MW Dwarven Double Waraxe (TS): +8, 1d10+5, x3, AC 27
MW Dwarven Double Waraxe (TS/Cleave): +8, 1d10+5, x3, AC 25
+Attacks in order of probable use
*Possible second attack on on second target from Cleaving Finish (ALL)

Magic Items:
Full Plate +1 (3,300)
Dwarven Longhammer +1 (2,350)
Belt of Giant Strength +2 (2,000, crafted)
Ring of Protection +1 (2,000)
Cloak of Resistance +1 (1,000)
Boots of the Cat (1,000)
MW Dwarven Boulder Helmet (320)
MW Tower Shield (180)
MW Dwarven Double Waraxe (360)
-30gp + 1,250gp consumables

Questions –
1. Would the Weapon Master or Polearm Master archetype be better for this build than the Two-Handed Fighter? How so?
2. How about the Pushing Assault feat? Is it worth not taking the extra damage from Power Attack?

Thanks for your help!


First of all, check the Foehammer fighter racial archetype. It is pretty good and full of flavor. Weapon master is nice for critical builds, the longhammer has not good critical range so it si probably not ideal. Polearm master is nice though, letting you threat your adjacent squares an other neat tricks, I think I would prefer it over the two-handed fighter, which isnot bad mind you. Pushing Assault is generally not worth it. Wait for Dazing Assault.

I can see what the inquisitor dip is about (wis to social skills, caster lvl for craft wondrous). Have you considered a pure Inquisitor though? A dwarf Witch hunter Inquisitor with the Anger inquisition can be an excellent melee combantant and with the Steel Soul feat and Glory of Old trait, combined with the Knowledgable Defence feature of the archetype, can reach amazing saves vs spell-likes. Also he can rage like a barbarian and have access to amazing rage powers like Supertision and Spell Sunder. It works well enough even with the Conversion inquisition. Give it a close thought. His stat modifiers are perfect for an Inquisitor too.

I suggest that you leave the crafting business to your caster, unless you go full Inquisior (which I strongly recommend). It is his job to raise Spellcraft anyway, you have only one skill point per lvl to spend it like this. Also, with fighter giving you only 2 +Int skill points per lvl, you might as well have 7 Int, you will still take one skill point per lvl.

Dwarfs have some nice and fun racial feats. Ironhide does not worth it probably though, at least not so early when you can get more useful feats. Consider going like this.

Take first lvl as a fighter for the the full d10 Hit Dice. Change Reactionary with Glory of Old.

1 F Steel Soul, Power Attack (F)
2 Inq
3 F Cleave (F), Goblin Cleaver
4 F
5 F Orc Hewer (F) (I am not sure if you are allowed to take it as a bonus feat, if not take Great Cleave or Combat Expertise if you go Foehammer), Craft Wondrous Items

I also like the Hard Headed feat tree. You should take Combat Reflexes asap though. Other great racial feats include cleave through, giant killer and shatterspell.

TL.DR: Go full Inquisitor. If you don't like it consider the Foehammer archetype and persuade your caster to become your crafter, possibly also your 3rd party member to become your face. What is your point buy? (too lazy to count)


Thanks for the quick reply!

First off, point buy = 20.

I've looked at the inquisitor but I'm not sure if there are enough feats for my concept. The other players are set in their characters so I'm relegated to filling multiple roles. Furthermore, I'm also an alternate GM (the 4th player and I switch GMing every-other-session) and I don't want to steal the show from the two other players nor do I want to force them into a role they don't want to do.

Orc-Hewer is a great feat (it is a combat feat, btw). I totally missed Orc-Hewer. I can see plenty of awesome with these feats when combined with Cleaving Finish.

Combat Reflexes is a good feat, to be sure, but is it worth it considering my DEX is only a 12?

I'm set on the Spellbreaker archetype because of what it does to my saves – 2 roles for Will is worth it alone. However, I like swopping out Reactionary w/ Glory of Old and also forgo Steel Soul – this will give me a +3 vs. magic AND poison and I think that is good enough for this level. I can then take Cleave sooner to get this build rocking (or, hammering, as the case may be).

While the Anger inquisition is nice, all of the other players dropped their CHA and someone needs to play the face role. Plus, it just sounds awesome to play a dwarf who can speak better than the rest of the party.

All crafting is going to take place out of game and the GM and I don't really care about the roll DCs. We are doing an episodic campaign and it is assumed that my character will have enough time to make 1 wondrous item between each session (aka taking 20s).

So, How about this version?:

Fighter (Archetype TBD) 4
Inquisitor (Spellbreaker, Conversion Inquisition) 1
Traits: Magical Knack, Glory of Old
1: F – Power Attack (F), Cleave
2: I
3: F – Goblin Cleaver, Orc Cleaver (F)
4: F
5: F - Cleaving Finish* (F), Craft Wondrous Items

*Or, would Combat Reflexes be more effective than Cleaving Finish at lower levels?

Also, I'm still debating on the fighter archetype.

Thanks!


You have reach, you certainly want Combat Reflexes, I also suggest starting with 14 Dex and Con for this reason, or lowering your Str a bit. I certainly prefer it over Cleaving Finish, as well as I prefer Steel Soul over it too.

I like Foehammer, but if you don't want to bullrush and trip opponents around go with Polearm Master instead.

You can start with

STR 17+1
DEX 14
CON 16
INT 7
WIS 16
CHA 5

Liberty's Edge

Have you thought about oracle? Needing to fit melee combatant, party face, and crafter, I would check out the battle or metal oracle.

Dwarf Battle or Metal Oracle (Wolfscarred Face Curse)
Str 17+1
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 7
Wis 7
Cha 16

I think that would be a great option to perform the tasks you want.

But to your topic at hand, I think the build you have for the dwarf fighter will be good for the roles you have planned except for party face. Dwarf with cha 5 would be utter fail at party face.

If you look into the oracle, if you want to know other thoughts on it I'll be happy to type more.


Fing Mandragoran wrote:

Have you thought about oracle? Needing to fit melee combatant, party face, and crafter, I would check out the battle or metal oracle.

Good suggestion! Oracles of battle are a strong class, but, for whatever reason, I'm not a fan of them. To me, they feels like the Sacred Fist (monk/cleric PrC) back in 3x. Basically, the build required 2-3 rounds of buffing before entering melee. Now, feel free to correct me on this if I am wrong.

Besides, with only 3 PCs - and me being the only non-squishy - I can't afford spending the first few rounds casting spells on myself. I need to enter the fray on the first round.

Quote:
But to your topic at hand, I think the build you have for the dwarf fighter will be good for the roles you have planned except for party face. Dwarf with cha 5 would be utter fail at party face.

Actually, with the Conversion inquisition, I swap CHA for WIS for all my social skills. Since dwarves have a +2 racial to WIS, a dwarf inquisitor can be an effective party face even with the lowly 5 CHA!

Glory of Old + Steel Soul is great, no doubt, but, it just seems a bit overkill to me. I really like the suggestion of a 14 dex - it makes Combat Reflexes more attractive.

I'm now leaning towards the polearm master archetype. However, the -4 to attack from Pole Fighting seems painful - or, is this not as bad as it seems?


Without the archetype you cannot threat adjent squares with your pole at all. At early lvls a cestus or a helmet attack would probably be better, but after 10th lvl or so, when you take a lesser penalty and you have an enchanced hammer, this can prove to be a very useful ability.

Glory of Old + Steel Soul is not an overkill at all. You can never have high enough saves.

I also like Oracle. Oracle of Metal in particular seems to negate the movement penalty of dwarves and gives you some breath room with your skill points. Don't take the Wolfscarred curse though, unless you go dual-cursed Oracle and combine it with the Deaf curse, which is an excellent choice.

Or for a more martial focus go Armored hulk barbarian 1 / Oracle of metal (lame curse) 4 / Armored hulk barbarian 1 / Rage Prophet. This way you will have the martial benefits of rage and the barbarian in general, as well as heavy armor, you will negate the movement penalty of dwarves with the oracle of metal, and remember that with the lame curse you will be immune to fatigue, letting you rage cycle. More skill point too for crafting and face. I really think that this is the best choice for you.


Don't use a tower shield. Remember using one effectively gives everyone you fight a +2 AC since it gives you a -2 on attack rolls.


For traits, Wendifa Apprentice, from Faiths & Philosophies, will give you a caster level equal to your character level.


You NEED cleave through to make cleave and great cleave awesome. Nuff said.


STR Ranger wrote:
You NEED cleave through to make cleave and great cleave awesome. Nuff said.

Yep it is that good.


If you are front line, face and crafter what roles do the other 2 fill?


You are all aware that dwarves do not respond well to critique, aren't you????
Because the last thing most people do is critique the dwarf fighter. There must be some great final remarks in there.
'I don't think that this dwarven greataxe suits you Gimli'
'You cannot hurt me' spoke the orc
'I bet you can't even raise that ridiculous greataxe'
I mean I suppose it's possible, but not very wise. ;)


You should add the nonmagic armor upgrade vital guard to your platemail. It increases your AC for crit confirmation rolls and has no drawbacks for dwarfs except for the 500gp and the weight. The movement penalty is negated by slow and steady.


Umbranus wrote:
You should add the nonmagic armor upgrade vital guard to your platemail. It increases your AC for crit confirmation rolls and has no drawbacks for dwarfs except for the 500gp and the weight. The movement penalty is negated by slow and steady.

Very nice. Can you give me a link?


Pupsocket wrote:
For traits, Wendifa Apprentice, from Faiths & Philosophies, will give you a caster level equal to your character level.

Hmm...couldn't find this online. Link please?

EDIT: Is this a drawback? Unfortunatly, we arn't using drawbacks. Thanks for the idea though!


Vital guard:

Source: Pathfinder Chronicles: Faction Guide

A truly well-designed armor reinforces its defense in the most vulnerable locations.

Whenever an opponent scores a critical threat against the wearer, treat the wearer's armor bonus as +2 higher than normal for the confirmation roll.

In addition to increasing the armor's base cost and weight, this upgrade reduces the wearer's speed by 5 feet; the Slow and Steady dwarven racial ability enables dwarves to ignore the associated speed penalties. The listed costs are for including this modification to nonmagical armor; increase the cost by 50% if adding to a suit of magical armor.

Cost: +500 gp; Weight: +15 lbs.

armor
Ok, when adding it to magical armor it costs 750gp. But still worth it in my book.
You can combine it with the dwarven boulder helmet for another +2 AC vs crit confirmation rolls.

boulder helmet:
Benefit: This heavy, reinforced helmet can be used to make melee attacks. The wearer may use the helmet when attempting bull rush maneuvers, granting a +2 circumstance bonus on the check, but after completing the maneuver (whether successful or not), the wearer is staggered until the end of his next turn.

In addition, a dwarven boulder helmet grants a +2 circumstance bonus to the wearer's AC against critical hit confirmation rolls. A dwarven boulder helmet can be enchanted as a weapon (not as armor, despite providing some protection).

A dwarven boulder helmet adds 20% to the wearer's arcane spell failure chance. It occupies the head slot and is made of metal, not stone, meaning that it can be crafted from unusual materials as a metal weapon.

Weapons

Note: The helmet is an exotic weapon. But as it has the word dwarven in its name it falls under the dwarven weapon familiarity and only counts as martial for you.


Cap. Darling wrote:
If you are front line, face and crafter what roles do the other 2 fill?

Good question!

The party's druid has caster stats and a tiger companion. I think they also took a level of monk for the added WIS to AC. The druid will fill the roles of the healer, big spell damage caster, and party buffer(?). The tiger will be more of a full-attack/pounce glass-cannon.

The rogue is a halfling with the filcher archetype. They are specializing in crowd control (via steal and disarm), knowledge skills, and the typical rogue duties.

So, that leaves me with being the face and a crafter. The group also said that they want me to be a front line combatant since the other melee types (rogue and tiger) are more mobile.

Since the rest of the party focuses on high damage to single targets, I thought I would try my hand at a cleave build...and the fighter is the best way to go about that.


Umbranus wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

armor

Thanks! So, if I were to add it to my +1 Full-Plate, it would cost me an additional 700gp. I think I have some more gold to play with...I'll see if it fits in.


Quote:


Note: The helmet is an exotic weapon. But as it has the word dwarven in its name it falls under the dwarven weapon familiarity and only counts as martial for you.

Thanks again! But, if you look at my list of items in my original post, you will see that I have taken a MW Dwarven Boulder Helmet.


Wendifa Apprentice:

http://www.archivesofnethys.com/TraitDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Wendifa%20Appren tice

Does not do what the OP thinks. Its a DAZE attack only, that uses class [and not caster] level


Tribe303 wrote:

Wendifa Apprentice:

http://www.archivesofnethys.com/TraitDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Wendifa%20Appren tice

Does not do what the OP thinks. Its a DAZE attack only, that uses class [and not caster] level

Right. That's what I found on a second try. Plus, it's 1/d and the DC is CHA-based...not so good for a dwarf, unfortunatly.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

the reason Wendifa Apprentice was suggested is because its caster level is equal to your character level... which is awesome! it works great for arcane strike or even to qualify for crafting feats (for example, you could take craft magic arms and armor at 5th instead of being limited to craft wondrous or brew potion).

that said, don't be the party crafter... you're going to invest a bunch of traits and feats just to have the option and then never be able to make the spellcraft checks to actually succeed (remember there's +5 penalty to the DC for every single required spell that you can't cast).

my advice, honestly, would be to go straight fighter- you guys can make do with untrained diplomacy rolls until you make friends with an NPC who can handle some social situations for you, and if you really want/need a party crafter someone can pick up Leadership at 7th level and get a cohort who does nothing but craft (they can even stay in town and craft for you while you're doing more important things). if you're going to make a damage-dealing, tin can full of hit points (with no Int or Cha), don't pull yourself all over the place trying to cover missing bases.

that said- if you want to cover all those bases, then the solution is to build differently. a paladin would be a better fit, or an inquisitor with a couple level fighter dip (instead of vice versa), or even a melee cleric or metal oracle. the more caster-ish the character the more time to buff will benefit your combat, but there are effective melee builds even for straight clerics that can wade right in... especially with a reach/combat reflexes build (because then you can deal damage right away with AoOs, and still be able to use your standard action to buff).


LibraryRPGamer wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:
If you are front line, face and crafter what roles do the other 2 fill?

Good question!

The party's druid has caster stats and a tiger companion. I think they also took a level of monk for the added WIS to AC. The druid will fill the roles of the healer, big spell damage caster, and party buffer(?). The tiger will be more of a full-attack/pounce glass-cannon.

The rogue is a halfling with the filcher archetype. They are specializing in crowd control (via steal and disarm), knowledge skills, and the typical rogue duties.

So, that leaves me with being the face and a crafter. The group also said that they want me to be a front line combatant since the other melee types (rogue and tiger) are more mobile.

Since the rest of the party focuses on high damage to single targets, I thought I would try my hand at a cleave build...and the fighter is the best way to go about that.

I think you should consider giving the halfling face duty. The crowd part of crowd control is nonexsisent in steal and disarm. And he will have bonus to cha and 8+ skill points pr level.

But if your halfling insist on controlling a crowd of 1. Consider a paladin he will have great staying power, good diplomacy and powerfull damage in the important battles. With a great sword you will be able to free a hand for healing or casting as need be.


Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for your advice. I've thought it over and made a few changes to the build. I've decided to forgo the role of the party face but I still want to keep the Craft Wondrous Items feat because it is so dang useful.

I also made a second reach inquisitor build. But, now, I'm having trouble deciding which would be best for this group.

If you would like to continue the advice, the new discussion thread can be found here

Thanks!

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