Switch hitting Paladin


Advice


I'm rolling up a 5th level Paladin of Erastil. I want to be a switch hitter instead of focusing on either archery or melee.

Str: 16
Dex: 14
Con: 12 +1 lvl 4
Int: 10 +2 Human
Wis: 12
Cha: 16

I'm not sure where to go with the feats. I figure I only really need power attack to be tough in melee. Coupled with a 2 handed weapon I should be able to deal good in damage. I'm just not sure which archery feats I need and can do without. We're using core rulebook only.


As a switch hitter the most likely archery feats would be point blank shot and rapid shot so considering you are using core only I would go

Lvl 1 Power Attack, Quick draw (lets you swop between weapons better)
Lvl 3 Point Blank Shot
Lvl 5 Rapid shot.

Deadly aim would be a viable alternative to rapid shot depending on how you want to play it but I think -2 for +4 damage isn't as good as - 2 for an extra attack.


I would put that +2 into charisma if you have a lot of evil enemies in the campaign as it will help your melee and ranged to hit but definitely not a 10 stat. Wasting your racial bonus on a low stat is silly. If you want more int, drop your cha or strength to 14 and apply the racial bonus there, and add the points you gained to int and wherever else you want.

For archery you're going to want:

Point Blank Shot (prereq)
Deadly Aim
Rapid Shot
Manyshot
Precise Shot
Improved Precise Shot
Quickdraw (to get your sword out when someone closes the gap with you)

You can do without improved precise shot if you have smart enough party members to avoid giving your opponent soft cover bonuses from them being in the way but otherwise all of those feats are required to be a competent archer. Deadly aim is especially non-negotiable and while manyshot is better than rapid shot, it is a prereq so you need it anyway. Even without improved precise shot, the earliest you can finish this is 11.

You will also struggle to either hit with your melee weapon or your bow at higher levels if your DM follows WBL as you will likely not have enough gold to give yourself maximum dex and strength bonuses without sacrificing somewhere else.

My solution to this would be to pump cha as hard as you can, including using wish bonuses on it. Cha will give you hit when you smite evil targets for both your bow and your melee attack. Your secondary stats would probably be str and con. Treating Cha as your "main" combat stat will give you acceptable to hit with both weapon systems and boosting strength over dex will give you better two handed damage (and bow!). Your only issue is that against non-evil foes you will be anemic though by treating strength as a secondary your melee hit on non evil won't lag too far behind, don't try using your bow though.

Plus, maxing out your cha is paladin as ****. So it fits well with playing a paladin in general.

Dark Archive

For a switch hitter, the only archery feat you need is Precise Shot. Pont blank shot is a pre-req.
I would also suggest Str 14 and Dex 16, since you have invested more resources in archery than melee at this point.
You can have all these things at level 1 as a human, and have a 19 AC in breastplate without a shield.

Full Stat spread would probably be (with 20 point buy)
Str 14, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 14

After Precise Shot, no other archery feats are really required, but I think there might be a cool Eristil archery feat in Faiths of Purity that lets you spend a move action to aim and get a big bonus to hit.


Victor Zajic wrote:

For a switch hitter, the only archery feat you need is Precise Shot. Pont blank shot is a pre-req.

I would also suggest Str 14 and Dex 16, since you have invested more resources in archery than melee at this point.
You can have all these things at level 1 as a human, and have a 19 AC in breastplate without a shield.

Full Stat spread would probably be (with 20 point buy)
Str 14, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 14

After Precise Shot, no other archery feats are really required, but I think there might be a cool Eristil archery feat in Faiths of Purity that lets you spend a move action to aim and get a big bonus to hit.

Without deadly aim your shots will be doing single digit damage. This is pointless, class flavour is fine but building something that doesn't contribute at all is not being a very useful party member.

Deadly aim is required for archery just as power attack is required for melee.

Dark Archive

You'll find smite evil and/or bow enchantments can make up for a lack of Deadly Aim very easily, especially on a character that is not soley focused on archery.

I've played many characters without deadly aim or power attack that were more than able to contribute. And If you consider a high save high AC healer who can fight in melee and ranged to not to be a useful member of the party, I think you need to think long an hard about your priorities in game, because you don't sound much fun to play with.

Sovereign Court

Can't believe no one's mentioned the Divine Hunter archetype for Paladin. You trade Heavy Armor Proficiency for free Precise Shot at level 1! You also trade in your aura abilities for some more ranged-relevant stuff, including Lay on Hands at a range of 5 ft/paladin level. And your divine bond must be with a bow.

Dunno if that's a bit too ranged-focused for you, but check it out!
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/paladin/archetypes/paizo---pal adin-archetypes/divine-hunter

For a 5th level human Divine Hunter/switch hitter Paladin I would do this:

Str 16
Dex 16 (with racial bonus)
Con 12
Int 12
Wis 10 (you don't need it much)
Cha 16

Feats:
1 Power Attack
1 Precise Shot (divine hunter)
1 Point Blank Shot (human)
3 Rapid Shot
5 Deadly Aim
7 Manyshot
9 Quick Draw

You don't even need Clustered Shot since you can bypass evil DR! Quick Draw is good to have once you have iterative attacks, and doesn't matter much before then. You can switch up it and Manyshot if you want.

Also, you WILL have the highest damage output known to humanoids against your smite target. Seriously, tell your GM he better start using max HP for his big bads, because otherwise you will take them down like THAT. 3 or 4 arrows with +paladin level to damage, and enhanced by Divine Bond and Deadly Aim? That's just crazy.

PS: If you want something a little more versatile, you could bump int at 4th and take Unsanctioned Knowledge. Or take Cornugon Smash so you get a free intimidate when you connect with a power attack.


Victor Zajic wrote:

You'll find smite evil and/or bow enchantments can make up for a lack of Deadly Aim very easily, especially on a character that is not soley focused on archery.

I've played many characters without deadly aim or power attack that were more than able to contribute. And If you consider a high save high AC healer who can fight in melee and ranged to not to be a useful member of the party, I think you need to think long an hard about your priorities in game, because you don't sound much fun to play with.

Ooh, someone's a little sensitive. Show us on the kobold where the bad optimizer touched you.

He asked for a switch hitter, not a frontline healer who can also contribute a little bit with his weapons. What you are suggesting is not what he wants, stop derailing the topic with your inappropriate build.

Keep your "I'm a bandaid! I'm helping!" builds to where it's appropriate.


Reynard_the_fox wrote:

Can't believe no one's mentioned the Divine Hunter archetype for Paladin. You trade Heavy Armor Proficiency for free Precise Shot at level 1! You also trade in your aura abilities for some more ranged-relevant stuff, including Lay on Hands at a range of 5 ft/paladin level. And your divine bond must be with a bow.

Dunno if that's a bit too ranged-focused for you, but check it out!
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/paladin/archetypes/paizo---pal adin-archetypes/divine-hunter

For a 5th level human Divine Hunter/switch hitter Paladin I would do this:

Str 16
Dex 16 (with racial bonus)
Con 12
Int 12
Wis 10 (you don't need it much)
Cha 16

Feats:
1 Power Attack
1 Precise Shot (divine hunter)
1 Point Blank Shot (human)
3 Rapid Shot
5 Deadly Aim
7 Manyshot
9 Quick Draw

You don't even need Clustered Shot since you can bypass evil DR! Quick Draw is good to have once you have iterative attacks, and doesn't matter much before then. You can switch up it and Manyshot if you want.

Also, you WILL have the highest damage output known to humanoids against your smite target. Seriously, tell your GM he better start using max HP for his big bads, because otherwise you will take them down like THAT. 3 or 4 arrows with +paladin level to damage, and enhanced by Divine Bond and Deadly Aim? That's just crazy.

It depends on what you want, I'm hard pressed to drop my immunities for the auras that Divine Hunter provides. With a well planned party, you can have dex combatants switch to archery seamlessly without having to pay a feat tax. Not everyone wants to build their characters on such a corner case though. An archer paladin (divine hunter or otherwise) can put out so much ranged damage that he shouldn't need the assistance of his party members to take out most flying threats and you can fly at the level that this aura applies anyway.

I would stick to base paladin the bonus feats aren't worth your losses in my opinion.


yumad wrote:
Keep your "I'm a bandaid! I'm helping!" builds to where it's appropriate.


Victor Zajic wrote:

For a switch hitter, the only archery feat you need is Precise Shot. Pont blank shot is a pre-req.

I would also suggest Str 14 and Dex 16, since you have invested more resources in archery than melee at this point.
You can have all these things at level 1 as a human, and have a 19 AC in breastplate without a shield.

Full Stat spread would probably be (with 20 point buy)
Str 14, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 14

After Precise Shot, no other archery feats are really required, but I think there might be a cool Eristil archery feat in Faiths of Purity that lets you spend a move action to aim and get a big bonus to hit.

I think you may have the wrong end of the stick about switch hitting the idea, as I understand it, is you only use ranged weapons until melee happens. It that's the case (and I'm not being more stupid than usual) precise shot should not be needed as you should be in melee not firing at it.

Shadow Lodge

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lalallaalal wrote:

I'm rolling up a 5th level Paladin of Erastil. I want to be a switch hitter instead of focusing on either archery or melee.

Str: 16
Dex: 14
Con: 12 +1 lvl 4
Int: 10 +2 Human
Wis: 12
Cha: 16

That is a really inefficient way to pair up attributes and bonuses. Try this (you said "rolled", so I'm guessing those numbers are fixed, and it's not 29pt buy or whatever):

STR:14>16 (belt)
DEX:16
CON:12
INT:12
WIS:10
CHA:16>18>19 (human+bump), all bumps

Traits: Dangerously Curious*, Armor Expert*
Feats: Quick Draw, Mounted Combat, Power Attack, Deadly Aim, [Precise Shot: if Divine Hunter archetype]
Skills: Diplomacy, Ride, Sense Motive, Handle Animal. (Keep the first three maxed; start sprinkling around once Handle Animal is automatic for you.

(*Traits are not in the CRB, so you may not get to play with these. Pity also that you can't take Fey Foundling out of the Inner Sea World Guide, as it's possibly the best paladin-synergistic feat in the game.

Quote:
I'm just not sure which archery feats I need and can do without. We're using core rulebook only.

The only "archery" feat you need for a switch-hitter is Quick Draw, which will put your bow in your hands instantly.

Equipment: mithral breastplate*, +1 light quickdraw shield, STR+2 belt, STR+3 MW composite longbow, MW lance, MW longsword, studded leather barding, military saddle, NW bridle, assortment of 1st-level scrolls and 5-charge wands.

(*If campaign is trailing WBL, be in mundane scale armor and still saving up. The belt is more important, since you need that before buying a strength-rated MW bow.)

Switch-hitter tactics:

Pre-combat: you're riding with one hand on the reins and your shield is equipped, because that's totally realistic.

Surprise (in the unlikely even you get to go, because you're a paladin for whom Perception is not a class skill and wisdom is your favored dump stat): stow quickdraw shield as a free-action, quickdraw bow and snap a shot.

1st round: full-attack (if Hasted by wizard at 5th) with bow against distant targets if combat begins at range. If if looks like enemy will advance to melee on its turn, drop bow and Quick Draw a lance. Take AoOs with reach-weapon off-turn.

2nd round: lance charge if possible, or drop it to Quick Draw a close-action weapon (e.g., greatsword). Don't forget the horse's attack(s). (Memorize the Mounted Combat skill section.)

* * * *

Final word: don't worry about that 12 CON; you'll do just fine as a "chaladin" spamming Lay on Hands.

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