So I want to do a single class, non-archetype fighter for Pathfinder Society. The whole idea is to pick a simple combat style that doesn't require lots of feats to be useful in combat, then have some fun picking out weird, fun, and flavorful feat options just because fighters get so many extra feats.
So what would you consider the bare minimum combat feats to make a useful fighter?
I'm figuring two handed weapon with the usual power attack, furious focus, weapon focus, weapon specialization, greater weapon focus, etc. With a good starting strength, I can take all those with the fighter bonus feats to make the character useful enough in a fight, without needing to use many of the normal, non-bonus feats to be effective.
And the main question: For the non-bonus feats (which don't have to be combat feats), what are some fun, flavorful feats that rarely see any use?
I'm thinking of stuff like using Skill Focus to be good out of combat at something fighters aren't known for, but I'm looking for even weirder options. Maybe Breadth of Experience if I go one of those races, or some of the weird racial feats from the Advanced Race Guide. These can be combat feats, too, but I'm looking to intentionally stick to weird stuff that you don't normally see.
|Humphry B ManWitch|
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Combat expertise, + Reach weapon, +Bodyguard, +Helpful Trait, +Benevolent Armour enhancement,
up to +9 AC to adjacent allies
improved trip. greater trip..
Your fragile weapon works to your advantage, breaking off fragments in wounds you inflict.
Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +1, proficient with weapon, weapon made of primitive material.
Benefit: Whenever you use a melee or thrown weapon with the fragile weapon feature (page 146 ultimate combat) or similar quality and hit an opponent, you can give your weapon the broken condition to deal that opponent 1d4 points of bleed damage.
+ Bronze javalins
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Skill Focus: Craft:Baskets
Be the best damn basket weaver ever, and then weaponize them when someone dares insult the craftsmanship. When was the last time you saw a fighter craft something that wasn't blatantly a weapon?
Nature Soul to make you useful in nature, then Animal Ally so you have yourself an animal companion for kicks.
Destroy Identity at level 11 lets you deal charisma damage and stagger someone when you crit them.
Druidic Decoder lets you read druidic, or speak it if you have enough linguistic ranks. Could be a handy niche to fill, or using that and Nature Soul/Animal Ally, pose as a druid for the lulz.
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When it comes to Cha: The flagbearer feat is nice and happens to synergize with the improvised defence trait. But I don't know if those are PFS legal.
Why does it synergize: A flag can be used as an improvised weapon. So with the trait you always get a +1 shield bonus to AC when wielding the flag in your offhand and not attacking with it.
How about you maximize Profession(Scribe) or Craft (Calligraphy) and use a big ink brush for combat (Quaterstaff with tuft on one end).
Then you get Antagonize and insult people during battle by drawing insulting symbols and runes on them.
This might take some time working out details with your GM, but you could take Master Craftsman followed by Inscribe Magical Tattoo (or just get a racial spell-like ability to qualify for it).
Then the stuff you write on people's faces would be magical.
I bet with some tinkering you could end up with a battle style similar to Mrs. Golden Week from One Piece.
Forcing people to attack a certain spot, make them lethargic and so on.
Some interesting suggestions so far. Since this is a fighter, and I still want to have stats that make him good in combat, I'm unlikely to do any of the charisma based stuff. Putting too many points in charisma will hurt the physical attributes too much.
I like the improvised weapon ideas, but it's for PFS, so I'll be dealing with different GMs every time. So there could be severe table variance on the amount of damage dealt by an improvised weapon, unless I have a published source to prove how much damage something should do. If it wasn't for that, I think Catch Off Guard and Throw Anything could be great choices, and I could have some fun making stuff up for improvised weapons.
I just searched for the phrase "improvised weapon" in the adventuring gear section of Ultimate Equipment, and there are a few things that say how much they do. I could go Profession: Miner with Catch Off Guard to use a mining pick as a two handed piercing weapon that does 1d6 damage with a x4 crit. Other than that, it only gives damage amounts for the typical torch, hammer, crowbar, and shovel. Nothing about barstools or baskets.
Also, because it's PFS, the race choices are limited to the Core Rulebook races, plus tiefling, aasimar, and tengu. In the past, I've done several human, halfling, and gnome characters, so I'll probably avoid those just to do something new. I usually don't like playing the small races for melee anyway, given the strength penalties and slow speed.
Looking at the Advanced Race Guide, there are some interesting race specific feat choices. Tengus have a feat that lets them get a fly speed once per day at level 5+. Half-orcs and dwarves both have cleave related feat chains, but I learned from having cleave on my first PFS barbarian that situations to use it just don't come up often enough to make it worthwhile.
Elves and half-elves really don't have anything all that exciting. That's actually a shame, because elves do have a feat that goes with their traditional elven weapons, but the feat just isn't useful or interesting enough to bother with. I was kinda hoping for something cool to go with an elven curve blade, but there just isn't anything there.
Tieflings only have 4 racial feats, but I could actually see doing a fighter who takes all of them. But while they are useful, they're also not the most exciting options for oddball flavor, other than the prehensile tail thing. That one could lead to some fun role playing.
Dwarves actually have some pretty cool stuff that I hadn't noticed before. There's the dwarven boulder helmet, which can be used as a weapon, with a 3 feat chain that revolves around that. It's an exotic weapon, but dwarves treat it as martial, so a dwarven fighter would be proficient automatically. That could be the type of oddball thematic thing I'm looking for. At only 1d4 damage (plus strength bonus), it's not good enough to be a primary weapon, but there are also dwarven reach weapons in the ARG, so that would make a cool pairing. Use a reach weapon primarily, then headbutt things that get within my reach. The helmet also gives bull rush bonuses, and Power Attack is the only prereq for Improved Bull Rush, so this looks like an interesting combination of features. It actually seems like Paizo planned all this stuff to work together, but it's not something most people would do, and you really do need enough extra feats to pull it all together, so fighter's the best class for it.
So now I'm leaning towards the dwarven reach/headbutter/bull rusher idea, though the tiefling is also a possibility.
So looking more at the dwarf entry in the ARG, I noticed a fighter archetype that I'd skipped earlier, because I wasn't looking for archetypes.
The Foehammer archetype gets bonuses wielding hammers and performing bull rushes, so it again works well with the other dwarven stuff I was considering. It only gives up armor training, which dwarves don't get as much out of anyway, since they aren't speed restricted based on armor, and aren't that likely to have a dex bonus so high that armor restricts it much for AC.
So now I'm thinking of doing a Foehammer character. But that's not what I was looking for with this thread. The "Do you play underpowered classes?" thread (which I can't find now - was it deleted for being too big a flame war?) made me want to do a Core Rulebook fighter with no archetype. And using armor training to move full speed in plate mail is part of that.
So I'm still pondering the tiefling with a prehensile tail, and looking into other oddball feats, just because fighters get so many.
kitsune fighter and take a lot/all kitsune feats plus skill focus disguise and the one that gives +2 disguise and an other skill (don't remember which one) and tada! you're anyone and everyone and get the cool trick of full attack on a charge^^ pimp your sense motive and bluff and use smoke bombs to impersonate your enemies in combat (sense motive and bluff to copy what they're saying as they're saying it) if you manage to pimp your Cha you can even take the 2nd to 9th tails and have some cool spells for more mayhem!
Alternate Racial Trait: Claw Attack
This has possibilities. Three natural attacks is very nice, and the racial feats for shapeshifting are very nice. You also qualify for feats as if you had IUS without having to burn a feat on it so you can take things like Improved Grapple or Deflect Arrows with no investment.
I always found Furious Focus to be a wasted feat. You're getting a bonus on your attack that is already most likely to land. If you don't need it as a pre-requisite for another feat, I would skip it entirely.
Oh, as an answer to your actual question, have you considered going aasimar with some of their racial traits? Angelic Blood, Angelic Flesh, Angel Wings,and Metallic Wings could spice up the bland and boring CRB fighter.
I've been thinking about making a fighter who's an archer who invests in Improved Eldritch Heritage (Stormborn) for the ability to reduce the impact of wind effects.
The investment is steep though (13 CHA, Skill Focus Knowledge (nature), and two eldritch heritage feats.) The Greater Eldritch Heritage feat (basically being able to turn into a lightning bolt for 15 rounds once/day) would be a neat trick for an archer.