Need some help with a PFS Dawnflower Dervish


Advice


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Alright, so I'm starting a character I'm very excited about (the Dawnflower Dervish) and I'm torn between going Human or Aasimar and between one of three methods of building him. One concept maximizes his ability with the Scimitar, including taking advantage of an Eldritch Heritage feat to make it a bonded item, the second concept is building him as more of a switch hitter with average to strong ranged abilities and the third is an idea to build around several different 'display' options, culminating in the ability at 9th to engage in Dazzling Display and Motivating display as a free action whenever I crit - the feats in that last area I can't definitely discover whether or not they are PFS legal.

I know this is a ton of stuff to compare, thanks in advance for even giving it a glance.

Aasimar versions:
In all cases, the favored class bonus will be used to accelerate the Battle Dance Inspire Courage. Obviously, the character will have all of the additional abilities of an Azata Aasimar (Darkvision, elemental resistances, Glitterdust 1/day, etc).

Attributes:
STR - 10
DEX - 19 (+1 @ 4th level)
CON - 14 (+1 @ 8th & 12th level)
INT - 10
WIS - 10
CHA - 14

Traits:
Maestro of the Society
Reactionary

Version 1 (Melee Focused):
Feats:
1st - Dervish Dance
1st - Arcane Strike
3rd - Skill Focus: Knowledge - Religion
5th - Eldritch Heritage: Arcane Bloodline - Arcane Bond (Scimitar)
7th - Weapon Focus: Scimitar
9th - Lunge
11th - Discordant Voice (usable with Battle Dance?)

Version 2 (Switch Hitter):
Feats:
1st - Dervish Dance
1st - Arcane Strike
3rd - Weapon Focus: Scimitar
5th - Point Blank Shot
7th - Rapid Shot
9th - Lunge
11th - Deadly Aim

Version 3 (Display Gimmick):
Feats:
1st - Dervish Dance
1st - Arcane Strike
3rd - Weapon Focus: Scimitar
5th - Dazzling Display
7th - Motivating Display (PFS legal?)
9th - Violent Display (PFS legal?)
11th - Lunge

Human versions:
In all cases, the favored class bonus will be used to gain extra hit points at levels 1-3, and then bonus spells known at levels 4-12. Obviously the character will have the additional skill ranks of a Human.

Attributes:
STR - 13 (+1 @ 12th level)
DEX - 18
CON - 14
INT - 10
WIS - 10
CHA - 12 (+1 @ 4th & 8th level)

Traits:
Maestro of the Society
Reactionary

Version 1 (Melee Focused):
Feats:
1st - Dervish Dance
1st - Arcane Strike
1st - Skill Focus: Knowledge - Religion
3rd - Eldritch Heritage: Arcane Bloodline - Arcane Bond (Scimitar)
5th - Weapon Focus: Scimitar
7th - Power Attack
8th - Skill Focus: Perform (Dance)
9th - Lunge
11th - Discordant Voice (usable with Battle Dance?)

Version 2 (Switch Hitter):
Feats:
1st - Dervish Dance
1st - Arcane Strike
1st - Point Blank Shot
3rd - Rapid Shot
5th - Weapon Focus: Scimitar
7th - Power Attack
9th - Lunge
11th - Deadly Aim

Version 3 (Display Gimmick):
Feats:
1st - Dervish Dance
1st - Arcane Strike
1st - Skill Focus: Perform (Dance)
3rd - Weapon Focus: Scimitar
5th - Dazzling Display
7th - Motivating Display (PFS legal?)
8th - Skill Focus: Perform (Oration)
9th - Violent Display (PFS legal?)
11th - Lunge


Giggity.

Liberty's Edge

Wiggz,

I am curious about Discordant Voice as well, as well as with Harmonic Spell.

The switch hitter build looks interesting, though I would drop Lunge in favor of Precise Shot in that case simply because it comes up so often.

I am not sure what benefit the bonded weapon will ultimately have (for the feat cost) as the rules on bonded weapons/items in PFS are a bit limited.


I am also playing a Dawnflower Dervish at the moment and he rocks. He's a muse-touched Aasimar with maxed out Dexterity and Charisma and is currently level 4. This is a strong archetype and all 3 versions you suggest are viable.

I've gone a slightly different route to your options as besides Maestro of Society trait (an obvious pick), I selected Blade of Mercy trait along with the Enforcer feat which allows me to make a free intimidate check to give the shaken or frightened condition on the enemy every time I hit them.

I also picked up the Pageant of the Peacock masterpiece at 4th level which has basically made the character supernova on nearly every skill in the game... except for perception. I dumped my wisdom to 8 and have a -1 perception for fluff reasons. The way I play the character is that he is totally full of himself as he is beautiful beyond compare being an Aasimar and he carries a little hand mirror around using mage hand constantly distracted from what is going on around him while he stares at himself and whispers to himself just how beautiful he is.

From levels 5 to 8 I intend to go Paladin (Oath of Vengeance) as this will give me a +6 bonus to all my saves as well as Smite and Lay on Hands pretty much whenever I feel like it. I will also pick up Arcane Strike at level 5 when the bonus becomes +2.

Levels 9 onwards will be bard again.


Between the two races, I would say go with Aasimar; the favored class bonus, Darkvision, and Glitterdust 1/day is simply amazing. Especially Darkvision, because without magical items bards have no way to see in the dark. Nothing shuts down a DD faster than not being able to see (I should know... happened to me several times in WotR (Half-elf DD) early on.)

I can't say much about the Display build as I don't have much experience with those types of builds. The melee focus build is quite awesome when you begin tallying up all the bonuses.

The switch hitter build can be good, but just know that you won't be doing as much damage on either "mode". You will be versatile, however, which can be good especially for PFS.

Lastly, very curious about the reason for making your weapon a bonded item? I think you'll be burning two very needed feats for a benefit that I'm not quite seeing.


Faelyn wrote:
Between the two races, I would say go with Aasimar; the favored class bonus, Darkvision, and Glitterdust 1/day is simply amazing. Especially Darkvision, because without magical items bards have no way to see in the dark. Nothing shuts down a DD faster than not being able to see (I should know... happened to me several times in WotR (Half-elf DD) early on.)

Faelyn is right about this. Muse-touched Aasimar was made to go with DD. The favoured class bonus means your battle dance can be +4 at 4th instead of 5th level and you get the increase sooner the more you level up.


Fomsie wrote:

Wiggz,

I am curious about Discordant Voice as well, as well as with Harmonic Spell.

The switch hitter build looks interesting, though I would drop Lunge in favor of Precise Shot in that case simply because it comes up so often.

I am not sure what benefit the bonded weapon will ultimately have (for the feat cost) as the rules on bonded weapons/items in PFS are a bit limited.

That's good advice about Precise Shot though I was only planning on going ranged when melee simply wasn't an option (like against flying foes).

I'll admit I'm ignorant about Bonded Items but I thought it'd be a cost saving way to get enhancement bonuses and maybe Keen. Plus the bonus spell for a limited caster.

Grand Lodge

As far as I know Discordant Voice works with Battle Dance.

If you want to intimidate, how about Blade of Mercy trait combined with Enforcer feat?

Blistering Invective is a good spell to intimidate with.


Okay, due to the ambiguity surrounding the Display rules and the limitations on Arcane Bond, I think I'm going to go with the Switch Hitter... I don't know how often archery will be the preferred method of attack for a strong martial combatant, but I like having both options available as the ultimate 'secondary everything'. Maybe with an assortment of arrows to counter DR? And the impending 'end of the road' for Aasimars makes that a default decision - if I decide I really want to try a Human version, I can do that anytime, right?

This is what I think I'm going to settle on:

Aasimar Dawnflower Dervish
FCB to accelerate Inspire Courage

Attributes:
STR - 12 (+1 @ 8th and 12th level)
DEX - 19 (+1 @ 4th level)
CON - 14
INT - 10
WIS - 8
CHA - 14

Traits:
Maestro of the Society
Reactionary

Feats:
1st - Arcane Strike
1st - Dervish Dance
3rd - Point Blank Shot
5th - Rapid Shot
7th - Precise Shot
9th - Power Attack
11th - Deadly Aim

I chose to ditch Weapon Focus because my attack bonus should be sky-high already. I'm pretty excited about the way this breaks down... the only thing I find troubling is that I'll only be able to make use of half of my feats at any given time, which seems awfully inefficient. On the other hand, Allegro at 4th level will have this character as a one-man wrecking crew.

4th level w/ Allegro
Attack: +14/+14
+3 [BAB] +5 [DEX] +4 [Battle Dance] +1 [Allegro] +1 [Magic Weapon]
Damage: 1d6+11
1d6+5 [DEX] +4 [Battle Dance] +1 [Arcane Strike] +1 [Magic Weapon]
Armor Class: 20
10 +4 [DEX] +4 [Chain Shirt] +1 [Allegro] +1 [Magic Armor]

Anything I'm missing? Is Reactionary overkill? Low Wisdom too much of an Achilles Heel? Would Clustered Shots be better than Deadly Aim? Take Power Attack sooner?


You might think about taking arcane strike at 5th level when the bonus is a little higher. The +1 damage doesn't make a lot of difference at lower levels, but Precise Shot does.

Something to think about would be...

1st - Point Blank Shot
3rd - Precise Shot
5th - Arcane Strike
7th - Power Attack
9th - Deadly Aim
11th - Rapid Shot

I recommend taking Precise Shot so early, because you're going to notice that -4 penalty way more early on that later. If you shooting into melee that -8 penalty total is just brutal. Granted, tactical positioning will help with the Cover penalty. Picking up Arcane Strike at 5th level will instantly give you a nice +2 bonus to attack.

I don't think the 8 Wis is too low. Your Will save will suffer, of course, but that shouldn't be too much of a damper. Get yourself a Cloak of Resistance early to help offset that penalty perhaps.


You plan to increase str twice ir just start with 14 and increase dex instead 3 times. Otherwise you waste some points.


I think Wasum has a pretty good idea. Take a look at these starting stats and see what you think Wiggz.

Str 14 (5 points)
Dex 18 (10 points +2 Racial) +1 4th, +1 8th
Con 14 (5 points)
Int 10
Wis 8 (-2 points)
Cha 14 (2 points +2 racial)

Hmmm... now that only problem is that you won't get to the 20 Dex until 8th level; however, you'll be able to really capitalize on your Switch-Hitting build and be able to stack your strength when going ranged. You can still add your Battle Dance bonuses to your ranged attacks as well.

The other issue is your floater point for 12th level. Unless you can get another bonus to your stats later, the only viable place to stick it would be strength for additional carrying capacity (which is null at that level anyway...).

The idea behind this build would be to focus on melee your first few levels and then when you pick up Precise Shot you can focus more on ranged for a few levels. Now I will say this, the only issue with ranged bards is being stuck with shortbow. Granted, your damage output is less concerned with the damage dice of the weapon and more about your bonuses.

Liberty's Edge

I went a little different with my ability scores.

Started with:
Str 13 (+1 12th)
Dex 18 (+1 4th, +1 8th)
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 8
Cha 14

The strength ultimately means 1 point of damage on my bow, which I sacrifice in favor of the extra language and skill point.

I am also debating working Harmonic Spell in my feats early on when rounds per day of Performance are more limited.


Faelyn wrote:

You might think about taking arcane strike at 5th level when the bonus is a little higher. The +1 damage doesn't make a lot of difference at lower levels, but Precise Shot does.

Something to think about would be...

1st - Point Blank Shot
3rd - Precise Shot
5th - Arcane Strike
7th - Power Attack
9th - Deadly Aim
11th - Rapid Shot

I recommend taking Precise Shot so early, because you're going to notice that -4 penalty way more early on that later. If you shooting into melee that -8 penalty total is just brutal. Granted, tactical positioning will help with the Cover penalty. Picking up Arcane Strike at 5th level will instantly give you a nice +2 bonus to attack.

I'm not really trying to build an archer - I just have some feats to spare and I figure adding in some archery is a nice way to use them. As stated, I expect it to really only come into play in tactical situations when no one is able to close with a foe (like flyers, for instance). The strength bump at 8th is solely to qualify me for Power Attack, and the bump at 12th is basically because its the only odd stat I have left that would benefit.

Arcane Strike is being taken early more for its ability to penetrate DR/magic which can be absolutely killer to a low level party otherwise - is this a concern I shouldn't have? I ask because I'm not very familiar with how PFS scenarios go.


Your bumps should always go into your highet stat. Otherwise you are wasting points.


Wasum wrote:
Your bumps should always go into your highet stat. Otherwise you are wasting points.

Well not necessarily with PFS. You capstone at 12th level which means if you're stuck with an odd stat its a little silly since you can't really bump it higher.

Actually, Wiggz, your point about DR is a very valid one I had not considered. In that case... I would recommend sticking with your feat progression. DR can be very harsh on a DD, depending on the type. If you're up against skelos... they can brutal on DDs as you now have to use a weapon that you are not very handy with.


then at least 2 should go in the highest for PFS and the other one in the highest odd stat:P


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Wasum wrote:
Your bumps should always go into your highet stat. Otherwise you are wasting points.

I disagree with this. There are instances where it makes sense to put in second highest stat. For example, my Sorc put a point into Dex to help with ranged touch attacks. I would say, generally this is the rule but there are exceptions and build options that make "always" not always the case.


The thing is (unless highest and second highest stat are about the same) its always cheaper to increase the lower stats by point buy and the higher ones by level-bumps.

If your sorc starts with 13 dex and 16 cha (ignoring racial stuff) and you use your stat-bump to increase dex you're looking at 14/16.

Now if you just started with 14 dex and 15 cha and bumped cha to 16, you end up having 14/16 as well but didnt waste a point.


Duncan7291 wrote:
Wasum wrote:
Your bumps should always go into your highet stat. Otherwise you are wasting points.
I disagree with this. There are instances where it makes sense to put in second highest stat. For example, my Sorc put a point into Dex to help with ranged touch attacks. I would say, generally this is the rule but there are exceptions and build options that make "always" not always the case.

Keep in mind too how little play actually takes place in PFS post 12. That third stat bump is borderline meaningless and should be depended on to get you to the next modifier bump.

Better in my opinion to boost one even stat twice or two odd stats once and let the bump at 12 just be lagniappe.


Faelyn wrote:

The switch hitter build can be good, but just know that you won't be doing as much damage on either "mode". You will be versatile, however, which can be good especially for PFS.

Lastly, very curious about the reason for making your weapon a bonded item? I think you'll be burning two very needed feats for a benefit that I'm not quite seeing.

I'm still see-sawing back and forth between building the character as a switch-hitter and focusing purely on melee. If I do the latter it'll make me a more effective fighter and open the door (feat-wise) to making it a bonded item and still taking Discordant Voice, but will rob me of effectiveness at range (apart from limited spellcasting).

I guess it comes back to two questions: 1) does having a bonded weapon effectively reduce the cost of enhancing that weapon and 2) how often does a strong melee character need to resort to ranged combat?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

My Dex bump will be at 12. I'm 11.2 now and will do Eyes of Ten at level 12.

Grand Lodge

I actually tried to make a build for a Switch-hitter. Without precise shot it was terribly ineffective. Sure the Idea is great to not have to shoot into melee. But what happens when people reach melee before you do and your still in a better position to Arch.

The bard, I find, lacks feats needed to focus on 2 forms of combat.

You can still pick up a bow and use arcane strike to increase your damage. But your only doing so if they are out of your melee range. You really don't need to dedicate a lot of feats to it.

Also remember...Point blank shot is within 30 feet. That is within your move to them range and typically if they are within 30 feet someone else on your squad of goons is mixed up in melee. the -4 to hit is staggering.

I would also ditch Maestro of the Society. Perhaps Flame of the Dawn? Add 2 extra fire damage on a critical.


Don't switch hitters normally have quick draw instead of point blank shot? Of course if the monsters are hitting somebody else it's annoying to have to charge in.


I'm actually working on a similar character for PFS myself, so the stuff in this thread is interesting to read.

That said, I wonder if its necessary to take the Aasimar FCB at every level. My rough napkin math indicates that by the end of PFS play you end up at an effective level of 18 for Inspire Courage, one more than is needed as IC caps at 17. Further, the extra level doesn't push your IC boost in any meaningful manner, indicating you can afford to skip 2 levels of the Aasimar FCB in favor of, say, hp or skill points. Thoughts? Heresy? Common knowledge?


Wiggz wrote:
Faelyn wrote:

The switch hitter build can be good, but just know that you won't be doing as much damage on either "mode". You will be versatile, however, which can be good especially for PFS.

Lastly, very curious about the reason for making your weapon a bonded item? I think you'll be burning two very needed feats for a benefit that I'm not quite seeing.

I'm still see-sawing back and forth between building the character as a switch-hitter and focusing purely on melee. If I do the latter it'll make me a more effective fighter and open the door (feat-wise) to making it a bonded item and still taking Discordant Voice, but will rob me of effectiveness at range (apart from limited spellcasting).

I guess it comes back to two questions: 1) does having a bonded weapon effectively reduce the cost of enhancing that weapon and 2) how often does a strong melee character need to resort to ranged combat?

If you're really only looking at using ranged as a back up for instances that you just simply can't get into ranged, then I would focus on a melee build and avoid the ranged feats, IMO. You can still do a decent amount of damage with non-focused ranged weapons with Arcane Strike and Battle Dance.

I see what your idea behind the Bonded Item is now. I can definitely see the allure of that decision, especially with PFS. And from what I can tell, Bonded Item upgrading is the only "Item Creation" allowed in PFS... so you could essentially customize your weapon somewhat, which is always a nice touch.


Faelyn wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
Faelyn wrote:

The switch hitter build can be good, but just know that you won't be doing as much damage on either "mode". You will be versatile, however, which can be good especially for PFS.

Lastly, very curious about the reason for making your weapon a bonded item? I think you'll be burning two very needed feats for a benefit that I'm not quite seeing.

I'm still see-sawing back and forth between building the character as a switch-hitter and focusing purely on melee. If I do the latter it'll make me a more effective fighter and open the door (feat-wise) to making it a bonded item and still taking Discordant Voice, but will rob me of effectiveness at range (apart from limited spellcasting).

I guess it comes back to two questions: 1) does having a bonded weapon effectively reduce the cost of enhancing that weapon and 2) how often does a strong melee character need to resort to ranged combat?

If you're really only looking at using ranged as a back up for instances that you just simply can't get into ranged, then I would focus on a melee build and avoid the ranged feats, IMO. You can still do a decent amount of damage with non-focused ranged weapons with Arcane Strike and Battle Dance.

I see what your idea behind the Bonded Item is now. I can definitely see the allure of that decision, especially with PFS. And from what I can tell, Bonded Item upgrading is the only "Item Creation" allowed in PFS... so you could essentially customize your weapon somewhat, which is always a nice touch.

If I go that route - and you make a very solid point that I'll still be fairly effective at range even without devoting feats to it - this is what I'll probably do:

Attributes:
STR - 13 (+1 @ 12th level)
DEX - 18 (+1 @ 4th & 8th level)
CON - 14
INT - 10
WIS - 10
CHA - 14

Racial abilities:
Darkvision 60'
Acid Resistance 5, Cold Resistance 5, Electricity Resistance 5
Glitterdust 1/day

Traits:
Maestro of the Society
Reactionary

Feats:
1st - Dervish Dance
1st - Arcane Strike
3rd - Power Attack
5th - Skill Focus: Knowledge (Religion)
7th - Eldritch Heritage: Arcane (Arcane Bond)
9th - Lunge or Weapon Focus: Scimitar
11th - Discordant Voice or Weapon Focus: Scimitar

Skills:
Climb (1)
Escape Artist(2)
Knowledge: Religion (3-12)
Stealth (1-12)
Perception (1-12)
Performance: Comedy (1-12) replaces Bluff, Intimidate @ 10th
Performance: Dance (1-12) replaces Acrobatics, Fly @ 6th
Performance: Oration (1-12) replaces Diplomacy, Sense Motive @ 2nd

I'm correct in believing that Discordant Voice, since it affects 'allies' will also affect me as well, since I'm always my own ally, no? The last two feats are really up in the air and will be until I get close to those levels which may be a while, altoholic that I am.

I'd really love it if someone who has experience bonding a weapon and then enchanting it for PFS play could chime in here - crafting rules and crafting Bonded Items in particular is kind of a blindspot for me when it comes to PF rules. I don't know what skills I'd need (if any) or what my level limitations would be for enhancement bonuses and the Keen ability. If it turns out that its not really a practical pursuit, I could definitely use those feats for something else.


Ryzoken wrote:

I'm actually working on a similar character for PFS myself, so the stuff in this thread is interesting to read.

That said, I wonder if its necessary to take the Aasimar FCB at every level. My rough napkin math indicates that by the end of PFS play you end up at an effective level of 18 for Inspire Courage, one more than is needed as IC caps at 17. Further, the extra level doesn't push your IC boost in any meaningful manner, indicating you can afford to skip 2 levels of the Aasimar FCB in favor of, say, hp or skill points. Thoughts? Heresy? Common knowledge?

Whether or not its worth it is up to you - it certainly is up until 8th in my opinion. Remember, those 'halfs' don't count; you have to take the FCB up to 8th to claim the bump that would normally come at 11th and you have to take it up to 12th to claim the bump that would come at 17th (11 X 1.5 = 16.5, not 17).

Liberty's Edge

Wiggz wrote:
Ryzoken wrote:

I'm actually working on a similar character for PFS myself, so the stuff in this thread is interesting to read.

That said, I wonder if its necessary to take the Aasimar FCB at every level. My rough napkin math indicates that by the end of PFS play you end up at an effective level of 18 for Inspire Courage, one more than is needed as IC caps at 17. Further, the extra level doesn't push your IC boost in any meaningful manner, indicating you can afford to skip 2 levels of the Aasimar FCB in favor of, say, hp or skill points. Thoughts? Heresy? Common knowledge?

Whether or not its worth it is up to you - it certainly is up until 8th in my opinion. Remember, those 'halfs' don't count; you have to take the FCB up to 8th to claim the bump that would normally come at 11th and you have to take it up to 12th to claim the bump that would come at 17th (11 X 1.5 = 16.5, not 17).

The most you would need is 10 levels of the FCB. Level 4 gets the level 5 bonus (4+1, 2 levels needed), level 8 gets the level 11 bonus (8+3, 6 levels needed), level 12 gets the level 17 bonus (12+5, 10 levels needed). Use your first 2 FCBs for extra HP.


Fomsie wrote:
The most you would need is 10 levels of the FCB. Level 4 gets the level 5 bonus (4+1, 2 levels needed), level 8 gets the level 11 bonus (8+3, 6 levels needed), level 12 gets the level 17 bonus (12+5, 10 levels needed). Use your first 2 FCBs for extra HP.

This was what my 'napkin math' was getting at. 10 levels of FCB for a 5 level acceleration of Inspire Courage, with the first two going to whichever of the regular FCB's you wanted. I think I went with hp at level 1 and a skill point in swim at level 2 (because drowning sucks!)


After level 12, switch to Sentinel.

Silver Crusade

I was considering a 2 lv dip into paladin with the divine Hunter archetype. With my DD .you only lose heavy armor proficiency (which I don't use anyway )and you get point blank shot as a bonus feat .

Grand Lodge

Ive gone switch hitter with my DD and its a ton of fun.

1b. DD
1. Arcane Strike
3. quickdraw
5. PBS
7. Rapid Shot

I am well behind our 2wf ranger and DD magus in terms of damage but I have got versatility out the wazoo and I hit more often unless the ranger is against his FE.


KutuluKultist wrote:
After level 12, switch to Sentinel.

No play past 12 in PFS.


Ryzoken wrote:
Fomsie wrote:
The most you would need is 10 levels of the FCB. Level 4 gets the level 5 bonus (4+1, 2 levels needed), level 8 gets the level 11 bonus (8+3, 6 levels needed), level 12 gets the level 17 bonus (12+5, 10 levels needed). Use your first 2 FCBs for extra HP.
This was what my 'napkin math' was getting at. 10 levels of FCB for a 5 level acceleration of Inspire Courage, with the first two going to whichever of the regular FCB's you wanted. I think I went with hp at level 1 and a skill point in swim at level 2 (because drowning sucks!)

For me, getting that bump at 8th instead of 11th is more than worth missing out on 1 or 2 hit points... I can see the logic in taking advantage of that at levels 11 and 12 though.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just curious, how do you have two feats as a level 1 aasimar bard?


CigarPete wrote:
Just curious, how do you have two feats as a level 1 aasimar bard?

Dawnflower Dervishes get Dervish Dance for free at 1st level.

Liberty's Edge

Wiggz wrote:
Ryzoken wrote:
Fomsie wrote:
The most you would need is 10 levels of the FCB. Level 4 gets the level 5 bonus (4+1, 2 levels needed), level 8 gets the level 11 bonus (8+3, 6 levels needed), level 12 gets the level 17 bonus (12+5, 10 levels needed). Use your first 2 FCBs for extra HP.
This was what my 'napkin math' was getting at. 10 levels of FCB for a 5 level acceleration of Inspire Courage, with the first two going to whichever of the regular FCB's you wanted. I think I went with hp at level 1 and a skill point in swim at level 2 (because drowning sucks!)
For me, getting that bump at 8th instead of 11th is more than worth missing out on 1 or 2 hit points... I can see the logic in taking advantage of that at levels 11 and 12 though.

Wiggz, look at the math... assuming you take +1 HP at level 1 and 2 and then +1/2 Inspire Courage from level 3-12, you will have the following:

+1(2 FCBs worth 3+4) at level 4, giving the bump to level 5 effect.
+3(6 FCBs worth 3+4/5+6/7+8) at level 8, giving the bump to level 11 effect.
+5(10 FCBs worth 3+4/5+6/7+8/9+10/11+12) at level 12, giving the level 17 effect.

You could put those first 2 FCBs into the inspire courage, but it would not get you any improvement any faster.

You would only have +1.5 at level 3, for a total of 4.5
You would only have +3.5 at level 7, for a total of 10.5
You would only have +5.5 at level 11, for a total of 16.5

So really, you benefit most from grabbing the extra HP, then focusing on improving the ability.


Fomsie wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
Ryzoken wrote:
Fomsie wrote:
The most you would need is 10 levels of the FCB. Level 4 gets the level 5 bonus (4+1, 2 levels needed), level 8 gets the level 11 bonus (8+3, 6 levels needed), level 12 gets the level 17 bonus (12+5, 10 levels needed). Use your first 2 FCBs for extra HP.
This was what my 'napkin math' was getting at. 10 levels of FCB for a 5 level acceleration of Inspire Courage, with the first two going to whichever of the regular FCB's you wanted. I think I went with hp at level 1 and a skill point in swim at level 2 (because drowning sucks!)
For me, getting that bump at 8th instead of 11th is more than worth missing out on 1 or 2 hit points... I can see the logic in taking advantage of that at levels 11 and 12 though.

Wiggz, look at the math... assuming you take +1 HP at level 1 and 2 and then +1/2 Inspire Courage from level 3-12, you will have the following:

+1(2 FCBs worth 3+4) at level 4, giving the bump to level 5 effect.
+3(6 FCBs worth 3+4/5+6/7+8) at level 8, giving the bump to level 11 effect.
+5(10 FCBs worth 3+4/5+6/7+8/9+10/11+12) at level 12, giving the level 17 effect.

You could put those first 2 FCBs into the inspire courage, but it would not get you any improvement any faster.

You would only have +1.5 at level 3, for a total of 4.5
You would only have +3.5 at level 7, for a total of 10.5
You would only have +5.5 at level 11, for a total of 16.5

So really, you benefit most from grabbing the extra HP, then focusing on improving the ability.

You've got me convinced. The extra hit points would also be more sorely needed at the lowest levels, or the skill points to get you a bit of training in skills where 1 rank + class skill could net you a nice bump. I'm sold.


Wiggz wrote:
You've got me convinced. The extra hit points would also be more sorely needed at the lowest levels, or the skill points to get you a bit of training in skills where 1 rank + class skill could net you a nice bump. I'm sold.

I recommend taking the hp at level 1 and the skill point at level 2, possibly in something like Swim or a knowledge skill.

Hmm... Tangential question: Pageant of the Peacock lets you use Bluff in Int based skill checks (and grants a bonus.) Do I still need a rank in said Int based skills to perform a check if they're Trained Only?

And that leads to another tangential question: can I combine use of Versatile Performer and Pageant of the Peacock to use Perform(Sing) in place of Int based skills with a +4 circumstance bonus?


Ryzoken wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
You've got me convinced. The extra hit points would also be more sorely needed at the lowest levels, or the skill points to get you a bit of training in skills where 1 rank + class skill could net you a nice bump. I'm sold.

I recommend taking the hp at level 1 and the skill point at level 2, possibly in something like Swim or a knowledge skill.

Hmm... Tangential question: Pageant of the Peacock lets you use Bluff in Int based skill checks (and grants a bonus.) Do I still need a rank in said Int based skills to perform a check if they're Trained Only?

And that leads to another tangential question: can I combine use of Versatile Performer and Pageant of the Peacock to use Perform(Sing) in place of Int based skills with a +4 circumstance bonus?

That... Is an excellent set of questions. I honestly have no idea, but could see that working.


Faelyn wrote:
That... Is an excellent set of questions. I honestly have no idea, but could see that working.

I suspect the latter option works, albeit without the +4 circumstance bonus, but don't know about whether I need skill ranks in, say, knowledges and linguistics to Pageant them.

I also suspect I'll need to play it safe and throw a rank in them just to cover my bases. Mreh. Not like I needed two level's worth of skill bonuses (minus two points to keep my Perform skills up)... *whimper*

EDIT: a quick search (amazing function that!) indicates it all works.


Ryzoken wrote:
EDIT: a quick search (amazing function that!) indicates it all works.

Alright, bear with me...

At 4th level or somewhere thereafter, I meet the pre-requisite of 4 ranks in Dance and sacrifice one of my 2nd level spells known. In return I get the Masterpiece Pageant of the Peacock.

This ability allows me to make a Bluff check in place of any Intelligence-based check, although (we think) I'd still have to have at least 1 rank in the various Knowledges, Spellcraft or Linguistics to be able to make the check as they can't be performed untrained. It also grants +4 to Bluff checks and presumably these mechanics work together.

Next, I take advantage of Versatile Performance to replace that Bluff check with a Sing or Comedy check, holding on to that +4 bonus because its really still a Bluff which is actually something else entirely.

So through song and dance (or sarcasm) I'm able to fake Knowledge, Spellcraft and Linguistics ability except that the information gained is completely real, and I do all of that as a standard action and for the cost of 1 round of Bardic Performance which in turn grants the ability for 10 minutes.

Is that about it?


Wiggz wrote:
Ryzoken wrote:
EDIT: a quick search (amazing function that!) indicates it all works.

Alright, bear with me...

At 4th level or somewhere thereafter, I meet the pre-requisite of 4 ranks in Dance and sacrifice one of my 2nd level spells known. In return I get the Masterpiece Pageant of the Peacock.

This ability allows me to make a Bluff check in place of any Intelligence-based check, although (we think) I'd still have to have at least 1 rank in the various Knowledges, Spellcraft or Linguistics to be able to make the check as they can't be performed untrained. It also grants +4 to Bluff checks and presumably these mechanics work together.

Next, I take advantage of Versatile Performance to replace that Bluff check with a Sing or Comedy check, holding on to that +4 bonus because its really still a Bluff which is actually something else entirely.

So through song and dance (or sarcasm) I'm able to fake Knowledge, Spellcraft and Linguistics ability except that the information gained is completely real, and I do all of that as a standard action and for the cost of 1 round of Bardic Performance which in turn grants the ability for 10 minutes.

Is that about it?

You'll want to double check the wording on both of those abilities. There have been several threads about whether this kind of "double replacement" would work, and there hasn't been a consensus one way or the other.

For PFS, I always caution players about relying too much on any gray areas or rules questions. Since you don't choose your GM (and might not even know who it's going to be), you might not always be able to use that ability. If it's a bonus trick or side feature, no big deal. Just don't make a questionable area central to your build, or you could end up with a useless character half the time. Which sucks.

(And make sure you get your aasimar at least one chronicle sheet before August 14.)


Gwen Smith wrote:
(And make sure you get your aasimar at least one chronicle sheet before August 14.)

PFS is brand new to me, but I ran a quick human fighter last week to hold a spot open for my Tiefling Paladin (didn't have my 'blood of' pdfs yet), and I've got another game scheduled next weekend where I'm actually going to get to play my Aasimar. Of the six concepts I'm excited to play, those two have to take primacy due to the impending deadline.

And I agree on the 'not relying on iffy or convoluted rules' thing. To be honest, PotP isn't in any way central or necessary to my concept or build, but at the same time, if its a legitimate option, don't I owe it to the people I'm going to be playing with to explore it? I'll already be strong at range, very strong in melee, a fair buffer and healer as needed and have solid face skills - Knowledges seem like the lone aspect of the game I could add to my repertoire and serve as a as a reliable back-up should the party lack those skills.


It doesn't seem very grey at all.

I have a masterpiece that lets me use Bluff in place of Int skills. I have a class ability that lets me use Perform in place of Bluff. There are no restrictions on when I can do these things.

If Bluff = Int Skills (under Peacock effects) and Perform = Bluff, Perform = Int Skills.

The only grey portions are: do you still get the +4 bonus (forum post by James Jacobs supports keeping the bonus) and do you need skill ranks in trained only skills (aforementioned forum post suggests you're getting 'virtual ranks' so no, you're good)

Either way, totally an ancillary trick I'd only bust out when noone else took knowledge skills.


Ryzoken wrote:

It doesn't seem very grey at all.

I have a masterpiece that lets me use Bluff in place of Int skills. I have a class ability that lets me use Perform in place of Bluff. There are no restrictions on when I can do these things.

If Bluff = Int Skills (under Peacock effects) and Perform = Bluff, Perform = Int Skills.

The only grey portions are: do you still get the +4 bonus (forum post by James Jacobs supports keeping the bonus) and do you need skill ranks in trained only skills (aforementioned forum post suggests you're getting 'virtual ranks' so no, you're good)

Either way, totally an ancillary trick I'd only bust out when noone else took knowledge skills.

For a Human Bard taking his FCB and loading up on spells known this would seem to be an automatic choice.


Wiggz wrote:
For a Human Bard taking his FCB and loading up on spells known this would seem to be an automatic choice.

It's a pretty automatic choice for any bard with a pulse. Much like Power Attack for Barbarians.

Only caveat is that you have to own the sourcebook (Dragonslayer's Handbook) to use in PFS.

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