What's your go to class for a character with an inferiority complex?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


I was just thinking, what if you wanted to play a character who was so fundamentally flawed that they used their weakness to justify unscrupulous behavior?

What if your character is so fundamentally damned by their initial training that they have to claw at every advantage just to survive? What if you used this weakness to justify things like stealing all the valuables from the people you just saved, or swiping a larger than fairer portion of loot? What if your jealously of your "companions" fantastical abilities leads you to self serving ends and deals.

I was just contemplating a character that uses their weakness to fuel a depravity that becomes their greatest strength. Obviously such a character has to be competent enough to do many things, but that doesn't mean they have to be the best at such things. You would just need a good platform for your schemes to springboard off of. There is also the issue of why you would bring such a character to a group event where everyone is just trying to have fun.


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Rogue. If you optimize a rogue as hard as you can, they can be competent. They're also great for playing on hard mode.


If you allow third party stuff, the Malefactor from Total Party Kill games is a good one. The character is plagued with spirits, which inflict bad luck (in the form of penalties to saves) on everyone including the Malefactor if you run out of points.


I kind of like Master Chymist for this idea.


Marroar Gellantara wrote:

I was just thinking, what if you wanted to play a character who was so fundamentally flawed that they used their weakness to justify unscrupulous behavior?

What if your character is so fundamentally damned by their initial training that they have to claw at every advantage just to survive? What if you used this weakness to justify things like stealing all the valuables from the people you just saved, or swiping a larger than fairer portion of loot? What if your jealously of your "companions" fantastical abilities leads you to self serving ends and deals.

I was just contemplating a character that uses their weakness to fuel a depravity that becomes their greatest strength. Obviously such a character has to be competent enough to do many things, but that doesn't mean they have to be the best at such things. You would just need a good platform for your schemes to springboard off of. There is also the issue of why you would bring such a character to a group event where everyone is just trying to have fun.

I second Rogue, Possibly Sorcerer or other spontaneous caster if you were careful to keep your spell selection mediocre.

I'd also like to mention that I know very few parties that would put up with that character, the nicer ones would kick him out, the less nice ones would seek a more permanent solution. Of course you know your fellow players better than I do. Just something to keep in mind.

- Torger


A core rogue is so underpowered amongst other splatbooked PCs that he's quite justified in turning to crime just to keep up. I'd never thought of it like that before, but you seem to have uncovered the in-game justification for rogue==thief.


Dual cursed oracle that uses oracle's burden to force others down to his level.

He feels a sense of superiority seeing others crippled by the conditions he has learned not only to live with, but to use as advantages.

It helps that it is a CHA caster with 4+int skills, which means it can do well enough on face skills like bluff.


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Any class. Classes do not come with attached personalities.


Zhayne wrote:
Any class. Classes do not come with attached personalities.

I would just find it hard to play a character struggling with their weakness, who could solo the rest of the party at a moments notice while naked.


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Any class. Classes do not come with attached personalities.
I would just find it hard to play a character struggling with their weakness, who could solo the rest of the party at a moments notice while naked.

Plus, it is thematic. A person's way of thinking often influences the fighting style they choose. Will you rush forward and take care of the problem immediately? Will you hold back and bide your time until the enemy attacks so you can counter attack? Will you use mobility, stealth, and guerrilla warfare to protect yourself and your resources while making the other side waste theirs?

Your lifestyle has a major effect. The way that a knight fights is completely different from how a trained assassin fights, even if they have similar levels of skills and physical capabilities. Even looking at the classic 4 man line up, a wizard will crush with power, a fighter will get in, down and dirty, a cleric will bolster defenses and prepare them for a fight, and a rogue will try to find a way around the problem in the first place.

So choosing a particular class/build/role can help to reinforce the nature of the character, and helps to better get you into the mood of roleplaying that character. While the exact details are extremely flexible, trying to find a fit is important.

Also, some people like to create their characters in a different fashion- I love to just let my imagination run wild with a fancy class feature, and trying to imagine a guy that would use it. I am currently in love with the mutagenic warrior since it is born with a very obvious "Why?" Fleshing out the details from that is part of the fun of making character for me.


You know, probably doesn't really fit the concept, but the OP has given me the idea of a witch/sorcerer/oracle with this as their backdrop.

You take a skulker, con, thief, whatever. Not very competent, probably jealous and bitter because of that weakness... and then suddenly they come into incredible power, through a resurgence of some latent talent in his or her blood, a vision from a deity, or a chance encounter with a familiar serving as the envoy of a mysterious patron.

This probably ends up engendering more bitterness in a way, because there's always the thought in the back of his or her mind, how much of this is me, and how much of this is my mysterious benefactor (or blood, this is better if you use a bloodline with more overt physical effects). And he or she always gets the feeling that the wizard (or cleric or arcanist, etc.) is looking down at him or her, after all, they earned their powers... and the con's might vanish any second.

And... you go from there. Not quite what you had in mind, but it's what popped into mine when reading the thread.

Shadow Lodge

I can't believe this hasn't been said yet.

BARBARIAN! RAAAAGE!


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Any class. Classes do not come with attached personalities.
I would just find it hard to play a character struggling with their weakness, who could solo the rest of the party at a moments notice while naked.

Obviously, you would build the character in question to not be able to do that. Oi.

Of course, this is likely to get the rest of the group irritated with you if they think you're dead weight.

Grand Lodge

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I think this has far less to do with the class chosen than the character's alignment and the roleplaying skills of the player.


Zhayne wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Any class. Classes do not come with attached personalities.
I would just find it hard to play a character struggling with their weakness, who could solo the rest of the party at a moments notice while naked.

Obviously, you would build the character in question to not be able to do that. Oi.

Of course, this is likely to get the rest of the group irritated with you if they think you're dead weight.

Idk it seems to me that poor build decisions do not seem like "clawing for every advantage".

Unless we're just thinking stats and stuff.


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Avatar-1 wrote:

I can't believe this hasn't been said yet.

BARBARIAN! RAAAAGE!

BARBARIAN ACT OUT WITH VIOLENCE ON HIS INSECURITIES THAT COME FROM THE FACT THAT PEOPLE TAKE HIS IGNORANCE ON ANOTHER CULTURE AS BEING DUE TO A LACK OF INTELLIGENCE

And more specifically, the savage dirty trick power could be both thematic and highly effective, since he literally uses cheap tactic in order to force the enemy into submission. It would be rather interesting to role play in a campaign focused around nobility, knights, and question on the nature of 'honor' and 'combat'.


I would suggest looking at the party composition first, and then choosing a 'versatile' class. Examples like; Inquisitor, Bard, or Magus.

The character views members like the Wizard, Cleric, and Fighter as superior to him in their respective fields, and fails to see that his own 50/50 approach is different but equal to their 100% approach, breeding jealousy.

My advice on that though is; most people, myself included could leap to the assumption that you're using the character to justify greedy player actions, or venting your own frustrations with a shield of "I'm just playing my character."

So, this idea really needs to be spoken at length with the possible 'victims' of your character (the PCs), and they need to be okay with it. Hell, they have to be excited about it even, because dealing with something they find unpleasant will only go so far, before they get angry.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd be careful with this, as you'll want to make sure your ruthlessless and hunger for power doesn't rub the other players the wrong way. Jerk companions can work in fiction and folklore, but in gaming it needs a lot of finesse. You might want to temper your ruthlessness with any of the following (whatever is suitable to your preferences and game setup):
1) aim your wrath and greed primarily at jerk targets who deserve it. (I.E>, enemies of the party)
2) give your evil/search for power a bit of doomed/morbid humor (should be highly possible if you have a guy trying to compensate for incompetence.)
3)The individual is a component of the self, but not the only one. The people you hang out with is also an element of the self and can be viewed as a reflection upon you. Look out for how you can empower the other guys too. If nothing else, they'll owe you one for it instead of the other way around.

Now the question is, how will you go about making a dramatic transformation from a lowly mundane to something greater? Going into wizard/arcane trickster might make for a good way to play up your character wanting to become better, because then you wouldn't just be able to hoard treasure but also magical knowledge. Not the most magical option, but seems to fit your character concept. If you wanted to start with Fighter instead of rogue, you could multiclass into Eldtrich Knight. (Several races/classes with spell-like abilities will permit earlier entry into these classes.)


Dreaming Psion wrote:
Now the question is, how will you go about making a dramatic transformation from a lowly mundane to something greater?

I think the key here is that you won't. At some point you'll stumble into greatness. One day you'll stand on top of a pile of horrific monster corpses and think, "Did I really do that?". Your accomplishments will never be great for your level but at some point you'll naturally become better than things vastly below you.

I think such a character needs to be an open book to the players, but far more secretive to the PCs. Everyone needs to be in on the joke. You'll need your character to be someone people love to hate (even if he is neutral and not evil).

What would be even better though is if you somehow trick people into thinking you are important or competent.

Something I think you should never do with this kind of character is bring them in at higher levels. This kind of character has to steal power to be relevant, so they need to be there from the very start so that they can start to slowly amass more than their fair share of wealth and make lasting connections with the world and NPCs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hmm, good point; PR is the big deal here. Going straight rogue then may be your best option. To maximize your parasitism, put max ranks in Use Magic Device so you can fake casting spells.

The rumormonger and Convincing Lie rogue talents might be worth looking at. These are controversial because there's an implication you need to have these talents to spread rumors or for people to believe lies other people spread unwittingly by proxy. However, I'm of the opinion these talents just make it vastly easier. The Rumormonger makes spreading a rumor a single Bluff check and lets you avoid having to find the best places to begin spreading rumors. And without the Convincing Lie, it may be up in the air if the parties your pawn talks to believe your story, but this gives you an up front ability to lie to people by proxy, allowing you to roll a Bluff even while absent. Judicious use of both of these could have you spreading a lie like a contagion.


So I'm feeling rogue for this

Sample Build:
CN Focused Study Human Rogue || 10 18 14 14 10 10 || Acrobatics, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Sleight of Hand, Stealth ||5|| Bluff, Use Magic Device, Perception||3|| Secondary Skills(4); Climb, Diplomacy, Disguise, Linguistics(max -1), Swim(1 rank)
Traits: Resilient(+1 fort saves), Indomitable Faith(+1 Will)
1 |Deceitful, Skill Focus(Bluff)
2 |Finesse Rogue
3 |Combat Expertise
4 |Combat Trick(Improved Feint)
5 |Skill Focus(UMD)
6 |Bleeding Attack
7 |Combat Reflexes
8 |Fast Stealth, Skill Focus(Stealth)
9 |Quick Draw
10|Skill Mastery(Bluff, UMD, Stealth, Disguise, Acrobatics)
11|Greater Feint
12|Opportunist
13|Extra Rogue Talent(Crippling Strike)
14|Hard Minded
15|Great Fortitude
16|Skill Mastery(Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Sleight of Hand, Climb, Linguistics), Skill Focus(Acrobatics)
17|Iron Will
18|Black Market Connections
19|Skill Focus(Diplomacy)
20|Rumormonger
Trickster(Surprise Strike)
Mythic Feats: Weapon Finesse, Combat Reflexes, Extra Path Ability(Combat Trickery), Combat Expertise, Quickdraw
Mythic Path: Longevity, Deadly Dodge, Vanishing Move, Mirror Dodge, Master of Escape, Precision Critical, Slayer’s Cyclone, Class Mimic, Sardonic Wit, Master Dilettante

BTW: I try to include mythic progressions into builds.

Hellcat:
CN Focused Study Human Rogue || 10 18 14 14 10 10 || Acrobatics, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Sleight of Hand, Stealth ||5|| Bluff, Use Magic Device, Perception||3|| Secondary Skills(4); Climb, Diplomacy, Disguise, Linguistics(max -1), Swim(1 rank)
Traits: Resilient(+1 fort saves), Indomitable Faith(+1 Will)
1 |Stealthy, Skill Focus(Stealth)
2 |Finesse Rogue
3 |Deceitful
4 |Combat Trick(Shadow Strike)
5 |Skill Focus(Bluff)
6 |Fast Stealth
7 |Hellcat Stealth
8 |Bleeding Attack, Skill Focus(UMD)
9 |Deft Hands
10|Skill Mastery(Bluff, UMD, Stealth, Disguise, Acrobatics)
11|Skill Mastery(Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Sleight of Hand, Climb, Perception)
12|Hard Minded
13|Skill Focus(Acrobatics)
14|Crippling Strike
15|Skill Focus(Perception)
16|Stealthy Sniper, Skill Focus(Diplomacy)
17|Skill Focus(Sleight of Hand)
18|Weapon Snatcher
19|Skill Focus(Disguise)
20|Skill Focus(Escape Artist)
Trickster(Surprise Strike)
Mythic Feats: Weapon Finesse, Stealthy, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Extra Path Ability()
Mythic Path: Longevity, Deadly Dodge, Vanishing Move, Mirror Dodge, Master of Escape, Precision Critical, Slayer’s Cyclone, Class Mimic, Sardonic Wit, Master Dilettante

Aside from the Hellcat stealth feat being allowed, the second build also depends on a SKR interpretation of the feat. My issue with it is that it might be actually good. HiPS is a pretty decent ability, and really frees up slots for more utility focus, and sense you won't be seen, you could forgo some defenses too.


elf magus,
7 con
blade bound archetype, make him middle aged, so he's' pretty old compared to the other characters and has seen/suffered a lot.

the HP/save issues gimp him quite a bit, and he should have odd conversations with his sword, that no one else can hear the other side of (like a crazy dude talking into a blue tooth head set and not one realizes for a few minutes that he's actually talking to someone else)

basically, you're making elric.

Bladebound Kensai would be awesome.

especially with some of the new swashbucklery arcana.
high dex and int.

Fun times.


Classes that are intligence based but not casters. So rogues that are skill based, alchemists archetypes that stink, investigators that are not violent ;) and the like.


What was the question exactly?

Do you want an "inferiority complex", or a mechanically inferior character who resents it and takes it out on everyone else?

The two are not the same thing. At all.

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