Help me build character that can carry the party


Advice

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Background info:
So, it's been almost a year since I last dealt with Pathfinder at all, so I am pretty rusty, but I caught wind that the other GM in the group (other than me) wants to go back to it. He's always had a thing for Numera or whatever its called that has the technic league and he's really excited about the tech guide or whatever. He wrote his own AP taking place there and now wants to go back and run it after our current game ends. The game is at least a month off in the future, maybe more, but I like to be prepared and well researched.

Here's the issue, though, behind the odd title: I basically have to carry the party. There are only three of us now, but even when the group was 8 strong, everyone looked to me to solve everything.

One player deliberately makes bad characters focused on niche, noncombat nonsense that doesn't really come up (like, he'll take only divination spells for his detective bard and refuse to buff anyone with his music). No, he will not change and he will not go away, so I generally just ignore him in considering good party make up.

The other guy is a casual gamer. Of all games, he knows Pathfinder best, but he generally just tells me his concept and asked me to make it fir him, and he can't handle any kind of complicated combos or rules interactions. He's most comfortable with something like an oracle--it can reasonably fight, has simple magic (spontaneous is his limit--no preparation), and can be built into a one trick pony he won't need to constantly adjust his strategy for. He also misses up to a quarter of our sessions for various reasons.

None of this bothers me, but it does restrict my options. My favorite characters are support. I love bards, sensei, evangelists, ridiculously good healers, crowd control specialists, etc., but I can't use them here. This is not meant insultingly, but the people in my group are not really worth buffing or healing (unless they get incidentally buffed by the buffs I put on myself). Believe me, I tried.

So, I am looking to make a character that can basically adventure on their own. It is not that the others will do nothing, just that I can't rely on them to do anything specific to fill out a party. I need to be able to win fights with minimal support or help, and I need some skills or magic for common adventuring problems (not, say social skills--we all talk and they are fine in those cases, and they're at least reliable when it comes to knowledge skills).

Here's what I know:

1) Stats will be fairly high. Last time he ran a Pathfinder game, we had an array of each number from 12 to 17. Anything published by paizo and on the srd is generally fine, though, there are usually odd racial restrictions. The races I like, however, have always been allowed (human, elf, half elf, sometimes tiefling). I don't know what level we will start or end on. I would expect level 2, though, as we've never played at 1st.

2) Technological stuff will matter, so, I would expect guns and constructs (so, no mind magic specialists and touch ac probably means more than usual).

3) I am the group's rules lawyer. The GM knows the general rules well, but is foggy on niche specifics. For example, last game, we fought guys with guns fairly often, but he was unaware they targeted touch. I don't want a cheesy or questionable build. Not only do I not want to be a douche, but he might not understand the implications of certain things without my explanation. I want obscure combos, but they should be fairly self explanatory when presented.

4) Based on past practices, I do not think I need to worry about traps, permanent debilitating effects, or random instant death. I also don't expect to get whatever magic items I want. We can sometimes order specific pieces, but they're just not the focus. Again, I am fine with this, but it means I can't rely on specific items for a specific build.

5) I can be a little slack in my optimization. I can get away with unusual or less purely powerful concepts and still carry the day because the others will be so weak and the GM does not play hardball with optimized tactics. He spreads the hits around, we've seen plenty of casters not flying around greater invisible, and there are always more fireballs than black tentacles. I need to carry the team, but not through the tomb of horrors.

6) In recent games, I have been several paladins, a druid, and a ranger, so, as much as they would do what I want, I would rather avoid them. I also generally prefer dex, int, and cha over str, con, and wis, so, if possible, I would like to focus on them. Oh, and I don't like pets or summoning and don't feel I need to be THAT powerful anyway. I prefer less magic if possible.

Right now, my leading ideas are Magus, Swashbuckler, and Gunslinger.

I was leaning magus, specifically Kensai, possibly opening with a 1 level dip of swashbuckler if I we start very low level. I feel that it would prove the most fun and be very effective in the mid levels, but I fear early on with so few spell slots and relatively low damage without spells.

I could also just do straight magus or hexcrafter, if kensai is the mistake. I love the defiler build in theory, but focusing on debuffing won't work because I need to be the one finishing the fight, not making it easy for the others to finish it.

Swashbuckler would just be the nonmagical version of the above. If it's viable, I am into it, but it seems like immensely less burst damage, a bit less defense, and all my magical utility/versatility for a little bit if accuracy and hp.

Gunslinger just seems like the same thing, except I have to use wisdom in exchange for better/easier dpr (ranged vs melee) and sort of embracing the techno themes of the game.

I am also really into the investigator's studied strike, but I fear it would ultimately be terrible. I fear the best way to use it is to polymorph into something with lots of big natural attacks and I am not into that right now.

What do you guys think? Am I missing anything cool or new? Will my preliminary ideas carry a party?


A summoner is the obvious "carry the party" role to me. Not necessarily the summoner class, it could be a wizard or a druid or whatever else you like.

I have to say though, swashbucklers are damn fun. Tons of damage, cool abilities, good defense. Gunslingers can dish out the pain but I find the gameplay to be a bit more repetitive, sometimes to the point of boring.

But a full caster (especially a summoner) is going to be more effective at "doing it all" than a martial character is.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Hunter = summoner light, gives you a tough pet a decent range of spells that includes summons if need be and ranger spells which are a good call.


I appreciate the suggestion, but I am really uninterested in pets or summons. I was a druid two games ago. It got out of hand. I also don't want to dominate the game.

Now, I know that sounds weird, considering the goal here, but I just want to carry the load, not steal the spotlight. Summons and pets take extra turns, which is a problem in my mind.


I would make a gnome alchemist... Slightly insane, perhaps a bit permanent drunk, but overall a good guy...

He is clever enough to solve most problems, and charming/bossy enough to get the others to do the heavy lifting... Always trying various "special drinks", and buying favors with alcohol (profession (brewer) very important skill)

In combats he hires mestshields, give them protective potions, and stay behind throwing bombs...

Put the lowest ability score in str, and occasionally talk about how strong he is, being able to carry 2-3 tough guys...

Team mates should be a front liner, and a healer (conditions as well as hp)... From what you wrote, perhaps a barb & oracle...


Hunter is dangerously close to being strictly inferior to druid. It's the class for when your GM bans druids but you still want to play one. It's certainly not a class to pick if you're sick of druids.

I'd be tempted to focus almost purely on survival while giving the casual gamer a simple buff and fight bard or skald build so that between the two of you you can handle most fights, while when he's not around you bravely run away and let the load keep rolling new characters until he stops with the inverse optimization.

An less passive-aggressive option is actually the evangelist. It makes a darn good battle cleric with the extra buff type and a reach build can buy time to summon and buff those.

If things are going to be sandboxy enough you can try to get the casual gamer into a bard or skald and only tackle tricky stuff when he's available. Run a summoner next to that (or the evangelist if you get him into skald) and it hardly matters how good a player he is.


Synthesist summoner would work. Generally, to do this kind of thing you want some kind of "gish" class, i.e. some class combining martial ability and magic. Cleric and druid do this right out of core, but barring those, synthesist usually has an answer for most situations.


Bacon666 wrote:
He is clever enough to solve most problems, and charming/bossy enough to get the others to do the heavy lifting...

I think my excessive length and strange title might have created confusion. This is kind of the exact opposite of what I am looking for. In fact, it is exactly the kind of character I prefer, but exactly the kind of character I can't be. My problem is that I have to do the heavy lifting. I have tried to just lead and buff with these guys and it doesn't work.

I also have no input at all into what they play. The casual guy, maybe a little, but it's his choice, I just build it for him. The other is just all over the place and notoriously likely to be dead weight.

And like I said, I have to do the work, but they're still there, so, I can't also take all the screen time.


I would recommend a defense heavy Sanctified Slayer. Because the class allows for your damage to increase with three natural class abilities, (Study target, Bane, and sneak attack), you can focus more on defense. In addition to that, the inquisitor / (Sanctified Slayer) has a lot of class skills to choose from.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Unfortunately it comes with a pet (which is apparently a downside for some reason) but... but small sized cavalier with a wolf and using mounted combat/spirited charge.

Dishes hard damage or you can separate and flank. Want to make it even better? Mix with rogue (trust me.)


To me, you need to make advantage of those high stats. You mention Gunslinger, Magus and Swashbuckler, but all those classes are relatively SAD (the Swashbuckler less than the rest unless you do the right thing and build a Kobold Swashbuckler).

You need to use the opportunity to roll one of those god classes that just can't get there because they are so MAD.

Some ideas are:

- Hooded Champion Ranger: The MADdest class of them all. Spellcasting, fighting prowess, good face skills, good tracking skills. With the Skirmisher archetype, you can exponentially increase your utility and skills at the cost of spellcasting.
- Kata Master Monk: Similar to the above. Having high attributes makes this one of the best archetypes ever.
- Champion of the Faith Warpriest OR Champion of the Enlightened prestige class: Both have a ton of features that require a good bonus to WIS and CHA, as well as good martial ability. High array systems benefit these classes immensely.
- A big, fat Bloodrager, possibly Kyton Bloodline: Disabler, tank, damage, party face, a ton of stuff rolled into one.


I'm thinking Elven Arcane Archer with levels in Fighter and Rogue. Take at least 3 levels with the Archer Archetype you you can Feint with your arrows. Then take some levels in Rogue so you can put the Feint to good use and do Sneak Attack Damage. Offset the -4 with a Mask of Stony Demeanor, which gives you a +5 on combat Bluffing.

The Stabbing Shot feat lets you use your bow and arrow in melee (well, arrow, anyway), and that feat can only be taken by elves.

So, like 3 levels in Fighter, like 4 levels in Rogue, 1 level in Wizard, then Arcane Archer all the way. Strong at long range, functional in melee, extra skills, some spellcasting. I think that's just fills the bill.

Lantern Lodge

Maybe this is something you've tried, but I suggest seeing if you can't help the other players build their characters a bit tighter.

Honestly, I'm curious as to how underpowered your fellow PCs tend to be.


Bloodrager if you need something out of combat, Barbarian for the combat-heavy. Skald? Also I'd ask the GM to play a character if you are sick of being the pack-mule of OOC baggage.

Last Resort:
Leave. If you have to deal with a decision like this talk to your GM and ask them if they are having fun with the current group, and if not you guys should probably kick someone out. THE GAME SHOULD BE FUN FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING YOU. If you just roll over on this because you need the RPG fix then the game will continue not to be fun.


The problem here is that what your party truly lack is good action economy. There are three of you, but one sounds useless and the other useful in a particular context. The key to party survival is getting extra turns. But you don't want to summon or buff, that makes it tough. A single melee magus can do a good amount of damage, but is not a solo gamebreaker. Wizard (conjurer) would be ideal for what you need, but I am not sure what to advise if you don't want to take up extra turns, because extra turns are exactly what this party needs. Even if you choose not summon or have an AC, I still recommend bf control, damage is easy, you help support others to do damage, but rebalancing action economy is the only way you can easily carry a party like this. Also decent, reach cleric, but I would go arcane caster if your party is going to lack one.


GM_Solspiral wrote:
Hunter = summoner light, gives you a tough pet a decent range of spells that includes summons if need be and ranger spells which are a good call.

The primal companion hunter takes that further by giving eidolon evolutions to your AC for minutes per level per day (enough uses that you can use it for every fight mid levels). So your wolf can suddenly grow wings and claws before doing a pounce.

Another interesting facet of this is that you can apply the evolutions to yourself if your AC dies. So it is synthesist light as well. Not sure if this is the best route (since having an AC sounds important here since you need more bodies on the field), but having options when things go bad is never a bad idea.

Anyway, this could work well since you have decent weapons and armor, as well as 6+ skill points per level. So it could solve out of combat problems as well even if 1 guy is gone and the other put all his skill points int crafter: basket weaving. While the base hunter might be a bit 'meh' compared to druids, the primal companion archetype (along with the feral hunter that just plain gives you druid wild shape for the important fighting forms) would get you through fairly well.


I understand your problem as I am in a similar situation. In most fights everyone just runs all over the place, get hits and cast whatever they can. No one dished out damage and no one could take a beating, and me being a witch was not helpful.

You need to cover as many roles as possible.
My advice is this: Summoner. I know I know... pets. But you can play the summoner without the summons. Focus on the eidolon. You can make it biped two-hand wielding with evolution reach:weapon, lunge and enlarged and go to town with your 20ft reach. She can control the battlefield around you and minimize the damage from the enemies that attack your friends and your self. Power Attack feat is enough to keep her damage competitive. You can focus on defensive and control feats, like combat reflexes feat and reach, for your eidolon and make her the front line (do not underestimate the role of the ''beatstick'' especially in a group like yours). Weapon wielding eidolon requires very few evolutions to be effective and you can focus on defensive and utility ones (there is a lot to choose from). You can even take evolution ''skilled'' and make your eidolon a skill monkey also. Now he is the main damage dealer, the tank and a capable skill monkey.
A pouncing natural attacker with as many attacks as possible is a murder machine at low levels. You can go either way.

The summoner spell list is packed with buffs, control and utility spells. That's powerful as you can stay in the back and provide the ever desired battlefield control and buff your eidolon to a monster damage dealer and tank. Buffs like fire shield and caustic blood allows you to provide extra damage in a passive way. You will never miss crucial utility spells like invisibility, fly and teleport/dimension door either. You are the overall useful utility and buffing caster everyone loves. Did I mention that the Summoner is cha based? Yeah now you are also the party's face.
what you can't do: blasting. healing.

Extra tips:
1) Don't use your summon spells if you don't want to. Focus on feats like: Resilient eidolon, extra evolution etc to enhance your eidolon. Use the Summon Monster SLA's only when you need utility out of combat for example. Half elves have the strongest favourite class bonus for summoners by the way.

2) With very high point buy you can go spirit summoner. The class doesn't need high charisma anyway and you can focus on wisdom and add powerful hexes to add endurance and even more utility to your self. evil eye/misfortune/slumber/chant and my god you are also a mini-witch now that can endure many battles without being afraid not being useful when you run out of spells. You can take ''extra hex'' feat, as summoners don't really need any feats to function apart from summoning ones and since you want to avoid that part and the spirit summoner gives up the summon monsters completely anyway, you can focus getting more hexes and expand your versatility and debuffs.

3) I know you said you don't like pets and stuff, but consider taking: eldritch heritage feat and take arcane bloodline and now you can have a familiar. 7th level you can take Improved Familiar and have a nifty faerie dragon at your side. Faerie dragons cast like a third level sorcerer (which means 3 first level spells 6/day). Most DMs will allow you to customize it's spell list. I have my familiar using his turn on my turn for minimal confusion and tracking. Did I mention faerie dragon has incredible SLAs like greater invisibility? Yup now you got also a mini infiltrator that also has telepathy 100ft and has UMD. Give that sassy dragon a wand. Half elves get the free skill focus feat which is a prerequisite for eldritch heritage feat. Yeah half elves are amazing for this class.

4) expanded arcana is a great feat for the summoner as he has a lot of useful spells but not so many spells known.

5) You can take Life spirit and also have channel positive energy and provide some aoe healing by level 9. Or you can take Heavens spirit and have an extra debuff, some passive buffs like darkvision, permanent endure elements and no need to breathe. Also: Heaven's leap hex from the same spirit seems like something you may want to consider if your friends find themselves in terrible positions during combat. You can be the chessmaster, teleporting them around when they mess up :P

6) Action economy is king in small sized groups. You are all about action economy with the summoner. Also, don't see your role as the buffing dude/dudete. You are two intelligent creatures at once. With my character I am actually the eidolon and I see the caster summoner as my companion. That way I do feel like I am in the heat of the battle as you would feel with a fighter class, but you can also fly and do all kinds of crazy stuff with your evolutions. And if you got bored with attacking stuff to death like most damage dealers, you are also a spellcaster that has hexes that never runs out. Last but not least, Summoners allow fascinating RP dynamics with two connected conscious beings. Go wild!


Really tough to carry the load without outshining in the best of situations...in yours it may be impossible. I think your best bet might be summoner and just not use the other summons beyond your eidolon for anything but out of combat situations. At that point your really only taking two actions....in a three man party that is hardly abusive. It lets you build a tank for an eidolon that can take up the front line and absorb blows and your character can alternate between buffing party members so they can have their moment to shine and using a bow to chip in damage, bonus if you can grab some wands to heal with.


Secret Wizard wrote:
- Kata Master Monk: Similar to the above. Having high attributes makes this one of the best archetypes ever.

I'm just not seeing it. The specific deeds granted just aren't very impressive to me.

Secret Wizard wrote:
- Champion of the Faith Warpriest OR Champion of the Enlightened prestige class: Both have a ton of features that require a good bonus to WIS and CHA, as well as good martial ability. High array systems benefit these classes immensely.

I had been considering Warpriest, but the 2 skill points and the fact that I don't know much of anything about Golarion deities made me hesitate.

Secret Wizard wrote:
- A big, fat Bloodrager, possibly Kyton Bloodline: Disabler, tank, damage, party face, a ton of stuff rolled into one.

Raging in general is a Strength thing, and, purely for personal preference reasons, I'd rather be Finesse.

Jayson MF Kip wrote:
Maybe this is something you've tried, but I suggest seeing if you can't help the other players build their characters a bit tighter.

I do build the casual guy's characters, but he picks the concepts. I'm not looking to bully or control him into being what I want him to be or anything. I'm ok with the way he plays the game--I just have to adjust my own character choices around it.

The other guy refuses my advice. He feels like characters aren't interesting unless they're flawed and he basically won't accept that Pathfinder is a game focused around combat. I could go on at length, but the short version is, I don't think he really likes roleplaying, I think he just wants to play a one-player JRPG or write, then watch, an episode of an anime, except with other people around to be impressed by how "awesome" he is (we're not impressed). I've accepted that it's a lost cause.

Jayson MF Kip wrote:
Honestly, I'm curious as to how underpowered your fellow PCs tend to be.

How bad are they?:
I make the one guy's characters, so they are plenty strong, but his own (lack of) tactical and rule mastery limits what I can do. It has to be simple because he doesn't have the interest in learning or dealing with something too complicated, and as I said, he misses sessions.

The other...they're really bad. The best, most effective character he ever played only worked at all because the GM and I worked together on a houserule. He wanted to dual wield longswords and cast aggressive JRPG style direct damage spells in combat, so his initial plan was to make a Magus and just ignore spell combat (since he'd be dual wielding longswords). The GM and I saw how bad it was going to be and worked out a compromise by converting the 3.5 Duskblade. It was still problematic, but functional at all.

The worst was the Gnome Detective Bard. He didn't use any Bardic Music--just ignored it because "his character wouldn't do that." ALL of his spells known were divinations (no cures, no crowd control, no buffs, no saving finale...). He took divinations he never used (frankly, I don't remember him ever casting a spell) because he felt like his character would only ever use divinations because he was a detective. His Intelligence was higher than his Charisma. He was a strength dumped Gnome with Dex as his THIRD best stat. He had a Mithril (no, none of us figured out why he bothered making it Mithril) Aldori Dueling Sword (no, none of us figured out why he had a dueling sword and not a normal weapon like a rapier or something). During fights, he invariably just wasted all of our time shooting a light crossbow for paltry d6s of damage, even up through level 8. It was just dreadful.

Emmanuel Nouvellon-Pugh wrote:

Bloodrager if you need something out of combat, Barbarian for the combat-heavy. Skald? Also I'd ask the GM to play a character if you are sick of being the pack-mule of OOC baggage.

I'm not sick of this, really. I'm perfectly fine taking on the lion's share of the workload while adventuring. It's not something that upsets me, just something I have to adjust to. I do prefer support characters, but I'm willing to change it up for this. No problems.

I'm not into raging in general, though, because of the Strength thing.

Lazurin Arborlon wrote:
Really tough to carry the load without outshining in the best of situations...in yours it may be impossible.

Well, I'm not saying I can't outdo them in a fight--I'm going to have to, obviously. I just don't want to take over the game and have my turns take longer than theirs combined. It's...hard to explain if you aren't dealing with it.

I really don't want to be a Summoner or anything with a pet. I'd really prefer as little magic as I can get away with (so, I'm unlikely to consider any 9 level casters), and finesse fighting > str fighting, for personal preference reasons. And I don't want to be ugly (so, I don't want to be transforming into monsters and animals and stuff). I want good enough defenses and saves that I'll have staying power, enough offense to carry the team through tough fights, and enough skills to enjoy between combat times.

I'm looking primarily at (Kensai) Magus, Mysterious Stranger Gunslinger, Swashbuckler (but that's probably my last choice), and now maybe some kind of Monk/Brawler/Unarmed Fighter having seen the new Pummeling Style. I'm really interested in Investigator's Studied combat thing, but it looks weak as hell unless I go all out polymorphing. I'd consider Slayer or Warpriest if there's a compelling reason.

I guess I'm just looking for some confirmation that those classes will work for what I want, or if they have some not-immediately-obvious weakness (maybe they require teamwork to set up their best moves, or they lack staying power, or they're too fragile, or how Swashbucklers are screwed on Will, etc.). And, if they work, which sounds best? Are there any interesting or quirky builds for those classes that I might not know about/be thinking of? That sort of thing.


mplindustries wrote:
finesse fighting > str fighting, for personal preference reasons. And I don't want to be ugly (so, I don't want to be transforming into monsters and animals and stuff). I want good enough defenses and saves that I'll have staying power, enough offense to carry the team through tough fights, and enough skills to enjoy between combat times.

It really really sounds like Swashbuckler is the way to go. It meets everything you want to do. And their Will saves are actually pretty impressive if you take Steadfast Personality.

Shadow Lodge

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Trapper ranger 1/wizard 5(conjuration spec, teleportation sub school)/eldritch knight 4/ arcane archer 2/eldritch knight 6/arcane archer 2

You can detect traps and disarm them using disable device, shoot as a competent archer, control the battle field with god spells, and shut down high level casters and magical monsters using the imbued arrow + anti magic field combo.


I've got to second another player's suggestion of Sanctified slayer Inquisitor.

Yes, it's a 6th cast, but not a 9th, right? Your spells can be reserved for after battle clean up, or self assistance mid fight (Cure spells, Grace, etc)

It combines Skills, and damage in ranged, or melee format, and can actually mesh very well into any grouping.

I understand you hesitation with Golarion's deities; and instead you could consider the 'deity-less' option of choosing one domain, and not getting a favored weapon.

Failing that, and Alchemist can cover many bases; and Mutagen can really help you carry. MC with just a lil Swashbuckler, and you can get your Dex to attk and damage + Dex Mutagen, and Cat's Grace for heinous double stacking


I like to play a sorcer with the false priest archetype and the sylvan bloodline who focuses on summons jwhen I want to carry.


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Ninja/Shadow Dancer.

you're actually not there at all… the other characters are playing and stuff just…inexplicably dies.

Scarab Sages

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You could just play a magus with arcane deeds and flamboyant arcana from ACG .Best of both worlds swashbuckler/magus . I think there's even a spontaneous cast archetype that runs of charisma , but I'd stay intelligence based and go kensi magus .


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Obscure, explainable combos, not cheesy or optimized... Not too long ago, I started a build for a Zen Archer that was primarily a WIS/CHA build. Now, I know you said you wanted to focus more on DEX and not so much on WIS, but this concept intrigued me because it's traditionally a build based heavily on physical stats that I was able to flip the script on.

As I'm sure you're aware, Zen Archers use WIS to shoot bows rather than DEX, but they don't get that ability until level 3 (which can be a bummer for this build). DEX is therefore not a factor for archery, but still important for AC, reflex, CMD, initiative, and some skills, probably most importantly Acrobatics and Stealth. That's where Lore Oracle comes in. The Side Step Secret revelation allows you to swap out DEX for your CHA for AC and reflex. The Wisdom in the Flesh trait will allow you to change one STR or DEX based skill to WIS, so pick whichever one you think you need more. I'd go Acrobatics since I think (and maybe am assuming a little) that Stealth buffing items are a little more readily available. This leaves you with initiative and CMD for DEX. While it won't be fun to be grappled, you might have to worry about this a little less being a ranged attacker than you would as a meat shield. Also, the way I like to play archers, you don't really care about going first. In fact, I like to go later in the round so I can pick the wounded guys to shoot at. With several attacks (flurry), you might even take out a few in one round if they are low on HP.

I actually made DEX my dump stat for this PC. How many times can anyone say that? I even took the Oracle curse Lame to go along with the dump and wrote it all into my backstory how he had to learn ways to overcome his disability (Side Step Secret).

My intention was actually to take 2 levels of Divine Hunter Paladin in this build at early levels as well (free archery feat, Divine Grace, some healing), so in truth, it would probably really suck until it hit level 6. That was kinda part of the plan though, to overcome his limitations and become a hero. I didn't ever get a chance to play him, so I can't tell you if he would live very long.

The generous stats you anticipate always lead me to think of very MAD Monk builds. Champion of the Enlightened/Irori is usually the first one that comes to mind. I would love to have a go at a ZAM Champion build, but unfortunately Still Mind is a prereq and ZAM trades it out for Point Blank Master.

I really enjoy the PC I'm currently playing which is an experiment in finding as much synergy as I can while multiclassing. Again, primarily a ZAM, he has 2 levels of Serene Barbarian, and 1 level of Tattooed Empyreal Sorcerer. My 20 level build plan (if he every makes it) includes a level of Inquisitor, 3 levels of Weapon Master Fighter, and 5 levels of Ninja while topping the ZAM out at 8. He also happens to be mythic. He has some neat tricks, but I wouldn't call him optimized as I've invested a lot into climbing, jumping, and speed. I like the idea of him moving like the characters in those new Chinese films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. He has lots of self-buffing options and is a pretty heavy hitter. Having not actually played at level 8 yet, it's not uncommon for his DPR to be in the 30-40 range and though I haven't done it yet, he can hit 80 while getting my naked AC over 30.

My intention is to build this PC to be able to solo. I've said a few times on here that the best PCs are like Indiana Jones, he can do it all. My 1 level of Inquisitor is intended help a lot in the skill area. Keeping my INT at 14 has helped a lot with skills. Inq will bring some utility and allow him to face. I had to dump CHA for this build though. If you didn't have to, he might be able to carry the group a lot better, sooner.

Aasimar (and it's many variants) is my favorite race for optimized builds and if you're allowed to use it, I highly recommend it.


I must repeat: Synthesist summoner does everything you want, doesn't have a pet, and doesn't actually summon anything. It can even emphasize the stats you want.


both urban barbarian and savage technologist give a rage that boosts dex.

I wonder what a Rage Prophet built off a Savage Technologist/Metal Oracle would be likeVery thematic for a Numerian Campaign, no?


Gunslinger with or without the Musketeer archetype. Solid DPR, good HP, DEX is the Stat. Solid skills, too. Also, if Tech matters, I imagine the Gunslinger will really shine. Not just automatic weapons, but automatic LASERS!!! :D

Plus side: No tricks and shenanigans. Just simple.

(Alternatively, a Swashbuckler looking for that energy-sword ;) )

(Alternatively 2, a Swashbuckler with an Aldori Dueling Sword looking to dip Aldori Swordlords Prestige Class :) )


FireberdGNOME wrote:

Gunslinger...

Plus side: No tricks and shenanigans. Just simple.

Unfortunately, the plus side is also the down side. No tricks and shenanigans. AKA doing the same thing every... single... battle.


Sanctified slayer is strong
Sacred huntmaster is arguably better, but comes with a pet
Daring champion is a tad better than swash imo, but swash is more fun
Kensai magus is a lot better now with the new arcana and feats
Heavens spirit guide oracle. Stun/daze things for your party to kill. Not only you don't steal the spotlight, you hand it to your party! Also versatile with changing spells, abilities and hex every day!


I played a kensai/bladebound magus and it is exactly what I would reccomend for you. You don't get guarenteed items? Well your sword at least is guarenteed. You are worried about spells per day? I only really found that relevant at lvl 1. Once you get dervish dance you are good to go. If you can start with 20 int your spell per day problem is completely solved, though that can be difficult to accomplish reasonably. Though the sooner the better. Also don't just specialize in shocking grasp, use the acid version too. No spell resist, though I don't know if that will be relevant. Try to make your weapon adamantine. The rest of the cost will take care of itself.

You don't need a ridiculous dex to start 16 should be sufficient. Have 13 str for power attack and that's it.

Another option would be a war preist, but that's not the stats you wanted.

Good luck.

Also Oracle of battle.

Dark Archive

I can confirm that human or half-elf Kensai+Bladebound Magus with the Flamboyant Arcana, slashing grace for your black blade and Arcane Deed(Precise Strike) spending fcb on extra arcana is very high dpr(Spell Combat+Spellstrike= weapon damage + spell damage + level + dexmod+ X*(weapon damage + level + dex) X=number of attacks beyond the one given for the spell) for example level 3 using shocking grasp, a bastard sword, and assuming a dex of 18 would be 1d10+3d6+3+4(23 avg)+1d10+3+4(12.5 avg)= overall average damage 35.5 and your to hit wouldn't be bad, should be around the +5-+7 range or a lot more with arcane accuracy. You can ditch the bladebound archetype if you want more damage(I just like it in this case cuz it could let you take a Null Blade as a weapon and that would be both very good and thematically appropriate with the AP.


Verminous Hunter without the pet, so you get the vermin powers on yourself?


Look at the arcanist. If you dont want to summon i guess the occultist is out but the School savant with evocation looks really strong to me. But he will steal the spotlight:(
A Classic god wizard type of character May also be a good place to be. Saying the Day without hugging the spotlight is his speciality.
Also a evangalist cleric May be a Nice one. You can do good things with magic and performance.
Finally a magus i think is a good idea. With the new arcanas from ACG you can get your level to damage on top of spells like frost bite and shocking grasp. A dex based magus( pehaps kensai) with amateur swasbuckler to get the parry deed, and the arcane deed arcana to get precise strike can be stronger than ever. If your stats are allround good you can even dip monk wis to AC and all the other goodies. Then if the s*~% hits the fan you just kill the bad guys and scrape your friends off the floor.


mplindustries wrote:
Bacon666 wrote:
He is clever enough to solve most problems, and charming/bossy enough to get the others to do the heavy lifting...

I think my excessive length and strange title might have created confusion. This is kind of the exact opposite of what I am looking for. In fact, it is exactly the kind of character I prefer, but exactly the kind of character I can't be. My problem is that I have to do the heavy lifting. I have tried to just lead and buff with these guys and it doesn't work.

I also have no input at all into what they play. The casual guy, maybe a little, but it's his choice, I just build it for him. The other is just all over the place and notoriously likely to be dead weight.

And like I said, I have to do the work, but they're still there, so, I can't also take all the screen time.

By having your team mates do the heavy lifting I don't mean thinking or role playing... I was quite literal do the str. based jobs... You tell your mates: destroy that bridge! If they don't, tell them how (cut that rope, or tilt that column...)

On the other hand the job of adviceing would be a lot easyer AFTER you find out what the others play...

In my game I have 2 players (out of 6) who basicly help the team the most by staying away... But they are still friends, and we make it work ... 1 is really bad at English, and extremely low on system mastery, so we ask him what role he wanna play, and help him build the char, and translate as much as possible to danish...
The other can't skip the wow play type, and want to play a healer... No matter what we tell him, he (playing a cleric) prepares cure spells...

As a gm, when running a campaign for theese guys, I take 1 session at a time and focus on 1 char... When focussing on the healer, I basicly need to hit the party hard so he can cure his ass off... It may be boring with much combat and very little rp, by he is happy...

What I'm trying to say:
- ooc the Gm needs to ask the 2 other players what they want for/with their chars... Ant TRY to make them central in SOME sessions (it sounds like you already do this, but perhaps you can try to up the efforts)
- you need to find out what roles they want to play, and the build a char that works along those chars... Not next to them...


Personally, I rather enjoy a combat Alchemist build.

Take 1st level as a warrior class, giving you access to almost all the armor and weapons you could want, then grab Alchemist for the rest (adding Chirurgeon/Internal Alchemist/Vivisectionist as wanted for the little extras they each have). To top it off, you get the mutagen for whatever phys stat you want to buff (and with just another hour of downtime can make a new one).

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Ok so you'll need 2 domains: Growth and Strength

you'll also be able to cast ant haul, go ahead and pick up mule chords too.

Be a full blooded orc for the +4 strength, max strength

Feat wise go for throw anything, skills performance juggling.

So that's 22 strength before you enlarge and a total of +14 to strength to non combat uses, you just need a perform check juggling and you can now confidently carry the entire party.


GM_Solspiral wrote:

Ok so you'll need 2 domains: Growth and Strength

you'll also be able to cast ant haul, go ahead and pick up mule chords too.

Be a full blooded orc for the +4 strength, max strength

Feat wise go for throw anything, skills performance juggling.

So that's 22 strength before you enlarge and a total of +14 to strength to non combat uses, you just need a perform check juggling and you can now confidently carry the entire party.

Dude, your post is ridiculous.

How on earth is the OP supposed to carry themselves?


Velderan wrote:
GM_Solspiral wrote:

Ok so you'll need 2 domains: Growth and Strength

you'll also be able to cast ant haul, go ahead and pick up mule chords too.

Be a full blooded orc for the +4 strength, max strength

Feat wise go for throw anything, skills performance juggling.

So that's 22 strength before you enlarge and a total of +14 to strength to non combat uses, you just need a perform check juggling and you can now confidently carry the entire party.

Dude, your post is ridiculous.

How on earth is the OP supposed to carry themselves?

Does fly count?


Bacon666 wrote:
Velderan wrote:
GM_Solspiral wrote:

Ok so you'll need 2 domains: Growth and Strength

you'll also be able to cast ant haul, go ahead and pick up mule chords too.

Be a full blooded orc for the +4 strength, max strength

Feat wise go for throw anything, skills performance juggling.

So that's 22 strength before you enlarge and a total of +14 to strength to non combat uses, you just need a perform check juggling and you can now confidently carry the entire party.

Dude, your post is ridiculous.

How on earth is the OP supposed to carry themselves?

Does fly count?

Good point. As long as you're holding yourself I don't know why it wouldn't. What's the penalty for juggling one-handed?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Personally, I was going to suggest a caster with the Communal mount spell...

___________________

Let's get serious here, though. No build is going to fix the real problem your party has. The problem is that you and Mr. Interesting Concept have radically different play styles, and he is totally grating on your nerves because he's the only other player that comes regularly. You need fresh blood. You need new players. I think that it is time to recruit some. Ask your GMs permission first, and then go out recruiting.

Do you have a PFS group near you? Attend some games. Find some players that are creative, funny, and good to play with. Then invite them to join your home game.

I'm sure that you've seen Dorkness Rising -- it's a classic gamer movie. While being rather ridiculous, it does show how much even one new payer can change the dynamic of a group. Having a couple more people join who are enthusiastic, and who are creative roleplayers could switch everything for this party.

You and Mr. Interesting Concept (but ineffectual build) are two players that clash in style. You have a history together that isn't helping the situation. Adding someone else for Mr. IC to interact with will provide a needed buffer so that you're not frustrated by his unhelpful combat ideas, and he's not frustrated by you making suggestions that run counter to his roleplaying concept.

You just have to find the right players (I suggest getting two) to balance out NOT ONLY your PC gaming party, but more importantly the interactions of the folks at the table. I hope that you can work this out!

Hmm


Carry characters who don't use summons are rare.

The best is probably a ZA because after 3rd level you're a front liner, DPS, tank, self sufficient defensive monster, with more damage than most of the party.


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mplindustries wrote:
Stuff

Hey, this may not be the advice you want, but hear me out: I don't think you're approaching this the right way. You guys need to make sure you're playing the same kind of game, and you're not. You seem to be playing a tactical combat game, and another guy seems to be playing a game that is either serious or silly.

As a group, you ought to sit down and kind of hammer out the "what's our tone/gameplay going to be like?" before you even get started on characters. And you need to compromise.

You might be fine with it, but the "casual" guy sounds like a wee bit of a tool. Why are you making a grown man's character for him? If he knows enough of the game to play an oracle, he knows enough to make one. And, if not, it will be a good chance for him to learn. If he refuses to learn to make his own, I would a fighter, a rogue, and a monk and tell him to pick one, as he's too lazy to explain spell mechanics to.

The other guy's a little bit more complicated. He probably thinks he's being a good roleplayer by making suboptimal characters. This is problematic: Is the guy's concept that he's incompetent at battle? Is it his concept that he has a cool ability he's refusing to use in a life-threatening situation? And if it is, is it within your character's concept to adventure with such a person? Ultimately, it's a communication failure between this guy and your GM. Either the GM needs to tell him it's a combat game and ask him to adapt his character accordingly, or the GM needs to adapt his game to fit the character.

Either way, trying to make a solo character for a teamwork game is a poor solution. If you can't solve the problem any other way, my advice is to go with it. Make an equally crappy character who focuses on equally trivial things. Maybe the tone of the game will be that these people are in over their head. Or it could be a game about finding clever solutions to compensate for weak characters. I bet the problem players will adapt if you aren't solving all of their problems (or the GM will).

Alternately, have you considered finding a new group to play with on those nights? Don't ragequit, just...be busy with that group on those nights.


Hmm wrote:


You and Mr. Interesting Concept (but ineffectual build) are two players that clash in style. You have a history together that isn't helping the situation. Adding someone else for Mr. IC to interact with will provide a needed buffer so that you're not frustrated by his unhelpful combat ideas, and he's not frustrated by you making suggestions that run counter to his roleplaying concept.

You just have to find the right players (I suggest getting two) to balance out NOT ONLY your PC gaming party, but more importantly the interactions of the folks at the table. I hope that you can work this out!
Hmm

This is good advice as well.


I would go grenadier alchemist, the guy I played with who was one had a blast. He was a rouge, tank (he didn't do it offend but with a scythe that had a bomb in it and wings it was pretty awesome when it happened), buffer, and striker since with just balms he only hit touch ac. Be brewed all our healing potions. But if your DM will let you take leadership pick up a cleric to be a band-aid. If not make the oracles mystery be life so it can channel that shouldn't be to difficult for him. Best of luck


Card caster magus with guns instead of cards? With the swashbuckler arcanas you can have all three ideas in one class.


Conversion Inquisitor with a big two-handed or reach weapon
you are less MAD as Conversion
You can make the social rolls
You have social abilities to help guide the parties choices (detects, discern lies, etc.)
You can buff your allies and/or yourself
You have monster knowledge
The Inq. spell list can solve a LOT of problems
and you hit like a train with judgements and bane up

Grand Lodge

My suggestion is a Kensai Bladebound magus. You said earlier that you probably won't be able to get whatever magic items you want, so I'm guessing this includes weaponry.

Last long campaign I played in we had 1 magic weapon used in combat, 2 masterwork weapons for four players at lvl 7. So I know what a pain it is.

Anyways, Bladebound archetype includes a free magic weapon at lvl 3 that only gets better as you do.

Kensai gives you free weapon focus, no armor, and gives you int to dodge. So with not having to buy armor and weapons, you can spend all that money on situational magic items that no one ever actually has because weapons and armor are more important.

Being a human kensai bladebound magus you can get dex to damage at lvl 1. You've already got weapon focus. You can take an Aldori Dueling Sword or Rapier as your chosen weapon (or a whip (not a great choice if you want to threaten with it) or a klar (if you can convince the DM it works)). So you've got weapon focus--take weapon finesse, and finally either Slashing Grace or Fencing Grace.

At lvl 2, with no armor, your AC will be 16. Int to dodge is capped by lvl. You can also wear a Haramaki which has no Armor Check Penalty and Arcane Spell Failure chance so there's no penalty for wearing it even though you're not proficient. But if you can get a wand of Mage Armor, that helps immensely at low levels.

For PFS I have a lvl 4 of the above that consistently has the most health/AC in the party (way more than the armored guys). 18 dex, 18 int, 14 con. I've got plenty of skill points to throw around.

Flat-footed AC is awful. If I get attacked flat-footed in combat, that's something I have to worry about. Torag has an awesome trait if you worship him called Defensive Strategist. In combat, you are not considered flat-footed before you act (so you get to keep your dex/dodge AC at the start of combat).

Kensai has 1 less fewer spell per level, but with dex to damage that's not as big of an issue. If you can get a pearl of power or two, that'll help with the lack of spell recall (but with dex to damage I haven't needed it as much).

I suggest rapier for the crit range. Soon enough you'll be able to spend an arcane point to increase the crit multiplier from x2 to x3. If you've got a weapon with a high crit threat (like a rapier) it works out awesomely when you have a spell you're hitting with, too. (at lvl 4, a shocking grasp will be doing (assuming no shenanigans) 4d6, add in the rapier for 5d6 + 5ish + 1 enhancement dex. So that's 11d6 + 15 on a crit at lvl 4. (the spell damage stays at x2). But that's (lowest-avg-max) 29-56-84 while a scythe wielding barbarian is only going to hit for 36-48-64.

And you'll have plenty of skill points 2 + int per level--only getting more as you level up because int will be your main stat.

You suggested magus, so that's my suggestion for making it work.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Velderan, we were clearly thinking along the same lines.

I liked your suggestions as well.

Hmm

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