Buffer / Skillmonkey Investigator with low pointbuy - Toughness worth it?


Advice


I'm building an empiricist inquisitor with bodyguard and a non-reach weapon, so he'll have to be in melee to use it. Now I can't decide whether I should take toughness or not. It will be a 9th level pc and he has a con of 12.
He'll have either 53 hp without it or 62 with toughness.

Stats and feats::

Half-Elf
Str: 12
Dex: 14
Con: 12
Int: 20 (with magic and racial)
Wis: 10
Cha: 7

Feats:
Combat reflexes, Bodyguard, arcane strike, toughness, extra talent

Talents:
Expanded inspiration, Quick study, combat inspiration, Enhance potion, Infusion

traits:
battlefield disciple, Alchemical Prodigy

Favored class bonus 9x 1/4 to inspiration rolls


I could take another extra talent instead (to get effortless aid) so I can use aid another in addition to making an attack. Or something else. But 53 hp sounds somewhat squishy at 9th level.

Liberty's Edge

That's some really low physical stats for a front-line combatant. One way or another I'd raise those, and grab a Feat or two that actually helps out with combat. Doing so seems way more important than grabbing Toughness, IMO.

An attack stat at 16 (18 with a Belt) and either Power Attack or Weapon Finesse seem way more important than getting a few extra HP.


I hope that inspired combat will be enough to hit with my first attack. Iteratives are not my prime concern.
With a PB of 10 it is hard to get two stats high. And if I'd choose dex I'd need weapon finesse and would still not deal more damage. Less in fact because I'd have to lower strength.

Combat is not that guy's main concern. And if I want to hit someone I can use inspiration to get 1d6+2 bonus to hit and 2d6+4 to damage. That's why I thought about taking effortless aid. My iterative attack will not hit so I can better use the attack to buff a companion. Giving him +3 to hit (+2 + 1 trait bonus) and +2 to damage (gloves of arcane striking) or +8 to AC (+2 base +1 trait +3 benevolent armor +2 gloves of arcane striking).

Liberty's Edge

You can, for a mere 4k on a belt, have Dex 18 and Int 18, with no other stat changes. That seems a fair bit more workable. You could also eventually get either Fencing Grace or an Agile weapon for increased damage.

It drops your skills a bit, but not enough to be a huge deal, to be honest.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

You can, for a mere 4k on a belt, have Dex 18 and Int 18, with no other stat changes. That seems a fair bit more workable.

It drops your skills a bit, but not enough to be a huge deal, to be honest.

I can. And that forces me to take weapon finesse and gives me +2 to hit but nothing to damage. I'm not sure that's worth it. I will think about it, at least.

I could even use my remaining gold + my ring of protection +1 to buy both the headband and the dex belt. That would result in me having the same AC as before (1 less flatfooted AC but that doesn't bother me much).

Do you think the +2 to hit would lead to me contributing more than by getting effortless aid?

Edit: Ah, I see now you did not suggest to switch out the items but to relocate points from int to dex.

Liberty's Edge

Umbranus wrote:

I can. And that forces me to take weapon finesse and gives me +2 to hit but nothing to damage. I'm not sure that's worth it. I will think about it, at least.

I could even use my remaining gold + my ring of protection +1 to buy both the headband and the dex belt. That would result in me having the same AC as before (1 less flatfooted AC but that doesn't bother me much).

It'd add +1 AC actually. And +3 to hit, since he currently bases it on Str. Plus more damage in the long run, potentially.

Alternately, you could go Str 18, Dex 12, Int 18. That'd cost you 2 AC (1 Dex, 1 Ring), but with a Longspear, it'd give you very solid offense, especially combined with Power Attack. That'd be +13/+8 to hit 1d8+17 damage and reach. That's solid, especially with buffs, which you get a fair number of.

Umbranus wrote:
Do you think the +2 to hit would lead to me contributing more than by getting effortless aid?

Maybe. Effortless Aid gives one person maybe a +4 to hit once per turn. It's nice, but not on par with actually contributing via attacks, IMO.


The longspear version would take away my +1 buckler, too. And would not fit how I picture the guy.

Aid another for him gives +3 to hit and +2 to damage. At level 10 +3/+3

I'll think about it. Bottom line seems to be that you think toughness is not worth it for this guy.

Liberty's Edge

Umbranus wrote:
The longspear version would take away my +1 buckler, too. And would not fit how I picture the guy.

You can use a rapier or other one handed weapon on the str version just as easily. That'd make the damage 1d6+13, and keep the buckler and image.

Umbranus wrote:
Aid another for him gives +3 to hit and +2 to damage. At level 10 +3/+3

That's nice, but still not especially powerful as applied to one ally.

Umbranus wrote:
I'll think about it. Bottom line seems to be that you think toughness is not worth it for this guy.

Certainly not without some more meaningful offense. Who's gonna target the guy with a very low offensive potential?


I have been working with a similar build concept w/ the Bodyguard feat. Hitting a target of 10 with your attack is easy enough and I would barely even consider putting much into it. At level 9, you'll get +6 from BAB, +1 from masterwork (why enchant it?), and +2 from your Dex. All told that's a +9 bonus. You can no longer fail your Aid Another check.

You will need your dex to be main stat. Bodyguard already requires Combat Reflexes, as both a pre-req and a necessary feat for functionality. If an enemy has more than 1 attack, you'll need to spend those AoOs to deflect them. Getting a +2 bonus to Dex means you have 3 AoOs and can knock away a full attack of most things. Getting that Dex value higher will help with AC and with more attacks, so you can stop the particularly nasty enemies with many attacks.

As for low offensive output. It's kind of the mantra of min-maxers that the Pathfinder is Rocket Tag. Blast things hard and make them come to you. That's not your game with a Bodyguard build. If you want to play rocket tag, don't even sniff this build. You aggressively defend. With a few simple bonuses, you can have your aid another handing out upwards of +10 AC. That will turn the wizards pathetic 16 AC (with Mage Armor, of course) into a formidable 26 AC. Or, more importantly, turn that Barbarian's AC from a rather solid 20 into a 30... Or that fighter's 30+ into only-natural-20s-hit territory.

You will draw hits to yourself by making it prohibitively hard for the enemy to land a melee attack on your allies. In games in which I have played this type of build, mostly PFS, DMs will attack allies early in the scenario and quickly realize it won't work well for them. Then, they get the bright idea to target the bodyguard first and begin delivering blows directly to the face.

My general build is this:
Halfling, Swash (Mouser) 1 / Monk (Many Styles/Mountain) 2 / Brawler (Exemplar) X. Alternatively, Cavalier 1 / Bard X can replace Brawler.

Feats: Combat Reflexes, Bodyguard, Cautious Fighter, Blundering Defense, Toughness from Monk, Choice of Teamwork Feats (I like Lookout and Shake It Off, myself). Traits: Helpful + whatever.

Basically, you start handing out a +4 on any aid another attempt, buff as a bard, attack defensively to hand out 1/2 your dodge bonus to allies, then pump their AC further with the aid another bonus.

The items that will most help you are Gloves of Arcane Striking, Ring of Tactical Precision and Benevolent enchantment on armor and its cousin of the same name on weapons. These all increase the bonus you deliver via aid another.

Cheers, friends!


To answer the question of "Is Toughness worth it?" Yes, built correctly, you'll be taking hits and your Con and hit die are both unimpressive. Rumor has it that staying upright is good strategy in these types of games. While unconfirmed, I hold faith in the idea.


Alternatively you could keep Con 12 and not take Toughness but...

Use Ablative Barrier to get better mileage from healing.
Or
Resinous Skin for DR and possibly removing enemies weapons.
Or
Stoneskin when you reach level 10.

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