Looking for consistent methods to redirect attacks, weather that be to take hits for your party members or to force monsters to take damage in your stead.
A quick google and I found the Archon Style feats, the Redirect Attack advanced rogue talent (not very consistent), the Flowing Monk Elusive Redirection feat and a few others that mostly required high levels to achieve or didn't do it consistently enough.
Archon Style seems to encapsulate what I'm trying to accomplish here the most but other options would be cool. So far it looks like a dip into Master of Many Style Monk to gain early access to a complete Archon Style feat tree.
What are your thoughts? Other feats/classes that would go good with this? I was thinking I'd play it as a hired body guard built as an AC Tank, short of HP and DR I don't know of any good ways to actually take hits consistently.
- Archon Style (Combat)
You have trained thoroughly to protect your allies from harm, even if it means temporarily sacrificing your own safety in the process.
Prerequisites: Combat Expertise, Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +2 or monk level 2nd.
Benefit: While using this style, as a standard action, you can actively protect adjacent allies from a single opponent that you are currently adjacent to. This grants any adjacent allies a +2 dodge bonus to AC against that opponent's next melee attack (as long as that attack comes before the beginning of your next turn), but causes you to take a –2 penalty to AC against that opponent until your next turn. The dodge bonus persists even if your allies move away from you, but still only applies against attacks made by the opponent that you designated upon first using this ability.
- Archon Diversion (Combat)
You are able to throw yourself in front of danger to protect your friends.
Prerequisites: Archon Style, Combat Expertise, Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +4 or monk level 4th.
Benefit: The penalty to AC for using Archon Style to grant nearby allies a bonus to AC against a single opponent decreases to –1, and you can spend a move action instead of a standard action to use this ability.
Once per round while using Archon Style, when you have at least one hand free, you can divert one melee weapon attack that would have struck an adjacent ally and take the blow in your ally's stead, using your own AC to determine whether the attack hits you. Whether or not a diverted attack actually hits you, the ally you protected can make an attack of opportunity against the diverted opponent. You expend no action to divert the attack, but you must be aware of it and must not be flat-footed.
You must declare that you are using this feat after your opponent has declared the target of its melee attack but before it makes its attack roll.
- Archon Justice (Combat)
Your righteous indignation knows no bounds, and foes that attack your companions soon learn the error of their foolish ways.
Prerequisites: Archon Diversion, Archon Style, Combat Expertise, Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +8 or monk level 7th.
Benefit: You no longer take a penalty to AC for using Archon Style to grant nearby allies a bonus to AC against a single opponent, and you can spend a swift action instead of a move action to use this ability.
Whenever you take damage from using Archon Diversion to divert an opponent's attack toward yourself, any allies threatening your opponent can make an attack of opportunity against the diverted opponent.
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Archon Style is awful. It requires you to be adjacent to the ally you are protecting and the attacking creature. That means you can't ever protect an ally from enemies with reach, ranged weapons, or enemies smart enough not to be in reach of you while stabbing your buddy. It is like cleave in that it is too circumstantial to ever be considered consistent and reliable.
Bodyguard and In Harm's Way are much better options. Combined with Swashbuckler or Kata Master Monk (for parry and riposte), and you can redirect an attack, negate it, and hit back in response.
Update: I'm kind of exploring Ally Shield as an option in conjunction with class abilities that hand out teamwork feats, the limitation that Betrayal feats place on these abilities wouldn't be a big deal considering what I'm going for.
Ally Shield (Betrayal, Teamwork)You are willing to use your allies as shields to ward off attacks aimed at you.
Benefit(s): Whenever you are the target of a melee or ranged attack and are adjacent to an ally who also has this feat, you can initiate this feat to skillfully pull the abettor into harm's way or dodge behind the abettor as an immediate action.
You gain cover against that attack (and only that attack). If the attack misses you but would have hit you if not for the cover bonus to your armor class, the abettor becomes the target of the attack and the attacker must make a new attack roll (with all the same modifiers) against the abettor's armor class.
Betrayal FeatsDescription Source: Champions of Corruption
“Teamwork” is a relative term. Many villains don’t concern themselves with collateral damage and make their plans with exceeding ruthlessness. Presented below are several teamwork feats with the common theme of reaping a benefit at your allies’ expense. All of these feats refer to an initiator and an abettor. The initiator is the one activating the feat (also referred to as “you”) and the abettor is an ally who also has the feat and whose presence and (perhaps unwilling) sacrifice allows the feat to take effect. Choosing one of these feats effectively grants consent for an ally with the same feat to harm you in combat, and vice versa, but evil characters are often willing to take big risks to get the upper hand. Some recruit devoted minions specifically to use in this way. Characters with class abilities granting allies access to teamwork feats (such as cavaliers or inquisitors) can select these teamwork feats normally, but allies who are granted these feats can use the feats only as initiators, not as abettors. An inquisitor could not grant an ally the Ally Shield feat and then use the ally as a shield, for example, but he could allow that ally to use him as a shield.
In Harm’s Way (Combat)You put yourself in danger’s path to save your allies.
Benefit: While using the aid another action to improve an adjacent ally’s AC, you can intercept a successful attack against that ally as an immediate action, taking full damage from that attack and any associated effects (bleed, poison, etc.). A creature cannot benefit from this feat more than once per attack.
Bodyguard (Combat)Your swift strikes ward off enemies attacking nearby allies.
Prerequisite: Combat reflexes.
Benefit: When an adjacent ally is attacked, you may use an attack of opportunity to attempt the aid another action to improve your ally’s AC. You may not use the aid another action to improve your ally’s attack roll with this attack.
Normal: Aid another is a standard action.
|Saving Cap'n Crunch|
Benefit: Once per day, as an immediate action, you can make yourself the target of any attack originally directed against a creature occupying an adjacent square.
|Saving Cap'n Crunch|
Found the Halfling Trait Helpful, could be combined with the adopted trait. Kin Guardian is a tad circumstantial but if you could convince your party members to be family then I'd be pretty powerful, on the fly +6 bonus to AC...
Benefit: Whenever you successfully perform an aid another action, you grant your ally a +4 bonus instead of the normal +2.
Benefit: As a result, you picked up a race trait from your adoptive parents and society, and may immediately select a race trait from your adoptive parents' race.
Benefit: When you use the aid another action to give a member of your family a bonus to AC, increase the bonus by 2. This increase is a trait bonus (and therefore doesn't stack with increases granted by other family members using this trait). This trait has no effect when using the aid another action to increase a family member's next attack roll.
Ring of Tactical Precision benefits both of these prospective builds, however while 11k gold isn't a large amount it isn't so small that you could justify multiple purchases of it easily till upperlevels.
This suit of armor best serves a wearer who focuses on assisting and protecting his allies. Benevolent armor is usually decorated with motifs of prosperity, plenty, and generosity, such as helping hands, cornucopias, and flourishing plants.
When the wearer of a suit of benevolent armor uses the aid another action to give an ally a bonus to AC against an opponent's next attack, he also adds the benevolent armor's enhancement bonus to the ally's AC.
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, aid; Cost +1,000 gp
This steel ring is inlaid with adamantine swords and shields.
The wearer gains a +5 competence bonus on Profession (soldier) checks, and anytime the wearer gives or receives a numeric bonus from a teamwork feat or the aid another action, that bonus increases by +1. By wearing the ring for 1 hour, a creature may imbue it with a teamwork feat he knows for 24 hours. During this time, any creature wearing the ring may use that feat when cooperating with the creature that imbued it, but not with other creatures even if they possess the same teamwork feat. If the ring is imbued with a new teamwork feat, it replaces the previous feat.
Forge Ring, creator must have 5 ranks of Profession (soldier) and at least one teamwork feat; Cost 5,500 gp.
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My personal favorite (though sadly not a reactive ability) is the Ring of Transposition
Give it to your party tank. Align it with your squishy caster. When something grabs the caster, use the ring.
In one game our wizard got Swallowed Whole by an Awakened T-Rex Barbarian. Our Ifrit Paladin had the Inquisitor hit him with Blistering Invective and then used the ring to swap with the wizard. The T-Rex went from very surprised to very unhappy when a burning Ifrit showed up it's belly and then used Enlarge Person.
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Update: The best way I found of doing this with is the Paladin's Holy Tactician archetype.
Gains an ability to share feats with party members, almost no limitations on this ability. Use that with Ally Shield, I feel it works especially well due to the high saves and built in healing that a Paladin would afford.
So party members don't take the hit, I found the idea of building an "AC tank" who takes hits for other people an interesting idea. The only problem is getting the enemies to focus on you, Body Guard doesn't really accomplish it because that well since your AC doesn't matter all that much.
I figure a build that looks like:
4 Levels of Paladin's Holy Tactician Archetype
- 1 Teamwork Feat (Ally Shield)
- Battlefield Presence, can share teamwork feats with allies.
Normal Feats: Combat Reflexes -> In Harms Way
Traits: Adopted Social Trait -> Helpful
With these feats/traits you could several times per round give +8 AC to an adjacent ally and in the event that you are hit you re-resolve the attack, the enemy rolls again and checks against your AC.
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
If you take In Harm's Way or Archon Style feats, consider acquiring a Crown of Swords. It summons a Spiritual Weapon (a sword) whenever somebody hits you. I like the idea of a MOMS Monk with Archon Snake Style wearing a Crown of Swords. Attack you or your ally, hit or miss, they're screwed.
One thing i thought would be cool would be a Master of Many Styles Monk bodyguard, Using the Archon, Crane, and Snake Styles and full-defensing next to his ward he would take an attack with Archon Diversion, then use Crane Wing to deflect the attack, and strike back with Snake Fang
All 3 style trees offer Attacks of Opportunity to the character and/or allies. If you get Paired Opportunist (if one of you gets an AoO, you all do.) via a level in Cavalier, you can become the center of a veritable orgy of attacks of opportunity. Hopefully, all your allies will get Combat Reflexes, too.
well I have a halfling who is built so others don't get hit. He can buff AC by 9 easily at level 5. He will eventually take In Harm's Way once I've buffed his hp a little more.
He is a divine defender/sacred shield paladin and a honor guard order of the dragon cavalier.
So as a standard action gives a team mate extend the bulwark for 3 rounds + 1 per 2 cavalier levels. I take just three so i can get bodyguard for free. as a free action give your half your AC as a circumstance bonus but you don't gain that bonus.
for the feat saving shield, give a +2 shield bonus as an immediate action.
bodyguard on a halfling gives at least a +4 to AC with helpful trait for an AoO.
eventually you take cautious fight for an extra 2 to AC for you when fighting defensively or total defense. Blundering defense allows you to give half of your total bonus for fighting defensively or total defense to all adjacent allies. So you get +2 standard fighting defensively, +3 with 3 ranks in acrobatics, +5 if you have cautious fighter. Total defense gives you a total of +8 with everything so you go total defense giving adjacent allies +4 luck, +2 with saving shield for shield bonus, +4 with bodyguard for untyped, + 3 at least if you wear breastplate or better AC with Extend the Bulwark. So everyone gets +4, and one gets an additional 5 if u saving shield and extend the bulwark the same person, and then +4 to anyone adjacent who gets attacked for a total of +13 at max on one person. Suddenly the wizards and sorceror are ok with shocking grasp without mage armor.