Starting a new campaign and I feel like throwing our GM a curveball. I usually make a damage dog or a skill junkie but this time I'm feeling like making a someone who uses combat maneuvers.
Character build rules: 25 point buy core classes and APG classes only. (No monks) core races. Level 3. All archetypes and feats.
Do you want to be a Master of combat maneuvre defense(CMD) or do you want to be good at different maneuvres?If it is the last what maneuvers do you want?
Doing the maneuvers. Grapple, disarm and sunder are the ones I've been considering but I'm not familiar enough with combat maneuvers to know if these are good choices.
There are some guides to maneuvres floating around here. The brutal pugilist barbarian is a good grabbeler within your options. You Will miss rapid grapple and some other feats from UC but you Can be just fine. If you want to sunder get a Big axe and improved sunder, upgrade to adamantine axe when possible.
And get the strength surge rage power!
|Charon's Little Helper|
The brawler class is now among the best users of manuvers. They don't need the Int for Combat Expertise, and they get a bonus to them as they level.
In part it depends upon what your GM usually throws at you. If he favors humanoid enemies - tripping can be great. But if you're going up against giant monsters most of the time, it, and the rest of the manuvers to a lesser degree, fall by the wayside.
I've actually been throwing around the idea of a brawler tripper for awhile. It can be pretty mean combined with Vicious Stomp. For example - at level 7 you could use Pummeling Bully to get a free trip, and if its successful you'd get an extra two AOOs between Vicious Stomp & Greater Trip. Not to mention a 3rd AOO when they stand up during their turn.
+1 on new hybrid brawler class, it's above and beyond the rest for combat maneuvers. The ability to pick up feats on the fly is just gravy.
If you're interested, I have a level 10 brawler who was designed specifically to be a grappling nightmare. Aebin. Essentially he can grapple 2 people at once with a +30 on both checks and move at full speed, cutting off their air supply at the same time. He has a really high CMB and the ability to pick up new feats from martial flexibility makes him good at just about any other maneuver on the fly (although not quite as terrifying as his grappling).
There's always the lore warden it gets bonuses to cmb/cmd, lots of feats, and good skills.
I feel the strait bonus to cmb is better then then the small bonus to specific maneuvers of the brawler. Be a human +2 str, extra feat 20 str, 13 dex 13 con 8 cha 13 int 11 wis combat expertise, improved trip, improved unarmed strike at lvl 1. Then fill in the maneuver feats.
Then surprise people when the big strong fighter ends up knowing a lot.
Move away from grappling. I recommend strongly to use weapons that grant the various CMB feats because they A) make sense and B) grant reach. I find that unarmed strikes make poor vehicles for those attacks.
Why move away from grappling? It is one of the strongest debuffs in the game. A grappled target can't make AoOs (so your team can get into place), has great difficulty casting spells, has a penalty on attacks and AC, and can't do anything that requires two hands. Small creatures that have really high ACs have painfully low CMDs, so grappling them is almost guaranteed.
And it's one of the few combat maneuvers that is not restricted to "no more than one size larger than you". My Halfling tetori has successfully grappled Huge creatures by 6th level.
Hunters actually make excellent CM beasts. The trick is having a companion with something like Trip or Grab and and letting it do all the work. All the hunter needs to do is be adjacent to his companion and use his turn to Aid Another. The teamwork feats from the hunter just boost the CM check through the roof.
This is a hunter with a crocodile companion I am working on. At level 1, the croc has a +11 Grapple. But, this same strategy can be used with any combat maneuver available to an animal companion.
Croc STR = 17(15 base + 2 from Hunter's Animal Focus - Bull)
Croc INT = 3 (1 base + 2 Eye for Talent)
+11 Grapple Check = +1 BAB +3 STR -1 Size +4 Aid (Helpful trait) +4 Grab
At level 3, it is at +21. And, that's without magic or items and still while the croc is small.
Croc STR = 18 (16 base + 2 from Hunter's Animal Focus - Bull)
Croc INT = 3 (1 base + 2 Eye for Talent)
Croc Feats: IUS, Imp. Grapple
Combat Expertise, Outflank, Pack Tactics, Coordinated Maneuvers
+21 Grapple Check = +2 BAB +4 STR -1 Size +4 Aid (Helpful trait) +4 Grab +2 Imp. Grapple +4 Flank (outflank feat w/ Pack Tactics) +2 Coordinated Maneuvers
If you have enough DPR in your party that you don't need to do tons of damage you can play a Half-Orc Battle- or Stone-Mystery Oracle (Battle's better for CMB, but I find Stone has more utility).
Take the alternate racial trait that lets you start with whip proficiency and the revelations that give you the trip feats; maneuver mastery or stone stability.
Buy high DEX and CHA.
Take Weapon Finesse (it applies your DEX to both trip and disarm maneuvers made with the whip), and get your whip to have as high an enhancement bonus as possible (enhancement applies to your CMB for trip and disarm because the weapon has the trip and disarm features)
If you want to grapple, take the Whip Mastery line of feats. This lets you grapple with the whip eventually. They also let you whip someone's weapon into your square after you disarm them with a melee touch attack, which is handy.
Take Weapon Focus Whip (also applies to CMB) and Dazzling Display (high charisma and being an orc makes you an intimidation machine).
Stomp around the battlefield making combat maneuvers and giving people the shaken condition. You're a full caster, so play support, control the battlefield with spells and summons, and use CMs and intimidation when you don't have anything better to do.
I'm about to start a campaign playing a combat maneuver/ debuff fighter. I'm take 2 levels in Samurai, with Order of the Cockatrice, which gets me dazzling display as a bonus feat(and I can do it as a standard), then its 9 levels of cad fighter, then 1 of thug rogue.
I use the double chained kama, and a buckler(used as an improvised weapon sometimes) below is the feat list I plan on using. I went the deadly stroke tree, and heavy into dirty trick, because the cad can eventually get free dirty tricks every time he hits a flat footed opponent.
1 Combat expertise Exotic weapon Proficiency Double Chained Kama
2 Dazzling display
3 improved disarm Improved trip
4 weapon focus
5 Improved feint Catch off Guard
6 greater feint retrain improved trip for improved dirty trick
7 greater dirty trick
8 shatter defenses
10 Greater Weapon Focus
11 Deadly Stroke
Something like this might work for you, if you wanted to grapple more, I would sub out the feint feats, those are to help our parties ninja. Heavy armor from Samurai, buckler, and combat expertise give you good AC, plus all the negatives your opponents will have. Enforcer goes with the thug rouge level to make frightening people as easy as hitting them( and you can use it with deadly stroke if you feinted them for frightened and bleeding CON)
Denying someone their DEX bonus lowers CMD, which is what I have made this build all about.