Making Desna proud: What's the best build for using Starknives?


As the title says, I was looking into figuring out how to attain optimal use of Starknives. Single use is all right but plural would be better. I'm thinking maybe Warpriest of Desna?

have your GM home brew star knifes into kukri's. coolness of starknifes, but 18-20 crit range. problem solved

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Well, one of my favorite ideas is that since it's light and throwing, a finesse/two-weapon/rapid shot build can work well with them. You max out attacks by both two-weapon fighting and tossing out at least one ranged attack each round (with rapid shot). Human Fighter could start with three attacks at 1st level (TWF, PBS, RS). Have to get Quick Draw soon of course. You just want to rack up as much static damage on each throw as you can to make up for the hit to attack bonus. Fighter can work (weapon spec/training), ranger works well, rogue works well.

You can *try* it as a Cleric of Desna, using things like Divine Favor to up attack/damage, but...

Inquisitor of Desna for adding bane to starknives as needed to buff damage output, along with 'teamwork' feats to take advantage of the situation as needed.

Ranger of Desna would also stack some standing damage adds to the weapons, if you're in a campaign where your favored enemies are primary opponents.

I'd also recommend two levels of Spherewalker, as it grants any starknife you wield the returning quality. er

Flying Blade archetype of the Swashbuckler + Precise Strike + Blinkback Belt. Win.

Scarab Sages

Harrow warden monk works well with them, as does far strike monk.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Take a look at the Flying Blade. Full BAB, weapon training, deeds, and tons of bonus damage make it one of the best throwing weapon builds in the game. You will have to avoid TWF if you want the bonus Precise Strike damage, but it's possible to do a TWF build anyway - it'd be roughly equal to a fighter but with better class abilities.

For the record, the difference between the TWF and non-TWF builds is 3 attacks over the course of Levels 1-20. The TWF build gets 9 attacks (4 BAB, 3 TWF, 1 Rapid Shot, 1 Haste) and the non-TWF build gets six. If those 3 attacks deal more than 120 damage total, then TWF is worth it. Larger crit ranges reduce that number, so get Keen or Improved Critical if you can.

Thrown weapons are the most feat-intensive style, requiring PBS, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, TWF, ITWF, GTWF, Deadly Aim, Improved Precise Shot, Clustered Shots, and Quick Draw to function. That's 10 feats altogether. I do not suggest trying this with any class that doesn't get bonus feats.

IS there a good balance between twf ranged and melee that would work well with starknives?

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Either focus on a Dex build with ranged as a primary then get a pair of Agile weapons, or focus on Strength for melee combat and grab a Lesser Belt of Mighty Hurling asap. Both options help reduce MAD issues at the expense of lower AC/Initiative or lower CMB/CMD/Carrying Capacity. You could build a decent switch-hitter too since you'd have full-BAB and weapon training along with bonus feats, but it would be more MAD.

Keep in mind that you need a Dex of 15 to take TWF, 17 by level 6 for ITWF, and 19 by level 11 for GTWF, so you can't afford a low Dex if you want to use two starknives. I personally prefer high Dex for a ranged build, especially since you need a 14k magic item to make the Strength build good at range. If you're starting at later levels it becomes more attractive as you will never add Dex to damage on your ranged attacks.

I'm thinking a dm would allow the Sohei to flurry with them since there not trying to flurry with 2h weapons... Then u can flurry ur throwing as well. Honestly after lvl 8 I'd consider going fighter for feats and weapon specialization and greater wp specialization.

Hmm if u can take thrown wps as ur wp group and star knifes are thrown can u flurry with them as melee wps?


Fellow player in my Carrion Crown group is a Warpriest of Desna focusing on throwing a single starknife and buffs himself well with divine favor and sacred weapon. Damage is consistent, if not overwhelming, only getting better with time as his sacred weapon dice improves.

Other options I like are ranger for bonus feats and favored enemy, flying blade swashbuckler is just a given, and interestingly enough hunter. The pain of losing your belt slot to blinkback belt (the absolute best choice over returning or called weapons) is mitigated by animal focus and a companion. For extra flavor, Butterfly Sting from Inner Sea Gods to give your AC free crits. And it's a Desna only feat!

I think that the divine classes make good use of this. War sighted oracle, an inquisitor as mentioned earlier and most any cleric. But really there are plenty of ways and non that I know of are truly better.

From what I understand starknives can be flurried for both melee and ranged flurry. I was looking at the Harrow Warden monk, since they are a monk weapon for them. They can flurry both melee or ranged for them. I think if I build that way I could take quick draw asap, and buy 4-6 +1 returning starknives and have perpetual ammo for close to mid range combat.

With the money later I could add distance to them and/or have them made out of better materials.

Or I could look at the blinkback belt you mentioned. :p

I think a warpriest with a harrow warden dip might do the trick well.
You get flurry, weapon focus, increased damage and later weapon specialization

The Warpriest can add a ton of damage to them through Sacred Weapon, Weapon Specialization and Divine Favor, while using bonus feats to dual-wield. I'm not sure, pound-for-pound, that the damage is going to get better than that, particularly if you use a Dual Talent Human to run on strength, while grabbing just enough dexterity for improved two-weapon and two-weapon rend, plus some throwing accuracy.

The Card Caster Magus archetype isn't limited to using the harrow deck, he can add his shocking grasp to any thrown weapon.

Guided Hand would let you use Wisdom for ranged or melee. (with the Mythic version you get Wis to damage) Not helpful with a TWF build but might be good with a Cleric or Inquisitor build. (Although you would need a way to Channel with the Inquisitor.)

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Guided Hand would let you use Wisdom for ranged or melee. (with the Mythic version you get Wis to damage) Not helpful with a TWF build but might be good with a Cleric or Inquisitor build. (Although you would need a way to Channel with the Inquisitor.)

If it were not for Desna specifically you could take a dip in a negative energy crusader cleric for the weapon focus feat and then grab channeling scourge. Would grant full negative channel and guided hand as well.

I built a dagger-chucking warpriest. Largely convertible to a starknife with the adjustment of traits and blessings.

At level 11, with ITWF, a blinkback belt, a snakeskin tunic, and a single +1 seeking dagger I have her getting somewhere around:
+17/+17/+17/+12 1d10+18 (19-20/x2) and +17/+12 1d10+16 (19-20/x3).
(+2d6 each from Sacred Weapon/Holy if applicable)

attacks breakdown:
attack + iterative + TWF + ITWF + rapid shot + divine power/haste

My build's focused solely on ranged but you could swap something out for Weapon Finesse if you wanted to mix it up. Maybe even throw in Opening Volley.

Silver Crusade

TWF Ranger into Divine Scion?

Dark Archive

Whilst not a player race, this build might be interesting to you. It was put together during the Advanced Class playtest by Rogue Eidolon but should still generally work as far as I can tell at a quick glance and can put out some excellent damage whilst still having a ton of useful abilities all told.

Here's what I tried building last night, fell asleep before I could put it up. I got into the theme that Harrow Warden had so the rest of my build options will go to make them more rounded, but I'll be focused on making my Starknife combat go farther. Probably be playing in Shattered Star if that matters.

Saban Locke
Male human (varisian) monk (harrow warden, wanderer) 1 (Pathfinder Player Companion: The Harrow Handbook, Pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide 76)
LN Medium humanoid (human)
Init +4; Senses Perception +7
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 13 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 untyped bonus)
hp 8 (1d8)
Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +5
Speed 30 ft.
Melee starknife +4 (1d4+3/×3) or
. . starknife flurry of blows +3/+3 (1d4+3/×3) or
. . starknife +4 (1d4+3/×3) or
. . starknife flurry of blows +3/+3 (1d4+3/×3) or
. . unarmed strike +4 (1d6+3) or
. . unarmed strike flurry of blows +3/+3 (1d6+3)
Ranged or
. . bracelet chakram flurry of blows +3/+3 (1d2+3) or
. . bracelet chakram +4 (1d2+3) or
. . bracelet chakram flurry of blows +3/+3 (1d2+3) or
. . bracelet chakram +4 (1d2+3)
Special Attacks flurry of blows, idiot strike
Str 16, Dex 18, Con 11, Int 12, Wis 17, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB +3; CMD 21
Feats Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, Weapon Finesse
Traits harrow chosen (varisian), monument scholar, starchild
Skills Bluff +0 (-2 for 24 hours when you fail an opposed Charisma based check), Climb +7, Diplomacy +4 (+2 for 24 hours when you fail an opposed Charisma based check), Disguise +0 (-2 for 24 hours when you fail an opposed Charisma based check), Intimidate +0 (-2 for 24 hours when you fail an opposed Charisma based check), Knowledge (history) +5, Knowledge (religion) +5, Perception +7, Profession (fortune-teller) +7, Sense Motive +7, Survival +3 (+7 to avoid getting lost); Racial Modifiers starchild
Languages Common, Thassilonian, Varisian
SQ far traveller ability (weapon training), vain
Other Gear bracelet chakram (5), bracelet chakram (5), starknife, starknife, 100 gp
Special Abilities
Flurry of Blows -1/-1 (Ex) As full-rd action, higher BAB and combo unarmed/monk wep as if two-weapon fighting.
Harrow Chosen (Varisian, 2/week) +2 caster level for divination when using heirloom deck as focus.
Idiot Strike (1/day, DC 13) (Su) Unarmed strike jinx: target rolls twice on atk, saves, skill or CL checks.
Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed strikes don't cause attacks of opportunity, and can be lethal.
Monument Scholar +1 Know (hist) in varisia, +2 if related to Magnimar. +2 to recieve Magnimar monument boon.
Starchild +4 survival to avoid becoming lost. Automatically determine north.
Vain -2 to Cha checks for 24h after failing an opposed Cha check

Scarab Sages

rungok wrote:

Saban Locke

Been playing FF6?

Imbicatus wrote:
rungok wrote:

Saban Locke
Been playing FF6?

Only a little bit of nostalgia. This was only a test... yeah... right... a test.

Silver Crusade

Human CG Ranger 6/Divine Scion x

1 Endurance HB Weapon Focus Starknife
3 Power Attack
5 Boon Companion (Wolf)
6 RB Imp TWF
7 Weapon Spec or Greater Weapon Focus

and so on...

Could I dop the Harrow Warden Monk into Warpriest to improve my starknife and combat effectiveness?

I'd go at least 6 to 8 levels in Far Strike Monk, and 2 levels of Crusader-Cleric or 4 levels in Warpriest. Get the Guided Hand feat so you can use Wisdom for your attack rolls. The rest of the levels in monk or Cleric/Warpriest. Maybe take some levels in Weapon Master fighter to get weapon training & weapon specialization.

Edit: Skip the Weapon Master fighter and grab Flying Blade Swashbuckler

i hate to say it but would rogue work?
knife master for d8 sneak attack and sniper goggles for +2 dmg/ sneak dice , maybe take 1 level of snakebite striker for the extra sneak dice.
take the under handed rogue talent
major magic vanish

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