The Songbird of Doom: A Guide to a most unlikely tank and Mechanism of Mass Destruction (Warning: GMs will hate you)


Advice

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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
shroudb wrote:
You claim you can take a feat more than once. Point us where in the rules it says you can. The way rules are written, they can't account for the myriad things one can't do, so they make clear provisions of the things they CAN do. If you cannot find a rule that clearly says " you can pick a feat twice" then you can't. It's as simple as that.

I guess that's fair. I will show you that not only can I normally select a single feat as many times as I want, but I can actually normally select any feat at all that I want.

Core Rulebook, Getting Started, Common Terms wrote:
Feat: A feat is an ability a creature has mastered. Feats often allow creatures to circumvent rules or restrictions. Creatures receive a number of feats based off their Hit Dice, but some classes and other abilities grant bonus feats.

The rules say here that I get to take Feats based on Hit Dice, Class choice, and other abilities.

Core Rulebook, Getting Started, Generating a Character wrote:
Step 4—Pick Skills and Select Feats… determine how many feats your character receives, based on his class and level, and select them from those presented in Feats.

Here, the rules say that when I roll up my character, I get to select my own Feats for myself.

Core Rulebook, Classes, Character Advancement, Advancing Your Character wrote:
Adding a level generally gives you … possibly an … additional feat… Finally, add new skills and feats.

I can get new Feats by gaining levels.

Core Rulebook, Feats wrote:
By selecting feats, you can customize and adapt your character to be uniquely yours.

The whole idea of Feats is that I get to pick any Feats I want to customize my character.

Core Rulbook, Combat Feats wrote:
Any feat designated as a combat feat can be selected as a fighter's bonus feat. This designation does not restrict characters of other classes from selecting these feats, assuming that they meet the prerequisites.
Combat Feats, in particular can...

All those quotes and you still not get it.

In all those quotes, not once is it mentioned you can pick twice the same feat.

Even you say that "they don't put restrictions".
They don't HAVE to.
There aren't ANY restrictions in intimidate that you cannot kill someone via heart attack.
The rules strictly say what you CAN do.

You still haven't provided this specific text:
you can pick the same feat twice
Until you do, you can't.
The burden of proof falls upon the one claiming something is possible, not one claiming that it's not.


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Man, I was really enjoying this advice thread for a while.. then someone apparently inexplicably moved it into the rules forum.

I wonder why that happened, since it was a thread about advice for a certain build.

Oh wait. It didn't.

Can you folks take this argument to the rules board and continue there. I know others have asked the same, and that you're likely to ignore my request. But I'm at least going to start flagging your responses and likely get this otherwise awesome thread locked if you keep it up.

Seriously, just start another thread in the appropriate forum.

<3
Skaldi


shroudb wrote:
Even you say that "they don't put restrictions".

Absolutely false.

I wrote:
There are further rules that impose further restrictions on which Feats can be selected.... Okay, so you have to meet certain conditions in order to qualify for the Feat. So if a Feat includes in its Prerequisites that you can't already have the Feat, then you can't take it again. But that isn't one of Feral Combat Training's prerequisites.
shroudb wrote:
In all those quotes, not once is it mentioned you can pick twice the same feat.

Yes, I did. I demonstrated that you can pick whatever feat you want as long as you meet the prerequisites, and now that means your case is the one that is wanting for supporting evidence.

You were supposed to have a mountain of evidence. That's what Lune said.


Sorry Skaldi,

My advice is that Feral Combat Training is a way of incorporating natural attacks into your Flurry of Blows.

My advice is against applying Feral Combat Training to more than 1 natural attack because it's too expensive and the benefits are limited. If your goal is to use Flurry of Blows, the number of attacks you get is determined by your Monk level and BAB, not by the number of Natural Weapons you have applied FoB to. Builds like Songbird seem likely to go for multiple attacks with Feat Combinations like Snake Fang, which also can rely on a single natural attack. And the real reason do do anything like take FCT for multiple natural attacks is to increase your DPR for the Full Attack Action, and if you want to do that, you should take levels in Warpriest, then all you have to do is take Weapon Focus for each of your natural attacks, and you can apply Sacred Weapon to them all.

But Tels, BigNorseWolf, Chris Mortika, Lune, and shroudb are all saying that my advice is actually illegal. I asked them to explain why, but their explanations have been poor, and I showed them so. They demanded evidence from me, and I brought a mountain of evidence, showing that Feats are things you have broad liberty to choose for yourself as long as you don't run afoul of specific exceptions such as Prerequisites. They keep saying they can produce more exceptions but haven't.

It's been a week of verbal abuse. It's been a week of name calling. I've been told I'm willfully dense and should not be allowed to breed. They said that their views are well-established from since before Pathfinder existed, but in a week of ad hominem attacks, they haven't been able to find a single quotation of the rules beyond the first which talks about what happens when you DO take the same Feat more than once, which means their evidence actually SUPPRORTS the legality of my advice more than it attacks it.


I'd advise the use of a feat which explicitly states it can be taken more than once, and it's effects stack, alonside a feat which explicitly states it may be taken more than once and it's effects do not stack but must apply to different weapons, as a clear RAI statement on the ability to take a given feat more than once. Only when the given feat explicitly states it may. After all, feats are neat things you can learn to do, and if I learn to backflip off the ground with no running start it doesn't mean I can learn to backflip again 8 more times and somehow be able to backflip 9 times off the ground without a running start and a cliff.


I'm shocked that this thread has over 550 posts and no one has brought up encumbrance rules.
When under a medium encumbrance max DEX bonus +3

Halfling (small) str of 6, light encumbrance <15 lbs
Clothing 1 lb
haversack 5 lbs
Wayfinder 1 lb
Cloak resistance +X 1 lb
Headband of _________ 1 lb
Belt of DEX +X 1 lb
Most of the other wondrous item slots can be had at nil or 1 lb

While you CAN stay under that encumbrance, I would wager most players aren't because they have enough itmes they're wearing to be encumbered. As a PFS GM, that would be one of my first questions.


How is the character over encumbrance? All his gear merges with him when he polymorphs. That stuff is all part of his body, it doesn't count against his weight unless it specifically says that it does, if he puts it on after he shapes or it retains it's shape regardless of whether he shapes or not.


Lune wrote:
How is the character over encumbrance? All his gear merges with him when he polymorphs. That stuff is all part of his body, it doesn't count against his weight unless it specifically says that it does, if he puts it on after he shapes or it retains it's shape regardless of whether he shapes or not.

When you polymorph, you stay at the encumbrance level you were at previously. Which is good for our songbird, because a Str 4 tiny creature would be encumbered at 6.5 lbs.

Source


Athos710 wrote:

I'm shocked that this thread has over 550 posts and no one has brought up encumbrance rules.

When under a medium encumbrance max DEX bonus +3

Halfling (small) str of 6, light encumbrance <15 lbs
Clothing 1 lb
haversack 5 lbs
Wayfinder 1 lb
Cloak resistance +X 1 lb
Headband of _________ 1 lb
Belt of DEX +X 1 lb
Most of the other wondrous item slots can be had at nil or 1 lb

While you CAN stay under that encumbrance, I would wager most players aren't because they have enough itmes they're wearing to be encumbered. As a PFS GM, that would be one of my first questions.

You have a point. The OP is probably ST dumping too much. In principle, ST dumping can work pretty well with Swashbucklers and Unchained Rogues with their Dex to Damage, but a Halfling with a ST of 6 probably will have encumbrance issues.


Shiroi wrote:
I'd advise the use of a feat which explicitly states it can be taken more than once, and it's effects stack, alonside a feat which explicitly states it may be taken more than once and it's effects do not stack but must apply to different weapons, as a clear RAI statement on the ability to take a given feat more than once. Only when the given feat explicitly states it may. After all, feats are neat things you can learn to do, and if I learn to backflip off the ground with no running start it doesn't mean I can learn to backflip again 8 more times and somehow be able to backflip 9 times off the ground without a running start and a cliff.

On the last post of the previous page, I have proven the opposite. To avoid repeating arguments, it would be a good idea to review it.

If you can quote text from the rules that states that you can't take a feat more than once, I'd like to see it. All last week some extremely rude people have been talking a lot about how definitely illegal it is, but after a week of ad hominem attacks, the only thing they have been able to prove is that they have nothing to say. If you do want to offer more to the discussion, I recommend you distance yourself from them to preserve your own credibility.

It's kind of an important issue to the OP, since he intends to take levels in both Unarmed Fighter and Monk, which both offer Improved Unarmed Strike and several of the same Exotic Weapons as bonus Feats. And if you can't take Improved Unarmed Strike twice, then the OP can't take levels in the Unarmed Fighter Archetype and in Monk.

Community Manager

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So has anyone been playing this build(or a similar one) on high levels yet? I have only gotten to lvl 6 so far. If you have please share your version!


Ah, see, I have no problem with taking the feat as many times as you want. I see no additional effect for doing so, however. Taking a feat like power attack 9 times as various bonus feats doesn't let me take a -9 to AC for a +18 to dmg. I can't keep attacking more and more recklessly to hit harder and harder, eventually I am limited by my muscles in some way. So the build can receive feats or class abilities from many sources, but I'd hardly say those effects have any right to stack, nor that you'd be rules as intended to take the feat again by choice.


Shiroi wrote:
Ah, see, I have no problem with taking the feat as many times as you want.... Taking a feat like power attack 9 times as various bonus feats doesn't let me take a -9 to AC for a +18 to dmg. I can't keep attacking more and more recklessly to hit harder and harder, eventually... So the build can receive feats or class abilities from many sources, but I'd hardly say those effects have any right to stack,

Precisely.

Shiroi wrote:
I am limited by my muscles in some way.

Yes, we are limited by the rules of biochemistry and physcis. Our player characters are limited by the rules of the game and/or gamemasters' whims.

Shiroi wrote:
I see no additional effect for doing so, however.

That seems like an overstatement. I was discussing the possibility of taking Feral Combat Training more than once, each time selecting a different natural attack to apply the Feat to. By RAW,

Weapon Focus wrote:
Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon.

applying that Feat multiple times to different Natural Weapons, the Claws the first time, the Bite the Second, Witch's White Hair the third, etc, wouldn't count as stacking. But "not stacking" doesn't quite mean "no effect"

Shiroi wrote:
nor that you'd be rules as intended to take the feat again by choice.

In fact, I advise against taking FCT multiple times, even though I am certain it is not illegal to do so. FCT has a prerequisite, Weapon Focus, and that means you have to spend 2 Feats every time you want to apply FCT to a new natural attack, and that is prohibitively expensive.

And for the purposes discussed in this thread, you don't get much of anything for it. The OP intends to get multiple bite attacks in the form of Attacks of Opportunity using the Snake Fang Feat, and taking FCT multiple times will just not give you multiple attacks that way.

Someone else mentioned Flurry of Blows, and the number of attacks you get with Flurry of Blows is determined by your BAB and your Monk Level, and will benefit nothing by having 2 natural attacks you can add into your Flurry instead of just one.

I guess I can imagine actually wanting this, say if I have poison attached to more than 1 attack, maybe.

But it seems to me the reason why I would want to have FCT on multiple natural attacks is to increase my Full Attack Action DPR. And if I wanted to do that, I wouldn't take FCT at all! I would take levels in Warpriest and do Sacred Weapon Damage with every natural attack I took Weapon Focus for. I'd be a Tengu and get Claws and a Bite, making each do 1d6 for each hit. I'd take a level in White Haired Witch and take Weapon Focus Hair. I'd take a level in Ranger and acquire a Wand of Strong Jaw so that all my attacks did damage as if I were 2 sizes bigger. I'd go ahead and take 2 levels in MOMS Monk and take Snake Fang, getting like 4 extra unarmed attacks of opportunity. I'd take Weapon Focus Unarmed, too. Then I'd take Hamatula Strike and wear Armor with Armor Spikes so that every hit would also do Armor Spike Damage. I'd take Weapon Focus Armor Spikes, and start doing Sacred Weapon Damage for them, too. But that goes far afield of the kind of build the OP is talking about.


Athos710 wrote:
Lune wrote:
How is the character over encumbrance? All his gear merges with him when he polymorphs. That stuff is all part of his body, it doesn't count against his weight unless it specifically says that it does, if he puts it on after he shapes or it retains it's shape regardless of whether he shapes or not.

When you polymorph, you stay at the encumbrance level you were at previously. Which is good for our songbird, because a Str 4 tiny creature would be encumbered at 6.5 lbs.

Source

He still only needs to put the cloak head band and belt on a halfling and not be encumbered, not even on a bird.

He can probably hand someone else the haversack.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Athos710 wrote:
Lune wrote:
How is the character over encumbrance? All his gear merges with him when he polymorphs. That stuff is all part of his body, it doesn't count against his weight unless it specifically says that it does, if he puts it on after he shapes or it retains it's shape regardless of whether he shapes or not.

When you polymorph, you stay at the encumbrance level you were at previously. Which is good for our songbird, because a Str 4 tiny creature would be encumbered at 6.5 lbs.

Source

He still only needs to put the cloak head band and belt on a halfling and not be encumbered, not even on a bird.

He can probably hand someone else the haversack.

He would also solve the encumbrance problem if he changed into an African Swallow.


So how about taking feral combat training and then after 4 fighter levels take Martial versatility?


Woodoodoo wrote:
So how about taking feral combat training and then after 4 fighter levels take Martial versatility?

That's an interesting idea. There is a problem with it. One of the prerequisites of Martial Versatility is that you have to be Human, and Humans don't have Natural Attacks.

So, If you wanted to go that route, you have to come up with some way to be a human with natural attacks, such as the Alchemal Discovery Feral Mutagen which gives you Claws and a Bite. A level in White Haired Witch, a Helm of the Mammoth Lord, and now you have 5 attacks. Take Feral Combat Training with 1, then with Martial Versatility, you get it for all of them. Then maybe take Martial Versatility for Improved Natural Weapon, too.

I'm not sure which would be better, but that's a very interesting suggestion.


Woodoodoo wrote:
So how about taking feral combat training and then after 4 fighter levels take Martial versatility?

Ooh, you know who that sounds REALLY useful for? Druids. With Martial Versatility, you can apply those Feats to all your natural attacks regardless of which form you take!


Well with the songbird build you have one natural attack and then two or three extra with barbarian levels. shouldn't be too easy to get two or more unarmed attacks and 3-4 naturals all at once. Throw in brawlers armor and you have a nice build right there.


Seems to me that people are spending a lot of effort to acquire attacks in their tiny form. So you end up with a dip here for mouser and a dip there for claws and a dip over here for monkey style. I am not really a fan of the triple dip build. Why not just play a small race (My choice would be a grippli if you have the boon), take a 1 lvl dip in mouser, and 19 lvls of unchained vexing dodger. You can pick up reduce person as an SLA that lasts for 19 minutes and you can use it 9 times a day. That's more than enough tiny time. With vexing dodger I am not even sure you need tiny time. To me climbing on the enemy entails sharing the same square, which limb-climber lets us do on anything 1 step larger and without provoking an AoO. We get dex to attack and damage and we can just twf while standing on the shoulders of giants (as long as you have slippers of spider climb to allow climbing without free hands). Since we are flanking with everyone, we get to apply our sneak attack most of the time.


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If you are playing to 20th level maybe. But PFS and many home games don't see levels past 12. Hell, I've seen some posters say they don't hit 10th ever...

That means you career is less than 2/3's of the 20 level "cap".

It also means squeezing every possible advantage out of possible combinations to get your character "online" and reasonably functional before 6th level. Because at that point even single class builds are working to their potential. The faster you can get you "schtick" working, the sooner you can enjoy it. Because you might not have the option to do so otherwise.


Lab_Rat wrote:
Seems to me that people are spending a lot of effort to acquire attacks in their tiny form. So you end up with a dip here for mouser and a dip there for claws and a dip over here for monkey style. I am not really a fan of the triple dip build. Why not just play a small race (My choice would be a grippli if you have the boon), take a 1 lvl dip in mouser, and 19 lvls of unchained vexing dodger. You can pick up reduce person as an SLA that lasts for 19 minutes and you can use it 9 times a day. That's more than enough tiny time. With vexing dodger I am not even sure you need tiny time. To me climbing on the enemy entails sharing the same square, which limb-climber lets us do on anything 1 step larger and without provoking an AoO. We get dex to attack and damage and we can just twf while standing on the shoulders of giants (as long as you have slippers of spider climb to allow climbing without free hands). Since we are flanking with everyone, we get to apply our sneak attack most of the time.

Because the short duration on reduce person means you're casting it in combat , and if combats last 2-4 rounds you're losing a pretty big chunk of your actions by activating it.


Short duration? It lasts as long as fox form or the tiny bird; 1 minute per caster lvl. In high tier PFS that would mean that a mouser 1 / vexing dodger 10 would have 5 castings of reduce person that last for 10 min each. That's more tiny time than the tiny bird and enough castings per day to cover the typical scenario. The only difference is it is a full rnd action vs a standard to activate. You could always have potions of reduce person on hand for the combats that you can't get a prep rnd for.


Skylancer4 wrote:

If you are playing to 20th level maybe. But PFS and many home games don't see levels past 12. Hell, I've seen some posters say they don't hit 10th ever...

That means you career is less than 2/3's of the 20 level "cap".

It also means squeezing every possible advantage out of possible combinations to get your character "online" and reasonably functional before 6th level. Because at that point even single class builds are working to their potential. The faster you can get you "schtick" working, the sooner you can enjoy it. Because you might not have the option to do so otherwise.

Not sure if your replying to me or not.

One of the reasons that I like to keep simple is to make the concept work at low lvls. A single lvl of unchained vexing dodger lets you start the concept. Just climb up on everything larger than you and stab them. Second lvl is mouser. Now you get sneak attack on all your stabbings. Now depending upon the GM you have and their ruling on limb-climber and sharing squares you may not even need to be tiny. However, if you want more of a buff or your GM rules that limb-climber is still just adjacent rather than sharing, then throw in reduce person potions until you can get to 6lvls of rogue and have major magic. Alternatively, just roll with the potions and use your talents for other things. Lots of melee builds chug before / during first rnd of combat.

So the current "start up time" for this build is lvl 2. At lvl 2 you have everything you need. More levels just allows you to do it better.


And that is a mediocre build. Because more levels of other things can out perform it.

There is definitely something to be said for keeping things simple. There is also something to be said for making your build as effective as possible.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

If you want to get the Vexing Dodger build online faster just buy some potions of Reduce Person and grab the Accelerated Drinker Trait.

Run around with potion in hand and first round move action pop potion.


Lab_Rat wrote:

Short duration? It lasts as long as fox form or the tiny bird; 1 minute per caster lvl.

In high tier PFS that would mean that a mouser 1 / vexing dodger 10 would have 5 castings of reduce person that last for 10 min each.

Yes but how about the rest of your career?

Quote:

That's more tiny time than the tiny bird and enough castings per day to cover the typical scenario. The only difference is it is a full rnd action vs a standard to activate. You could always have potions of reduce person on hand for the combats that you can't get a prep rnd for.

The ring lasts 10 minutes 7 times per day , that will get you through the dungeon.

The kitsune fox shape is at will: you can remain a four legged fluffy pirhana all day by occasionally spending a standard action (or a move if you trade out your dancing lights for fast shifter). (Grr considers his bipedal form beneath him and refuses to assume it unless absolutely necessary)

edit: actually its even better than that. Fox shape alters your shapechange ability, which lets you remain in the form indefinitely. I don't even need to hand wave him being in the right shape when he wakes up.

The biggest problems with the vexing dodger is that it doesn't let you retain your dex bonus to ac while climbing the thing. You need the unchained skill unlock at level 5 or better yet, investments in spiderclimbing scrolls/slippers.


For my kitsune Foxform fighter, the mousers ability to flank with anyone has adjacent to the foes has gotten me more full round sneak attacks in one level than my Tengu ninja with combat expertise and gang up had for most of jade regent.


So how much of a hit does this build take now that MoMS can no longer get the downstream feats of styles as a bonus feat. To me it looks like there is no longer space to get monkey shine or snake fang.

The general shtick is still there post Ultimate Combat errata, but I think that the build may need a rebuild.


Holy s&+* you're right, rip my beautiful fox.


I haven't followed this thread very closely, but I was wondering if the changes to Feral Combat Training make any difference to this build?


Not really we weren't really going for that. Really the only way to use that would have been to get snake style and then FCT your claws, then you can skip taking weapon finesse since you are dipping swashbuckler anyways.
The nerf to MomS is kind of lame though, monkey shine was so cool.


Can an unarmed fighter still get monkey shine with his lvl 1 bonus feat?


They could get monkey STYLE not shine.


Well s#++


Yep, welcome to the hall of small and smaller martial characters. Let someone know if you're bringing in any normal sized comparable combat options so they can be taken from you.

If small size allowed early entry into a few martial feats, I probably wouldn't mind the other early entry blockades so much.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Errata. Always taking out the cool builds.


Gisher wrote:
I haven't followed this thread very closely, but I was wondering if the changes to Feral Combat Training make any difference to this build?

Thanks.


So how do we change the build? If we are not taking that monk level. I feel like monkey shine was a vital part of it.


I think you should be able to push those monk levels back and pick them up near the end of the progression, but you need two more feats in there as well. The character's effect won't come online till much later, which to me always feels bad when building a character.

Dark Archive

Fortunately my weird caster variant managed to avoid the nerf bat - it actually makes life easier since I no longer need to dip monk levels or take nearly so many feats. Fiend Totem Unchained Barbarian 2/Mouser 1/Draconic Sorcerer 2/Dragon Disciple. The DD str bonuses are irrelevant (unless you get stuck fighting full sized due to DR), but you get 3/4 BAB and casting, the rest is fluff. You can also go DD 4/EK for a higher level variant (but lose the cool Blindsense).

Most spells can't be cast in fox form, but you can prebuff yourself. Also, neither Blur nor Displacement have somatic components, so as long as you have the ring to speak when polymorphed you can cast them. With enough time you can use Shield, Mage Armor, Reduce Person to be a mouse sized Diminutive foxie, Blur or Displacement, and Mirror Image, all while throwing out 4 full BAB attacks per round, moving at 50 feet, and providing your allies an AC boost. Use the freed up feats for Reflexes, Stand Still, and Bodyguard to keep the enemy ineffectively swinging at your images. That said, you probably need to spend a feat or two on Extra Rage, 8 rounds is not much (you also want to pump Cha for more rounds of claws, but can add/drop them as a free action so you can save them during movement). Overall not quite as offensively powerful as the now dead original version, but the Dragon Fox has more utility.

That, and it is just hilarious to watch a bundle of mouse sized foxies fly 50 feet through the air (with all the bonuses you have in excess of +50 acrobatics to jump) and then start mauling :)

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