New Player In Need Of Class Advice


I am trying to pick my pathfinder character, I have a small amount of experience but every time I pick a class that sounds cool to me they always feel really weak or inferior compared to there others in my party. I like having a lot of skills and I feel like my party should have the damage end of things under control in combat. Although in combat I do like having a lot of mobility, do you have advice on what class might be the right fit for me?

Grand Lodge

I would say slayer or ranger.

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The character concept that you find most exciting. No character can really "do it all". It's a team oriented game after all.

Once you pick your concept, get friends to help you build that concept.

Unfortunately, martial characters just don't really get "mobility". You may be asking, why?

That is because moving (taking a move action) only leaves you with a standard action (making only a single attack). Which drastically reduces your damage output.

Being a spell caster allows you to move and still cast most spells (they're mostly standard actions to cast). If you make a mounted archer, your mount can move and you can still make full attacks.

What do you want to be able to do besides skills?

Ultimately, you have to find your own way. Personally, I build my character on finding and achieving effects that I think are cool, and I hardly ever have a character with just 1 class. My characters tend to be built on the accumulation of feats and bonuses rather than the attainment of high level class abilities, and I multiclass to a huge amount.

For a highly mobile, highly skilled character who can afford to let his fellows do most of his fighting for him, I've been nursing this idea of a Gunslinger/Ninja/Monk. I was thinking that the Ninja Vanishing Trick can be used to deny opponents their Dex bonus to AC, locking in the Sneak Attack Damage, and guns make ranged Touch Attacks. So you'll always be attacking your opponents' ranged, touch AC and always get Sneak Attack Damage. Plus, lots of skill points. I'd get up to leve 3 Drunken Master so I'd have all the Ki I need to Vanish all I want.

But once again, I'm talking about a very complicated build, and you might not want that as a new PC.

I've almost always found things about my aggressive, complicated character builds that are less than ideal, and I just live and learn for the next time, as you will have to do.

And good luck to us all.

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Actually, I just remembered a couple helpful tools.

This spreadsheet can help you round out your party based on what others are playing. This spreadsheet can help you determine what you should play based on what you would like to be able to do.

Concerning skills....

The best skill monkeys are those that can also justify having in order high intelligence, high dex, then wisdom/charisma, strength, con. Basically that means that spellcasters of one type or another are especially effective. Humans are the best race for maxing skills but I give an honorable mention to half elves.

My advice is if you want a lot of skills and quality to go with those skills I would look at a bard, cloistered cleric, Loracle, or an inquisitor. These offer superior gains to quality skills over the length of the game and still contribute nicely to combat without any new player difficulty. I'd recommend the bard for a newer player but that's far from locked in.

When I build new characters I typically look at classes, class features, and archetypes and imagine the way they would play out as a focus for a character.

Example 1 -- Variation on Theme: One of my current characters is a barbarian who behaves like a Paladin. He uses rage as his "smite evil" and his superstition rage power as "divine grace". It is really fun not just for me, but for everyone at the table. He's an Orc, but I call him a "double half-orc" and it's just silly. However, in combat it's still a full barbarian, putting out 30+ damage per attack at 5th level, and doing all those things.

Example 2 -- Commitment to Specialization: My wizard in Rise of the Runelords is a Thassilonian transmutation specialist (directly tied to the campaign theme). He's a human dedicated crafter, with emphasis on all the crafting skills, skill focus in Spellcraft and Use Magic Device, and is an artisan. The focus was to be the best crafter of magic items possible, and so I took multiple feats, skills, and items to emphasize that skill set. As a fun wrinkle he has Spectacles of Annihilation, which allow me to freely convert any prepared transmutation spell into another. Since he's a focused specialist, he can spontaneously cast around 1/2 his spells, with only 1/2 being locked in. It's a sub-optimal niche item, with a sub-optimal niche archetype that dovetail perfectly.

For you, I think an Empiricist Investigator focused on intelligence would be awesome. If you want to be skilled, there isn't much better way to do it! The Empiricist takes some of the best skills in the game (disable device, perception, sense motive, and use magic device) and uses intelligence for those skills at 2nd level.

At 3rd level you can take an Investigator Talent, which you could take Expanded Inspiration. It automatically allows you to add your inspiration bonus to additional skills (diplomacy, heal, perception, profession, and sense motive). If you are human, put at least 16 in intelligence and add your racial bonus, take the alternate human racial trait (focused study) for extra skill focus feats, you could be an incredibly skilled character.

At 3rd level:

Perception - +3 for ranks, +3 for class skill, +4 for int modifier, +3 for skill focus, +1d6 for inspiration. Every time you roll a perception check you're looking at

1d20 + 13 + 1d6, for an average perception of 27 at 3rd level! That's pretty good, and I think would allow you to feel like a true contributor at the table. Not to mention you can add your inspiration to all your knowledge, spellcraft, linguistics checks as part of your class.

Furthermore, the class gets 6+Int per level plus human bonus. At 3rd level you would have 33 skill points to spend, either allowing you to max out 11 skills, have 1 rank in 33, or some combination thereof. I would recommend taking at least one rank in all the knowledges, which combines greatly with your inspiration, and max out a few skills for specialization - diplomacy, sense motive, perception, disable device, linguistics, use magic device.

That's 18 skill points spent with 15 for you to distribute as you see fit! You are now the ultimate party face, but completely contingent on your intelligence, a la Sherlock Holmes.

In addition to all those skills you still have alchemy and trapfinding. Those are some further roles for specialization within the group.

Good luck!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Okay, so you want skills and mobility, and your party already has damage covered? I would recommend a bard. Your party's damage-dealers will love you for your buffs, you'll get plenty of skills (and extra bonuses to some of them), and if you focus on the casting side of things then you don't need to stand still and full-attack, meaning you're mobile.

Liberty's Edge

Jiggy wrote:
Okay, so you want skills and mobility, and your party already has damage covered? I would recommend a bard. Your party's damage-dealers will love you for your buffs, you'll get plenty of skills (and extra bonuses to some of them), and if you focus on the casting side of things then you don't need to stand still and full-attack, meaning you're mobile.

This is very solid advice. Bards are great skill and utility characters, and this seems to offer everything you say you want.

Alternately, if you don't want to cast spells, find a way to acquire either a mount or pounce. Mounted archery lets you move and full attack with a ranged weapon, and pounce allows the same in melee.

If you want to go the mounted archer + skills route, I recommend an Inquisitor with the Chivalry Inquisition. Inquisitors are both excellent archers and great skill characters, after all. Mounted archery does have the disadvantage of reducing your mobility in enclosed spaces, but there are several ways around that if you choose this option. This is pretty clearly a damage build, though.

Pounce is trickier to get, especially on a skill-class, and tends to be paired almost inevitably with being a primary damage I'd just avoid it for now.

Liberty's Edge

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

Do you have any limitations on available books or specific rules elements you're not allowed to use?

Given that you want to be mobile, do you see yourself in melee combat, maneuvering for position, or would you be okay with ranged combat as well?

Liberty's Edge

1 lvl synthesist summoner=pounce. Correct?

Liberty's Edge

Cormag cowsreck wrote:
1 lvl synthesist summoner=pounce. Correct?

Depends on whether you're using Unchained (which removes this trick).

Bard is definitely good advice, BUT you have almost zero class features that will boost your personal damage. If feeling weak or inferior is a concern, just consider that a bard is going to tend to be a bit light on damage and high on tricky stuff.

If you want to kill things, an Inquisitor can dish out considerably more beats than the bard. For high mobility you can take the travel domain (boost to speed), or take the animal domain and do the mounted archery thing with your animal companion (take full round bow attacks AND move the companion's full base speed). Both the Judgement and Bane class features can let you do a very respectable amount of damage with arrows, especially if paired with rapid shot and manyshot. Plus you have plenty of skills and some class features that boost knowledge, sense motive, and intimidate.

Also, I'm not sure how new of a player you are, but any casting class can be tricky if you're not very comfortable with the rules. If you want to skip magic, a samurai can do a lot of damage with a bow as well. You can take the fighter feats that boost longbow damage (like weapon specialization), and you still get the high-mobility of a mounted dude. It's only 4 skills per level though, and you'll need 2 of those for handle animal and ride.

Bards can do decent damage without too many problems. Not AM BARBARIAN damage but respectable. All while being a party buffing skillmonkey.

A simple build:

Start with 16 STR, boost with items & some levels
Use a Longspear
Get Arcane Strike & Power attack
Consider the feat Flagbearer with a Banner of the Ancient Kings at level 9

So, at Level 9 with 18 Str & a +2 Longspear you'd have +15/+10 to hit self buffed (6 BAB, 3 Inspire Courage, 2 Flagbearer, 4 Str, 2 Weapon, -2 Power Attack).

You would do 1d8+21 damage per hit (1d8 weapon + 6 Str + 6 Power Attack + 3 Inspire Courage + 2 Flagbearer + 2 Arcane Strike +2 Weapon)

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