Intelligence Heavy Martial


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So, the new Artful Dodge feat makes me wonder if an Intelligence heavy martial might be a fun, viable and flavourful option...with a crap ton of skills. Not as powerful as a regular strength build, or probably even a Dex based build, but eh. Sometimes we play for fun, not murderous blending power.

Since Artful Dodge allows you to dump down Dex while still making a two-weapon user build, that seems good. And a Student of War allows you to use Intelligence for AC at second level.

And of course high intelligence makes Kirin Strike fun as well. And fairly murder-blendy too.

Any suggestions on a good class to go with it, and complementary feats? Alternative suggestions? As usual, I'm good with third party and 3.5. At the moment I'm thinking of basing this on a fighter, for shock value if nothing else, but also because it hungers for feats to make it work.

Dark Archive

Dreamscarred Press' Warder, and now the Harbinger, are Intelligence-based martial classes. Harbinger already gets pretty much Int to everything, though.

-e-

I forgot! The Slayer also has a very minor incentive to invest in Int for some of his Slayer Talents.


Lore Warden Fighter?

Actually, if you dip Unchained Rogue or Swashbuckler and Slashing Grace you could get dex to damage and just focus on dex and int to make a competent combatant who is also skillful.

Oh, play an elf who uses the elven branch spear (which is finessable). Two level dip in Unchained Rogue will get you dex to damage and a lot of skill points. Lore Warden gets you some decent skill points per level, and makes you good at maneuvers. You can then use your extra feats to specialize into trip (which you reach weapon can help you capitalize on) and get all sorts of extra attacks using AoO. You might also look into the new Skill Unlock system.

Liberty's Edge

I'd go Slayer (Vanguard). They get some very thematic abilities that are also aided by Int and have a lot of skill points and Class Skills to make good use of it as well. Their Initiative bonus from Class and Good Reflex Save also help a low-Dex character get by.

Lore Warden Fighter is also, obviously, a solid option, if one with pretty low AC until 7th level when Student of War's main trick kicks in (unless you pick up Medium Armor Proficiency, anyway).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Slayer seems cool for this.

They have many abilities base off Intelligence.


Warder and Harbinger look interesting, but I'm not very familiar with the Path of War series nor the Manoeuvres they use. I'll try and read up on it where I can, however. Can you tell me a little more about the Manoeuvres?

The Lore Warder is nice, although yes, the loss of Medium Armour hurts. It is one to consider.

The Slayer, and especially the Vanguard, does look like a good fit so far.


Maybe a different version of Ravingdork's cannibalistic wizard? there's an Int heavy martial if I ever saw one.

Dark Archive

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Maneuvers are pretty neat. It's a whole system based on replenish-able abilities. You start with a certain number readied (sort of like how a spellcaster prepares spells) but you only get 1 use out of each. However, at the end of a fight, or when you use the class' Recovery method, you get some or all back.

Strikes are attacks. They generally are "make an attack with an added bonus or special feature" such as being able to make two attacks as a standard action, applying a debuff (like stun, daze, blind, etc.) to the target on a failed save, or other neat things.

Boosts are just that - they boost your abilities. They are (generally) swift action abilities that act as a boost to your other abilities. They include things like getting bonus damage, to-hit, AC, saves, or even things like "your next attack will cause you to heal X HP to either you or an ally within 30 ft."

Counters are used to block enemy attacks or spells, and really help to let the Initiator (what classes that use Maneuvers are called) to feel like they can be more reactive when it's not their turn. There are some neat standbys like "Roll Sense Motive vs. the enemy's attack roll, if your roll is higher they miss" and such.

Stances are similar to Style feats, in that you get to enter a stance to gain the benefits of that stance. These range from increasing your damage output, to adding movement speeds/options, and even providing senses and SLAs.

All the maneuvers are split into various Disciplines which are sets of maneuvers and stances that all fit a given style of combat. Each Initiator class has access to a few disciplines, and by focusing on one or another can lead to the same class playing VERY differently.

It takes a bit of reading and messing around to get comfortable with the system, but it provides a TON of versatility and options for martial characters. Most of the classes are admittedly really strong at level 1, but they never really get ridiculous like most spellcasters can. They just stay useful and effective 1-20.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yeah, I can't help you with any 3rd party stuff.

I keep that to a minimum, if any, in home games.


Why are people trying to make a DEX-Int baised character when the point of Artful Dodge is to remove the need for high INT?

I've been thinking about a Student of War/Duelist Character for a high AC build, but there is so much multiclassing in thatmess that I find it lacks any crunchy abilitys

Maybe a Paladin would work well with the SoW, as CHA to Reflex saves would cover the low DEX.

We need to look at how we make DEX baised abilities work off another Stat, preferably INT: Initutive, Amount of AoOs, Reflex Saves and AC

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

This is why I suggested a Str/Int Slayer.

Liberty's Edge

blackbloodtroll wrote:
This is why I suggested a Str/Int Slayer.

That was my logic as well.

Dark Archive

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That's also the reason I suggested Warder. It really has no use for Dexterity at all after level 4 beyond Dex skills and Touch AC, so you can pump Strength and Int and go to town. It's got lots of archetypes that let you pick a focus (Dervish Defender + Prodigious Two Weapon Fighting to TWF without needing Dex, Zweihander Sentinel for THF beatdowns, etc.) and have fun.

Harbinger is about as close to be a SAD martial as you can get. It takes awhile for Int-to-damage to come online, but you can get by with a little Strength and using maneuvers that give bonus damage.

Yes, I love Path of War, and I am not afraid to admit it. :)

The Exchange

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I've been working on a PFS Int-based martial for the last two months or so...

Half-Elf Investigator 2 (Empiricist) / Monk 1 (MoMs) / Fighter 1 (Unarmed) / Monk +1 / BLANK 2 / Student of War 2
Int 20, Dex 14, Con 14, Str 14, Wis 8, Cha 7

main weapons: Quarterstaff of Entwined Serpents, Poisoned Liquid Blades, Alchemical debuffs.

FEATS:
1 (B) Skill Focus: Linguistics
1 Orator
3 SOMETHING (retrained into Artful Dodge at level 7)
3 (B) Kirin Style
4 (B) Kirin Strike [MoMs doesn't let you get high-level style feats early in PFS, but there's no rule on that for Unarmed Fighter]
5 (B) Pummelling Style
5 Combat Style Master
7 TWF
9 ITWF


I have a suggestion, building upon the Kirin Strike line and variant multiclassing, all Unchained.
If you can use Unchained, S-Kirin allows you to add Int to damage for 24 hours to that opponent without using an action to trigger it, using stamina raises it to twice Int damage.
If you take Variant Multiclassing and select Magus you gain a Magus Arcana, I would suggest the Int-to-Hit arcana.

This gives you Int to hit and Int to damage at the cost of a Swift action per turn, and a swift action to do the knowledge check. Consider Combat Style Master for faster deployment.

The fighter can give up many feats in variant multiclassing and still have enough to build a concept.


Thank you for the run down, Seranov. I must admit, my Dreamscarred Folder is sadly empty. I really must start grabbing the Path of War and Psionics stuff.

Covert Operative, your build looks interesting. I hadn't really considered the Investigator yet. One question - why Skill Focus (Linguistics)? Don't you need Skill Focus (Any Knowledge) to access Student of War?

Errant Mercenary - I haven't gotten hold of Unchained yet. I was waiting to see if they would make the Rogue viable. It seems they have, even if the Monk wasn't done many favours. I'll try and grab it, as those sound like very promising abilities.


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Won't this work pretty well with the empiricist investigator?

Grand Lodge

Dex and Int based Lore Warden, with 2 levels in monk (maneuver master for a CMB based build or master of many styles for a damage and AC based build), then at level 7 or 8 you can get a few levels of duelist (as many levels as your final Int bonus will be) for Int to AC and some extra damage.

The Exchange

JonGarrett wrote:

Thank you for the run down, Seranov. I must admit, my Dreamscarred Folder is sadly empty. I really must start grabbing the Path of War and Psionics stuff.

Covert Operative, your build looks interesting. I hadn't really considered the Investigator yet. One question - why Skill Focus (Linguistics)? Don't you need Skill Focus (Any Knowledge) to access Student of War?

Errant Mercenary - I haven't gotten hold of Unchained yet. I was waiting to see if they would make the Rogue viable. It seems they have, even if the Monk wasn't done many favours. I'll try and grab it, as those sound like very promising abilities.

Err. Do you? I didn't really look :\

I didn't look at the prerequisites, I just needed some class levels to fill the missing space because I had a feat progression planned out but no classes past level 5.
Anyway, I took it to qualify for the awesome Orator feat. My level 2 has +17+1d6 (free inspiration) for all three social skills because he can sub Linguistics for it. I regularly get 30+ when the DC is 15-20, but whatever :)

Well, it was a toss-up between Half-Elf and Human.
If I was going with Student of War (which I would've if I'd known of it) I would be a human because they get a second skill focus feat at like lvl8 or something.


Nobody said Arbiter from Thunderscape: Aden yet? I recommend that. Fun class that makes using a shield viable imo.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The Inspiring Commander cavalier archetype by Rite Publishing.

The Exchange

I saw student of war prestige class.


While at first glance using Artful Dodge on an Investigator to go down the TWF route looks good I'm unconvinced. TWF is pretty feat-heavy already if you want beyond the bare essentials, and Investigators are a fairly feat-starved class. Given how good a lot of Investigator talents are, the extra talent feat eats a lot of your early feats.

I'm sure it's something that could be done, and might be decent if done on a character who started at higher level. Up to level 7 or so it'd struggle a lot.

The Exchange

My TWF build doesn't actually start TWFing until 7th level, actually. I couldn't make it work before that, but it is by far the best option, because of an extremely unexpected synergy with my two styles: Pummelling and Kirin.
Also I don't need double slice because I only have 14 Str (don't worry about my accuracy; Perfect Strike & Inspiration add a bunch to my hit chance the few times per day that I use them)


Errant Mercenary wrote:

I have a suggestion, building upon the Kirin Strike line and variant multiclassing, all Unchained.

If you can use Unchained, S-Kirin allows you to add Int to damage for 24 hours to that opponent without using an action to trigger it, using stamina raises it to twice Int damage.
If you take Variant Multiclassing and select Magus you gain a Magus Arcana, I would suggest the Int-to-Hit arcana.

This gives you Int to hit and Int to damage at the cost of a Swift action per turn, and a swift action to do the knowledge check. Consider Combat Style Master for faster deployment.

The fighter can give up many feats in variant multiclassing and still have enough to build a concept.

You are heavly constricted by arcane pool. The best way is just VMC witch to get prehensile hair. S-Kirin style to double up on INT to damage. Kaboom.

The Exchange

I don't know how Variant MultiClassing works.

But with normal multiclassing (the only thing legal in PFS), 4 levels of Hexcrafter Magus can get both, through the Prehensile Hair hex.

I also don't see how you can use intelligence for attack rolls with WHW hair. It just says you use Int for damage and for grapples.

White-Haired Witch wrote:
At 1st level, a white-haired witch gains the ability to use her hair as a weapon. This functions as a primary natural attack with a reach of 5 feet. The hair deals 1d4 points of damage (1d3 for a Small witch) plus the witch’s Intelligence modifier. In addition, whenever the hair strikes a foe, the witch can attempt to grapple that foe with her hair as a free action* without provoking an attack of opportunity, using her Intelligence modifier in place of her Strength modifier when making the combat maneuver check. When a white-haired witch grapples a foe in this way, she does not gain the grappled condition.

I'm really happy with your guys's suggestions. The last thread I talked about making this character on they were just "Kirin Strike suks. be dex-based lol"


Unfortunatly there is no way that i knoow of to use INT to hit with WHW. You have to rely on the Prehensile Hair.

BTW Kirin strike sucks, it's only the Stamina variant that is awesome XD.

The Exchange

Can you please explain (or link to) these two topics: VMC and Unchained Kirin Style?


The best idea is still Kensai 7/Student of War X

The Exchange

Yeah that one is the best non-3PP option I can think of.


Okay, let's think of this in two ways: 1) things that stack Int that would work well with this and 2) things that requires Dex.

1) Kensai Magus, Alchemist, Slayer, White Hair Witch, Kirin Style, Combat Expertise (and its associated maneuvers)

2) Two weapon fighting, Ranged Attack feats (many/rapid shot, deadly aim, exceptional pull), Improved/Greater Snap Shot, Focused Shot

Without a solid way to get an Int bonus to attack, this all seems rather futile. The worst part of it all is that while you can make an awesome tank character, he can only ever really get 1 AoO, since Combat Reflexes does not have a minimum Dex requirement (and I'm honestly unsure of the wording of Artful Dodge - Does it only work for prereqs or the functionality of the feat itself?).

That said, I could see a crit-fishing Kensai Magus do well. With just 14 Str to qualify for Power Attack, he could have *massive* Intelligence. That bonus would apply on critical confirmation, so those crits are sure to confirm.

Could also build a sort of bowman using Int and Str to damage. Focused Shot + Exceptional Pull can make you shoot for tons of damage... just a matter of making it hit the target with regularity.


Dekalinder wrote:
Errant Mercenary wrote:

I have a suggestion, building upon the Kirin Strike line and variant multiclassing, all Unchained.

If you can use Unchained, S-Kirin allows you to add Int to damage for 24 hours to that opponent without using an action to trigger it, using stamina raises it to twice Int damage.
If you take Variant Multiclassing and select Magus you gain a Magus Arcana, I would suggest the Int-to-Hit arcana.

This gives you Int to hit and Int to damage at the cost of a Swift action per turn, and a swift action to do the knowledge check. Consider Combat Style Master for faster deployment.

The fighter can give up many feats in variant multiclassing and still have enough to build a concept.

You are heavly constricted by arcane pool. The best way is just VMC witch to get prehensile hair. S-Kirin style to double up on INT to damage. Kaboom.

Good catch there!


Dekalinder wrote:
Errant Mercenary wrote:

I have a suggestion, building upon the Kirin Strike line and variant multiclassing, all Unchained.

If you can use Unchained, S-Kirin allows you to add Int to damage for 24 hours to that opponent without using an action to trigger it, using stamina raises it to twice Int damage.
If you take Variant Multiclassing and select Magus you gain a Magus Arcana, I would suggest the Int-to-Hit arcana.

This gives you Int to hit and Int to damage at the cost of a Swift action per turn, and a swift action to do the knowledge check. Consider Combat Style Master for faster deployment.

The fighter can give up many feats in variant multiclassing and still have enough to build a concept.

You are heavly constricted by arcane pool. The best way is just VMC witch to get prehensile hair. S-Kirin style to double up on INT to damage. Kaboom.

Unfortunately, Prehensile Hair as a hex doesn't really come into it's own until much later on, if going the VMC route. You only get it as a first level witch initially, which translates to one minute of use. (8 minutes later on) A one-level dip for the archetype has some trade-offs (shorter reach, but higher base damage, and Int-based grappling).

Really, the White Hair archetype has some interesting contrasts with the Prehenshile Hex. The hex gets attack (and presumably damage) with Int, but the archetype feature lets you use Int for grappling and other hijinks. No Int-damage on the natural weapon attacks though.

And then, for completion's sake, there's the Strangling Hair spell. CL-based grappling, Unarmed Strike damage (or 1d6, whichever is better), and great reach for the level it's accessible at.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I wonder if with Clever Wordplay, you could make a Str/Int Intimidate build.


You probably can

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hmm. With Shatter Defenses, a Clever Wordplay Slayer would be pretty cool.


Yeah, throw in some hurtful as well and it should be pretty cool.

Maybe a Vanguard? Or a Stygian slayer


I'm currently playing a Lore Warden 3/Chirurgeon 3 based on the "Croaker" character from Glenn Cook's "The Black Company" series. High INT definitely supports his Alchemist side, and fits his Lore Warden aspect as well.

It depends, really, on what you want the character to do. Mine is a walking encyclopedia with some tactical skills (tripping reach weapon) plus party buffer. Knowledge skills come in handy quite often. Being able to decipher ancient writings doesn't hurt, either!


Backlash3906 wrote:
Dekalinder wrote:
Errant Mercenary wrote:

I have a suggestion, building upon the Kirin Strike line and variant multiclassing, all Unchained.

If you can use Unchained, S-Kirin allows you to add Int to damage for 24 hours to that opponent without using an action to trigger it, using stamina raises it to twice Int damage.
If you take Variant Multiclassing and select Magus you gain a Magus Arcana, I would suggest the Int-to-Hit arcana.

This gives you Int to hit and Int to damage at the cost of a Swift action per turn, and a swift action to do the knowledge check. Consider Combat Style Master for faster deployment.

The fighter can give up many feats in variant multiclassing and still have enough to build a concept.

You are heavly constricted by arcane pool. The best way is just VMC witch to get prehensile hair. S-Kirin style to double up on INT to damage. Kaboom.

Unfortunately, Prehensile Hair as a hex doesn't really come into it's own until much later on, if going the VMC route. You only get it as a first level witch initially, which translates to one minute of use. (8 minutes later on) A one-level dip for the archetype has some trade-offs (shorter reach, but higher base damage, and Int-based grappling).

Really, the White Hair archetype has some interesting contrasts with the Prehenshile Hex. The hex gets attack (and presumably damage) with Int, but the archetype feature lets you use Int for grappling and other hijinks. No Int-damage on the natural weapon attacks though.

And then, for completion's sake, there's the Strangling Hair spell. CL-based grappling, Unarmed Strike damage (or 1d6, whichever is better), and great reach for the level it's accessible at.

White Hair does not gain INT to hit, witch pretty much nukes it's usefulness as a martial. I reread the witch VMC carefully and i have to admit it's really underwhelming, and you can't actually make good use of the hair till 15, witch means it's a no-go. I guess we are back to the default hexcrafter :/

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

i'm not up on any 3pp stuff, but i have fooled around with a fighter [lore warden/martial master]/student of war who was fun, and functional enough that he was never dead weight and am currently playing an investigator [empiricist] with the student of philosophy trait who's combat ability is lagging some, but is an awesome skill monkey with all 20 of his skills based on his killer Int.

Since you're allowed 3.5 stuff though, you might want to look at the Warblade (from Tome of Battle)- It's an Int based melee right out of the box (well, Int heavy at least... you'll still want some Str and/or Dex for combat too).


Azten wrote:
Maybe a different version of Ravingdork's cannibalistic wizard? there's an Int heavy martial if I ever saw one.

Which one is the build you're talking about?


Question - would the old 3.5 feat Carmendine Monk or something similar be of any use when combined with Student of War? I'm...very unclear about how the whole stacking thing works, if I'm honest, so I'm not sure that using Intelligence instead of Dexterity for AC plus getting your intelligence as bonus to AC is viable.

The Exchange

Yeah that's a really nice feat!

Combat Expertise -> Bodyguard -> In Harm's Way with these feats could make a great super-defensive monk.

You could go into Stalwart Defender after.

Sovereign Court

If you're using 3.5 stuff - you can try to dip into the 3.5 Swashbuckler. After a couple levels they get to add their intelligence to damage (precision damage). I forget the specifics, but it's basically a dex combatant who uses Int for damage and a few secondary abilities. (Frankly - as a whole the class was a bit weak - but solid for dipping.)


I think an Inspired Blade Swashbuckler could really benefit. Dex and Int based, although you are limited to a rapier.


Drill Sergeant fighter is always a nice touch I think. But Vanguard Slayer is most likely the way to go.


As an explanation for the Kirin Strike/Unchained shtick:

With the Stamina system as long as you have a single Stamina point remaining you +Int to damage following the activation of Kirin Style upon a single opponent. After that point you can swift action to x2 Int to damage on your first attack.

Sadly until you get Combat Style Master, with it's ability to have a style active pre-combat, it's still a 2 turn build up before you see any results and a 3 turn build up before you get into the major swing.


Yes, the Stamina system with Kirin Strike seems like a true bonus to this build. So far, here's roughly what I'm thinking;

Human.

1 - Slayer - Artful Dodge, Two Weapon Fighting.
2 - Slayer - Ranger Combat Style - Double Slice
3 - Master of Many Styles - Kirin Style - Combat Stamina
4 - Master of Many Style - Kirin Strike.
5 - Slayer - ?
6 - Student of War
7 - Student of War - Improved Two Weapon Fighting

So by level 7 I'd be adding Intelligence to Damage on top of strength, using it for AC and having enough skill points to make the average Rogue sit down and cry. I was even thinking or using the feat at level 5 for Extra Slayer Talent - Trapfinding to really be mean.

Any other suggestions?


kirin style sucks


Usually. Not, however, if you get it early, via MoMS, and have Combat Stamina so that Intelligence is now added as bonus damage to all your attacks. Which, given the build, this character will have quite a bit of.

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