Building an armour-less, dex to damage Inquisitor with a side of Monk


Advice


I'm thinking of refining an idea I tried before and I need more opinions and minds to help me think it over, there may be some feats or something else that could help me that I'm not aware of. Just to note: This is not PFS, all Paizo material is green, no 3PP (and it's a 20 point-buy, though I'm not really looking for advice on that as I already know that I want high DEX and WIS).

Goal is: I want to make an Inquisitor who maxes out DEX and WIS and uses it well. This means DEX to hit and damage and as much more as possible, WIS to AC and as much more as possible (Inquisitor and Monk does a lot of this).

However, the question is how. DEX to hit and damage comes in different forms, so does WIS to AC.

To start of, one choice needs to be made: Deity.
This governs a lot of other decisions. Main candidates are Sarenrae and Cayden Cailean. Both their favoured weapons are able to get DEX to hit and damage (dervish dancer and fencing grace).
However, worshipping Cayden makes me unable to multiclass as Monk, due to clashing alignments (can't be lawful but I need to be). Further, I'm thinking Unchained Monk but I could go with Core Monk if there's something specific in there that would help my build (or any other class that grants WIS to AC).

This brings me to the decision of race. The alignment problem can however be solved with the trait Enlightened Warrior, meaning that I need to play Aasimar (Garuda-Blooded does give +2 to both DEX and WIS). But the extra feat from human is also really attractive, though it means that I'll get 2 points lower WIS or DEX.

Then there's also the option of Sacred Fist instead of monk which doesn't need to be lawful, and I also get a Blessing (though it won't scale).
But that also loses me Unchained FoB, which could be a great addition if I only could use it with weapon that I can get DEX to hit and damage with. This can be solved with Crusader's Flurry (as Rapiers and Scimitars can be DEX'd) but that's also followed by the need of Channel Energy (the Weapon Focus feat prerequisite is also needed for fencing grace as well).

While Sacred Fist would get Channel Energy, 4 levels of multiclassing is too much. As of now I'm aware of four other options: Cleric or Oracle of Life multiclass or their VMC, the cleric VMC coming online at level 7 and Oracle VMC at level 3. Late levels are not necessarily a problem, as I'll need at least three other feats before (Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus and Dervish Dancer or Fencing Grace) meaning that level 7 isn't too late. But that also eats my feats, which is why the human extra feat is so attractive.
All in all, I feel like Cleric is better than Oracle in both normal and VMC, as it's also WIS based and I don't really have a need for the curse (and it scales bad even in the VMC). Cleric will also grant me an extra domain. Question is if I should go normal multiclassing or VMC. VMC loses me feats but grants me scaling abilities OR taking a level in cleric, it eats one level (that's one more level I won't progress in Inquisitor abilities beyond the monk level, which hurts) and doesn't scale (though I get Orisons).

Well, this is what was on the top of my head that I need to decide on, if there's more I'll fill out later. I would appreciate any input as to what you think I should pick or if you know of something else that could add to this build: other ways to get WIS to AC, DEX to hit/damage or way to get Channel Energy or maybe something else that you think I shouldn't miss picking up.

EDIT: Or just what domain/inquisition, traits and other things you think I should pick.

Grand Lodge

My path for this would be Inquisitor 5/Monk X.

Tengu race (Dex and Wis boost)

Irori as Diety

Use your fists, and your beak. Pick up an agile amulet of mighty fist and use it with your beak as well.

Do not forget a Bane Baldric, and Monk Robes.

Dark Archive

Domains actually do scale with normal multiclass with cleric, read the ability. I made a similar character before, so I would suggest dipping 1 Cleric for channel energy and the domain along with 2 Monk for all the goodies it gives(unchained is fine, MoMS is good if you go pummelling style) either way get an AOMF or weapon that gives dex to damage so you don't waste your feats is my suggestion. If you really want crusader's flurry then go rapier as it is better in my opinion than the scimitar.

Scarab Sages

If you are only dipping monk, take the monk level fist, start lawful, and become chaotic. Ex monks retain all monk abilities, they just cannot advance further in monk.


Helcack wrote:
Domains actually do scale with normal multiclass with cleric, read the ability. I made a similar character before, so I would suggest dipping 1 Cleric for channel energy and the domain along with 2 Monk for all the goodies it gives(unchained is fine, MoMS is good if you go pummelling style) either way get an AOMF or weapon that gives dex to damage so you don't waste your feats is my suggestion. If you really want crusader's flurry then go rapier as it is better in my opinion than the scimitar.

If you dip Cleric, you might as well go for Guided Hand and use WIS-to-everything.


If you're just dipping for Wis to AC, the martial artist archetype of monk has you covered. No alignment restriction.


You could ditch Dex (sort of), and take Sensei instead of Unchained Monk. They get Wisdom to hit with unarmed strikes. It's not to damage, but, it's a lot "cheaper" character resource-wise.

My second choice would be a Sarenrae worshipping Sacred Fist 4/Inquisitor X, with Dervish Dance and Crusader's Flurry.


Why not just use a 9-Ring Broadsword or Temple Sword with slashing grace? Unchained Monk is proficient with both. As a Human you can have the feats together by level 3 and you only need to dip 1 level of monk.

However for a standard point buy I'm not sure if you are gaining anything (save for unchained Flurry) in comparison to a STR based dude with medium armor.


Alex Mack wrote:
Why not just use a 9-Ring Broadsword or Temple Sword with slashing grace? Unchained Monk is proficient with both. As a Human you can have the feats together by level 3 and you only need to dip 1 level of monk.

Neither of those weapons are finesseable. Slashing Grace only gives you Dex to damage, so, you'd have to dip 1 level of Swashbuckler or Daring Champion Cavalier, too, in order to get Dex to hit.


Thanks to everybody who replied. I guess I'll give feed-back on the feed-back to further my thinking.

@Dafydd: Looks good, but it seems like more of a monk buld than an inquisitor. The items are awesome.

@Helcack: Why do you think that rapier is better? As far as I know, slashing is better than piercing? I'm not planing on using unarmed strikes (as I can't get DEX to damage with them as far as I know) so MoMS doesn't really give me anything.

@Imbicatus: If I did this in game, as a character development thingy, I could consider doing this. Though joining in as chaotic with levels in monk is too much cheese for me.

@Secret Wizard: Is there any way to get WIS to damage? I'll need DEX anyway (for AC) so not getting it to damage would hurt me a lot.
Though getting WIS to hit and DEX to damage is totaly doable (maybe even easier than DEX to both?) with Slashing Grace and Guided Hand.

@avr: Another option. Though I wonder if Sacred Fist would just be better?

@mplindustries: Again, this creates the problem with AC and lack of damage, those are some hard hits against Sensei dip. Though this can also help me even out to get WIS to hit with all my weapons (and only have DEX to damage on my weapon).

@Alex Mack: I STR build can't spend as much in WIS, as they're more MAD. How do I get DEX (or WIS) to hit on 9-Ring Broadsword or Temple Sword?


mplindustries wrote:
Neither of those weapons are finesseable. Slashing Grace only gives you Dex to damage, so, you'd have to dip 1 level of Swashbuckler or Daring Champion Cavalier, too, in order to get Dex to hit.

True you would have to dip Swashbuckler or Daring Champion and neither of those options would be overly appealing...

Rub-Eta wrote:
T@Alex Mack: I STR build can't spend as much in WIS, as they're more MAD. How do I get DEX (or WIS) to hit on 9-Ring Broadsword or Temple Sword?

I was talking about a Standard STR based build which normally relies on medium Armor and maybe a shield. Such a build is no more MAD than one that wants super high DEX and WIS due to point buy really punishing you for buying multiple stats up to 16. A standard inquisitor actually works fine with 16 STR and 14 WIS.

Outside of a race which gets +2 to DEX and WIS you are never gonna get both up to 18 and even there you are kinda pushing it. And even then you only beat a DEX 12 medium Armor dude by one point of AC.


It almost sounds like you're recreating the Sacred Fist War Priest.

Any reason you don't want to do that?


And I'm still beating it, all while I also have an easier time buffing my AC than the normal armour wearer would.

I really don't understand how you think that getting two 18s post racial is pushing it. 7/17/14/10/16/7 is a valid 20-point-buy, racial goes on the 16 and by level 4 I'm sitting on a solid dual 18 and beating the 16STR/12DEX armour wearer in both damage and AC while being equal hp wise.

You don't seem to know what MAD/SAD means if you think that MAD = super high DEX/WIS.


@Claxon: I want DEX to hit and damage and I want the Inquisitor's class abilities (spells, skills and everything else) while being unarmoured, not the Sacred Fist.

I had a character doing something like this before the ACG and I want to remake it with the ACG and Unchained but I don't feel like the Sacred Fist does it.

EDITED


For starters, the Martial Artist Monk doesn't have alignment restrictions but keeps Wis to AC.

Another thing that is rather subtle is that straying from Lawful doesn't block your Monk abilities, it just doesn't allow you to take more level.

So you can start as LG Monk, have a mystical crisis and become NG, and take levels in Inquisitor with Cayden as a Deity. You can go all the way to CG without losing the Monk abilities you already got, you just have to change alignment only when you are done with Monk levels.

Also given that you want to be Dex and Wis based would be a good idea to choose as Domain the Conversion Inquisition (all the deities have it), that makes you use Wis in all the Cha skills.

Sovereign Court

If you take Guided Hand for WIS to hit & Slashing Grace for DEX to damage you could get away with dumping STR - as long as you're able to find a slashing monk weapon which is also your deity's favored weapon.

You might consider going Tengu for the stats - and proficiency with all slashing weapons might be handy.

Though - as others have said - I think that a Sacred Fist would do most of what you want, and much of it better. I think that you're mostly just re-inventing the wheel - only your wheel is a bit lopsided.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:

If you take Guided Hand for WIS to hit & Slashing Grace for DEX to damage you could get away with dumping STR - as long as you're able to find a slashing monk weapon which is also your deity's favored weapon.

You might consider going Tengu for the stats - and proficiency with all slashing weapons might be handy.

Though - as others have said - I think that a Sacred Fist would do most of what you want, and much of it better. I think that you're mostly just re-inventing the wheel - only your wheel is a bit lopsided.

A little nitpicking: Given that Slashing grace requires Weapon Finesse (Agile does too), why bother with Guided Hand and all the feats it requires you're never going to use?


Rub-Eta wrote:

I really don't understand how you think that getting two 18s post racial is pushing it. 7/17/14/10/16/7 is a valid 20-point-buy, racial goes on the 16 and by level 4 I'm sitting on a solid dual 18 and beating the 16STR/12DEX armour wearer in both damage and AC while being equal hp wise.

No need to get offensive here... so with the above point buy what are you doing from levels 1 to 3 cause that's the earliest you will have access to slashing grace when you go for human. If your build relies on the Agile AoMF that likely won't be available until even later.

Also the 12 DEX Breastplate dude with a heavy shield is beating you on AC from the start and has two items he can enchant on the cheap whereas an armorless DEX build has 0. Add to that that the STR build actually has feats available and didn't have to dip I'm not really seeing the allure of the alternative. While a high WIS is nice for an inquistor it certainly isn't mandatory as your best spells tend to be buffs.

Sovereign Court

Entryhazard wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:

If you take Guided Hand for WIS to hit & Slashing Grace for DEX to damage you could get away with dumping STR - as long as you're able to find a slashing monk weapon which is also your deity's favored weapon.

You might consider going Tengu for the stats - and proficiency with all slashing weapons might be handy.

Though - as others have said - I think that a Sacred Fist would do most of what you want, and much of it better. I think that you're mostly just re-inventing the wheel - only your wheel is a bit lopsided.

A little nitpicking: Given that Slashing grace requires Weapon Finesse (Agile does too), why bother with Guided Hand and all the feats it requires you're never going to use?

Because you can't use the Weapon Finesse feat & Slashing Grace on the same weapon. Only Weapon Finesse gotten from a dip into Swashbuckler can be combined with Slashing Grace.

Scarab Sages

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Entryhazard wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:

If you take Guided Hand for WIS to hit & Slashing Grace for DEX to damage you could get away with dumping STR - as long as you're able to find a slashing monk weapon which is also your deity's favored weapon.

You might consider going Tengu for the stats - and proficiency with all slashing weapons might be handy.

Though - as others have said - I think that a Sacred Fist would do most of what you want, and much of it better. I think that you're mostly just re-inventing the wheel - only your wheel is a bit lopsided.

A little nitpicking: Given that Slashing grace requires Weapon Finesse (Agile does too), why bother with Guided Hand and all the feats it requires you're never going to use?
Because you can't use the Weapon Finesse feat & Slashing Grace on the same weapon. Only Weapon Finesse gotten from a dip into Swashbuckler can be combined with Slashing Grace.

At least until the errata comes out.


Effortless Lace

Or Rapier + Fencing Grace to sidestep the problem completely

Also the errata that will come out in a few weeks

Sovereign Court

Imbicatus wrote:


At least until the errata comes out.

I believe you - though I hope not.

It'll signal the death knell of virtually all STR builds among optimizers.

Heck - I don't even like the vibe of dex-to-damage, but I couldn't stand not taking Fencing Grace on my melee bard instead of my planned Arcane Strike once the feat came out. Taking sub-par choices to no effect makes me twitch.

(And no - I'm not going to derail the thread further by proving that dex-to-damage is significantly superior to str-to-damage. I've done so several times anyway, and I feel no need to do so again.)

Sovereign Court

Entryhazard wrote:
Or Rapier + Fencing Grace to sidestep the problem completely

You can't flurry a rapier.

Scarab Sages

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:


At least until the errata comes out.

I believe you - though I hope not.

It'll signal the death knell of virtually all STR builds among optimizers.

Who can then be completely taken out by a single ray of enfeeblement, a chill touch spell, STR poison, or shadow.

Dumping STR is not without it's consequences.

Scarab Sages

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Entryhazard wrote:
Or Rapier + Fencing Grace to sidestep the problem completely
You can't flurry a rapier.

You can with crusader's flurry, but that means a cleric dip or a sacred fist.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Entryhazard wrote:
Or Rapier + Fencing Grace to sidestep the problem completely
You can't flurry a rapier.

Cayden am cry


Well, seems like some people are confused. I don't want to play a Sacred Fist. If I wanted to, I'd play a Sacred Fist. There are plenty of points from the Inquisitor that makes me want to play it more than Sacred Fist.

What I want to do with this build is kind of the same thing the Sacred Fist does for the Warpriest, but for Inquisitor. I could try the same idea with a Warpriest, but then there's already the Sacred Fist. There is, however, not for the Inquisitor.

I am also not intrested in unarmed strikes or the AoMF, the only reason I'm thinking about Crusader's Flurry is because there is no way of gaining WIS to AC without also getting FoB, may as well try to use it.

I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel. I'm trying to build an Inquisitor, with similarities to what another wheel/class can already do. Instead of writing an archetype like Sacred Fist I want to use the current rules to make the Inquisitor borrow a bit from the Monk. And I want it to be as optimal as possible.


If you just want to punch faces you could try Sanctified Slayer and take the Ranger Style feats from Irori Deific Combat (especially for Monastic Legacy skipping prereqs)

The Exchange

I'll solve some problems in the OP without reading the thread:

The deity Arazni is a NE deity that has the Rapier as their favoured weapon.

A third-level Cold Iron Warden gets channel energy to qualify for Crusader's Flurry.

Also, you could get a pretty awesome negative channel if you do want to dip for channel energy with Channeling Scourge


Covert Operator wrote:

I'll solve some problems in the OP without reading the thread:

The deity Arazni is a NE deity that has the Rapier as their favoured weapon.

A third-level Cold Iron Warden gets channel energy to qualify for Crusader's Flurry.

Also, you could get a pretty awesome negative channel if you do want to dip for channel energy with [url=http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/channeling-scourge]Channeling Scourge

All of this is really good, but I'd say Cayden is a better option for a Rapier deity.

The Exchange

Entryhazard wrote:
Covert Operator wrote:

I'll solve some problems in the OP without reading the thread:

The deity Arazni is a NE deity that has the Rapier as their favoured weapon.

A third-level Cold Iron Warden gets channel energy to qualify for Crusader's Flurry.

Also, you could get a pretty awesome negative channel if you do want to dip for channel energy with [url=http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/channeling-scourge]Channeling Scourge

All of this is really good, but I'd say Cayden is a better option for a Rapier deity.

But he wants to remain lawful...


Covert Operator wrote:
But he wants to remain lawful...

He was just concerned by the alignment restriction of Monks, but there are a couple of workarounds as mentioned.

The most obvious is to take the Martial Artist Archetype, that still keeps Wis to AC but doesn't have alignment restriction.

A less notorious one is a trait for Aasimars that lets them play NN and NG monks.

Then there is a more subtle one. The Monk class requires the character to be Lawful, but as stated at the end of the class, ceasing to be Lawful just prevents to take more levels in Monk, but the abilities gained up to that point are mantained (unlike Barbarians that when they become Lawful cannot Rage anymore).

So he can start LG, take the Monk levels he needs, then switch to NG or even CG and multiclass Inquisitor

Scarab Sages

Seriously, it isn't "cheese" for someone to start monk, realize they don't have the discipline to keep a lawful alignment, and then drop out.

Also, the alignment restriction of the monk doesn't make sense in the first place. Ninjas, Sacred Fists, and Tengu Oracles get ki and can be non-lawful, why can't the monk?


Maybe he's a Drunken Master that has realized to prefer ale than meditation and self-perfection


Covert Operator wrote:

I'll solve some problems in the OP without reading the thread:

The deity Arazni is a NE deity that has the Rapier as their favoured weapon.

A third-level Cold Iron Warden gets channel energy to qualify for Crusader's Flurry.

Also, you could get a pretty awesome negative channel if you do want to dip for channel energy with Channeling Scourge

I think it's contested whether the cold iron warden qualifies for Crusader's Flurry. Another option to get Channel would be to pick up one of the terrain Domains to get a variant Channel however both have the problem of not being named channel energy.


Rub-Eta wrote:
the only reason I'm thinking about Crusader's Flurry is because there is no way of gaining WIS to AC without also getting FoB, may as well try to use it.

Kata Master of Many Styles Monk. Crane Style can make a particularly interesting sword-fighter - though it doesn't complete until 11 for a 3/4BAB non-monk - and it will work in conjunction with Opportune Parry and Riposte. Other options like Snake or Snapping Turtle work too.

An Evangelist Cleric with Crusader's Flurry is similar to an Inquisitor while being able to flurry a dex-blade, but for a dex-Inquisitor with a level of Monk you're better off just bypassing flurry.

Edit: Note that since you won't have a 14+ Charisma or a Ki Pool, one Extra Panache pick is needed to properly use the feature. Still a bargain really.


@ Covert Operator: Now that's a hidden gem!

@ Imbicatus: If I started playing at level one as a monk and then went chaotic in-game, I would be 100% okay with it. It just itches me the wrong way to join in a game as a chaotic character with levels in monk. It would kind of be like pre-crafting your magic items and also retrain the item creation feats before the game started (though the chaotic monk isn't as bad).


Oh, and the Preacher Archetype combines nicely with the Kata Master of Many Styles stuff above, as you can go even more 'sword master' with the ability to do re-rolls - like re-rolling your parry.


Since I'm just sitting around here at the moment anyhow...

Saerenraeic Scimitar-Scion
Kata Master of Many Styles Monk 2/ Inquisitor X

Human: 10, 16/18, 14, 10, 14, 10
Traits: Fate's Favored, Magical Knack

1.Weapon Finesse / Dodge
3(KMoMS).Crane Style / +Crane Riposte
5(KMoMS).Dervish Dance / +Crane Wing
7.Extra Ki
9.Combat Reflexes

So you have -1ab/+4AC defensive fighting by 3, full Crane by 5, and then at 7 you've got full Parry and Riposte on top of everything else. The only downside is that you can't use both ripostes until you have reflexes at 9.

If you don't want to lose a second level of Inquisitor, the same thing works fine with a 2-level delay on feats.

The Exchange

In case some people on the thread don't know, there's the hilariously OP Guided enchantment that was written by Paizo, but before Pathfinder came out.

It gives Wis to hit & damage.

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