Recreating an old LE fighter


This harkens to way back in the dark ages of this fine gaming tradition – I think it was after we had switched to 2nd ed D&D but before there were very many options in how to build a character. There wasn’t that lovely mess called Skills & Powers system (or we at least didn’t have the book yet). So there was more differentiation between character than the Basic and Expert books, but not all that much.

Just to prove it was possible, workable, and wouldn’t ‘wreck the game’ as so many predicted. I ran a pretty basic evil character. But it wasn’t stooped / random / insane / betraying evil. It was intelligent, organized, and careful evil.

Cidim de’Morcaine:
was a basic fighter. He didn’t have too many capabilities other than combat (he was also known for carefully reading and abiding by at least the express minimal letter of his contracts), though he was very good at combat. He absolutely relished not just victory, but crushing humiliation of his foes. He would challenge people to fight with their own weapon of choice. Disarm, trip, and generally embarrass them. Then of course gleefully kill them. But always legally! (Well at least almost always.) Self-defense, legal duels, wanted dead or alive (somehow always ended up being dead), military actions, arrest warrants, aggressive bodyguarding, executions, etc… All were used to keep himself out of prison and off the executioner’s block.
Not because he gave a rat’s behind about his honor or anything silly like that. But because he had thought about and decided as long as he made sure everything is legal, it will be very unlikely to actually get in trouble for joyously butchering whoever. Also a reputation for always fulfilling his contract would ensure he could command the very highest renumeration for his services. It was a win-win-win! At least for him and who cares if it was a win for anyone else.
Note: He also found it immensely humorous when he would fulfill a contract and collect his exorbitant fee, yet the result horrified the customer. Happened more often than you might imagine.
A couple of times his actions might have technically been legal only because there was no longer a town with laws to call it illegal. But still…

He had a quite detailed contract with the wizard leading the party and he always (or at least nearly always) abided by the letter of the contract. Sometimes he would make temporary side contracts with the other PC’s for specific things. They had to be careful about what orders they gave, because he was well known for taking things to unexpected extremes. Yet, within the contract, they could absolutely rely on him.

Actually, he was so good at it, he was eventually almost always the one put in charge of the actual wording of the party’s agreements with whoever hired us (for yet another small fee). And yes he found it quite amusing that the LG priest of whoever had to calmly work out a mutually agreeable contract with the LE fighter, who would then try to use it to excuse as much wanton destruction as possible.
He always made sure the wording left the party with as much freedom as possible for method of accomplishment and/or sufficient escape clause to excuse non-accomplishment due to the contracting party’s express wishes. Therefore not a failure and not a reason to withhold payment.
No, not a lawyer and not familiar with the weasel phrasing. Just refusal to sign unless it very clearly and simply stated things without the weasel phrasing.

The character was exceptionally successful and contributed greatly to the survival and success of the party. Also he was eventually a key factor in the campaign. Some parts of the campaign ended up revolving around the reputation that the character helped create. It gave tonnes of plot hooks to the GM. Cidim was often the target of assassins. People came to our group to try to hire us for jobs that, of course, the good characters were totally unwilling to take. Also, of course, those people don’t like it when their job offers are refused.

The group was initially quietly amazed at how a thoroughly vile character could be a part of ‘good’ group yet not wreck the campaign. Eventually, all of us came to love the character (in-character, they pretty much hated him) and what he provided to the campaign. After we finally retired those characters; he was almost always a high level NPC mercenary somewhere, in whatever world we created for every campaign, whoever was GM.

So, to make a long story longer, I’m looking to recreate the concept with PF and I’d like some ideas on building it.

Back then a fighter was pretty much a fighter. There wasn’t much build differentiation other than where you placed your abilities and what gear you ended up finding/using.

So now I’m thinking probably hobgoblin, LE, fighter. Certainly want high ranks in something like barrister for all the contract stuff I would be trying to take care of. Not sure of a combat style or archtype though.
Tripping and disarming, then switching to two-handed weapon power attacking for finishing off does fit pretty well with how I ran him before. Humiliating the enemy prior to the kill was a major personality goal.
But now sundering then killing might be closer to the wanton destruction he performed.

What do you think? How would you do something like this?

Depends. How married are you to fighter, how married are you to basic abilities and is third party allowed?

No 3p allowed, but I might be able to be convinced of something other than fighter.

Cavalier maybe?

(first thing that sprang to mind)

Shadow Lodge

Lore Warden fighter sprang to my mind for free combat expertise which leads to combat maneuvers. Loses medium and heavy armor but that can be over come easily.

If you don't care much about heavy armor or lots of feats I suggest making him a Slayer.

An order of the scales cavalier with combat expertise(tax) and Dirty Fighting or some other CM-feat focus could be fun.

I am by the way, assuming that you want to replay your character from lvl 1, if you just want to rebuild him as a npc or antagonist for a game then of course I'll need to tinker more.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I bet there's something in the Dirty Tactics Toolbox for this. I'd personally do Lore Warden with a Rogue Varaint Multiclassing for flavor. You get evasion and trap sense to make you a more slippery target, trapfinding to give you a more concrete role out of Combat, and a few sneak attack dice for good measure. You lose a few feats but fighters have plenty of those anyway.

Alternatively you could be an elf fighter and go Unchained Rogue for a few levels for more skill points and be a Dex-based Reach Fighter using the Elven Branched Spear. That'd make you pretty slippery and dangerous to approach. I've built a Polearn Master/ UC Rogue to good effect before, Lore Warden could be pretty neat with it.

Oracle of Battle, Legalistic curse. They eventually get good combat maneuvers.

Seconding Slayer. Full BAB, plenty of skill points for stuff like profession (barrister) and knowledge (local), still getting some bonus feats via slayer talents and you can still get full plate via mithral and a single proficiency feat.

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