Condition-based build


Advice


If I want a character that throws out a bunch of conditions at enemies to just completely ruin their day, what kind of classes/feats/etc should I be looking at?

Witch(or Shaman, or Hexcrafter Magus) for Evil Eye, then pump up Intimidate? I think they have spells that can add on other conditions too.

Maybe Mesmerist for their easier intimidation and/or feinting?

I just want to hit enemies with as many conditions as possible.


I think the most versatile method for this is the Dirty Tricks Combat Maneuver. It lets you impose lots of different kinds of Conditions on your opponnets, including Blind, Deaf, and Staggered.

Normally, Dirty Tricks are a Standard Action. The Quick Dirt Trick Feat lets you make a Dirty Trick Combat Maneuver in place of one of your Melee Attacks.

The Maneuver Master Monk Archetype lets you make a bonus combat maneuver, including Standard Action ones, as sort of and off-hand attack. It's called Flurry of Maneuvers.

The Bounty Hunter Slayer Archetype gets to play a Dirty Trick in lieu of Sneak Attack Damage at level 2

The Pit Fighter Prestige Class at level 3 lets you inflict damage 1/round at the same time as you execute a Dirty Trick Maneuver.

I like the idea of denying my opponents their Dex Mods by Blinding them so that then I can inflict lots of Sneak Attack Damage.

My favorite condition to inflict upon my opponents is the Helpless Condition, and my favorite way to do that is the the Tie Up Action of the Grapple Maneuver.

Normally, you need to have your opponent Pinned before you can Tie them Up, and normally you have to have them Grappled before you can have them Pinned. Normally, it takes a Standard Action to make a Grapple Check. But, if you have the Greater Grapple Feat, you can Grapple your opponent as a Move Action. And if you have 2 levels in Cavalier and are a member of the Order of the Penitent, you get the Expert Captor Ability, which lets you Tie Up your opponent who is only Grappled and not Pinned. So, if you begin your round adjacent to your opponent, you can impose the Grappled Condition on your Opponent as a Standard Action and then impose the Helpless Condition on him as a Move Action. Pretty Sweet.

There are ways of pumping up your Grapple Mod very high. A lot of these can be applied to Dirty Tricks, too. I can give you a list if you want.

So, we have the Quick Great Dirty Tricks, Greater Grapple, Expert Captor, Weapon Trick, Bounty Hunter Dirty Trick, and Flurry of Maneuvers to look at.


I'll second the Dirty Tricks maneuver, as it's the most basic form of applying conditions, though it does take some time to properly kick off, and only a few archetypes can do it right.

The other form that comes to mind are the Prismatic line of spells. Color Spray, if creatures have low enough HD, can be stunned, unconscious, dazed, etc. from the spell. Prismatic Spray can cause a wide array of conditions, including turning enemies to stone (but is a very high level spell).


Dirty Trick is definitely an option I'll need to look into more. Whats the strategy on enemies with really high CMD? And are there any good ways to do it at range possibly?

If not, any more options for applying conditions other than a combat maneuver?


Ugh well I had written a long post.. but I didn't copy it before sending it..

Paizo site ate it hah.

So short version.

Look at Bounty Hunter slayer level 2 ability. Switch out sneak attack for dirty trick.

Look at Toxicant Alchemist. THeir custom made poison is just utterly wonderful for debuffs.
Then the bombs have a lot of debuffs (cold bomb, smoke bomb line)

Can combine the two along with Siege Gunner for Int for grit and then poison shot/ explosive missle discovery.

Depending on what you want.

I utterly love status effects so I've done a few.
but these are probably the bset I can do


A barbarian (or primalist bloodrager) with savage dirty trick, strength surge and a means of rage cycling laughs at your high CMDs. A magus with the wand wielder arcana and a wand of true strike laughs even harder. Neither option really wants to multiclass though.

A whip can do various combat maneuvers at a little range, and becoming really big helps with a whip or with a more normal reach weapon. Especially if you're an aberrant or abyssal bloodrager with long arm.

If you want more range than that though you're either looking at less good options like ranged trip or you're looking at a primary spellcaster using tricks like color spray as mentioned before, or toppling magic missile, or persistent glitterdust, or dazing blood boil, or any of a hundred other spells.


For dirty tricks, how about an eldritch guardian fighter with mauler familiar?

This is because your familiar gets to use your combat feats with that archetype. Thus, double the action economy, and you can do things like nauseate in a single round (which means an enemy can't attack, cast most spells, or remove the dirty trick- effectively removing them from the fight).

As far as CMB goes... you probably should not aim for the high CMD guy anyway with dirty trick. With the complete shut down options, aiming for the enemy caster seems like a good move (much like with grapple).


You could alternatively choose a Cornugon Smash/Sickening Strike Investigator, using a high crit-range weapon to tack on conditions from critical feats. You could also tack on poisons for more debuffs.

One hit on your studied strike target and they're having a bad time.


The bounty hunter archetype of the slayer is great for dirty tricks, especially if you add the Dirty Trick Master feat. It also gains a bonus to Dirty Trick CMB for every sneak attack die it has.

The Lore Warden archetype of the fighter gives a huge bonus to CMB which you will need when the monsters with high CMD start showing up.

If you are going barbarian consider the Untamed Rager archetype as it as it gains a bonus to Dirty Trick CMB, gets Improved and Greater Dirty Trick for free and with Savage Dirty Trick Rage Power? Well things could get scary for your opponents real quick.

The Cad fighter archetype is an interesting choice as it is one of the few archetypes along with the bounty hunter to be capable of utilizing the Dirty Trick Master feat to its full potential.


i like a rime metamagic frostbite with the enforcer feat.


Debuffing saves can be quite powerfull depending on your party setup:
For example someting like this can debuff saves by 6 on a charge:

Rouge (Scout/Thug) 4/Cavalier (Order of the Staff)

1st Level: Medium Armor Prof
2nd Talen: Offensive Defense
3rd Level: Power Attack
4th Talen: Furious Focus
5th Level: Intimidating Prowess
7th Level: Cornugon Smash

On a charge you deal damage and:

* Brutal Beating (sicken no save for 2 rounds -> -2 to saves)
* Free Intimidate (shaken -> -2 saves)
* Challenge Order of the Staff (-2 saves no save)

So any witch/wizard etc. should have an easy time to finish the debuffed target.


CupcakeNautilus wrote:

Dirty Trick is definitely an option I'll need to look into more. Whats the strategy on enemies with really high CMD? And are there any good ways to do it at range possibly?

If not, any more options for applying conditions other than a combat maneuver?

I'm thinking the strategy for enemies with really high CMD is to have a really high CMB.

Exactly how a Dirty Trick is being played is a matter of role playing, and the Bounty Hunter abililty specifies that you get to play a Dirty Trick under any circumstances where you'd get Sneak Attack Damage: you can play Dirty Tricks with Ranged and Thrown weapons, and you get your weapon's enhancement bonus when you do, just like you do when you Trip or Sunder.

Improved and Great Dirty Tricks give you a +4 between them.

There are the Gauntlets of the Skilled Maneuver, +2.

The Coordinated Maneuvers Teamwork Feat gives you a +2 on all Combat Maneuver Checks.

There is the Belt of Giant Strength, of course.

There is an Ioun Stone that gives you a +1 on Attack Rolls, including Combat Maneuvers.

Druid Wildshape will let you turn into up to Huge Animals, which comes with a +4 to Combat Maneuvers, +5 when you count the Strength Bonus and Attack Penalty.

You can take Weapon Focus Dirty Tricks.

A level in Alchemist will give you Mutagens, including the Strength Mutagen. The +4 Strength stacks with other things like Bull Strength. But it will also give you Extracts, in particular the Extract of True Strike, +20 on your next attack, including Combat Maneuvers. If you take the Potion Glutton Feat, you can throw back an Extract as a Swift Action. Even without Potion Glutton, it would be worth it to make your opponent Blind.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:

the Bounty Hunter abililty specifies that you get to play a Dirty Trick under any circumstances where you'd get Sneak Attack Damage: you can play Dirty Tricks with Ranged and Thrown weapons

You can take Weapon Focus Dirty Tricks.

For the first one, I don't think I'd agree. It lets you attempt a dirty trick as a free action instead of getting sneak attack, but a dirty trick is still specifically a melee move. "You can attempt to hinder a foe in melee" being the very first words in the description of dirty trick.

As for the second. What? Weapon Focus gives you a bonus to a weapon you have proficiency with. A dirty trick is not a weapon, nor is it something you can have a weapon proficiency with. Am I missing something here?


I'm pretty certain abounty hunter's specific "any time sneak attack allow a dirty trick" means at any and all ranges. It's a specific condition "if sneak attack applies" "allow dirty trick" it wouldn't be the first time a specific alters how something can be applied.

Granted I guess you could argue RAW it doesn't specificy state "this alters dirty tricks" bit..

but pretty sure it is meant to allow you to do so, considering al ot of the weapon proficies.

but I suppose run it by a GM first. Though I've never seen it as an issue in PFS from what I know.


CupcakeNautilus wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

the Bounty Hunter abililty specifies that you get to play a Dirty Trick under any circumstances where you'd get Sneak Attack Damage: you can play Dirty Tricks with Ranged and Thrown weapons

You can take Weapon Focus Dirty Tricks.

For the first one, I don't think I'd agree. It lets you attempt a dirty trick as a free action instead of getting sneak attack, but a dirty trick is still specifically a melee move. "You can attempt to hinder a foe in melee" being the very first words in the description of dirty trick.

As for the second. What? Weapon Focus gives you a bonus to a weapon you have proficiency with. A dirty trick is not a weapon, nor is it something you can have a weapon proficiency with. Am I missing something here?

I misremembered about Weapon Focus. There is Weapon Focus Grapple. I kind of remembered that meant Weapon Focus could a applied to Combat Maneuvers, but Weapon Focus doesn't explicitly say that. It makes sense that if you can take Weapon Focus Grapple and Weapon Focus Ray Spell, and Combat Maneuvers are specifically called out as Attacks that one could take Weapon Focus Dirty Trick, but I can't definitively that that is RAW.


CupcakeNautilus wrote:
A dirty trick is not a weapon, nor is it something you can have a weapon proficiency with. Am I missing something here?

Combat Maneuvers are often performed with a weapon.

Combat Maneuvers wrote:
When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver.

Depending on the circumstances, Dirty Tricks are performed with your weapon.

Dirty Trick wrote:
... This maneuver covers any sort of situational attack that imposes a penalty on a foe for a short period of time. Examples include kicking sand into an opponent’s face to blind him for 1 round, pulling down an enemy’s pants to halve his speed, or hitting a foe in a sensitive spot to make him sickened for a round. The GM is the arbiter of what can be accomplished with this maneuver,

So, catching your opponent's cloak with your Rapier and flipping it over his head to make him Blind, smacking your sword and shield against the sides of his helmet to make him Deaf, sometimes you really are using your weapon(s) to play your Dirty Trick. It's far from ideal: the GM is encouraged by the rulebook to be capricious, but you can do it within the rules.


Witch is a great single class for debuffs.

A Hexcrafter Magus with Frostbite, Rime Spell, a Cruel Weapon, and Enforcer can inflict 4 status effects on multiple strikes. 5 if you use a spell-storing weapon.

Grand Lodge

I like a Kensai Magus using a scorpion whip. Slashing grace level 1.

I use enforcer, cruel weapon, frostbite, riving strike, and rime spells.

I also use true strike and a whips reach to deliver trips and disarms.

It is a lot of fun.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Or...vanilla wizard. But if you want some hands on martial ability...magus is a good choice.

Another vote for witch as well. As many hex uses as foes is great...plus full caster (well nearly).


I had a nice build for this. Stacked on around 4 conditions if I'm not mistaken, Those penalties add up a lot.

And then Paizo nerfed Primal Companion.

Urk.

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