Building a better Nox (spoilers)


Hell's Rebels


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Spoiler:
Looking at Nox's build for book 1 I saw a key problem; Step Up can only hit adjacent opponents. In response, I rebuilt her to be better at maintaining reach. I also gave a Dex of 12 for Nox to use Combat Reflexes for more than a prerequisite. This build is made keep pressure on the party and disrupt their positioning.

Nox CR 6
XP 2,400
Female bearded-bound human (Chelaxian) monk (sohei) 6 (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 4 56, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 60)
LE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., see in darkness; Perception +8
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Defense
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AC 21, touch 12, flat-footed 19 (+5 armor, +1 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural)
hp 57 (6d8+18); regeneration 5 (good spells, good weapons)
Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +8; +4 vs. poison, +2 vs. enchantments
Defensive Abilities evasion; Resist fire 30
Weaknesses contract bound
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Offense
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Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 glaive +11 (1d10+8/×3) or
. . +1 glaive flurry of blows +11/+11/+6 (1d10+6/×3) or
. . unarmed strike +8 (1d6+4) or
. . unarmed strike flurry of blows +8/+8/+3 (1d6+4)
Ranged throwing axe +5 (1d6+4)
Special Attacks flurry of blows
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +7)
. . 3/day—dimension door, rage
. . 1/day—summon (level 2, 1 lemure 100%)
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Tactics
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Before Combat Nox summons a lemure to aid in any upcoming fight.
During Combat During Combat Nox avoids using rage on herself (since she can’t use dimension door while under its effects), but uses rage on her hell hound Mephiry as soon as combat begins. She uses her glaive to keep herself out of her foes’ reach, and uses Ki Throw to reposition foes into her polearms reach. Nox instead uses Power Attack, taking a –2 penalty on attack rolls but gaining a +4 bonus on damage rolls. Nox tries to hit the largest amount of individual foes possible each round.
Morale Although she’s confident in her regenerative powers, Nox isn’t foolish; she knows that if she’s knocked unconscious, survival is by no means guaranteed. If reduced to 10 or fewer hit points, she uses dimension door to reach the surface and flees to the opera house to report her failure to Thrune.
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Statistics
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Str 18, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 13
Base Atk +4; CMB +10 (+12 trip); CMD 20 (22 vs. trip)
Feats Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike, Ki Throw[APG], Power Attack, Stand Still, Weapon Focus (glaive)
Skills Acrobatics +0 (+6 to jump), Intimidate +9, Knowledge (planes) +1, Perception +8, Sense Motive +8
Languages Common
SQ devoted guardian, high jump, ki pool (5 points), ki weapon, maneuver training, monastic mount, weapon training (pole arms +1)
Other Gear +1 chain shirt, +1 glaive, throwing axe (4), cloak of resistance +1, bedroll, mithral key (worth 150 gp), waterskin, diamon dust (worth 500 gp), 9 pp, 70 gp
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Special Abilities
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Cleave If you hit a foe, attack an adjacent target at the same attack bonus but take -2 AC.
Combat Reflexes (2 AoO/round) Can make extra attacks of opportunity/rd, and even when flat-footed.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Devoted Guardian +3 (Ex) At 1st level, a sohei can always act in a surprise round even if he does not notice his enemies, though he remains flat-footed until he acts. In addition, a sohei gains a bonus on initiative rolls equal to 1/2 his monk level. At 20th level, a sohei's
Energy Resistance, Fire (30) You have the specified Energy Resistance against Fire attacks.
Evasion (Ex) If you succeed at a Reflex save for half damage, you take none instead.
Flurry of Blows +4/+4/-1 (Ex) As full-rd action, higher BAB and combo unarmed/monk wep as if two-weapon fighting.
High Jump (+6/+26 with Ki point) (Ex) +6 to Acrobatics checks made to jump.
Improved Trip You don't provoke attacks of opportunity when tripping.
Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed strikes don't cause attacks of opportunity, and can be lethal.
Ki Pool (5/day) (Su) You have a ki pool equal to 1/2 your monk level + your Wisdom modifier.
Ki Throw Trips can put the target in any square you threaten.
Ki Weapon +1 (Su) At 4th level, as a swift action, a sohei may spend 1 point from his ki pool to grant any weapon he wields (including his unarmed strike) a +1 enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls, increasing by +1 per four levels after 4th to a maximum
Maneuver Training (Ex) CMB = other BABs + Monk level
Poison Resistance +4 (Ex) You have the listed resistance to poison.
Power Attack -2/+4 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Regeneration 5 (good spells, good weapons) Heal HP quickly and cannot die.
See in Darkness See perfectly in darkness of any kind, including magical darkness.
Stand Still When taking an AoO, you can make a combat maneuver check to end opponent's movement instead of attacking.
Summon (level 2, 1 lemure 100%, 1/day) (Sp) A creature with the summon ability can summon other specific creatures of its kind much as though casting a summon monster spell, but it usually has only a limited chance of success (as specified in the creature's entry).
Weapon Training (Pole Arms) +1 (Ex) +1 Attack, Damage, CMB, CMD with Pole Arms

I'm happy with where this build is at, but I would love feedback/suggestons.

Also note a house rule; characters that meet the prerequisites get Power Attack for free in my games.

Grand Lodge

I don't know. This seems even more difficult than the base Nox. Being able to make 3 attacks at 11-20 damage on a power attack is going to get people killed if they are still level 3.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Yeah; keep in mind that Nox was deliberately designed to NOT be 100% as powerful as she could be, because she's already a significant threat to a low-level party.


Yes but giving stand still and step up to a character that primarily uses a reach weapon feels like compensating a little too hard. Then again I'm running this adventure for a fairly well optimized party of six. I plan on getting rid of stand still, step up and cleave, giving Nox a bit of dex and replacing her feats with mobility and combat patrol so she at least has some sort of tactical option. Not sure if her third replacement feat should be pushing assault or if I should be cruel and give her fortified armor training. Given her initiative score it doesn't seem out of the question for a party to drop her before she gets the chance to move if someone gets a crit.

Monk version of Nox does seem a little strong but might be justified depending on the party that faces her.


Some Other Guy wrote:
I don't know. This seems even more difficult than the base Nox. Being able to make 3 attacks at 11-20 damage on a power attack is going to get people killed if they are still level 3.
James Jacobs wrote:
Yeah; keep in mind that Nox was deliberately designed to NOT be 100% as powerful as she could be, because she's already a significant threat to a low-level party.

I could of made her a lot stonger than that if I wanted, hense the "Nox tries to hit the largest amount of individual foes possible each round." this way damage is spread evenly; no one character is getting a full attacks worth of damage.

I left out one part of her tactics; "Nox has little reguard for her underlings, if you feel the PCs are being overrun by too many foes have Nox Cleave through her allies after attacking a PC"

Also note most full attack turns Nox will have to reposition at least one party member. I was careful to keep her HP, AC, Skills, and to hit the same. Also note that when she Flurrys she only gets 1x her Strength mod.

If this build seems too strong, I'm open to suggestions. :P

p-sto wrote:

Yes but giving stand still and step up to a character that primarily uses a reach weapon feels like compensating a little too hard. Then again I'm running this adventure for a fairly well optimized party of six. I plan on getting rid of stand still, step up and cleave, giving Nox a bit of dex and replacing her feats with mobility and combat patrol so she at least has some sort of tactical option. Not sure if her third replacement feat should be pushing assault or if I should be cruel and give her fortified armor training. Given her initiative score it doesn't seem out of the question for a party to drop her before she gets the chance to move if someone gets a crit.

Monk version of Nox does seem a little strong but might be justified depending on the party that faces her.

This was the primary reason for my rebuild; Nox prefers to keep foes at reach, but is incapeable of using those feats in that situation. Pushing Assult will not work as you can't use it with her Glaive at 5ft, which is why I used Sohei and Ki Throw.


As far as I understand it the glaive is still a two handed weapon when she shortens her grip as a pole arm master. But you are correct it would be unless for a sohei.


Wouldn't the simplest solution be to give her armor spikes? That makes stand still and step up usable. She could in theory switch to a "non-reach" grip, but that goes against her stated tactic of wanting to keep foes at bay.

Alternatively, if you give power attack for free like I do, you can give her improved unarmed strike for kicks or headbutts or something


p-sto wrote:
As far as I understand it the glaive is still a two handed weapon when she shortens her grip as a pole arm master. But you are correct it would be unless for a sohei.

you are correct; but Nox can only change her grip as a swift action, meaning after pushing her opponent into position, the PC will have another turn before a reach attack can be made, which the PC can use to step back out of reach.

The goal of this build is to maintain reach while fighing.

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