gnome ranger


A couple friends and I are starting a game soon. Everyone has either some tabletop rpg experience but no pathfinder experience, or no tabletop rpg experience at all, so we will be playing pre-made beginner quests and learning together.

I really want to create a gnome TWF ranger. My idea is that she would be this silly, half crazy little firecracker who has to kill every FE (have not decided which yet) that comes across her line of sight. She is definitely not the strongest fighter, but puts down damage by being sneaky, evasive, and using her oversized companions as distractions to sneak up behind her enemies.

What I am trying to figure out is how some of the various feats like weapon finesse, two-weapon fighting, and double slice work together. From what I understand I would have to use two light weapons to be able to apply by high dex instead of my low str to attack rolls? But that would only be determining whether I hit, not how much damage I do? If I have both weapon finesse and double slice does it add my whole dex bonus instead of my whole str bonus to the second hand? Would there be a better option like some kind of two-sided weapon? But that would not be able to use weapon finesse, correct?

I guess I know that this will not be an optimal god-like build, but I am trying to figure out if it is even viable because the character I've created in my head will be SUPER fun. I just don't want to get so frustrated being completely unplayable in combat that I can't enjoy the rest.

Any advice is appreciated!

You can pick up two weapon fighting as a ranger style feat at level 2 even without the prerequisite 15 dex or weapon finesse as you would be able to use strength to hit. You'd also have a wider range of weapons to use.

A stealthy character might still want a decent dex score though.

Consider using a pet, riding it, and using a lance... Small characters can do a lot of damage that way. Feats include spirited charge and the like. Your character as described can work but will probably be sub-optimal (and I know you aren't trying to have the most OP build ever). Even with dex-based combatants getting some more love in recent years, it takes quite a few feats to make great. With that being said, if that is what you want go for it, as there is no rule requiring that you be optimized if you are having fun. Halfling would be the better small choice (Goblin even better) for a dex-based Ranger, but Gnomes are probably more characterful for the humor side.

Oh and do review the slashing grace and fencing grace feats. You may even consider a swashbuckler dip, but two weapon fighting can adversely affect them. Agile weapons would also be your friend along with Piranha strike. Double strike does not add dex to damage for offhand. Haven't seen whether it works with Agile or slashing grace (though it ought to imho).

Thanks for the advice! I definitely want to look into swashbuckler down the road, but for right now we are playing with the standard rules since we are all fairly new to the game. The pet/lance is a really nifty idea, too!

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