An extremely general guide to making viable characters.


Advice

251 to 300 of 317 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Liberty's Edge

Ascalaphus wrote:
In defence of Seelah: the PFS adventure format means that usually, smiting 1-3 times per day will actually suffice to get you through all the difficult encounters of that day.

Well, she is one of the two corebook Iconics I listed as viable. :)

Ascalaphus wrote:
As for Kyra: she's got a double identity. There's Kyra with standard prepared spells, including a lot of healing spells (why?! spontaneous casting is a thing), and then there's Kyra Next Day, when you have a level 1/4/7 cleric selecting spells from the whole cleric list. And since there aren't any colossal flaws in her build, she can still be a high-scoring contributor to a party despite not having impressive save DCs or EDV, simply by leaning on the spells that don't require enemy saving throws. Which the cleric list has plenty of.

That's fair. Though even then she doesn't actually meet benchmarks, though she comes within a point (and is thus on par with Rivani, though not most other ACG or OA Iconics).

Ascalaphus wrote:
That said, I agree the ACG iconics are a world of difference because all of them are good at their primary job and there are few to no survivability problems.

Yeah...looking at that comparison was interesting.

BretI wrote:
I think part of it is also that many of them generally can't deal with DR, swarms, or other special defenses. You don't find special materials on them. Fly is not common. Almost all lack a secondary role. For many of these things it can be fixed with some changes to their equipment -- if only they had the money.

That's fair. Though the ACG Iconics are a bit better even by this metric, IMO.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
That's fair. Though the ACG Iconics are a bit better even by this metric, IMO.

I completely agree. The ACG Iconics are quite popular because of it -- Especially Crowe, Oloch and Quinn.

Quinn absolutely crushes skill checks. In a PFS scenario, this can easily make the fights either no longer required or much easier.

Crowe and Oloch consistently do wonderful damage. Most people look at their damage output and go "Wow!".

I would consider both of them very effective characters for their primary purpose and generally competent for secondary abilities.

In my experience, those three characters stand out well above the other iconics.

Sovereign Court

BretI wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
That's fair. Though the ACG Iconics are a bit better even by this metric, IMO.

I completely agree. The ACG Iconics are quite popular because of it -- Especially Crowe, Oloch and Quinn.

Quinn absolutely crushes skill checks. In a PFS scenario, this can easily make the fights either no longer required or much easier.

Crowe and Oloch consistently do wonderful damage. Most people look at their damage output and go "Wow!".

I would consider both of them very effective characters for their primary purpose and generally competent for secondary abilities.

In my experience, those three characters stand out well above the other iconics.

This continues to surprise me - I'm not denying their effectiveness, but over here it's Zadim and Hakon that are the popular ACG pregens. Zadim is just a satisfying 2WF experience with lots of shiny crits, without giving up skills.

Hakon's very all-round capable, he can fight, cast, socialize and do knowledges. If you want to be sure that whatever the scenario happens to be about, that you can participate, he's a safe bet.

Sovereign Court

Anyway, about Kyra: appraising the character through benchmarks doesn't quite do her justice. A significant chunk of the best clerical spells aren't save-requiring so she can "do" more than the benchmarks might let on at first. Of course, defence/survivability is still a valid concern.

Liberty's Edge

Ascalaphus wrote:
Anyway, about Kyra: appraising the character through benchmarks doesn't quite do her justice. A significant chunk of the best clerical spells aren't save-requiring so she can "do" more than the benchmarks might let on at first. Of course, defence/survivability is still a valid concern.

Her defenses are solid-ish. Her HP are lower than would be ideal, and she has a Red Reflex Save.

She can probably manage as a buffing character or otherwise doing non-Save DC spells. That does require a new set of spells, though, as mentioned. And probably some used as defenses on her personally.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dotting this to come back and read after finishing Daredevil...


Random question: what's the opinion on Yoon (Kineticist) and Crowe (Bloodrager)? I've heard both are pretty weak, but I've seen lots of scenarios where they absolutely shine. Okay, they're not as 100% optimised as they could be, but both have saves my ass several times. A friend wanted his Bloodrager critiqued and the forums said he was worse than Crowe because his daamge output was 5 lower per round, but I'm still amazed at how much that character wrecks face. And level 7 Yoon could keep pace with most of the damage dealers in Realm of the Fellnight Queen.

Liberty's Edge

Speaking objectively (ie: using the metrics in this thread), Yoon's fine unless she's up against something immune to fire, in which case she's completely useless. Her utility isn't super great, but it's not utterly terrible either.

By the same math, Crowe is super solid and I have no idea why anyone would ever complain. I mean, he isn't great at any particular skill (except Intimidate at 7th) but he's more than solid in combat. I mean, apparently among the PFS people BretI knows he's one of the favorites. Your friend's build having five damage less than him is still Green in damage, maybe even Blueif that's pre-buff.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think the analysis of the Pathfinder Society iconics confirms the validity of these benchmarks quite nicely.

In the pathfinder society tables I've played at, the general sense is that Seelah and Amiri (and maybe Hakkon) are the only viable melee iconics who can come close to contributing at the level that a real character should. Ezren is fine for a wizard (though not particularly inspiring) and while Kyra is not especially good at anything, she's a cleric and there are lots of useful things clerics can do without being good--especially if your only other healing is some guy UMDing a wand of CLW. And doubly so on the second day (when you retool her spell selection) or if your DM lets you retool the spell selection on day 1.

Since the viability guide says the same thing about the iconics, that would seem to confirm that the benchmarks about match the expectations in my area for society play.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, the only one that seems to need a real change is AC, which really needs to drop 2-3 points to accurately reflect things, IMO. That'd bring just about everyone with Red AC but Green or higher survivability to Orange AC, which seems more appropriate.

Though I think your analysis is a little harsh on the ACG Iconics. Most of them are pretty good one way or another.

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah, the only one that seems to need a real change is AC, which really needs to drop 2-3 points to accurately reflect things, IMO. That'd bring just about everyone with Red AC but Green or higher survivability to Orange AC, which seems more appropriate.

Though I think your analysis is a little harsh on the ACG Iconics. Most of them are pretty good one way or another.

We haven't really used or considered the ACG iconics--I don't think anyone printed them--so they really haven't entered into the conversation. They do seem to be a lot better than the others.

Similarly, I think Seoni suffers from the campaign structure. Which is why she didn't show up in the received core "Iconics who don't suck" wisdom. In my experience, we are most often looking for a 7th level iconic. At low tier 1-5, you only need an iconic if you have 3 players (you can just create your own first level character instead) and a sorc/wiz is not often a compelling choice even the party is missing one. At 7th level taking a sorcerer without 4th level spells over a wizard who does have 4th level spells is a pretty hard sell. At 4th level, it's a much more even trade, but since you can generally play a lower level character out of tier where 4th levels would be appropriate, there's not a lot of call for it.

Liberty's Edge

Elder Basilisk wrote:
We haven't really used or considered the ACG iconics--I don't think anyone printed them--so they really haven't entered into the conversation. They do seem to be a lot better than the others.

Huh? But you mentioned Hakkon? Did you mean Hayato?

And yeah, I'd really recommend it. They're a lot better and I think people would likely have more fun with them.

Elder Basilisk wrote:
Similarly, I think Seoni suffers from the campaign structure. Which is why she didn't show up in the received core "Iconics who don't suck" wisdom. In my experience, we are most often looking for a 7th level iconic. At low tier 1-5, you only need an iconic if you have 3 players (you can just create your own first level character instead) and a sorc/wiz is not often a compelling choice even the party is missing one. At 7th level taking a sorcerer without 4th level spells over a wizard who does have 4th level spells is a pretty hard sell. At 4th level, it's a much more even trade, but since you can generally play a lower level character out of tier where 4th levels would be appropriate, there's not a lot of call for it.

That's probably true. Ezren also has better Saves than she does, which helps.

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Elder Basilisk wrote:
We haven't really used or considered the ACG iconics--I don't think anyone printed them--so they really haven't entered into the conversation. They do seem to be a lot better than the others.

Huh? But you mentioned Hakkon? Did you mean Hayato?

And yeah, I'd really recommend it. They're a lot better and I think people would likely have more fun with them.

Exactly. I meant Hayato. I also noticed that Amiri can be improved in just about every way be selling most of her starting equipment for half price and buying new, better equipment at full price as soon as the scenario starts. A lot of CRB iconics have that problem.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Hayato is one of my favorites. I also love Oloch, Crowe, Quinn and Adowyn. All are really well built and pleasurable to play.

Hmm

Grand Lodge

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Speaking objectively (ie: using the metrics in this thread), Yoon's fine unless she's up against something immune to fire, in which case she's completely useless. Her utility isn't super great, but it's not utterly terrible either.

By the same math, Crowe is super solid and I have no idea why anyone would ever complain. I mean, he isn't great at any particular skill (except Intimidate at 7th) but he's more than solid in combat. I mean, apparently among the PFS people BretI knows he's one of the favorites. Your friend's build having five damage less than him is still Green in damage, maybe even Blueif that's pre-buff.

Crowe is love. Crowe is life.

I honestly never would have thought to analyze the iconics with my benchmarks, and vice verse. That was interesting to read. What I'm seeing is that my benchmarks are, on the whole, where they should be. The exception is that my AC benchmarks are a bit too high.

I need to find a better method of benchmarking AC that actually corresponds to "# of rounds a character will survive full-attacks" more closely.

Liberty's Edge

Le Petite Mort wrote:
Crowe is love. Crowe is life.

Apparently. :)

Le Petite Mort wrote:
I honestly never would have thought to analyze the iconics with my benchmarks, and vice verse. That was interesting to read.

I'm not sure I would've thought of it either, but someone asked. And it was interesting to do.

Le Petite Mort wrote:

What I'm seeing is that my benchmarks are, on the whole, where they should be. The exception is that my AC benchmarks are a bit too high.

I need to find a better method of benchmarking AC that actually corresponds to "# of rounds a character will survive full-attacks" more closely.

Yeah, that was definitely my takeaway from doing the whole thing. Eyeballing it, just dropping it by 2 or 3 points would probably be close enough for government work.

So...maybe something like 60% chance to be hit is Orange, 45% is Green, 15-20% is Blue? Something like that anyway.

Grand Lodge

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Le Petite Mort wrote:
Crowe is love. Crowe is life.

Apparently. :)

Le Petite Mort wrote:
I honestly never would have thought to analyze the iconics with my benchmarks, and vice verse. That was interesting to read.

I'm not sure I would've thought of it either, but someone asked. And it was interesting to do.

Le Petite Mort wrote:

What I'm seeing is that my benchmarks are, on the whole, where they should be. The exception is that my AC benchmarks are a bit too high.

I need to find a better method of benchmarking AC that actually corresponds to "# of rounds a character will survive full-attacks" more closely.

Yeah, that was definitely my takeaway from doing the whole thing. Eyeballing it, just dropping it by 2 or 3 points would probably be close enough for government work.

So...maybe something like 60% chance to be hit is Orange, 45% is Green, 15-20% is Blue? Something like that anyway.

I think that's where it will effectively wind up, but I prefer more formulaic methodologies.

My current thought is 'the average of the AMCREL's high attack and low attack hits X% of the time'.

EDIT: I've made small adjustments to the post, but it was basic proofreading and organization stuff. No new information.

Sovereign Court

I don't think you're supposed to survive full attacks for 4 rounds, actually. If you're playing against monsters that are still challenging to you, by definition they should be able to hurt you often enough to make that a bad proposition. If they can't, they're not challenging.

I think the standard should be closer to surviving 1-2 rounds of full attacks. It may be necessary to close with the enemy, make a single attack, and then suffer a round of full attacks; for example if you have to block the monster's path to a squishier party member. You need to survive until your next turn so you can make your own full attack. Maybe last one more round to finish off the monster with a second full attack.

But four full attacks is giving the monsters entirely too much time. If you're there for that long you should be getting some sort of relief from the other PCs - buffing, burst healing, debuffing monsters etcetera.

Grand Lodge

Ascalaphus wrote:

I don't think you're supposed to survive full attacks for 4 rounds, actually. If you're playing against monsters that are still challenging to you, by definition they should be able to hurt you often enough to make that a bad proposition. If they can't, they're not challenging.

I think the standard should be closer to surviving 1-2 rounds of full attacks.

I agree. 4 rounds is Blue rated, so well above standard.

Also, it's four rounds from an AMCREL, which are not generally considered challenging.

Paizo Employee Designer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Le Petite Mort wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

I don't think you're supposed to survive full attacks for 4 rounds, actually. If you're playing against monsters that are still challenging to you, by definition they should be able to hurt you often enough to make that a bad proposition. If they can't, they're not challenging.

I think the standard should be closer to surviving 1-2 rounds of full attacks.

I agree. 4 rounds is Blue rated, so well above standard.

Also, it's four rounds from an AMCREL, which are not generally considered challenging.

I think it's insightful of you to have the highest rating as being something that's too high / indicates that you might have spent too many resources on it.

Also glad to see that my little ACG buddies did well in those regards, and I agree with DMW that the AC numbers are high.

Grand Lodge

Mark Seifter wrote:
Le Petite Mort wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

I don't think you're supposed to survive full attacks for 4 rounds, actually. If you're playing against monsters that are still challenging to you, by definition they should be able to hurt you often enough to make that a bad proposition. If they can't, they're not challenging.

I think the standard should be closer to surviving 1-2 rounds of full attacks.

I agree. 4 rounds is Blue rated, so well above standard.

Also, it's four rounds from an AMCREL, which are not generally considered challenging.

I think it's insightful of you to have the highest rating as being something that's too high / indicates that you might have spent too many resources on it.

Also glad to see that my little ACG buddies did well in those regards, and I agree with DMW that the AC numbers are high.

I was unsurprised at your iconics' performance. If I play a pre-gen, it's either Kyra or an ACG sheet for me.

I actually saw you in an unexpected place the other day, Mark. My college major was neuro, and I've been interested in ANNs for a while, so I decided to look up a class about them on youtube. Sure enough, it was the machine learning course you TA'ed.

Paizo Employee Designer

Le Petite Mort wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Le Petite Mort wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

I don't think you're supposed to survive full attacks for 4 rounds, actually. If you're playing against monsters that are still challenging to you, by definition they should be able to hurt you often enough to make that a bad proposition. If they can't, they're not challenging.

I think the standard should be closer to surviving 1-2 rounds of full attacks.

I agree. 4 rounds is Blue rated, so well above standard.

Also, it's four rounds from an AMCREL, which are not generally considered challenging.

I think it's insightful of you to have the highest rating as being something that's too high / indicates that you might have spent too many resources on it.

Also glad to see that my little ACG buddies did well in those regards, and I agree with DMW that the AC numbers are high.

I was unsurprised at your iconics' performance. If I play a pre-gen, it's either Kyra or an ACG sheet for me.

I actually saw you in an unexpected place the other day, Mark. My college major was neuro, and I've been interested in ANNs for a while, so I decided to look up a class about them on youtube. Sure enough, it was the machine learning course you TA'ed.

Yup, my mega-recitations for AI topics from MIT may be more famous than my game design credits. I'm not really sure. At least a family member had someone recognize the last name and they thought it would be a Pathfinder player but it wound up being someone who watched my OCW stuff.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I suddenly want to make a genetic algorithm that plays rogue-likes.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Okay, Occult Adventures Iconics it is. Having eyeballed them, I expect them to be on par with the ACG ones (ie: viable).

I'd argue that Melanister is only viable by din of him of being a spellcaster. Otherwise he arguably has some of the worst choices I've ever seen. Even more so than the iconic Ranger or Fighter.

EDIT:
Also Mesmerists by design do have a backup plan which is to go full support with stuff such as Mesmeric Mirror. Its one of my favorite things about the class which is that they can change roles relatively easily.

Liberty's Edge

MadScientistWorking wrote:


I'd argue that Melanister is only viable by din of him of being a spellcaster. Otherwise he arguably has some of the worst choices I've ever seen. Even more so than the iconic Ranger or Fighter.

Do you mean Meligaster?

Suggestion, Charm Person, and Vanish are great spells. At higher levels, Invisibility and Dispel Magic are also awesome, and Synaptic Pulse isn't bad at all.

He has no offense that isn't enchantment spells, and I note that as a major flaw he has (Yoon basically has the same issue only with fire), but he's quite effective offensively as long as he can use his trick. And he even has some support options (mesmeric mirror, touch treatments, etc.) when that doesn't work.

To be on par with Harsk offensively he'd need to either have Charisma 12 and no other offense than spells, or have taken purely useless offensive spells. I mean, if Aversion was his only offensive spell, then you'd have a point.

Meligaster isn't the most effective Iconic by any means, but he does significantly better than Harsk. And indeed better than most, though not all, corebook Iconics.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

To be on par with Harsk offensively he'd need to either have Charisma 12 and no other offense than spells, or have taken purely useless offensive spells. I mean, if Aversion was his only offensive spell, then you'd have a point.

He's operating with two less feats than he should be. That is definitely Harsk levels of bad. The problem is that Harsk levels of bad for the Mesmerist is still effective. It almost makes me wonder if there was another version of him at some point because he's kind of half one build and half the other which doesn't work with the stat array.

EDIT:
Unless there is something Im completely missing about Feinting because its completely wasted on Melanister.

Liberty's Edge

MadScientistWorking wrote:
He's operating with two less feats than he should be. That is definitely Harsk levels of bad. The problem is that Harsk levels of bad for the Mesmerist is still effective. It almost makes me wonder if there was another version of him at some point because he's kind of half one build and half the other which doesn't work with the stat array.

That's not actually how benchmarks work.

If the worst Mesmerist ever has Green offense and straight Oranges on defense then he's a viable character no matter how 'non-optimal' he is. And Meligaster actually has two Green Saves and Green to Blue survivability. So he's viable (if plagued with a few serious weaknesses). I also don't think he's as bad as all that, optimization-wise, but that's basically irrelevant to the point.

Harsk is bad not because you can make better Rangers (you can, and Ranger would be a terrible Class if you couldn't), but because he deals Red damage by the benchmarks. If he did Green damage, it wouldn't matter if he was the worst Ranger ever and every other Ranger you'd ever seen did Blue damage, he'd still be viable.

That's how a measure of viability works, it's about how well the character does against AMCREL foes. Whether they're above average or below average for their class is purely incidental.

MadScientistWorking wrote:

EDIT:

Unless there is something Im completely missing about Feinting because its completely wasted on Melanister.

Pretty close to completely, yeah. Doesn't matter for benchmark purposes.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

If the worst Mesmerist ever has Green offense and straight Oranges on defense then he's a viable character no matter how 'non-optimal' he is. And Meligaster actually has two Green Saves and Green to Blue survivability. So he's viable (if plagued with a few serious weaknesses). I also don't think he's as bad as all that, optimization-wise, but that's basically irrelevant to the point.

Here's the thing and I just realized where the disconnect is. Your setting the baseline at CR 7. In my experience you set it 4 levels higher which is definitely not unusual in PFS.

Sovereign Court

MadScientistWorking wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

If the worst Mesmerist ever has Green offense and straight Oranges on defense then he's a viable character no matter how 'non-optimal' he is. And Meligaster actually has two Green Saves and Green to Blue survivability. So he's viable (if plagued with a few serious weaknesses). I also don't think he's as bad as all that, optimization-wise, but that's basically irrelevant to the point.

Here's the thing and I just realized where the disconnect is. Your setting the baseline at CR 7. In my experience you set it 4 levels higher which is definitely not unusual in PFS.

That may be overdoing it just a little bit. EL = APL + 3 is pretty common in PFS, but that's using a 6-player party. +4 fights are quite rare.

Also, I think there's a trend towards composing those high-EL encounters by using multiple enemies, rather than a single high-powered one. That does a much better job at opposing the PCs' action economy, and also makes it easier to scale down to 4 players (remove some mooks, bringing down NPC action economy; keep the main showy NPC).

Liberty's Edge

MadScientistWorking wrote:
Here's the thing and I just realized where the disconnect is. Your setting the baseline at CR 7. In my experience you set it 4 levels higher which is definitely not unusual in PFS.

I didn't set anything, since I didn't write the Guide.

That said...yeah, the benchmarks are vs. CR 7 foes at level 7. In order to be Green in Save DCs they're also succeeding vs. such foes most of the time (65%+). They still succeed (and possibly win the fight) at least 45% of the time even vs. CR 11 foes (ie: ones you almost never fight, most high CR encounters are multiple foes of lower CR). That's the way the benchmarks are designed.

They're intentionally based on the idea of 'better odds of success than you really need vs. the stats of weaker foes' so that your odds are still decent vs. more powerful foes.

And they seem to do a pretty good job of that. Now, Meligaster, as mentioned, has some serious weaknesses (high Will Saves or people immune to mind effecting stuff), but he's fine when fighting things that his abilities function against.

Shadow Lodge

ElterAgo wrote:

I would quibble a little bit on some of the particular bench marks. I think the offensive benchmarks are set a bit higher than is really needed. I've seen very offense oriented characters that don't meet those and yet perform quite admirably.

I think the saving throw benchmarks are a bit low. I have seen quite a few characters that meet the orange save benchmarks, yet the party seems to spend an inordinate amount of time and/or effort dealing with the fact that those characters seem to 'always' be under some devastating condition due to a failed save.

Heh, my monkrager has all high green to blue saves and I'm still failing more saves than I'd like.

Comments on Hayato wrote:
Elder Basilisk wrote:
In the pathfinder society tables I've played at, the general sense is that Seelah and Amiri (and maybe Hayato) are the only viable melee iconics who can come close to contributing at the level that a real character should.
Hmm wrote:
Hayato is one of my favorites. I also love Oloch, Crowe, Quinn and Adowyn. All are really well built and pleasurable to play.

That's interesting, seeing that Hayato was low on several benchmarks. Orange accuracy, only gets Green EDV with Challenge, Red Ref save (and at level 4, Red Will save).

Complaints about Core Iconics wrote:
BretI wrote:
I think part of it is also that many of them generally can't deal with DR, swarms, or other special defenses. You don't find special materials on them. Fly is not common. Almost all lack a secondary role. For many of these things it can be fixed with some changes to their equipment -- if only they had the money.
ElterAgo wrote:

I would say they are at best, barely viable for PFS.

...
I would also posit (from my personal experience) isn't that they are lousy at their primary role. They are halfway decent. It is that they have nothing else. If their primary shtick doesn't work they got nothing else to do. They are kinda one trick ponies without the super effectiveness at their one trick.
Atarlost wrote:
One of the things that makes Valeros suck isn't covered by this metric. He has crappy standard attacks because he TWFs.

If reduced damage from DR or standard action attacks is making a significant difference in how effective the core iconics are, that suggests to me that a build which is more versatile - and more likely to operate at full capacity - might be just fine with orange EDV.

Liberty's Edge

Weirdo wrote:
Heh, my monkrager has all high green to blue saves and I'm still failing more saves than I'd like.

Yeah, Saves will never really feel good enough. Even if they are.

Weirdo wrote:
That's interesting, seeing that Hayato was low on several benchmarks. Orange accuracy, only gets Green EDV with Challenge, Red Ref save (and at level 4, Red Will save).

Hayato's defenses are a little stronger than the benchmarks show. Remember, Samurai can roll Fort and Will Saves twice taking the best result (or remove certain conditions from themselves) a few of times a day. And he can Challenge whoever he likes, which definitely helps. Seelah's considered good with similar offense, remember, and her Green offense is limited to Evil stuff.

Also, Reflex is the least valuable Save, and I think the ACG Iconics demonstrate that having a single Save a point or two into the Red, while not a good plan in the long run, doesn't actually render a character non-viable in the short term. Most of the better Iconics still have that as an issue (albeit, usually no more than one point below Orange).

I wouldn't say Hayato is a good character, but he's less bad than several of the Corebook Iconics.

Weirdo wrote:
If reduced damage from DR or standard action attacks is making a significant difference in how effective the core iconics are, that suggests to me that a build which is more versatile - and more likely to operate at full capacity - might be just fine with orange EDV.

I'm...skeptical. The Core Iconics are almost universally Orange offense as well as lacking ways to deal with alternate situations. But the martial ones above that (Hayato when Challenging, Amiri, and Seelah) are also the ones people actually express liking for...so I don't think it'd be a good ida or super fun.

Being mediocre all the time is worse than being great most of the time and mediocre or useless occasionally.

Shadow Lodge

That's not the comparison I'm making

I'm talking about a character that's mediocre all the time vs one that's mediocre most of the time and useless some of the time.

Like a fighter who has the same combat numbers as Valeros but does it with a greatsword + vital strike build (so standard action attacks do comparable damage to full attacks) and gear to deal with DR and swarms.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Hayato's defenses are a little stronger than the benchmarks show. Remember, Samurai can roll Fort and Will Saves twice taking the best result (or remove certain conditions from themselves) a few of times a day. And he can Challenge whoever he likes, which definitely helps. Seelah's considered good with similar offense, remember, and her Green offense is limited to Evil stuff.

If alignment is a significant limitation for Smite in PFS, that would mean that Seelah has good offense even without consistently being green.

Resolve is another example of an ability that significantly affects playability but isn't well captured by the benchmarks.

Liberty's Edge

Weirdo wrote:

That's not the comparison I'm making

I'm talking about a character that's mediocre all the time vs one that's mediocre most of the time and useless some of the time.

Like a fighter who has the same combat numbers as Valeros but does it with a greatsword + vital strike build (so standard action attacks do comparable damage to full attacks) and gear to deal with DR and swarms.

Oh, I understood that. I just don't think it's gonna be enough most of the time.

Weirdo wrote:
If alignment is a significant limitation for Smite in PFS, that would mean that Seelah has good offense even without consistently being green.

I doubt it's that significant a limitation, I was just noting it as a possible one upon occasion.

And as noted, Seelah has really good defenses, too. Plus, she does have Green offense when she needs it vs. evil stuff, and most main bad guys are Evil. And the mix is still on the slightly lower end of workable.

Weirdo wrote:
Resolve is another example of an ability that significantly affects playability but isn't well captured by the benchmarks.

Oh, definitely. Though you can figure them in if you think to. I admittedly sorta forgot to do that on Hayato, due to being in a bit of a hurry as I was doing so many at once.

Grand Lodge

To valuate re-roll's efficacy in benchmarking, square the chance of failure and subtract from 1 to get your success rate. For example, if you have a 70% chance of failing a save, but can re-roll, you actually have a 51% chance of success, putting you at the bottom of Orange instead of firmly in Red.

I'm going to do a quick EDV calc on Vital Strike vs. full attacks, mostly for my own edification. I've never really compared them numerically.

Let's use a greatsword wielder, level 6, 20 STR, +1 greatsword, Weapon Focus, Power Attacking. He'll have an attack bonus of +11/+6, and do 2d6+14, 19-20/x2 on a full attack, and +11 4d6+14, 19-20/x2 on a Vital Strike (but the additional 7 average damage from doing 4d6 won't multiply on a Crit. Our AMCREL has AC 19.

So, ((21*0.55) + (21*0.1*0.35) + (42*0.1*0.65)) + ((21*0.30)+(21*0.6*0.1)+(42*0.1*0.4)) = 24.255 EDV on a full attack.

A Vital Strike is (28*0.55) + (28*0.1*0.35) + (49*0.1*0.65)= 19.565 EDV

A single attack without vital strike is 15.015 EDV, meaning Vital Strike makes up about half the difference in EDV between a standard attack and full attack.

I regard this as a somewhat typical case for Vital Strike builds, implying that while martials possessing the feat benefit when move+Standard attacking, it is generally better not to use it when you can full attack.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I wonder. Do gladiators in the arena, or soldiers in the field, or adventurers in the dungeon, do these calculations in their heads in the middle of combat? :-)

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:
I wonder. Do gladiators in the arena, or soldiers in the field, or adventurers in the dungeon, do these calculations in their heads in the middle of combat? :-)

The good ones.

Grand Lodge

I have figured out how to gauge AC benchmarks more accurately. By using the enemy's low attack rather than high, the AC benchmarks in here should more closely match the survivability benchmarks from Think Tank.

I'm sure if I'm wrong, you lot will let me know. :)


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Who's this Think Tank guy?

Grand Lodge

This is my blog as a whole. Think tank is the most recent post, and is just a more holistic 'survivability' benchmarking guide, outlining the process for figuring out how long a given character can survive full attacks from monsters with measures other than just pure AC.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well, let's have a look at the Iconics with that. I'm just gonna redo their whole stat layouts here, for simplicity. I'm mostly copy and pasting, but I'll update the wrong stuff while I'm at this:

CRB:
Amiri:
4: Orange to-hit, Green EDV (verging on blue), Red AC (but Blue survivability due to HP, Orange when not raging), Green Fort, Red Ref (by one point), Orange Will. Green Climb and Swim. Several Orange skills.
7: Green to-hit, Green EDV, Red AC (but Green survivability due to HP...would be Blue but she dies if she goes unconscious), Green Fort, Red Ref, Red Will (Orange vs. fear). Green Climb and Swim. Several Orange skills.

So, she's actually pretty viable except for Saves. A Cloak of Resistance (+1 at 4th, +2 at 7th) or Superstition, and she'd meet all the benchmarks.

Lem:
4: Orange to-hit, Red EDV, Orange Save DCs, Orange AC (but Green survivability due to HP) and access to Invisibility, Orange Fort, Green Ref, Orange Will (Green with Heroism). Green Acrobatics, Bluff, Diplomacy, Perform, and Stealth. Several Orange skills. Has Inspire Courage +1.
7: Orange to-hit, Red EDV, Orange Save DCs, Red AC (by 1 point, but Green survivability due to HP) and access to Invisibility, Red Fort (Orange with Heroism), Orange Ref (Green with Heroism), Orange Will. Green Bluff, Diplomacy, a couple of Knowledges, and Perform. Several Orange skills. Has Haste and Inspire Courage +2.

Lem's offense is terrible, but he can manage on defense pretty well with Invisibility and (at 7th) Heroism. His buffing is...not great at 4th, but very solid at 7th. His social skills are pretty solid, too.

Kyra:
4: Orange to-hit, Red EDV (Orange with buffs), Orange Save DCs, Orange AC (Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Red Ref, Green Will. Green Diplomacy and Heal. Orange Knowledge (Religion).
7: Red to-hit, Red EDV (both Orange with buffs), Orange Save DCs, Red AC (Orange with buffs, Green survivability due to HP when buffed), Orange Fort, Red Ref, Green Will. Green Diplomacy and Heal. Orange Knowledge (Religion).

Kyra's kind of a heal-bot. As I'm sure people are aware. Her usefulness outside that is...dubious given her spell loadout. If allowed to replace spells, she's useful as a support/buff caster, but still lacks ofensive options of her own. And she has some Diplomacy.

Lini:
4: Red to-hit, Red EDV, Orange Save DCs, Red AC (Green survivability due to HP), Green Fort, Red Ref, Green Will. Green Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledges, Perception, and Survival. Her animal companion has Orange defenses (and Green Survivability and Reflex) if buffed (except Will Save, which is Red) and does Green EDV (possibly Blue when buffed).
7: Red to-hit, Red EDV, Orange Save DCs, Red AC (Orange survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Red Ref, Green Will. Green Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledges, Perception, and Survival. Her animal companion has Orange defenses (and Green Survivability and Reflex) if buffed (except Will Save, which is Red...unless you really believe the typo and let it be +13) and does Orange EDV (Green if buffed).

So...Lini isn't great in combat personally, but her animal companion does alright if she buffs it. She's got some very nice skills and utility spells, too. And she can summon.

Valeros:
4: Orange to-hit, very low Green EDV (maybe Orange, I'd need to do math to be really sure), Green AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Red Will (Orange vs. fear). Several Orange skills.
7: Green to-hit, very low Green EDV (maybe Orange, I'd need to do math to be really sure), Green AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Red Will (Orange vs. fear). Green Climb, Swim, and Ride. Orange Knowledge.

Valeros has a bad Will Save (except vs. fear) and is...kinda bad at doing damage. At least, for a frontliner. Other than that, he's just very very mediocre.

Sajan:
4: Orange to-hit, Orange EDV, Red Save DC, Orange AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Green Ref, Orange Will. Green Acrobatics (blue for jumping), Climb, and Stealth. Several Orange skills.
7: Orange to-hit, Orange EDV, Red Save DC, Red AC (by 1 point, and Green survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Green Ref, Orange Will (Green vs. enchantments). Green Acrobatics (blue for jumping), Climb, and Stealth. Several Orange skills.

Much like Valeros, Sajan's problem involves being mediocre at everything. Including actually doing damage. Making him...less than useful. At least his Will Save isn't crappy as well.

Seelah:
4: Orange to-hit (Green on Smite Evil), Orange EDV (Green on Smite Evil), Green AC (but Blue survivability due to HP and Lay on Hands), Green Fort, Orange Ref, Green Will. Green Diplomacy. Several Orange skills.
7: Orange to-hit (Green on Smite Evil), Orange EDV (Green on Smite Evil), Green AC (but Blue survivability due to HP and Lay on Hands), Green Fort, Orange Ref, Green Will. Green Diplomacy. Several Orange skills.

Seelah's actually really solid. Her offense isn't great unless she's Smiting, but she can Smite, and her defenses are very good.

Harsk:
4: Orange to-hit, Red EDV (maybe hitting Orange against his Favored enemies, but I doubt it), Red Save DC, Orange AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Green Fort, Green Ref, Orange Will. Green Heal, Perception, Stealth, and Survival. Several Orange skills. Has an animal companion with Red everything.
7: Orange to-hit, Red EDV (maybe hitting Orange against his Favored enemies, but I doubt it), Red Save DC, Red AC (but Green survivability due to HP), Green Fort, Green Ref, Orange Will. Green Heal, Perception, Stealth, and Survival. Several Orange skills. Has an animal companion with Red everything.

Harsk is utterly incapable of meaningfully participating in combat in an offensive fashion. Do not take Heavy Crossbows unless you have Crossbow Master and Deadly Aim at the least. Ever. His defenses aren't awful, but that really doesn't matter when you can't accomplish anything.

Merisiel:
4: Orange to-hit, Red EDV (Orange with Sneak Attack), Orange AC (almost Green, Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Green Ref, Red Will (Orange vs. enchantment). Green Acrobatics, Climb, Disable Device (Blue with Masterwork Tools), Escape Artist, Perception, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth. Several Orange skills.
7: Orange to-hit, Red EDV (Orange with Sneak Attack), Orange AC (almost Green, Green survivability due to HP), Red Fort, Green Ref, Red Will (Orange vs. enchantment). Blue Acrobatics and Disable Device. Green Climb, Escape Artist, Perception, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth. Several Orange skills.

Merisiel has most of the same problems as Valeros, but at least has some real contributions to non-combat activities.

Seoni:
4: Red to-hit, Red EDV, (Orange EDV with Magic Missile, Green in both with Scorching Ray) Orange Save DCs (by one point), Orange AC (Green with Shield, Blue survivability due to HP), Red Fort, Red Ref, Orange Will. Green Bluff. Several Orange skills.
7: Red to-hit, Red EDV (or Green in both with Scorching Ray), Green Save DC, Orange AC (Green with Shield, and Green survivability), Red Fort, Red Ref, Orange Will. Green Bluff. Several Orange skills.

Seoni's another character who'd be basically viable with a Cloak of Resistance. And maybe ditching a Feat for Great Fortitude or a Trait for Resilient.

Ezren:
4: Red to-hit, Red EDV, (Orange EDV with his own Magic Missile, Green in both with Scorching Ray) Orange Save DCs (by one point), Orange AC (Green with Shield, Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Orange Will. Green Appraise, Linguistics, Spellcraft, and 4 Knowledge skills.
7: Red to-hit, Red EDV, (Green in both with Scorching Ray) Green Save DCs, Orange AC (Green with Shield, Green survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Orange Will. Green Appraise, Fly, Linguistics, Spellcraft, and 4 Knowledge skills.

Ezren's just a viable character. Very solid.

UC:
Lirianne:
4: Green or Blue to-hit (actually only +10, but vs. touch AC), Red EDV (almost Orange), Orange AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Orange Will. Green Sleight of Hand. Several Orange skills.
7: Green or Blue to-hit (actually only +10, but vs. touch AC), Orange EDV, Orange AC (but Green survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Green Ref, Orange Will. Green Sleight of Hand. Several Orange skills.
Yeouch. No Rapid Shot or Deadly aim on a ranged character. That's almost as bad as Harsk.

Reiko:
4: Orange to-hit, Red EDV (Orange with Sneak Attack), Orange AC (Green defense with Vanishing Trick, Orange survivability due to HP, up to Green when Vanishing Trick is up), Red Fort, Orange Ref, Red Will. Green Acrobatics, Bluff, Disguise, Escape Artist, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, and Use Magic Device. Several Orange skills.
7: Orange to-hit, Red EDV (Orange with Sneak Attack), Orange AC (Green defense with Vanishing Trick, Orange survivability due to HP, up to Green when Vanishing Trick is up), Red Fort, Green Ref, Red Will. Green Acrobatics, Bluff, Disguise, Escape Artist, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, and Use Magic Device. Several Orange skills.

Okay...that's pretty awful. Mediocre defenses at best and terrible offense. The skills are actually good, but oh sweet lord the price is too high.

Hayato:
4: Orange to-hit, Orange EDV (Green with Challenge), Green AC (Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort (Green with Resolve), Red Ref, Red Will (very high Orange with Resolve). Green Sense Motive. Several Orange skills. His animal companion has straight Orange defenses and very low Orange EDV.
7: Orange to-hit, Orange EDV (Green with Challenge), Orange AC (Green survivability due to HP), Orange Fort (Green with Resolve), Red Ref, Orange Will (Green with Resolve). Green Sense Motive. Several Orange skills. His animal companion has straight Orange defenses (except AC, which is Red) and Red EDV.

Hayato...does okay, I guess. He does about as well as Seelah offensively, anyway. Sadly, he lacks her defensive advantages.

ACG:
Enora:
4: Red to-hit, Red EDV (Green EDV with Magic Missiles from staff), Orange Save DC (Green if you use Arcane Reservoir), Orange AC (can go to Green with Shield, Blue survivability due to HP, can go even higher with Mirror Image), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Orange Will. Green Linguistics, Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device. Several Orange skills (including all Knowledges).
7: Red to-hit, Red EDV (Green EDV with Scorching Ray from Staff), Orange Save DC (Green using Potent Magic on Fireball), Orange AC (with Shield, but Green survivability due to HP, can go to Blue survivability with Mirror Image), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Orange Will. Green Fly, Knowledge (Arcana), Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device. Several Orange skills (including all Knowledges).
Enora hits all of her benchmarks if you use her right. Solid build.

Crowe:
4: Orange to-hit, Blue EDV, Red AC (Green with Shield, but Blue survivability due to HP), Green Fort, Red Ref, Orange Will. Several Orange skills.
7: Orange to-hit, High Green EDV (goes to Blue with Enlarge Person), Red Save DC, Red AC (Orange with shield, Green withy Protection from Evil, Blue survivability due to HP, which also goes up from Mirror Image), Green Fort, Red Ref, Orange Will. Green Intimidate. Several Orange skills.

Crowe is great. Well built, does what he's supposed to. His Reflex is one point in the Red, but that's the extent of his real weaknesses.

Kess:
4: Orange to-hit, Green EDV (might need to use Martial Felxibility to technically reach this point), Green AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Red Will (Orange vs. charms and compulsions, Green if you go by the typo). Green Acrobatics, Climb, and Swim. Several Orange skills.
7: Green to-hit, Green EDV (can probably use Martial Felxibility to get to Blue), Orange AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Red Will (Orange vs. charms and compulsions). Green Acrobatics. Several Orange skills.

Another perfectly effective character. Her Will is one point low...but not vs. charms or compulsions, and she has no other real weaknesses.

Adowyn:
4: Orange to-hit, Orange EDV (Green with Gravity Bow, or counting companion), Orange Save DC, Orange AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Green Ref, Orange Will. Green Perception, Stealth, and Survival. Several Orange skills. Her Animal Companion has a Red Will Save, and EDV, and Orange everything else. Their damage together pushes her well into Green for EDV, though.
7: Orange to-hit, Green EDV (Blue when Wounded Paw Gambit and buffs and companion are factored in), Red Save DC, Red AC (Orange with Barkskin, Green survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Green Ref, Orange Will. Green Perception, Stealth, and Survival. Several Orange skills. Her Animal Companion has a Red Will Save and AC (AC goes to Orange with Barkskin) and Orange everything else. Their damage together plus her buffs pushes her well into Blue for EDV.

And again, no real weaknesses. Works well.

Quinn:
4: Orange to-hit (Green with buffing), Red EDV (Green with buffing), Red AC (Green with buffs, Blue survivability due to HP), Red Fort (Orange vs. poisons), Orange Ref, Orange Will (Green vs. being forced to break the law). Green Craft, Disable Device, Linguistics, and all Knowledge Skills. A whole lot of Orange skills (most of which become Green with Inspiration).
7: Orange to-hit (Green with buffing), Red EDV (Orange with buffing, Green with Wand of Scorching Ray), Red AC (Green with buffs, Blue survivability due to HP), Red Fort (Orange vs. poisons), Orange Ref, Orange Will (Green vs. being forced to break the law). Green Disable Device, Linguistics, Perception, Spellcraft, and all Knowledge Skills. A whole lot of Orange skills (most of which become Green with Inspiration).

And again. Quinn is one point low on Fort Saves, and needs a fair number of buffs to really be Green in physical combat EDV, but he's very solid for the most part. And amazing at skills.

Shardra:
4: Red to-hit, Red EDV, Orange Save DC (Green if she follows Evil Eye with something), Orange AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort (Green vs. spells or spell-like abilities), Red Ref (Orange vs. spells or spell-like abilities), Green Will (Blue vs. spells or spell-like abilities). Green Diplomacy and Survival. Green Perception and Knowledges with Heightened Awareness. Several Orange skills.
7: Red to-hit, Red EDV, Orange Save DC (Green if she follows Evil Eye with something), Red AC (Green with buffs, Green survivability due to HP, Blue survivability with buffs), Orange Fort (Green vs. spells or spell-like abilities), Red Ref (Orange vs. spells or spell-like abilities), Green Will (Blue vs. spells or spell-like abilities). Green Diplomacy, Perception, Spellcraft, and Survival. Some Green Knowledges with Heightened Awareness. Several Orange skills.

Shardra's a buffer, debuffer, and healer rather than doing damage, but her defenses are pretty good, and she's actually good at her job. Quite solid. Her Reflex is technically awful, but Steel Soul makes that almost a moot point.

Hakon:
4: Orange to-hit, Green EDV (counting Raging song and maybe Heroism), Orange Save DC, Orange AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort (Green with Heroism or Superstition), Orange Ref (Green with Superstition), Orange Will. Green Bluff, Perform, and Sense Motive. Quite a few Orange skills (including all Knowledges).
7: Orange to-hit, Orange EDV (Green counting Raging song, Heroism or Good Hope, and Haste), Red Save DC, Red AC (but Orange survivability due to HP, Blue with Mirror Image), Orange Fort (Green with Superstition), Orange Ref (Green with Heroism/Good Hope and Superstition), Orange Will (Green with Heroism/Good Hope and Superstition). Blue Diplomacy, Handle Animal, and Perform. Green Bluff, Intimidate, and Sense Motive. Quite a few Orange skills (including all Knowledges).

Hakon manages to be a very solid buff character with no real defensive weaknesses and also decent melee damage for a frontliner. And have some Blue skills. Very solid.

Zadim:
4: Orange to-hit, Orange EDV (Green with Sneak Attack), Orange AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Orange Will. Green Acrobatics, Climb, Stealth, and Swim. Several Orange skills.
7: Green to-hit, Green EDV (Blue with Sneak Attack), Red AC (but Green survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Red Will (by 1 point). Green Acrobatics and Stealth. Green Knowledge (Local), Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival with Studied Target and/or Tracking. Several Orange skills.

Zadim's Will Save is one point low at 7th. Other than that, he's great. Green to Blue offense, decent defenses. Very nice. He does have the distinction of being the only character from the ACG with a low defense and nothing to compensate for it.

Jirelle:
4: Green to-hit, Orange EDV (Green if using an AoO or Riposte), Green AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Green Ref, Orange Will (Green vs. charms and compulsions or with Charmed Life). Green Perception. Green Acrobatics and Ride with Derring Do. Several Orange skills.
7: Green to-hit (Blue vs. humans), Green EDV (Maybe Blue if using an AoO or Riposte, definitely Blue vs. humans), Green AC (Blue survivability due to HP and Parry), Red Fort (Orange with Charmed Life), Green Ref (Blue with Charmed Life), Orange Will (Green vs. charms and compulsions, or with Charmed Life). Green Perception. Green Acrobatics and Ride with Derring Do. Several Orange skills.

So, that's pretty solid. At 4th, her offense is kinda low unless she's burning Panache, but not that bad, and her defenses are solid. At 7th, her Fort is low, but only by one point, and she does have Charmed Life.

Maybe the weakest Iconic in the AGC (probably due to a lack of Fencing Grace as much as anything), since all she does is damage, and that only goes as high as many others conditionally, but still pretty solid.

Oloch:
4: Orange to-hit (Green with buffs), Green EDV (Blue with buffs), Orange Save DC, Green AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Red Ref, Orange Will. Several Orange skills.
7: Green to-hit, Green EDV, Red Save DC, Orange AC (Green with Shield of Faith, Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Red Ref, Orange Will. Blue Intimidate. Several Orange skills.

Oloch's Reflex is the worst Save of anyone in the ACG. Other than that, he's a solid melee bruiser. Not much else to say, really.

OA:
Yoon:
4: Green to-hit (Only +9, but vs. Touch AC), Green EDV (possibly only due to Burning Infusion), Orange Save DC (Green when they're on fire), Orange AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Green Fort, Green Ref, Red Will (Orange vs. fear). Green Acrobatics and Stealth. Several Orange skills.
7: Green or Blue to-hit (Only +12, but vs. Touch AC), Green EDV (Blue with Blue Flame Blast), Orange Save DC (Green when they're on fire), Orange AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Green Fort, Green Ref, Red Will (Orange vs. fear). Green Acrobatics and Stealth. Several Orange skills.

Yoon's got a bad Will Save, but only by a point, and can't deal damage that isn't fire (making her screwed vs. fire immune things), but she's pretty solid aside from that.

Erasmus:
4: Green to-hit, Orange EDV (almost Green), Red Save DC, Green AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Orange Will (any could be Green with Spirit Surge). Green Use Magic Device. Several Orange skills. Gives +2 weapon damage to all other PCs.
7: Green to-hit, Green EDV (Blue with Haste or vs. humans), Red Save DC, Orange AC (but Green survivability due to HP), Orange Fort (Green with Heroism or spirit surge), Orange Ref (Green with Haste, Heroism, or spirit surge), Orange Will (Green with spirit surge). Green Diplomacy, Perception, and Use Magic Device. Several Orange skills. Gives +2 weapon damage to all other PCs.

At 4th, Erasmus's attacks are a bit mediocre, but he comes into his own at 7th. Very solid then.

Meligaster:
4: Red to-hit, Red EDV, Orange Save DC (Green with Hypnotic Stare), Orange AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Green Ref, Green Will (Blue vs. fear). Green Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Stealth, and Use Magic Device. Several Orange skills.
7: Red to-hit, Red EDV, Orange Save DC (Green with Hypnotic Stare), Red AC (but Green survivability due to HP, Blue for a few rounds with Mesmeric Mirror), Orange Fort, Green Ref, Green Will (Blue vs. fear). Blue Bluff. Green Diplomacy, Intimidate, Stealth, and Use Magic Device. Several Orange skills.

Meligaster is very solid, though even with psychic inception (which he only has at 7th) he'll have issues with creatures immune to mental effects (he lacks any good backup plan). He's thus really vulnerable against anything with a good Will Save or immunity to mind-effecting stuff.

Mavaro:
4: Orange to-hit (Green with Bane), Orange EDV (Green with Bane, or something like Lead Blades + Flaming), Orange Save DC, Orange AC (Green with shield, Blue survivability due to HP), Green Fort, Orange Ref, Green Will. Green Use Magic Device and lots of Knowledge skills. Several Orange skills.
7: Orange to-hit (Green with Bane), Red EDV (Orange with Bane, or something like Lead Blades + Flaming, Green with Haste as well), Orange Save DC, Red AC (Orange with shield, but Green survivability due to HP, Blue with False Life), Orange Fort, Red Ref, Orange Will (Green vs. emotions). Green Knowledge (Dungeoneering), Perception, and Use Magic Device. Several Orange skills (including many Knowledge skills).

Mavaro is quite solid when he's using tricks, as you'd expect. The 7th level version has a low Reflex Save, but with Resist Energy that's not the end of the world.

Rivani:
4: Red to-hit, Red EDV, Orange Save DC, Red AC (but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Orange Will. Green Perception, Spellcraft, and lots of Knowledge skills. Several Orange skills.
7: Red to-hit, Red EDV, Orange Save DC, Red AC (but Green survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Orange Ref, Orange Will. Green Appraise, Perception, Spellcraft, and lots of Knowledge skills. Several Orange skills.

Rivani's Save DCs are a bit anemic (being one below Green), as is her AC. Making her likely the weakest of the OA Iconics.

Estra:
4: Red to-hit, Red EDV, Orange Save DC, Red AC (Orange with shield, but Blue survivability due to HP), Orange Fort, Red Ref, Green Will. Green Bluff, Diplomacy, Sense Motive, and Use Magic Device. Diplomacy and Sense Motive go to Blue when her Phantasm isn't manifested. Several Orange skills. Her Phantasm has Red Fort, attack and AC (AC goes to Green with Shield), and Orange at everything else (including survivability). If someone attacks her, it's attacks improve almost to Orange, and the two of them together probably manage an Orange EDV.
7: Red to-hit, Red EDV, Red Save DC, Red AC (Orange with shield and her Phantasm nearby, Green when it uses Bodyguard, and Green survivability due to HP, Blue with all buffs going), Green Fort, Orange Ref, Green Will. Green Bluff, Diplomacy, Sense Motive, and Use Magic Device. Diplomacy and Sense Motive go to Blue when her Phantasm isn't manifested. Several Orange skills. Her Phantasm has Red attack and EDV, Green AC with shield, and is Orange at everything else (except survivabilty, which is Green, as is Will vs. enchantments). If someone attacks her, it's attacks improve almost to Orange, and the two of them together probably manage an Orange attack (especially with Spiritual Weapon).

Estra's offense is mediocre. She might even be weaker than Rivani all things considered...except she's actually a decent Buff character for those around her. So that helps a lot.

Certainly more of a correlation now between AC benchmarks and survivability. People still wind up with Red AC and Blue survivability...if they're Barbarians or have Mirror Image. Or are 4th level.

Indeed, the biggest issue seems to be that Blue Survivability's pretty easy to reach at 4th, which makes the equivalence there hard to measure. 7th seems to have much better equivalences, though even there some characters manage Red AC and Green survivability.

Grand Lodge

Because my guide benchmarks against death rather than unconsciousness, low level characters will benchmark artificially high. Basically, the -13 HP a d8 class 14 CON character can ho to without dying is a much bigger percentage of their lvl 4 31 max HP than their 73 max at level 10.

I hadn't considered that previously, and may need to figure benchmarks to unconsciousness rather than death because of this mathematical artifact.


@Mort: The low attack is for non-martial monsters, though. Currently, a lvl12 character with greeen AC vs low attack (29) has but a 35% chance to be missed by an martial focussed AMCREL (and it gets worse the higher the level).
I'm thinking about simply lowering the percentile values (like you did for spells). For instance, lowering all three values by 15% each (to 80%/50%/35%) would put the lvl5 benchmarks to 27/21/18 and the lvl12 benchmarks to 38/32/29.

On a related note, shouldn't green AC not be "enemy needs at least a 15 to hit" instead of 14? As-is, the Attack Roll and Saves benchmarks are 95%/70%50%, but AC is 95%/65%/50% (DC is 80%/65%, with 50% added in my table because I think that may be helpful for AoE abilities - 50% to disable each of five enemies is better than 80% to disable one of five).

@Deadmanwalking : Where do you take the Iconic's stats from? I failed to find anything exept the CRB iconics at levels 1 and 4.

Liberty's Edge

Derklord wrote:
@Deadmanwalking : Where do you take the Iconic's stats from? I failed to find anything exept the CRB iconics at levels 1 and 4.

They are found here.

Grand Lodge

Derklord wrote:

@Mort: The low attack is for non-martial monsters, though. Currently, a lvl12 character with greeen AC vs low attack (29) has but a 35% chance to be missed by an martial focussed AMCREL (and it gets worse the higher the level).

I'm thinking about simply lowering the percentile values (like you did for spells). For instance, lowering all three values by 15% each (to 80%/50%/35%) would put the lvl5 benchmarks to 27/21/18 and the lvl12 benchmarks to 38/32/29.

On a related note, shouldn't green AC not be "enemy needs at least a 15 to hit" instead of 14? As-is, the Attack Roll and Saves benchmarks are 95%/70%50%, but AC is 95%/65%/50% (DC is 80%/65%, with 50% added in my table because I think that may be helpful for AoE abilities - 50% to disable each of five enemies is better than 80% to disable one of five).

@Deadmanwalking : Where do you take the Iconic's stats from? I failed to find anything exept the CRB iconics at levels 1 and 4.

Whatever low attack is meant to correspond to on the chart, it does admirably at matching the survivability benchmarks I've set up (beyond level 5, at least). I've tested CR=LVL monsters at a few different levels now against my minimum green, orange, and blue benchmarks, and they tend to fall in line with how many rounds I'd expect a character to survive full attacks.

Also, yes, it should be 15. My bad, I'll go fix it.


It's interesting how this benchmarking thing works for some of the hybrid classes, I think, though my experience might be an outlier.

I've got a Intimidate build Inquisitor that I'm planning the build through the future. At 9th level, with only using Studied Target from the archetype with a full attack, his EDV is only about 30. However, with one round of buffs (standard: Divine Favor, swift: Bane), it jumps to about 80; it goes to 103 if he can Sneak Attack.

Grand Lodge

Saldiven wrote:

It's interesting how this benchmarking thing works for some of the hybrid classes, I think, though my experience might be an outlier.

I've got a Intimidate build Inquisitor that I'm planning the build through the future. At 9th level, with only using Studied Target from the archetype with a full attack, his EDV is only about 30. However, with one round of buffs (standard: Divine Favor, swift: Bane), it jumps to about 80; it goes to 103 if he can Sneak Attack.

That sounds interesting. Mind posting the build? I happen to have a keen interest in Intimidation builds.


I'll post it when I get home; doing the numbers from memory right now.

Involves using the Sanctified Slayer archetype for Studied Target, Sneak Attack, and Bane and two levels of Viking Fighter to get 2 bonus feats and move action Intimidate. Has the +4 to flanking bonus from a teamwork feat. Uses a +1 Cruel Vicious Bardiche. Has 22 Strength (18 base, +2 from levels, +2 from belt). Half orc using Fates Favored to synergize with tattoos and Divine Favor.

To hit is +17/+12 without buffs, and +25/+20 with all buffs, power attack, and flanking.

{7 BAB, 6 Str, 1 weapon focus, 1 magic bardiche, 2 studied target // 2 bane, 4 Outflank, 4 Divine Favor, -2 Power Attack}

Hits on 2+/3+ against benchmark AC for CR nine foe of 23 when fully buffed.

Damage is 24.5 average on a successful hit base, and 50.5 when everything is clicking.

{5.5 bardiche, 9 Str, 1 magic weapon, 2 studied target, 7 vicious enchantment // 2 extra enhancement from bane, 6 Power Attack, 7 sneak attack, 7 from bane damage, 4 Divine Favor}

To get "fully buffed," it takes one round:

Standard action: Divine Favor
Move action: Studied Target
Swift action: Bane

Then just takes normal position time for getting flanking, but he has Shatter Defenses to get Sneak Attack even when not flanking.

My math might be off. I did it with pen and paper while paying attention to other things since I don't have any sort of DPR spread sheet (used to have one, no idea where it went).

Please feel free to check my math behind me.

Grand Lodge

Saldiven wrote:

I'll post it when I get home; doing the numbers from memory right now.

Involves using the Sanctified Slayer archetype for Studied Target, Sneak Attack, and Bane and two levels of Viking Fighter to get 2 bonus feats and move action Intimidate. Has the +4 to flanking bonus from a teamwork feat. Uses a +1 Cruel Vicious Bardiche. Has 22 Strength (18 base, +2 from levels, +2 from belt). Half orc using Fates Favored to synergize with tattoos and Divine Favor.

To hit is +17/+12 without buffs, and +25/+20 with all buffs, power attack, and flanking.

{7 BAB, 6 Str, 1 weapon focus, 1 magic bardiche, 2 studied target // 2 bane, 4 Outflank, 4 Divine Favor, -2 Power Attack}

Hits on 2+/3+ against benchmark AC for CR nine foe of 23 when fully buffed.

Damage is 24.5 average on a successful hit base, and 50.5 when everything is clicking.

{5.5 bardiche, 9 Str, 1 magic weapon, 2 studied target, 7 vicious enchantment // 2 extra enhancement from bane, 6 Power Attack, 7 sneak attack, 7 from bane damage, 4 Divine Favor}

To get "fully buffed," it takes one round:

Standard action: Divine Favor
Move action: Studied Target
Swift action: Bane

Then just takes normal position time for getting flanking, but he has Shatter Defenses to get Sneak Attack even when not flanking.

My math might be off. I did it with pen and paper while paying attention to other things since I don't have any sort of DPR spread sheet (used to have one, no idea where it went).

Please feel free to check my math behind me.

Level 7 then? It seems well built overall. Lenses of the Predator's Gaze and Cornugon Smash would take it to the next level. Well, and the Headsman's Blade, but that thing is pure cheese.


Actually, it's level 9. I'll try to post a more complete write up this evening, but might be later this weekend.

From memory, the feats are:

F1: Power Attack
FB: Hurtful
Inq1
Inq2: Intimidating Prowess
F2B: Weapon Focus
Inq3: Dazzling Display
Inq3B: Outflank
Inq4:
Inq5: Cornugon Smash
Inq6B: Undecided
Inq7: Shatter Defenses

251 to 300 of 317 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / An extremely general guide to making viable characters. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.