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Looking at the Phantom Thief and my particular like of some of the animes that have something like it (I've actually been trying to build a phantom thief a few times since unchained came out, Particularly when Arcane Anthology came out with the magic rogue) but I always ran into the same problem..

How to keep people from knowing its you who does these things? Even the Phantom Thief doesn't full let you keep it all hidden.

So I thought about it the past week, and came up with Phantom Thief 18/vigilante 2

I'm tempted to go human with heritage feat of a catfolk and then pick up cat burgler archetype as well, just so I can be untrackable as well. But at the same time, you can't really track in a city anyways.


I'm commenting because i like the idea of the archetype and wanna see if anyone has any input.

My biggest concern with it is what you'd do in combat. The best thing I can figure out is an intimidate build with a focus on crowd control.


I guess with the right favored class racial bonuses you can actually get more combat feats than a fighter, although you won't qualify for required fighter levels. (And without the HD, BAB, and proficiencies it would be dumb to focus on this too much.) But at later levels that means you can pick up something like Dazing Assault without losing too many non-combat options.

The idea behind this is pretty clearly that you don't get into fights, though. You're Locke Lamora or Thomas Crowne, you talk or sneak your way past the opposition, you don't fight them.

Liberty's Edge

An Intimidate build is very solid (and not actually super hard, so you can do other things too...all you need is to pick the skill as one of your focused skills, max it, and grab Dazzling Display, anything else is extra).

You can also make a pretty decent archer. Your to-hit is very meh, but you can have plenty of Feats, plus Gravity Bow if you want it, and Feats are perhaps the most important facet of archery in many ways.

On the other hand, you also get free Dex-to-damage with a melee weapon, so picking a cool finesse-able weapon and going to town is a valid option, too. A reach-fighter with an Elven Branched Spear and Combat Reflexes would work (especially with Str 13...just enough for Power Attack). TWF is pretty counterindicated, but that's fine, it's not like you needed it.

You're never going to be great in combat, honestly, but you can be decent and have a few very nice tricks (the Intimidate one, as mentioned, is pretty neat, as are several of the 1st level spells you can grab if you like). And serve as a good secondary Healer if you like (with the Heal Skill Unlock...30 HP and 3 ability damage in all categories to each party member per day isn't bad at all at 10th).

In terms of the Vigilante dip idea, I wouldn't bother. A Phantom Thief can grab Social Talents as Rogue Talents, that means you can grab Many Guises at 6th, which gives you the Vigilante's trick pretty well. At 12th, you can grab Everyman as well and get even better. Before 6th...you just aren't that likely to be being tracked by magic, y'know?


With such a strong focus on skills, does anyone else know of anything creative that can be done to give a fairly consistent niche in combat?


The big problem with Many Guises though is it doesn't give the public face/Phantom Thief face.

At least in the terms of something like Kiato Kid, who has Kiato and his alter ego Kiato Kid. (Somehow no one ever puts them together.) You'd need that Dual Identity.

I'd say though that if you went straight Phantom Thief, you're Lupin the third. Everyone knows about you, but at the same time they try to act like they don't.. Except Zenigata.

I'm kinda looking to be more Kiato Kid instead of Lupin. Though, Lupin might not be too bad either.


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Creative Combat Focus of skills..

Well there are a few things you could get as far as skills go. One would be a three part go..

1) Take Skill Focus Stealth
2) Take Hellcat Stealth
3) Take the Skill Unlock of Stealth
4) Take Stalker Vigilante Talent to hide in shadows.

Now you can HIPS everywhere. Though you still gotta deal with Blindsense, Blindsight, Life sense, scent and Tremor Sense.

Scent can be thwarted with alchemy
Tremor sense by some magic shoes and I think a feat, as well as just not touching the ground.

I don't know about the other three though. Then just kinda fight with hit and run tactics. Like shot on the run, or spring attack.


Ah, this is an ultimate intrigue thing? I was going to suggest a druid. They are surprisingly good at black ops.

Who suspects the cat to be a cat burgler? And thousand faces lets them hide themselves at will. Flight, earthglide, etc.


The dampen presence feat cover blindsight/sense if you wanna go that route. Maybe craft alchemy would also let you have versatile options?


What about using the nameless one feat from arcane anthology? just put on your ritual mask and suddenly people can't identify you anymore, you don't need to lose any rogue levels to have a secrete identity.


At 17th, Rogues can take a feat to impersonate somebody with lots of bonuses and divination protection. Only useful if you're starting that high, but I suppose it allows for some very late retraining if you want the capstone or something like that.

Liberty's Edge

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Cass_Ponderovian wrote:
With such a strong focus on skills, does anyone else know of anything creative that can be done to give a fairly consistent niche in combat?

Depending on other players, there's always Feinting. With Greater Feint you leave them flat-footed against the whole group, and you're very likely to succeed at it. Whether that's worth it depends on the other PCs and the number of foes, but it's an option.

Any two of these options (Stealth, Intimidate, Feinting) can pretty easily be combined (maybe even all three at high levels).

Which actually brings up that I'd strongly advise the Focused Study alternate racial trait for Human Phantom Thieves, since that gives you multiple skill focuses as you level, which is great if doing the Phantom Thief's skill thing. Silver Tongued is also an excellent option.

Darche Schneider wrote:

The big problem with Many Guises though is it doesn't give the public face/Phantom Thief face.

At least in the terms of something like Kiato Kid, who has Kiato and his alter ego Kiato Kid. (Somehow no one ever puts them together.) You'd need that Dual Identity.

I'd say though that if you went straight Phantom Thief, you're Lupin the third. Everyone knows about you, but at the same time they try to act like they don't.. Except Zenigata.

I'm kinda looking to be more Kiato Kid instead of Lupin. Though, Lupin might not be too bad either.

Yeah, by default you're your Social Identity all the time. I think the default assumption is that nobody knows you're a criminal, though (or at least that nobody can prove it). Assuming you even are a criminal at all, you could easily use Phantom Thief to make a PC level Aristocrat or Expert, if you wanted.

But even if wanting an alternate identity, I still might skip a Vigilante dip, and instead just wait for Inner Sea Intrigue to come out, since that says it'll add a Feat-based option for an alternate ID. Might want to look at that before dipping.


Avadriel wrote:
What about using the nameless one feat from arcane anthology? just put on your ritual mask and suddenly people can't identify you anymore, you don't need to lose any rogue levels to have a secrete identity.

Well if you had a really bad history you could use it. But that would only hide your history, not make it so you could switch between two persona.. it would be akin to Sweeny Todd or Count of Monte Cristo.

Quote:
But even if wanting an alternate identity, I still might skip a Vigilante dip, and instead just wait for Inner Sea Intrigue to come out, since that says it'll add a Feat-based option for an alternate ID. Might want to look at that before dipping.

If something like that does come out, then I'll have to try to do some retaining rules to switch out the vigilante class levels. But that isn't due out until May to be able to get that. It could be like getting a familiar for any class were you've got to spend three feats before you can finally get one. (Familiar Folio)


As far as I can tell a phantom thief can get a lot more combat feats than a traditional rogue. So keeping that in mind, what kind of feats should be taken to maximize the skill set it already has (skills & vigilante talents) to improve versatility in combat?

Liberty's Edge

Cass_Ponderovian wrote:
As far as I can tell a phantom thief can get a lot more combat feats than a traditional rogue. So keeping that in mind, what kind of feats should be taken to maximize the skill set it already has (skills & vigilante talents) to improve versatility in combat?

Well, as noted, the selections that seem best are as follows:

1. The Intimidate stuff (most prominently Dazzling Display)
2. The Feint stuff (Greater Feint and prerequisites)
3. the Stealth stuff (Hellcat Stealth)

The archery stuff can also be very good, if you like.

For basic melee, you actually don't need that much, since an Unchained Phantom Thief gets Weapon Finesse and Dex-to-damage free of charge. Power Attack or Piranha Strike are all that's really necessary, though you could also go with a Feat-heavy route like Whirlwind Attack if you want.


Snake Style can help you really capitalize on high Sense motive

Liberty's Edge

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Darche Schneider wrote:
Snake Style can help you really capitalize on high Sense motive

Ooh, that's another good one, yeah.

Let's look at a build that uses all of those:

1.Improved Unarmed Strike, Skill Focus (Intimidate),
2: Piranha Strike,
3: Weapon Focus, Dex-to-damage with Unarmed Strike
4: Dazzling Display,
5: Snake Style
6: Skill Focus (Stealth)
7: Hellcat Stealth
8: Skill Focus (Bluff), Skill Focus (Sense Motive)
9: Two-Weapon Fighting (there's a reason)
10: Stalker Talent (Cunning Feint...you do this with your off-hand with TWF, taking a -2 on all your attacks to ignore Dex bonuses to AC).

The skills you select with Phantom Thief are as follows:

1: Intimidate
3: Perception
5: Sense Motive
7: Stealth
9: Bluff

Okay, yeah, that's all 4 by 10th level, and should be real interesting by that point, actually. If it were me, I'd likely ditch one of those tricks for some defensive Feats (Iron Will and either Twist Away or Great Fortitude), and swap out the skil you no longer need the Unlock on for Diplomacy (to be wonderful at all social skils), but that's just me.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm not sure Phantom Thief can select anything other than the social talents of the vigilante. The wording on Broad Education does specifically state vigilante social talents.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Helvellyn wrote:
I'm not sure Phantom Thief can select anything other than the social talents of the vigilante. The wording on Broad Education does specifically state vigilante social talents.

DMW picked up the Stalker Talent rogue talent for that.

Liberty's Edge

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Helvellyn wrote:
I'm not sure Phantom Thief can select anything other than the social talents of the vigilante. The wording on Broad Education does specifically state vigilante social talents.
DMW picked up the Stalker Talent rogue talent for that.

Yep. :)

It's an Advanced Talent and you can only take it once, but it's super shiny.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Ah cool, thats definitely something I missed. Thanks both of you :)


There is a few other things too..

Blatent Gall - Use bluff to start a surprise round as you do something outrageous.

Hellcat Stealth could be Paired up with the Vigilante's HIPS for the ability to be practically able to become invisible anywhere.

Silent dispatch - Alright you don't have sneak attack. But that isn't the only way you can take on foes. You've got the possibility of things like stunning fist

But there is probably one big thing we might have forgotten.

A Phantom thief would be killer at casting Rituals. OF course, like the skill unlocks, one would need to figure out the best ones to pick.


Darche Schneider wrote:

There is a few other things too..

Blatent Gall - Use bluff to start a surprise round as you do something outrageous.

I think you mean the Unabashed Gall trait. It's actually obsolete after UI, which published a normal Bluff use to get a surprise round during social interaction. The trait let's you get it for your friends (at a penalty to success), but it also ruins your regular initiative. Just use the normal Bluff check.


Yeah, that trait.


How about mundane crafting? Would cheap alchemical items be useful?


One possibility is a nine-tailed build, since you can trade Rogue talents for combat feats and (with a trait) combat feats for Magical Tail. Dominate Person 2/day at eighth. You get +4 to a bunch of skills and have Dex to damage.

Liberty's Edge

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Having done some math involving benchmarks, I'd rearrange my previously posted build a bit.

Here's the new one:

Str 7 Dex 18 Con 12 Int 12 Wis 14 Cha 14

Traits: Resilient, Indomitable Faith

Maxed Skills: Acrobatics, Bluff, Diplomacy, Heal, Intimidate, Know-Local, Perception, Sense Motive, Use Magic Device, plus one rank in all other Knowledge skills, Climb, Swim, and Stealth.

Feats:
1: Improved Unarmed Strike, Skill Focus (Intimidate),
2: Piranha Strike,
3: Weapon Focus, Dex-to-damage with Unarmed Strike
4: Dazzling Display,
5: Snake Style
6: Two-Weapon Fighting
7: Iron Will
8: Improved Two Weapon Fighting, Skill Focus (Sense Motive)
9: Skill Focus (Bluff)
10: Stalker Talent (Cunning Feint).
11: Great Fortitude
12: Skill Mastery

The skills you select with Phantom Thief are as follows:

1: Intimidate
3: Diplomacy
5: Sense Motive
7: Perception
9: Bluff
11: Heal

With Brawling Armor, this build actually manages Green damage by these benchmarks, has excellent AC, and some very nice skill tricks. It's Save DC on Intimidtae checks is always Orange, but that's an area effect, and a good one to open combats with.

You're relegated to Light Crossbow duty until level 3, but that's not the end of the world at that level.


I guess it's counter intuitive to the dex-to-damage thing, but a strength build lets you take intimidating prowess which could put intimidate through the roof. Also, if you take dirty fighting you could go for a whole host of feats without prerequisites.


Grabbing Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration, getting the human alternate racal trait that boosts spell resistance checks, and loading up on Magic Missiles is pretty funny. I guarantee you no wizard will ever have prepped a dozen CL 9 Magic Missile spells.

Liberty's Edge

Yep. That'd definitely work, too.


What wpuld be the best craft skills?

Jewlery perhaps. Leather?

Liberty's Edge

Darche Schneider wrote:

What wpuld be the best craft skills?

Jewlery perhaps. Leather?

Jewelry and Clothing are always the two best. Most Wondrous items fall under one of the two.


technarken wrote:
Grabbing Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration, getting the human alternate racal trait that boosts spell resistance checks, and loading up on Magic Missiles is pretty funny. I guarantee you no wizard will ever have prepped a dozen CL 9 Magic Missile spells.

Between your normal talents and Extra Rogue Talent, you could get a crazy number of 1st level spells a day.

2 first level feats [say point blank shot and precise shot or Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration]
Bookish Rogue
1 minor magic [at will]
20 major magic [cast each 10 times a day] so 200 1st level spells a day and you can change your picks each day.

You can easily pick 20 of these spells that would be useful throughout your levels in a spellbook.

Vanish
Unseen Servant
Unerring Weapon
Sure Casting
Stone Shield
Snowball
Shocking Grasp
Shield
Reduce Person
Recharge Innate Magic
Protection from Evil
Obscuring Mist
Mount
Monkey Fish
Magic Missile
Mage Armor
Liberating Command
Jump
Infernal Healing
Heightened Awareness
Feather Fall
Expeditious Retreat
Comprehend Languages
Air Bubble
Abundant Ammunition
Ant Haul
Crafter's Fortune


And the best part of that is lets say you use up all 10 spells per day of one spell like ability, and you had ten more spells in another, but a useless spell there, you could switch them them around with bookish rogue in 10 minutes.


Also, the talented magician feat would give a bunch of extra uses per day, as well.


psychie wrote:
Also, the talented magician feat would give a bunch of extra uses per day, as well.

I'd thought about that but you're trading extra uses for spells slots. Generally I think a new spell slot with 1/2 level used per day is more valuable than bumping the uses from 1/2 level on them all to 1/2 level +1.


Well, once you have 11 spell slots, Picking up Talented Magician becomes more spells per day than another major magic could be.


Darche Schneider wrote:
Well, once you have 11 spell slots, Picking up Talented Magician becomes more spells per day than another major magic could be.

Increasing the uses isn't the same as adding an additional spell for use. Having a feather fall/Liberating Command ready is better than having an extra use of magic missiles when you fall off the cliff/get grappled. For myself, having another spell ready for use trumps an extra use of an existing spell. More options is better IMO than getting 11 uses instead of 10.


How does the unchained major magic work? Do you get extra spells for every two levels or do you get extra uses of those spells?

A rogue with this talent gains the ability to cast a 1st-level spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list once per day as a spell-like ability for every 2 rogue levels she possesses. The rogue's caster level for this ability is equal to her rogue level. The save DC for the spell is equal to 11 + the rogue's Intelligence modifier. A rogue must have the minor magic rogue talent and an Intelligence score of at least 11 to select this talent.


major magic: you pick a single spell and can cast that single spell once for ever two levels you have in rogue. So you pick, for example, Major Magic [Magic Missile] and you may cast it level/2 times per day.


graystone wrote:
Darche Schneider wrote:
Well, once you have 11 spell slots, Picking up Talented Magician becomes more spells per day than another major magic could be.
Increasing the uses isn't the same as adding an additional spell for use. Having a feather fall/Liberating Command ready is better than having an extra use of magic missiles when you fall off the cliff/get grappled. For myself, having another spell ready for use trumps an extra use of an existing spell. More options is better IMO than getting 11 uses instead of 10.

At the same time of course, You'll be hard pressed to find an instance where you have to craft something absolutely right this minute and can't wait even ten minutes, when you pick up a slot to have crafter's fortune.

Eleven of the spells, takes a pretty sizable chunk out of the list of gotta have them now spells.


Darche Schneider wrote:
graystone wrote:
Darche Schneider wrote:
Well, once you have 11 spell slots, Picking up Talented Magician becomes more spells per day than another major magic could be.
Increasing the uses isn't the same as adding an additional spell for use. Having a feather fall/Liberating Command ready is better than having an extra use of magic missiles when you fall off the cliff/get grappled. For myself, having another spell ready for use trumps an extra use of an existing spell. More options is better IMO than getting 11 uses instead of 10.

At the same time of course, You'll be hard pressed to find an instance where you have to craft something absolutely right this minute and can't wait even ten minutes, when you pick up a slot to have crafter's fortune.

Eleven of the spells, takes a pretty sizable chunk out of the list of gotta have them now spells.

You'll notice I listed more than 20 spells. Things like crafters fortune would be for relearn. However most of the others really aren't in that category. The room is filling with water so I take 10 min to learn Air Bubble? I sneak into someplace and find creatures talking so I sit down and relearn comprehend language and hope they are still talking about the same subject by then?

I never expect to know what the encounter will bring before it happens so for me, more options is always the best thing to shoot for. For example, I'd rather have 5 Snowball spells and 5 magic missile spells instead of 6 snowball spells in case I run into something that's immune to cold. The 10 minute relearn is cool but I don't assume I'll get to do it before an encounter.


With the relative ease it requires for a phantom thief to aquire skill focus, are there any Eldritch Heritages that would be good for the builds?


Cass_Ponderovian wrote:
With the relative ease it requires for a phantom thief to aquire skill focus, are there any Eldritch Heritages that would be good for the builds?

Skill focus is pretty easy for anyone to get [human and 1/2 elf for free, anyone else with aa open feat] and the build is much more incentivized to max out int for skill monkey reason [and saves]. As such, the charisma requirements [13,15,17] for the line of feats seem to actually work against picking up the feats. I know for myself, I'd rarely have enough to even pick up the first one let alone higher up the chain. After all does the cha stat matter that much when you have 10 ranks in the skill, +5 for level +3 for class skill and +3 for focus [plus skill unlocks]? Not when you could instead have more maxed out skill ranks from int... That said, if you really want to drop points into cha you could. I just don't think you'd get as much 'bang' for you buck as int.

Nothing comes to mind for a particularly awesome bloodline that'd trump an extra combat trick or major magic. I'm no where close to an expert though as I rarely use the feats so I'll be curious to see what people suggest.

Scarab Sages

Yeah, I'd much rather take VMC sorcerer on a non-cha class than trying to shoehorn the cha to qualify for eldritch heritage.


Imbicatus wrote:
Yeah, I'd much rather take VMC sorcerer on a non-cha class than trying to shoehorn the cha to qualify for eldritch heritage.

Ah, I'd forgotten the VMC's. Holy crap, bard VMC gains Bardic Knowledge, Versatile Performance and Lore Master... That's like skill monkey x2!!! Darn it, now I want to fit that in somehow.. Why you! :)

PS: Yes, VMC sorcerer seems a much better deal that trying to go Eldritch Heritages.


If you happen to go mythic, the mythic version on the Eldritch heritage feat replicates the whole line in just the one feat. That means that you can get bloodline powers and stick to a 13 charisma. If you have access to mythic does that make Eldritch heritage more Enticing?


Cass_Ponderovian wrote:
If you happen to go mythic, the mythic version on the Eldritch heritage feat replicates the whole line in just the one feat. That means that you can get bloodline powers and stick to a 13 charisma. If you have access to mythic does that make Eldritch heritage more Enticing?

No, two feats. Eldritch heritage and Mythic Eldritch heritage. Actually three with skill focus.

As to "If you have access to mythic does that make Eldritch heritage more Enticing" well it does that for a lot of things but I don't know that it makes it better than before. There are TONS of things to spend mythic feats on, including more mythic abilities. That means an option REALLY has to stand out. Eldritch heritage is still forcing me to throw away 3 stat points into cha at minimum and likely more as it's a prime candidate for a dump stat. I'd rather bump my int up by LOWERING cha.

So IMO, it's not very enticing as/is. I could be swayed is there was a truly mind-blowingly good bloodline for a skill monkey but I can come up with one. Instead of those 3 feats on Eldritch heritage, I'd rather use those and two others to get bard VMC. Bardic Knowledge, Versatile Performance and Lore Master is going to kick the snot out of the bloodlines that come to mind.


Rashaka - bluff even when magic says you cant, hide aura, at will disguise.


Darche Schneider wrote:
Rashaka - bluff even when magic says you cant, hide aura, at will disguise.

So a Ring of Mind Shielding, a Amulet of Proof against Detection and Location and a greater hat of disguise...

So you spent 2 normal feats and a mythic feat to save 55000 gp at 17th level... Somehow I'm unimpressed...

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