I think I might have a problem....


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


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Honestly I've been working on a lot of characters, and I've noticed I have a small problem with building characters... Either their an extremely exotice race (Lycanthrope/Witchwolf) or I have an extremely convoluted build.

Example: Human Fighter (Eldritch Guardian/Mutagin Warrior) 10 / Witch(Beast Bond) 1 / Bloodrager (Crossblood) (1) with a Mauler Fox with Abyssal and Infernal bloodlines for a Burning Demon fox familiar combat ready.

I'm curious, does anyone else have an over complication problem or exotic species problem? I'm curious - what is the MOST complicated thing you've ever made? It doesn't even have to be good, just focus on a single gimmick (familiars for example) that take it to the ridiculous extreme.


Most complicated thing I've done? Wizard 5.

I rarely see the need to combine so many thing, and I strongly believe most of the time that is only done to achieve a mechanical advantage and rarely is done for roleplaying reasons.


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Letric wrote:
I rarely see the need to combine so many thing, and I strongly believe most of the time that is only done to achieve a mechanical advantage and rarely is done for roleplaying reasons.

I hate to say it, but to build a Familiar fundamentally designed to be frontline fighting and not overshadowed by a rangers/druids pet, you kind to have to seek Mechanical advantage.

:P Like I said, I overcomplicate things like "Why not just build hunter?" Me: "Because then I can't have a Kilala fox!"


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Posting with complicated alias.

Letric wrote:

Most complicated thing I've done? Wizard 5.

I rarely see the need to combine so many thing, and I strongly believe most of the time that is only done to achieve a mechanical advantage and rarely is done for roleplaying reasons.

Roleplaying and mechanics are not mutually exclusive. Gaining a mechanical advantage does not come at the expense of the character.


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Remind me never to try and make fun posts again on these forums... they just get murdered by the killjoys everywhere....


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Efficiency with fun, all the difficults things to mix in PF....
I've try to play a swashbuckler android, trying to pass as a human, was really funny, and still efficient in combat, but in social, I impersonate a typical swashbuckler in a old movies (reminiscents of his computer memory),Errol Flynn way... It was a nightmare around the table but everybody laughed when I try to seduce a yound maiden... Roll Playing againt Roleplaying... By luck, my DM let me play it without rolls, but I had to be socially akward as my character was... Haaa It was a great time...


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

All your pets are belong to me! Note I haven't actually played this.

Courtly hunter 16/cavalier 4 with Skill Focus (any one Knowledge skill), Eldritch Heritage (Arcane), Boon Companion (on the courtly companion), Horse Master, and Leadership would have:

A full power courtly companion
A full power mount from a limited list
A familiar as an 18th level sorcerer*
A cohort (at either -2 or -6 to the Leadership Score, depending on whether or not the GM stacks the penalty for each "pet")

You could also add VMC summoner for a weakened eidolon on top of that, for four "pets" and a cohort (possibly at -8 to the Leadership Score); five total secondary characters, all rules legal (outside of PFS, at least). You'd have no other available feats, other than a bonus feat at 1st level from race and/or any from class features, though; a human with the Focused Study alternate racial trait would gain two additional Skill Focus feats (at 8th and 16th) and still have their 1st level feat available.

Alternately, a summoner 20 (VMC druid) with Skill Focus (any one Knowledge skill), Eldritch Heritage (Arcane), and Leadership would have:

A full power eidolon
A full power animal companion
A familiar as an 18th level sorcerer*
A cohort (as above)

*- using a feat on Boon Companion on the familiar for +1 natural armor and +1 Int isn't worth it, IMO

Scarab Sages

Most complicated? I dunno. I feel like, if I have to make things overly complex, I probably messed up somewhere from a concept optimization standpoint. I love strange characters, though. I'm currently playing a blood marked skin walker grenadier/toxicant alchemist with a sword/board combat style. Possibly one of my favorite characters ever, from a mechanical standpoint.


@Dragonchess - Nice, I had a build like that for a full powered Animal Companion and full powered Familiar, but I've never had an Eidolon attached to that. I might want to make a brood master build like that sometime, sounds wicked fun. ONE MAN PARTY Y'ALL!

@Davor - So you have my "Exotic Race" problem, not my "Complicated Build" problem. Perfectly understandable. I wish I could play a Skinwalker in PFS. I really want to make an Ulfen Skinwalker born to one of the blessed shamans who had taken a romantic interest in his mother. Monk of Many Styles sounds like it would be fun to play as a Skinwalker (Udyr anyone?).

Liberty's Edge

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Lion Shaman Druid 6/Fighter 1/Master of Many Styles Monk 1/ Beastmaster Ranger 3

Though it was a human


Hey, don't worry about it! Most of my Pathfinder characters are extremely odd. Using archetypes to gain unusual class features (paladin with a familiar, etc), building around an unusual race, or just flat out crafting a zany personality for a character are what make roleplaying games so interesting, at least to me. I find them fun because I get to walk a mile in a crow-person's shoes or play a valiant hero fighting for justice with her trusty dog-sized rat by her side.

If a lot of people in your typical tabletop group play humans with a vanilla class, then that's just how they enjoy the game! I, however, enjoy the opportunity to become a creature that I'd never be able to even fathom existing in my day-to-day life.

As for an odd character, I have quite a few, but my most recent creation is the freshest in my mind. Souban is a human fighter, but has an intelligence stat as high as her strength. In our party, it's not uncommon for her to trump the bard on knowledge checks and identify high level spells being cast by enemies. Her intelligence isn't her oddest feature, however! She also has the Eldritch Guardian archetype and thus a familiar. Having taken the improved familiar feat, she has a ratling sitting on her shoulder at any given time. The ratling is a demanding little fellow, though casts spells off of scrolls in combat in exchange for getting to sup his master's blood every so often. She's not the wackiest of characters in my collection, but words cannot describe how fun she is to play.

Anyway, that's my two coppers on the topic!

Edit: I should probably also mention that Souban had a familiar before the ratling; a donkey rat. While we're on the subject of familiar archetypes in your original post, the rat was a figment familiar. He was accidentally created by Souban as a traveling companion when she spent a little bit too much time in the mountains, completely isolated from society. Thought you might get a bit of a kick out of that.


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I find strange or unconventional races and character builds quite fun. And not just because of the potential mechanical advantages (though I am the first to admit I prefer capable characters over weaker ones), but because of the freedom it offers.

Some tropes have been done so much that it feels wrong to break from them. I find little inspiration in characters that on paper are very similar to common fantasy tropes (dwarven cleric or warrior, elf wizard or ranger, the tough human veteran, etc).

I feel like collectively we have lots of preconceived notions of those sorts of characters (me included).

But the first time I decided to play a wayang witch in a campaign setting that didn't have wayangs in them until I added them? That was one of my favorite all time characters. He was weird, creepy, had strange cultural sayings that chilled you to your core if you really thought about them. Granted I went well afield from the flavor paizo has released for them, but that was hardly a guide for me. Because my group hadn't used them before, I felt free to do whatever I wanted with them background wise. And it was a lot of fun.

The first time I describe his healing hex as tendrils of shadows extending from his fingertips spiraling around eachother and then into the center of the targets chest chilling them to their core before slowly erasing their pain, I truly fell in love with the character. And I don't think I would have felt as free to be creative and entertaining if either the race of the character or the class were commonly used tropes (at the time this was the first witch that had appeared in my groups games, and definitely the first wayang)


Looking back on things...most of my characters are pretty straightforward. I'm not a fan of multiclassing a lot of the time (it rarely seems worth it, and take sup more space when I write it down), so I'm almost always either fully single classed, or single classes into some appropriate Prestige Class.

Even my Gestalt characters are one class, two class, done.

As far as concept, the weirdest one was probably a sadomasochist Electrokineticist/Medium gestalt serial killer I made for a Way of the Wicked game. His Medium spirits were his six main victims, and he was convinced he was "helping" them by electrocuting them to death, because to him the feeling of being shocked was pleasurable and fulfilling.


hasteroth wrote:
Lion Shaman Druid 6/Fighter

I approve of this message. No reason. >.>

Grand Lodge

I remember back in 3.5 I tried out a skirmisher build from the Power Gamer's Warrior Strategy Guide. He made it to 3rd level as a Rogue/Fighter/Barbarian. That was pretty good times.

For Pathfinder, I haven't tried anything too crazy. My most multiclassed character is my Holy Vindicator, because Fighter and Cleric are nearly mandatory to get in by 6th level. Pathfinder highly encourages single classed characters to the point that only melee classes really have any incentive to multiclass. So I guess that hasn't changed too much since 3.5.


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Letric wrote:

Most complicated thing I've done? Wizard 5.

I rarely see the need to combine so many thing, and I strongly believe most of the time that is only done to achieve a mechanical advantage and rarely is done for roleplaying reasons.

On the contrary, the strongest character you can possibly build is a single-classed wizard or cleric (or something comparable like witch). Multiclassing with any full caster cuts them off at the knees -- full-casting cheese PrCs like Initiate of the Seven Veil are gone now. Nothing screams "powergamer!" in PF more than the build you quoted above.

In fact, Pathfinder in general punishes you so severely for multiclassing (rather than using their prepackaged "hybrid classes") that it's nearly impossible to build a multiclassed character with any advantage at all over a single-classed one.

So why would anyone want to multiclass? Dare I to say that it might involve, I don't know... roleplaying reasons?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Letric wrote:

Most complicated thing I've done? Wizard 5.

I rarely see the need to combine so many thing, and I strongly believe most of the time that is only done to achieve a mechanical advantage and rarely is done for roleplaying reasons.

On the contrary, the strongest character you can possibly build is a single-classed wizard or cleric (or something comparable like witch). Multiclassing with any full caster cuts them off at the knees -- full-casting cheese PrCs like Initiate of the Seven Veil are gone now. Nothing screams "powergamer!" in PF more than the build you quoted above.

Never having tried to play one, how does a Wiz/Loremaster stack up to a full wizard? I can't see Witch/Loremaster, because you give up too many class features, but wizards (depending on school) don't have as much in the way of goodies that way. Arclords of Nex and Maagambyan Arcanists don't lose any spellcasting levels, either.


Loremasters miss out on Discoveries. True Name alone is worth the dead Wizard levels from a pure power PoV.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

With the caveat that we're wandering OT here, any thoughts on how that affects PFS, where a lot of Discoveries aren't legal for play?


Wouldn't it also spoil the scaling on some of the school powers you may have?


John Woodford wrote:
Never having tried to play one, how does a Wiz/Loremaster stack up to a full wizard? I can't see Witch/Loremaster, because you give up too many class features, but wizards (depending on school) don't have as much in the way of goodies that way.

Depends on the DM. If he's lax and lets you pick up new spells for your book at will at list price, those are pretty good. If he's a hard-nose, won't let you buy spells, and considers those two free spells/level in your spellbook to be a class feature rather than a "given," then staying straight wizard starts to look a LOT more attractive. Also note that the free school spell at each level for specialists can be ruled as a class feature rather than a freebie.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Johnnycat93 wrote:
Wouldn't it also spoil the scaling on some of the school powers you may have?

It does. I figure some schools are worse than others in that regard--considering the base schools alone, you probably wouldn't want to step away from being a diviner if you're geared towards optimizing your capabilities, but abjurers and arguably necromancers don't lose anywhere near as much.


Kirth Gersen wrote:

In fact, Pathfinder in general punishes you so severely for multiclassing (rather than using their prepackaged "hybrid classes") that it's nearly impossible to build a multiclassed character with any advantage at all over a single-classed one.

How does Pathfinder punish you for multiclassing? I've seen incentives to single class in the core book, but losing incentives isn't really a penalty.


Fighter 10/wizard 10 = wizard 10 who's facing 20th-level challenges. Ouch.
3.5 tried to bridge that gap with PrCs. Paizo tells you to play a magus. But there are other 3X variants that have functional multiclassing rules.


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well... this is how I look at it, complicated builds normally stem from two schools of thought, you either come up with a really cool concept that you want to make work in the game like a guy who grapples dragons with a crank crossbow/barbed arrow combo and so you look though all of the books available to you to build this concept the best you can. the other alternative is to think of the mechanics first, you may have noticed that the martial artist monk archetype isn't required to be lawful, which means you that fatigued is no longer an issue.

nothing is wrong with either of these approaches but the drawback to both of them is that you end up with characters who start to look a little contrived in most campaign settings. I think one way to look at it is to not worry about optimisation, I think after a while the gamer mentality kicks in and people try to build the best possible version of the concept they have instead of just playing the concept. I myself am guilty of this, I had this concept of a rogue that uses shocking grasp a lot. super easy, just pick up the major magic rogue talent and pick it up. simple, but thats no way good enough for me, I want to Intensify my shocking grasp. so then try out the green sting slayer magus archtype, which has some flaws in its own that I ask to house rule/ fix with my gm. I then take it upon myself to build a class that does exactly what i want and yeah, I've ended up chasing the rabbit down the rabbit hole.

now, I think the reason why me and others try to multi class to get the combo we want etc. is because we want to create the concept we have in the game but were worried its gonna suck in game and we're just going to get outshined all the time. which happens a lot. we kind of find ourselves in this mechanical arms race with other players because we don't want to be the one contributing the least.


Kirth Gersen wrote:

Fighter 10/wizard 10 = wizard 10 who's facing 20th-level challenges. Ouch.

3.5 tried to bridge that gap with PrCs. Paizo tells you to play a magus. But there are other 3X variants that have functional multiclassing rules.

Paizo also has prestige classes. You can play an eldritch knight, for example, or an arcane archer. There are probably other options for a decent to really good gish build.

So, I don't really see the punishment, and Wizard 10/Fighter 10 is suboptimal in any iteration of 3e.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It all depends on what you're trying to achieve. In some cases, staying in a single class (possibly with an archetype or two) and selecting specific feats (and/or class features that allow choices) will be sufficient. In other cases, dips and/or prestige classes will be the most "effective" way for the character to gain the abilities you want.

Even with the magus, there are more options than the "standard" Dex-based dervish dance build: magus 4/bard (arcane duelist) 1/dragon disciple (advance magus spellcasting) 4/magus +X for the Str boost and natural armor, magus 4/cleric (negative energy) 1/magus +3 (select Broad Study at magus 6)/cleric +2/mystic theurge 10 for better self-buffs and more spell slots for Spellstrike (including spontaneous inflict spells), magus (eldritch archer) 8/arcane archer 3/magus +X for both ranged touch and area effect spells through arrows, etc.


Belle Sorciere wrote:
Wizard 10/Fighter 10 is suboptimal in any iteration of 3e of which I am aware.

See clarification you might have added above. There are a number of 3.x variants that have functional multiclassing rules, and don't require archetypes/PrCs/hybrid classes to do the job. Hell, my house rules even do all that. Functional multiclassing really isn't a lot to ask.


Belle Sorciere wrote:
How does Pathfinder punish you for multiclassing? I've seen incentives to single class in the core book, but losing incentives isn't really a penalty.

Well, think of it this way.

They're incentives you don't GET by multiclassing. In fact, there are a lot more of those incentives, such as abilities that scale by level, in Pathfinder than 3.5e. In return for multiclassing you rarely get as much. And there is a dearth of content for multiclassing. Very few ways in which you get rewarded, but very harsh punishments for doing it.

For example, there aren't really Gish feats, but there are Magus ones. So people play Magus instead. It's not directly punished, but you are given tea and cake and presents if you single class. While multiclassers get to stand outside in the snow and look inwards.

Now, note this is a lot more extreme for casting classes than martials. In fact, one of the best things about pure martial characters is you can hope between class to class as you fancy and doing so often leads to great saving throws. The drawback is that even in that sense high level abilities are gated by CLASS level instead of CHARACTER level.

For example, let's look at the PrC of the Shadowdancer. You get Rogue talents! But, you don't get either an effective Rogue level or advancement on when you get to advanced talents. Because you can enter the PrC at 6th level one would expect to get advanced talents at 4th or 6th. However, you get nothing. Now, granted Shadowdancer is a terrible PrC, much as I love it, because your abilities are all terribly underpowered apart from the shadow.

So, let's look at the Vigilante instead! You have a lot of great high level abilities here boys! Except, they really, really punish multiclassing hard. In some ways, they have to. You get a lot of abilities for little investment. If it was as simple as paying a 2 level dip for Mad Rush pretty much every martial at that level would do so.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My most complicated character? That would probably be my very first PFS character, Pollivar Mormont: halfling barbarian 1/bloodrager 1/fighter 3 (id rager, mutation warrior, titan mauler, urban bloodrager). Specialized in gaining a variety of bonuses for his small size with which to better smite his foes from below.

Sovereign Court

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Belle Sorciere wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:

In fact, Pathfinder in general punishes you so severely for multiclassing (rather than using their prepackaged "hybrid classes") that it's nearly impossible to build a multiclassed character with any advantage at all over a single-classed one.

How does Pathfinder punish you for multiclassing? I've seen incentives to single class in the core book, but losing incentives isn't really a penalty.

It basically is. It's called opportunity cost. If the default is to get the incentive, then losing it is a penalty. (a rose by any other name)

It reminds me how in the WoW beta they had an unrested penalty and people got really grumpy about it. So, they kept the mechanics identical and changed what WAS the unrested penalty to 'normal' and what WAS 'normal' to 'rested bonus' and everyone was happy about it.


complicated builds? well here is one I made a while back:
Scary Monk.

Honestly it isn't even the craziest I could have put together, though if his level was advanced I'd likely add dazzling display somewhere in there.

Grand Lodge

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This probably my most complicated build, and is actually for PFS PbP where a lot of the complicated builds don't work out.
Nagaji neutral-neutral
Dump int and wis
Max str
First level as Barbarian
Rest as unchained summoner
Eidolon is a small demon built as scout
Take many of the familiar feats from folio for a figment Lyrican Azata (decent diplomat).
Buy the intelligent magic ring from that early scenario.
I will have a demon and angel riding on my shoulders and a ring on my finger. All of which will be smarter than me and contantly telling me what to do.

Often in PFS we don't have either a face pc or a scout pc. Summoners in PFS are often considered OP and not appreciated at the table. This one gives up most of his feats for a familiar and his Eidolon doesn't fight. (I don't think many people could legitimately call him OP.)

If the table doesn't have a scout, I bring the demon and behave moderately nasty. When my demon scouts out a fight coming up, I dismiss the Eidolon, summon a fiendish monster, and wade in with my earthbreaker.

If the table doesn't have a face pc, I bring the angel and behave like a dumb nice guy. The angel will try to talk us past fights. When that fails, I summon a celestial monster and wade in with my earthbreaker.

Dark Archive

Most complicated? Barbarian 1/Bloodrager 1/Titan Fighter 3/Beastmorph Alchemist X. The biggest trick was making the levels come together the right way so that he got things when he needed them.

He ended up using a funtionally Gargantuan Earthbreaker to deal 12d6+23 maximized, each turn. It was not polite.


Things got less complex in Pathfinder from 3.5, with the diminishment of prestige classes and the removal of big stat swing racial modifiers.

I did a blooded bullywog fighter\barbarian once that was a mess to put together, but elegant and simple to play and by far the most difficult to kill or incap or mind control frontliner I've ever seen. all without magic. I miss Bolly.


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First 3e character: Feisto, halfling Rogue 6/f2/barb2/r1/Wiz1. Can you tell I took the levels organically?

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