Soloing a campaign


Advice


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One of my friends is presenting me with a rather difficult (but worthy) challenge: Solo a normally 4-man campaign

Starting Level: 1
Books Allowed: Core, UC, UM, ACG, ARG, APG, UE, UCampaign

I was originally thinking synthesist or reach cleric, but those are the only ones I know are innately strong. We're aiming to last till 15th level.

Any advice?

Edit: Again, this is what you'd expect from a normal 4-man adventure. No, he hasn't told me what kinds of creatures I'm up against, nor has he told me any of the specific challenges I will face.


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Master summoner and a loaded d20.

Grand Lodge

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master summoner + broodmaster

summoned allies 4 dayz.

It will be awesome.


What classes in general are capable of running a solo campaign? I'm guessing the class would have to be capable of doing almost everything, right?

So far, I can think of Bard, Summoner, Druid, Cleric, Inquisitor.

I've already played Summoner before, and Druid gave me a bad taste after how overplayed it was back in 3.5. Reach cleric is something I've already become bored with, so that leaves Bard and Inquisitor. Actually, is the Oracle a viable option for soloing a campaign?


I would suggest a warpriest, Self healing/buffing and good combat capabilities. The problem will come down to traps and the like.... are you permited to have cohorts? Npcs?

And what races are you allowed to play?

The Exchange

Synthesist with 2 lv pally dip. Note - low levels are a pain. You get killed easily at low lvs. Take trapfinder and fey foundling at lv 1. Half orc, sacred tattoo + fates favored for more saves, get a swarm bane clasp asap.


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Just take Leadership. There you go, the problem has now solved itself.


Ive heard of the Druid plight of 3.5, however, Druid might be one of your better options. I'm a big fan of animal companions and spell casting. Totem Transformation lets you mix up in melee pretty well in a pinch

Oracle could be a bit squishy for my taste but look into Rage Prophet.


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Definitely master summoner. If leadership isnt banned get a cleric.

If you want to go real wombo combo you could make infinite noble scions with improved leadership


Rage prophet is strictly worse than Oracle with on level of barbarian, sadly


It doesn't matter what class you choose. You can't cover all bases with any one class, and there is no way in hell that one character is going to make up the deficit from losing the action economy of the minimum of three other characters UNLESS the DM heavily modifies the AP .


No Leadership. No NPCs....sadly


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
It doesn't matter what class you choose. You can't cover all bases with any one class, and there is no way in hell that one character is going to make up the deficit from losing the action economy of the minimum of three other characters UNLESS the DM heavily modifies the AP .

Razmiran priest sorc literally can at level 9.

Also this sounds like a great challenge! I think i coould solo an ap.


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I've seen master summoners solo campaigns; I'll third that option.


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I could see it happening with some classes (Inquisitor, Druid, Summoner) like others have said on books 3+ of APs.
But books 1-2 of the APs, specially book 1? I honestly can't see it. With Mythic or Gestalt, totally posible, but normal classes, the firsts level would be totally lethal.


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Alaryth wrote:

I could see it happening with some classes (Inquisitor, Druid, Summoner) like others have said on books 3+ of APs.

But books 1-2 of the APs, specially book 1? I honestly can't see it. With Mythic or Gestalt, totally posible, but normal classes, the firsts level would be totally lethal.

I agree. Action Econonmy is going to be brutal at the beginning.

I'm thinking of some of the early fights in a popular AP, where the party frequently faces off against multiple enemies at a time. Without some special modifications, the sheer numbers of enemies and the simple nature of RNG are going to wear down a single PC pretty quickly.

Best of luck, though. The suggestion of Paladin 2 / Synthesist Summoner 13+ is probably a good one (though I've never actually played one). I'd probably take the Paladin levels early for survivability reasons.

I was going to suggest using a reach weapon + Combat Reflexes to generate extra attacks via AOO , but I don't know if your stats/feat spread will really support that, and you'd also run into the problem of what to do if you get hemmed in by enemies within 5ft and can't 5 foot step away.


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Necromancer. Have a steady supply of bodies to fight for you. They get destroyed, no big deal. Kill a couple bad guys, you add to your numbers. Maybe Dhampir and channel negative energy to heal yourself and minions.

The Exchange

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I'll tell you soloing an AP isn't as easy as it looks. Heck I've had to turn tail and run from some PFS encounters because there's no way I can take them on as a syn/pally gestalt. Before you get a swarmbane clasp, you need to run away from all swarms immune to weapon damage.

Taking on ability damaging incorpreals is nasty business, since your touch ac isnt all that good, they can drain you before you can kill them.

The problem with necomancers and minion builds is they have to hit problems, and when you run into DR, youre screwed. Often the quarters given are very confined which means only a few minions can actually act.

Combat reflexes isn't very useful in solo game honestly, since you'd be better off beefing up your defences with that feat. You don't have a party to protect, its just you and yourself.


Synthesist isn't really that strong. It just breaks point buy.


In that case, lets narrow it down to what I'm looking for in a solo character.

- Capability to heal myself
- Able to take out traps and locks (No sacrificial summons, haha)
- Full Spellcasting
- Able to survive the lower levels
- Still relevant late game

Options:
- Cleric w/ high int and traits (making up for the low skill point per level)
- Druid w/ traits
- Samsaran Seeker Sorcerer w/ high int
- Samsaran Spell Sage Wizard w/ traits
- Samsaran Arcanist w/ traits

*w/ traits = Trap Finder

Out of the above classes, what would you suggest?


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Remember that you also get 4x xp and 4x gold. If you make it past book 1 its basically gg

Scarab Sages

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I'm actually going to recommend the Monster Tactician Inquisitor archetype.

Pros:
Access to divine magic, including buffing, some healing, and other goodies. 6th level spellcasting is nothing at which to sneeze.
Excellent skills/skill points. You get the knowledges and social skills you'll need.
You get non-spells slot summons that last a lot longer and get bonus feats.
Unlike a summoner, you get armor and shield proficiencies that are NICE.
With the Chivalry inquisition, you also get a mount (DM may let you choose something besides a Horse/Pony. If you can, get something more combat-oriented.)
Bonus Feats mean you can get the few you absolutely need for summoning (Spell Focus/Augment Summons/Superior Summons) and then focus on yourself. This means you deal with being okay at low levels, and then focus yourself on whatever you want.

Cons:
Not full spellcasting, and you'll have to split your stats, though Wisdom is more important for you than most Inquisitors since it gives you more summoned creatures.
Not the best weapon proficiencies, but good if you want to go ranged.
Divine magic isn't a full caster list, but it's still pretty useful (Magic Circle against Evil alone is nice).

If you can be a Samsaran and are fine with the Con. penalty, the Wisdom bonus suits you really well, AND you can pick some true restoration spells off of the Cleric spell list, or consider grabbing some battlefield control off of druid/shaman. You keep the bane ability, which is all you really NEED to keep your damage up to snuff when you are actually attacking.

Overall, when it comes to a balance of abilities while being a one-man army, I think the Monster Tactician Inquisitor of Chivalry is pretty much the best there is.

Of course, for your race, you'll probably want to go Half-Orc or Human. Half-Orc gets you good melee proficiencies, a racial ability that can save your life at low levels, darkvision, and the Sacred Tattoo trait for extra saving throw bonuses (with Fate's Favored for Divine Favor boosting, too). Human gets you a bonus feat, which finishes off your Summoning feats earlier than normal, allowing you to become more entrenched in your chosen fighting style sooner. Dwarf also gets an honorable mention because of the huge saving throw bonuses you can eventually have with a trait and a feat, though you'll probably want the bonuses the other races provide.

Silver Crusade

Why their is no one class that can do every thing. Their are some notable options presented in this thread. I will add however that you will need an animal companion, bond mount, or eidolon to solo any AP. You need it to suck up some of the damage or their is no way your going to make it past book one. You can get by with out trapfinding as long as you can spot the traps with your perception skill so you can avoid them. I will recommend you take 1 or 2 levels of unchained rogue to get trapfinding, and evasion. When you take it really depends on the AP.

My best suggestion for solo game.
Hunter:
3/4 BAB light, medium armor, all martial weapon proficiency.
6th level divine caster
skill ranks 6
animal companion
bonus feat's (Yes their teamwork feat's. The advantage every one will have the same one's.)
animal focus (This ability my look underwhelming. From my personal exp from game play. This ability is way better in action then it looks on paper.)


Sadly, neither of those are what I'm aiming for, though I do appreciate the help.

If a partner of some kind is needed, then it comes down to the Druid or the Reach Cleric.

Thoughts?

Edit: Actually, Reach Cleric or Nature Fang Druid?

Scarab Sages

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Okay, here's the thing:

When it comes to solo'ing, you need a way to effectively increase your hit points and/or action economy. You need to be able to equal the enemies on the battlefield in some way while surviving.

A Samsaran Arcanist has the option of the Occultist archetype, which lets you use your exploits to basically mimic the summoner's Summon Monster ability (long-duration summons without spells). Druid gets you an animal companion, but you have the worst spell list of the bunch that you want, though you CAN spontaneously convert your spells into summons.

Basically, action economy is where it's at, so you want as many allies as you can muster, as quickly as you can muster.

Personally, if you're limiting yourself to those options, go Druid, grab a Warcat animal companion, specialize yourself for melee, and plan on going Wild Shape. The extra reach/stat bonuses from it are nice, particularly the reach, and many of the forms you'll be able to take have a chance of taking enemies out of the fight via grabs, poisons, etc. Consider (if your DM will allow it) the Season Keeper archetype for the sole purpose of getting extra mileage out of what little healing to which you'll have access.


Samsaran Occult Arcanist. Thank you. This is what I was looking for.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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Go asymmetric, go Hard Mode. Rogue and stealth pull/kill all the things a la original Baldur's Gate.


BUTT KICKING FOR GOODNESS!


Dot.


Charlie Bell wrote:
Go asymmetric, go Hard Mode. Rogue and stealth pull/kill all the things a la original Baldur's Gate.

Goblin Alchemist with Skill Focus (Stealth), the Silent Hunter trait and a backpack full of smoke sticks. If you max out Dex you'll be rocking +24 to stealth checks (+1 rank +3 class +4 small +4 goblin + 3 focus + 1 trait + 6 dex + 2 dex mutagen).

If you can get your hands on 250 gp an elixir of hiding will give +10 to your stealth checks for an hour. Cloak of elvenkind is a permanent +5 for 2500.

Or go Kitsune Trickster and max out disguise to go all Hitman on everybody. The tricky part there is actually killing anyone.


I would personally go with a druid. A druid fulfills your qualifications, plus having an animal companion provides an extra body. So it is kind of like going with a two man party rather than solo.

There is also that Mad Dog archetype for barbarians. They get animal companions. You would do a lot of damage, and you would have a lot of health. Get a wand of cure light wound and take a rank in use magic device.

Actually that isn't bad in general. If you want to open up options, taking use magic device is a way to boost your spell casting capabilities.

If you do that, you might be able to get away with playing like a paladin. They are good at surviving and can heal well, plus have very good saves and AC. They got charisma so that works well with use magic device.

As others pointed out, if you get full loot, you are going to be rolling in cash. So getting a bunch of wands is definitely an option.


I rolled my stats, and I got:

17 15 14 13 13 11

I'm willing to work the summoning tactic again since that was always fun, but again, synthesist and cleric are really overdone for me, as well as the druid.

I was looking around, and I believe someone above posted something about the occultist archetype of arcanist. Is it possible to make a reach occultist work? Magic weapon before combat, summon a minute long summon, and then focus on killing the ranged guy in the back. Qt least, that would be the general tactic.

I'd start with heirloom weapon, pick something with reach. First two feats would be combat reflexes and spell focus conj, so I can level 3 into augment summoning as soon as possible.

Thoughts? And as always, I do appreciate your guys' help. Really, thank you.

Note: I'd have to be human for the above to work.


Assuming you've ruled out the Infiltrator Investigator Hitman no fatalities run...

Monster Tactician Inquisitor is probably your best bet if you want to do some fighting yourself. Standard action minute/level summon and your summoning ability isn't dependent on your casting stat. Throw the 17 into strength, 14 into wisdom, and get Augment Summoning from the jump.

You've also got some nice choices available of domains.


I'd try it. It'd be like a roguelike.


I don't have access to that book. Hence why I can't do it.


arcanist is 1/2 bab, so probably not imo.

Just run something like this

Summoner John:

John
Human summoner (master summoner) 1 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide 54, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic 80)
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init +3; Senses Perception +0
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +1 Dex)
hp 10 (1d8+2)
Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +2
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee longspear +2 (1d8+3/×3) or
spiked gauntlet +2 (1d4+2)
Ranged sling +1 (1d4+2)
Summoner Spell-Like Abilities (CL 1st; concentration +5)
9/day—summoning mastery
Summoner (Master Summoner) Spells Known (CL 1st; concentration +5)
1st (2/day)—grease, snowball (DC 16)
0 (at will)—daze (DC 14), detect magic, light, read magic
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 14, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 19
Base Atk +0; CMB +2; CMD 13
Feats Augment Summoning, Spell Focus (conjuration)
Traits friend in every town, reactionary
Skills Diplomacy +9, Knowledge (arcana) +5, Knowledge (religion) +5, Spellcraft +5, Use Magic Device +8
Languages Common, Vudrani
SQ lesser eidolon, life link
Combat Gear potion of cure light wounds; Other Gear lamellar (leather) armor[UC], longspear, sling, spiked gauntlet, thieves' tools
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Augment Summoning Summoned creatures have +4 to Strength and Constitution.
Lesser Eidolon A master summoner's class level is halved (minimum 1) for the purposes of determining his eidolon's abilities, Hit Dice, evolution pool, and so on.

The eidolon otherwise functions as normal. This ability replaces the summoner's normal eidolon
Life Link (Su) Damage that dismisses Eidolon can be taken by you. It weakens if not in 100 ft.
Spell Focus (Conjuration) Spells from one school of magic have +1 to their save DC.
Summoning Mastery I (9/day) (Sp) You can summon monsters as a spell like ability, maintaining 1 even when Eidolon is summoned.

Eidolon:

Eidolon
Biped
N Small outsider
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +12
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (+2 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 8 (1d10+3)
Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +2
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +3 (1d3+1)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 12, Dex 14, Con 11, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11
Base Atk +1; CMB +1; CMD 13 (can't be tripped)
Feats Toughness
Skills Disable Device +11, Knowledge (planes) +2, Perception +12, Stealth +10; Racial Modifiers +8 Disable Device, +8 Perception
Languages Common
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Scent (Ex) Detect opponents within 15+ feet by sense of smell.

So he is mostly focused on summoning, with some spells as backup. Daze is good for a while, so its great for the early game. At level 3 you take superior summing and go to town I think.

The eidolon is crap, so I made it small and stealthy. Scent and a very high perception basically makes you impossible to be surprised, plus he has a couple of claws and can flank. It doesnt really matter if he dies but he is useful while alive.

The only real struggle you have is knowledges. Its tough to cover them all, so worry about the big ones like arcana planes and religion and rely on libraries for other stuff


I'm going to put in a good word for the Summoner. Not Synth, nonono. That cuts your actions in half and encourages some bad habits with stat assignment. Not Master Summoner either. Let's go Vanilla.

The APG Eidolon is powerful in the fact that you don't actually need to specialize in combat to make it good. A bipedal with the Bite evolution is fine enough. Now you're free to have fun. Take the Skilled evolution. A lot. It will allow you to get things like Disable Device, Stealth, and Perception to impressive numbers in order to out-rogue a Rogue while a couple buff spells allow it to out-fight a core Fighter. You'll want to budget Combat evolutions to keep it at max attacks with a minimal investment. Climb is also really useful, as having access to three dimensional movement allows you bypass some hazards to minimize risk. Resistance evolutions are great but highly campaign dependant.

Building the Summoner is tricky. The way I see it, there are two ways to go. One, focus on Summon Monster with the usual feats. This allows you to dedicate the Eidolon exclusively to skills while the expendables do the heavy lifting. The other method involves Maximum Eidolon: Extra Evolution at every level you can take it, Resilient Eidolon, and making your Con your highest stat wbile playing a Half Elf. This gives you an up-gunned combat monstrosity that can STILL take a few Skilled evolutions to cover the bare nessecities.

Actually, there is a third option. Do not be affraid to cheese. The Animal Ally line can give you a decent bodyguard animal, while Eldrich Heritage grants you a familiar that can be Improved. While the Eidolon is out, yoy can still cast full-rpund Summons from your spell list. And last but not least, Leadership. Be your own party.


@Rosc

How do you heal yourself? I could see taking the use magic device trait and going for a wand of cures. A familiar could pick it up and use it in my busy time.

I'm willing to try vanilla summoner. And I like the idea of multiple companions.


Ironically enough one of my players asked me to do this for them today. He is going Inquisitor route. I am going to allow NPC allies and leadership however. Without that, makes it a little unrealistic as most of the races in fantasy do not want to be alone- especially if their lives are in peril. All sentient races/creatures understand that there is strength in numbers to some degree.

At any rate, best of luck! Keep us posted.


Well, that went pretty quick! The inquistitor ran into an orc who nailed him with his falchion. Game over. An hour to do the character, 5 minutes of game play! :)

I had an ally come save him moments before his death. I had to scale down from orcs to goblins. He made quick work of the first few goblins and I even threw in a chupacabra which he destroyed. There was a final goblin patrol that was giving him a handful- mainly because my dice got hot and his got cold (Goblins have an AC16 in the Bestiary which is pretty challenging). Eventually he got them but ran through his healing spells.

One thing became strikingly evident to me last night in that game is that the dice may not show you much love when you are with a party but if you are solo, the dice can be absolutely lethal if you can't get a good roll.


Velithin wrote:

One of my friends is presenting me with a rather difficult (but worthy) challenge: Solo a normally 4-man campaign

Starting Level: 1
Books Allowed: Core, UC, UM, ACG, ARG, APG, UE, UCampaign

I was originally thinking synthesist or reach cleric, but those are the only ones I know are innately strong. We're aiming to last till 15th level.

Any advice?

Edit: Again, this is what you'd expect from a normal 4-man adventure. No, he hasn't told me what kinds of creatures I'm up against, nor has he told me any of the specific challenges I will face.

My husband and I play one on one all the time. He will play a character (usually either a Fighter or a Barbarian), that can soak damage and can have a few utility skills that will help him out. Knowledge Dungeoneering and Survival are your friends, here. These skills will both allow you to know what a good 90% of the monsters you're dealing with are as well as how to defeat them. And given that most low-level adventures take place in a dungeon, it becomes obvious. Maybe go for a Paladin, so you can take advantage of your own healing abilities.

Also, talk to your DM about being able to Gestalt (learned about this in 3rd Edition Unearthed Arcana). It gives you a bit more options and will help you out.


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Velithin wrote:

@Rosc

How do you heal yourself? I could see taking the use magic device trait and going for a wand of cures. A familiar could pick it up and use it in my busy time.

I'm willing to try vanilla summoner. And I like the idea of multiple companions.

Okay, I read over you4 post again and I now realize about a third of my advice does not apply due to splatbook usage. You'll have to politly ask your GM to allow an extra book for Animal Ally.

Sadly, that also means that Infernal Healing, the Summoner's main healing spell, is out. Start the game with a few potions of Cure Light, pick up a wand when you can for UMD use. (And remember the Skilled Evolution here.) Lesser Rejuv wands are nice too. Consider taking Rejuvenate Eidolon as a spell at level 1 and training it out when you can afford wands. Once you learn Summon Eidolon, your partner is functionally immortal.

More severe status conditions are beyond your class' list, but there's no shame in paying a cleric now and then. (Or getting one with leadership) Scrolls are an option as well.

And don't forget, the Eidolon can also take Eldrich Heritage and Leadership! Bonus if their cohort is a Summoner....


Wait, wait wait...I might be able to get infernal healing...and if infernal healing is a spell usable by other arcane casters...hmmm...if infernal healing's duration was increased through magical lineage and extend spell, could that make fullcasters like...say...a wizard a possible option?

Another idea came to mind. Teleportation Specialist and Dimensional Agility. I'd have to make my int as high as possible, but I think the increase in spells and round buff to Summon Monster spells could keep enemies at bay long enough for my minions to wipe the floor...only problem is, I wouldn't get Augment Summoning till 3rd level.

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