So one of my pfs characters has just hit level 7 and i need some advice on the direction to go.
He is currently a super mobile melee fighter that can easily pass through enemies threatened squares and get to flanking positions to help ally fighters. He is however fairly unoptimized for damage and due to multiclassing his will save is embarrassing
ninja 4/unchained barbarian 1/ranger 1
DEX 18 (16+2)
INT 9 (8+1)
AC 23 Touch 15 Flat-Footed 18
Acrobatics 16 base/20 jumping/22 tumbling
(while this isn't all of my skills these are the ones that are most important character wise. I do have at least one point in every STR and DEX skill. I will probably be putting my level 8 ability point in INT giving me one extra skill that i can max or spread out.
unorthodox strategy(+2 to tumble)
I just hit level 7 and have around 10,000 gold that i could spend, so with that in mind here are the options i was think of...
Option 1: leveling the barbarian AKA the defensive option
With a level 2 barbarian i not only get improved uncanny dodge but also a rage power, which would be superstition. Then with my gold i could buy a headband of havoc, letting me rage as an immediate reaction and giving me a +5 to will (2 untyped 3 competence). The feat is currently undecided.
While this option does cover one of my big weaknesses it doesn't really push the character in any supportive direction.
Option 2: leveling the ranger AKA the damage option
When I hit level 2 with ranger i get a free feat in a combat style. If i choose two weapon fighting that gives me an extra attack (giving me 4 attacks a turn if I use a ki point). For my level 7 feat I am looking at taking circling mongoose. This lets me use canny tumble for the almost guaranteed first hit and still full attack with flanking. With my money I would probably upgrade my shield for attacking either going +1 bashing shield or upgrading it in the weapon enhancement side.
The current problem is that I wasn't planning on having my character be the main damage dealer, and there is also usually 1 or 2 characters who are optimized for smash-in-face combat. Keep in mind however, I will probably be taking circling mongoose sometime, either now or in the future for the tumbling full attack option
Option 3: starting a swashbuckler AKA the support option
While it might seem weird to go into my 4th class, hear me out. A swashbuckler not only gives my dex to hit for my trident, but it also gives me some fun deeds and more importantly panache. This lets me take the feat confounding tumble deed which makes it so all of my allies should be able to hit for one round. I am not sure of what to buy...
The drawback is I can only count on doing this two times a day as I probably won't be the one to make a killing blow, nor will I be getting a lot of crits. Note, I will be taking a level in swashbuckler before my character is done, but I am not sure if this is the most opportune time for it.
Option 4: leveling ranger AKA the control ranger
With this ranger, instead of going two weapon fighting and moving around we go for a more controlling build with tripping, the underhanded style from ultimate intrigue lets us take combat expertise and it's related feats without having 13 INT. So we would take that for our style feat, then take improved trip for our 7th level feat. Then with our gold we enchant our trident with the dueling enchantment from pathfinder society field guide. This would give us a +13 to trip against a foe who is flat footed if we successfully tumble past them with canny tumble.
While we would have a decent trip, we would still have a problem with non-humanoid enemies and our damage would go down to effectively 0
two other options, while they wouldn't take everything up, can be substituted if you like them better...
Akitonian Blade... Is a reach weapon, so if I want to try a combat maneuver I could potentially do it without taking a AoO. Also blasts my jump checks into the stratosphere, literally.
extra rage power... simple, gets me an extra rage power if I want to go barbarian 2, lots of options, looking at knockdown stance or something similar.
Thanks for reading all of that, I would love to hear your opinions. If you think any other options might be better for me, just let me know. I do have a healthy supply of prestige points, so if you want to retrain something that is also an option. Keep in mind that this is a PFS character, so if it needs GM approval it probably won't work.
Just some random thoughts -
Will saves: There is a Ioun Stone, that once socketed into a Wayfinder, gives a effect similar to Protection from Evil. Believe found in the *Chamber of Secrets* book.
You can also pick up a couple levels of fighter and with those extra feats grab Iron Will and Improved Iron Will.
Gear question - Quick Runner Shirt: I thought that was made illegal in PFS.
I do like your Swashbuckler idea, just not sure how it would work out. You do need some way to get DEX to damage.
Going the trip route -
Things are going to start getting very hard to trip. As they'll have a very good CMD. My opinion is it's just not worth it unless you can get some crazy trip numbers.
After a quick search I believe the ioun stone you are talking about is the clear spindle which gives protection from possession and mental control, while this is great, does it help against confusion? that seems like the spell that is most often tossed around in combat. Although i will probably pick the stone up regardless... thanks for the idea
Is using up two feats worth it for Improved Iron Will? if the general consensus is yes, then I will look into working them into my build, although I already feel feat starved...
Quick Runner Shirt got some heavy nerfs a couple months back. You can't switch shirts every combat, and your turn ends after the extra move action. because of these PFS has made it legal just two weeks ago. And sense I am not using a shirt slot, it still seemed worth it to me. Being able to run away after an attack or pull out a wand at the end of turn has its uses.
Dex to damage is still pretty tricky, but if you guys know of a way that i can either dip or an item that would let me, that would be super cool. Keep in mind that damage isn't the main goal of this build, and having Dex to hit still helps a little. The swashbuckler is mainly so i can get access to confounding tumble, the rest is just gravy. although i don't know if i need it at level 7 or if I can wait till level 9...
I hear you about the trip, there are times when I even have problems trying to tumble past people without using up a ki point. Obviously I won't try to trip anyone bigger than medium, but i feel having it up my sleeve would be handy. Now if having the random trip is useful enough to justify a level and 2 feats is debatable...
Simply taking Extra Rage would more than double your rounds/day.
I don't know how useful trip would end up being when you've got such a weak attack roll; you would want Fury's Fall as well as the trip feats to get it to a decent place.
For combat, one level of Inspired Blade Swashbuckler would grant you Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus: Rapier, leaving you free to take Fencing Grace for dex-to-damage; you would also get a 3-point Panache pool and access to Opportune Parry and Riposte and Dodging Panache. Of course, this involves using a rapier, which may be completely outside the character concept (at least having a good trident as a backup throwing weapon isn't a bad thing I guess). This does nothing to help your saves, but as far as combat effectiveness goes it's a massive upgrade.
It's odd, I have yet to run out of rage in a day even with only 5 rounds per day. I don't really need it in the early fights, being able to hit most things when they are flat footed. Only on the end boss fights (remember this is PFS) do I really use it to get some extra hit points and the small boost to damage.
That might change if I pick up superstitious and the headband of havoc, but if I get there and find I want more rounds I will keep Extra Rage in mind.
After looking at the trip and adding up my bonuses it honestly doesn't seem that bad... With Canny Tumble and Flanking I should be looking at a total of +17 to trip (+6 BAB, +2 STR, +2 improved trip, +1 weapon, +2 dueling, +2 canny tumble, +2 flanking) against their CMD without DEX, then if I take a level in swashbuckler I would add my DEX instead of STR for a total of +19.[source]side note, does fury's fall stack with weapon finesse?
IDK what a normal trip CMB should be
I was kinda attached to my trident, Is the extra 2 damage an attack that important, for a build that is not really the main damage dealer? I guess I could be willing to switch...
I guess trip wouldn't be that bad, though it's a shame you wouldn't have Greater Trip yet. Fury's Fall won't let you get double DEX, but you can choose to ignore finesse; instead use STR for the CMB roll and add your DEX to that. That makes it better than Agile Maneuvers or finesse for tripping.
Going finesse/fencing would mean more attack and damage with a way better crit, but I didn't realize that you have zero bonus DEX from item, which makes it less useful.
If you like using the trident and tripping, I would have suggested going with a Fighter/Rogue using the Net and Trident feats. At this point though, that's only feasible with some retraining.
With the limited levels of Unchained Barbarian you have, I might want to re-train that to the Savage Technician Barbarian archetype. Savage Tech adds to your STR & DEX while raging.
Was going to suggest you re-train your Ninja levels to Unchained Rogue. With 4 levels in Unchained rogue you get a lot of good stuff. Problem with this is that it doesn't work too well with the Trident for a weapon.
Grab the Furious enchantment for your weapon.
Do Swashbuckler's special abilities work while you're raging?
Not sure on that and you might want some kind of proof if a GM asks.
If I decide to go with the tripping route I will definitely squeeze in greater trip. but for that first level the AoO from standing up will have to be enough.
I completely forgot that the rapier has a much better crit range. I will keep it in mind if I ever need to change.
I have so many ideas now if I ever want to rebuild the character :D
While increased DEX would be sweet while raging, the loss of uncanny dodge and HP bonus is painful. Furious is also an interesting choice to increase my hit and damage while raging, however it only increases bonuses to skills and not to save bonuses.
I honestly probably would have gone with unchained rogue if I had the book when I was originally making the character, and if I ever decide to play the character through again I will probably try it out. However, 4 levels of retraining is a big chunk of my prestige and I gotta save some of it for a resurrection or two ;)
As far as I can tell by reading the rules there is nothing that specifically calls out that you can't use deeds while raging. So if it ever comes up, I will argue my point but the DM's word should be final. If it does come to that, making sure to not double rage and deed shouldn't be too hard.