Martial, knight-like build for Hell's Vengeance


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I've been invited to a Hell's Vengeance game by a friend, and I was thinking a Lawful or Neutral Evil knight-type character would be fun. The GM for this game is known to be ruthless, however, so I'll need to have a strong build. Here's what I'm considering so far, but any suggestions are more than welcome:

Tyrant Antipaladin
Pros: Smite Good and Fiendish Boon (weapon) should provide excellent damage, adding Charisma to saves will be good defense.
Cons: Smite Good will be useless against Neutral enemies, Touch of Corruption is flat-out worse than Lay on Hands, and Cruelty isn't much better.

Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier (Daring Champion Archetype?)
Pros: Challenge works on any target, Swashbuckler deeds will eventually provide similar damage bonuses to what I'd get from Smite.
Cons: Lower saves, Daring Champion kind of pigeonholes you into Piercing Damage, no spellcasting.

Infernal Bloodrager
Pros: Set my sword on fire (awesome!), perfect for the theme, spellcasting
Cons: Cool stuff is limited to when I'm raging, saves aren't as good as Antipaladin

Warpriest of Asmodeus
Pros: Spellcasting from the start, Sacred Weapon provides nice weapon bonuses/enchants, instant self-buffs, free armor enchants via Sacred Armor.
Cons: Lower damage/BAB than the other options, still no self-heal unless I go Dhampir

How about a dual cursed battle oracle who simply doesn't use spells (no charisma)? Or even a war sighted oracle and change your tactics based on situation with ur weapons array like true historical knights did.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Why would a non-spellcasting dual-cursed battle oracle be a superior option, though? War-sighted does sound like it has some promise, though.

You could go for a legit Hellknight. Something like an Order of the Ennead Star Cavalier, a Godclaw Oracle, or a Masked Enforcer Vigilante, building towards one of the PrCs.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So, a related rules question:

If I went with a Daring Champion Cavalier, Champion's Finesse says:

At 1st level, a daring champion gains the benefits of the Weapon Finesse feat with light or one-handed piercing melee weapons, and he can use Charisma in place of Intelligence for the purpose of combat feat prerequisites. A daring champion also counts as having the Weapon Finesse feat for the purpose of meeting feat prerequisites. This ability replaces mount.

Now, Slashing Grace says that you can take a slashing weapon, like a longsword, and treat it like a piercing weapon, but Slashing Grace requires Weapon Finesse.

Now, Champion's Finesse only gives you Weapon Finesse with a piercing weapon, so since the longsword is slashing to start with, would I be unable to take Slashing Grace with a longsword? Since I'd need the feat in order to qualify for the feat?

Dark Archive

It says you count as having the feat for meeting prereqs, so you can still get slashing grace.

The Slashing grace with Champion's Finesse should be fine. Slashing and Fencing Grace were intended to work with Swashbuckler builds(which the daring champion does)

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I think you are ignoring some big pros to Antipaladin.

The Dread Vanguard is a favorite of mine since antipaladin spellcasting isn't really that great, very few self buffs that are useful in combat, and low CLs make utility spells not that abundant. The Tempered Champion can be pretty useful, if the DM let's you take it (they should given the rules on alternate classes taking archetypes, but it's a DM call).

Necromatic Affinity is a feat that may or may not be useful depending on interpretation. I believe the general rule is that cure and inflict spells deal with channeled energy so it oughta work with Touch of Corrruption. Otherwise, you could go Dhampir for the RAW version of negative healing, or there is an option that Tieflings get (in place of their SLA on a d100 table in Blood of Fiends) which lets you be healed by negative energy (I recommend also taking the Pass for Human variant for access to human feats and spells).

Cruelties work great in this manner because the Diseased cruelty actually lets you 'buff' yourself by gaining a bunch of different diseases that you can spread with Plague Bringer without taking the penalties yourself.

As for making Touch of Corruption work, you can either go with a Natural Weapon build (doable with either Tiefling or Dhampir with the right feats) or pick up a Conductive Weapon. Since relying on obtaining a specific magic weapon could prove to be problematic, VMC fighter could let you get access to the Warrior Spirit (Su) Advanced Weapon Training which would let you apply it to the weapon without needing it crafted first, or you could otherwise take the feats you need to craft it yourself. Depending on how strict the DM is you could get that going as early as 11th level. (Not sure if that affects the AP since I haven't played it).

Channel Smite is great for them too, since you can dump your extra uses of Touch of Corruption into getting more dice, effectively letting you land one big hit for double the dice plus a cruelty.

Smite Good is a tertiary ability.

I have a really old guide out there that covers some of this stuff.

I agree with Master Marshmallow about antipaladins.

As someone playing a Tyrant Antipaladin in Hell's Vengeance right now, I can assure you there are very few targets that aren't good that you will need to fight. In fact, I find myself needing more Smites than I have (currently only level 4).

So don't worry, it's not like you wont be using your Smites.

Also Touch of Corruption and Cruelties are great, but just in a different way. You can make one Hell of a debuffing build, you just aren't good at healing yourself. Which is fine, it's two different roles.

You can make yourself a good intimidate build and follow it up with cruelties to further debuff the enemy.

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