Advice for Paldin of Sarenrae Gestalt


Advice

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Good day fellow gamers!
The group I play with uses gestalt, and I haven't played a Paladin in a while, so I wanted to make a Paladin of Sarenrae for a future game.
We use:
Gestalt
Stat array of: 18, 16, 16, 14, 12, 10
Automatic Bonus Progression (may make some weapon bond, magus arcana, or warpriest abilites moot, as enhancement bonuses won't stack)
Possibly a tier or three of mythic (nothing mythic at first level, though).

Leaning toward Aasimar for the race, but looking for advice for the other half of the gestalt. I'm looking for a Paladin that uses Sarenrae's favored weapon, and is a somewhat flashy fighter. In roleplay, he will try to emulate Sarenrae's tenets as much as possible (as much as his LG alignment will allow), being kind and merciful, but able to throw down with the scimitar when redemption is impossible. I'll be using the obediences and Paladin code for Sarenrae as well.
I'm leaning toward inquisitor or magus, possibly warpriest, but am looking for other ideas as well. Any archetype could be considered, for either side, and have used Oath pallies before...
What would mesh well with Paladin, and work well with a scimitar and shield build? Are there race ideas I should consider other than Aasimar?
How do I best incorporate fire into his combat?


Warpriest is nice for Fervor, which is casting with hands full. Stats become a bit mad thou.

Oracle is pretty nice. 9th level casting, potential CHA to AC, or if you want to go Life mystery you could be an Oradin.

Swashbuckler could fit the stats and help with DEX to damage and Crit bonuses.

Eldritch Scion Magus is CHA dependent. If you think you could get some buffing beforehand done that seems solid.


I thought Eldritch Scion was broken...not in an OP sense, but that the swift action requirements pretty much prevent half of the mechanics from working?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Kryzbyn wrote:
Automatic Bonus Progression (may make some weapon bond, magus arcana, or warpriest abilites moot, as enhancement bonuses won't stack)

Actually, these abilities typically stack with existing enhancement bonuses, so they won't actually cause problems.

Sarenrae's divine fighting technique lets you deal nonlethal damage with the scimitar at no cost. It also makes damage dealt by fire, light, and good spells nonlethal as well, so that certainly opens some options up.

I would honestly suggest Oracle, if you're putting one of those bonuses into Charisma. The casting is divine as well, you get a wide range of spells (including many the fighting technique makes nonlethal), and the right mystery choice could certainly foster the holy warrior vibe.

Inquisitor might also be nice, if simply for making your Paladin more Paladin-like.

Grand Lodge

A Spirit Guide Oracle.
some good Mysteries-
Life + Life Spirit is 2x the Channel Pool with your LoH and Paladin Channeling you technically have 3 Channel pools.
Lore or Nature- Cha in place of Dex to AC and reflex saves. Need I say more?
Dragon- Newly added for Bad@$$dom of being a freaking Smiting Dragon!

Casting is not disrupted by Heavy Armor.
CHA is a shared Statistic.
Spirit abilities and Hexes can be Fun. The Expanded spell list really helps. Heaven Spirit gives you access to Overland Flight as a spell. Lore spirit can give you access to low level Wizard buffs like Mirror image if you have a 10+


Dunno...oracle doesn't seem to fit for someone following a specific god.
Also, the curses are kind of a non-starter.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You could go oracle of flame with the tongues curse--the character only speaks Celestial in combat situations. Sarenrae is listed as a potential deity for the Flame mystery. It seems like Cinder Dance would be a reasonable revelation for a combat type, if mobility is important, and there are a few others that do some fire damage.


Saethori wrote:
Sarenrae's divine fighting technique lets you deal nonlethal damage with the scimitar at no cost. It also makes damage dealt by fire, light, and good spells nonlethal as well, so that certainly opens some options up.

I don't have Divine Anthology; does it dispense with the requirement that your alignment match the deity's precisely?

Grand Lodge

Kryzbyn wrote:

Dunno...oracle doesn't seem to fit for someone following a specific god.

Also, the curses are kind of a non-starter.

I'm playing a Spirit Guide Life Oracle who is a Shelynite Zealot more-so than most Paladins. We actually have a Paladin in the group who is less strict than she is on morality issues. Curses actually are Blessings at times as well. I took the Child (3pp) Curse and it has worked out very well. There are better curses as well. Clouded Vision starts off rough but Blind Sense/Sight is amazing.


No no no. Emulate Sarenrae's tenets? Throw down with the scimitar but be nonlethal when possible? A flashy fighter with the favored weapon?

You, my friend, want a whirling dervish swashbuckler. Why? You get all good saves. You get 4+Int skills per level, which isn't amazing, but gets you what you'll absolutely need. You get to use the scimitar for all your swashbuckler abilities, and you get Weapon Finesse for free and even Dexterity to damage for free (albeit at 4th level, so you're waiting a bit until then). You get some bonus feats to help with combat output, and even more if you grab Tempered Champion on your paladin side (although spells are also nice, so that's up to you). You get some crowd control at 7th level, a blinding ability at 11th, and a nonlethal replacement for deadly stab that's pretty solid since it also paralyzes separately, which gives it even more utility in some ways.

Taking a Look:
Let's look at 5th level, since you're well and truly online by then. Really it's just your first level or two that are rough, since you'll probably have relatively lower damage (although the crit range helps) without smiting, and a lot of your other stuff won't have come up to snuff just yet. Level 3 you get precise strike for more damage, level 4 you get Dex to damage and a second smite evil, level 5 you get swashbuckler weapon training and your divine bond, and at that point you're kicking evil ass all day, every day, and with the added bonus of redemption.

Let's say you're an aasimar. You go musetouched, because it's the best for this build. Your stat array is the following to start: Str 10, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 18, with room to shuffle everything but Dex and Cha if you like. Personally I think better Will saves and Perception are gonna be more important for you than hit points, since you'll have good AC and the swashbuckler's parry/riposte to keep you alive on the HP level, and your saves are going to be absurd regardless. Bump anything by 1 at 4th level, I'd go with Dex or Cha.

At 5th, assuming you use avg.+1 for HP, you'll have 44 hit points, 49 if you use your FCB on this. Nothing amazing in and of itself, but certainly enough to get by. The real benefit is your defenses: Fortitude +11, Reflex +14, Will +12. Your Armor Class depends a lot on how much you're spending on it and what's available, but if you can get a mithral breastplate, you're rocking a 24 (+5 Dex, +6 armor, +1 attunement, +1 deflection, +1 dodge), and 19+your level is often considered the solid goal to shoot for.

On offense, you're hitting really well at this point: +12 to attack (+5 Dex, +5 BAB, +1 attunement, +1 weapon training) at base, with damage at 1d6+12 (+5 Dex, +5 precise strike, +1 attunement, +1 weapon training), at a critical threat of 15-20/x2. You can easily bump this up more depending on traits and feat choices, and of course when you use smite it skyrockets even further (along with your AC).

For those feats, you want Combat Reflexes at first, and beyond that it's kind of up to you. If you take more Strength you could pick up Power Attack for extra damage, although you don't really need to do that. I'd suggest Quick Draw to get more out of swashbuckler initiative and keep yourself more ready for action. I find it thematically fun to grab Combat Expertise (tack on Swordplay Style for even more AC) and Improved Disarm, since it uses your sword's attack bonus benefits, and can quickly end a fight with a humanoid foe (or at least make it a lot easier).

Skills: Acrobatics, Diplomacy, Knowledge (religion), Perception, Sense Motive. Grab whatever if you choose this for your FCB, maybe Heal or Knowledge (local). You're agile, you know your faith, you can pick out threats and potentially disarm them without ever resorting to violence.

Sorry if that droned on, but it's one of my favorite gestalts recently and in my opinion it's really, really good.


If 3pp is allowed...

Take the Sunwarrior Archetype for the Mageknight from Spheres of Power. Focus on Light, Nature, Creation & Destruction Spheres.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I like Loup's suggestion but I'd have to go with the dawnflower dervish bard. It's literally a bard built on being a follower of Sarenrae with a fighting style very similar to the whirling dervish.

It's a great thematic pairing, but it also gives you full BAB, all good saves (crazy good with divine grace), 6+ skill points, 6 level casting, perfect stat synergy... it's a tough pairing to beat. They also get Dex for hit and damage starting at 1st level without using any of their normal feats. Normal damage might not be the best but when you have battle dance and smite going it'll be pretty great, and lots of survivability.

The dervish dancer bard could end up being a little better mechanically (it gets a version of pounce at 12th), but you have to spend your feats on weapon finesse @1st and dervish dance @3rd if you want Dex based combat.


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Dawnflower Dervish Bard is a very good fit with a paladin of Sarenrae.


  • Double inspire courage bonuses - +2 to hit and damage at first level. +4 at 5th level. +6 at 11th level. +8 at 17th level. Since this is a competence bonus, it stacks with ABP, smite evil, and many bard spell boosts.
  • Charisma based 6th level casting - mostly buffs, utility and healing.
  • Becoming less MAD - You mostly need to focus on Dex and Cha, with Con and Wis as secondary. Str and Int can be your low stats. Since you have a fixed stat array, MAD is a little worse. I'd go Str 12, Dex 18, Con 16, Wis 14, Int 10, Cha 16. By choosing Musetouched Aasimar, Dex goes to 20 and Cha goes to 18.
  • All three saves favored, plus divine grace. Booyah! At level 2 you have Fort +10, Reflex +12, Will +9. with +4 vs. language-dependent, sonic and bardic effects.
  • Higher base skill points and lots of class skills, plus versatile performance to make your skill points go further. Museblooded improves performance, so this affects all versatile performance skills.
  • While you can only have light armor, your dex is going to be high and speed fits with the flashy fighting style.
  • Free combat casting (almost) at level 5.
  • If you need to heal others, at 8th you can do it with a move+swift action.

Ninja'd by Nate. Which proves that great minds think alike.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Saethori wrote:
Sarenrae's divine fighting technique lets you deal nonlethal damage with the scimitar at no cost. It also makes damage dealt by fire, light, and good spells nonlethal as well, so that certainly opens some options up.
I don't have Divine Anthology; does it dispense with the requirement that your alignment match the deity's precisely?

No alignment restriction! Divine Anthology uses a different variation of the feat, which requires you worship the deity, but makes no requirement of alignment. So it works within the one step rule and is thus usable by paladins.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

<- ninja :)


Saethori wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Saethori wrote:
Sarenrae's divine fighting technique lets you deal nonlethal damage with the scimitar at no cost. It also makes damage dealt by fire, light, and good spells nonlethal as well, so that certainly opens some options up.
I don't have Divine Anthology; does it dispense with the requirement that your alignment match the deity's precisely?
Nope! Divine Anthology uses a different variation of the feat, which requires you worship the deity, but makes no requirement of alignment. So it works within the one step rule and is thus usable by paladins.

Excellent! Thanks.


Swashbuckler and Dervish Bard are great choices. I'll look more into those. I think the GM is tired of my parry, as I often play swashbucklers as part of a gestalt. Was considering giving him a break this go round :P
Only other concern is loss of big heals, but then again I most likely won't be the main healer.

Keep the suggestions coming!


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I was also going to weigh in on Dervish Bard, but see I've been beaten to the punch. Really like the concept though, both mechanically and flavour-wise.


Ok, so after thinking about the dawnflower dervish, I think that's what I'm going to go with.
Any thoughts on traits/feats?

Sovereign Court

nate lange wrote:
<- ninja :)

I would second the ninja.

Cha based ki pool, for extra attacks/move speed/acrobatics
8+ skill points per level
All good saves
Tea of tranferance to turn ki points into Smite evil or lay on hands.

RP as more of the cult of the Dawnflower type of Serenrite. And do note:Sarenrae code is different then normal paladin. And does not restrict poison.


There's always Bloodrager, either Celestial or Destined. Sarenrae's Paladin code would fit rather nicely with that pairing, I think.

Skald could work as well, passing out powerful rage powers to your allies as a way of showing them Sarenrae's willingness to help them succeed at their goal.


Kryzbyn wrote:

Ok, so after thinking about the dawnflower dervish, I think that's what I'm going to go with.

Any thoughts on traits/feats?

Fey Foundling is a frequently recommended feat for Paladins intending to rely on Lay on Hands for survivability.

If you want to double down on healing capability, consider Greater Mercy, Extra Lay on Hands and Ultimate Mercy. Ultimate Mercy is fantastic (especially if your group otherwise lacks the capability to raise from the dead -- but even if that isn;t an issue, the lack of material component for UM still makes it superior to Raise Dead).

Apart from those options, you'll want to consider basic combat feats to flesh out your capabilities there, though you'll start with just about everything you need with the bard archetype granting Dervish Dance.

As far as traits go, I like the Sarenrae one that lets you do non-lethal damage with your sword without taking the -4 penalty.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, you may also want to consider the Tempered Champion archetype to boost your combat skills, at the cost of Paladin spellcasting. It will eventually help with the low scimitar damage die, while granting other helpful feats, and your Barb casting may soften the blow of losing Paladin casting.

Alternatively, you could double-down on spellcasting with the Sacred Servant archetype, especially since you are concerned about the interplay of Auto Bonus Progression and Divine Bond with a weapon (though my first reaction is that I think that's a non-issue myself). Maybe grab the Glory:Heroism, Healing:Restoration, or Sun:Revelation domain?


Greater Mercy is damn handy. Dunno about Ultimate Mercy...by the time that comes on line an oracle or cleric should have that available. We'll see what the others play...
I went with Tempered Champion || Dervish of Dawn. By the time weapon bond becomes a thing, she's already going to have some good bonuses. I couldn't justify the fey foundling deal for her, RP-wise it doesn't fit in her background. Right now for traits, I'm going with Blessed Touch and Survivor.


I also took the Way of the Merciful divine fighting technique...this is what allows her to do non-lethal at no penalty. At 10th, when the advanced portion kicks in, she'll heal 2d6 every round she hits something with a non-lethal attack with her scimitar, freeing up lay on hand uses for channeling or healing others. It's like a fast healing 2-12!


Also, it looks like Songhealer would stack with Dervish of Dawn, archetype wise. That may boost her healing as well...

Grand Lodge

Kryzbyn wrote:
I also took the Way of the Merciful divine fighting technique...this is what allows her to do non-lethal at no penalty. At 10th, when the advanced portion kicks in, she'll heal 2d6 every round she hits something with a non-lethal attack with her scimitar, freeing up lay on hand uses for channeling or healing others. It's like a fast healing 2-12!

If you could work in Enforcer you could debuff your target's to hit by -2 (Effectively raising your AC.) Not to mention your using a Scimitar so you will critical a lot. Add in Cruel weapon you can give them a 2nd -2 penalty to hit as well as gaining 5 HP when you knock out or kill an enemy for 10 minutes.

Extra Health everywhere!


I'm really liking how this character build is shaping up. Will be liberally pilfering ideas for any future characters (though I've never had the chance to play any gestalt games).

Regading the Songhealer archetype, I would probably skip it personally. While the 14th level ability is nice, it comes pretty late, and losing out on Versatile Performance in exchange for slight boost on using healing scrolls and wands hurts a lot from a skills perspective.


Way of the Merciful?


Azten wrote:
Way of the Merciful?

New divine fighting technique for Sarenrae out of the Divine Anthology book.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The book actually calls it Sarenrae's Mercy. That's just the d20srd "serial numbers filed off" version.


The Steel Refrain wrote:

I'm really liking how this character build is shaping up. Will be liberally pilfering ideas for any future characters (though I've never had the chance to play any gestalt games).

Regarding the Songhealer archetype, I would probably skip it personally. While the 14th level ability is nice, it comes pretty late, and losing out on Versatile Performance in exchange for slight boost on using healing scrolls and wands hurts a lot from a skills perspective.

Yeah, the thing about versatile performance is that Dex and Cha will be keeping pace with each other somewhat as she levels...so I don't see the benefit for swapping out a perform check for the actual skill. Sure there are other skill swaps possible, but I don't plan on her being able to play all instruments and sing ;) Right now, she has dance and oratory...may change oratory to sing.

EDIT: The only real benefit is getting the musetouched bonus, I suppose...

Your point about the cool stuff coming on line too late to be needed is still very valid, though, and why I haven't decided to go that route 100%.

I'm still thinking about things as I go...I don't see any worthwhile paladin archetypes that stack with Tempered Champion that won't remove other cool options, either...


I find Oath against Undead is quite nice.


That does look great for an undead hunter. This build loses it's paladin spells, and so can't use those. I like detect evil, and i don't want to give up any mercies necessarily.


The lose of mercies did hurt my dwarf for a while, but free ghost touch is awesome even when not fighting undead.


Kaouse wrote:

If 3pp is allowed...

Take the Sunwarrior Archetype for the Mageknight from Spheres of Power. Focus on Light, Nature, Creation & Destruction Spheres.

Sorry for not responding to this bit earlier...I haven't quite gotten my group convinced to allow Spheres yet...


scaled fist monk, sorc, bloodrager, bard, sckaled, rogue, oracle, normal summoner(get yourself an angel flanking buddy) normal synthisist summoner(get yourself a angel battle suit) would all work with paladin quite well

Sovereign Court

Kryzbyn wrote:
Greater Mercy is damn handy. Dunno about Ultimate Mercy...by the time that comes on line an oracle or cleric should have that available.

So...level 5?

That's when my paladin was able to use ultimate mercy... Twice a day. By level 7, I could raise 3 people a day.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The real benefit of versatile performance (beyond the racial bonus you already noticed) is that it frees up skill points- there's no need to invest any skill ranks in diplomacy or sense motive if you're going to get versatile performace for perform [oratory], so you can invest those ranks in something else (like knowledges, or UMD). Likewise, if you're going to pick dance you wouldn't put any ranks in acrobatics and instead you'd spend those on something else.


If you're going to go Paladin//Oracle, you should take swoop up the Paladin Tempered Champion archetype, unless you really like Litany spells. It replaces your Paladin spells with bonus feats and extra weapon damage.

Also, as a note, Sarenrae's recommended Oracle mysteries are Life, Flame, Solar, and Heavens. I'd recommend either Life, since Flame is a blaster-caster type (not a good complement to martial-ing), Heavens is an illusion caster-type (with Perception, but that's the only good part), and Solar is made of cool thematic choices that don't do squat in combat.


Firebug wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Greater Mercy is damn handy. Dunno about Ultimate Mercy...by the time that comes on line an oracle or cleric should have that available.

So...level 5?

That's when my paladin was able to use ultimate mercy... Twice a day. By level 7, I could raise 3 people a day.

Did you take Extra Lay on Hands feat alot? How did you get 30 uses by level 7? Each use takes 10 uses of Lay on Hands.


nate lange wrote:
The real benefit of versatile performance (beyond the racial bonus you already noticed) is that it frees up skill points- there's no need to invest any skill ranks in diplomacy or sense motive if you're going to get versatile performace for perform [oratory], so you can invest those ranks in something else (like knowledges, or UMD). Likewise, if you're going to pick dance you wouldn't put any ranks in acrobatics and instead you'd spend those on something else.

Very true...could use those ranks to pick up other performance types.

I'll revisit this.


Kryzbyn wrote:
Firebug wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Greater Mercy is damn handy. Dunno about Ultimate Mercy...by the time that comes on line an oracle or cleric should have that available.

So...level 5?

That's when my paladin was able to use ultimate mercy... Twice a day. By level 7, I could raise 3 people a day.

Did you take Extra Lay on Hands feat alot? How did you get 30 uses by level 7? Each use takes 10 uses of Lay on Hands.

Probably:

LG Human Paladin 3/Ninja 2
CHA 15+2(racial)+1(leveling)+2(magic item) = CHA 20
1: Two feats, both, retrained into Extra Lay on Hands
3: Greater Mercy
5: Ultimate Mercy
Then a bunch of Meditation Crystals to regain Lay on Hands and Teas of Transference to convert Ninja Ki into Paladin Lay on Hands.


Ahh ok, there's my confusion. I'm going with the Dervish of Dawn bard for the other half of the gestalt.


Alright, have fun.

I was about to suggest using the regular bard for the extra versatility and team boost, but the dervish of dawn is the better combatant and a pretty decent combo with the paladin.


I think I will, this character is shaping up nicely :)

Sovereign Court

My Self wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Firebug wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Greater Mercy is damn handy. Dunno about Ultimate Mercy...by the time that comes on line an oracle or cleric should have that available.

So...level 5?

That's when my paladin was able to use ultimate mercy... Twice a day. By level 7, I could raise 3 people a day.

Did you take Extra Lay on Hands feat alot? How did you get 30 uses by level 7? Each use takes 10 uses of Lay on Hands.

Probably:

LG Human Paladin 3/Ninja 2
CHA 15+2(racial)+1(leveling)+2(magic item) = CHA 20
1: Two feats, both, retrained into Extra Lay on Hands
3: Greater Mercy
5: Ultimate Mercy
Then a bunch of Meditation Crystals to regain Lay on Hands and Teas of Transference to convert Ninja Ki into Paladin Lay on Hands.

Close, starting cha of 19 (human) +1 at 4, +2 headband, so 6 users from cha.

Level 1 feat fey foundling, power attack (retrained at 5 for extra lay on hands.
3rd, greater mercy. 5th ultimate mercy.
2 from paladin levels (1/2 level).
5th level was actually oracle, life for a channel pool of 1+cha.
Hospitaler archetype for paladin for another channel pool of 3+cha.
Meditation crystal to turn channels into lay on hands. Meditation crystals are not consumables, you just need one.
Levels 6 and 7 were ninja though.
Level 7 extra revelation for life link. At some point I picked up bracers of the merciful knight and retrained out of extra lay on hands for power attack again.
Ninja trick, for rogue talent, for combat feat, for enforcer. Serenrae blade of mercy trait for nonlethal all the time.


I'd suggest mixing with a destined bloodline bloodrager with the steelblooded archtype. Your saves. And armor class will be phenomenal.

For traits I'd recommend fates favored for a +1 bonus to luck bonuses and magical knack for a +2 boost to your paladin caster level.

For feats I'd recommend Fay foundling as your first level feat for a significant boost to your lay on hands abillity. The second feat should be mad magic so you can cast your paladin spells while raging.


Would Combat Casting stack with Spinning Spellcaster from Dervish of Dawn?
Neither mention a bonus type.


Untyped bonuses usually stack, so I'd say yes unless there's some specific ruling I'm not aware of.


May find a way to sneak that in then. +8 to concentration checks by level 5 will be nice.

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