Aspect of the Wolf Warrior ideas...


Advice


So I've been puzzling away for a long time about the best way to build a melee character based around using the really cool Aspect of the Wolf spell (that Druids never use, because Wildshape). Unfortunately, it's a level 5 spell. The theme seems to lend itself to the Ulfhednar, the supposed wolf-skin berserkers of Odin. I think I've finally hit on a pretty good plan mechanically, that works within the limitations of PFS...

Tyrvald Fame-Wolf
This Ulfen holy-warrior practices esoteric magics, transforming into a fierce living embodiment of the Great Wolf.
Theme Music: Why not some Wardruna?

Separatist Cleric of Gorum 9/ Unbreakable Fighter 1/ Living Monolith 1.
Ulfen Human: 16/18STR, 12DEX, 14CON, 10INT, 15WIS, 7CHA
Traits: Fate's Favored, Magical Knack
Domains: Anger Inquisition, Wolf Domain (Separatist)

1SC. *Wolf Domain* / *Anger Inquisition: Hateful Retort* / (+Improved Trip) / Iron Will / Dirty Fighting
2SC.
3SC. Heighten Spell
4SC.
5SC. Preferred Spell: Aspect of the Wolf
6UF. (+Endurance) / (+Diehard)
7SC. *Anger Inquisition: Divine Anger* / Extra Rage
8LM. *Ka Stone* / (+Toughness)
9SC. Greater Trip
10SC.
11SC. Extra Rage

Preferred Spell: Aspect of the Wolf means that by level 5 and beyond it can be cast as a level 3 spell many times a day, using any spell slot (regular or Domain) at 3 or above. As a level 3 spell, it's also very cheap to pre-buff with a lesser metamagic rod of extend. If it has to be cast in combat, it still allows cast -> move -> swift trip -> AoO. Divine Favor has the usual pre-buffing issues, though it can at least be combined with the swift-action Enlarge Person and a move into position.

Rage and the Living Monolith Enlarge Person ability grant a total of +6STR to two-handed 3d6 Furious greatsword attacks, while Divine Favor buffs attack and damage; the total gain from strength bonus, size bonus, and furious enhanced weapon should hopefully keep trip pretty solid, and overall damage and accuracy should be very good without Power Attack.

Diehard means that Raging Vitality isn't necessary, and free Toughness plus Rage keeps HP pretty high; AC and/or mobility might be an issue though.

Thoughts, or problems I've missed, or better ideas on how to run an Aspect of the Wolf melee character?


Preferred Spell, APG wrote:

Prerequisites: Spellcraft 5 ranks, Heighten Spell.

Benefit: Choose one spell which you have the ability to cast. You can cast that spell spontaneously by sacrificing a prepared spell or spell slot of equal or higher level. You can apply any metamagic feats you possess to this spell when you cast it. This increases the minimum level of the prepared spell or spell slot you must sacrifice in order to cast it but does not affect the casting time.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a different spell.

I'm not seeing how this converts a 5th level spell into a 3rd level spell. Even if magical knack let you adjust a metamagiced spell to below its normal level, which it doesn't, that would only make it a 4th level spell.

Edit: Even if you had magical lineage or wayang spellhunter, I confused the former with magical knack for a mo. I just don't see how you're getting to reduce the spell level.


avr wrote:
I just don't see how you're getting to reduce the spell level.

Ah, yeah I should have mentioned more explicitly - a Cleric with Wolf Domain gets Aspect of the Wolf as a level 3 Domain spell.


Got it. OK, it looks pretty good, and heavy armor for AC and the Grace spell + reach for mobility should answer at least some of those issues.

The second Extra Rage feat looks like overkill to me. By that point you have 15 rounds of rage/day before adding the second feat, even if you never increase your wisdom or get a headband. You could get a combat feat like Weapon Focus, Blind-Fighting or Fortified Armor Training, or a metamagic feat like Dazing Spell (which works very well on the 1st level spell Gorum's Armor) or Furious Spell.


avr wrote:

Got it. OK, it looks pretty good, and heavy armor for AC and the Grace spell + reach for mobility should answer at least some of those issues.

The second Extra Rage feat looks like overkill to me. By that point you have 15 rounds of rage/day before adding the second feat, even if you never increase your wisdom or get a headband. You could get a combat feat like Weapon Focus, Blind-Fighting or Fortified Armor Training, or a metamagic feat like Dazing Spell (which works very well on the 1st level spell Gorum's Armor) or Furious Spell.

Yeah, options... The second XR was just an afterthought really, though I'm not sure what else to grab. Hmm, I think there's a Gorum feat for Armor Training on a Cleric, if I'm not mistaken.


Aspect of the Wolf is a really neat spell, but I feel like maybe you should be trying to take more advantage of the swift action trips with stuff like combat reflexes, improved and greater trip. i'm not an expert on trip builds but aspect of the wolf with Master of Many Styles monk and wolf/panther style seems like it might have a field day.


Seems like Ironbound Master at level 11 would be pretty great grab, since it's just in time to move at full speed in heavy armor and it grants extra DEX bonus (which Aspect of the Wolf is providing). 30ft movement works real nice with Air Walk to make my enlarged wolf-warrior able to "fly" at a decent speed.

Frogsplosion wrote:
Aspect of the Wolf is a really neat spell, but I feel like maybe you should be trying to take more advantage of the swift action trips with stuff like combat reflexes, improved and greater trip. i'm not an expert on trip builds but aspect of the wolf with Master of Many Styles monk and wolf/panther style seems like it might have a field day.

Well I do have Improved/Greater Trip (Improved is a Wolf Domain bonus, Greater at 9, Dirty Fighting at 1 instead of Combat Expertise); Combat Reflexes would quite possibly make it in if feats weren't so incredibly tight. As it is, it's one swift trip and one AoO per round to go along with it, which is at least itself a really nice combo. In a situation where AoO has already been used... well, "smile, you got an AoO already". Combat Reflexes is another strong candidate for level 11 I guess.

The issue with a build that has a heavy trip focus is that combat maneuvers can be difficult to pull-off when you really want them to work the most. I looked at a ton of ways to use Wolf Aspect, but in the end, doing everything possible to maximize tripping power won-out.

Amusingly enough, there's a special polearm weapon that can "trip" winged creatures out of the sky - goes perfect with Air Walk. Some uppity monster flying around in the air? Run up there and fetch it down!


Ironbound Master isn't quite that good. It's based off your cleric level -4 (perhaps +1 for unbreakable fighter, I'm not sure) and you only get full speed in heavy armor at fighter level 7. You'll have effective fighter level 5-6 at level 11. I will have to remember that feat tho', since it gives the actual armor training class feature it should allow advanced armor training.

Anyway potions of longstrider are cheap and last an hour minimum.


avr wrote:

Ironbound Master isn't quite that good. It's based off your cleric level -4 (perhaps +1 for unbreakable fighter, I'm not sure) and you only get full speed in heavy armor at fighter level 7. You'll have effective fighter level 5-6 at level 11. I will have to remember that feat tho', since it gives the actual armor training class feature it should allow advanced armor training.

Anyway potions of longstrider are cheap and last an hour minimum.

Ah, *Cleric Level* -4... annoying. Seems kind of odd they felt the need to do that instead of the typical character level from feats, especially when dealing with a feat that's already gimping effective level by 4 and has a major Cleric level prerequisite anyways. Mithral heavy would still move at full speed (and have a really low armor check) - the cost isn't extreme by level 11, but it's not exactly cheap. Pity that Effortless Armor doesn't last longer. I have a strange aversion to being a potion-popper...


One of the things aspect of wolf has edge over enlarge person is that buffs dex instead of reducing it. If you would double up with savage technology BARB for 1 level your anger inquisition rage would also be modded that way I think ?

You then would get two stackable dex increases along solving your rage AC problem and making furys fall attractive especially if you would switch Dex Con scores for a higher dex score.


Kris Verschaeve wrote:

One of the things aspect of wolf has edge over enlarge person is that buffs dex instead of reducing it. If you would double up with savage technology BARB for 1 level your anger inquisition rage would also be modded that way I think ?

You then would get two stackable dex increases along solving your rage AC problem and making furys fall attractive especially if you would switch Dex Con scores for a higher dex score.

Yeah, I was originally looking at a Barbarian or Bloodrager dip to stack with Anger Inquisition. The reason I ended up going Unbreakable/Monolith was that having a size increase is necessary for being able to trip bigger foes, and on a character who is already scheming on having multiple buff spells running, getting Enlarge Person as a swift-action is just a huge efficiency. If I could go into Living Monolith without needing the level of Unbreakable I would grab a level of Barbarian for sure - but Unbreakable's bonus feats are necessary and/or very useful.

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