DEX-based Mounted Melee help?


Advice


Making another replacement character in the event that my character dies in the present campaign. (Haven't died yet, but I want to be prepared.) This one is going to be a DEX-to-damage mounted combat type.

The character will be a halfling with 15 point buy, and thus be small sized. Their mount must never grow larger than Medium size, and it must start as at least Small so it can be ridden with Undersized Mount (which can be retrained later). I've been considering mounts with climb speeds for dungeon utility for this reason, but other mounts would work as well.

I'm looking at using a few different classes here: 1 level of Unchained Rogue (for DEX to damage), 1 level of a class to get EWP: Elven Curve Blade or Elven Branched Spear, and then the rest of the way I'd go with Cavalier. I'd be tempted to grab Mad Dog for 2 levels and ask the GM to let the animal companion levels stack onto one companion just so I can use Gang Up with a +4 bonus to flanking.

The idea here is to use Piranha Strike and Risky Striker to boost my damage with the Elven Curve Blade or Elven Branched Spear and deal dex-based charge attacks from my mount. Spirited Charge would be good. Anything that lets me get a full attack while charging (or just moving) would also be good. Anything that makes my mount and I do more damage and contribute to a standard dungeon crew is good.

For reference, assume a mixture of casters and martials as companions. Assuming nobody dies, there's a wizard, a magus, and a brawler, but this character is being made in the event that both I (the support bard) and someone else dies.

Any and all advice to be had on building this character would be appreciated. This is my first mounted combat character with a real chance of hitting the table.

Grand Lodge

You need 3 levels in Unchained Rogue for DEX to damage. Also if you want to use Piranha Strike and Risky Striker I think you'll want to get more attacks then the one you get on a charge.


Does it have to be dex? strength would be way easier, then again I suppose that might be why you're doing it.


3 levels should be doable with Boon Companion. That's enough to get a free feat from my Rogue Talent, too, as well as 2d6 SAD and some skillmonkey stuff.

And yes, that's why I'm asking - IIRC there's a feat that lets you full attack when your mount moves its speed or less, but I was hoping there was similar for charges. Spirited Charge and the like will still give me a good benefit from Risky Striker / Piranha Strike though because that damage should multiply from the double damage bonus. (I'd use a Lance, but you can't Finesse that, meaning a halfling would have a bad attack bonus.)

Any thoughts on what sort of way to accomplish this best?

Grand Lodge

Ok, did a bit more research. Mounted Skirmisher is the feat that allows you to make full attacks when your mount moves its speed or less. I think you have no chance of finding one that allows one on a charge though, as I don't think that exists when you are not mounted and the idea they'd skip that but give it to the riders seems unlikely to me.


So I'd probably recommend focusing on trying to mass that flat damage with spirited charge.

The main problem with this build is it's obscenely feat heavy, so I'd probably play into that, go Fighter (Weapon Master) for the faster weapon training progression, you don't need armor training anyway. Pick up Weapon Finesse, Weapon focus and Slashing Grace as your first few feats to secure dex to damage with your elven curved blade (id recommend taking the heirloom weapon trait to get proficiency with it).

So for flat damage over the course of your build you've got

Dex score
Enhancement Bonus
Weapon Training + Dueling gloves
Spirited Charge
Risky Striker
Piranha Strike
Weapon Spec?

you could also think about Leadership if allowed and if charisma is high enough for an inspire courage bard to buff you.

As far as mounts, you could buy a trained riding gecko for the spider climb and ask the DM to advance it as you level up, it doesn't need to be a combatant it just needs to be able to take hits, but ride can help with that. I'd honestly skip Undersized Mount, so many feats already and a medium mount would fit pretty much everywhere.

Grand Lodge

Just to bring up some alternative ideas with a high dex you could make an interesting Mobility Rider or Archer rider. With dodge and mobility you could make your own ac pretty good, using mounted combat to keep your mount safe.

Otherwise with a high dex you could basically nullify the mounted penalty for firing while riding.


Dervish Dance gives you dex to damage with a scimitar and is completely appropriate for cavalry. The crit range of a scimitar would be nice with all the multipliable damage bonuses you have.

What order are you looking at? Order of the Sword works if you're going to be mounted all the time.

Grand Lodge

I have a gendarme cavalier (1) sacred hunter inquisitor (x) strength build that works great.

Cavalier mean no armor check penalty to ride, heavy armour, and you can Lance. With the rage or anger inqisition/domain you get rage without multi-classing. I lance from a flying mount eventually rage, furious, divine favour, bane, and against the right target adding challenge(boosted by Champion’s Banner).

In the new blood of the beast cavalier that can skip the int requirement for comabt expertise and get it as a bonus feat. That gets you mounted combat, ride by attack and combat expertise at level one. You may want to consider this dip regardless of build.

Teamwork feats are amazing on these build escape route is really good, there are few that boost saves. Outflank obviously if your not using a lance and pack flanking with you meet the pre reqs for with the dip.

These are some things I found in my research hope they help.


Have you considered playing an urban bloodrager with the bloodrider archetype?

You get a Dex-enhancing rage, a mount that reaches full progression with Boon Companion, and a few spells based on your halfling-enhanced Charisma, plus all the perks of your bloodline and whatever rage powers you snag with primalist (I recommend the ferocious beast and beast totem lines). If you want to do a elven branched spear build, you can get proficiency with a cracked opalescent white pyramid ioun stone, slap on the agile enchantment for Dex-to-damage, and take Combat Reflexes for good measure. Alternatively, you could just get an agile amulet of mighty fists and go to town with natural weapons and Piranha Strike.


Inlaa wrote:

Making another replacement character in the event that my character dies in the present campaign. (Haven't died yet, but I want to be prepared.) This one is going to be a DEX-to-damage mounted combat type.

The character will be a halfling with 15 point buy, and thus be small sized. Their mount must never grow larger than Medium size, and it must start as at least Small so it can be ridden with Undersized Mount (which can be retrained later). I've been considering mounts with climb speeds for dungeon utility for this reason, but other mounts would work as well.

I'm looking at using a few different classes here: 1 level of Unchained Rogue (for DEX to damage), 1 level of a class to get EWP: Elven Curve Blade or Elven Branched Spear, and then the rest of the way I'd go with Cavalier. I'd be tempted to grab Mad Dog for 2 levels and ask the GM to let the animal companion levels stack onto one companion just so I can use Gang Up with a +4 bonus to flanking.

The idea here is to use Piranha Strike and Risky Striker to boost my damage with the Elven Curve Blade or Elven Branched Spear and deal dex-based charge attacks from my mount. Spirited Charge would be good. Anything that lets me get a full attack while charging (or just moving) would also be good. Anything that makes my mount and I do more damage and contribute to a standard dungeon crew is good.

For reference, assume a mixture of casters and martials as companions. Assuming nobody dies, there's a wizard, a magus, and a brawler, but this character is being made in the event that both I (the support bard) and someone else dies.

Any and all advice to be had on building this character would be appreciated. This is my first mounted combat character with a real chance of hitting the table.

Halflings can have Riding Dogs, which are pretty cool, and should be approved for you to ride just about anywhere (and take with you into town, assuming you can keep it under control).

Using a reach weapon as a Small creature with a Medium mount isn't exactly going to be fun. When you charge, you get an attack, but your Mount doesn't. Simultaneously, if your mount gets to attack, you don't get to. With that being said, you may have to ditch the idea of a Reach weapon, especially because if you don't, you'll have to deal with silly 5-foot step mechanics in order for both you and your mount to make attacks.

I instead suggest taking a level of the Swashbuckler archetype, Inspired Blade, and picking up Fencing Grace. It's less feat intensive, you'll get Dexterity to Damage, and the big thing is that you can do this at level 1, WITHOUT being Human. The only downside is you can't wield a shield, but quite frankly, if you're going to be using two-handed "reach" weapons, then it's a loss you were willing to accept anyway.

You can take the class up to 3rd level, getting Nimble (+1 Dodge AC), an extra Deed, and Charmed Life (which is really good for your potentially bad save combination, and stacks with Halfling Luck benefits), and still have your mount be equal to your level via Boon Companion feat, though you don't have to if you don't think it's worth it. You can just take the 1 level dip, proceed straight to Cavalier (with whatever plan you were going there), and still be solid (though it reduces the value of the Boon Companion feat).

In my opinion, it's a toss-up. You get more Swashbuckler-based features (which can be good, like Precise Strike, Swashbuckler's Initiative, and so on, even though you may have to spend a feat on Extra Deed, or even Extra Panache), but you lose (and delay) Cavalier-based features. I mean, you could go Swashbuckler, Cavalier, back to Swashbuckler, and then finish with Cavalier if you wanted.


I'd like to point out just how awesome the Sohei Monk's ability to take Mounted Skirmisher with a level 1 Monk Bonus feat is. Also, Flurry of Blows, potentially in armor. Also, Monastic Mount (including granting the mount Barkskin for free when it's Ki-cast with Qinggong). Also, eventually, Weapon Training.

On a related note:

Animal Ally.

So it's very easy to get a Mounted-Skirmisher-Flurry-of-Blows armored Monk who has a feat-based Animal Companion that they magically enhance with Ki; and by the time they can afford Gloves of Dueling, they've grabbed a +3 to attack and damage from their Sohei Weapon Training.

The only piece of the puzzle remaining is to have a Flurry-able DEX weapon, which is also easy with Slashing Grace; personally I think one level of Swashbuckler to wield a Slashing Grace 9-ring broadsword and use a Swordmaster's Flair: Blue Scarf for reach with it is an awesome DEX-cavalry style.

By level 9, you can easily make up to 6 nicely-buffed flurry attacks with a 10ft. reach sword while your Ki-mount is in motion.


Fighter is something I considered - but I don't know. Having the strong animal companion is nice, and I won't have to convince my GM to let the gecko grow if I go for a class with an animal companion. Ranger and Cavalier are the best options for that.

With that said, I DID think about how feat-starved this is. It's another reason to consider AT LEAST dipping Fighter. My DM doesn't seem like the type to allow the gecko to level as I do, though, unless I can find rules to back it up. He's running the module fairly by the books.

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Just to bring up some alternative ideas with a high dex you could make an interesting Mobility Rider or Archer rider. With dodge and mobility you could make your own ac pretty good, using mounted combat to keep your mount safe.

Otherwise with a high dex you could basically nullify the mounted penalty for firing while riding.

The mounted archery route I've been considering. Halflings are just generally not very good at dealing damage that way, so it'd require a class that gives a lot of feats to give me an opportunity to do that. See: Fighter.

Quote:

Dervish Dance gives you dex to damage with a scimitar and is completely appropriate for cavalry. The crit range of a scimitar would be nice with all the multipliable damage bonuses you have.

What order are you looking at? Order of the Sword works if you're going to be mounted all the time.

Order of the Sword was very tempting, yes. It seemed natural for my concept. The elven curve blade is basically a bigger version of the scimitar, which is why it's attractive.

The scimitar would only really work with Dervish Dance and a specific Swashbuckler setup - but it could work. I'll chew on that.

Quote:

Using a reach weapon as a Small creature with a Medium mount isn't exactly going to be fun. When you charge, you get an attack, but your Mount doesn't. Simultaneously, if your mount gets to attack, you don't get to. With that being said, you may have to ditch the idea of a Reach weapon, especially because if you don't, you'll have to deal with silly 5-foot step mechanics in order for both you and your mount to make attacks.

I instead suggest taking a level of the Swashbuckler archetype, Inspired Blade, and picking up Fencing Grace. It's less feat intensive, you'll get Dexterity to Damage, and the big thing is that you can do this at level 1, WITHOUT being Human. The only downside is you can't wield a shield, but quite frankly, if you're going to be using two-handed "reach" weapons, then it's a loss you were willing to accept anyway.

Not a terrible call - but note that the Elven Curve Blade isn't reach. It's two-handed and melee range with great stats (1d8 18-20 x2 for a small creature, 1d10 for a medium), weapon finessable, etc - and a Rogue splash gives +1.5 DEX to that damage (since it'd just replace the STR bonus, which would be 1.5). That's why Rogue was my instinctual choice rather than Swashbuckler, though it still costs a feat.

(The Heirloom weapon trick doesn't work with the most modern version of the trait.)

Charmed Life IS really good though. As is extra dodge AC. Considering.

Quote:

Have you considered playing an urban bloodrager with the bloodrider archetype?

You get a Dex-enhancing rage, a mount that reaches full progression with Boon Companion, and a few spells based on your halfling-enhanced Charisma, plus all the perks of your bloodline and whatever rage powers you snag with primalist (I recommend the ferocious beast and beast totem lines). If you want to do a elven branched spear build, you can get proficiency with a cracked opalescent white pyramid ioun stone, slap on the agile enchantment for Dex-to-damage, and take Combat Reflexes for good measure. Alternatively, you could just get an agile amulet of mighty fists and go to town with natural weapons and Piranha Strike.

This is... really interesting and I'll be looking into this. That's gonna leave me stretched on feats, though.

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In the new blood of the beast cavalier that can skip the int requirement for comabt expertise and get it as a bonus feat. That gets you mounted combat, ride by attack and combat expertise at level one. You may want to consider this dip regardless of build.

I haven't bought that book - are there any snippets you'd be allowed to post that you think are particularly relevant / good to know? I'm interested, very interested.

Quote:

I'd like to point out just how awesome the Sohei Monk's ability to take Mounted Skirmisher with a level 1 Monk Bonus feat is. Also, Flurry of Blows, potentially in armor. Also, Monastic Mount (including granting the mount Barkskin for free when it's Ki-cast with Qinggong). Also, eventually, Weapon Training.

On a related note:

Animal Ally.

So it's very easy to get a Mounted-Skirmisher-Flurry-of-Blows armored Monk who has a feat-based Animal Companion that they magically enhance with Ki; and by the time they can afford Gloves of Dueling, they've grabbed a +3 to attack and damage from their Sohei Weapon Training.

The only piece of the puzzle remaining is to have a Flurry-able DEX weapon, which is also easy with Slashing Grace; personally I think one level of Swashbuckler to wield a Slashing Grace 9-ring broadsword and use a Swashbuckler's Flair: Blue Scarf for reach with it is an awesome DEX-cavalry style.

By level 9, you can easily make up to 6 nicely-buffed flurry attacks with a 10ft. reach sword while your Ki-mount is in motion.

That... sounds absolutely glorious.

I'm going to tinker with that and see what it looks like.


best one?
halfling horse master cavalier.

spring attack as medium creature, that do X3 or X5 damage.


Badbird wrote:
Slashing Grace 9-ring broadsword...

Oops, I forgot that Slashing Grace got gimped by a nerf that means you can't use Flurry of Blows with it. You would need to use a Dervish Dance scimitar and Crusader's Flurry, which isn't that tough to put together, but it's a bit more complicated. Sohei Monk with four levels of Warpriest might actually be the best way to do it, depending on what level your character would be starting at.

That &%$&$%& Slashing Grace nerf still trips me every time.

Anyhow, I'll post an example of how it could work.


So, a bit different, using a little bit of divine magic power and worshipping Sarenrae:

1Warpriest. Weapon Finesse / +Weapon Focus: Scimitar
2Warpriest.
3Warpriest. Nature Soul / +Dervish Dance
4Warpriest.

5Sohei. Crusader's Flurry: Sarenrae / +Mounted Skirmisher
6Sohei. +Mounted Combat
7Sohei. Animal Ally

With the Fate's Favored and Magical Knack traits plus four levels of Warpriest, you can use the Warpriest's Fervor ability to cast Divine Favor on yourself as a swift action, and it will add a +3 bonus to attack and damage (because Magical Knack makes you count as a level 6 Warpriest, and Fate's Favored grants a +1 to all Luck bonuses).

Warpriest gets Channel Energy at level 4, so you can take Crusader's Flurry at level 5. Crusader's Flurry lets you use a scimitar for Flurry of Blows attacks, and Dervish Dance has no problem granting you DEX damage while flurrying your scimitar.

It's a bit more complicated this way and you get Sohei stuff a bit slower, but on the up-side, swift-action Divine Favor is a really nice little combat bonus. Warpriest also grants a little bit of spellcasting stuff - nothing major, but there's a few interesting self-buffing options to play with.

You can take the Amateur Swashbuckler feat at level 9 if you still want to use a Blue Scarf to give your sword reach.


If you go straight sohei you can flurry with an agile elven branched spear by level six, and you'll be a bit less starved for feats.


Avoron wrote:
If you go straight sohei you can flurry with an agile elven branched spear by level six, and you'll be a bit less starved for feats.

Indeed, Elven Branched Spear is a good catch that way. Straight Sohei is a lot simpler in general.


There's some very nice stuff on the Sohei but I think a mount which doesn't cost you 2-3 feats (boon companion too?) will be better. One or two levels for the bonus feats though, that's worth doing.

Maybe ...

Qadiran Horselord Cavalier (Order of the Sword) 1 / Sohei Monk 1 / Cavalier +4 / Sohei Monk +1 / Cavalier +X

Feats
1: Weapon Finesse
2: Spirited Charge
3: Dervish Dance
5: Risky Striker
7: Mounted Combat, Mounted Skirmisher
8: Mobility (mounted only)
9: Trick Riding
10: Skill Focus (Ride) or Ride-by Attack
11: Lunge, Spring Attack (mounted only)

No flurry but early spirited charge for double damage, x3 from character level 8. Which should work well with challenge, risky striker and dervish dance. Mounted skirmisher lets you do multiple attacks without charging once your BAB gets there, if you need to move off a straight line or something.


You can't use risky striker on a standard charge... it's few restrictions is that it has to be on the attack action or on a full attack. Until you manage to do a full attack on a charge risky striker is a "dead" feat on the charge itself even though its useful on regular full attacks


avr wrote:

There's some very nice stuff on the Sohei but I think a mount which doesn't cost you 2-3 feats (boon companion too?) will be better. One or two levels for the bonus feats though, that's worth doing.

Maybe ...

Qadiran Horselord Cavalier (Order of the Sword) 1 / Sohei Monk 1 / Cavalier +4 / Sohei Monk +1 / Cavalier +X

Feats
1: Weapon Finesse
2: Spirited Charge
3: Dervish Dance
5: Risky Striker
7: Mounted Combat, Mounted Skirmisher
8: Mobility (mounted only)
9: Trick Riding
10: Skill Focus (Ride) or Ride-by Attack
11: Lunge, Spring Attack (mounted only)

No flurry but early spirited charge for double damage, x3 from character level 8. Which should work well with challenge, risky striker and dervish dance. Mounted skirmisher lets you do multiple attacks without charging once your BAB gets there, if you need to move off a straight line or something.

i wonder if the Sohei is worth it before level 10.11 ?

horse lord main deal is to get to level 8 and 9.
8 > STR of mount on charges
9 > spring attack = very easy to get charges.

it's more important than anything really.


another weird option is inquisitor 4 (lvl 2 spells, solo tactics ) then ghost rider cavalier with boon companion.

mount that can come and go, use team feats on self and many more "tricks'.
no charges - no need. you fear, you and mount attack and you have nice utility.

another is :
bard (dervish ) 1 >> cavalier 4 (horse lord = mount) >> battle herald.
free dervish dance feat.
bard buff on self = X2 strong.
full mount.
some utility on buff others.
order of the dragon and team feat master.


let's test some rogue build....
unchained rogue 4 >>> ghost rider cavalier X with boon companion
elven curve blade , dex to hit and damage.
quick draw to switch lance (str of 14) and blade (dex based).

1/2 orc :

you can stealth master, debuff the opponent with some rogue tricks ,
use 1.5 dex to damage with power attack.
mitral medium armor on a dex build = decent AC.

order of the cockatrice add big boost on intimidate.

good skills, decetn RP .

Rogue can be skulking slayer - for free dirty tricks on attacks or thug for super debuffing.

all and all - a strong choice.


Actually, one option that gets very powerful is a Battle Shaman riding a Mauler Archetype Familiar with one level of Sohei. Done with DEX, feats are slow to start and combat is quite average for the early levels (which isn't uncommon)... but then in the 7-8-9 corridor, you pick up a level of Sohei with Mounted Skirmisher, Divine Power, free Weapon Specialization, and the Battle Spirit's Bane effect (that's arguably better than the Inquisitor's Bane!). With Bane activated, another huge combat buff from Divine Power, and a string of Mounted Skirmisher attacks, it's straight death-dealing from then on. By 9, whatever damage is actually being done by Dervish Dance and weapon is augmented with around +15 from assorted bonuses.

Basically, "Spirit Cavalry"

1Sh. Weapon Finesse
2Sh.
3Sh. Dervish Dance
4Sh.
5Sh. Weapon Focus
6Sh.
7SM. Crusader's Flurry / +Mounted Skirmisher

Either the Witch Doctor Archetype or Life Spirit can grab Channel Energy to make Crusader's Flurry work. One Hex should ideally be spent on Mauler's Endurance. The Halfling Shaman FCB is +1/2 familiar level...

While the point is to be deadly magical cavalry mounted on some kind of crazy huge familiar, you also naturally get a huge pile of spellcasting that can be put into anything from Barkskin and False Life to throwing Stone Discus and other no-save spells.


If you're interested in using natural weapons, another option is vivisectionist/beastmorph alchemist. You can get Dex-to-damage with an agile amulet of might fists while riding around on whatever mauler tumor familiar you like. You also get full sneak attack progression, a Dex-boosting mutagen, all your favorite monster abilities, and several excellent buff extracts (reduce person, anyone?).


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BadBird wrote:

Actually, one option that gets very powerful is a Battle Shaman riding a Mauler Archetype Familiar with one level of Sohei. Done with DEX, feats are slow to start and combat is quite average for the early levels (which isn't uncommon)... but then in the 7-8-9 corridor, you pick up a level of Sohei with Mounted Skirmisher, Divine Power, free Weapon Specialization, and the Battle Spirit's Bane effect (that's arguably better than the Inquisitor's Bane!). With Bane activated, another huge combat buff from Divine Power, and a string of Mounted Skirmisher attacks, it's straight death-dealing from then on. By 9, whatever damage is actually being done by Dervish Dance and weapon is augmented with around +15 from assorted bonuses.

Basically, "Spirit Cavalry"

1Sh. Weapon Finesse
2Sh.
3Sh. Dervish Dance
4Sh.
5Sh. Weapon Focus
6Sh.
7SM. Crusader's Flurry / +Mounted Skirmisher

Either the Witch Doctor Archetype or Life Spirit can grab Channel Energy to make Crusader's Flurry work. One Hex should ideally be spent on Mauler's Endurance. The Halfling Shaman FCB is +1/2 familiar level...

While the point is to be deadly magical cavalry mounted on some kind of crazy huge familiar, you also naturally get a huge pile of spellcasting that can be put into anything from Barkskin and False Life to throwing Stone Discus and other no-save spells.

Damage is a bit low ain't it ?

Won't spirit Oracle be better ? Cha as casting ability, 2 feats add a familiar .
Changing spirit is great.

Also, there is a fighter archetype that gets a familiar. He can work well here as well


666bender wrote:
BadBird wrote:

Basically, "Spirit Cavalry"

Damage is a bit low ain't it ?

By level 9, damage is brutal...

+3 scimitar, 24DEX, Divine Power + Fate's Favored + Magical Knack, free Weapon Specialization, Enemies' Bane Battle Spirit Greater Ability:

1d4+3, +7, +4, +2, +crits = ~20 before Bane. With an extra attack from Divine Power and an extra attack from flurry, you've got 4 high-accuracy skirmisher attacks at around 20 damage each.

Then you activate Enemies' Bane on a high-value target, and your weapon enhancement increases by +2 while you add 2d6 extra damage. Now it's 4 very-high-accuracy DR-breaking ~30 damage attacks, which is a serious beating.

Edit: corrected for scimitar. Had the non-dex version on my brain. Same thing anyhow, more or less.


666bender wrote:

i wonder if the Sohei is worth it before level 10.11 ?

horse lord main deal is to get to level 8 and 9.
8 > STR of mount on charges
9 > spring attack = very easy to get charges.

it's more important than anything really.

The first level, I think definitely so. You want to be useful before level 8+ and spirited charge will help a great deal there. With the 2 feats minimum for dex to damage it takes a while otherwise to build up the 3 for spirited charge. The second is more arguable.

That risky striker won't work on a charge (as Kris Verschaeve pointed out) is very annoying. It suggests that the best way to make use of it is with some build focused on mounted skirmisher rather than charging. I'll think about it.


Okay, so this is my present idea:

3-4 levels of Unchained Rogue (Scout Archetype if 4 levels?), then Fighter onward. Eldritch Guardian archetype. Compsognathus familiar with the Mauler archetype. Boon Companion to boost familiar.

Jump onto dinosaur. Wield Elven Curve Blade two-handed. Risky Striker, Piranha Strike, Spirited Charge, Weapon Spec.

Thoughts? Is this a good place to start?


The OP seemed to suggest that this would be a replacement character, potentially starting at a higher level than 1. Though how much higher...?

The whole 'Spirit Cavalry' thing I posted is modified from a different idea, and this version starts much slower and then improves by leaps and bounds from 7 to 9. Halfling can't take the Oracle FCB that gets Cleric spells, so they can't take Divine Favor, which is kind of a big deal early on... and Shaman doesn't get Cat's Grace either, which would be a decent substitute early on. On the upside, they can take Craft Wondrous Item as a Hex early on, and they've got spells and a Mauler. Anyhow, I would caution against starting from low level unless someone was OK with a gradual build-up before 7/8/9.


Inlaa wrote:

Okay, so this is my present idea:

3-4 levels of Unchained Rogue (Scout Archetype if 4 levels?), then Fighter onward. Eldritch Guardian archetype. Compsognathus familiar with the Mauler archetype. Boon Companion to boost familiar.

Jump onto dinosaur. Wield Elven Curve Blade two-handed. Risky Striker, Piranha Strike, Spirited Charge, Weapon Spec.

Thoughts? Is this a good place to start?

You can't Piranha Strike with an Elven Curved Blade, alas.

Out of curiosity, what level is this character starting at?


Depends. The party seems fine for now. I expect that if we die, we'll be at least level 6 or so. We've been pretty cautious so far, and we've skimmed by without any character deaths (gotten close though).

Argh, good catch on the Piranha Strike. I'd hate to have to nab Power Attack - that's not something I want to have to do. And dual wielding would be even more of a feat tax...


Also, to explain why 13 STR is problematic for me:

Halfling is the race I want to play for this character, right? Well, the stat array we've been given is 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8. The 15 goes to DEX, and the 14 to CON; no questions. So, at most, I could have 11 STR.

Problematic.


If you're going Fighter, you could always pick up Toughness easily and make-do with 2 less CON; same amount of HP in the end, and Fort save is fine. With Figher Armor Training stuff and high DEX, you can get some very nice AC out of mithral armor that has it's DEX cap raised, so defenses should be very solid.

One Fighter option to consider would be the Advanced Weapon Training ability Trained Grace, which lets you double your Weapon Training bonus if you use Finesse to attack and strength for damage; with the Gloves of Dueling item Weapon Training gets pretty high (it can be +3 as soon as you can afford the gloves), so doubling it is a pretty good substitute for DEX damage, and frees you from needing any Rogue levels.

If you did 14\12STR, 15/17DEX, you could then put one more point into strength.

If you don't need Rogue levels, you could take a level of a Rage class and some Extra Rage for more rounds/day, which would bump your STR way up to where you qualified for Power Attack and added plenty of damage through two-handed STR with Trained Grace. As an added bonus, Furious Weapon is very nice as well; it's basically a free +1 to your weapon if you Rage.

There are plenty of good Barbarian/Bloodrager Archetypes for grabbing Rage, including several that don't lower AC or mess with CON. Savage Technologist actually grants +4 to STR and DEX and doesn't lower AC...


BadBird wrote:

The OP seemed to suggest that this would be a replacement character, potentially starting at a higher level than 1. Though how much higher...?

The whole 'Spirit Cavalry' thing I posted is modified from a different idea, and this version starts much slower and then improves by leaps and bounds from 7 to 9. Halfling can't take the Oracle FCB that gets Cleric spells, so they can't take Divine Favor, which is kind of a big deal early on... and Shaman doesn't get Cat's Grace either, which would be a decent substitute early on. On the upside, they can take Craft Wondrous Item as a Hex early on, and they've got spells and a Mauler. Anyhow, I would caution against starting from low level unless someone was OK with a gradual build-up before 7/8/9.

as you said so well, without the racial bonus , oracle > shaman, and can get the same build , better spells, changing hex\spirit and other cookies.

another note, in order to be effective , i suggest to try and push in hex strike.
strike with your fist 1 attack, and add a evil eye hex - no save!
one can also add the rime\enforcer frost touch.

BTW > same build, 1 Sohei, rest magus can work great as well.
less needed for a high end casting ability, no flurry, but sohei and famniliar allow full move and full attack (with spell combat...)


666bender wrote:
as you said so well, without the racial bonus , oracle > shaman, and can get the same build , better spells, changing hex\spirit and other cookies.

An Oracle with an Animal Companion Mystery can work decently in place of a Shaman with a Mauler... but Oracle doesn't get access to Enemies' Bane; or at least not before stupidly high level.

Enemies' Bane takes the Battle Shaman from a competent combatant into a straight-up death-dealer; it's like getting Smite Evil, only it works on everything (including multiple enemies of the same type with one use), and you get 3+CHA uses/day.


How about paladin / anti paladin ,dex build , sohei 1....
Again,crusaders flurry works , but on a full bab....
Decent all around , mount , and great as halfling as cha a d dex based....


Yeah, Paladin with a mount can work well; personally I just like a big bag of bonus spells and tricks instead of a couple extra BAB that way (since attack bonus isn't a problem). Grabbing Barkskin, False Life and maybe Heroism from spirit magic; riding something like a giant fox with Overland Flight; using the Wind Spirit's Air Barrier power with high DEX, and so on. Paladin is nice and straightforward though; the only annoying thing being that you can't take Oath of Vengeance if you want Crusader's Flurry.


So I realize now that the Ranger's two-handed weapon style can grant Power Attack as a bonus feat. Queue giggling.

The problem is that the Ranger's animal companion progresses slowly already, and my choices are limited if I don't take Beastmaster. Thus, getting everything I want is going to be tricky unless I accept that my animal companion will always be weak...

But how devestating would that be with Trick Riding thrown into the mix along with good ride checks?

Assuming UCRogue 3, UCMonk 2 (Sohei), and Ranger (Beastmaster) onward with a Boon Companion thrown into the mix, my mount will always be 4 levels behind me. At the start, that might be terrible, but I could ride a purchase mount (like a riding gecko) until then. I'd get my mount at level 9, and it would count as a 5th level animal companion at that time.

Alternatively, I could give up on having a cool mount and just get Animal Ally / Boon Companion instead, but that's a 3 feat tax with Nature Soul. I don't like that.

Finally, is the Eldritch Guardian build actually worth it? All the bonus feats the Mauler would get don't affect it because they're mounted combat feats. I realize that now, and that bugs me. I'd be better off going for a natural attack build if I rode that thing.

Thoughts?

(I'm seriously considering the merits of not having a mount at all, btw. UMC Rogue 3, Divine Tracker Ranger 2 or 6, and a quick splash of Fighter... You could have a pretty mean DEX-to-damage based build on foot. Bonus points if you're a goblin.)


Eldritch Guardian is nice because you get a Familiar and Fighter features, like Trained Grace at level 5 and hordes of feats. Eldritch Guardian/ Barbarian could end up very deadly with an elven curved blade, and you can afford Extra Rage and Extra Rage Power feats easily enough - maybe even dual-wield. You could use 4 levels of Scarred Rager to do their Rage Cycle trick with Lesser Elemental Rage and Reckless Abandon and a Furious weapon.

If you want a really cool Unchained Rogue 3 build, add 4 levels of Druid with Shaping Focus and turn into an air elemental wielding a DEX-to-damage weapon.


I think I'd prefer the Air Elemental build. That sounds awesome, since you can just get Mage Armor cast on yourself to improve your AC, and BE A FREAKING AIR ELEMENTAL FOR 8 HOURS/DAY. Sorry, 16 hours a day, since you can transform twice. And you can be small size and enjoy a +4 bonus to DEX. That's awesome.

I'm going to think about how I'd want to build that exactly - continue with druid for spellcasting abilities? Or focus purely on fighting potential by investing in other classes (maybe Urban Barbarian or Bloodrager for DEX rage, or 4 levels of Fighter for feats and Weapon Spec?).

For now, I think my takeaway on this mounted dex-based build is that DEX to damage mounted combat is doable, but you probably want your mount available from outside of classes. I DID devise a 9 level build (which I'll put in spoilers), but overall it feels underwhelming, and I'd be happier if I didn't have to lose out on 2 Fighter bonus feats to make it happen. Doubling the Fighter Weapon Training bonus still hurts if you have a negative Strength score, too.

Here's that build I mentioned. I'm underwhelmed by it. I think I'm going to tinker with the air elemental one instead, because that just sounds cool anyway.

That Build I Mentioned:
Assume a starting DEX of 17 - this is for a campaign with a stat array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8.

Ranger (Trapper) 1 - Trapfinding, EWP (Elven Curve Blade) OR EWP (Elven Branched Spear)
UC Rogue (Shadow Walker) 1 - Darkvision 30
UC Rogue 2 - Bonus Feat (Mounted Combat), Risky Striker
UC Rogue 3 - DEX to Damage
Fighter (Eldritch Guardian) 1 - free Mauler familiar, Ride By Attack
Fighter (Eldritch Guardian) 2 - Mauler familiar gains combat feats (including armor prof.)
Ranger (Trapper) 2 - Two-Handed Weapon Style (Power Attack), Spirited Charge
Monk (Sohei) 1 - Bonus Feat (Mounted Skirmisher)
Monk (Sohei) 2 - Bonus Feat (Trick Riding), Toughness OR Weapon Focus

Would leave you with BAB 7, HP (without FCB) of 71 or 80, a familiar that can wear heavy armor and has 35 or 40 HP, Power Attack and Risky Striker (but that only works when enemies are 2 size categories larger), Spirited Charge to take advantage of both, Mounted Skirmisher to allow full attacks while mounted, Trick Riding to reduce your mount's damage taken, DEX to damage... But the damage is pretty flimsy to me.

At level 7, your regular attack damage (no enhancements) is 1d8+12 without Risky Striker, or 1d8+16 with Risky Striker. +6 from 1.5xDEX, +6 from Power Attack, +4 from Risky Striker. Add another +2d6 for sneak attack if flanking.

When charging, it's 2d8+24 or 2d8+32 with a +2d6 if flanking.

At level 10 (Assuming 8 BAB), your damage on a normal attack is
1d8+15 without risky Striker, or 1d8+21 with Risky Striker. +6 from 1.5xDEX, +9 from Power Attack, +6 from Risky Striker. Add another +2d6 for sneak attack if flanking.

When charging, it's 2d8+30 or 2d8+42 with a +2d6 if flanking.

This seems underwhelming. Obviously, weapon enhancement bonuses, morale bonuses to damage, etc. aren't included, but it still strikes me as "This could be way better." You can make 2 attacks in a round or charge, and the damage will be similar (if both hit). At level 10, your average damage for a charge under the best circumstances (flanking, opponent is large or bigger) is 58 without counting crits. Somehow, that doesn't impress me.

(The above build gets better if you use James Jacobs' ruling with Reduce Person to allow yourself to use Risky Striker and an Elven Branched Spear, but that's not RAW, so I know a lot of tables would deny it. This also boosts your DEX for damage purposes, but reduces the damage die of your spear to 1d6.)


Weapon Master Fighter is pretty great for the fact that you get Weapon Training (and then Gloves of Dueling for a total of +3) by level 3, and can grab Advanced Weapon Training as a special Weapon Master thing twice by level 4 with the level 4 combat feat and with retraining another bonus combat feat (via Fighter retraining, not general retraining rules).

I've been thinking about an air elemental wielding an elven curved blade for quite a while now.


Gloves of Dueling are 16,000 gold. If you're getting Gloves of Dueling at 3rd level, then you won't have any other gear until 7th level or higher.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Gloves of Dueling are 16,000 gold. If you're getting Gloves of Dueling at 3rd level, then you won't have any other gear until 7th level or higher.

Third level of Weapon Master, not third level of character.


Say... On that note:

Sling-build. Halfling. Warslinger racial.

8 levels of Fighter (Weapon Master):

F1 - EWP (Double Sling), Weapon Focus (Double Sling),
F2 - Point Blank Shot
F3 - Weapon Training (Double Sling), Precise Shot
F4 - Slipslinger Style
F5 - Advanced Weapon Training (feat): Trained Throw
F6 - Deadly Aim
F7 - Advanced Weapon Training: Focused Weapon, Two-Weapon Fighting
F8 - Improved Two-Weapon Fighting

This looks like the basis of a great sling build with the Gloves of Dueling tacked on.

If Advanced Weapon Training boosts your Weapon Training bonus, then it'd be a no brainer to grab another Advanced Weapon Training feat at 9 or 10 to deal even more damage with your sling. But just as it is, you're looking at free actions to reload, Imp. TWF with a lot of bonus damage... You haven't even grabbed Weapon Spec yet, but your bonus damage should be pretty respectable between Deadly Aim, 2xWeapon Training, and presumably a positive strength score (probably just 13 or 14 in a normal campaign unless you're receiving buffs).

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