Easy martial class for a kid to play


Advice

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Silver Crusade

My son is getting into playing PFS with me. He played his first scenario last weekend with a character we rolled up together. We initially made a ranger, but when I thought about it more, between the pet and casting spells, ranger can get a bit complicated.

I was going to have him remake the character as a slayer, since Studied Target is an easier version of favored enemy. Then I remembered slayers get sneak attack, and as an archer, that will be largely useless for him.

So, what do you guys think? I was hoping to avoid making him a bland fighter, but it might be the best class for him to play to get used to the way the game works without having too many moving parts on his character.


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Fighters aren't bland T_T. Barbarians and fighters are awesome to play, especially for newer players, provided they have a more experienced player help them not suck.

Silver Crusade

Kaelan Ashenveil wrote:
Fighters aren't bland T_T. Barbarians and fighters are awesome to play, especially for newer players, provided they have a more experienced player help them not suck.

Yeah I'm going to have him reroll as a fighter. At least he wants to play a tenth, so he's not a boring human, lol. Which fighter archetype do you recommend for an archer, archer or weapon master?


I'd run it vanilla tbh. If you're using the d20 site, I find nothing makes up for weapon training and armor training anymore. Also archers in mithril fullplate makes me giggily.


Rangers are actually a fine choice, just have him take the option to bond with his party members instead of getting the companion if you think it's too complicated for him. Later on, once he gets the hang of it, he can always retrain for the pet. As for the spells, they don't come online til 4th level, plenty of time for him to learn the other parts of the game before tackling spellcasting.

When teaching my son to play, I also made flashcards for some of his abilities to help remind him when they applied, or what they did (for instance, his 1st favorite enemy was orcs, so everytime we encountered an orc, I gave him the flashcard with the bonuses listed on it). After 2-3 levels, he got to where he didn't need the flashcards anymore.


Archery-based fighter is an easy choice, IMO. Get him feats that give him flat, reliable sources of damage, such as Weapon Focus / Weapon Specialization. Give him a composite longbow. Let him enjoy wearing heavy armor, too, and give him a solid two-handed weapon as a back up.

For feats, Deadly Aim may take some practice but it's a good choice. Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot... These are all good choices. I'd actually avoid giving him Manyshot until he really gets the whole Standard Action / Move Action / Full Round Action thing down.

Weapon Training makes this setup fairly strong, and the bonus feats help it get online fast.

Ranger would be fine though. To put it this way, my brother played a wizard when we were just kids while I was playing a rogue and we both figured stuff out fine.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
My son is getting into playing PFS with me. He played his first scenario last weekend with a character we rolled up together. We initially made a ranger, but when I thought about it more, between the pet and casting spells, ranger can get a bit complicated.

Eh, if you are starting at level 1 he will have neither the animal companion nor spells in the immediate future. By the time his character gets to level 4 he will have a basic idea of what his class does and how to play the game.

For a starter class, the ranger is pretty great, probably my top choice. You get to both learn combat and basic skills, and a few levels later, when you already have a grip on the basics (presumably) you get to manage a few spells and a pet or a party buff. Fighters can work, although to me the barbarian is probably the most newbie-friendly class. It is not the best archer,generally, but a barbarian can still pick up a bow and put an arrow in someone.


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Unchained Barbarian


Johnnycat93 wrote:
Unchained Barbarian

I was about to post this.

Silver Crusade

He has his heart set on playing an archer. If he wanted to play a melee I would have pushed him towards barbarian as it fits his personality more.


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One thing I will say is that if he eventually decides to play a caster but still wants to be an archer and he has gotten some solid system mastery... the Molthuni Arsenal Chaplain Warpriest makes a DARNED fine archer.

But for now, stick with Fighter or Ranger.


Slayers are still fantastic, even if you aren't going for sneak attack.

Sneak attack is a nice little bonus... but it isn't your bread and butter. Often, you just want it to get free action use of your actual bread and butter- studied target. It is a perfectly fine +1 to +5 bonus to attack and damage- on par with the other full martials.

It also has an additional use. Studied target also applies to skills, including almost every social skill other than diplomacy after level 7. Since it is unlimited use, and just needs an action (which is basically nothing outside of battle), you can study every single NPC you talk to.

So basically- he can grab sense motive and just listen in, and when he spots a lie, and can roll intimidation checks while yelling "WHERE IS JOKER?!"

It is a nice easy 'be good at your job' ability that is not complex at all- just apply it to every situation, and you are golden. It would allow this young player to stay involved throughout the adventure.

Sovereign Court

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Ranger is a decent learning class because you don't have to learn everything at once. As long as you start him off with the right stat array and make sure he picks the archery combat style it'll be pretty easy to stay on track.

At level 4 you get a very small amount of spells per day. It's really more like a couple of tricks on the side. A good way to get experience with spellcasting so that for the next campaign he might also go for a more casty sort of character if he wants.


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vanilla fighter is a beast archer plus their bonus feats allow them to get an archery built going faster than any other class


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One of my players brought his 12 year old daughter to our game last weekend. She played the cleric and played it like a veteran, with very little help needed from her dad.


The fighter may be best if you just want to shoot arrows at things. But slayer is great for being good at both archery and non-combat skills. Will your son be ok with not being able to participate much during the non-combat parts of scenarios?


Ranger is a fine choice. A little bit more fiddly, but as Ascalaphus said, it comes in steps, so you have a level or two to learn the mechanics before introducing a new mechanic.
Slayer is easier, IMHO. Study will mess with a character's action economy for a bit and isn't ideal with archers as they want to full attack. While I'm a big fan of them. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it. Missing out on sneak attack is fine, you can still do it if you win initiative and the class doesn't depend on it like a Rogue does.
Fighters are fine as well. Probably scraping the low end of the barrel with its 2 skill points per level, but it's probably the easiest way to get archery off the ground.

Silver Crusade

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
One of my players brought his 12 year old daughter to our game last weekend. She played the cleric and played it like a veteran, with very little help needed from her dad.

My son is only 7, but he's been playing computer RPGs for a few years already. He did very good last Sunday.

I may trust him with the ranger. I think he'll catch on quick.


I think that's a good idea. Honestly, kids pick up on these things pretty quick, generally. Just don't throw the MOST complicated thing at him.


If you are looking at the task of making good decisions to navigate a character from level 1 through level 12,

Fighters are the most difficult class to play.
Clerics are the easiest, followed by Wizards.

But if you are looking for a Martial Class, umm, how about the Zen Archer Monk Archetype? Pretty straightforward as to what you want to do, quite powerful.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:

If you are looking at the task of making good decisions to navigate a character from level 1 through level 12,

Fighters are the most difficult class to play.
Clerics are the easiest, followed by Wizards.

But if you are looking for a Martial Class, umm, how about the Zen Archer Monk Archetype? Pretty straightforward as to what you want to do, quite powerful.

fighter archers are like the most streat forward thing to play.... way simpler than playing a cleric or a wizard

Dark Archive

Stick with ranger. The class doesnt "need" spells so if he doesnt use them well it doesnt hurt that much. He gets spells later at i think fourth level so it will be 9 sessions in. Kids pick things up quick. Heck I learned when i was 5 and i was chucked in as a wizard.

Ranger is an excellent starting class with a toe in almost every subsystem in the game. This will let him learn instead of just full attacking every round.


Archetype out the spells with Skirmisher.


Prepping spells from the entire Cleric spell list is a nightmare for a newbie, I wouldn't recommend it at all.

Zen Archer Monk does make some sense, though. It's a bit more complicated than a regular archer, but it's certainly effective.


I played pathfinder and 4th edition d&d with my nephew who was 5 at the time. He had a fine handle of the basics. The biggest problem we ever had with him, is his focus. He loves playing games, but can only go like 2 hours and then he is done. I played a few times with an older girl as well, who I think was around 7 or 8. She could handle playing the entire game but got easily distracted and did weird stuff at times.

Keeping a child's focus seems like the biggest problem with having them play. I think he will probably be fine with a ranger, since the pet is easy to keep track of. Just pick something with like one big bite attack, and not for example, a wolf that trips people as part of their attack. And when he picks a spell(when he can cast them) just keep the same spells all the time, instead of swapping them out each morning.


There's actually two Barbarian Archetypes that make for decent Archers (and a decent Archer is stil plenty good for PFS).

Savage Technologist and Primal Hunter.

Must have Rage powers include Reckless Abandon and Scent (paired with Pheromone arrows).


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
He has his heart set on playing an archer. If he wanted to play a melee I would have pushed him towards barbarian as it fits his personality more.

If you want him to be an archer type while still being simple, I may suggest Slayer. He gets Studied Target instead of Favored Enemy (he just has to remember to use it, instead of remembering which enemies his ability works on), he can still get the Ranger Combat feats he really wants, and instead of Spellcasting, he gets Sneak Attack and Talents.


I'd personally roll him up a Zen Archer, they are the best archers for a reason, it gives him 4 skills a level, and by level 3 he no longer needs to worry about provoking AoOs.

Plus monks are more flavorful than fighters.

Silver Crusade

ShroudedInLight wrote:

I'd personally roll him up a Zen Archer, they are the best archers for a reason, it gives him 4 skills a level, and by level 3 he no longer needs to worry about provoking AoOs.

Plus monks are more flavorful than fighters.

I'm going to trust him and let him stick with the ranger. He REALLY wants to be an archer and have a pet battle turtle. That's the reason I directed him to ranger initially.


This is normally where I'd point him towards Hunter but if he is set on Ranger that might be for the best. Besides, hunters are complex and really better melee combatants than ranged fighters.

Although I would personally make him a Freebooter as not having to deal with favored enemy is probably better for the campaign.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
ShroudedInLight wrote:

I'd personally roll him up a Zen Archer, they are the best archers for a reason, it gives him 4 skills a level, and by level 3 he no longer needs to worry about provoking AoOs.

Plus monks are more flavorful than fighters.

I'm going to trust him and let him stick with the ranger. He REALLY wants to be an archer and have a pet battle turtle. That's the reason I directed him to ranger initially.

In PFS a ranger only gets these Options:

badger, bird, camel, cat (small), dire rat, dog, horse, pony, snake (viper or constrictor), or wolf.

However the Camel, Cat (Small), Constrictor Snake, and Wolf are not bad options.

Wolf Has a Built in Trip and is easy to use.
The Snake can Constrict and hold someone down.
The Camel has a spit attack that sickens...as well as being a cool mount.
The Cat is the best combat pet on the list.

I do recommend getting the book that has Boon companion feat in it so his Animal companion is at his Level instead of -3 levels.

A Archer that would get a pet turtle would be a Hunter or a Inquisitor with the feather domain. The Beastmaster Ranger archetype would allow for a Turtle.

Silver Crusade

ShroudedInLight wrote:

This is normally where I'd point him towards Hunter but if he is set on Ranger that might be for the best. Besides, hunters are complex and really better melee combatants than ranged fighters.

Although I would personally make him a Freebooter as not having to deal with favored enemy is probably better for the campaign.

Freebooter is a great suggestion!

As Louise pointed out, he won't be able to get his turtle pet.


Then make him a beastmaster ranger (Advanced Player's Guide) instead.


An archetype to consider would be Lore Warden fighter.
As an archer you won't miss heavy armor as much, or shields at all.
He wouldn't be as strong as archery based archetypes, but he'll be plenty strong enough, and it will give him a couple extra skill points to do some useful stuff out of combat.

Edit: Missed that he's sticking with ranger, hope he likes it!


Just as an aside, perhaps the coolest form of Ranger (to me at least) is the Divine Tracker Ranger. Basically, you get to nab Warpriest Blessings in lieu of a pet.

Such as the Destruction Blessing, which adds 1/2 your level to your damage.

Get Quicken Blessing (Destruction) as a feat later on and your arrows do a crapload of damage, especially when combined with Clustered Shots. Of course, Quicken Blessing will arrive at level 13 for you, but if you two play that long, it's great.


If you want simple make a Sorcerer. That's as simple as it gets.

You get 4 cantrips and 2 1st level spells known. As new player that 6 spells to know. You get a blood line power. That's it. The feat you pick isn't important not like it is for fighter, barbarian or ranger.

I remember my first game of AD&D, I had wizard. The GM prepared a little spell book with the spell I knew with the spell description. They started me off at 5th level. I still remember frying that room full of Orcs with my fireball. Casters are by far the simplest to learn as you can screw them up and still be tough. If you screw up fighter they suffer big time.


Freebooter kind of sucks for archers though. The self buffs require a move action and that doesn't stick well with archery since you want to be full attacking constantly.


Still better than only getting your favored enemy some of the time, and that move action works fantastically with the standard you use for buffs.


ShroudedInLight wrote:
Still better than only getting your favored enemy some of the time, and that move action works fantastically with the standard you use for buffs.

not true as rangers can get instant enemy


ShroudedInLight wrote:
Still better than only getting your favored enemy some of the time, and that move action works fantastically with the standard you use for buffs.

What standard action buffs would be worth it for an Archer Ranger to forgo his full attack? UMD Haste? Sheesh...

Also there's the Ilsurian Archer Archetype. Specifically designed for Archer Rangers which gives you half your favored enemy bonus against all opponents at level 4. It trades out Spells too which might be nice fer the young one. Overall a really good archetype.

Guide is also a good Favored Enemyless Archetype which works better with your action economy. However, it looses the animal companion.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
My son is getting into playing PFS with me.

In PFS Human and Undead is a very common Enemy type. I recommend Human first ask the Forums later what the better 2nd enemy is once you get a feel for which season you are playing the most of.

Good terrain choices: Urban and Underground come up in many Scenarios.

I actually really like the Favored Bonuses myself. Lots of skill buffs and Initiative boost is always welcome

Silver Crusade

Yeah I gave him humans as the first favored enemy. Will gauge what to do next by what scenarios we're playing.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
ShroudedInLight wrote:

This is normally where I'd point him towards Hunter but if he is set on Ranger that might be for the best. Besides, hunters are complex and really better melee combatants than ranged fighters.

Although I would personally make him a Freebooter as not having to deal with favored enemy is probably better for the campaign.

Freebooter is a great suggestion!

As Louise pointed out, he won't be able to get his turtle pet.

At level 2, he can take Precise Shot as a Bonus Feat. He should try to acquire a Wand of Gravity Bow. Then his Arrows do 2d6 Damage each.


Lady-J wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

If you are looking at the task of making good decisions to navigate a character from level 1 through level 12,

Fighters are the most difficult class to play.
Clerics are the easiest, followed by Wizards.

But if you are looking for a Martial Class, umm, how about the Zen Archer Monk Archetype? Pretty straightforward as to what you want to do, quite powerful.

fighter archers are like the most streat forward thing to play.... way simpler than playing a cleric or a wizard

At the table, perhaps. But the bulwark of a Fighter's power is Feats: a small number of special abilities that work together in complex ways which, once chosen, you can't change your mind about.

Clerics, on the other hand, have a large array of spells that they can change their minds about every day. You might have a lot of reading to do for starters, but Clerics, and to a slightly lesser extent Wizards, are very forgiving of character build mistakes you make as you go. And there is very little problem with learning as you go.

With Fighters, you need to plan your build many levels in advance, and a single misunderstanding of the rules can wreck your character build beyond repair, and you might not even know you made your mistake for several levels of adventuring.

Lots of people say that Fighters are underpowered, but easy to play. I say Fighters are only underpowered because they very complicated to play, and most people don't realize that because you don't see the complexity at the gaming table.


Alex Mack wrote:
Freebooter kind of sucks for archers though. The self buffs require a move action and that doesn't stick well with archery since you want to be full attacking constantly.

I disagree.

While it is true that you can't Full Attack in the same Round as you use Freebooter's Bane, remember the Bonus goes to the whole party, and it lasts until that target is dead or until the Ranger changes his mind and chooses another target.

You barely notice the lack of a Full Attack Action until your BAB goes over +6, when you get a 2nd attack at a -5, and you might take Manyshot. Your extra arrow from Rapid Shot makes all your other shots happen at a -2, whereas Freebooter's Bane makes all of everybody's attacks happen at +1.

It's just not the case that in every situation it's better to use Full Attack rather than Feebooter's Bane + an Attack as a Standard Action. There are many situations where Freebooter's Bane pays off.

Grand Lodge

(This would depend on the age of the kid, a small one might have a lot of troubles with this, but if he can play Pathfinder without much problems I suggest this)

If he loves super heroes with hidden identities a streamlined vigilante is as good as the fighter, if not more. The social part might give some troubles, but that would depend on the campaign. A more heavy combat campaign would be the best, since he may have the chance to play the super hero alter-ego in the few social interactions without being a burden

Make the social and vigilante share the same alignment.

Choose the avenger specialization... this will give him almost as many feats as the Fighter, full BAB and better saves.

Good social skills that don't require much tracking (and are a lot of fun):

Feign Innocence
Mockingbird
Quick Change
Social Grace
Intrigue Feats (e.g. street smarts)

It may seem complicated at first, dealing with two identities, but is something so cliched in almost any super hero comic/series/movie that every kid would understand.

As an archer he'll be a bit feat starved but wildsoul archetype (Arachnid or Falconine) may be a lot of fun (spiderman or hawkeye anyone?)


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

If you are looking at the task of making good decisions to navigate a character from level 1 through level 12,

Fighters are the most difficult class to play.
Clerics are the easiest, followed by Wizards.

But if you are looking for a Martial Class, umm, how about the Zen Archer Monk Archetype? Pretty straightforward as to what you want to do, quite powerful.

fighter archers are like the most streat forward thing to play.... way simpler than playing a cleric or a wizard

At the table, perhaps. But the bulwark of a Fighter's power is Feats: a small number of special abilities that work together in complex ways which, once chosen, you can't change your mind about.

Clerics, on the other hand, have a large array of spells that they can change their minds about every day. You might have a lot of reading to do for starters, but Clerics, and to a slightly lesser extent Wizards, are very forgiving of character build mistakes you make as you go. And there is very little problem with learning as you go.

With Fighters, you need to plan your build many levels in advance, and a single misunderstanding of the rules can wreck your character build beyond repair, and you might not even know you made your mistake for several levels of adventuring.

Lots of people say that Fighters are underpowered, but easy to play. I say Fighters are only underpowered because they very complicated to play, and most people don't realize that because you don't see the complexity at the gaming table.

you know fighters have the ability to retrain feats right? also retraining is a thing in pathfinder that just take a little bit of time and a small ammount of gold

Sovereign Court

For PFS, there's the big four Favored Enemy choices that are all solid;

- Humans
- Undead
- Evil Outsiders
- Constructs

In the long run I think Undead are the weakest choice, because they're relatively rare at higher levels, although when you do meet them they can be very powerful (lich powerful) so it's still a good choice.

Constructs are quite common but on the other hand they're also the most stupid, so you "need" the bonuses the least.

Evil Outsiders and Humans have the plotting capacity to happen to be the BBEG of an adventure so that's two very solid FE choices.

Grand Lodge

Overall, Pathfinder will never be easy for a kid to play (It's hard enough for adults as it is).

Sorcerer with a bunch of spell cards that easily explain some general useful spells (sleep, scorching ray, invisibility) and tokens or markers to represent their spell pool. Very straight forward.


Jader7777 wrote:

Overall, Pathfinder will never be easy for a kid to play (It's hard enough for adults as it is).

Sorcerer with a bunch of spell cards that easily explain some general useful spells (sleep, scorching ray, invisibility) and tokens or markers to represent their spell pool. Very straight forward.

Still, resource management. For Rangers, resource management is minimal - you have HP, and yeah, maybe spells if you like them, but you're not significantly crippled without them.

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