Maximising weapon damage


Advice


Recently I have been looking at making a vital strike build (BTW, is vital strike usable on a charge?), and I am wondering, is there any way to maximize weapon damage, like with the maximize spell feat, but for weapons?


Furious Finish lets any barb do it.


BeastMasterFTW wrote:
(BTW, is vital strike usable on a charge?)

Not normally, although Gorum's Swordmanship can help there.

The only way to maximize weapon damage dice that I know of is Furious Finish.


BeastMasterFTW wrote:
is vital strike usable on a charge?),

Nope.


what about a charge while mounted? would i need Gorum's Swordmanship then?

Grand Lodge

BeastMasterFTW wrote:
what about a charge while mounted? would i need Gorum's Swordmanship then?

Being mounted doesn't change anything related to your question at all. So yeah, you'd still need it.


BeastMasterFTW wrote:
I am wondering, is there any way to maximize weapon damage, like with the maximize spell feat, but for weapons?

Kensai (Magus Archetype) can maximize their Weapon Damage as a Class Ability.

Grand Lodge

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
BeastMasterFTW wrote:
I am wondering, is there any way to maximize weapon damage, like with the maximize spell feat, but for weapons?
Kensai (Magus Archetype) can maximize their Weapon Damage as a Class Ability.

It doesn't maximize enough stuff for it to be worth wasting an arcane point. It only maximizes the base damage. Not anything from a crit (or anything beyond just the dice listed in the weapon's stat block), or more importantly in this case, a vital strike.


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Gorums Swordsmanship, Greater Vital Strike, and Spirited Charge while under the effects of enlarge person should help max that damage.


I have seen multiple things stating that when mounted, it is the mount making the charge, not you, and thus you get a single attack action, which is what is required for vital strike. Hence, my confusion.

Grand Lodge

BeastMasterFTW wrote:
I have seen multiple things stating that when mounted, it is the mount making the charge, not you, and thus you get a single attack action, which is what is required for vital strike. Hence, my confusion.

Those threads are wrong, you both charge in unison.

FAQ wrote:


Mounted Combat: When making a charge while mounted, which creature charges? The rider or the mount?
Both charge in unison, suffer the same penalty to AC, the gaining the same bonus to the attack rolls and following all other rules for the charge. The mounted combat rules are a little unclear on this. Replace the third paragraph under the "Combat while Mounted" section on page 202 with the following text. Note that a "mounted charge" is synonymous with a "charge while mounted," and that when a lance is "when used from the back of a charging mount" it is during a mounted charge not when only the mount charges.

A mounted charge is a charge made by you and your mount. During a mounted charge, you deal double damage with your first melee attack made with a lance or with any weapon if you have Spirited Charge (or a similar effect), or you deal triple damage with a lance and Spirited Charge.

Grand Lodge

Castle Blades wrote:
Gorums Swordsmanship, Greater Vital Strike, and Spirited Charge while under the effects of enlarge person should help max that damage.

Don't forget Impact or Lead Blades.


Thanks for the clarification.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Large sized oak club (penalties for oversized weapon), then cast Shillelagh on it to push to 3d6; then drink an Enlarge Person Potion to push to 4d6. Not bad for a free weapon plus 2 first level spells.

Impact and Lead Blades could substitute for Shillelagh (I don't think they stack). Not entirely sure if Vital Strike doubles the number of d6s. Is a weapon that strikes as if a Gargantuan club subject to doubling? I plan to find out with a Hunter.

Actually polymorphing into a Huge or Gargantuan being is another option which raises the bar.

Plan B: rogue, non-lethal bludgeoning sneak attack plus sap feats. Add 2d6+2 damage every other level (if you can arrange for flat-footed opponents).


claudekennilol wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
BeastMasterFTW wrote:
I am wondering, is there any way to maximize weapon damage, like with the maximize spell feat, but for weapons?
Kensai (Magus Archetype) can maximize their Weapon Damage as a Class Ability.
It doesn't maximize enough stuff for it to be worth wasting an arcane point. It only maximizes the base damage. Not anything from a crit (or anything beyond just the dice listed in the weapon's stat block), or more importantly in this case, a vital strike.

Perhaps you are right. But I'm gave the OP exactly what he asked for.


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Gorum's Swordsmanship + Vital Strike + Felling Smash + Greater Trip is a match made in heaven.

Furious Finish on a Barbarian with one level of Oracle with the Lame Curse means endless Furious Finish by level 9, and it means Reckless Abandon has no down-side.


Castle Blades wrote:
Gorums Swordsmanship, Greater Vital Strike, and Spirited Charge while under the effects of enlarge person should help max that damage.

Nothing indicates that you can use greater vital strike on gorum's swordmanship though.


BadBird wrote:

Gorum's Swordsmanship + Vital Strike + Felling Smash + Greater Trip is a match made in heaven.

Furious Finish on a Barbarian with one level of Oracle with the Lame Curse means endless Furious Finish by level 9, and it means Reckless Abandon has no down-side.

For felling smash you need to use the attack action, I thought with gorum's swordmanship you are using the charge action with vital strike effect tacked onto it ?


@ Kris

While Gorum's Swordsmanship allows you to use Vital Strike at the end of a charge, the benefit to BadBird's combo is that you can make an AoO with Vital Strike.

Basically, you walk up to your opponent, Vital Strike them (w/Power Attack). Felling Smash allows a trip attempt, which will have them provoke an AoO from Greater Trip, which you can then Vital Strike with Because of Gorum's Swordsmanship. Good Times.


If you want to maximize Vital Strike, go druid.

Nothing like greater vital strike while shape changed into a dinosaur or cave slime and under the effects of Strong Jaw.


Snowlilly wrote:
Nothing like greater vital strike while shape changed into a dinosaur or cave slime and under the effects of Strong Jaw.

You realize this (at least the ooze version) requires 19th level and at least 7 levels in a full BAB class, right?


galahad2112 wrote:

@ Kris

While Gorum's Swordsmanship allows you to use Vital Strike at the end of a charge, the benefit to BadBird's combo is that you can make an AoO with Vital Strike.

Basically, you walk up to your opponent, Vital Strike them (w/Power Attack). Felling Smash allows a trip attempt, which will have them provoke an AoO from Greater Trip, which you can then Vital Strike with Because of Gorum's Swordsmanship. Good Times.

got it, thanks


Snowlilly wrote:

If you want to maximize Vital Strike, go druid.

Nothing like greater vital strike while shape changed into a dinosaur or cave slime and under the effects of Strong Jaw.

People really like Vital Strike with the Cave Druid that turns into that Crystal Ooze.

A 3-level dip in Kensai Magus might do some real damage then!


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
BeastMasterFTW wrote:
is vital strike usable on a charge?),
Nope.

I apologize if this is a little off-topic, but how does Vital Strike work with the Full Attack Action?

When you make a Full Attack, you are taking Attack Actions (yes?), but the wording of the Vital Strike Feats suggests you would only get 1/round or something.

Vital Strike wrote:
When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage.

I don't understand why they phrased it that way: when you take an Attack Action, isn't that just 1 Attack anyway? It seems like the intent is that you should only get 1 use of Vital Strike/round.

Thoughts?


vital strike requires you to use the "attack action" standard action.
Vital strike cannot be done with "an attack"

the full round action "charge" gives you "an attack" at the end
the full round action "spring attack" gives you "an attack" in the middle of movement
Attack of opportunity gives you "an attack"
the full round action "Full attack" action gives you "an attack" based on your bab. (this is the only way to get more than one attack off normally)
the standard action cleave gives you "an attack" and potentially "an attack" against a second person.

Vital strike can't be done with any of those

Vital strike basically only going to be used when you move action "move", and then standard action "attack action".

If you're curious about total DPR use a DPR calculator to see which does more. But on average I'd guess that the 2 attacks is more because of the big bonuses you get on your attack.

quick example.
you're lv9. Your T-Rex has bab 6 and say str 26 with weapon focus(bite)
that gives you an attack routine of +15/+10 for 2d6+16 or vital for +15 for 4d6+16
against an AC of 25, average AC for a CR 11 the full attack does 20.53 DPR and the vital does 17.33, and none vital standard attack does 13.28

so in this rough sketch against a HIGH AC opponent full attacking is more DPR. Vital strike is adding 4 damage when you need to move and not charge.

If you make them have effective bigger to do 3d6 per bite DPR is 23.65 on full attack, 21.37 on vital, and 15.3 for standard. The bigger base damage does a lot to help vital close the gap to a full attack.

Now remember, if you have haste on as well then the full attack blows vital out of the water, which makes building for vital less good if haste is often available.

TLDR: vital strike you want really big weapon damage, no haste, and be needing to move around most of the time but not be charging.
Don't get vital strike if haste is basically a constant, you don't have really big weapon damage, or enemies are often within the 5ft step reach or needing to be charged.

@Scott Wilhelm
so no, when you full attack you can't use vital strike.


Chess Pwn wrote:
no, when you full attack you can't use vital strike.

Thank you for the quick reply. That pretty much vindicates my circumspection around a Vital Strike build.

So, If I had multiple attacks in a Full Attack, I had the Vital Strike Feat, and I took the Full Attack Action, would you say I could use Vital Strike for 1 of my attacks, or for none of them?

Sorry if I'm being dense.


The full-attack action is 100% seperate from the standard attack action, and you can only take either. If you take a full-attack action, you can't use Vital Strike during that turn. If you take any kind of a full-round action, you can't use Vital Strike during that turn. If you take a standard action other than the standard attack action (e.g. using Cleave), you can't use Vital Strike during that turn.

Rough guideline: Every time you make more than one attack during a turn, or make an attack that does more than just damage, you can't use Vital Strike.
Feats and class features can make exceptions, of course. There are also very few exceptions that exist on their own (like double barrel firearms).


When a lv 1 commoner with no feats moves using a move action and attacks with a standard is the default situation where vital strike can be used. Anything other than this default turn and the answer is no.

Charge, no
Spring attack, no
AoO, no
Cleave, no
Full attack, no
Flurry, no
Spell combat, no
Free attack using spellstrike the turn off caring a spell, no
Detruction domains smite attack, no

Using a Standart action to do the attack action, yes

The standard action attack action gives you one attack. Making an attack is not am attack action


Two notable things that actually work with Vital Strike are Flyby Attack and Felling Smash, and they work with Vital Strike simply because they either call out using the 'attack action', or they let you use a standard action.


Mounted combat also works when you simply use it to move further, not to charge. This may be important if you have the lame curse; there are a couple of barbarian archetypes which can get mounts.


@Chess Pwn: Natural attacks don't get iteratives (the bestiary T-Rex has BAB +13 and still only 1 attack). For a meaningful comparison, you need multiple attacks (multiple natural attacks, manufactured weapons, Haste, ...).


Mostly I wanted to vital strike on a charge while mounted with a lance for 3x damage with spirited charge, but it looks like that isn't possible, as gorums swordmanship only works with greatswords.

Grand Lodge

Khudzlin wrote:
@Chess Pwn: Natural attacks don't get iteratives (the bestiary T-Rex has BAB +13 and still only 1 attack). For a meaningful comparison, you need multiple attacks (multiple natural attacks, manufactured weapons, Haste, ...).

You may want to check out Multiattack from the animal companion section.


Gorum's swordsmanship is not bad, but I feel like it should be a default option in the game.

Sidenote: Am I the only one that is greatly disappointed by the fact that there are no special Warpriest options for Divine Fighting Techniques?


Grandlounge wrote:
Khudzlin wrote:
@Chess Pwn: Natural attacks don't get iteratives (the bestiary T-Rex has BAB +13 and still only 1 attack). For a meaningful comparison, you need multiple attacks (multiple natural attacks, manufactured weapons, Haste, ...).
You may want to check out Multiattack from the animal companion section.

Yeah, my post was copied from my answer in another thread where they were talking about a T-Rex animal companion for a druid.

Should have been fairly easily noticeable since T-Rex also doesn't have any of the stats I listed.


I admit I don't know much about animal companions. And I don't know the stats of any bestiary creature by heart.


Derklord wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Nothing like greater vital strike while shape changed into a dinosaur or cave slime and under the effects of Strong Jaw.
You realize this (at least the ooze version) requires 19th level and at least 7 levels in a full BAB class, right?

And for dinosaurs the limiting factor is the Druid's BAB.

By the time the druid meets the +6 BAB requirement, he can already assume stegosaurus form, with it's 4d6 tail attack. Strong Jaw double that to 8d6 and Enlarge Person increases the amount yet again, so ~12d6 at 8th level. 24d6 with vital strike. 36d6 with improved vital strike at 15th level. 48d6 with greater vital strike.

Multiclassing into a full BAB class is required for a druid to get greater vital strike.

Take the Growth domain for Enlarge Person as a swift action.


You said "greater vital strike", I'd like to see how you get that without severe multiclassing.


Derklord wrote:
You said "greater vital strike", I'd like to see how you get that without severe multiclassing.

Last four levels as fighter.

You even get the bonus feat to take greater vital strike without retraining.

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