The best class for a character that switches weapons on the fly?


Advice


So, if I want to build a character that switches their weapon constantly to meet the situation, let's say they have 3 weapons and a shield. What class utilizes this all Well?

Grand Lodge

Any class's that can enchant weapons on the fly makes sense. Warpriest (qualify for Martial Versatility) , inquisitor, ocultist, Magus (also counts as a having fighter levels eventually). Obviously strength builds work better.

Any class once you have 10000 gp to spend of transformation. And maybe resizing if you want to get fancy. I'm not sure how these are mentioned to interact.


Brawler is the most idea if you are going to switch weapons and fighting style a lot. Have two high saves is ever better because most marital classes only gets one. You can use light armor and shield(not tower shield is not bad due to the fact that you gain AC bonus like a monk. In some ways, you fight better than most martial classes. Worth to consider.


There is also a fighter archetype that gives combat versatility as well.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The Mindblade magus can manifest any melee weapon he wants as a standard action or a swift at 8th level. It also starts as a +1 wrapon at level 1, +2 at 3rd, +3 at 6th, +4 at 9th and +5 at 12th. I've of the reasons I started playing one because of the weapon versatility. You can still have the spell combat rrstictions of a regular magus until 7th, when you can dual wield and 13th when you can use a two-handed weapon.


Ascetic Style monk technically would be the best at switching weapons, due to starting at level 5 all monk weapons are essentially interchangeable.


I was thinking that Quickdraw would be just the thing for a Phalanx Soldier Fighter. Sometimes, he would fight with a Lucerne Hammer in 1 hand and a Shield in the other, perhaps Shield Slamming anyone who got too close back out to be tenderized by his hammer. Sometimes, he would get in close and Great Cleave all adjacent opponents with his Shield and all 10' opponents with his hammer.

But maybe he's fighting Zombies, so he needs to switch to his Horsechopper. Or maybe he needs 2 Weapons adjacent to his opponent, so he switches to shield and Halberd.

Maybe, when he reaches level 5, and get's ready pike, he will stand juuuust outside of normal Move Range for his opponent, throwing Short Spears until they are force to Charge him, then boom: Free Action to whip out his Lucerne Hammer, attacking with a Readied Action then again as an Attack of Opportunity, both with Double Damage.

Maybe a Fighter, perhaps like this one, would benefit from a Quickdraw Throwing Shield, Quickdraw, and a Blinkback Belt. Maybe take Improved Snapshot and Greater Trip (Throwing Shield is a Trip Weapon.). Then he could Trip opponents 10' away, and then use the Throwing Shield to make the Attack of Opportunity, followed by another AoO if the poor sod tries to get up. Or maybe Great Cleave with the Throwing Shield.

The thing that these ideas have in common is that they both hunger for lots of Feats, so in both cases, I'd say Fighter.


Are you saying 3 one handed weapons, all will be paired with shield?
Or
3 weapons and a shield, swapping between the 4 as needed?

And bigger question,
Why are they swapping weapons so much?

Pathfinder doesn't really support picking up a random weapon and using it due to magic items. A magic sword is expensive, so you're going to probably only have 1 or 2 if TWF. Since you have 1 magic weapon it's going to be better than your other, non-magic weapons, and can potentially bypass lots of DR.

So a +3 mace vs a masterwork cold iron sword, the mace is going Probably going to do more DPR against DR 5/slashing than the sword because it's more accurate. So you'd need to see just how much DR they need before you're better off switching.

Also you can run into feat loss if you're switching between ranged and melee weapons, if an enemy is flying it very quickly becomes better to down a potion of fly than pull out a backup bow.

Also classes that take weapon focus or have chosen weapons are bad cause those don't scale over well to other weapons.

But to answer the question, none really utilize it well, but paladin, rangers, slayers, barbs, bloodragers can all do it.


Chess Pwn wrote:

Are you saying 3 one handed weapons, all will be paired with shield?

Or
3 weapons and a shield, swapping between the 4 as needed?

And bigger question,
Why are they swapping weapons so much?

Pathfinder doesn't really support picking up a random weapon and using it due to magic items. A magic sword is expensive, so you're going to probably only have 1 or 2 if TWF. Since you have 1 magic weapon it's going to be better than your other, non-magic weapons, and can potentially bypass lots of DR.

So a +3 mace vs a masterwork cold iron sword, the mace is going Probably going to do more DPR against DR 5/slashing than the sword because it's more accurate. So you'd need to see just how much DR they need before you're better off switching.

Also you can run into feat loss if you're switching between ranged and melee weapons, if an enemy is flying it very quickly becomes better to down a potion of fly than pull out a backup bow.

Also classes that take weapon focus or have chosen weapons are bad cause those don't scale over well to other weapons.

But to answer the question, none really utilize it well, but paladin, rangers, slayers, barbs, bloodragers can all do it.

I would say, though, level 20 bloodrager with Mythic Arcane Strike. I can pick up anything, or even nothing, and still can attack like using a weapon with a +4 enchantment ability and +5 damage. Not just a weapon, my bad. Weapons.


I have a Pathfinder Socity character built around this. Fighter/7 Brawler/2. She had ten weapons she would switch between as necessary. Her damage output wasn't near someone who focuses on 1 weapon, but she always had the right weapon for the job... Except she never used her sword... Later on she preferred her GG and her feet (Punishing Kick), but still saw some rotation. The Brawler levels really helped.

+1 Adamantine Glaive Guisarme
MW Composite Shortbow (STR3)
+1 Battle Aspergillum
A pair of MW Throwing Axes
Scimitar
MW Cestus
Improved Unarmed Strike
Thunderstones
Pellet Grenades

Her Adamantine Glaive Guisarme and her Battle Aspergillum were the only ones that reached +1 because her MW Cold Iron Glaive Guisarme was destroyed by a Blade Barrier; deaths on chronicle #s 17, 22, 23, & 27; failed missions 25 & 27; a both cursed & 2 negative levels in #26...She had a lot of bad luck for a while. While she is alive, she has retired from end-of-season specials and awaits a few GM credits before she tries to reach seeker level to retire with her husband (1st and only 12th level with 5 or 6 deaths)


Quickdraw, Scabbard of Many Blades and a +X allying gauntlet are good things to grab with any build of this type.


ViConstantine wrote:
So, if I want to build a character that switches their weapon constantly to meet the situation, let's say they have 3 weapons and a shield. What class utilizes this all Well?

Can you be more specific? Are you trying to switch between different styles of combat like THF and archery? Or are you trying to use multiple weapons within one combat style (like using THF with a greatsword sometimes and a lucerne hammer at other times)?


A ranger would work well for this. What you are describing is a switch hitter as suggested by Treantmonk. The idea is not as popular as it once was due the feat point blank master allowing archer to shoot without provoking an attack of opportunity. Instead of using a weapon and shield you use a bow and a two handed weapon. quick draw allows you to switch between the bow and melee weapon by dropping the bow and drawing the two handed weapon. You take power attack and quick draw for melee and then use the rest of your feats for archery. You use the rangers ability to ignore prerequisites to skip some archery feats specifically point blank shot. Since you don’t specialize any one type of melee weapon there would be no reason you could not use three different two handed melee weapons in addition to the bow and use whichever one was best for the situation.


ViConstantine wrote:
So, if I want to build a character that switches their weapon constantly to meet the situation, let's say they have 3 weapons and a shield. What class utilizes this all Well?

No class is great at it because the game rewards specialization. Various feats can help as they affect a weapon group, like aesthetic style working with monk weapons. Most likely fighter would be the best as you'd have more feats to throw at different weapons.

Really it's going to depend on what you actually mean be '3 weapons'. If you mean different ranges then a spear/long spear for melee, a short spear + spear thrower for close and a javelin + spear thrower for long is simple and easier to do. If you mean something like a dagger, a dwarven long axe and a musket then that's a LOT harder and much less viable.

Really, what to you want to gain by using multiple weapons? If it's DR, Weapon Versatility takes care of S/P/B. Feats like aesthetic style along with monk can take care of material DR... If we know why you want multiple weapons, it'll be easier to give advice.


graystone wrote:
ViConstantine wrote:
So, if I want to build a character that switches their weapon constantly to meet the situation, let's say they have 3 weapons and a shield. What class utilizes this all Well?

No class is great at it because the game rewards specialization. Various feats can help as they affect a weapon group, like aesthetic style working with monk weapons. Most likely fighter would be the best as you'd have more feats to throw at different weapons.

Really it's going to depend on what you actually mean be '3 weapons'. If you mean different ranges then a spear/long spear for melee, a short spear + spear thrower for close and a javelin + spear thrower for long is simple and easier to do. If you mean something like a dagger, a dwarven long axe and a musket then that's a LOT harder and much less viable.

Really, what to you want to gain by using multiple weapons? If it's DR, Weapon Versatility takes care of S/P/B. Feats like aesthetic style along with monk can take care of material DR... If we know why you want multiple weapons, it'll be easier to give advice.

Wouldn't Brawler be good at it? All he needs to take is quick draw and power attack as a must, others just based on what he wants. I would use remaining feats to get him iron will and all other survival and defensive feats, because they mostly work doesn't matter what weapon you use. If he wants to use bow, martial flexibility got it covered. Want a polearm, he just use power attack, use martial flexibility to get feats like step up, Pushing Assault. Big axe and hammer, vital strike trees. Blades, crit trees.


DoubleBubble wrote:
graystone wrote:
ViConstantine wrote:
So, if I want to build a character that switches their weapon constantly to meet the situation, let's say they have 3 weapons and a shield. What class utilizes this all Well?

No class is great at it because the game rewards specialization. Various feats can help as they affect a weapon group, like aesthetic style working with monk weapons. Most likely fighter would be the best as you'd have more feats to throw at different weapons.

Really it's going to depend on what you actually mean be '3 weapons'. If you mean different ranges then a spear/long spear for melee, a short spear + spear thrower for close and a javelin + spear thrower for long is simple and easier to do. If you mean something like a dagger, a dwarven long axe and a musket then that's a LOT harder and much less viable.

Really, what to you want to gain by using multiple weapons? If it's DR, Weapon Versatility takes care of S/P/B. Feats like aesthetic style along with monk can take care of material DR... If we know why you want multiple weapons, it'll be easier to give advice.

Wouldn't Brawler be good at it? All he needs to take is quick draw and power attack as a must, others just based on what he wants. I would use remaining feats to get him iron will and all other survival and defensive feats, because they mostly work doesn't matter what weapon you use. If he wants to use bow, martial flexibility got it covered. Want a polearm, he just use power attack, use martial flexibility to get feats like step up, Pushing Assault. Big axe and hammer, vital strike trees. Blades, crit trees.

Generally you need more than a few feats to make a weapon viable as you level up. Also, martial flexibility uses up actions, so it's not always as easy as pulling out a weapon and making a full attack. Add in Brawler’s Flurry and Close Weapon Mastery and you're missing quite a bit if you aren't using a monk/close weapons.

I think a fighter [Varisian Free-Style Fighter or Martial Master] works much better in this case, as you have more base feats for martial flexibility to work off of and in the case of Varisian Free-Style Fighter you have up to 4 styles active at once.

But as I said, it all depends on what he means by 3 weapons: For instance, if he's looking for a light/1-handed melee weapon, a polearm/reach weapon and a ranged weapon, all of those could come from Monk [or spears/axes/heavy blades/spears] meaning he could bundle them all by focusing on that group. If he wants multiple weapon groups is gets harder.


Spirit dancer medium is also capable of this.

Dark Archive

If you're open to 3rd-party stuff, the Armiger from the current Spheres of Might playtest is literally built to do this. At Level 1 they can swap between one of 3 weapon sets as a free action, at later levels they gain more weapon sets to swap between, and starting at I think Level 5 they treat every weapon set as if they had a magic weapon enhancement bonus which scales. The class is built for use with the Spheres of Might system but even without access to the spheres it's still a solid class.

Otherwise, classes that can quickly and easily enchant weapons would be best. Magus is somewhat limited in what weapons they can swap between but can enchant them as a Free action, making it the best for this sort of thing.

Of course, if you can hold your breath, you could spring for a Transformative weapon. That can change shape into any weapon of similar handedness and general shape, allowing you to enchant one weapon while using "multiple" weapons. It costs a minimum of 6000 gp to craft or twice that to buy, so you can't afford it until Level 6 at the earliest. It would negate the need for Quick Draw and enchanting shenanigans though. Any class with weapon-agnostic bonuses, such as a Barbarian or Slayer, could do well with that. A Fighter could make use of it pretty effectively too.


While they are not proficient with shields, the Juggler Bard can start "wielding" three weapons or items at a time starting at 2nd level and the number of weapons increases as they level up.

Scarab Sages

The biggest problem, as others have said, are magic weapons. Many creatures have DR/magic, and incoporial creatures are straight up immune to non-magic weapons. With that in mind, classes that give you magic items, or turn items into temporary magic ones, work best I think.
Spell warrior skald does what you want.
Mindblade magus works too (without a shield) (I have one in curse of the crimson throne, they are surprisingly fun.)
Like someone said, Occultist can be made to work, using their 'legacy weapon' transmutation power.
While a little far afield of your question, a monk with UMD+snake style+boar style can theoretically do really well. Snake style deals piercing, boar deals slashing, normal deals bludgeoning, and you can use a wand of long arm to give yourself reach. Just a thought.

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