I'm working on a new character concept, a sea reaver who specializes is killing people via asphyxiation, and I was hoping to get some advice for making it work even better, if possible.
This is what I was thinking of so far:
When fighting singular targets, Grimm grapples whenever possible, using rage and his potions of enlarge person, to take on larger threats as necessary. He then uses his various abilities to secure a hold and begin asphyxiating his foe (either via drowning in nearby water or in a pocket of dead air created by one of his dead air vials). Fond of shredding his enemies while he crushes the air out of them, Grimm may also set an origami swarm loose upon his chosen target as a particularly violent distraction. His flaming armor spikes (steaming when underwater) also distract his foes, often cause his victims to gasp or cry out in pain, forcing them to give up the precious little oxygen they have left in their lungs.
If there are only one or two foes, Grimm attempts to disable the most dangerous-looking threat, using his strength surge rage power to add a +9 bonus to his initial grapple attempt. He then uses his move actions to maintain the grapple and deal damage twice each round, while biting at his foe with his animal fury rage power (which further allow him to maintain his hold). Two grapple attacks and two bite attacks each round, when combined with his breathtaker rage power, ensures that the target of his wrath dies that much more quickly (losing as many as 38 rounds of breath holding each round of combat).
If fighting many enemies alone, Grimm may forego grappling altogether and resort to traditional attacks with his greataxe and armor spikes so as to avoid putting himself in a vulnerable position. Whenever possible, he will lead such threats into detrimental terrain, such as falling back into a shallow bog or kicking over a pale of soap suds on a ship's deck to create a slippery surface--as he is immune to such impediments.
If fighting alongside allies, Grimm resumes his traditional grappling tactics as the situation allows, relying on his allies to keep other foes off of him while he dispatches his chosen targets one at a time. In such circumstances, he may forego dropping a dead air vial so as to avoid suffocating his allies.
When fighting spellcasters that rely on breathing, Grimm always begins the battle by rushing the spellcasters and opening one of his dead air vials, in order to prevent them from getting most of their spells off for lack of oxygen.
Whether underwater, or amidst dead air, Grimm relies on his strong lungs and pressurized air tanks to breathe, giving him enough oxygen to last for ~126.5 minutes.
So, what do ya' think?
Maybe there is something to do themeatically or mechanically with the warpriest's Void blessing?
Airless Touch (minor): At 1st level, with a successful melee touch attack you can steal the breath from an opponent’s lungs, leaving it unable to speak, use breath weapons, cast spells with verbal components, or do anything else requiring breath for 1 round. If the target fails at a Fortitude saving throw, it’s also staggered for 1 round as it catches its breath. If the target was attempting to hold its breath, it can no longer do so: it must breathe on its turn or risk suffocation and unconsciousness. Creatures that don’t need to breathe are unaffected. Regardless of whether it succeeds at its saving throw, the target is immune to further uses of your airless touch for 24 hours.
It might be too much of an investment, but 4 levels of Void Kineticist can give you No Breath so you don't need to breathe.(2 levels of Aerokineticist gets you constant Air bubble)
Or, if you have feats to spare VMC Sorcerer with the Starsoul Bloodline you can not need to breathe by lvl 9.
Another interesting option! I'm kind of keen to keep him as a mundane operator though (not counting the odd bit of magical gear necessary for successful adventuring). I feel like throwing in spellcasting (or whatever you want to call what a kineticist does) just cheapens the overall concept.
Changed Grimm Shark's greataxe to a trident-like lance. It does slightly less damage, but is more thematic, works much better underwater, and gives him some nifty reach capabilities (which work well with his armor spikes allowing him to threaten at both 5 and 10 feet).
I considered giving him a traditional trident, but it was just too weak in comparison for my liking.
I've also given him a garrote for when detection is a potential concern.
What's more, I replaced both his ranks in Intimidate (for Stealth) and his Intimidating Glare rage power for Savage Maw. Not only does the latter setup better fit his marine savage theme, it also grants him the grab ability with his bite attacks and an additional +4 bonus to grapple checks. I've replaced Acute Darkvision for Dragon Sight, which boosts his darkvision from 90 feet to 120 feet, giving him a distinct edge when it comes to sneaking around creatures underwater.
If you take him to higher levels, I recommend the Bloody Bite rage power to further demoralize his foes and, quite possibly, to lure in some distracting sharks.
Assuming an enemy comes to him (provoking from the lance along the way), he can now potentially begin a round with rage (free action), lance twice (full round action), 5-foot step (free action), bite (continuing full round action), grab/grapple (free action) with strength surge (swift action).
Alternatively, he could forgo the lance attacks, and instead rely solely on his bite, which leaves him with a better chance at grappling and giving himself a move action to make a second grapple check: rage (free action), bite (standard action), grab/grapple (free action), grapple for damage (move action), bonus bite attack (non-action).
In later rounds it might look like this: maintain for automatic bite damage (per grab) and armor spike damage, plus bonus bite attack; make second grapple check for automatic bite damage, armor spike damage, and a bonus bite attack.
Can't wait to try this at an actual table.
Have you seen the Raghadan section of Legacy of the First World? There's a Barbarian archetype with some grappling/water/suffocation powers, and three relevant rage powers.
The archetype (Deepwater Rager) trades fast movement for holding breath 4xCON and adding CON(+Cha) to Intimidate checks if you can speak. Uncanny Dodge is traded for the ability to charge in an indirect or curving line. Improved Uncanny Dodge is traded for a no-save Sicken effect on anyone you grapple, plus they have to pass an Acrobatics check or fall prone when the grapple ends. Indomitable Will is traded for constrict. Tireless Rage is traded for the ability to not have to breath while raging.
1. Master of the Deep: Give a (Su) Command (as the spell) to any aquatic creature. Not language dependent, DC is based on Strength.
2. Suffocating Grip: When maintaining a grapple, cause suffocating or they have to hold their breath (instead of other options on a maintained grapple).
3. Suffocating Grip, Greater: They can't hold their breath, they immediately start suffocating. (12th level)
Obviously the rage powers will eliminate the need for water or dead air vials.