A legitimate businessman build


Advice


So I'm playing in a Hell's Vengeance game sometime in the near-ish future. Usually when making a character, I pick a class, make the most optimized build for that class in whatever particular campaign I'm playing, and then make up RP elements from there. For a change of pace this time, I'm trying to do it in the opposite order and could use some help. Since Cheliax has always had an Italian vibe to me, and since I like old mob movies, I want to make a wise-guy PC named Furio Serafini. So far on my build, I'm going with a Scout Knife Master UC Rogue who uses dual balisongs with spring-loaded wrist sheathes in order to get a ridiculously high sleight of hand check to conceal weapons, giving him the visage of a legitimate businessman who definitely isn't armed... that's for sure. Beyond that, I don't really have any thematic ideas and could use some help with turning RP into mechanics. I'm open to changing any of the ideas I've already put down, that's just what I've got thus far.

Scarab Sages

Instead of knife master, I'd go with a Sczarni Swindler. It's a better thematic match and let fate decide is a fantastic buff for a rouge.


Bard or archaeologist bard feel like fun mechanics for a legitimate businessman.


Imbicatus wrote:
Instead of knife master, I'd go with a Sczarni Swindler. It's a better thematic match and let fate decide is a fantastic buff for a rouge.

Hmm I'm intrigued, but a little confused by Let Fate Decide.

Spoiler:
At 1st level, the swindler can declare two different actions that rely on different types of rolls or checks, such as attacking a creature (an attack roll) or sneaking past the same creature (a Stealth check). As a standard action, the swindler then uses a random method to choose one of the declared activities, such as flipping a coin, rolling a die, or drawing a harrow card. The specific method doesn’t matter as long as there is an equal chance of either activity being chosen.

If the swindler then performs the chosen activity within the next round, she gains a luck bonus on the roll type required for that activity—attack rolls with a specific weapon, a specific skill check, a specific ability check, or a specific saving throw—equal to half her rogue level (minimum +1) for 1 minute. If the swindler performs any other action (whether declared or not) in the round after using this ability, she becomes shaken for 1 minute instead. The swindler can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier.

This ability replaces trapfinding.

So if I choose an attack roll as one of my options and end up getting that, does that mean that I get shaken if on my next round I move AND attack? Seems like a bit of a raw deal since randomly choosing the action is itself a standard action.

Scarab Sages

No, you just need to set up two actions that would be equally valid. Say img going to attack or I'm going to roll bluff to feint. If you get the attack, you get a bonus tonattack rolls for one minute. If you roll the bluff, you get a bonus for skill checks for one minute. Basically just never put yourself in a position where you would have to not thanks the action, and you're never going to have to worry about becoming shaken.


Imbicatus wrote:
No, you just need to set up two actions that would be equally valid. Say img going to attack or I'm going to roll bluff to feint. If you get the attack, you get a bonus tonattack rolls for one minute. If you roll the bluff, you get a bonus for skill checks for one minute. Basically just never put yourself in a position where you would have to not thanks the action, and you're never going to have to worry about becoming shaken.

That's a definite potential option then, as it would be pretty thematic. The only issue I see is that, in this campaign, we're limited to 1 splatbook per character. So using the Harrowe Handbook for the archetype would mean I have to skip the spring-loaded wrist sheaths and balisongs.

Silver Crusade

In all honesty since its 2 relatively common items. Just ask if they are allowed anyway.


DonKalleOne wrote:
In all honesty since its 2 relatively common items. Just ask if they are allowed anyway.

I already know for certain that they won't be, having played a couple of campaigns be these rules already. It's not a death-sentence on the build, but it does give me some pause.

Scarab Sages

Quicker than the eye helps slight of hand checks and allows for faster retrieval of hidden items though. It's just an option.


Honestly I don't see the Italian in Cheliax... at no point in the middle ages did they have an imperial regent of note. Always saw them more as a representation of the most tyrannical aspects of the Russians or the Austro-Hungarians, but I guess it's a matter of optics.

In any case, I thought I'd lend in my pitch...

What about an UnMonk?

UnMonks require to be Lawful – which is very much an aspect of a mobster. There is a lot of respect towards codes of conduct and the value of one's word, propped up by the philosophy that strength without respect – whether from fear or love – has no value.

You can go with the Scaled Disciple to be based on Charisma, which would fit this character.

Unarmed ability is your typical mobster strongarming abilities. High Charisma and intimidate tools help complete the picture. And the fact that you are unarmed would allow you to complete this picture that you have no weapons to use on you.

Stuff like Stunning Fist can be reflavored as a sucker punch, and ki as moxie. Ki powers could be chosen among the ones that grant you extra endurance or AC on demand. The elemental side of Scaled Fist could come from your family's proud heritage – it could lay claim to dragon blood to justify its notoriety.


Hmmm what about instead of the type of mafioso that just wants to talk people into accepting his offer that they can't refuse, I instead build the type that beats them into submission. For that, I'm thinking of a light hammer or sap build with the Thug and Scout archetypes with the Enforcer feat, building into Shatter Defenses. Once Shatter Defenses comes online, I would charge on the first round getting an intimidate check if I hit, which would then make my opponent flat-footed for eternity. Wash-rinse-repeat. Add the Sap Adept/Master chain in for massive numbers.


The reason why I don't like Intimidate Rogues is that they usually have to worry about oozes and elementals... focusing on mind-affecting abilities means you also get trumped by constructs and undead.


Secret Wizard wrote:
The reason why I don't like Intimidate Rogues is that they usually have to worry about oozes and elementals... focusing on mind-affecting abilities means you also get trumped by constructs and undead.

Constructs sure, but I'm less worried about the undead since I don't imagine we'll be fighting against very many in Hell's Vengeance.


I am seeing all those mafia jokes and I can´t help but think - does everyone hate the consigliere archetype or is it too obscure? Bonuses to persuasion and teamwork abilities aren´t bad at all imo. Sure, you aren´t a better fighter than a straight rogue, but the concept is already inclined towards a more social character.

Also, the sharper is also worth looking into if you want to be good with concealing a knife, but it more oriented towards b!!!%&##ting people or swiping nice things off them, and the latter isn´t quite so business friendly.


The Shaman wrote:

I am seeing all those mafia jokes and I can´t help but think - does everyone hate the consigliere archetype or is it too obscure? Bonuses to persuasion and teamwork abilities aren´t bad at all imo. Sure, you aren´t a better fighter than a straight rogue, but the concept is already inclined towards a more social character.

Also, the sharper is also worth looking into if you want to be good with concealing a knife, but it more oriented towards b!@+%!@+ting people or swiping nice things off them, and the latter isn´t quite so business friendly.

I really want to like the consigliere, but the teamwork feats would be useless to me until level 10 when I could give them to party members, which makes it a fairly late arrival.

For Sharper, I like building towards being a thief (since RP-wise I'd probably start off as a low-level street thug pick-pocketing people and then build into a crime boss over time), but Steal is one of, IMO, the worst combat maneuvers in the game.


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I like the consigliere mostly for the social stuff. You get an option to take teamwork feats, you don´t have to take them. You lose trap sense for it, sure, but Convincing Attitude gives you 3 features for 2, so I consider it a wash.

Sharper I want to like, but to be honest I am on the fence about. As you said, steal is an iffy maneuver, although I have a soft spot for anything that lets you disable enemies that rely on paraphernalia like holy symbols, spell components, etc. OTOH, some of the other stuff it gets is really nice. I think it is the only archetype to get half of its rogue level to all sleight of hand checks, right? The cutpurse can steal items with SoH with a sneak attack, but I like all the other tricks a sharper brings to the table, especially the rerolls.

Also, speaking of social rogues that can be made to represent "businessmen," the rake can function fairly well as a relatively suave, but also ruthless mobster.


The Shaman wrote:


Sharper I want to like, but to be honest I am on the fence about.

i hope you burn in hell for this pun


The betrayer feat is pretty fun. You get to make a diplomacy check to make someone friendly, and then instantly draw a weapon and sneak attack.


For a thematic suggestion- how about a slayer instead?

I bring this up, since its core mechanic is highly thematic- studied target can be used both in battle and in social situations (since it is unlimited use and eventually covers almost all social skills- not reason not to use).

The reason it is thematic is because you are basically looking at every single person you talk to in the same way you look at the guy you are about to stab in the kidneys. That implies a core distrust in social dynamics, as well as a kind of brutality. I like that flavor. Nice for jaded bounty hunters and less than balanced "respectable businessmen".

Secret Wizard wrote:
Honestly I don't see the Italian in Cheliax... at no point in the middle ages did they have an imperial regent of note. Always saw them more as a representation of the most tyrannical aspects of the Russians or the Austro-Hungarians, but I guess it's a matter of optics.

Maybe a Rome comparison for the fall of an empire and the vestiges that remain... but yeah- Italy just never really had itself together well enough to be a Cheliax analogy. It was mostly just a collection of squabbling city states for a while that.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A closer analog of Cheliax may be either Imperial Spain (which makes Ravounel as the analog of Portugal, sort of) or possibly Richelieu's France.

Of course, no Golarion nation is a direct analog of real-world history, so you can't take correspondence too far. Or rather, Golarion's nations may be partially inspired by real-world history, but they are not representations of real-world history.


For role-playing this character, you simply need to make a couple of choices. It's not about figuring out the entire backstory, but I find it helps to plant a few seeds that can come to fruition in situations during the story. You know where the character is from and what kind of non-adventuring occupation he has. That's good. This is not a lo and what kind of non-adventuring occupation he has. That's good. This is not necessarily a list are use on every character - because I generally do it on the fly - but here are a couple things to think about. Does the character have some special interest beyond devil's and the mob and adventuring? Does he like to build furniture or to paint or does he get all fanboy about dragons? I think it is important to decide on a flaw of some kind. Maybe he is suspicious of gnomes or his vanity leaves him to collect jewelry or he had a bad experience with fire as a child or has a drinking problem. Such a flaw doesn't need to turn the quest into a train wreck, but it could influence your decisions and actions.


lemeres wrote:

For a thematic suggestion- how about a slayer instead?

I bring this up, since its core mechanic is highly thematic- studied target can be used both in battle and in social situations (since it is unlimited use and eventually covers almost all social skills- not reason not to use).

The reason it is thematic is because you are basically looking at every single person you talk to in the same way you look at the guy you are about to stab in the kidneys. That implies a core distrust in social dynamics, as well as a kind of brutality. I like that flavor. Nice for jaded bounty hunters and less than balanced "respectable businessmen".

I second this, perhaps with the Velvet Blade archetype. Schmooze with the bigwigs until it's time for the kiss of death. Honestly, this Slayer archetype along with the Magical Child Vigilante archetype are the main reasons I want UI. One for serious use and the other sounds hilarious.


is 3rd party allowed if so true professional unchained rogue would be best


Imbicatus wrote:
No, you just need to set up two actions that would be equally valid. Say img going to attack or I'm going to roll bluff to feint. If you get the attack, you get a bonus tonattack rolls for one minute. If you roll the bluff, you get a bonus for skill checks for one minute. Basically just never put yourself in a position where you would have to not thanks the action, and you're never going to have to worry about becoming shaken.

Is this basically Harvey Dent as a class feature...?

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