Can we talk about how the Cavalier is just better than the Fighter?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I liked the build I had. It was diverse.

The only thing that's a myth is that the OP cares what we are saying it it disagrees with the train of thought they could be wrong.

7 pages of wasted time. This isn't a debate it's just another "fighters suck" thread. Boring as hell.


Cavall wrote:

I liked the build I had. It was diverse.

The only thing that's a myth is that the OP cares what we are saying it it disagrees with the train of thought they could be wrong.

7 pages of wasted time. This isn't a debate it's just another "fighters suck" thread. Boring as hell.

I dunno. There are a lot of interesting ideas for Fighters and their builds in this thread. Even from the OP. I'm working on several gnome fighters right now.


I don't know what you "dunno" here when you agree they are diverse.

Shadow Lodge

Frosty Ace wrote:
Cavall wrote:
7 pages of wasted time. This isn't a debate it's just another "fighters suck" thread. Boring as hell.
I dunno. There are a lot of interesting ideas for Fighters and their builds in this thread. Even from the OP. I'm working on several gnome fighters right now.

Take Bewildering Koan -- best racial feat ever for the humor value alone.


Spoiler:
Dwarf(Mountaineer, Sky Sentinel, Craftsman) Fighter || 16 14 16 12 10 8 || Traits: Glory of Old, Seeker|| Perception, Climb, Craft(Clothing)
1. Steel Soul, Combat Reflexes
2. Step-up
3. Master Armorer, Armor Training
4. Power Attack
5. Master Craftsman (Clothing), Weapon Training(Axes)
6. Disruptive
7. Craft Wondrous Item, Armored Juggernaut
8. Cut From the Air
9. Smash from the Air, Versatile Training(Climb, Survival) [retrain climb ranks to fly]
10. Spellbreaker
11. Shatterspell, Armor Specialization
12. Combat Stamina
13. Pindown, Defensive Weapon Training
14. Warrior Spirit 15. Armed Bravery, Critical Deflection
16. Fighter’s Reflexes
17. Sprightly Armor, Trained Initiative
18. Improved Initiative
19. Armored Sacrifice
20. Weapon Sacrifice

OK now with spell sunder, fighter wins out at high levels. It only struggles in low levels compared to the cavalier, but the fighter is still doing fine.


Concept: As vanilla as it gets; Human Fighter (no archetype) who uses a longsword. You would think this is a boring idea, but sometimes I like challenging strict constraints with some creativity.

This is here for four reasons:
(1) I put this build together just recently and I want to share it because it make me chuckle
(2) It shows a path that only the Fighter is optimized for (Dazzling Display) because of all those feats, and exclusive access to feats (Greater Weapon Focus, and thus the other feats which require GWF); A cavalier can't compete with a fighter in some arenas, like this one
(3) It highlights an interesting kind of fighter: the "continually repeating aura of terror" fighter, which I think most people don't consider in their quest for damage output. It's rather novel.
(4) The Eldritch-Heritage-for-MOAR-Strength trick is feat intensive, and can be attractive in the long game. Since it's so feat intensive, I would dare to claim that only the fighter can afford it without otherwise hurting the build.

Human Fighter 20pb
Alternate trait: Focused Study

Starting Array: 16 13 13 13 11 14

Feats and Abilities:
1: Dazzling Display, Skill Focus Intimidate, Weapon Focus Longsword
2: Power Attack, Bravery +1
3: Armor Training 1, Quickdraw
4: Weapon Specialization Longsword, INT 14
5: Weapon Training 1 (Large blades), Signature Skill Intimidate
6: Shatter Defenses, Bravery +2
7: Armor Training 2, Furious Focus
8: Greater Weapon Focus Longsword, Skill Focus Know Planes, CHA 15
9: Weapon Training 2 (Thrown), Eldritch Heritage - Abyssal (claws: 1d6 magic, 5/day)
10: Combat Reflexes, Bravery +3
11: Armor Training 3, Deadly Stroke
12: Dreadful Carnage, CON 14
13: Weapon Training 3 (Close), Improved Eldritch Heritage - Abyssal (strength: +2STR), Abyssal claws: 1d6+1d6fire, 5/day
14: Enforcer, Bravery +4
15: Armor Training 4, Signature Skill Perception, Abyssal Strength (+2STR)
16: Improved Critical Longsword, DEX 14, Skill Focus Perception
17: Weapon Training 4 (Hammers), Improved Overrun
18: Charge Through, Bravery +5
19: Armor Mastery, Greater Overrun, Abyssal Strength (+2STR)
20: Weapon Focus Unarmed Strike, Weapon mastery (longsword), WIS 12

What Were You Thinking?!?!

  • At level 1, as a full round action can use Longsword to demoralize all within 30’
  • At level 3, quickdraw means can draw and demoralize in same round
  • At level 5, significantly demoralized foes are frightened (they run away) then shaken
  • At level 6, demoralized foes are treated as flatfooted (they can’t do AoO, and no dex to AC). Can full attack with Thrown weapons thanks to Quickdraw
  • At level 7, the first power attack of the round has no attack penalty
  • At level 9, gain claws (5 rounds per day worth). Thrown Weapon Training is good for that full-attack barrage of javelins at shorter ranges, and also for the sling at longer range.
  • At level 10, get more AoOs, such as on fleeing foes. Demoralize now can panic creatures.
  • At level 11, can do a standard attack using a Longsword, on a flatfooted (afraid) opponent that does x2 damage and 1 point of CON damage.
  • At level 12, whenever an opponent is slain, can demoralize all in 30’ for free.
  • At level 13 (and 15, and 19) get +2 STR; Yet another reason to us Slings and Thrown for ranged combat
  • At level 14, can demoralize for free whenever inflicting nonlethal damage (such as unarmed)
  • At level 15, has superior perception at distance, against invisible things, and when asleep. Demoralize now can make victims cower on the spot
  • At level 17, Overrun locks opponent into CMB/CMD check with no AoO (and you get +2)
  • At level 18, Can use 1 overrun to complete a charge, resulting in 1 overrun foe and a charged foe
  • At level 19, Your overrun causes the victim to provoke an AoO when they fall prone
  • At level 20, unarmed strikes can be used for Dazzling Display checks (but not deadly strokes)

Ending array: 22 14 14 14 12 15

Weapon Training: Large Blades +4, Thrown +3, Close +2, Hammers +1

Skills stuff:
Ranks: 20x(2+2int+1race+1favored) = 120

Acrobatics +5 (3r), Climb +14 (5r), Craft Armor +10 (5r), Craft Masonry +10 (5r), Craft Weapons +10 (5r), Handle Animal +10 (5r), Intimidate +31 (20r), Know Dungeons +10 (5r), Know Engineering +10 (5r), Know Geography +3 (1r), Know Local +3 (1r), Know Nature +3 (1r), Know Nobility +3 (1r), Know Planes +10 (5r), Know Religion +3 (1r), Perception +22 (15r), Professional Architect +5 (1r), Professional Engineer +5 (1r), Professional Merchant +5 (1r), Professional Soldier +5 (1r), Ride +10 (5r), Stealth +10 (8r), Survival +10 (6r), Swim +14 (5r), Use Magic Device +10 (8r)

Rationale for skills... because I love skills...

  • Acrobatics 3r = improved AC bonus when fighting defensively
  • Craft +10 = can make masterwork (or DC20) items by taking 10; crafting can be used for downtime, to repair, or when scrounging for resources. Masonry is for fortifications and works in tandem with that rank in Profession Architect. Rank in Profession Merchant can help with selling crafted products.
  • Handle Animal +10 = can do all animal training by taking 10, such as wartraining mounts to use with that +10 ride skill, or hunting dogs whose Scent ability can help.
  • Intimidate MAXED = optimized demoralize (primary combat feature). Intimidate also has other uses, including those from Ultimate Campaign
  • Knowledge +10 = take 10 to get DC 20
  • Knowledge 1r = can achieve DCs above 10 (and thus be another possible knowledge check among the party)
  • Survival +10 = can track in many situations
  • Knowledge Engineering, Profession Engineer and Profession Soldier create effective competency in war & military, including some use of seige weapons
  • Decent Swim & Climb and Perception
  • Some stealth ability (which Armor Training preserves to some degree). Maybe hang back a bit from the real stealthers, but can follow behind (like 40-100' back) as backup. Mixed with superior perception-at-distance, a bit of stealth goes a long way when scouting
  • UMD, because.

With mundane gear (not even masterwork):

  • Longsword +32/27/22/17 melee (1d8+12/17-20x3)
  • Darts +25/20/15/10 ranged (1d4+9, BR20)
  • Sling +25 ranged (1d4+9, BR50)
  • Claws +26/26 melee (1d6+6+1d6fire)
  • Unarmed +30/25/20/15 melee (1d3+9 nonlethal plus demoralize +31)
  • Overrun +30 maneuver (pass, or prone if beat by 5+, target draws AoO)

The Exchange

Hah, I love that build. Look at all those skills he took!

My only issue with causing fear etc is that we've always found many enemies at high level are just immune to it.

So in terms of what's being discussed in this thread, this guy would suffer in similar ways to what I think the davalier suffers from. Too many situations where he may be quite poor.

However, you do have soooooo many skills, and your thrown weapon alternative pathway means youll be doing other stuff on occasions when demoralising doesn't work.

Fun build.


Wrath wrote:

Hah, I love that build. Look at all those skills he took!

My only issue with causing fear etc is that we've always found many enemies at high level are just immune to it.

So in terms of what's being discussed in this thread, this guy would suffer in similar ways to what I think the davalier suffers from. Too many situations where he may be quite poor.

However, you do have soooooo many skills, and your thrown weapon alternative pathway means youll be doing other stuff on occasions when demoralising doesn't work.

Fun build.

Looks crazy good, and doesn't even tap into advanced weapon/armor training. Tons of potential.


There may be a lot of immunities but when it works the fights become trivial.

Shadow Lodge

Malignor, a few ideas about your fighter build:

* Unless you really need that last STR+1 (of 6), the inherent bonus to it granted by the three abyssal feats does not stack with that given by a Manual of Gainful Exercise. Since you're not getting a bonus until 13th from the feats, I'd consider just waiting until 15th (when WBL is 240,000 gp) and buy the +5 manual outright.

* An ending STR of 22 isn't particularly noteworthy when many characters are easily capable of if much lower, if not 1st.

* Dazzling Display requires a full-round action to deploy versus aware and observing foes 30' feet or closer who apparently don't mind lollygagging around while you do a Haka wardance. Also, the higher you get, the more things are immune to fear. (IMO, Dazzling/Intimidate/highCHA is a martial munchkin-trap unless you're geared to exploit it with a build that deploys it more quickly with better bonuses.)


Sir Thugsalot wrote:

Malignor, a few ideas about your fighter build:

* Unless you really need that last STR+1 (of 6), the inherent bonus to it granted by the three abyssal feats does not stack with that given by a Manual of Gainful Exercise. Since you're not getting a bonus until 13th from the feats, I'd consider just waiting until 15th (when WBL is 240,000 gp) and buy the +5 manual outright.

* An ending STR of 22 isn't particularly noteworthy when many characters are easily capable of if much lower, if not 1st.

* Dazzling Display requires a full-round action to deploy versus aware and observing foes 30' feet or closer who apparently don't mind lollygagging around while you do a Haka wardance. Also, the higher you get, the more things are immune to fear. (IMO, Dazzling/Intimidate/highCHA is a martial munchkin-trap unless you're geared to exploit it with a build that deploys it more quickly with better bonuses.)

The build doesn't include any magic items. The str is more properly 28 by 20. Still not the highest it could be but it should be more than reasonable.

The inherent bonus from the bloodline also goes higher than the inherent bonus from a manual. The manual is probably better if you start with an odd number in str, but with an even, the bloodline is going to hit the breakpoint for another + to hit/damage. Given that he didn't trade away any of his armor training options, itd probably be better to spend the gold on an inherent bonus for dex to better take advantage of the higher max dex in his full plate, up AC/initiative/reflex saves and spend that extra levelling point upping cha to 16 for the +3. Thatl keep the dex adjustment odd so the +5 gets full measure.

As for dazzling, I dunno the thought processes but it seems like it may just be the "combat expertise" to get to deadly stroke/shattered defenses, cornugon smash/dreadful carnage is probably the more efficient choice overall.

Also i'm not sure you can take signature skill more than once. It doesn't have the language hinting that you can.


I think the only issue is too many skills in Malignor build. It's good to have a variety of skills too many though and one gets some skills that won't succeed as often. Better a smaller group of skills with better chances of them succeeding.


Only rogues may have more than one unlocked skill


Cavall wrote:
There may be a lot of immunities but when it works the fights become trivial.

Yeah, though in (un?)fairness, the ability to dominate encounters when their shtick works has never been something the class struggles with.


The Thing From Another World wrote:
I think the only issue is too many skills in Malignor build. It's good to have a variety of skills too many though and one gets some skills that won't succeed as often. Better a smaller group of skills with better chances of them succeeding.

Most of those skills are designed to succeed at the standard DC's while taking 10. Should be fine.


Squiggit wrote:
Cavall wrote:
There may be a lot of immunities but when it works the fights become trivial.
Yeah, though in (un?)fairness, the ability to dominate encounters when their shtick works has never been something the class struggles with.

Can't argue that.


Cavall wrote:
Only rogues may have more than one unlocked skill

Oops!

Hmmm well maybe I'll just replace it with Blindfighting for now, so "Scary Vanilla" (which is my pet name for this build) can move full speed in the dark without a lantern, and fight invisible opponents... just because?

Shadow Lodge

Ryan Freire wrote:
Sir Thugsalot wrote:

* Unless you really need that last STR+1 (of 6), the inherent bonus to it granted by the three abyssal feats does not stack with that given by a Manual of Gainful Exercise. Since you're not getting a bonus until 13th from the feats, I'd consider just waiting until 15th (when WBL is 240,000 gp) and buy the +5 manual outright.

* An ending STR of 22 isn't particularly noteworthy when many characters are easily capable of it much lower, if not 1st.

The build doesn't include any magic items.
Likely magic bonuses should always be factored unless it's a low-magic campaign. (He build a 20th-level character, which presupposes being eventually drenched in the stuff)
Quote:
The str is more properly 28 by 20. Still not the highest it could be but it should be more than reasonable. The inherent bonus from the bloodline also goes higher than the inherent bonus from a manual.
Well, it goes to +6 at 17th level versus +5 with the manual whenever you can afford it (probably 15th). In any event, if he wants strength, he should raise it (when his build actually raised every attribute except it).
Quote:
...if you can get STR+5 inherent bonus from one item and save on taking three feats to get STR+6
The manual is probably better if you start with an odd number in str, but with an even, the bloodline is going to hit the breakpoint for another + to hit/damage. Given that he didn't trade away any of his armor training options, itd probably be better to spend the gold on an inherent bonus for dex to better take advantage of the higher max dex in his full plate, up AC/initiative/reflex saves and spend that extra levelling point upping cha to 16 for the +3. Thatl keep the dex adjustment odd so the +5 gets full measure.

Yeah, that CHA. -- How often is going to get that Dazzling Display off, anyway? Almost never (and he'll keep racking up better and better pre-combat options as he levels). What he ought to do is dump CHA to 7 (freeing up *9* build points) and forget about it.

Other minor detail of note: the build has Furious Focus, which requires two-handed usage. (Most longsword builds intend to use a shield...although I supposed Quick Draw is in the build to fuel a quickdraw-shield. In any event, it does indicate that gleaning attack-bonus is important, hence the oddity of not raising the strength attribute at all.)

~ ~ ~

(14>16),13,13,13,11,14 20pt array ...taken because Improved Eldritch Heritage requires CHA:15; other four stat bumps to each odd, neglecting STR (which improves to 22 via feats at 17th level).

--comparisons--

(15>17),14,12,12,12,12 (all stat bumps to STR, resulting in 22 at 20th. Will save +1 entirety of career save 20th)

(15>17),14,14,14,12,07 (gork one 12 to advance two others to 14s)

(17>19),14,12,12,12,07 (STR is 22 at 12th)

~ ~ ~

mutt-build (because we don't expect to make it to 20th):
(15>17),14,12,12,12,12

01: barb1 FEAT(g), FEAT(h)
02: barb2 [Reckless Abandon]
03: cava1 [challenge 1/day], FEAT(g)
04: cava2 [cockatrice:Dazzling Display(standard-action)], STR>18
05: figh1 FEAT(g), FEAT(c)
06: (etc)

...results in a raging STR of 22 ("sweet spot" for 2h; next is 26) at 4th level in a build without dump stats. Dazzling Display now works as a standard-action without even holding a weapon, and Weapon Focus is not required.

...if you want the claws, two more levels of barb for Beast Totem (or trade out Reckless Abandon for them as-is).


Why would my cute little Scary Vanilla depend on Dazzling Display more than once a fight?

Ponder this:
Dazzling Display at +31, gets a 40. That beats a Balor's DC (27) by 10. Signature skill means the Balor (or any Balor within 30'r) is panicked for a round, drops his sword and whip, and flies away in terror. Then he comes to his sense (still shaken for 2 rounds after) and realizes he should have teleported.
Meanwhile Scary Vanilla got some free magic weapons.

If Scary Vanilla rolled a 16, or had gear (circlet of persuasion? yes please) and rolled okay, he would beat the Balor's DC by 20 and the demon would cower for 1d4 rounds (AC drops to 29).
So what does Scary Vanilla do? Why he begins PUNCHING him of course!

Power Attack: +30/19/14/9 melee (1d3+15 nonlethal) nickel and dimes past the damage reduction, but that's all that's needed.

Each attack invokes the Enforcer feat, and so the Balor is demoralized again and again, unable to escape the cycle of terror as he's slowly beaten unconscious. Then Scary Vanilla uses hi longsword to coup de grace the sleeping demon (2-handed PA crit-x3; 84-99 damage after DR, save DC is 90+).

Thanks to Shatter Defenses, the terrified Balor is flatfooted, and couldn't make an attack of opportunity even if he wanted.


Against sheer numbers of many weaker foes, Scary Vanilla becomes a never ending cycle of terror and violence. With each foe killed, he activates Dreadful Carnage and demoralizes everyone in 30'r as a free action. Chances are they're not as high a DC as the Balor.

In fact Scary Vanilla's tactic of choice is to overrun someone, deliver an AoO on them thanks to Greater Overrun, and be surrounded by enemies. If standing next to the prone sucker on the ground, he likely gets another AoO, which might trigger Dreadful Carnage and begin the cycle of screaming, running and dying. If not, he'll be attacked on all sides before performing a Dazzling Display.

Everyone will then be Panicked, and as they flee out of control, Scary Vanilla delivers multiple AoOs (3 if no gear; more if Dex+ gear). The prone guy next to him also crawls or stands up in a panic, earning a stab for his troubles. If anyone drops from those, Dreadful Carnage activates again.

Shadow Lodge

Malignor wrote:

Why would my cute little Scary Vanilla depend on Dazzling Display more than once a fight?

Ponder this: Dazzling Display at +31, gets a 40. That beats a Balor's DC (27) by 10....

To successfully demoralize a balor, Scary Vanilla will need to beat a DC of 10+20(hitdice)+7(wisdom modifier)+4(size differential) = 41. If SV rolled a 40, he failed.

~ ~ ~

Back in (fantasy) reality, Scary Vanilla rolls an 18 for Initiative and adds his +2. Balor rolls a 10, adds his +11 and beats SV; it Quickened Telekinesis (DC:23) SV adjacent, and then takes its seven vorpal power attacks against flat-footed AC (three whip attacks also Entangle to auto-grapple).

-- But let's give SV initiative for the curiosity of seeing what happens next: SV begins his full-round Dazzling Display attempt. The demon then goes, cocks his head quizzically regarding SV's antics (balor intelligence score:24), and at-wills Dominate Monster (DC:27) against SV's +7 will save. SV fails to roll a 20.

Controlled by the balor, Scary Vanilla turns to face the party (now his foe), completes his Dazzling Display against his former comrades, then begins butchering them while the demon cackles maniacally.


Malignor wrote:
Cavall wrote:
Only rogues may have more than one unlocked skill

Oops!

Hmmm well maybe I'll just replace it with Blindfighting for now, so "Scary Vanilla" (which is my pet name for this build) can move full speed in the dark without a lantern, and fight invisible opponents... just because?

Is there a reason you didn't dip into any advanced armor/weapon training options?


Well. He did say Vanilla.


Cavall wrote:
Well. He did say Vanilla.

Yeah but signature skill is unchained.


Holy poo! How did I miss the +10 and +4!
See what happens when I rush?
I make stupid mistakes like that.
Like daddy always said, "You know for a smart guy you're pretty darn clueless."

So it's 50/50 with no gear; needs to roll a 10 to make Balor shaken.

As for soloing Balor, Scary Vanilla would obviously have to have gear, including a wand of Protection from Evil.

*sigh* 880k gold?! ... man this'll take awhile. I have a job y'know.

Talk to y'all in a bit.

Liberty's Edge

Malignor said wrote:
Dazzling Display at +31, gets a 40. That beats a Balor's DC (27) by 10. Signature skill means the Balor (or any Balor within 30'r) is panicked for a round, drops his sword and whip, and flies away in terror. Then he comes to his sense (still shaken for 2 rounds after) and realizes he should have teleported.

Malignor, I really like your build. There's two things that I wanted to point out though. One is that the fear/panic/cower conditions from Signature get a saving throw, which is only 10 + your skill ranks. So at level 20, that's a DC 30 Will Save, which a Balor will pass on a 5 or higher. It still gets shaken regardless.

The other thing is that the DC for demoralizing something goes up +5 every time you use it. So if you're repeatedly hitting something with Enforcer, eventually the DC will get too high for demoralize to work. Hopefully whatever your're fighting would be dead by that point, though...


Thanks for all the corrections. I actually plan to try this build in a future game (it's got too much fun & flavor to pass up), so all the input has proven helpful.

Okay, here's a first cut at the gear:

Spoiler:
  • "Fear Eater" the Longsword +5 with {Ominous, Cruel, Courageous, Invigorating}
  • "Inevitability" the Dart +3 with {Returning, Seeking, Huntsman}
  • Three more Darts +3 with {returning}
  • Sling +3 with {Distance}, 10 bullets, 10 cold iron bullets
  • "Relentless Mail" the Full Plate +5 with {Brawling, Ghost Touch, Stanching, Determination, Energy Resist (all 5)}
  • Ring of Foe Focus
  • Ring of Protection +3
  • Belt of Physical Perfection +3
  • Vest of Vengeful Tracker
  • Boots of Striding and Springing
  • Gloves of Dueling
  • Circlet of Persuasion
  • Amulet natural Armor +3
  • Cloak Resistance +4
  • Headband Charisma +4
  • Horn of Fog
  • Wands of (CLW, ProtEvil, CompLanguages, EnlargePerson, Exped.Retreat, Mount, Featherfall, Grease, Silent Image, Shield)
  • 5 Potions Fly

Geared up array = 28 20 20 14 12 19
Intimidate checks are now +36 normally, and +41 with Fear Eater

  • Fear Eater +42/37/32/27 melee (1d8+26/17-20x3) or +42/31/26/21 melee (1d8+36/17-20x3)
  • Darts +33/28/23/18 ranged (1d4+17, BR20)
  • Sling +33 ranged (1d4+17, BR100)
  • Claws +29/29 melee (1d6+9+1d6fire)
  • Unarmed +35/30/25/20 melee (1d3+14 nonlethal plus demoralize +41)
  • Overrun +33 maneuver (pass, or prone if beat by 5+, target draws AoO)

AC is a modest 35 (14armor+5dex+3defl+3nat), or 39 with Shield effect
Saves are 21/15/11

The odds still don't favor Scary Vanilla solo against a Balor, it's true.

Prep against a Balor are Enlarge Person and Protection from Evil.
Balor could just summon up a Marilith and it's already too much to handle.
SV could charge in and attack at -4 to do nonlethal damage, relying on Enforcer for the first intimidate. SV's damage with Fear Eater is roughly 75 per hit when enlarged (54, +40% from crit averages) which means he has to hit the Balor six times to win.

Build is still fun though. I like how there are some great weapon enchantments to add for the fear theme (Ominous, Cruel)

Shadow Lodge

A moderately scared balor is -2 to stuff. His touch-attack with the whip goes from +30 to +28. Not gonna make much difference.

Quote:
Balor could just summon up a Marilith and it's already too much to handle.

Yup. Balors are smart.

And, if the GM is permitting unchained goodies (among other full-bore splatbook grooviness), don't be surprised if that balor hasn't been upgraded to a balor lord when you finally meet him.


Actually a moderately afraid Balor is...

  • is "-2 to stuff," has no Dex bonus to AC against SV, and is unable to make attacks of opportunity against SV.
  • if hit by Fear Eater, the penalty goes up to "-4 to stuff" (sickened)

    Scary Vanilla, as the fighty-fight member of a party would be able to contribute quite well IMO. Arguably comparable to a Cavalier in terms of contribution, which is what this thread is about.

    Any attempt to solo a CR 20 monster will just derail this thread into yet another caster-martial disparity argument. Allow me to admit that 90% of martial builds can't lock down the Balor anyhow, and so they'll never "win", and then let's move forward.

  • Shadow Lodge

    Doing nothing for a full-round when the enemy is 30' away or closer is not "contributing" when your allies were expecting you to fight if you're the "fighty-fight" meatwall character. It doesn't matter if you're facing a balor, or a 1st-level thug.

    Fighters can be better than cavaliers, but this one isn't. A 20th-level bow fighter would machine-gun the enemy with eight shots, a cavalier takes his Spirited Supreme Charge, etc.

    Cockatrice cavaliers and half-orc barbarians make much better intimidators.


    Methinks you're missing the point.
    At level 20 (or at level 13+ for SV), if there's an enemy SV can defeat in that round, he just attacks (no DazzDisp).
    I've mentioned this twice now. This is #3.

    Quote:

    Dreadful Carnage (Combat)

    Slaying an enemy demoralizes your other nearby foes.

    Prerequisites: Str 15, Power Attack, Furious Focus, base attack bonus +11.
    Benefit: Whenever you reduce an enemy to 0 or fewer hit points, you can make an Intimidate check to demoralize all enemies within 30 feet as a free action. Enemies that cannot see both you and the enemy you reduced to 0 or fewer hit points are unaffected.

    You're too hung up on the imagery of "scary war dance in middle of fight" I think, because it's blinding you to everything else about the build.

    Also, I've never ever said this build is superior. I've simply said it's fun, and effective for what it is, and it can do a better job than the Cavalier at scaring everyone.
    (though I'm checking the Cockatrice Cavalier now to be sure - thanks for mentioning that)
  • When facing a small number of foes (say 1-2) Dazzling Display is not even a valid tactic. The Intimidate skill can be used directly, as a Standard Action. Then move adjacent to the scared foe, who is not at penalties. If they're Frightened or Panicked, they run and earn an attack of opportunity.
  • Dazzling Display is only useful if it affects multiple foes. It's a AoE fear debuff which the entire party can exploit. If the party caster is about to cast Slow, or Confusion, or Meteor Swarm on a group of enemies, then Dazzling Display makes them -2 to save. Sometimes that's the better choice if you can't make the kill that round (or you're too low level to get Dreadful Carnage).
    That -2 debuff can save party members (if enemies miss by 1 or 2), earn the party some extra attacks (enemy assassins fail tumble check by 1 or 2), and it also makes your next round far more effective: flat-footed means you can use combat maneuvers or move through threatened squares without drawing an AOO, and you can use Power Attack (or fight defensively) while still hitting more reliably.
    There are a plethora of real game situations where DD makes the combat turn out better for your side than standard "hitpoint attrition".


  • Malignor wrote:
    Any attempt to solo a CR 20 monster will just derail this thread into yet another caster-martial disparity argument. Allow me to admit that 90% of martial builds can't lock down the Balor anyhow, and so they'll never "win", and then let's move forward.

    A level 20 character should win 50% of the time against a CR 20 monster.

    Win means incapacitated or retreated.


    Okay i just checked the Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier.
    This is not as good an intimidator as Scary Vanilla.

    Dazzling Display for free, sure.
    But he still needs Weapon Focus to qualify for Shatter Defenses, so now he has no more advantage on Scary Vanilla.
    Furthermore, Scary Vanilla can access Deadly Stroke while the Cockatrice Cavalier can't (as he's not a Fighter, and can't take Greater Weapon Focus).
    Furthermore, while it's really cool that the "CoCav" gets Dazzling Display as a Bonus Feat, and can even use it with any weapon (not just weapon focus weapons), Scary Vanilla still has more feats to spare.

    Deadly Stroke, and the lower relative feat cost, put Scary Vanilla ahead of the Cockatrice as an intimidator.

    Shadow Lodge

    Malignor wrote:

    Methinks you're missing the point.

    At level 20, if there's an enemy SV can defeat in that round, he doesn't have to use Dazzling Display.
    I've mentioned this twice now. This is #3.

    How often is a martial character going to be facing an opponent within 30' that he can't engage in any other, more effective, way?

    Why is a 20th level fighter pursuing Intimidate exploits off a full-round set-up when he could Intimidate as a free-action as early as BAB6 with Cornugon Smash, or with a move-action as early as 2nd-level as a barbarian?

    ...There are so many better ways to achieve this.

    ~ ~ ~

    One other thing: panicked opponents run away with their loot (aside from dropped weapons). Now, instead of a fast nova-bomb encounter, it's a tedious chase while wasted short-term buffs expire.


    Rhedyn wrote:
    Malignor wrote:
    Any attempt to solo a CR 20 monster will just derail this thread into yet another caster-martial disparity argument. Allow me to admit that 90% of martial builds can't lock down the Balor anyhow, and so they'll never "win", and then let's move forward.

    A level 20 character should win 50% of the time against a CR 20 monster.

    Win means incapacitated or retreated.

    I disagree.

    A level X character is a CR(X-1) monster.
    A character does not have a 50% chance to beat his own clone at 1 level higher.
    That's the most basic logic.

    You're telling me that a Wizard16 has a 50% chance to defeat a Wizard17?
    You're telling me that a Ranger1 has a 50% chance to defeat a Ranger2?

    Shadow Lodge

    Malignor wrote:

    Okay i just checked the Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier.

    This is not as good an intimidator as Scary Vanilla.

    Dazzling Display for free, sure.
    But he still needs Weapon Focus to qualify for Shatter Defenses, so now he has no more advantage on Scary Vanilla.
    Furthermore, Scary Vanilla can access Deadly Stroke while the Cockatrice Cavalier can't (as he's not a Fighter, and can't take Greater Weapon Focus).
    Furthermore, while it's really cool that the "CoCav" gets Dazzling Display as a Bonus Feat, and can even use it with any weapon (not just weapon focus weapons), Scary Vanilla still has more feats to spare.

    Deadly Stroke, and the lower relative feat cost, put Scary Vanilla ahead of the Cockatrice as an intimidator.

    The flaw in your reasoning here is that you're comparing SV to a 20th-level cavalier (who is probably on a winged mount at that point, but I digress), not a 20th-level multiclass who scores Intimidates on standard-actions, move-actions, immediate-actions, and free-actions all before he even hit 9th.

    (BTW, Deadly Stroke is lame; just another trap teasing you into giving up your full-attack as a higher-level martial with lots of iteratives.)


    Sir Thugsalot wrote:
    How often is a martial character going to be facing an opponent within 30' that he can't engage in any other, more effective, way?
    The correct answer is "sometimes." Here are a few I thought up on the spot.
    • Creature has very good reach and hits hard - fear removes AOOs and reduces enemy's chance to hit as well, and allows you to hit harder next round against the flatfooted AC.
    • You don't have a clear charge line, but the foe is 2 movements away. Rather than walk up and receive a full attack, just move & demoralize on round 1, then employ Deadly Stroke on the next.
    • Creature has a hard-to-hit AC from bonuses which vanish when flatfooted (such as high Dex).
    • The party has a 1-2 combo which exploits the fear effect. For a random example, trapping more foes in a Widened Acid Pit due to the -2 Reflex save.
    • Adjacent to many enemies, and you have Signature Skill Intimidate plus Combat Reflexes. All the frightened foes flee, earning AoOs from you.
    As for the multiclass... well
    I previously wrote:
    Also, I've never ever said this build is superior. I've simply said it's fun, and effective for what it is, and it can do a better job than the Cavalier at scaring everyone.

    I'm not playing at minmaxing. I'm comparing a Cavalier to a Fighter and offering a fun build. A Frankenclass is neither of those.

    It's not required by law, nor by me, that you must love the build. Different people have different tastes, because we're not all identical robots. Obviously you think it's garbage beneath your almighty contempt. Good for you. Your opinion has been made quite clear, thank you.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    The CR formula is a bit more complicated. An NPC with only NPC levels is CR=Level-2, any PC class makes it CR=Level-1 (even a Rogue 1/Commoner 19), PC WBL makes it +1 CR. So an appropriately geared PC should be CR=Level. Of course, CR also assumes a party of four, so a single PC should probably count for at least -4 APL, probably even lower, making a one on one combat beyond Epic (which is APL+3). Saying a Fighter 20 should be able to solo a Balor is like saying a level 1 party should be able to fight a Dire Lion. It's possible, but the smart money is on the lion. And there's definitely going to be some deaths, which in the case of the Balor fight means that over multiple fights the Fighter is going to die a few times.

    And that's not even addressing how broken the CR system is with regards to classes. It's broken in other ways too but I'll just focus on classes. As I said, a Rogue 1/Commoner 19 is the same CR as a Wizard 20. Only, @#$% no they aren't. A naked Sorcerer and a naked Fighter have the same CR, only no they don't. The CR system is very bad at classed monsters.

    Shadow Lodge

    Malignor wrote:
    I'm not playing at minmaxing. I'm comparing a Cavalier to a Fighter and offering a fun build. A Frankenclass is neither of those.

    In other words, you're ignoring half (I'd argue substantially more) of the game because it helps your argument.

    Multiclassing isn't something only the bad kids do.


    My line of argumentation is coherent with that of the OP (Rhedyn), whereas yours is unfortunately not. Review Rhedyn's builds and posts in this very thread if you doubt me. I'm speaking to the primary purpose of this thread, you're talking about that, plus some other things way over there.

    At no point did I claim that Frankenclassing was what "only the bad kids do." Again, you're inventing things that aren't there and arguing against them.

    Please let's not get too distracted.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    This is a thread about fighters contributing as well as a cavalier. Multiclass should not come up. Nor is making something frightened so it runs away while suffering major penalties ever to be considered "doing nothing". It what world is AoE panic considered nothing?

    The Exchange

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Bob Bob Bob wrote:

    The CR formula is a bit more complicated. An NPC with only NPC levels is CR=Level-2, any PC class makes it CR=Level-1 (even a Rogue 1/Commoner 19), PC WBL makes it +1 CR. So an appropriately geared PC should be CR=Level. Of course, CR also assumes a party of four, so a single PC should probably count for at least -4 APL, probably even lower, making a one on one combat beyond Epic (which is APL+3). Saying a Fighter 20 should be able to solo a Balor is like saying a level 1 party should be able to fight a Dire Lion. It's possible, but the smart money is on the lion. And there's definitely going to be some deaths, which in the case of the Balor fight means that over multiple fights the Fighter is going to die a few times.

    And that's not even addressing how broken the CR system is with regards to classes. It's broken in other ways too but I'll just focus on classes. As I said, a Rogue 1/Commoner 19 is the same CR as a Wizard 20. Only, @#$% no they aren't. A naked Sorcerer and a naked Fighter have the same CR, only no they don't. The CR system is very bad at classed monsters.

    Honestly, the CR system just doesn't work at all beyond level 15 or so. I've run a number of campaigns in the high teens to 20, and. Can assure you the party at that level are demolishing fights well beyond what the CR system suggests they can. Especially when they work as a team. Just too many synergies that makes them all just machines of destruction.


    Wrath wrote:
    Bob Bob Bob wrote:

    The CR formula is a bit more complicated. An NPC with only NPC levels is CR=Level-2, any PC class makes it CR=Level-1 (even a Rogue 1/Commoner 19), PC WBL makes it +1 CR. So an appropriately geared PC should be CR=Level. Of course, CR also assumes a party of four, so a single PC should probably count for at least -4 APL, probably even lower, making a one on one combat beyond Epic (which is APL+3). Saying a Fighter 20 should be able to solo a Balor is like saying a level 1 party should be able to fight a Dire Lion. It's possible, but the smart money is on the lion. And there's definitely going to be some deaths, which in the case of the Balor fight means that over multiple fights the Fighter is going to die a few times.

    And that's not even addressing how broken the CR system is with regards to classes. It's broken in other ways too but I'll just focus on classes. As I said, a Rogue 1/Commoner 19 is the same CR as a Wizard 20. Only, @#$% no they aren't. A naked Sorcerer and a naked Fighter have the same CR, only no they don't. The CR system is very bad at classed monsters.

    Honestly, the CR system just doesn't work at all beyond level 15 or so. I've run a number of campaigns in the high teens to 20, and. Can assure you the party at that level are demolishing fights well beyond what the CR system suggests they can. Especially when they work as a team. Just too many synergies that makes them all just machines of destruction.

    Much like adventure paths/modules the CR system has to account for people who are not good at character building, game mechanics, and tabletop strategy. Generally by the time players work their way up there, most of them are pretty competent at those things, but the game cant have an unassailable wall for the ones who aren't either.

    Shadow Lodge

    Cavall wrote:
    This is a thread about fighters contributing as well as a cavalier. Multiclass should not come up.

    Well, it did.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    Hopefully you can keep your new thread on topic then.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Wrath wrote:
    Bob Bob Bob wrote:

    The CR formula is a bit more complicated. An NPC with only NPC levels is CR=Level-2, any PC class makes it CR=Level-1 (even a Rogue 1/Commoner 19), PC WBL makes it +1 CR. So an appropriately geared PC should be CR=Level. Of course, CR also assumes a party of four, so a single PC should probably count for at least -4 APL, probably even lower, making a one on one combat beyond Epic (which is APL+3). Saying a Fighter 20 should be able to solo a Balor is like saying a level 1 party should be able to fight a Dire Lion. It's possible, but the smart money is on the lion. And there's definitely going to be some deaths, which in the case of the Balor fight means that over multiple fights the Fighter is going to die a few times.

    And that's not even addressing how broken the CR system is with regards to classes. It's broken in other ways too but I'll just focus on classes. As I said, a Rogue 1/Commoner 19 is the same CR as a Wizard 20. Only, @#$% no they aren't. A naked Sorcerer and a naked Fighter have the same CR, only no they don't. The CR system is very bad at classed monsters.

    Honestly, the CR system just doesn't work at all beyond level 15 or so. I've run a number of campaigns in the high teens to 20, and. Can assure you the party at that level are demolishing fights well beyond what the CR system suggests they can. Especially when they work as a team. Just too many synergies that makes them all just machines of destruction.

    Yeah fact is when the party considers itself a party and not a collection of single players, CR can fall apart after level 6. Which makes sense to build as a team you trust with your life.


    Cavall wrote:
    Wrath wrote:
    Bob Bob Bob wrote:

    The CR formula is a bit more complicated. An NPC with only NPC levels is CR=Level-2, any PC class makes it CR=Level-1 (even a Rogue 1/Commoner 19), PC WBL makes it +1 CR. So an appropriately geared PC should be CR=Level. Of course, CR also assumes a party of four, so a single PC should probably count for at least -4 APL, probably even lower, making a one on one combat beyond Epic (which is APL+3). Saying a Fighter 20 should be able to solo a Balor is like saying a level 1 party should be able to fight a Dire Lion. It's possible, but the smart money is on the lion. And there's definitely going to be some deaths, which in the case of the Balor fight means that over multiple fights the Fighter is going to die a few times.

    And that's not even addressing how broken the CR system is with regards to classes. It's broken in other ways too but I'll just focus on classes. As I said, a Rogue 1/Commoner 19 is the same CR as a Wizard 20. Only, @#$% no they aren't. A naked Sorcerer and a naked Fighter have the same CR, only no they don't. The CR system is very bad at classed monsters.

    Honestly, the CR system just doesn't work at all beyond level 15 or so. I've run a number of campaigns in the high teens to 20, and. Can assure you the party at that level are demolishing fights well beyond what the CR system suggests they can. Especially when they work as a team. Just too many synergies that makes them all just machines of destruction.
    Yeah fact is when the party considers itself a party and not a collection of single players, CR can fall apart after level 6. Which makes sense to build as a team you trust with your life.

    Have any of you all had any experience with parties building around teamwork feats? I don't mean like There's a hunter or inquisitor kind of cheating the requirements or a cavalier tossing out 1 useful one every now and then but something like a slayer and rogue in the party that team up in the same way a hunter does with their pet. Or a party that clusters around the polearm tank for massive save bonuses and success at never being surprised?

    It just seems really fun to me.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    In my current campaign, two of the players made twin half-Elf sibling ninjas that use teamwork feats.

    When they approached my Dwarven Ranger to also learn some of their "cool skills" so we could have an all-flanking party, I said what any self respecting Dwarf would say:

    "F#(% OFF"

    [everyone laughed]


    Currently I'm playing a hunter and the wife is a sacred inquisitor. I took the feat that allows me to give a teamwork feat too. As a dwarf I'll be getting a commander hell to share more.

    The rogue is very excited to get a lot of flanking in because of this, not to mention a whole party of increased saves, which far outstrips any feat that boosts to saves.

    Due to her mount and my tank pet also getting these there's a lot of reasons to get teamwork feats.

    Teamwork feats are like melee pc to skalds. The more ya have the better the payoff.

    Dark Archive

    I'm not exactly sure that Shatter Defenses would prevent AoOs actually. The Flat-Footed condition states "A flat-footed character loses his Dexterity bonus to AC and Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD) (if any) and cannot make attacks of opportunity, unless he has the Combat Reflexes feat or Uncanny Dodge class ability." Clearly they lose their Dexterity bonus to AC and CMD, but the feat states that the enemy becomes "flat-footed to your attacks". If you only count as flatfooted to an enemy's attacks, that would mean you can't take Attacks of Opportunity against their attacks - for instance, ranged attacks or combat maneuvers without the Improved feats - but when they would otherwise make Attacks of Opportunity, such as against movement or spellcasting, the condition wouldn't apply because it isn't an attack.

    That does seem like a weird way to word the feat though. Anyone else have thoughts?

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