What would you play at level 20?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Seeing the thread about how often people reach level 20 sparking some interest and the predominant answer to the thread being, not often/never. I thought it would be interesting to ask what people would do if they could make a character for a level 20 campaign, what character would you desperately like to play?

For me I'd like to play a dragon oracle turning into a sovereign dragon for 20 hours a day and have limited wish as a spell like ability 2/day whilst also being a 9th level caster with 15Bab and divine power, it'd just be amazing.
That or a bones oracle with perfect spell animate dead and the CL boosts abusing demiplanes and create greater undead to have a army of foot soldiers and powerful devourer generals with their own armies of undead. Kept inline by the threat of mass heal.

There are of course more builds I'd be interested in doing but so as to not create a wall I'll leave it at that.


There are plenty of oracles that I'd want to build at level 20. But I'd really want to do a bard. I'd probably experiment with several, using the Genius Guide to the Talented Bard. One would be the magician archetype with full-on 7th level casting (via Grand Talent); one would be a minstrel (lots of fun with performance); and one would be a dashing swordsman. I'd also probably experiment with a ranger, not sure what archetype if any.


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I really want to try a character with the Medium capstone (as a free action, channel any additional spirit for 1 round) someday. That sounds like great fun.


Oracle capstones are definitely most interesting thing for me gained at lvl 20. Coupled with 9th lvl spells that's definitely my choice.


Half-Elf Psychic Detective investigator with full FCB and the inspiration 1d8 and reroll investigator talents with a Inspired enchantment on your blade. 6th level casting for buffing, flexibility, defense, and utility, but add 2d8(+5 FCB) rolled twice, take highest on your inspiration boosted attacks, then add double that result to your damage. Plus your +10 hit/damage inspired damage bonus. A very different take on a frontline damage dealer.

And you'll be guaranteed to make any (non natural 1) save per round, with that same 2d8(+5) bonus available as an immediate action.


I have a psychedelia psychic 20 in PFS. The Remade Self selection is due to a Hero Lab deficiency, but otherwise generally right. Having played it all the way to 20, I don't know that I'd ever do another 9 level caster anytime soon. They're exhausting to play. One of the other guys from my path to 20 group had asked why I stopped making all the typical drug jokes during games. He was running Runelords part 6 and understood by the end of round 1 in the final combat while running Karzoug - he had a 45 minute turn and was visibly sweating from effort. That was my every session, every round conundrum by that point.

At this point, there are a lot of 6-level casters I'd be interested in playing and a bunch of prestige classes. Sanguine Angel is very appealing, a support-based Occultist (esp. Silksworn), perhaps that bleed-based vigilante archetype that gets witch spells... there's lots of stuff I haven't done so far and it's sort of hard for me to pick. Ideally, most characters that I play are the types I'd like to play to 20.

Current stable in PFS:
Ectoplasmatist Spiritualist
UC Monk (headed to Pure Legion Enforcer)
Archer Occultist (probably least likely to go forward)
Skald (probably a close second for least likely)
Exploiter Wizard/UC Rogue/Arcane Trickster (currently 12)
Hunter with Medium dip (currently 16)
Melee mutt trip monster (currently 17)


Wizard and/or mystic theurge. I just like magic.

Silver Crusade

Witch, Paladin, wizard, or barbarian


I've always wanted to see the occult oracle capstone in play for ghostly shenanigans. That said, I've had a lot of fun playing a high level wizard, so that would be a nice option as well.


I really think an Eldritch Knight would be fun. A rage prophet is also pretty good high level.

Lots of prestige classes get better at later levels.


I know full casters get intense but wow xD a 45 minute turn did he use time stop? I feel like he must have used time stop.

I've always wanted to to do an unchained monk with Dex and wis investment boosting AC as high as possible (very bloody high). Then use snake style to punish people who attack you, use combat style master to switch to jabbing style and during your turn, punish them some more, then switch back to snake style with combat style master. Although I do wonder whether you can do that with that feat.


Not sure, a spellcaster (wizard, sorcerer, oracle, arcanist... less likely a cleric or druid) with a nice capstone, or maybe a monk


Rogue.


Currently playing a lvl 20 mythic tier 10 cleric archer. Gotta say those last 3 levels were pretty disappointing, once you hit 17 as a cleric there really isn't anything else to look forward to. If I were to do it again I think I'd be most interested in picking a half-caster or Path of War class, there are so many interesting abilities to play with in PoW.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

I know full casters get intense but wow xD a 45 minute turn did he use time stop? I feel like he must have used time stop.

I've always wanted to to do an unchained monk with Dex and wis investment boosting AC as high as possible (very bloody high). Then use snake style to punish people who attack you, use combat style master to switch to jabbing style and during your turn, punish them some more, then switch back to snake style with combat style master. Although I do wonder whether you can do that with that feat.

2 of them, in fact. The second one was quickened.


lol
What on earth did he set up? XD

Mages disjunction could also make for a bloody long turn cD


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

lol

What on earth did he set up? XD

Mages disjunction could also make for a bloody long turn cD

Multiple walls, some cloudkill action and so forth. The issue he had was that the party spent the entire time under Mind Blank, so he had to guess as to what might affect us and, as such, guessed 7 or 8 times in a row to better his odds.


Probably a Barbarian or Bloodrager depending on how much Damage mitigation I could manage. I have some history with Fighters and depending on options and stats or similar specializing in certain weapons if it works is fun.

A Magus or similar class of some sort may be fun with spell selection.


A Shaman or Oracle would be my first pick. Shaman if we were going to play more than one session at 20th level because I like how much of the class can change between days. Oracle if that flexibility would effectively be wasted (because picking a completely different spell list while at the table takes too long for me) because a lot of oracles have fun capstones. Neither would deal with multiple offensive actions or control spells though, since those take a long time to deal with.

Otherwise, a UMonk with Measured Response because, while I like spellcasting quite a bit, it does make for excessively long turns. UMonk has enough tricks out of combat and simple enough turns in combat, made simpler by the fact that I do not need to roll fistfuls of dice for damage, just for attacks. Behind this is a UMonk of the Mantis with Jabbing Style for the opposite reason, fistfuls of dice, because I am nothing but contrary (and needing to fill a hat to roll damage is fun, even if it does take a long time). Again this is a case where I'd do the former for multi-session games and the latter for a one shot game.


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

[Any suitable race] ranger 1/wizard 6/eldritch knight 2/arcane archer 3/eldritch knight +8 is hard to resist: +17 BAB, 9th-level spells (can learn as many as desired, as well), all sorts of shenanigans with Imbue Arrow, doesn't need Cha and/or Use Magic Device to use wands of cure light wounds, wands of neutralize poison, wands of remove disease, and wands of other spells on the ranger list.

A half-elf (for the extra arcane pool points) magus 4/cleric (negative energy) 1/magus +3/cleric +2/mystic theurge 10 with Broad Study may be interesting. Only +12 BAB (but divine favor helps get the attack bonus up to adequate levels) and 6th-level magus/7th-level cleric spells (at CL 17/CL 13 without Magical Knack), but lots of spell slots for buffs and Spellstrike (including spontaneous conversion of cleric spells into inflict spells).

Other than that, it depends on the specific role(s) I want to cover, the concept I want to explore, and what would be a good fit with the rest of the party.


Just focusing on capstones as a reason to take a class at 20, I'd say the Possession bloodline Sorcerer (get two characters in one) or the Mesmerist (permanently dominate an enemy with an effect that can't be dispelled).


The permanent domination is a pretty fun power that Mesmerists get, but I don't know what I'd do with a full mesmerist I've in the passed crafted a Swash 1/Vexing Daredevil 19 and a Fighter 2/Monk 1/Mesmerist 17 but never a full 20 Mes.


I'd try my Spellslinger Wizard build (though I also think it would be fun to level with).

Build:
Human Spellslinger 5, Gunslinger 1, Eldritch Knight 10, Soul Warden 4

Traits: Magical Lineage (Disintegrate)

Feats: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, Reach Spell, Favored Prestige Class, Prestigious Spellcaster, Improved Critical (Ray), Maximize Spell, Quicken Spell, Spell Focus (Transmutation), Greater Spell Focus (Transmutation), Spell Perfection (Disintegrate), Threnodic Spell

20 Starting Int for an end-game 36 (+13 mod).

So the end-game would be throwing out a Spell-Perfected Maximized Disintegrate with a 19-20 X3 critical range dealing 240 damage (720 crit) with a DC of 38 (10+6+13+5 gun+2SF+2GSF), followed up by either a spell-perfected quickened Disintegrate (same threat range, DC), or another swift action Maximized if the first shot was a crit, thanks to Eldritch Knight.

Kind of the least a 20th level wizard could do, but I think it'd be a lot of fun.


Wizards can do less than that xD a lot less, by simply doing a traditional blast build and not dipping Sorc.
The crit multiplier seems like overkill xD

With Mythic disintegrate that would be hilarious amounts of overkill.


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A reincarnated druid would be my first choice. There's a lot of very quick ways to die from CR 20+ monsters, and an auto-reincarnate would take some stress off that.


Not a bad idea xD


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Wizards can do less than that xD a lot less, by simply doing a traditional blast build and not dipping Sorc.

The crit multiplier seems like overkill xD

With Mythic disintegrate that would be hilarious amounts of overkill.

:) I also forgot that Spell Perfection would affect Improved Critical, too, so it'd actually be an 18-20 threat range.

Totally unnecessary, but fun.


Alternatively, if the Spellcasting Guild rules are available (or equivalent - we turned the relevant abilities into feats), I'd want to play my Mystic Theurge build.

Build:
This requires access to the Spellcasting Guild rules from Inner Sea Magic.

As you level, the build goes:

1st: Wizard 1, Magical Knack Trait in Cleric
2nd: Cleric 1

(At around 3rd level, you unlock Eclectic Training from your Spellcasting Guild, choosing Wizard.)

3rd: Wizard 2 (Effectively casting as a 3rd level wizard thanks to Eclectic Training)
4th & 5th: Cleric 2 & 3
6th: Mystic Theurge 1 (Effective W4/C4 casting)

(At around 7th, you unlock Esoteric Training, increasing your effective Wizard casting by an additional 2 and increasing your cleric casting by 1)

7th: Mystic Theurge 2 (Effective W7/C6)
8th-15th: Mystic Theurge 3-10 (Effective W15/C14 @15th)
16th: Cleric 4 (Effective W15/C15)
17th & 18th: Wizard 3 & 4 (Effective W17/C15)
19th & 20th: Cleric 5 & 6 (Effective W17/C17)

So at 20th, I'd have access to 9th level spells from both lists :) Pretty great capstone.


I had a shotgun wielding goblin who was a high level gunslinger/Synthesist gestalt once. The eidolon was designed as a tank with a huge(i think) double hackbut and vital strike.
The Commandar would then ride around in his battle tank and firing cannonballs at things >:)
If he ever got in a position where he couldnt fit/use his tank, he could store it in his pocket and go on foot as a super stealthy commando gobbo with a shotgun ^_^
I'm sure the idea would still work here, just go for a few levels in gunslinger and the rest in synthesist.
...Thinking about it, I wrote more backstory for that character then any other, 3 whole profiles+2 sets of crunch for him ^_^

The second idea would be to build a Psion Bodysnatcher. The idea of jumping bodies at will and "being anyone and everyone" sounds like a lot of fun ^_^
However, it would probably be unplayable due to the sheer paperwork and recalculating that would be required multiple rounds a day. Plus how the heck do you do equipment and how the heck do you prevent "teammates" from killing you in your... recently acquired host?
Still, spammable true mind switch sounds like a blast :)

Playing as a ghost using the Psion Uncarnate also sounds like fun :)
The rules get a little wonky once you actually try and sort it out in an actual build however, I remember that being a challenge to work through.

The SoP Shifter capstone also sounds like a load of fun :)
Your shapeshifting basically becomes permenant and you can shift from 1 form into another constantly. You can also get some pretty amazing shapeshifts due to the buildup nature of SoP :)
Thinking about it, the psionic Metamorph can also get similar levels of rapid, permanent shifting, being able to manifest True Metamorph as a swift/move action and change the form each round as a swift/move action (and Hustle exists)


Gulthor wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Wizards can do less than that xD a lot less, by simply doing a traditional blast build and not dipping Sorc.

The crit multiplier seems like overkill xD

With Mythic disintegrate that would be hilarious amounts of overkill.

:) I also forgot that Spell Perfection would affect Improved Critical, too, so it'd actually be an 18-20 threat range.

Unfortunately that part wouldn't work. Spell Perfection only doubles feats that provide a "set numerical bonus," so Improved Critical, which doubles your threat range rather than increasing it by a set value, wouldn't actually apply.

Sovereign Court

I think a Herald Caller cleric.

9th level caster and the capstone is fun and potent.


GeraintElberion wrote:

I think a Herald Caller cleric.

9th level caster and the capstone is fun and potent.

I don't mean to seem rude, but I'm looking at the archetype and I am not seeing any capstone. Is there something I am missing, or are you just thinking of a different archetype by accident?


20th level conjurer. Summon monster 9 with an effectively infinite duration. Yes please.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
20th level conjurer. Summon monster 9 with an effectively infinite duration. Yes please.

20th Level Arcanist (Occultist) - unlimited summon monster 9's...


pad300 wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
20th level conjurer. Summon monster 9 with an effectively infinite duration. Yes please.
20th Level Arcanist (Occultist) - unlimited summon monster 9's...

But only 1 at a time. Now, if you instead managed to get a max roll for creatures summoned from a list two levels lower (not hard, considering you can just keep casting round after round until you get it), perhaps combined with Spell Perfection and Superior Summons for 7 creatures following you around. Now hit them all with alter summoned monster for your posse to be complete.


young umberal dragon who is also a were octopus,with 14 levels in primalist bloodrager for beast totem line get something like 16 attacks on a charge would be fun i think


Finally a chance to see a capstone!
Final Revelation: Upon reaching 20th level, you become an avatar of battle. You can take a full-attack action and move up to your speed as a full-round action (you can move before or after the attacks). Whenever you score a critical hit, you can ignore any DR the target might possess. You gain a +4 insight bonus to your AC for the purpose of confirming critical hits against you. When you are below 0 hit points, you do not die until your negative total is in excess of twice your Constitution score.

Final Revelation: Upon reaching 20th level, you become a perfect channel for life energy. You become immune to bleed, death attacks, exhaustion, fatigue, nausea effects, negative levels, and sickened effects. Ability damage and drain cannot reduce you below 1 in any ability score. You automatically make saving throws against massive damage. When you are below 0 hit points, you do not die until your negative total is in excess of twice your Constitution score.

The Exchange

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Having DM a few into the 20s, and played two into the 20s I'd say any martial class.

Casters get ridiculously complicated at the high levels and you can end up spending a huge amount of table time working out what they're doing. It just stopped being fun.


DrDeth wrote:
Finally a chance to see a capstone!

I KNOW RIGHT!

So many kewl capstones and powerful builds that take ages to realize (we're looking at you spell perfection >.>)


Wrath wrote:

Having DM a few into the 20s, and played two into the 20s I'd say any martial class.

Casters get ridiculously complicated at the high levels and you can end up spending a huge amount of table time working out what they're doing. It just stopped being fun.

Disagree, but to each their own.


I think it depends on what you're trying to achieve with the caster, you don't have to run mages disjunction/gate/time stop/simulacrum/Create Demiplane, Greater to be a powerful caster.

I think one issue I'd have would be remembering which buffs to apply when and which buffs I had up, I suspect I'd have an auto applied cheat sheet.

Extended Freedom of Movement
Extended Foresight (rod)
Extended Mindblank
Extended Overland Flight ... many many more


gestalt game: Oracle of Winter, Boreal bloodline Sorcerer.

The Exchange

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Wrath wrote:

Having DM a few into the 20s, and played two into the 20s I'd say any martial class.

Casters get ridiculously complicated at the high levels and you can end up spending a huge amount of table time working out what they're doing. It just stopped being fun.

Disagree, but to each their own.

Don't get me wrong, golem. The first time or two it was fine. But into our 3rd or 4th campaign at that level and we would all groan when a acasters turn came around. Luckily, it was usually a different player running the casters so at least it was fresh for them.


The Mad Comrade wrote:
gestalt game: Oracle of Winter, Boreal bloodline Sorcerer.

that seems dangerous as you wont be immune to your own cold spells anymore


Lady-J wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
gestalt game: Oracle of Winter, Boreal bloodline Sorcerer.
that seems dangerous as you wont be immune to your own cold spells anymore

If you're catching yourself in your own [cold] spells, your popsicling is probably well-deserved. ;)


Wrath wrote:

Having DM a few into the 20s, and played two into the 20s I'd say any martial class.

Casters get ridiculously complicated at the high levels and you can end up spending a huge amount of table time working out what they're doing. It just stopped being fun.

I agree- to any extent. 9th level spells break the game. But even using 7th lvl spells has not done so.

I was thinking a "no full casters" campaign that would start high.


Commoner 20. Favored enemy: housecat

The Exchange

DrDeth wrote:
Wrath wrote:

Having DM a few into the 20s, and played two into the 20s I'd say any martial class.

Casters get ridiculously complicated at the high levels and you can end up spending a huge amount of table time working out what they're doing. It just stopped being fun.

I agree- to any extent. 9th level spells break the game. But even using 7th lvl spells has not done so.

I was thinking a "no full casters" campaign that would start high.

I went more the route of setting limiting the power of spells more. I've always advocated that the rules are the base chassis and the setting adds the awesome.

So in our last couple of campaigns that I DMd we started applying some setting appropriate limits to what casters were trying to spam. Including divine intervention from gods opposed to the parties goals (a Cold War of divine origin was effectively in play), serious limitations to teleportation since nations had developed ley line systems to control magical transport in and out of their cities, and generally playing outsiders to their own goals and agendas. Binding things required convincing arguments to even get a roll in the first place. You had to have a hook in order to make the thing pay attention long enough to give a chance at diplomacy rolls etc.

There was more, but it would take ages to lay it all out.

Now days I play 5th ed instead. Far less work for me as a DM, it's much more balanced in its approach to that sort of stuff.


Marius Castille wrote:
Commoner 20. Favored enemy: housecat

I thought that was the anti-wizard weapon specialization?


I only got a Life Oracle that far. The capstone is completely passive, but you can ignore a lot of potential problems now.

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