Helping my Wife


Advice


My Wife's character is a level Six Swashbuckler (Dervish), we should hit level 7 in a month or so. Now she is new to pathfinder, So I have been helping with her character, but her character is now running as imagined (For the most part).

What I have been doing is asking "What she wants to emphasize" and then choosing for her. I want to start turning control over to her, same question but a group of choices per level

So asked her last night after the game she said Combat, especially with Scimitar

What I am asking is what options should I give her to review and choose from (want to keep it limited to the strongest contenders)

Spoiler:

Esmerelda
Female human (Varisian) swashbuckler (whirling dervish) 6 (Pathfinder Player Companion: Advanced Class Origins 23, Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide 56)
CG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +8; Senses Perception +10
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Defense
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AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +4 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 52 (6d10+12)
Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +4
Defensive Abilities charmed life 4/day, nimble +1
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Offense
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Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 scimitar +13/+8 (1d6+6/15-20+6 Precision) or
. . dagger +11/+6 (1d4+5/17-20+6 Precision) or
. . dagger +11/+6 (1d4+5/17-20+6 Precision) or
. . dagger +11/+6 (1d4+5/17-20+6 Precision)
Ranged light crossbow +10 (1d8/19-20) or
. . sling +10 (1d4+1)
Special Attacks deeds (derring-do, dodging panache, kip-up, menacing swordplay, opportune parry and riposte, precise strike, swashbuckler initiative), panache (3), swashbuckler weapon training +1
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Statistics
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Str 13, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 16
Base Atk +6; CMB +7; CMD 22
Feats Additional Traits, Deific Obedience, Fast Learner[ARG], Skill Focus (Sense Motive), Weapon Focus (scimitar)
Traits adopted, anatomist, black sheep - titus scarnetti, calistrian courtesan, elven reflexes
Skills Acrobatics +8, Bluff +12 (+16 vs. those who could be sexually attracted to you), Diplomacy +12 (+13 to gather information, +16 vs. those who could be sexually attracted to you), Disguise +3 (+7 vs. those who could be sexually attracted to you), Escape Artist +8, Intimidate +12 (+16 vs. those who could be sexually attracted to you), Knowledge (local) +7, Knowledge (religion) +5, Perception +10, Perform (dance) +8 (+12 vs. those who could be sexually attracted to you), Profession (courtesan) +8, Ride +8, Sense Motive +14, Sleight of Hand +8 (+10 to oppose the Perception check of someone observing or frisking you regarding items in the sheath, +10 to oppose the Perception check of someone observing or frisking you regarding items in the sheath), Stealth +12
Languages Common, Elven, Halfling, Varisian
SQ dawnflower's mercy, dervish dance, dervish finesse, swashbuckler finesse
Other Gear mithral chain shirt, +1 scimitar, crossbow bolts (10), dagger, dagger, dagger, light crossbow, sling, sling bullets (10), handy haversack, sihedron medallion, belt pouch, courtesan's kit[ACG], entertainer's outfit, everburning torch, flint and steel, hemp rope (50 ft.), masterwork bed roll (yellow silk) (worth 10 gp, 5 lb), mess kit[UE], mirror, mwk manacles, pot, silver earrings, silver holy symbol of Calistria, soap, trail rations (5), waterskin, whetstone, white silken sheets (1 lb), wrist sheath[UE], wrist sheath[UE], light horse (combat trained), bit and bridle, military saddle, saddlebags, 3 pp, 1,405 gp, 594 sp, 8 cp
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Special Abilities
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+4 to Charisma checks vs. sexually attracted +4 sacred bonus to Charisma checks vs. those who could be sexually attracted to you.
Charmed Life +3 (4/day) (Ex) Choose to add Charisma bonus to save before roll is made.
Dawnflower's Mercy (Ex) Doesn't gain panache for reducing foe to 0 hp if not an evil outsider or undead. Gain penache for causing an evildoer (HD at least 1/2 level) to surrender.
Deeds
Deific Obedience Purify yourself daily to prove devotion to a deity and gain benefits.
Dervish Dance Use Dex modifier instead of Str for damage with swashbucker finesse.
Dervish Finesse (Ex) Treat scimitars as one-handed piercing melee weapons for swashbucker's finesse and all abilities that refer to such as weapon.
Nimble +1 (Ex) +1 dodge bonus to AC.
Panache (Ex) Gain a pool of points that are spent to fuel deeds, regained on light/piercing crit/killing blow.
Swashbuckler Finesse Use Dex for att with light/1-hand pierce wep. Use Cha instead of Int for combat feat pre-reqs.
Swashbuckler Weapon Training +1 (Ex) +1 attack and damage with swashbuckler weapons.
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Esmerelda was "adopted" at a young age to a temple of Calistria. She became a devout follower of the Savored Sting. At the age of 16 she became a Sacred Courtesan.

As she approached the age 18 she was quite content. As a Sacred Courtesan she was trained in combat, to protect others in the sex trade and self defense, but she never had much use for it.

Then one day her temple was destroyed by (Campaign fitting element). She survived and has been on the search for the destroyer ever sense. For while Calistria is the goddess of lust, she is also the goddess of vengeance...


Ok, my first thoughts:

Power Attack (However a little over rated, her Dervish Deed next level lets her cut through multiple enemies, so need of cleave)

Combat Expertise (Pathway to future deeds)

Weapon Spec...More Damage YAH

Improved Init (not needed but always nice)

Toughness (More Hit points...YAH)

Extra Panache (More Panache YAH)

Anything anyone else can think of...


Could she build towards cut from the air?


Not familiar with that one


Since swashbuckler's have weak fort and will, great fortitude or iron will would be solid choices. Even with charmed life something to help saves would help. steadfast personality gives charisma to will saves for mind effecting affecting effects.

Cut from air.


Power Attack is great, though Piranha Strike would suit a Dex-based character better. The only big thing with Power Attack, however, is that it can set you up for feats like Cornugon Smash, which let you Intimidate on a successful Power Attack hit, and Hurtful, which let you make a free attack at full BAB as a Swift Action whenever you intimidate. It's kind of wasted on a Swashbuckler though, since the Opportune Parry/Riposte deed can basically do an identical effect for you. Of course, since you took Strength 13 for a reason such as this, you might as well make use of it, right?

Also, Cleave is a trap option due to it not having much relevance to the character. Same goes for things like Whirlwind Attack, which is basically "Cleave, except better." Either feat is not worthwhile for this sort of character.

Combat Expertise is also a bit of a trap option, and I wouldn't recommend it unless you were wanting to go with Improved [Combat Maneuver] feats down the road, which this player may not want to for added confusion. Even then, there are better feats to accomplish that sort of goal without having 13 Intelligence (Dirty Fighting, for example).

Weapon Specialization is nice, but also a staple like Power Attack is, and with weaker scaling. If you're concerned about nabbing Power Attack, I'd avoid recommending this too until after Power Attack is taken.

Improved Initiative is probably the only good recommendation you've given thus far. Initiative is always good, though having staple feats like this make a character more boring.

Toughness is decent for being a front-line fighter, but feats can be spent on better things.

Extra Panache is another good one, especially if they're burning through their Panache like crazy.

I'd instead steer her towards feats like Combat Reflexes so they can make better use of their Opportune Parry/Riposte deed to stay alive, or even some of the Style feats via Improved Unarmed Strike, working especially towards Crane Style and making Fighting Defensively a worthwhile option for survivability.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Could she build towards cut from the air?

They wouldn't normally qualify for it and would have to take the Martial Focus feat to do so.

**EDIT** They'd also have to take Power Attack (which they don't have yet) and Combat Reflexes (which they also don't have yet), on top of Martial Focus (again, don't have), before this sort of feat can be considered viable. That's three different feats, which means it's going to be a while before that comes online.

Sure, they're feats they might take anyway, but since this is a new player I wouldn't expect them to work towards this sort of thing unless they absolutely want to.

Liberty's Edge

Well hey if she's already got deific obedience consider taking levels in one of the classes that keys off of it, like evangelist!


or sentinel...good idea...btw it was suppose to be no need for cleave :)


blashimov wrote:
Well hey if she's already got deific obedience consider taking levels in one of the classes that keys off of it, like evangelist!

I like the class (That's what I am playing), but honestly feel that it would be a downgrade for her. Loosing one level progression and 3/4 bab just does not seem worth it.


Besides the improving your will save feats that every swashbuckler needs, combat reflexes and lunge combined with swordmasters flair-blue scarf.


Lunge is a great idea (Why didn't I think of it)

Ok my list for her

Lunge
Improved Init (but is +12 a little overkill)
Extra Panache
Combat Reflex, Power Attack, or Critical Focus (all advertised as "pathway" Feats)

I am also suggesting Diverse Obedience by level 9


I'd say that Steadfast Personality for saves, Extra Panache (if she's running short), and Piranha Strike and maybe Weapon Specialization for the damage boost to the many crits she gets are the must-haves right now. Soon, she will need to take things like Signature Deed and perhaps the Critical Focus feats.

I would recommend retraining some of those feats as well, Skill Focus: Sense Motive and the Fast Learner, as that could be ways to boost her combat effectiveness more quickly. Given the Dervish archetype, she gains panache by knocking people out rather than killing people, so something like retraining a trait to be Blade of Mercy might be very helpful.


We don't use the retraining rules. She is also the party face, and skill focus is a racial ability for her (Swapped the free feat for 3 skill focuses as she levels)


I understand the logic of Piranha Strike for most swashbucklers, however given that she has a Str of 13, why would you not take Power Attack? They seem to do the same, but Power Attack opens more options after the fact...


After looking at the archetype again and your character concept, I'd think about improving her intimidate. I think there's some nice synergy between the dervish modified panache and the 3rd level deed menacing swordplay, which allows for a swift intimidate. She doesn't regain panache from a killing blow but instead from getting opponents to surrender. I think it would make sense to make her better at intimidate with skill focus.


It'd be better to go Power Attack leading into Cornugon Smash so you can Intimidate for free every time you hit with a Power Attack. I'd normally suggest Hurtful as well, but your Swift/Immediate Actions will be eaten up by Opportune Parry/Riposte, so it'd be a moot point, and your Strength isn't high enough to warrant going Intimidating Prowess.

Skill Focus (Intimidate) isn't a bad idea, but it's fairly easy to Intimidate somebody, when the DC to do so is 10 + Hit Dice + Wisdom modifier. The problem then becomes maintaining the Intimidate, since each check you make increases the you have to meet by an extra 5. You also suffer penalties for intimidating creatures larger than you (-4 penalty, in fact), meaning it's not the greatest tactic against bigger foes.


She will get another skill focus at level 8 IIRC (Human Alt), will suggest intimidate for it...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

There is an oddity in the Whirling Dervish archetype where for some builds you are better off NOT using a scimitar.

Take another look at the 4th level Dervish Dance ability. It grants Dex to damage with swashbuckler finesse weapons... no requirement that this be a scimitar... and if it ISN'T a scimitar then the limitation on the other hand having to be empty goes away.

Thus, you could explore a two-weapon fighting build for the character... and with 'Whirlwind Dance' she could then get those extra off-hand attacks at highest BAB.


Problem with that suggestion is that the OP's character wanted to use a Scimitar, and I'd rather not suggest something somebody doesn't want to do unless there's not much they can fulfill with their current set-up.

**EDIT** Also, abilities like Precise Strike wouldn't apply either. And since they're going pure Swashbuckler, that damage can easily outweigh any TWF attack.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Getting extra attacks with her primary weapon is probably the best way to get extra damage. Combat Reflexes is great for this.

But is her "job" in combat doing damage, or does she usually do something else, like combat maneuvers or flanking & aiding another or debuffing with Intimidate or standing by the door so the bad guys can't escape or being a flashy target so she absorbs hits (either by dodging them or soaking them)? Would Dazzling Display be worthwhile? Dirty Fighting? Goad?

In the days of 3.X, I played with a guy who had a fighter that fought like a swashbuckler. He dual-wielded a rapier and whip. He would use the whip for combat maneuver stuff, and then poke things with the rapier. Could she use two-weapon fighting with scimitar and whip? She could trip or disarm with the whip at reach, then take a 5 foot step up and slash with her scimitar, then slash again with an AoO when the opponent stood up or picked up its weapon, etc. And a prone opponent would net a +2 to hit (-2 for 2-weapon fighting, +4 for prone) for the swashbuckler, and also help her allies hit that target too.


That is some interesting Ideas to be honest. However would need to check on some rules issues...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Yeah, my rules-fu is currently weak. I've been playing 5E for the last year or two...

Also, what does the Deific Obedience feat do? None of the online resources I've searched give the deity specific details.


Look at archeives of Nethys web site, under deities.

For her it is granting a +4 to charisma based rolls on people who would be sexually attracted to her

At higher levels it will grant some spell like abilities (charm person type stuff)


Jason Wedel wrote:
I understand the logic of Piranha Strike for most swashbucklers, however given that she has a Str of 13, why would you not take Power Attack? They seem to do the same, but Power Attack opens more options after the fact...

I suppose it doesn't really matter. Habit, since a lot of swashbucklers don't bother with STR 13, given Dex to damage and easy weapon finesse.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Jason Wedel wrote:

Look at archeives of Nethys web site, under deities.

For her it is granting a +4 to charisma based rolls on people who would be sexually attracted to her

At higher levels it will grant some spell like abilities (charm person type stuff)

Thanks!

I must not have scrolled down enough. :-P


This is what I gave her as a run down

Static Feats
The Following Feats give a strait advantage, the downside on all is that they do not scale, but are simple strait bonuses.

Agile Maneuvers*: Dex instead of Str to combat maneuvers (not including basic attacks) +3 gain

Diverse Obedience: No short-term gains, but at level 10 will be very useful, permitting early entry into spell like abilities with wider choice, Requires a +2 to your religion skill

Extra Panache: +2 Panache (Daily and limit)

Iron Will or Great Fortitude: +2 to a Saving Throw (Will, Fort). Both saves are weak, but Charmed life helps you here

Skill Based: There are a number of feats that will give you a +2 to two skills, that will double if you have 10 skill points in the skill

Improved Init*: +4 to Initiative, but your initiative is good already

Lunge*: -2 AC, +5 Reach when used (prevents Attacks of Opportunity by
staying out of range)

Weapon Spec*: +2 Damage with a specific weapon

Pathway Feats
The following Feats are interesting as they open the doors to more feats (aka chains)

Combat Expertise*: +1 AC, -1 To Hit, scales every 4 levels (Level 8:+2/-2, 12 +3/-3) when used
• Opens for Maneuver mastery feats (Trip, Feint, Repostion, Dirty Trick, Disarm, etc…)
• Strong Choice if you want to get really good with a maneuver, would recommend taking Agile Maneuvers first

Power Attack*: +2 Dam, -1 To Hit, scales every 4 levels (Level 8:+4/-2; 12 +6/-3) when used
• Opens for Cleave tree, Maneuver Mastery feats based on Str (Bull rush, charge, etc…)
• Weak trees, as most maneuvers require a high strength, however damage scales is nice

Critical Focus*: +4 to confirm Criticals
• Opens Critical Tree which lets you add effects when you score a critical
• Situational, must score a critical for it to be useful, but you are better at most on threating criticals
• When you score a critical damage is doubled or random (and nasty) things happen

* May use Free feat from every 4 levels to purchase (aka Combat Feats)


SmiloDan wrote:
Jason Wedel wrote:

Look at archeives of Nethys web site, under deities.

For her it is granting a +4 to charisma based rolls on people who would be sexually attracted to her

At higher levels it will grant some spell like abilities (charm person type stuff)

Thanks!

I must not have scrolled down enough. :-P

You need to go into each god's description, it would be the same list as evangilist


SmiloDan wrote:
Jason Wedel wrote:

Look at archeives of Nethys web site, under deities.

For her it is granting a +4 to charisma based rolls on people who would be sexually attracted to her

At higher levels it will grant some spell like abilities (charm person type stuff)

Thanks!

I must not have scrolled down enough. :-P

The boons are in the section on Calistria.


There's also the merciful scimitar trait which allows you to deal nonlethal damage at no penalty, which works with the dervish panache as well. Add the enforcer feat, which allows a free action intimidate whenever dealing nonlethal and adds shaken equal to points of damage done, and adds frightened for 1 round on a critical.
Also dazzling display since you already have weapon focus as well.
Power attack is probably most optimized but doesn't seem to fit the concept as much for me and is kind of boring might as well be playing a max str with big two handed build.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

What does she do or try to do in combat?

What is the party make up? What are their roles in combat?


Elven Arcanist-5/Evangelist-1---Buff/blaster
Elven Rogue-3/Fighter-2/Magus-1---Front line fighter
Half-Elven Rogue-2/Sorcerer-3/Dragon Deciple-1 (I think, might be one more level of rogue, one less sorcerer)---Front liner usually, some sblasting
Dwarven Cleric of Phantasma-6---Healing/Front liner
Dwarven Ranger-6---Archery/Front line
------------------------------------------

So far her tactic of choice is stabby stab. Lots of strait attacks...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I would suggest Power Attack. She can take a -2 to attacks and get +4 to damage, and at 8th level, it will be -3 to attack for +6 to damage. And the extra damage IS multiplied on a critical hit, which she should get a lot of with her 15-20/x2 scimitar. And with so many other front liners, it should be easy to get flank buddies, which mitigate the attack roll penalties.

Combat Reflexes is also something to look at. With so many front liners, opponents are also probably moving around a lot, which would provoke AoOs. Also, Combat Reflexes gives her additional uses of Opportune Parry and Riposte. Well, the Parry portion, at least. Which makes Combat Reflexes a boost to her offense AND defense.

Critical Focus helps her confirm all those critical hit threats she should be getting, and setting her up to get some of those cool Critical Feats that add carrier effects to her critical hits. But I think you need BAB +8 or +9 to qualify for it.

Remember, she gets a feat at levels 7, 8, and 9, so maybe:

7. Combat Reflexes
8. Power Attack
9. Critical Focus

Then at 11, 12, 13, she can pick up Critical feats or Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization.

Depending on how often she gets to use Combat Reflexes, Stand Still might be a good feat to have. When an opponent is hit by one of your AoOs, its speed becomes 0, so it can't escape. And that lets all your allies near it do their full attacks against it too!


Actually I failed to notice that Critical Focus is a no go, prereq is not made...


She decided on Stage combatant (So she could get panache back easier)

We are coming up to level 8, the list for her this time looks like this:

Agile Maneuvers*:
Enforcer*:
Extra Panache*:
Greater Weapon Focus*:
Improved Init*:
Quick Draw*:
Weapon Spec*:
Combat Expertise*:
Power Attack*:

each one I am including +/- on

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