Builds that don't work until level 5+


Advice


Hey all,

I have an upcoming campaign where we are starting at level 5. It's a home brew campaign where we'll be investigating why our city has been magically sealed off from the rest of existence and plagued by an onslaught of summoned creatures each night. I'm pretty open to most anything. I thought this might be an opportunity to play something interesting that doesn't have any viability initially but comes together later on. Any and all ideas are welcomed. 20 point buy, likely no 3rd party material, all Paizo allowed. I want to be very effective at whatever role i'm in, but flavor is always appreciated too.

I've been theorycrafting a throat slicer build but am not sold on it. I've built it with everything from brawler to bloodrager to synthesist summoner to vigilante. Fairly effective, but doesn't come together until level 6 or later.

Any ideas from the community? Thanks in advance.


How is your lawyer-fu? You could try the "Get Over Here!" build. At 7th level, you can pull enemies over a hundred feet to land prone next to you. But while it works by RAW, your GM may object to that use of Wolf Trip.


How about some kind of dex reach build? Those tend to need some feats to work.

Whips need: weapon focus (whip), whip mastery, and improved whip mastery. At this point, you now threaten up to 10' from your character, and you hit lethally even against armor. Add in slashing grace for dex to damage, and you should eat up 5 levels worth of feats for a human.

You could play a swashbuckler, get precision damage, and then get a bonus feat for combat reflexes. This adds in extra room for reach antics, since the blue scarf magic item lets swashbucklers spend panache in return for an extra 5' of reach for a minute (read: the whole fight). That means 20' reach for your attacks, and 15' reach for AoOs.

That could also do something fun with the level 7 feat selection- lunge, for another 5' or reach. Add in your 5' step, and you can full attack at a distance that a dwarf with an axe cannot reach unless they do a charge.

Grand Lodge

Pick a prestige class you like and use the first 5 levels to meet the requirements so you can start taking the prestige class as you level up?


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RumpinRufus wrote:
How is your lawyer-fu? You could try the "Get Over Here!" build. At 7th level, you can pull enemies over a hundred feet to land prone next to you. But while it works by RAW, your GM may object to that use of Wolf Trip.
That won't work anymore (if it ever did) as of 2017's Ultimate Wilderness updating of Wolf Trip:
Quote:
Benefit: While using Wolf Style, you gain a +2 bonus when you attempt a trip combat maneuver as part of an attack of opportunity. Whenever you successfully trip a creature, as a free action you can choose an available space that is both adjacent to you and the creature’s original space for the tripped creature to land prone in.

So, no more enemy-teleporting via a nonmagical feat.


Interesting ideas so far.

Rumpin, i think an errata may have nullified that build. The description of Wolf Trip states, "choose an available space that is both adjacent to you and the creature’s original space for the tripped creature to land prone in." Sadly, this DM is very lenient, so that build likely would have been permitted otherwise.

Lemeres, I'll look into the whip build but it doesn't inspire me as much as i'd like. I recently built a combat patrol dex based fighter for a friend and got to vicariously play the character through him for a campaign. We also have some house rules in place that mitigate damage a bit and limits the effectiveness of precision damage, iterative attacks, and AoO's.

Slyme, I'll look into it, but i was hoping for more fleshed out ideas that otherwise wouldn't be really playable level 1 through 4. An up and coming rage prophet is still pretty effective leveling up even before the prestige class starts. I'm hoping to take more advantage of the opportunity starting at a higher level permits.


There's the gold dragon disciple - paladin 2 / sorcerer 3 / dragon disciple X. It's not that it's terrible at level 2 or something, but by level 5 you've got enough down that the concept has come together.

The kinetic knight is an interesting looking archetype but it really doesn't work at level 1. From level 3 it does though. There's a bunch of archetypes like this which don't quite work at first due to the slight awkwardness of swapping one class feature for one feature, when they'd be better to be a bit more front-loaded.

Grand Lodge

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How about a Shooting Star build that uses the Startoss Style feats possibly in conjunction with Divine Fighting Technique: Desna's Shooting Star to be able to throw lethal Starknives? Pretty feat intensive, but could start to come online around 5 with the right class.


Shame about the Wolf Trip nerf. Paizo's always breaking my toys...

What about a Str-based whip build? Warpriest can pick up Whirlwind Attack at level 6 and do some pretty impressive damage with a whip.

Whirlwind Whip Warpriest of Calistria:
strength 18, dexterity 13, constitution 10, intelligence 13, wisdom 14, charisma 9
1: Weapon Focus (whip), Dodge, Power Attack
3: Whip Mastery, Mobility
5: Combat Expertise
6: Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack (FCB)
7: Improved Whip Mastery
9: Combat Reflexes, Weapon Specialization


Firearm build?


Warlock vigilante focused on touch bolts in place of a blaster wizard.

Remember, you're not a ranged martial, you're a utility caster with unlimited blasts.


Druidzilla character builds generally don't come online until at least level 5, since you need 4 levels in Druid to get Wild Shape, and after that, Shaping Focus and Natural Spell seem absolutely essential.

I have a Grappling build that doesn't come online until level 5, which is actually very early for a Grappling build.

You could be a Cleric/Wizard in line to be a Mystic Theurge. You'd be a level 2 Cleric/level3 Wizard to start, and in only 2 levels, you'll start taking levels in MT.

Broken Wing Gambit requires 5 ranks in Bluff. That can be the foundation for a powerful AoO build. I have one I just posted recently. It's actually an old build I've been refining.


anything and everything gunslinger related needs 5 levels to get going


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Lady-J wrote:
anything and everything gunslinger related needs 5 levels to get going

Ahah! This is where I prove you wrong!

Human, Gunslinger 1, take the rest of your levels in Fighter. Archetype the later as you see fit, but make sure Weapon Mastery remains. Typical ranged feats like Point Blank, Precise, Rapid Shot, and throw in some Quick Draw. Once you can, take Ricochet Toss asap.

You'll want to get yourself a Knife Pistol and enchant the blade end with +1 and the Throwing enchantment. Boom, you can now throw your knifegun at people and achieve maximum anime.

So you see, this build doesn't need level five to get by. It actually needs level six! And that is technically a different level.


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Speaking of gunslinger, you could build a singing cowboy. One level of mysterious stranger gunslinger, the rest as an arcane duelist bard. You get a pile of free feats, can get charisma to damage, at bard 5 you get arcane bond on a weapon (which is the gun you own), and starting at bard 6 you can use bard rounds to increase your enhancement/apply weapon enhancements. It's pretty awesome.

The only issue I'm having is that, for reasons that i swear made sense at the time, I dumped my con to 8. I am a glass cannon. Oh, and make sure to take jury rig and abundant ammunition as some of your spells. Your wallet will thank you. As will your face if you ever roll a misfire.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

Kitsune Unchained Scaled Monk 1, Oath of Vengeance Paladin 4. High Dex/Char, Fox Shape, turn into a Tiny Fox and attack.

Needs a Ring of Eloquence and Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists.

Feats Weapon Finesse, Piranha Strike Fox Shape

Get Cha to AC, CMD and Saves.

Use unarmed strike as a fox with flurry, at 6th you get an iterative.

Accuracy isn't a problem with the +4 dex and tiny size of the fox shape.

Smiting adds your Cha to AC again. (Grab Ossyluth's Guile and fight defensively to add Cha to AC a third time)

Make sure your first level spells are Hero's Defiance, otherwise you can't use your lay on hands in Fox Shape. Further spells should be verbal only. Or heals/buffs for when you turn back to your normal form.

At level 5 paladin pick Divine Bond so you can enhance your unarmed strike.

Grab UMD and possibly a trait to use wands of mage armor to boost your AC.

Remember that you will be a great climber/swimmer as you use Dex instead of Str at Tiny size, you also use Dex for combat maneuvers if you want to grapple something.


Taenia wrote:

Kitsune Unchained Scaled Monk 1, Oath of Vengeance Paladin 4. High Dex/Char, Fox Shape, turn into a Tiny Fox and attack.

Needs a Ring of Eloquence and Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists.

Feats Weapon Finesse, Piranha Strike Fox Shape

Get Cha to AC, CMD and Saves.

Use unarmed strike as a fox with flurry, at 6th you get an iterative.

Accuracy isn't a problem with the +4 dex and tiny size of the fox shape.

Smiting adds your Cha to AC again. (Grab Ossyluth's Guile and fight defensively to add Cha to AC a third time)

Make sure your first level spells are Hero's Defiance, otherwise you can't use your lay on hands in Fox Shape. Further spells should be verbal only. Or heals/buffs for when you turn back to your normal form.

At level 5 paladin pick Divine Bond so you can enhance your unarmed strike.

Grab UMD and possibly a trait to use wands of mage armor to boost your AC.

Remember that you will be a great climber/swimmer as you use Dex instead of Str at Tiny size, you also use Dex for combat maneuvers if you want to grapple something.

don't forget that you actually need to be in the enemies square to do anything


How about dual wielding dex to damage without arbitrary penalties? Doesn’t really get fully functional until 6th, and there are alignment concerns, but it’s still pretty nifty.

twin sawtooth sabres


If it all summoned creatures, how about something focused around Protection from X, creating safe spaces for people the summoned critters can't enter.


Dwarven Skirnir Dorn-Dergar Magus. You can't use the Dorn-Dergar one-handed until level 7 (without a dip in a full-BAB class, that is) and you don't get spell combat until level 8, but thereafter watch out, since you're a heavily armored fully functional* magus with a shield and a reach weapon.

*okay, you're down a few spells, but you can do all the normal magus tricks.


Any prepared full caster that specializes hard in a level 3 spell would qualify. Fireball, Dispel Magic, Ice Spears, Pup Shape (heh) or Aqueous Orb and all the feats and traits to fit? Something so ridiculously invested in a single spell that the first four levels would be boooring--and dangerous, to boot. I'm sure there are other good (maybe better) spells for this.

Craft Construct comes online at 5....


Affording an Agile enchantment by this level is realistic, so you could also make a Dex-to-damage build that isn't feat-starved. I'd be tempted to try an Agile whip build.

Silver Crusade

Reach, Str-based Investigator with Combat Reflexes, Phalanx Formation, Power Attack, Fast Study, a decent armor and a high level potion of Barkskin.


A melee outslug style build needs lvl 6+. Eventually can lunge for an extra 5 ft of reach without the lunge penalty and your 5 foot steps increase to 10 foot steps.

Feats needdd:
*Weapon focus on a close range melee weapon, nothing with reach
*Combat expertise or Brawler's Cunning class feature
*Outslug style (take a 5ft step and gain +1 Dodge and +1 to damage rolls)
*Lunge at BAB +6 (reach an additional 5ft at a -2 penalty to hit)
*Outslug Weave (no longer take lunge penalty and outslug style bonuses increase to +2)
*Outslug Sprint (a 5ft step can now add another 5ft)


This one is silly, but in a fun way.

Goblin Swashbuckler(Mouser)1/Unchained Rogue(Vexing Dodger)4.

Build for Dexterity. At this level, you're a really obnoxious de-buffer against a single target.

You can enter the square of and climb upon any creature Medium or larger. While climbing the target, you and your allies count as flanking the target as long as there is at least one ally is adjacent to the target; this makes it easier to get your Sneak Attacks on the target. While in the target's square, if the target attacks anyone but the character, the target takes a -4 to hit. The target takes a penalty on attack rolls against the character equal to the character's number of Sneak Attack dice (a -2 modifier in this case). The character can also use the Debilitating Injury on the target, piling on another debuff with every successful Sneak Attack. If you choose the "Bewildered" effect, the target nets out with a -6 to hit against both the rogue or any other target.

You can build towards the Dirty Trick combat maneuver, if you want, to try to stack on additional debuffing, but this character would need work to get his/her CMB high enough to consistently work.

While not a game-breaking character, the imagery of a crazed goblin climbing all over an enemy and flailing away with a knife at any exposed bits is pretty evocative.

(Note, Vexing Dodger is not sufficiently fleshed out in a lot of ways, and needs some discussion with the GM to figure out exactly how some of it works.)


Gray Warden wrote:
Reach, Str-based Investigator with Combat Reflexes, Phalanx Formation, Power Attack, Fast Study, a decent armor and a high level potion of Barkskin.

As a note- if your class doesn't have a problem with armors in general (monks, wizards, etc), then anyone can grab a mithral breastplate for just a trait.

If you can reduce armor check penalty to 0, then there is no penalty for using an armor you are not proficient in. Thus, a mithral breatplate + the armor expert trait is fantastic.


All the mounted combat builds

Grand Lodge

666bender wrote:
All the mounted combat builds

If you want to cut this down I find a dip in dragoon or Gendarme gets this down to 3.

Dragoon sacred huntmaster rage domain has been working really well form level 2 on. Three is when you get spirited charge. One of you're a human.


Grandlounge wrote:
666bender wrote:
All the mounted combat builds

If you want to cut this down I find a dip in dragoon or Gendarme gets this down to 3.

Dragoon sacred huntmaster rage domain has been working really well form level 2 on. Three is when you get spirited charge. One of you're a human.

human are the poorest mounted ever. mounted = small.


Hurtful/corugon smash intimidate build. Requires 6 ranks of intimidate. Lots of fun, at least until everything becomes immune to fear or mind effecting.

Grand Lodge

666bender wrote:
Grandlounge wrote:
666bender wrote:
All the mounted combat builds

If you want to cut this down I find a dip in dragoon or Gendarme gets this down to 3.

Dragoon sacred huntmaster rage domain has been working really well form level 2 on. Three is when you get spirited charge. One of you're a human.

human are the poorest mounted ever. mounted = small.

I would go much further small and flying. That's why my build is a halfing on a heron. Human with undersized mount works decently but it's harder to keep a light load on a flying mount.


Paladin 2/eldritch scion celestial bloodline magus 3 is where the smiting spellstrike build starts coming online. For when the evil thing absolutely needs to die!

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