Damage prevention items / survivability advice for mid-high level paladin?


Advice

Silver Crusade

Hey everyone,

I'm currently playing a paladin through the eyes of the ten retirement arc. I'm the tank of a party of 4, namely 2H paladin, dual wield rogue, control arcanist, low-healing control cleric w/ variant negative energy channel (disease/fear).

We just completed the first module and I was able to shield other the entire party throughout all fights, soaking most of the damage and healing it through optimized lay on hands use on myself. While I really like this tactic I'm a bit sceptical about my survival odds since things like 20d6 attacks on the entire party were available to the dm (we somehow dodged this by luck) and even a fireball on everyone at the same time could just ouright kill me if all 3 are shielded. However, I'm also sure that if I don't shield people then we'd have gotten into a lot of trouble through I.E. random crits hitting unfortunate party members and the amount of otherwise available healing being fairly low.

I'm looking for some ideas to increase my survivability in the near future. We seem to be getting huge amounts of gold (24-ish k) per module so decently expensive items are perhaps in range.

Current build (most relevant points imo):
Human, 11 oath of vengeance paladin/1 bloodrager. Hp 111/135 (rage), ac 26 unbuffed (can reach 39 with shield wand, crusader armor activation, smite evil), touch 12, Fort/ref/will 25/16/21. Feats: feywild foundling, noble scion, improved critical (nodachi), extra rage, vision mastery, power attack, extra traits (to get a bite attack for bite evil).

For the items the only relevant one is the bracers of merciful knight which boost LoH healing to 7d6+14 on self. Rest are static damage/ac/save buffers and winged boots. The main defensive features are sanctuary with dc 22 willsave on self when LoH used and potentially displacement scrolls from UMD.

Currently I have 9.3 k gold to spend if relevant.

How would you go about making this build mroe survivable? And would you keep using shield other on all 3 other party members if you were me?

Kind regards,
Trevor


Part of the problem may stem from your party makeup. You have two controllers and a rogue that leaves you as the only real source of damage. It also looks like the rest of the party is relying on you for protection. You are using shield other to protect the rest of the party, and possibly shielding all three at once. This is not a good tactic because no one player can carry the whole party. Some of the other members need to pick up their share of the load. By this I mean they need to be able to contribute actual damage, and be responsible for their own defenses.

The biggest problem I see with your character is you have too many things using your lay on hands. I am assuming you have around 11 uses of your lay on hands per day. You have to use two lay on hands to get an extra smite evil, and your armor also requires one to activate its special ability. That is going to leave very few lay on hand to actually heal with.

Your character is also totally focused on offense with only minimal thought in to defense. Your paladin’s archetype basically trades away the ability to heal the whole group for offense. The dip into bloodrager also weakened your paladins abilities to give you a short term boost to offense. There is nothing wrong with this type of character except the tactics your character uses do not match how you built the character. Instead of using shield other to protect the other characters you should be using litany of righteousness to boost your damage even farther.

You can easily focus a paladin on protecting the rest of the party, but that is not how your character is built. Either the Divine Defender or the Sacred Shield archetype work very well for a paladin who is looking to protect the rest of the party.

My advice to you is to stop worrying about the rest of the party and concentrate on taking down the enemy. Go by the old adage that a dead opponent cannot do any harm to anyone. If you do want to protect the rest of the party see if your GM will allow you to rebuild the character.


Get your friends to buy stat booster items of constitution.

Your cleric especially should *really* not be requiring shield other in any capacity.

Grand Lodge

Your party should be protecting you not the other way around.

Here is the situation. The best way to play is to focus fire. Your group make-up forces you to take most of the damage, then you are using shild other thus making the gm play more optimally. Let other people get hit it is actually better to spread the damage around.

You guys should be using resist and protection from energy when possible. The cleric should pack heal if you are the sole tank. Get some Dr, angelic aspect may be worth a look. And stop using shield other.

Get a buffering cap to help with one crit. If you can pre buff you will kill things faster, have the arcanist figure out what is a head of you. Have one of the casters by fate's shear to reroll one of the crits.

Focus your spells on immediately actions that kill stuff quicker. Inheritor’s Smite to bulrush into a wall, litanies are good choices. Pre buff with divine favor.

If they want to be more defensive they should be in the air, with extended mirror images, or shield of darkness. Having good con, buying a mirror of guarding reflections, ring of invisibility, or decoy ring.


The other character's made it there without you right? They should be okay to move forward without you protecting them.


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Also, invest at least half your first lvl Paladin spells in hero's defiance. It will save your bacon if you have any lay on hands left.


I definitely don't think you should stop using shield other entirely. But having three bonds running is total overkill. The rogue could probably use one, the cleric shouldn't need it, and the arcanist can go without if he's one of those who're good at keeping himself out of harm's way.


The only spells I remember using were Heroes defiance, and various versions of Angelic Aspect. http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/a/angelic-aspect/ I LOVE that spell. DR/Evil resist cold/elect wings... darkvision... That's a lot of awesome for one spell and can keep you alive.

I also picked up the Feats, Reward of Life. That heals you your CHR every time you lay on hands someone else... and Greater Mercy, which gives lay on hands and extra D6 if the target doesn't need a mercy to remove a condition... which is like 95% of the time.

Silver Crusade

Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Part of the problem may stem from your party makeup. You have two controllers and a rogue that leaves you as the only real source of damage. It also looks like the rest of the party is relying on you for protection. You are using shield other to protect the rest of the party, and possibly shielding all three at once. This is not a good tactic because no one player can carry the whole party. Some of the other members need to pick up their share of the load. By this I mean they need to be able to contribute actual damage, and be responsible for their own defenses.

The biggest problem I see with your character is you have too many things using your lay on hands. I am assuming you have around 11 uses of your lay on hands per day. You have to use two lay on hands to get an extra smite evil, and your armor also requires one to activate its special ability. That is going to leave very few lay on hand to actually heal with.

Your character is also totally focused on offense with only minimal thought in to defense. Your paladin’s archetype basically trades away the ability to heal the whole group for offense. The dip into bloodrager also weakened your paladins abilities to give you a short term boost to offense. There is nothing wrong with this type of character except the tactics your character uses do not match how you built the character. Instead of using shield other to protect the other characters you should be using litany of righteousness to boost your damage even farther.

You can easily focus a paladin on protecting the rest of the party, but that is not how your character is built. Either the Divine Defender or the Sacred Shield archetype work very well for a paladin who is looking to protect the rest of the party.

My advice to you is to stop worrying about the rest of the party and concentrate on taking down the enemy. Go by the old adage that a dead opponent cannot do any harm to anyone. If you do want to protect the rest of the party see if your GM will allow you to...

I have 12+3(bracers 2 and faction reward 1) lay on hands uses per day (cha 24), which was enough for the first adventure. I had two left at the end of the adventure. It's true that a lot of things here rely on LoH useage (I don't think it can be overstated how good swift action LoH + auto sanctuary on yourself is after full attacking each turn for instance) but I'm not that worried about running out yet.

The rogue does good damage. She basically does the same damage as I do (+debelitating injury) unless smite evil is active. I'm a bit hesitant about the purely defensive paladin archetypes since they tend to trade out either smite evil or divine grace and having those is pretty key imo. Sacred shield could work but that would require a complete rebuild of the character including all feats and workd place all damage on the rogue. Litany of righteousness used to be really overpowered but ever since it now allows a willsave to completely negate it both smite evil and LoH with mercies are better uses of swift actions from my experience.

Silver Crusade

@ Everyone I will definitely give greater angelic aspect a look, that looks really good to use.

@ Bishop I have at least 2 uses of hero's defiance prepped each day. So far I've only had to use it once but that one time did prevent a TPK against a harpy onslaught. Good times :)

@ Phantom I don't tend to heal others with LoH unless it's an emergency. If it instead just added flat cha mod healing to LoH i'd immediately pick reward of life up but it works only when LoH is used on others. If we're using the shield other tactic I can just swift action heal myself whenever needed which is both more efficient on actions (no standard action used, which still allows me to full attack) and more efficient per heal (feywild foundling adds +14 when used on self). The targeted mercy also seems much better to me than adding 1d6 healing in virtually any circumstance, especially since you can add the fatigued mercy for free which allows you to drop rage to save rage rounds without repercussions. And there's the added advantage of fighting this way that it saves a whole 2 feats.

@ Groundhog I guess I could drop the shield other on the cleric. I'll discuss with him what to do, I'm not sure to what degree he has spells to spare, he's charisma based. The arcanist tends to teleport everywhere all over the map to get to objectives faster so I'm a bit hestitant to drop shield other on him. The rogue has evasion... so if a fireball hits everyone except the arcanist on the other side of the map, and only the rogue has shield other there, there's probably a good chance of me surviving. Perhaps it's a good idea to buy a ring of evasion for myself (if this works in heavy armor, there's been some discussion about it from what I could tell) since I have the same reflex as the rogue and that might keep shield other on everyone a valid tactic.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think the party here is an incarnation of the "no healing required" combat strategy acclaimed by many on the boards.

You have no combat healer, so you can down the enemies far faster than parties that do have one.

But if your enemies do not fall fast enough, the party ends up in a very precarious state.

It is the similar one-trick strategy that you sometimes see in Magic decks : all offense and zero defense. Kill them fast or be destroyed.

You need to have a dedicated healer in your party for in-combat healing. Hire some NPC for this, or use the items that give healing channel benefits to the user (I think there is a chalice that does this).

Or find a way to put Hero's defiance or a similar spell on every party member. I think that whenever one of your party goes down, a TPK is likely to happen.

Grand Lodge

Maybe this will help with perspective. When I played eyes with a pretty mixed group I ranked with a Sorcerer and animal companion taking 90% of the damage every session and we got through primarily on control and dps.


The Raven Black wrote:

You need to have a dedicated healer in your party for in-combat healing. Hire some NPC for this, or use the items that give healing channel benefits to the user (I think there is a chalice that does this).

You really, really don't. Yuck. The cleric could stand to prepare a heal spell or two. And that's just about that.

Maybe stock up on some defensive buffs. Protection from Energy heals more than healing ever could, if you're smart about it.

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