What's the best 4000 gold upgrade for survivability?


Pathfinder Society

3/5

I have a Dex sword and shield slayer, 6th level with 4000 gold to spend who needs something to make him survive a bit better-

It seems like I have 3 options-

1) belt of incredible dex- +1 ac, to attacks, and to damage with my main weapon (agile enhanced)

2) belt of con- +6 hit points and +1 to Fort saves

3) upgrading shield from +1 to +2- +1 to ac and to hit and damage with my shield bash, plus saving 1000 gold.

My gut is saying to go for the belt of con, then upgrade it to belt of con + Dex (10,000 total cost) when I can, and wait on the shield and armor.

Anyone have any thoughts or anything I'm missing?

2/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.

+2 cloak of resistance.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

^ seconded.

4/5

I'm going to be contrarian, and bring in two items for 3500 gp total : ring of protection +1 for 2000 and aegis of recovery for 1500. The ring goes to all AC including touch and flat-footed, and the aegis can save you from outright death.

Horizon Hunters 3/5

belt of con

5/5 *****

You are a slayer, will saves are likely to be your biggest enemy. +2 cloak of resistance OR if you have the Fates Favoured trait wait and buy the Lucky Horseshoe and grab the first cloak you find on a dead enemy.

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

The Dexterity belt will give you the most bang for your buck. But if survivability is your only concern, then get a cloak of resistance +2.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Cloak upgrade or belt of con.

1/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A Talisman of Life Breath is around 3500. When you hit 0 HP, it auto-triggers and delivers 5d8+9 hit points of curing.

Shadow Lodge

Sir Belmont the Valiant wrote:

A Talisman of Life Breath is around 3500. When you hit 0 HP, it auto-triggers and delivers 5d8+9 hit points of curing.

Not quite; it triggers when the wearer dies, and that healing is via a breath of life. That said, the trigger doesn't say it has to be a death that breath of life can bring you back from, so if you die via Con damage or a death effect, it triggers to no effect.

4/5

you could review Items that can save you thread.

I'd say Aegis of Recovery(1500), Tourmaline sphere ioun stone (1000), cloak of protection +1(1000), dusty rose prism ioun stone(500) for 4000gp
-or-
Pearly white spindle crack'd ioun stone(3400) for regen 1/hr (not as effective as above but can keep your fingers in the right place, stops bleed dmg, may(GM & circumstances) delay your death until your turn).

Scarab Sages 4/5

The Dex belt or the cloak are the best long term investments.

Unless your Con is just really low for a melee character. Your attacks are Dex-based, so you want your belt to be Dex. You can pick up an 8,000 gold ioun stone later for a +2 CON bonus. But you’ll want to advance your Dex belt as high as you can get it. So don’t buy a Con belt. Ultimately that will cost you more in the long run than the extra 4,000 for the ioun stone.

I like the Talisman of Life’s Breath, but a 3,500 gold consumable is probably too pricy for a 6th level character. Especially before you have basic things like a cloak of resistance or stat boosting items. At some point you’re better off buying things to keep you from dying in the first place instead of an item to save you when you do die.

If your saves are bad, and you don’t have a cloak at all, then at least buy a +1 cloak and wait a scenario on the Dex belt.

A note on the shield upgrade... upgrading the shield enhancement bonus does not upgrade the weapon enhancement bonus. You have to enhance it separately as a weapon, at the same cost as enhancing a weapon. So making a shield a +2 weapon would cost 8,000 in addition to the cost of the masterwork shield and any shield bonus enhancements. While that’s expensive, there is a benefit. You can have a shield that is +2 AC, but +1 Agile as a weapon, so you can get Dex-to-Damage with it just like your other weapon.

5/5 *****

Ferious Thune wrote:
A note on the shield upgrade... upgrading the shield enhancement bonus does not upgrade the weapon enhancement bonus. You have to enhance it separately as a weapon, at the same cost as enhancing a weapon. So making a shield a +2 weapon would cost 8,000 in addition to the cost of the masterwork shield and any shield bonus enhancements. While that’s expensive, there is a benefit. You can have a shield that is +2 AC, but +1 Agile as a weapon, so you can get Dex-to-Damage with it just like your other weapon.

I thought that but assumed he took sword and shield style which nets you shield master at 6th.

Silver Crusade 2/5

Ferious Thune wrote:


A note on the shield upgrade... upgrading the shield enhancement bonus does not upgrade the weapon enhancement bonus. You have to enhance it separately as a weapon, at the same cost as enhancing a weapon. So making a shield a +2 weapon would cost 8,000 in addition to the cost of the masterwork shield and any shield bonus enhancements. While that’s expensive, there is a benefit. You can have a shield that is +2 AC, but +1 Agile as a weapon, so you can get Dex-to-Damage with it just like your other weapon.

The Shield Master feat from the CRB allows you to use just the enhancement bonus on the shield as a weapon enhancement bonus, but it comes online very late.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Ah, ok. Hmm... Could you still enhance it as a weapon to get Agile, but use the enhancement bonus from the shield in place of the +1? Since he's boosting dex anyway, it seems like at some point it would be worth spending 8,000 gold on that.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix

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DesolateHarmony wrote:
The Shield Master feat from the CRB allows you to use just the enhancement bonus on the shield as a weapon enhancement bonus, but it comes online very late.

But when it does, watch out! My brother got a shield champion up on GM and module credit to where he was right at the level to take it. Thus began the legend of Frank Doyle, giantslayer.

Silver Crusade 2/5

Ferious Thune wrote:
Ah, ok. Hmm... Could you still enhance it as a weapon to get Agile, but use the enhancement bonus from the shield in place of the +1? Since he's boosting dex anyway, it seems like at some point it would be worth spending 8,000 gold on that.

I believe you would have to get the +1 weapon enhancement to get the agile property. So, your cost estimate of 8000 is right on.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Yeah, that’s what I meant. You’d enhance it as a +1 Agile Weapon, but use the shield enhancement bonus when you attack through Shield Master, effectively getting a +2 Agile Weapon, for example. The +2 shield enhancement bonus and the +1 weapon enhancement bonus wouldn’t stack, but Agile would still get included based on the normal rules for enhancements stacking. That’s how it looks like it would work. I was looking for confirmation of that. Cause an extra +6 or +7 to Damage is well worth 8,000 gold, even without an additional bonus to hit. Although I guess that would be halved to +3 for off-hand, so it might be worth considering something like Menacing instead, as that would be a bonus to hit with all of your attacks when flanking (and your ally’s attacks on that creature), which a Slayer is going to want to do for sneak attack. It’s really the ability to stack weapon special abilities on the shield bonus to attack/damage that’s interesting. You could pick whichever one you want.

3/5

Yes, I just got shield mastery through the 6th level slayer talent for Ranger style.

The agile for the shield is on the long list, but 8K is a lot to get just +3 with the off hand weapon.

For the belt my plan was to go one stat +2, then two stats +2, then two stats +4-- my con is 10 and dex 20 (with 10 str and cha, 14 wisdom, and 12 int), so I am really low on that side of things.

The consumables just feel so expensive for one use items, but the cloak is probably a really good value since it will shore up both my worst saves in one shot, and I can wait till 7th level to start getting the belt.

I have enough Prestige saved for a res if worst comes to worst, so I guess I'd just be getting my Risen title if all my best machinations fail.

Dark Archive 2/5

So kind of waiting for the potions and poisons book to get added to the additional resources the greater aegis of recovery is getting added and it is sub 4k

Scarab Sages 4/5

Ok. 10 CON on a melee character is pretty low, so you may be stuck going with the Belt instead of an Ioun stone, because you're going to want to be able to boost it more than +2 eventually. For now, I would probably get a +1 cloak first and the +2 CON belt next scenario.

Here's why I was saying the ioun stone, if all you were likely to need was a +2 CON.

Cost breakdown:
A +2 Belt costs 4,000. A +4 Belt costs 16,000, or 12,000 more. A +6 Belt costs 36,000. The Ioun Stone costs 8,000, but doesn't stack with anything. So you could have:

36,000 +6 Belt of Incredible Dexterity
8,000 +2 Constitution Ioun Stone

44,000 Total

Or, buying a +2/+2 Belt costs 10,000, +4/+4 40,000, +6/+6 90,000

So it's 6,000 to go from a +2 Belt to a +2/+2 Belt or 8,000 to go +2 Belt +2 Ioun Stone. 2,000 more.

It's 40,000 to get a +4/+4 Belt and 24,000 to get a +4 Belt +2 Ioun Stone. 16,000 more.

So going the +2/+2 Belt route, it will be a long time (like 10th or 11th level) before you're able to upgrade it to +4/+4. And that's going to come at the expense of upgrading a weapon or armor or something else.

You likely won't be able to afford a +6/+6 Belt (an additional 50,000 gold) until well into Seeker levels. But you could afford a +6 Belt and +2 Ioun Stone around the same time you could get a +4/+4 Belt, for just 4,000 more.

On most builds, splitting the stats into a Belt and an Ioun Stone will make sense. You can always later upgrade a +4 Belt to +4/+4 (Or +6 to +6/+6) and sell the Ioun Stone, but you can't upgrade a +2/+2 Belt to +4/+2.

In your case, though, with only a 10 CON, Favored Class Bonus in HPs, and no Toughness(?), you should be at 46 HPs at 6th level. I think my Sorcerer had 38 at 6th before buying a Con boosting item. So 46 feels low for a frontliner. If you have Toughness, that helps and makes Con less urgent.

An unconventional way you could go would be to shoot for a +4 Belt of Con and a +2 Ioun Stone of Dex, then eventually buy the +4/+4 Belt and sell the Ioun Stone. Slayer does good damage and has good accuracy without the extra +1 from Dex, so you may feel that less than the lower hit points.

Dark Archive 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Tri-Cities

Cloak of resistance support

1/5

Why do people keep bringing up the Cloak of Resistance +1, when the OP has 4,000 to spend. Just go straight to the Cloak of Resistance +2.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Because they are recommending it in conjunction with other purchases that prevent a +2 cloak purchase.

4/5

correct, I listed several items for 4000gp. It really depends on what the character has already purchased. If he doesn't have an Aegis of Recovery... . . . . . . . . (was that too many dots? lol)

3/5

Stephen Ross wrote:
correct, I listed several items for 4000gp. It really depends on what the character has already purchased. If he doesn't have an Aegis of Recovery... . . . . . . . . (was that too many dots? lol)

+1 darkwood heavy shield

+1 mithril chain shirt
+1 agile cold iron aldori dueling blade
Handy Haversack

Scarab Sages 4/5

I recommended a +1 Cloak, which leaves 3,000. After one tier 5-6 or 6-7 scenario, there would be enough to buy the +2 CON Belt. Buying a +2 cloak now means waiting 2 scenarios for the Con Belt. Which is fine. Either way at the end of 2 more scenarios, both items are affordable.

How are you finessing a heavy shield?

3/5

Ferious Thune wrote:

I recommended a +1 Cloak, which leaves 3,000. After one tier 5-6 or 6-7 scenario, there would be enough to buy the +2 CON Belt. Buying a +2 cloak now means waiting 2 scenarios for the Con Belt. Which is fine. Either way at the end of 2 more scenarios, both items are affordable.

How are you finessing a heavy shield?

Shield trained trait makes heavy shields light.

I think the next time I get to play is going to be a module for giantslayer part 2, so likely I will be able to get whichever upgrade I don't get now after that one regardless.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Neat. I didn’t know about that trait.

You may still run into some table variation around whether or not Agile is a valid enhancement for a heavy shield. You treat it as light, but it is still a one-handed weapon. There’s a pretty big debate in general about whether you being able to finesse something means it is considered a weapon that can be used with Weapon Finesse for something like Agile.

Personally, I’d say Agile probably doesn’t work, on the premise that a Fighter can Finesse just about anything with the right combination of Advanced Weapon Training. That doesn’t mean an Agile Earthbreaker should be a legal item.

But for a feat like Piranha Strike, it’s a light weapon while you are using it, which is all the feat cares about. Which means you can Piranha Strike with a heavy shield and the trait, but not with a rapier.

Check with your local GMs/VOs before you add Agile just to be sure. I think you may get more benefit out of a different enhancement anyway. Menacing or holding out for Holy.

Shadow Lodge

Ferious Thune wrote:
You may still run into some table variation around whether or not Agile is a valid enhancement for a heavy shield.

You shouldn't run into table variation on this, because it shouldn't work at all. The weapon has to meet the requirements on its own, and even if it didn't, you didn't make the weapon (so your character options don't matter) and you can't specify anything about who did (so even if there was some set of character options that could result in this being a legal item, there's no way to get such a character to make it for you).

1/5

To be fair, I've been known to use "expect table variation" as code for "there's no way in Hell that's legal, but I'm sure you can find someone you can convince to allow it at their table". Perhaps Mr. Thune is doing the same.

Agreed on all other points.

4/5

for PFS the access of a specific rule is either in or out. That part is usually very clear. Shield-Trained(Religion) from ISGods has the PFS icon on AoN.
Additional Resources for Inner Sea Gods says, Traits: all traits on pages 218–223 are legal. Shield-Trained appears on page 222. No update in Campaign Clarifications for this trait.
There is the additional requirement that the creature worship Gorum.

4/5

my guess is that shield and weapon enhancements are separate tracks so that you have to pay for both on a shield to get bonuses to AC (+1 for 1000gp) and then bonuses to hit and damage (+1(+1) for 2000gp).

3/5

Stephen Ross wrote:
my guess is that shield and weapon enhancements are separate tracks so that you have to pay for both on a shield to get bonuses to AC (+1 for 1000gp) and then bonuses to hit and damage (+1(+1) for 2000gp).

Shield Mastery feat allows me to apply the shield's armor enhancement bonus to attack and damage.

As far as agile on my off hand- it's definitely not priority since it is the off hand- 8000 gold for +3 damage (at best) with one or two off hand attacks is just not as effective as just about anything else I could do.

Shadow Lodge

GM Tyrant Princess wrote:
To be fair, I've been known to use "expect table variation" as code for "there's no way in Hell that's legal, but I'm sure you can find someone you can convince to allow it at their table".

Yeah... you probably shouldn't do that, seeing as it encourages people to try these things at games, where the GM doesn't have as much time to look things over to make a ruling. Then when they slip it past at least one GM, the first GM that knows better gets the "but my other GMs let me" excuse.

Basically, this just pushes conflict onto tables actually trying to play.

1/5

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The alternative is getting dragged into an argument on these forums. The only winning move is not to play.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.
GM Tyrant Princess wrote:
The alternative is getting dragged into an argument on these forums. The only winning move is not to play.

Or to be up front and prepared.

Case in point. I asked a GM if you can ghost salt tangleshot arrows, since I couldn't find a yay or nay on it. She said 'why not'? I have 8 left on that PC. If I sit with him at a table with a GM, I explain "Ok, so this happened, but it's an undefined area. Will it work?" If I get a 'no' I don't argue, I shrug and go for plan B in the utility belt.* I did the same thing with a page of spell knowledge and UMD, until I got the clarification you can't UMD the page to fuel it with bard spell slots. That's why I carried a wand of aspect of the falcon as well. Five minute conversation, accept the GM ruling, and move on.

Second case in point, I had a player who tried the 'large sized bow' trick. I told him it's illegal at my table. (last I looked it's still in the 'expect table variation', if we've actually gotten a ruling, please let me know) Thus he spent the entire night with a non-magical bow and arrows, because he didn't have a plan B.

*:
Plan B for that PC is to use his phrenic amplification to throw mind thrust or better still murderous command, because nothing is funnier than making a ghost use corrupting touch on his ghoul wife. Now if I'm using my elixir of spirit sight, I'll be using tangleshot on the incorporeal stuff all minute long.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Oh as to best 4k upgrade, I recommend for a caster, spell storing on silken ceremonial armor or deathless in general.

Spell storing because dropping bestow curse on a grappler is just hilarious (50% chance for them to take no action, includes maintaining the grapple) deathless because reducing damage from negative energy or avoiding negative levels always is good.

Shadow Lodge

GM Tyrant Princess wrote:
The alternative is getting dragged into an argument on these forums. The only winning move is not to play.

Better to waste people's free time on the forums than to drag down a table in play.

And to be clear, I was speaking specifically of "no way in hell that's legal" things; if you're that sure, speak up about it, don't push it on GMs who don't have time to look into it because they're trying to run a game.

4/5

I think the topic of rule debate at a table in play is off topic and generally going to lead to a lot of churn. Exaggeration isn't going anywhere productive.

I'll take it that my previous guess was correct as it takes a feat to get around it for this specific item. I used the word guess as I didn't have time or the will to look it up at the moment. I did find Shield Master feat on AoN. It has significant requirements.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Stephen Ross wrote:

I think the topic of rule debate at a table in play is off topic and generally going to lead to a lot of churn. Exaggeration isn't going anywhere productive.

I'll take it that my previous guess was correct as it takes a feat to get around it for this specific item. I used the word guess as I didn't have time or the will to look it up at the moment. I did find Shield Master feat on AoN. It has significant requirements.

Hmm, I don't see that feat changing about if you can put agile on a shield though. Not sure it's worth the feat cost (or the 4000 GP, to stay on topic)

Scarab Sages 4/5

Sorry i kicked off that debate. I tend to say table variation for things I see argued strongly on the boards that don’t have an explicit FAQ. I do think it’s extremely unlikely Agile will work on a heavy shield.

Stephan - The OP’s build works in general. He has both the shield-trained trait, allowing him to treat a heavy shield as light and use it with weapon finesse/off-hand, and he has the shield master feat. He got Shield Master as a combat style bonus feat at 6th level, which ignores prereqs. He explained all of that, but it seems to have been lost in the discussion.

He has not yet put Agile in his shield. Agile was brought up before the type of shield was known. When it was listed as a heavy shield, I cautioned against it. No one here has said they think it works. Not even the OP. He may have just not originally realize Agile has restrictions of weapon types. Which is why I brought it up. Not because I thought he was trying to get away with anything.

The “table-variation” discussion seems to have been ignited because I didn’t use strong enough language about Agile not working on the shield. I don’t think it works. I think it’s highly unlikely that it works. I have also seen long threads with people arguing about similar situations, so I’m not going to claim I definitively know how every GM is going to rule. Just caution that most will rule against it.

4/5

[side chat]
I understand. I'm not the moderator. I'm just stating my opinion and trying to avoid an off topic exaggerated post (that may have been a humorous post or just trying to say it's not allowed in the poster's opinion) from flaring up into something big. Nobody wants to feed creatures that live under a bridge.

Table Variation is expected on this one. IMO it can be done but costs 8000gp (and has to meet the requirements for the Quality and Wpn Finesse points to penalties for shield use... it's convoluted!) apart from any shield enhancements. I'd expect simple rulings (which is the standard in PFS) just to say no. PFS is a simple game to have fun.

I learn from these threads as what's possible as I'm more more familiar in the spell system area. Agile weapon enhancement is clear. Shields blurring the lines is more the issue in creating confusion. Weapon Master feat doesn't allow changes in the magic enhancement chains, just when & how the enhancement bonus is used.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

I would also agree that Agile cannot be enchanted on to a Heavy Shield, despite the user treating it as a light weapon, just as Keen cannot be enchanted on to a Warhammer, despite the user having Weapon Versatility.

4/5

Stephen Ross wrote:
[side chat]... Table Variation is expected on this one. IMO it can be done but costs 8000gp (and has to meet the requirements for the Quality and Wpn Finesse points to penalties for shield use... it's convoluted!) apart from any shield enhancements. I'd expect simple rulings (which is the standard in PFS) just to say no. PFS is a simple game to have fun. ...

If you read that closely you'll notice IMO Agile cannot be put on a heavy shield as it doesn't meet the requirements for the Agile Quality {light weapon as per Weapon Finesse}. Light shields though...

FYI, when I was VC there were a few times I disagreed with the table GM on the finer points of a ruling in the gray area but I supported his position at his table. We all have differing opinions. When you operate in the gray area you should expect to be told no at times, it goes with the territory.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Agent, Washington—Ballard

Stephen Ross wrote:
Stephen Ross wrote:
[side chat]... Table Variation is expected on this one. IMO it can be done but costs 8000gp (and has to meet the requirements for the Quality and Wpn Finesse points to penalties for shield use... it's convoluted!) apart from any shield enhancements. I'd expect simple rulings (which is the standard in PFS) just to say no. PFS is a simple game to have fun. ...

If you read that closely you'll notice IMO Agile cannot be put on a heavy shield as it doesn't meet the requirements for the Agile Quality {light weapon as per Weapon Finesse}. Light shields though...

FYI, when I was VC there were a few times I disagreed with the table GM on the finer points of a ruling in the gray area but I supported his position at his table. We all have differing opinions. When you operate in the gray area you should expect to be told no at times, it goes with the territory.

This statement, and a couple above it, is how table variation and gray areas should be handled. I've had similar experiences with my Vexing Dodger and his Limb Climber ability. If I'm climbing on a foe and he moves, am I still on him? Yes or no, I say ok, and plan accordingly for the session.

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