I recently discovered this archetype for the samurai. From the looks of it, it looks to be designed as a Dex/Cha samurai screaming Shelyn at the top of their lungs. But I am not entirely sure how to build a character. Perhaps using the guide "Secrets of the Swordlords" as a basis with using crane style to boost AC.
Was wondering what others thoughts are on a possible build. Thanks.
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Stats: 15-2 16+2 12 10 7 14+2
Skills: 5/lvl (4 + 1 FCB), max Perception, Bluff, Stealth, Perform[Oratory](applies to Diplomacy and Sense Motive). Distribute the remaining 1/level skill point between Disguise, Acrobatics and Knowledge[Religion].
Feats & [Class abilities]:
1- Shrouded in Mistery, Weapon Finesse, Fox Shape(instead of Kitsune Magic), [Kitsune’s Mystique]
3- Power Attack, [Harmony of the Tranquil Garden]
5- Magical Tail[Disguise Self], [Uncanny Guidance]
6- [Spring Attack]
7- Magical Tail[Charm Person]
9- Swift Kitsune Shapechanger, [Uncanny Guidance]
11- Vulpine Pounce
12- [i Spring Attack]
13- Devastating Strike*, [Chrysanthemum’s Blooming]
15- i Vital Strike
* If you also invest 3 ranks into Knowledge[Religion], you might prefer Deific Obedience[Shelyn] instead. At this level, it would grant you +4 on Craft and Perform (which applies to Diplomacy and Sense Motive too), and a bunch of spell like abilities (silent image 3/day, minor image 2/day, or major image 1/day)
Out of combat, this character is extremely good at scouting and infiltrating. He can use mundane stealth while in Fox shape to be practically invisible, and can use Disguise Self + the Among Humans trait to assume anyone appearance. He also has great social skills, both in terms of influencing people (Diplomacy and Bluff, but also Charm Person) and reading them (Sense Motive).
In combat he is not supposed to be a front-liner. The idea is to use Spring Attack to deal targeted damage to flat-footed enemies (feint) while staying out of danger, while the main melees weaken them. At this point, he would swift-shape in its Kitsune form and pounce onto the target to finish him off with his main weapon and bite (which also uses Weapon Finesse). Shape back into human form and repeat for the next target. For your weapon, you might want an oversized Katana with an Effortless Lace and Keen enhancement on, for 2d6 base damage and 15-20 crit range.
Personally, I'd be VERY VERY tempted to multiclass into paladin of Shelyn. Thematically its a wonderful fit and you get lots and lots of goodies to make it mechanically viable.
And if I wanted sneak attack I'd probably just take the one level dip into snake bite striker (Brawler archetype). That opens up quite a few feats and keeps your BAB up. Thematically, at least, ninja warrior poet doesn't work for me.
Ninja is a set of abilities, not a character. Warrior Poet is an agile, light, feint-using Archetype, so it seems like a pretty solid match for rogue/mystic/charismatic stuff to me. Arts and Ninja Arts!
One point of BAB is a pretty minor trade, considering the benefits. Ki Pool for Vanishing Trick, Shadow Clone or just making a bonus attack can be very literally a life-saver.
I've been fiddling with this one since I got the book. Some other things to consider:
Order of the Blossom for sneak attack
Jaguar Pounce for early-ish access to Improved Critical
Spring-Heeled Style and Spring-Heeled Spring for attack bonus and increased movement
It works with Bladed Brush just fine. You don't need to worty about having a free hand with any abilities the class provides. Since glaive is a reach weapon, it provides some additional benefits with threatened range.