Paladin of Abadar making a trap option decent


Creating a Character


Hey all.

I have seen different topics discussing the lack of diversity in several classes and one thing that has been mentioned is ranged paladin, so I started thinking about how to make the coolest crossbow wielding paladin as possible. It's without a doubt not the best use of the paladins abilities and in several ways the class and it's features kinda oppose the build.

The primary concerns about the class: Retributive Strike doesn't work with ranged weapons, it gets several boosts to heavy armor and the class key ability is strength which the build doesn't need (except for bulk issues).

My main idea is to build a paladin with ranger dedication to make the crossbow bolts really hurt as much as possible, so getting the damage increase from deific weapon and crossbow ace. Other than that high stats in dex, cha and wisdom will make him quite good at a number of skills.

Regarding ancestry my first choice is halfling because they can get +dex, wis and cha from ancestry and the str flaw isn't that bad because I have to take str as a key ability later. (However due to bulk issues 12 str might be good so you could take hefty hauler)

The statline would end up being
Str 12, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 16
at first level. (I could increase con instead but getting hefty hauler might be too important)
Boosting stat as follows
5th:
Str 12, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 18
10th:
Str 12, Dex 19, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 19
15th:
Str 12, Dex 20, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 19, Cha 20
20th:
Str 14, Dex 20, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 20, Cha 20

To begin with the paladin doesn't excel in combat, but does okay for a ranged class (even though crossbow is kinda iffy with reload, but a d10 vs the d6 of a shortbow is still +2 dmg on average) and unfortunately he doesn't really get much better in combat until level 6 or 8.

The build comes together around level 8 with the following class feats: Hospice Knight (mostly because the other choices kinda suck, and skill monkey), Ranger Dedication (hunt 1/day sucks but decent vs BBEG), Basic Hunters Trick (Crossbow ace, which is still bad because of hunt 1/day), Blade of Justice, Targeted Hunter.

So the rotation is: Hunt Target (getting that free recall knowledge should give you some idea if it's evil, if you were in doubt, unless human), Blade of Justice, Fire your loaded crossbow for 2d12+1+2+potency rune etc.

Depending on your need for ACP and bulk or not you can walk around in a half-plate armor (since it isn't clumsy) if you want the paladins bonus to AC and the nice critical success on succesful fortitude saves or else some kinda medium armor instead.

TL;DR:
A paladin with high bonus to skills (and trained in 8 different skills +increase from levels) and a decently strong ranged weapon, but limited to one shot a turn, most of the time. Packed with flavor in terms of hunting down strong forces of evil with Blade of Justice and Hunt Target.
Far from the most optimized but might actually fill an okay niche as a ranged support character in a player group.

What are you thoughts on the build? What would you change? Or do you have any other wacky ideas you want to present regarding building "trap" options.

Finally for Paizo, I know their might be more included in the final product and I (and I think several others) would like to see some support for the more weird builds like this, so hopefully make paladin fit better with ranged weapons either through feats or class features.


This makes me so happy to see. It has sometimes been easy to forget that this is just the playtest of just the CRB, and that there will be more options, but that players can still build effective characters that go against type.

I am kind of inspired to go a "Wrong" direction with a class and see how far I can go with it. If it ends up being a weak character, it might at least grant some insight into how the system could be changed to accomodate characters like this. Heck, it might not even requre system changes, just more feats and class branches.


just keep in mind that the damage dice increase of deific weapon and xbow ace doesn't stack.

ace just gives you the +wisdom damage

so, you're not d12 but d10

unless you're using a heavy xbow that is, but i don't see that as being anywhere near optimal to do so.

for my own "ranged paladin"

i also went ranger mc, but i did so to grab the "double shot" (whatever is called) feat.

hunt->blade of justice->double attack

on the plus side, you do get at least some benefit from your strength.


That is sad news. I missed that part on page 91 that says you can only increase damage die once. Crossbow ace doesn't really do anything worthwhile then, back to the drawing board it would seem.

I wonder the reason for this rule, I can't really find a lot of ways of increasing the weapon damage dice so that it would be broken.


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Based on your specific goals here, it seems like you may be better served going with Ranger w/ Paladin Dedication. Unless you're wanting the majority of the Paladin abilities.

I do think that they should support Ranged Weapons though. If not only because some deities have ranged weapons set as their favored weapon.


Unfortunately I think the entire build is kinda spoiled with the information shroudb brought to the table. The major reason for going ranger was for crossbow ace (and spending 3 class feats for 2 skills and +2 dmg on one attack a turn seems hardly worth it) especially when compared to just using a combosite bow instead.

I think the rules regarding increasing damage dice is too limiting, and if this were the final rules I would probably houserule them away just to make this build a bit more viable. Maybe ensure that just paladins and clerics diefic weapons didn't stack.


Gloom wrote:

Based on your specific goals here, it seems like you may be better served going with Ranger w/ Paladin Dedication. Unless you're wanting the majority of the Paladin abilities.

I do think that they should support Ranged Weapons though. If not only because some deities have ranged weapons set as their favored weapon.

Ranger/paladin is better mechanically but comes online much later, at like 12 or so due to blade of justice being a 6th level class feat.

-Hunt target actually offers an attack bonus for your iteratives
-you don't care that retribution is 1/day,so need need for at will one feat at 6,but you need at will hunt target

Paladin/ranger is worse but it comes online much faster, since you can pick everything you want from ranger at 2/4/6 (and blade of justice at 8)


Shroudb said wrote:

Ranger/paladin is better mechanically but comes online much later, at like 12 or so due to blade of justice being a 6th level class feat.

-Hunt target actually offers an attack bonus for your iteratives
-you don't care that retribution is 1/day,so need need for at will one feat at 6,but you need at will hunt target

Paladin/ranger is worse but it comes online much faster, since you can pick everything you want from ranger at 2/4/6 (and blade of justice at 8)

Well it will need 4 paladin feats; paladin dedication, basic benediction, righteous ally and advanced benediction.

And this build works a lot better for Bows instead of crossbows. It sorely misses Point Blank Shot (however I kinda assume that is will be available to other than fighters in the final product)


Nettah wrote:
Shroudb said wrote:

Ranger/paladin is better mechanically but comes online much later, at like 12 or so due to blade of justice being a 6th level class feat.

-Hunt target actually offers an attack bonus for your iteratives
-you don't care that retribution is 1/day,so need need for at will one feat at 6,but you need at will hunt target

Paladin/ranger is worse but it comes online much faster, since you can pick everything you want from ranger at 2/4/6 (and blade of justice at 8)

Well it will need 4 paladin feats; paladin dedication, basic benediction, righteous ally and advanced benediction.

And this build works a lot better for Bows instead of crossbows. It sorely misses Point Blank Shot (however I kinda assume that is will be available to other than fighters in the final product)

Yes?

That's what I was saying. Ranger/paladin seems more solid, but needs later level to come online.

On that subject, pick up monster lore and its upgrade from ranger and you're almost like an inquisitor.

Which is pretty neat flavor wise


I'm not sure either class dedication offers enough for it to be worth it. For my paladin/ranger original idea i'm spending 3 class feats to get a subpar hunt target, +2 dmg to the one attack I do each turn and 2 skills trained. Going fighter dedication instead would also give the +2 dmg with point blank shot and 1 skill for just two class feats.

I could also multiclass rogue for a bit of sneak attack and 3 skills for just two class feats. But after running the numbers the 1d10 actually still stacks alright up with a bow. Propulsive will rarely let you get a damage boost higher than +2 and the extra damage from righteous blade enchantment like holy or flame will keep up with that.
I'm a bit sad that my original build doesn't work as well as I had planned, but the more I think about it the more I like the use of high wisdom and keeping str low because of the added utilities in terms of skills and will save.


Nettah wrote:

I'm not sure either class dedication offers enough for it to be worth it. For my paladin/ranger original idea i'm spending 3 class feats to get a subpar hunt target, +2 dmg to the one attack I do each turn and 2 skills trained. Going fighter dedication instead would also give the +2 dmg with point blank shot and 1 skill for just two class feats.

I could also multiclass rogue for a bit of sneak attack and 3 skills for just two class feats. But after running the numbers the 1d10 actually still stacks alright up with a bow. Propulsive will rarely let you get a damage boost higher than +2 and the extra damage from righteous blade enchantment like holy or flame will keep up with that.
I'm a bit sad that my original build doesn't work as well as I had planned, but the more I think about it the more I like the use of high wisdom and keeping str low because of the added utilities in terms of skills and will save.

For xbow? Sure. But it's actually nice for bows.

But rangers now have that 1 action for 2 arrows feat.

And paladins going with Blade of justice are action starved.

Being able to do 2 attacks with one action allows them to much more easily capitalise on Blade of justice.

With 3 feats, one dedication, twin shot, and the 6th level one that removes the 1/day limitation on hunt target, you are basically set.

On the first round, you don't get any tangible benefit because you lose an action to Hunt. But on subsequent rounds you're basically acting like hasted vs your hunt target.

As a ranger/paladin you don't get nifty things like the slow on bow crit (meaning on a crit he not only has to spent an action to unstuck himself, but he also only has 2 max actions, and that makes it almost like a full round control), litanies, holy weapon and double ally, but you do get much better actual attack bonuses at midlevels and onwards


How do you get slow on a bow crit? And while you get better attack bonus on secondary attacks I think a crossbow firing once from a paladin/ranger actually stands close to 3 shots from a ranger/paladin.

But the ranger/paladin will have some better saves etc.


Nettah wrote:

How do you get slow on a bow crit? And while you get better attack bonus on secondary attacks I think a crossbow firing once from a paladin/ranger actually stands close to 3 shots from a ranger/paladin.

But the ranger/paladin will have some better saves etc.

A paladin feat gives slow on crits vs your Blade/Ret target.

In general, since Blades is a static buff, you'll gain more if you use more attacks rather than 1 bigger one.

A 18 str paladin/ranger with a bow will be hitting for 3 attacks at 4d6+5 at 10 level with a bow vs hitting once for 3d10+1d6+5 with xbow ace and 18 wis.

For 2 actions each:

So +0/-5/-10 for 18 (38 on a crit) vs +0 for 25 (46.5 on a crit)

The above will always favor the bow against most targets. And more importantly, the bow user won't be making the 3rd attack at - 10,but instead will be moving in position, casting litanies, avoiding screening, etc

The xbow user, if the opponent moved and attacked him in his turn, would be unable to even move away, Blade of Justice, attack, reload.

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