Build challenge: the Kingsaver


Advice


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The King is not popular. Maybe he's a cruel tyrant; maybe the kingdom is very hard to manage. Whatever the reason, lots of people want to control, kidnap, or flat-up kill him.

What's the nature of the threat? He's unpopular -- it could be anything. Assassins. A coup by treacherous nobles. Poison. Enchantment. Abduction. Mind control. A sudden onset by armed bravoes. A chandelier falling on him. You name it... someone might try it.

And your job is to stop them. You get one (1) 10th level character of any PFS legal class, 20 point build. All spells, feats and items are allowed with the exception of the Leadership feats (since otherwise everyone just ends up building a 10th level PC and their 9th level cohort). You get wealth by level (but see below). Your build should plausibly be able to stop as many different kinds of threats as possible. Perhaps the best builds are going to be full casters with a carefully curated spell list, everything from Detect Thoughts to Slow Poison. But otoh, maybe a super-skill monkey with sky-high Sense Motive, Perception and Diplomacy will be even better. Let's see. Simply put, your goal is to build a character who is optimized for keeping another character alive, and doing so against the widest possible range of potential threats.

If you require that level of detail, we can say that the King is an Aristocrat 3 with 15 hp. So he's not much use in his own defense. Also, the royal treasury is completely empty. Maybe the worthless King blew it all on champagne and parties. Or maybe his wicked uncle did that, and the good King is trying to fix the damage. Or maybe the royal treasury just got cleaned out by war, or robbers. Whatever... the King has no useful items. But you are allowed to use your WBL to equip the King. Also, the King trusts you: he will accept buffs and harmless/helpful spells, will allow you to stay near him, and will obey reasonable instructions for his health and security. But he actually does have to govern the kingdom, so he must be able to move around and interact with other people. Locking him in a room surrounded by traps and monsters isn't an option.

To keep this fair, I've privately generated a list of several threats, which may be mundane or magical. Whoever can plausibly see off the threats will be... the Kingsaver.

What've you got?

Doug M.


Sounds lke the King might need a body double sometimes. It's a good thing he trusts his worthless cousin to do so. The cousin isn't just the dabbler in magic he appears to be by the way, he's a warlock vigilante whose 'vigilante identity' is the king himself!

That's far from his only trick of course. He keeps both their spell storing chain shirts charged with frigid touch, he's got skills and more spells. Details below.

Spoiler:
Ricard du Marquin, human (assuming the king is?) male warlock vigilante 10
Str 14, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 18 (22), Wis 10, Cha 10
HP 64, F +5, R +9, W +7, AC 16

Social talents: beginner's luck, social grace (bluff, diplomacy, sense motive), renown, feign innocence, quick change
Vigilante talents: tattoo chamber, turnabout
Feats: combat reflexes, bodyguard, arcane strike, deceitful, cunning caster, in harm's way
Traits: pragmatic activator, clever wordplay (bluff)
Spells in spellbook
0: all sorc/wiz
1: air bubble, alarm, dazzling blade, disguise self, ears of the city, liberating command, magic missile, shadow trap, vanish
2: darkvision, frigid touch, see invisibility
3: ablative barrier, fly, haste
4: greater invisibility
Spells prepared normally
0: detect magic, detect poison, message, prestidigitation, free slot
1: air bubble, dazzling blade, ears of the city, liberating command, magic missile, shadow trap, vanish
2: darkvision, frigid touch (2), see invisibility, free slot (2)
3: ablative barrier, fly, haste
4: greater invisibility (2)

Gear: gloves of arcane striking, 2x +1 spell storing mithral chain shirt, headband of vast intelligence +4, eyes of the eagle, sandals of quick reaction, ring of sustenance, wand of cure light wounds, wand of admonishing ray (CL 11), scroll of delay poison (2), scroll of remove fear, scroll of remove disease, scroll of remove curse, scroll of ashen path, scroll of resist energy, scroll of lesser restoration, masterwork dagger
Skills: acrobatics +15, bluff +23 (+27 in social ID), diplomacy +13 (+17 in social ID), disguise +23 (+27 in social ID, +43 to appear as social or vigilante ID), escape artist +15, fly +3 (+17 w/fly spell) know (local) +10, know (nobility) +7, perception +15, ride +6, sense motive +13 (+17 in social ID), spellcraft +19, stealth +15, survival +5, swim +4, UMD +19

Obviously he's not particularly built for combat but greater invisibility may cover many sins. As may his expensive wand, which lives in the tattoo chamber BTW.


Checking stats - Ric's disguise skill is 6 points lower than listed above (+17 base), and he has one more 3rd level slot which he'll generally use for a second preparation of ablative barrier. Both of those get used on the King to cover him 20 hours a day.

How much detail do you want on tactics?


It's actually quite hard to protect the king.
There's always going to be something capable of killing the king, so the best alternative is to simply avoid those situations altogether.

Jafar, trusted adviser:
Human male Charlatan Rogue 3 / Whatever 7

Starts with a +2 charisma mod.

Racial Traits:
Focused Study (Skill Focus at level 1, 8 and 16))
Silver-tounged (+2 Diplomacy/Bluff)

Traits:
Power of Suggestion
Subjective Truth

levels and feats:
1. Iron Will, Skill Focus (Bluff) (B)
2. Rogue Talent: Convincing Lie
3. Familiar Bond, Rumormonger

5. Improved Familiar Bond (Figment/Sage Ioun Wyrd)

7. Deceitful

skills:

Jafar Bluff:
13 (ranks+class) +2 (Silver-Tounged) +2 (Subjective Truth) +6 (Skill focus) +4 (Deceitful) +2 (Blue Book) +10 (Mask of Stony Demeanor) +2 (Cha)
= 41

Ioun Wyrd Perception (Blindsight):
13 (class+ranks) +8 (racial) +6 (Skill focus) +5 (Eyes of the Eagle) +2 (Wis)
= 34

***

The king must die. Your hearts burn with the flames of vengeance, and the determination to commit regicide.
As everyone in the kingdom knows, the hated tyrant had a powerful sorcerer cast a spell of immortality on him ages ago. The spell can only be broken by the famed MacGuffin, which the king's spies has hidden in a faraway land to the west.
Undeterred, you say farewell to your old lives and set out on this quest, fully aware that it will take years, if not decades. As you leave the city gates, you all solemnly swear to not return until you have the MacGuffin in your hands.

On the road, you encounter some new arrivals. Your eyes meet for but an instant, and both parties recognize the fiery gaze of rebellion within. You tell your new allies to give up on their futile attempt, and instead join you in the quest for the MacGuffin. They object, but you quickly explain that which everyone in the kingdom knows.
And if these new arrivals don't beat a DC 51 bluff check, they'll "know" too.


'This effect lasts for a number of days equal to 1/2 the rogue’s level + the rogue’s Charisma modifier.' - it confuses the enemy, but you'll still need to deal with them eventually, right Wonderstell? Though I suppose you could spread a new rumor every few days.


avr wrote:
'This effect lasts for a number of days equal to 1/2 the rogue’s level + the rogue’s Charisma modifier.' - it confuses the enemy, but you'll still need to deal with them eventually, right Wonderstell? Though I suppose you could spread a new rumor every few days.

Yup, that's the plan.

The MacGuffin rumor is kept alive with Rumormonger, while Convincing Lie is used to convert any new arrivals. If you depend solely on Rumormonger, then visitors or "Adventurers" may ignore what the community accepts as fact.


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Keeping someone that fragile alive would be very challenging indeed, so I think the only solution is to ensure you can preempt any attempt on his life in the first place. I'm thinking Diviner Wizard. This allows you to act on surprise rounds even if you fail your perception check, and gain a massive bonus to initiative. With the diviner bonus (+5), a Compsognathus familiar (+4), improved initiative (+4), reactionary (+2), a good dexterity score (+4), a cracked dusty rose prism ioun stone (+1), and a dueling gauntlet (+4) the total initiative bonus rises to a whopping +24. Fill your spell repertoire with things like Wall of Force to block attempted attacks on the king, and always keep a Teleport spell memorized to whisk him to safety, and it would be extremely difficult to get the drop on the monarch.

You're still a wizard, of course, so handling more mundane things like watching for invisible attackers, magical traps or ambushes, or hostile spellcasters is in your area of expertise.


Dasrak wrote:

Keeping someone that fragile alive would be very challenging indeed, so I think the only solution is to ensure you can preempt any attempt on his life in the first place. I'm thinking Diviner Wizard. This allows you to act on surprise rounds even if you fail your perception check, and gain a massive bonus to initiative. With the diviner bonus (+5), a Compsognathus familiar (+4), improved initiative (+4), reactionary (+2), a good dexterity score (+4), a cracked dusty rose prism ioun stone (+1), and a dueling gauntlet (+4) the total initiative bonus rises to a whopping +24. Fill your spell repertoire with things like Wall of Force to block attempted attacks on the king, and always keep a Teleport spell memorized to whisk him to safety, and it would be extremely difficult to get the drop on the monarch.

You're still a wizard, of course, so handling more mundane things like watching for invisible attackers, magical traps or ambushes, or hostile spellcasters is in your area of expertise.

Shield Other and Greater False Life put him closer to an effective 70 hp, which is more workable. I was looking at a shaman with a level of “acts in surprise round”, just Emergency Force Sphere when you roll initiative (Defensive Strategist trait) and teleport away during the surprise round. Breath of Life prepared, lesser talisman of life’s breath on shammy and king.


Lelomenia wrote:
Shield Other and Greater False Life put him closer to an effective 70 hp, which is more workable

(Greater) False Life is personal-target only. The only way you could get this buff on the King is by being a 10th level Alchemist with the Infusion discovery.

Lelomenia wrote:
I was looking at a shaman with a level of “acts in surprise round”, just Emergency Force Sphere when you roll initiative (Defensive Strategist trait) and teleport away during the surprise round.

I like that combo. Lore Shaman to grab some wizard spells, a one-level dip for precognition to act on surprise rounds, and a trait to avoid being flat-footed, and just preemptively put up EFS. Having breath of life as a do-over is great and one of the few things arcane casters really miss out on.

Now with that said, there are ways to get around EFS. The effect only extends down to the floor, so any spell that targets the ground underneath your feet is free game. Create Pit is a low-level one that works great, and since you can't move out of the way of the forming pit you automatically fail your save, and since the pits are extradimensional spaces you technically aren't on the material plane while trapped inside of them and can't use the teleport spell to get out of them. Still a good combo, though, but not as good as actually winning initiative and getting the hell outta there for the enemy can act.

Lelomenia wrote:
Breath of Life prepared, lesser talisman of life’s breath on shammy and king.

Breath of Life is definitely a great standby to have; one of the big attractions of going with a divine caster for this purpose.


Figured there was likely a mistake somewhere, usually is when there are a lot of parts. As part of this exercise, I learned improved familiars aren’t compatible with familiar archetypes (usually). Oh well. I’d still go with the lyrakien improved familiar for constant detect magic/detect evil and UMD stuff.

Hypothetical shammy is also a bit MAD, requiring 15 int for teleport, 15 wisdom for breath of life, and at least 12 cha for teleport/EFS. As you note, he’s not optimized for initiative (first pass had him at +13, which seemed adequate but certainly not special).

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