Advice on my fighter


Advice


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Brawn
Male orc fighter 11
CG Medium humanoid (orc)

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Defense
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AC 28, touch 13, flat-footed 26 (+13 armor, +1 deflection, +2 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 118 (11d10+33)
Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +10 (+3 vs. fear)
Defensive Abilities ferocity, fortification 25%
Weaknesses light sensitivity
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Offense
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Speed 30 ft.
Melee +2 scimitar +22/+17/+12 (1d6+25/15-20)
Ranged composite longbow +14/+9/+4 (1d8+7/×3)
Special Attacks weapon trainings (heavy blades +2, bows +1)
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Statistics
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Str 26
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 7
Wis 10
Cha 5

Feats - Cornugon Smash, Hurtful, Advanced Armor Training, Advanced Weapon Training, Advanced Weapon Training, Alertness(bonus), Greater Weapon Focus (scimitar), Improved Critical (scimitar), Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Lunge, Power Attack, Secured Armor, Weapon Focus (scimitar)
Traits indomitable faith, natural born leader
Skills Bluff +11, Intimidate +24, Perception +18,
Languages Common, Orc
SQ armor training 1
Other Gear +2 full plate, +1 heavy steel shield, +2 scimitar, composite longbow (+6 Str), amulet of natural armor +2, belt of giant strength +2, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +1
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Special Abilities
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Benefit:
Armed Bravery (+3/+6) (Ex) Add bravery bonus to will save, Intim. DC to demoralize you increases by amount shown.
Armor Specialization +2 (Full plate) (Ex) Increase armor bonus of chosen armor.
Armor Training 1 (Ex) Worn armor -1 check penalty, +1 max DEX.
Armored Confidence +2 (Ex) Increase DC to demoralize you by listed amount.
Armored Master (Ex) Gain an armor mastery or shield mastery feat.
Fortification 25% You have a chance to negate critical hits on attacks.
Lunge Can increase reach by 5 ft, but take -2 to AC for 1 rd.
Power Attack -3/+6 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Secured Armor 25% chance to negate crit or sneak attack (stacks with fortification).
Versatile Training (Weapon Training [Bows] +1) (Ex) The fighter can use his base attack bonus in place of his ranks in two skills of his choice that are associated with the fighter weapon group he has chosen with this option (see below). The fighter need not be wielding an associated weapon to use thi
Weapon Training (Blades, Heavy) +2 (Ex) +2 Attack, Damage, CMB, CMD with Heavy Blades
Weapon Training (Bows) +1 (Ex) +1 Attack, Damage, CMB, CMD with Bows

Wondering about evolving his intimidate skills further, for Dazzling Display, Dazzling intimidation and Shatter defenses. That makes it a move action to intimidate everyone within 30' radius. I am hitting regularly tho, so not sure it's necessary.

I also have an idea now, to take Focus Weapon (scimitar) on lvl 13 (Advanced Wep Train) to get 2d6 dmg on it, then upgrade my scimitar to Large(oversized) for a 3d6 damage. It works, right?

I am undergeared although I used the Manual for +1 STR, we haven't been able to shop yet. I'm hoping to buy dueling gloves and a wand of Enlarge for the Wizards familiar to use. Thus I am at 4d6 with the scimmy, so maybe think of Vital Strike. I also think about Defensive Weapon Training at 15.

Aside from that just do, Specializationx2, Toughness or something?

We are playing Hells Rebels, gonna end around lvl 18.
We have a Bard that is playing most times, that does his Haste, Good Hope, Inspire Courage thing.

Anyone got some pointers?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Increasing your scimitar to 2d6 damage with advanced weapon training would be a solid move. However, making your scimitar oversized will probably reduce your damage, not increase it. Going from 2d6 to 3d6 damage is only going to average an extra 3.5 points of damage, but you will take an attack penalty for doing this. Missing even a single attack you would have otherwise hit will completely negate the damage bonus. If you want to increase your damage, unequip your shield and two-hand your scimitar to increase your strength and power attack damage bonus. Your AC is past the point of diminishing returns anyways (your biggest defensive concerns comes from stuff that doesn't target your AC in the first place) so defaulting to a two-handed fighting style to quickly eliminate threats makes a lot of sense.

Vital Strike feat chain isn't really worth it. It's too small a damage increase for how many feats it costs, and it doesn't even help you when you're full attacking. Vital Strike builds need to be utterly dedicated to getting more and bigger dice, and 4d6 isn't nearly enough to make it good. More intimidation feats would be a very solid pick, though.

Equipment-wise, the fact that you're still stuck with only a +1 cloak of resistance is a huge problem. You should have a +5 cloak by this point in your career, and your saving throws are much lower than they should be as a result. While I can understand that this may be out of your control, anything you can do to get a better cloak would be huge. Your AC is largely going to waste because of the massive defensive shortfall you have in that department.


Pick up Advanced Weapon Training: Warrior Spirit (heavy blades). At your current level twice a day you'll be able to add +2 to your scimitar. Instead of adding +2, convert part of that bonus to an enhancement bonus that will help you. Bane works really well if all of the creatures are a single type. Holy or other alignment based damage are usually solid choices too. If you need an elemental damage you can do that, or you could do Ghost Touch on demand. Just remember you can only add 1 enhancement bonus this way and it lasts 10 rounds. Any remaining bonus will stack with your normal to hit/damage up to +5.

Lets say you are facing a dragon. Adding Bane: Dragon and +1 would make your +2 scimitar into a +3 scimitar with an extra +2 to hit and +2d6+2 damage vs Dragons. So end result of +5 to hit, +2d6+6 damage.

Too bad you can only do this (Weapon Training Bonus) times per day.


In the future, get some crit feats. You're already crit fishing, so you might even consider switching to a Two Weapon Fighting style to get more attacks at a cost of AC.


* Get Gloves of Dueling ASAP to get your bonus to +3. Sell gear if you need to.

* Spend (or retrain) a feat on Advanced Weapon Training: Weapon Specialist, and earmark WF, GWF, and Improved Critical -- You now spread those feats to EVERY weapon in the Heavy Blades group!

* Trade the scimitar (see "Sell gear" above) for a nodachi.

* Trade up the heavy shield for a Ring of Force Shield (which are quite reasonably-priced, and improve touch-AC). Usage: deactivate ring as free-action, make attacks with two-handed weapon, then reactivate. Limitation: can't make AoOs with your nodachi held in one hand, so get some armor spikes. (With 5' reach and no Combat Reflexes, get the impression you weren't making AoOs much anyway.)

Result: attack bonus +2, damage +11 (WT{+1>+3} + {scimitar> nodachi}d6>d10 + {1hPA>2hPA}[6+8]>[9+12])

-- Given that your average damage (not counting crits) is currently 28.5, jumping up 11 to 39.5 represents a 39% increase in output (and more than that when you consider the increased chances to hit further elevating DPR).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Slim Jim wrote:

* Spend (or retrain) a feat on Advanced Weapon Training: Weapon Specialist, and earmark WF, GWF, and Improved Critical -- You now spread those feats to EVERY weapon in the Heavy Blades group!

* Trade the scimitar (see "Sell gear" above) for a nodachi.

Given his current level, it'd be way less convoluted to pick up the Focused Weapon AWT, which would increase the damage dice of the scimitar to 1d10, and would automatically increase to 2d6 at 15th. Since equipment availability seems to be an issue in his campaign, I would advise against locking into an exotic weapon.


The nodachi is a martial weapon. Still, that does not invalidate your point, Dasrak. A scimitar can be used one or two handed, a big advantage when you suddenly find yourself grappled by a monster with an (usually) incredbly high - or better: ridiculously high - CMD/CMB.

OP: your AC is (not bad but still) too low to really matter. Against low-level enemies you don't need it, because you kill them too fast, against higher CR enemies it's not enough to be of importance. I also think you should go two-handed.

A good indicator (only my experience from play) for Martials is the following: Can you reliably hit your own AC with your first attack? If the answer is yes, either bring it up or use your resources for other things.
Other people say that around level 10, a good AC is 20+level, a very good AC is 25+level and that's presumably the better benchmark. Of course, this may be different at your table.

I'd advise against dazzling display and the like, because at this level fear immunity is quite common - many monsters are outright immune to mind affecting effects. Besides you already have Cornugan Smash, which is way superior to Dazzling Display (because: Action Economy).

Two important things already mentioned in the thread: up your saves and get Gloves of Duelling, ASAP. Your accuracy is slightly above mediocre, same is true for your saves.

EDIT: I hope this does not come across as rude - I don't know your group or your GM, it's all just based on my experience, so take it with a grain of salt.

EDIT II: I should read before I write. You already aim for gloves of dueling and you have a bard for accuracy. He effectively doubles your damage. Be thankful, protect him. So, increase damage ouput (go two-handed!) and improve your saves. All in all the character is already a solid build.


As far as Intimidate how's, it's true that many enemies become fear immune at higher levels. Still for those who don't, the Dreadful Carnage feat can be quite nice. As can a cruel weapon.


Dasrak wrote:
Increasing your scimitar to 2d6 damage with advanced weapon training would be a solid move. However, making your scimitar oversized will probably reduce your damage, not increase it. Going from 2d6 to 3d6 damage is only going to average an extra 3.5 points of damage, but you will take an attack penalty for doing this. Missing even a single attack you would have otherwise hit will completely negate the damage bonus.

Got blinded by the extra damage and the fact I'm usually hitting. With the third attack, however....

Dasrak wrote:
Vital Strike feat chain isn't really worth it. More intimidation feats would be a very solid pick, though.

Noted, thanks.

Dasrak wrote:
Equipment-wise, the fact that you're still stuck with only a +1 cloak of resistance is a huge problem. You should have a +5 cloak by this point in your career, and your saving throws are much lower than they should be as a result. While I can understand that this may be out of your control, anything you can do to get a better cloak would be huge. Your AC is largely going to waste because of the massive defensive shortfall you have in that department.

Not much I can do so far.

Meirril wrote:

Pick up Advanced Weapon Training: Warrior Spirit (heavy blades).

Too bad you can only do this (Weapon Training Bonus) times per day.

I had forgotten this feat, it's good! I am gonna buy dueling gloves. So +2 extra makes it 4 times, which mostly covers it. Good!

Turgan wrote:


OP: your AC is (not bad but still) too low to really matter. Against low-level enemies you don't need it, because you kill them too fast, against higher CR enemies it's not enough to be of importance. I also think you should go two-handed.

Two important things already mentioned in the thread: up your saves and get Gloves of Duelling, ASAP. Your accuracy is slightly above mediocre, same is true for your saves.

I am 2Handing. Most times at least.

How can accuracy be mediocre?
I got WT, GWF and a starting STR of 21, practically 22. With our gear lvls I can't possibly think of any way to improve it?

Thanks for all advice so far!


Grimniir wrote:

How can accuracy be mediocre?

I got WT, GWF...

I guess I wasn't looking correctly at your to hit: It's +22 with PA included, right?

(BAB 11 Str 8 weapon 2, weapon training 2, WF/GWF 2 = +25 -3 PA = +22

+25 to hit is not mediocre, it's good. Especially when your bard's haste (+1 haste) + inspire courage (+3 comptence) come into play. +29/+29/+24/+19 or with PA +26/+26/+21/+16 is really good.


I would say you are a bit too focused on offense at the expense of defense.
Not your AC. That is more than sufficient for a melee guy. As others have said, your saves. It is boring but many PC's get a lot more mileage out of Iron Will than they do just some more damage.

I know you said gear is low in your campaign. Is that all gear or just high level gear? Does anyone in the group craft anything, like a wizard with Scribe Scroll? Any NPC's that you can bargain for gear rather than gold?
Usually when I play a fighter or barbarian, I end up buying a bunch of little stuff for the casters to use on me.
Wand protection from evil (for that second save vs mind control).
Scrolls of remove fear, remove paralysis, resist energy, etc...


Turgan wrote:
Grimniir wrote:

How can accuracy be mediocre?

I got WT, GWF...

I guess I wasn't looking correctly at your to hit: It's +22 with PA included, right?

(BAB 11 Str 8 weapon 2, weapon training 2, WF/GWF 2 = +25 -3 PA = +22

+25 to hit is not mediocre, it's good. Especially when your bard's haste (+1 haste) + inspire courage (+3 comptence) come into play. +29/+29/+24/+19 or with PA +26/+26/+21/+16 is really good.

It's with PA activated, yeah. Sorry about that. With only a +2 enhancement to STR and a +2 weapon it has quite some way to go. Bard often opens up with Haste, Inspire Courage and good hope, which gives +6 to hit. I love that guy. If enemies are not immune to Fear, Hurtful gives me a swift action attack at Full AB.

ElterAgo wrote:

I would say you are a bit too focused on offense at the expense of defense.

Not your AC. That is more than sufficient for a melee guy. As others have said, your saves. It is boring but many PC's get a lot more mileage out of Iron Will than they do just some more damage.

I know you said gear is low in your campaign. Is that all gear or just high level gear? Does anyone in the group craft anything, like a wizard with Scribe Scroll? Any NPC's that you can bargain for gear rather than gold?
Usually when I play a fighter or barbarian, I end up buying a bunch of little stuff for the casters to use on me.
Wand protection from evil (for that second save vs mind control).
Scrolls of remove fear, remove paralysis, resist energy, etc...

I have only bothered with the Will Save. Indomitable Faith, Iron Will and Armed Bravery gives me +6 added up, the last one even scales. Not much more to do. Good hope also helps, and Protection from Evil is usually up. Hells Rebels can also grant bonus feats and Great Fort is among them.

For other defenses I have Secured armour, Armor Spec. I really need better gear.

Soon we'll get an opportunity to buy a little gear hopefully, but my share will only be around 35k. Dueling gloves cost 15, and I need mayb better weapon and Cloak of resist.


Dasrak wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:

* Spend (or retrain) a feat on Advanced Weapon Training: Weapon Specialist, and earmark WF, GWF, and Improved Critical -- You now spread those feats to EVERY weapon in the Heavy Blades group!

* Trade the scimitar (see "Sell gear" above) for a nodachi.

Given his current level, it'd be way less convoluted to pick up the Focused Weapon AWT, which would increase the damage dice of the scimitar to 1d10, and would automatically increase to 2d6 at 15th. Since equipment availability seems to be an issue in his campaign, I would advise against locking into an exotic weapon.

Keep the heavy shield, take Shield Brace.

The nodachi is also in the polearm weapon group.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:

* Spend (or retrain) a feat on Advanced Weapon Training: Weapon Specialist, and earmark WF, GWF, and Improved Critical -- You now spread those feats to EVERY weapon in the Heavy Blades group!

* Trade the scimitar (see "Sell gear" above) for a nodachi.

Given his current level, it'd be way less convoluted to pick up the Focused Weapon AWT, which would increase the damage dice of the scimitar to 1d10, and would automatically increase to 2d6 at 15th. Since equipment availability seems to be an issue in his campaign, I would advise against locking into an exotic weapon.

Keep the heavy shield, take Shield Brace.

The nodachi is also in the polearm weapon group.

Shield Brace requires Shield Focus (so you're down two feats), and you eat the shield's ACP on attack-rolls. His heavy steel shield is 2 ACP, so he'd have to sell it for a mithral shield -- at which point he may as well go for the Ring of Force Shield instead of mithral and get two-handed strength and Power Attack functionality in his weapon. Going 2hPA over 1hPA results in an immediate +9 damage gain from that alone at his level, and another +3 in one more level (BAB12). If he picked up a level in a rage class (and advisedly retraining a feat to Extra Rage), he'd pick up another +3 going 2hPA, on top of +2 to attack bonus.

The damage increasing from changing weapon die size is comparatively trivial.


Slim Jim wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:

* Spend (or retrain) a feat on Advanced Weapon Training: Weapon Specialist, and earmark WF, GWF, and Improved Critical -- You now spread those feats to EVERY weapon in the Heavy Blades group!

* Trade the scimitar (see "Sell gear" above) for a nodachi.

Given his current level, it'd be way less convoluted to pick up the Focused Weapon AWT, which would increase the damage dice of the scimitar to 1d10, and would automatically increase to 2d6 at 15th. Since equipment availability seems to be an issue in his campaign, I would advise against locking into an exotic weapon.

Keep the heavy shield, take Shield Brace.

The nodachi is also in the polearm weapon group.

Shield Brace requires Shield Focus (so you're down two feats), and you eat the shield's ACP on attack-rolls. His heavy steel shield is 2 ACP, so he'd have to sell it for a mithral shield -- at which point he may as well go for the Ring of Force Shield instead of mithral and get two-handed strength and Power Attack functionality in his weapon. Going 2hPA over 1hPA results in an immediate +9 damage gain from that alone at his level, and another +3 in one more level (BAB12). If he picked up a level in a rage class (and advisedly retraining a feat to Extra Rage), he'd pick up another +3 going 2hPA, on top of +2 to attack bonus.

The damage increasing from changing weapon die size is comparatively trivial.

He finishes up with an eventual +8 to AC instead of +2. That extra AC is very expensive to obtain by other means.

Shield Brace + nodachi is a two-handed attack, with all the relevant damage bonuses.


Quote:
He finishes up with an eventual +8 to AC instead of +2. That extra AC is very expensive to obtain by other means.

By "eventual" you mean high-level -- where things there are very expensive quickly become relatively cheap.

-- I get the impression that "upgrade the stuff you already have now" isn't really the advice that the OP is hoping for.

~ ~ ~

One of these days, I'm going to have to get around to a fighter with the close weapon group and AWT:Weapon Specialist, and go to town with a waveblade and a heavy shield.


Slim Jim wrote:
Quote:
He finishes up with an eventual +8 to AC instead of +2. That extra AC is very expensive to obtain by other means.

By "eventual" you mean high-level -- where things there are very expensive quickly become relatively cheap.

-- I get the impression that "upgrade the stuff you already have now" isn't really the advice that the OP is hoping for.

~ ~ ~

One of these days, I'm going to have to get around to a fighter with the close weapon group and AWT:Weapon Specialist, and go to town with a waveblade and a heavy shield.

At level 1, it is a +3 instead of a +2.

Shields are one of the cheapest forms of AC to advance from that point.

The Ring of Force Shield was good advice for THFing before Shield Brace came out. Post Shield Brace, not so much.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
The Ring of Force Shield was good advice for THFing before Shield Brace came out. Post Shield Brace, not so much.

Well then you're not two-handing.

-- If you're a one-hander with Shield Focus and are an 11th-level fighter, then Shield Master is right there waiting for you to take instead! In fact, retraining all the fighter levels after 6th into Brawler would let him TWF his existing scimitar and shield (whose enhancement bonus is then doing double-duty for bonus AC and as a magic weapon).

It's not like his Fighter11's current Weapon Training (Bows) is pulling its weight at present with a measly +1 bonus.


Look. He wants to play a sword and board fighter.

Let's help him do that rather than "moar damage!" two hander builds.


Slim Jim wrote:


It's not like his Fighter11's current Weapon Training (Bows) is pulling its weight at present with a measly +1 bonus.

It's actually a AAT feat for RPing a bit, our DM highly encouraged doing characters with a little versatility. I did this one and felt okay with it. Now I have a 7 INT Orc fighter with maxed Bluff, Perception and Intimidate- plus Natural Born Leader trait. On my very rare bowshots, it also helps a teensy bit.

Cavall wrote:

Look. He wants to play a sword and board fighter.

Let's help him do that rather than "moar damage!" two hander builds.

I am 2Hing my scimitar mostly. I do bring my shield just in case. Often hold it until battle is joined. 2HF with a 1 hander is a lot more versatile than going Falchion for only slightly less damage.

AWT makes Fighters more interesting. Focus Weapon, Defensive Weapon and not to forget that Spirit Weapon thingy.

Thanks so far, folks, lot's of good stuff.

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