Hi there. I got a Kickstarter copy of Heroes & Treasure, which is half an RPG dungeon crawl, and half a boardgame. It's pitched to be very family friendly, and it's pretty easy to pick up. Here's the link, if anyone's interested: Heroes & Treasure.
And, well, because non-tragic heroes grow up eventually, I figure I'd make 6-level Pathfinder builds out of each of the PCs. Let me describe the PCs, and my starting notes, and maybe I could get some advice to these builds? I'm a little rusty making Pathfinder builds.
Spoilers for the treasure found in Heroes & Treasure's first campaign, if that matters to people here.
The rogue does sneaky rogue things (spotting clues, finding hidden treasure, and hiding). He/she fights with two daggers, and eventually receives a bow. The bow is interesting because it's a very risky weapon, usually missing but capable of dealing high damage.
My first thoughts are a human rogue with Improved Initiative (because Rogues always go first), Two-Weapon Fighting, and Deadly Aim. Maybe the adoptive parentage (elf) alternate racial trait for the longbow proficiency, but that's not strictly necessary.
1) How does one go about making a good switch-hitting rogue or rogue-alike?
The fighter has a sword and a ton of hit points. They eventually get a better sword and...more hit points. They also have the ability to break shields to negate damage. This fighter wants to be in front attracting attention and absorbing hits.
My first thoughts are a human fighter with later feats in Exotic Weapon Proficiency (falcata), Toughness, and Fortified Armor Training.
2) How does one distinguish a defense-oriented fighter from a summoned monster?
3) Aside from moving my 4-6 feats to earlier, what are some good feats for a sword-and-board?
The wizard eventually gets three spells: some sort of frost ray that can rob an opponent of their next action (by freezing them), invisibility, and a single-target fireball that can also steal the target's next action (by stunning them). Other goodies include a frosty dagger and a wand of AoE fireballs. They also get really few hit points.
There really isn't a great cognate between all this stuff and what a Pathfinder wizard can do. Let's start with a human evoker with an arcane bond to a wand, the trait Magical Lineage (snowball), and Rime Spell. Spells include snowball (the Ultimate Wilderness one, I guess), invisibility, and fireball. Maybe Point-Blank Shot and Precise Shot in order to hit with snowball reliably.
4) Aside from butterwitchery (using an acid-enabled grease with Dazing Spell), what are some good options (spells, feats, class options) for a wizard or wizard-alike to deal energy damage and control the battlefield?
5) Since there are so few spells, should I just go with a sorcerer? What bloodline would be good for both evocations and invisibility?
The cleric is also defined by their spells, a cure spell, something that damages undead (good thing there are undead monsters, eh?), and a protection spell (similar to the fighter's shield, the spell shield breaks to stop a hit). The cleric has fewer spells than the wizard, but can cast any of them with their slots. There's also an upgrade from a mace to an undead-smooshing hammer.
Lots of choices here, let's see. Starting with an adoptive parentage (dwarf) human oracle of life for the warhammer proficiency and channel energy. Maybe Channel Smite and Weapon Focus?
6) Is there an oracle archetype that gets diminished spellcasting in exchange for something else?
7) Is there a divine spell that acts like the 'damage undead' part of channel energy? That would mean I could pick a different mystery.
8) Is there a divine spell that acts like an ablative piece of armor, like a once-a-spell negating a hit or a crit?
If the cleric gets so fewer spells than the wizard, how about starting as a base inquisitor or a vampire hunter? Could get an undead-bane weapon with judgement. Okay, that really works.
9) Is there an inquisitor archetype or domain power (or spell) that gives access to the 'damage undead' side of channel energy?
well, ???, I might as well try to flesh these out myself. And why not, let's use 'Abbey Road' order.
Human Inquisitor (Expulsionist) of Torag 6
H: Weapon Focus (warhammer)
1: Weapon of the Chosen
1: Alignment Channel
1: Turn Undead
3: Deific Obedience (Torag)
3I: Hammer Guards the Anvil
5: Divine Fighting Technique (Torag's Patient Strikes)
6I: Shake It Off
Spells include cure light wounds and defending bone.
Expulsionist gets channels vs. undead (and demons), Weapon of the Chosen goes well with the expulsionist focus on incorporeal creatures, and Torag's obedience and fighting technique are pretty great. I like it!
Human Unchained Rogue (Scout) 6
Traits: Defensive Strategist
H: Two-Weapon Fighting
1: Improved Initiative
1: Weapon Finesse
2R: Trap Spotter
3: Finesse Training (dagger)
4R: Minor Magic (acid splash)
5: Point-Blank Shot
5R: Skill Unlock: Stealth
6R: Major Magic (vanish)
Two cheap ways of getting sneak attack, movement with the scout, and invisibility from vanish. The original character had a bow and could switch between bow and daggers at will, but that's somewhat tricky in Pathfinder. It's nice that you can cast acid splash with daggers in both hands using minor magic.
I'm not completely happy with this build, for two reasons. One, acid splash is cool, but it's not a bow. I also kind of want Deadly Aim, even though it's probably not that good for a rogue. Two, spells are sort of outside the rogue's wheelhouse. I know these spells are great, but I wish there were roguey things that were as good. For instance, I know that you can't Deadly Aim with a ranged touch attack. If there was a way of switching between dual-wielding daggers and shooting a shortbow without spending a round doing it, then I'd do that. Probably wishful thinking though.
Human Fighter (Rondolero) 6
H: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (falcata)
1: Combat Expertise
1F: Improved Disarm
2F: Weapon Focus (falcata)
3: Fortified Armor Training
4F: Weapon Specialization (falcata)
6F: Taldan Duelist
The fighter gets a 'better' sword for their sword-and-board build. The three PF options are bastard sword, aldori dueling sword, and falcata. I chose falcata. Fortified Armor Training also sounds kind of neat, actually.
]b]Human arcane bloodline Sorcerer 6[/b]
Traits: Wayang Spellhunter (snowball), Magical Lineage (scorching ray)
H: Point-Blank Shot
1: Precise Shot
1: Eschew Materials
3: Rime Spell
5: Flaring Spell
6S: Spell Focus (evocation)
Spells include snowball, invisibility (which is a bloodline spell), and scorching ray.
The original is a 'wizard', but gets so few spell choices I decided to go with sorcerer for the extra slots. An evocation specialist with some extra debuffs for when the damage spells hit. Probably pretty underpowered as arcane casters, but the ray focus is solid.
Your post is a lot so people aren't engaged probably. I'll answer some:
1. Rogues shouldn't really switch hit, because you have a hard time doing sneak attack at ranged. I would play a slayer and mix strength/dex, taking rapid shot as part of ranger combat style to ignore pre-requisites.
a) looking at your build, don't take major magic when you could get invisibility other ways or just play a ninja. If you want to go arcane rogue route, take one level of rogue, prestigious sneak attacker feat, and arcane trickster. Scout is otherwise pretty good.
2. A defense fighter is tougher than any summoned monster, and can have stand still to protect the party.
3. Sword and board fighter is fine by taking shield bash tree and twf.
the exotic weapon proficiency feat is silly. If you really want to do it take half elf and get it for free instead of sacrificing the human bonus feat.
the Torag inquisitor is solid, also consider warpriest for a similar feel.
By the way, wizards basically have the same slots as sorcerers.