Orc Goliath Druid PFS legal 20th level build out advice needed


Advice

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This character is PFS legal so there is no Butchering Axe and I know PFS doesn't go to level 20. Before I start my thought process, I'd like to share two weapons:

Labrys of the Stone Idol
https://www.aonprd.com/MagicWeaponsDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Labrys%20of%20the% 20Stone%20Idol

Warbringer
https://aonprd.com/MagicWeaponsDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Warbringer

The two weapons are both covered by the Orcish Weapon familiarity hence the race choice + Favored Class Option;

Druid: Add +1/3 to the druid’s natural armor bonus when using wild shape. (per Advanced Race Guide).

??? As I understand it the Huge Giant gets +6 to his Natural AC and if I understand that Alternative Favored Class Option he should get an additional +2 Natural Armor per level (am I missing something)?

???If I understand this correctly with Tunnel Defender Stoneplate AC should be 64AC (does that sound right)?
10 Base
+12 Stone Plate
+6 Wildshape Natural AC
+36 Orc Favored Class Bonus
-2 size
-1 dex (base 10 DEX)

???Speaking of Wildshape, is there a huge troll which is legal to shape change into I understand Mountain Trolls are not?

???I read a lot of post where people were stacking enlarge person on there wildshape my understanding is that isn't legal (right)?


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PFS legality is hilarious. You can get a weapon that only appears one time in an incredibly obscure location, but a butchering axe? No no no, that's just right out.


A couple of things:
1. I like the weapons.
2. Favored class option is 1 per 3 levels so at level 12 it should be +4 natural armor bonus.
3. I believe you are right about enlarge and wild shape.


Doesn’t PFS cap at level 12?


Anvil Mithrashield wrote:

This character is PFS legal so there is no Butchering Axe and I know PFS doesn't go to level 20. Before I start my thought process, I'd like to share two weapons:

Labrys of the Stone Idol
https://www.aonprd.com/MagicWeaponsDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Labrys%20of%20the% 20Stone%20Idol

Warbringer
https://aonprd.com/MagicWeaponsDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Warbringer

The two weapons are both covered by the Orcish Weapon familiarity hence the race choice + Favored Class Option;?

If you’re planning a PFS character, be aware you’ll run pretty close to recommended Wealth by Level. That means when you’re finishing your career at 11th level, you’re looking at 82k total. You’ll never be able to afford the Labrys. Affording Warbringer would mean buying nearly nothing most of your career.


If this is a home game some of those weapons are likely to be disallowed for being uniques.

It's as Gaming Ranger says. Your AC is way off. You will have other sources of AC from magic items and the barkskin spell.

You can play a half elf instead for the same FCB, half elves have an option for a free exotic weapon proficiency which opens up something like a faulchard.

Correct, enlarge does not stack with wildshape.


I guess first, let me say thank you to everyone who has made a suggestion! I'm truly grateful and humble at the mess of experience.

I'm so old school I thought Pathfinder was originally just an extension of 3.5 and kept playing thru. That said, I know almost nothing about PFS. From what I can understand there is a very limited regular path to 20th level and there are "Adventure Paths" (I think I have that right). Regardless though we'll just take the characters to homebrew after we max them out.

On the current build I am struggling with a few things still (Part 2). Before I get there let me share what has changed:

Part 1.) Half Elf with the Curved Blade per HERO LAB shows with everything maxed out; full rage, a huge troll, Furious Finish and Greater Vital Strike that a +1 keen, impact, Curved blade which costs 32'460 gold does 24d8+57 with crit range 15-20 *2 dmg (dmg 249 without crit enough to 1 shot an adult Red Dragon). (I cannot tell you how big of a weapon that gets but, it was purchased as a large weapon). Shillelagh on a nonmagical quarterstaff does almost just as much damage (and costs nothing). Problem is Shillelagh can't have impact or Keen and doesn't have good crit range. (Also a Sun Blade does 32d8+49 19-20 crit).

Over 16 attacks averaged vs cost:
Sun Blade 343 average dmg for 50'580gp or 147gold per 1 dmg.
Elven Curved +1 Impact Keen 311 average dmg 32'460 = 104gold per 1 dmg.
A Quarterstaff averages 213 dmg for 0 gold. And you can play any race or class and get that dmg provided attributes are the same.

Grand Lodge

You cannot wield an oversized 2 handed weapon unless you take levels in the Titan Fighter (fighter archetype) or Titan Mauler (barbarian archetype). The Elven Curved Blade is a 2 handed weapon, you will need to purchase it at normal size unless you don't plan on ever using it outside of giant shape. The resizing enchant for 4000gp will make it adjust to whatever size form you are which might be worth looking into.

Also, if you are planning on rage cycling to furious finish every round, expect half the PFS GMs to say you cannot do it. The wording on it is questionable as to whether you are able to or not, and there is a good deal of debate on the subject. If you only plan on using it as a finisher, then ignore this.

Both of those weapons are also outside of the realm of what you will likely be able to afford during PFS levels Expect to end up with around 100k total gold by the time you hit level 12 and move into seeker tier, which is when most PFS characters retire. 100k has to cover all of your gear...armor, rings, cloaks, consumables, etc. You could probably swing the curved blade with just +1, impact, and resizing if you cut a few corners on other gear, then add keen once you retire from PFS and switch to home games. Also remember, most of the dice from vital strike do not multiply on a crit, only the base weapon damage.

You may also want to think about having a backup means of fighting...it is going to suck when you get stuck in a cave or a building with narrow corridors and low ceilings.


@ Slyme the build was 1 level titan fighter, I thought I had included that in the above (sry). As it turns out I accidentally slipped this in rules and included the build in that thread

Also could you also clarify why
Furious Finish (Feat)
While raging, when you use the Vital Strike feat, you can choose not to roll your damage dice and instead deal damage equal to the maximum roll possible on those damage dice. If you do, your rage immediately ends, and you are fatigued (even if you would not normally be).

and
Cord of Stubborn Resolve (Magical Belt)
Any effect which would cause the wearer to become fatigued deals an additional 1d6 points of nonlethal damage instead. Any effect that would cause exhaustion likewise causes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage and leaves the wearer fatigued instead of exhausted.


Anvil Mithrashield
Male dwarf cleric (forgemaster) of Apsu 4/druid (goliath druid) 12/fighter (titan fighter) 4 (Pathfinder Player Companion: Giant Hunter's Handbook 20, 21, Pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide 15)
LG Huge humanoid (dwarf)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +19
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 26, touch 6, flat-footed 26 (+9 armor, +11 natural, -2 size, -2 untyped penalty)
hp 271 (20 HD; 16d8+4d10+164); regeneration 5 (acid or fire)
Fort +24, Ref +6, Will +18 (+1 vs. fear); +4 vs. spell-like and supernatural abilities of giants
Defensive Abilities defensive training, rock catching; DR 10/adamantine (100 points), 5/piercing; SR 25
Weaknesses vulnerability to sonic
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 50 ft. (40 ft. in armor)
Melee (L) +1 impact keen elven curve blade +20 (24d8+58/15-20) or
. . (L) +1 ironwood quarterstaff +19 (32d6+49) or
. . (L) +1 ironwood quarterstaff +15 (32d6+43), (L) +1 ironwood quarterstaff +11 (32d6+28) or
. . (G) sun blade +20 (48d8+50/19-20) or
. . bite +16 (8d10+27), 2 claws +16 (8d6+27)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks destructive smite (+6, 6/day), hatred, rend (2 claws, 8d8+24), rock throwing (120 ft.), wild shape 7/day
Domain Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +7)
. . At will—mending
. . 6/day—artificer's touch (1d6+2 , bypasses DR and hardness 4)
Cleric (Forgemaster) Spells Prepared (CL 4th; concentration +7)
. . 2nd—find traps, lesser restoration, shatter (DC 15), wood shape[D] (DC 15)
. . 1st—animate rope[D], divine favor, lead blades[APG], protection from evil, shield of faith
. . 0 (at will)—create water, light, spark[APG] (DC 13), virtue
. . D Domain spell; Domain Artifice
Druid (Goliath Druid) Spells Prepared (CL 14th; concentration +17)
. . 6th—fire seeds, liveoak, moonstruck[D,APG] (DC 19)
. . 5th—call lightning storm (DC 18), shout[D] (DC 18), stoneskin, wall of thorns
. . 4th—dispel magic, echolocation[UM], freedom of movement, inflict critical wounds[D] (DC 17)
. . 3rd—call lightning (DC 16), greater magic fang, rage[D], resinous skin[UC], spike growth (DC 16), greater thunderstomp[ACG]
. . 2nd—animal purpose training[ACG], barkskin, bull's strength[D], fog cloud, resist energy, wartrain mount[UM]
. . 1st—call animal[APG], charm animal (DC 14), frostbite[UM], longstrider, obscuring mist, true strike[D]
. . 0 (at will)—detect magic, flare (DC 13), guidance, know direction
. . D Domain spell; Domain Artifice, Destruction (Rage domain[APG] subdomain)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 34, Dex 10, Con 26, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 8
Base Atk +16; CMB +25 (+27 grapple); CMD 38 (42 vs. disarm)
Feats - Custom Feat -, Believer's Boon[ACG], Devastating Strike[UC], Furious Finish[UC], Furious Focus[APG], Greater Vital Strike, Improved Devastating Strike[UC], Improved Vital Strike, Power Attack, Raging Brutality[UC], Shaping Focus[UM], Vital Strike
Traits magical knack, reactionary
Skills Acrobatics -5 (-1 to jump), Appraise +7 (+9 to assess nonmagical metals or gemstones), Bluff +7, Climb +11, Diplomacy +18, Fly +9, Handle Animal +8, Heal +18, Intimidate +18, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +6, Knowledge (engineering) +6, Knowledge (geography) +6, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nature) +10, Perception +19, Ride +4, Spellcraft +15, Stealth -12, Survival +9, Swim +11; Racial Modifiers +2 Appraise to assess nonmagical metals or gemstones
Languages Common, Druidic, Dwarven, Giant, Orc
SQ divine smith, face nature's might, forgemaster's blessing, giant weapon wielder, nature bond (Rage domain[APG]), primal bond, primal empathy, primal size, primal summons, rage, rage power (guarded stance +3), runeforger, runes (featherlight[ARG], spellglyph*[ARG]), trackless step, wild empathy +11, wild shape (giant), woodland stride
Other Gear dragonhide plate, +1 impact keen elven curve blade, mwk ironwood quarterstaff, sun blade, cord of stubborn resolve[UE], 130 gp
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Artificer's Touch 1d6+2 (6/day) (Sp) Melee touch attack deals 1d6+2 damage to objects or constructs, bypassing 4 hardness.
Believer's Boon Domain (Conversion Inquisition) Deities: Any deity.

Granted Powers: You are a powerful persuader. A honeyed tongue empowered by divine argumentation sways the indifferent and adversarial to your side.
Cleric (Forgemaster) Domain (Artifice) Granted Powers: You can repair damage to objects, animate objects with life, and create objects from nothing.
Damage Reduction (10/adamantine [100 points]) You have Damage Reduction against all except Adamantine attacks.
Damage Reduction (5/piercing) You have Damage Reduction against all except Piercing attacks.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Defensive Training +4 Gain a dodge bonus to AC vs. monsters of the Giant subtype.
Destructive Smite +6 (6/day) (Su) Make a melee attack with morale bonus to damage.
Devastating Strike Deal extra damage when using Vital Strike bonus
Divine Smith (Su) Spells that target a weapon, shield, or armor have +1 CL and -1 metamagic adjustment.
Druid (Goliath Druid) Domain (Rage) Note: The effective level for the barbarian rage powers is currently equal to the cleric level. The rule that they should only count their effective barbarian level as 1/2 their cleric level has not been implemented yet.
Face Nature's Might (Ex) +4 to saves vs. spell-like and supernatural abilities of giants.
Featherlight Item's weight and armor check penalty are halved.
Forgemaster's Blessing The inscribed nonmagical item functions as a masterwork item.
Furious Finish Deal maximum damage and end your rage
Furious Focus If you are wielding a weapon in two hands, ignore the penalty for your first attack of each turn.
Giant Weapon Wielder (Ex) Can wield 2 handed weapons of 1 size larger, at extra -2 penalty.
Greed +2 to Appraise to determine price of nonmagic goods with precious metals or gemstones.
Guarded Stance +3 (8 rounds) (Ex) Gain a +3 dodge bonus to AC vs. melee attacks while raging.
Hatred +1 Gain a racial bonus to attacks vs. Goblinoids/Orcs.
Improved Devastating Strike Gain bonus on rolls to confirm critical hits
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in dim light, distinguishing color and detail.
Power Attack -5/+18 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Primal Bond (Ex) Can affect dinosaur/megafauna animal companion with enlarge person.
Primal Empathy (Ex) Your wild empathy only functions on creatures of size Large or lager.
Primal Size You can spontaneously cast enlarge person using a 1st level or higher spell slot.
Primal Summons Summon nature's ally lists include new options.
Rage (12 rounds/day) (Su) +4 Str, +4 Con, +2 to Will saves, -2 to AC when enraged.
Raging Brutality (+8) Add Constitution bonus on damage rolls
Regeneration 5 (acid or fire) Heal HP quickly and cannot die.
Rock Catching (Ex) You can catch rocks that are thrown at you with a successful Reflex save.
Rock Throwing (120 ft.) (Ex) You can throw big rocks. They hurt.
Runeforger (5/day) (Su) Inscribe temporary abilities on armor shields or weapons.
Spell Resistance (25) You have Spell Resistance.
Spellglyph* Inscribed weapon gains the spell storing special ability.
Trackless Step (Ex) You do not leave a trail as you move through natural surroundings.
Vital Strike Standard action: x2 weapon damage dice.
Vulnerability to Sonic You are vulnerable (+50% damage) to Sonic damage.
Weapons Variant Channeling (±1 Sacred) Attack bonus with favored weapon/Attack penalty
Wild Empathy +11 (Ex) Improve the attitude of an animal, as if using Diplomacy.
Wild Shape (16 hours, 7/day) (Su) Shapeshift into a different creature one or more times per day.
Wild Shape (Giant Form II) (Mountain Troll) (Su) As a standard action, take humanoid (giant) form.
Woodland Stride (Ex) Move through undergrowth at normal speed.


On that build, HERO LAB is showing I can hit with both ends of the staff and still use Vital Strike at:

+15 AB 32d6+43
+11 AB 32d6+28

if that is right and the target is hitable.... that is like a crit *2 every turn. On a Furious finish that would be 455dmg vs 250dmg (doublehanded).

Grand Lodge

For the purposes of Vital Strike, it's a single attack, full-stop. The character still can't get both ends of the weapon. Hero Lab is known to make some things wrong, and that is no exception.


Philippe Lam wrote:
For the purposes of Vital Strike, it's a single attack, full-stop. The character still can't get both ends of the weapon. Hero Lab is known to make some things wrong, and that is no exception.

Are you sure? Vital Strike says you can use it with the Attack Action. A Full Attack is just taking more than 1 Attack Action. The off hand attack is still an attack action.

The difference between an Attack Action an a Standard Action is that sometimes you can get more than 1 Attack Action as part of a Full Attack.

I think Herolabs is right on this one, but we could both be wrong.

Grand Lodge

I don't think a double weapon fits into Vital Strike use. Outside of the feat fitting into Gorum's Fighting Style (it is specifically called out), I don't know anything else.

If the base rules or a Paizo book specifically says Vital Strike can be used with dual-end weapons, I'll not be unhappy to stand corrected as I might profit from that myself.


The reason Pounce and whatever that rate power is that lets you attack with two daggers after a charge is precisely because the attack action implies/explicitly calls out (its 10pm for me and I'm out so can't find the wording) a single standard action attack.

Thinking of the story of the two economists who see a 20 dollar bill in a gutter, if Vital Strike DID allow for both ends of a double weapon, it's inconceivable that it wouldn't be more popular, if not the effectively mandatory build. The whole point behind Vital Strike is that you get only one hit, but damned if it isn't a beauty.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Philippe Lam wrote:
For the purposes of Vital Strike, it's a single attack, full-stop. The character still can't get both ends of the weapon. Hero Lab is known to make some things wrong, and that is no exception.

Are you sure? Vital Strike says you can use it with the Attack Action. A Full Attack is just taking more than 1 Attack Action. The off hand attack is still an attack action.

The difference between an Attack Action an a Standard Action is that sometimes you can get more than 1 Attack Action as part of a Full Attack.

I think Herolabs is right on this one, but we could both be wrong.

No. Vital strike is 1 attack. The attack action is a standard action. This has been brought up since the game launched


Name Violation wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Philippe Lam wrote:
For the purposes of Vital Strike, it's a single attack, full-stop. The character still can't get both ends of the weapon. Hero Lab is known to make some things wrong, and that is no exception.

Are you sure? Vital Strike says you can use it with the Attack Action. A Full Attack is just taking more than 1 Attack Action. The off hand attack is still an attack action.

The difference between an Attack Action an a Standard Action is that sometimes you can get more than 1 Attack Action as part of a Full Attack.

I think Herolabs is right on this one, but we could both be wrong.

No. Vital strike is 1 attack. The attack action is a standard action. This has been brought up since the game launched

Vital Strike says you can use it when you take the Attack Action. When you are Full Attacking, you are taking nothing but Attack Actions.

Can you explain further? Cite a rule or something?


FAQ wrote:
Vital Strike can only be used as part of an attack action, which is a specific kind of standard action.

this?


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Name Violation wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Philippe Lam wrote:
For the purposes of Vital Strike, it's a single attack, full-stop. The character still can't get both ends of the weapon. Hero Lab is known to make some things wrong, and that is no exception.

Are you sure? Vital Strike says you can use it with the Attack Action. A Full Attack is just taking more than 1 Attack Action. The off hand attack is still an attack action.

The difference between an Attack Action an a Standard Action is that sometimes you can get more than 1 Attack Action as part of a Full Attack.

I think Herolabs is right on this one, but we could both be wrong.

No. Vital strike is 1 attack. The attack action is a standard action. This has been brought up since the game launched

Vital Strike says you can use it when you take the Attack Action. When you are Full Attacking, you are taking nothing but Attack Actions.

Can you explain further? Cite a rule or something?

An Attack Action is a Standard Action Attack. A full attack is NOT a bunch of Attack Actions; it is a full round action that allows your iteratives, as determined by BAB, to also be made. The Full Attack text never calls out an Attack Action; they are different rules elements.


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Welcome to today's episode of "Why Vital Strike Sucks".


TheGreatWot wrote:
Welcome to today's episode of "Why Vital Strike Sucks".

I have to disagree and this build is evidence how OP Vital Strike can be


Where in the world are you getting 32d6 from? I see 1d8 to begin, then 1d10 from impact, then increasing to huge brings it up to 2d8. Lead blades will make it 3d6. Improved Vital Strike will get you up to 12d6. Maybe I'm missing something.

I know for a fact that you can never make a vital strike with both ends of the weapon unless you're mythic.

I used this progression chart to get the weapon damage:

1
1d2
1d3
1d4
1d6
1d8
1d10
2d6
2d8
3d6
3d8
4d6
4d8
6d6
6d8
8d6
8d8
12d6
12d8
16d6

Grand Lodge

The line from Furious Finish and you are fatigued (even if you would not normally be) is interpreted by many as you are full stop fatigued, no matter what other abilities you have. About 2/3rds of PFS GMs I have run across rule that way specifically because of the absurdity of the levels of damage a vital strike/furious finish build can do otherwise.

Lead blades does not stack with impact, they are both virtual size increases, and you can only have 1 virtual and 1 physical size increase active at any time.

Vital strike is a singular attack...you forgo you extra attacks to get extra damage on 1 big hit. The attack action is not the same thing as a full attack, and is not even part of a full attack, they are 2 completely different things. The attack action is a standard action, full attack is a full round action. If you Vital Strike you only have a move and a swift action at your disposal, you cannot Vital Strike as part of a full attack.

GreatWot: Impact scales your weapon up 2 sizes not 1, and he is starting with a large Elven Curve Blade, which starts at 1d10 for a medium size. 1d10 medium becomes 2d8 for large, then it is an extra d8 per size increase after that, so 4d8 with impact, then 6d8 in huge giant form. Vital Strike takes that to 12d8, improved VS 18d8, then greater would be 24d8

The statblock posted above is not showing Improved or Greater Vital Strike, not sure if that is a glitch or something.

Granted, most of the build won't come online until you are past PFS levels on this character...Imp. VS comes in at 11, so you'll get 3 games before retirement with it, or 6 if you play for slow credit. Greater VS is level 16, and there is almost nothing available for that level in PFS play outside of large conventions. With 8 levels of non-druid stuff in there, you probably won't get any of the good druid shapes until level 12+ depending on your build order. On paper the build is ridiculous, in practice however most of it comes online so late that it is a non-issue. You will probably also end up missing your attacks a lot...+20 to hit at level 20 is bad...for a martial character you should be at a +20 by level 10, or probably more like 25.

Builds like this are fun to design, but honestly fall kind of flat in PFS play...probably 60% of PFS is designed around social encounters and skill rolls, probably half of the combats (if not more) are in caves/tombs/buildings/etc. where being large/huge would actually be a hindrance. You might actually get to use the full potential of the character maybe 20% of the time...once it comes online at the end of your PFS career.


TheGreatWot wrote:

Where in the world are you getting 32d6 from? I see 1d8 to begin, then 1d10 from impact, then increasing to huge brings it up to 2d8. Lead blades will make it 3d6. Improved Vital Strike will get you up to 12d6. Maybe I'm missing something.

I know for a fact that you can never make a vital strike with both ends of the weapon unless you're mythic.

I used this progression chart to get the weapon damage:

1
1d2
1d3
1d4
1d6
1d8
1d10
2d6
2d8
3d6
3d8
4d6
4d8
6d6
6d8
8d6
8d8
12d6
12d8
16d6

A Size Medium Elven Curved Blade does 1d10. Impact or Lead Blades (They don't stack.) brings is up to 2d8. Growing to size Huge makes it 4d8. Vital Strike makes it 8d8, Improved Vital Strike makes it 6d8. Greater Vital Strike makes it 8d8. If he crits, that makes it 16d8. The Great Wot says it will be 24d8. Wot, where is all that base damage coming from?


Slyme wrote:
Impact scales your weapon up 2 sizes not 1

Does it?

Impact

Grand Lodge

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I meant 2 die sizes, 1d10 skips over 2d6 to become 2d8.


Anvil Mithrashield wrote:
TheGreatWot wrote:
Welcome to today's episode of "Why Vital Strike Sucks".
I have to disagree and this build is evidence how OP Vital Strike can be

Yeah, Iterative Attacks from a high BAB are at -5 for each subsequent attack. Vital Strike + Furious Focus + Power Attack seems very reasonable to me, even if you only get 1 attack. If he wants more than 1 Attack, then he can take Great Cleave and All Consuming Swing, an then he gets to stack that with Greater Vital Strike.

Vital Strike is a very reasonable way to use a 2 handed weapon.

Grand Lodge

The math is a bit dusty in my head...I played around with a similar build last year before re-tooling it away from Furious Finish.

Mine was a Dwarf with an oversized Dorn-Dergar with Impact on it.


Slyme wrote:
Granted, most of the build won't come online until you are past PFS levels on this character

I don't think the OP is actually using this character for PFS, but rather for a home-GM who likes PFS rules. I seem to recall something from another thread.

Grand Lodge

I believe he said they were going to do actual PFS until the leveled out of it, then move the character to a home game. Either way, he'll probably have to play the character for 2 years before it does anything close to what he is envisioning.


This requires so many bonuses and effects stacked onto it, and it functions exactly once before you need to cure that exhaustion somehow. I still vote in favor of full-attack with a 2-handed weapon.

Grand Lodge

Full attack will always be better than VS, if you can do it...a lot of combats you will have to move and attack, which is where VS really shines. Even without Furious Finish, it still does massive damage, you just don't auto-max it.


Slyme wrote:
Full attack will always be better than VS, if you can do it...a lot of combats you will have to move and attack, which is where VS really shines. Even without Furious Finish, it still does massive damage, you just don't auto-max it.

I've been mulling over a character concept.

I was thinking about Thunder and Fang: a feat that lets you 2 weapon fight with Earthbreaker and Klar, but I was also thinking instead of just using Earthbreaker, Great Cleave, and Vital Strike Feats.

Which do you think is better: Thunder and Fang, or GC + VS, and why?

Grand Lodge

Anvil Mithrashield wrote:
TheGreatWot wrote:
Welcome to today's episode of "Why Vital Strike Sucks".
I have to disagree and this build is evidence how OP Vital Strike can be

PFS won't go until 20th level except for one specific chain of modules. It would be more instructing to see how it looks like at seeker level, cf level 12 (irrespective of budget/class/etc), or how the concept progresses from when Vital Strike starts to be available so level 6/8. It could work better in a home game even in PFS-style.

Powerful with the right setup, but the efficiency possibly drops off past a point, or needs a lot of investment to maintain than increasing mobility to raise the chances to do a full-round, because of a couple of reasons :

- While lots of opponents will give opportunity to use Vital Strike at the better possible, others negate or will force the character to fight outside of their best game. It's good as a side attack style, not as a main. Each thing will have usefulnesses anyway.

- The buffing time isn't always allowed in every sequence so numbers would already be slightly deflated. There's the need to show the basic numbers, not the best.

- This multiclassing weakens the concept rather than strengthening it. A solo-classed vanilla fighter or barbarian would yield lesser results at the end, but are far easier to start. Another side note against that would be the very low reflex and will saves. Level 20 is reaching rocket matches, and any weakness is paid immediately in fireballs and dominates.

- To have a better chance to use the concept, having a good initiative and mobility could be important. It's even better with the ability to boost the move speed (boots of speed and fleet, although it's harder to use the latter).

Now it's only my point of view, but I do think a bit about a Vital-Strike adept character, just that I think it should be better balanced.

Grand Lodge

I've never really delved into the thunder and fang builds, so I can't fully weigh in on it. In general, I find two weapon fighting to be mechanically inferior. You have to spend 2x as much of your wealth updating your gear, and you suffer more penalties on your to hit rolls than single weapon fighters.

There are a few niche cases when TWF is better, but in general I would rather go GC/VS.


Large Elven Curved Blade 2d8 (Titan Fighter)
Impact 3d8 (Huge)
Weapon goes to Colossal (character goes Medium to Huge)

per: https://www.d20pfsrd.com/equipment/weapons/
I expanded out the chart to include Gargantuan and Colossal

Table: Weapon Damage Size Conversion
Tiny Small Medium Large Huge Gargantuan Colossal
— 1 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8
1 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6
1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 3d6
1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 3d6 3d8
1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 3d6 3d8 4d6
1d6 1d8 1d10 2d8 3d8 4d6
1d8 1d10 1d12 3d6 4d6

I have 0 idea on what comes after 4d6 based on their chart. HERO LABS seems to think it is 6d8??? Which I didn't question until I read this but, obviously d20s has serious errors if you just look at the bottom with dmg going down.
Here is my modified:
Tiny Small Medium Large Huge Gargantuan Colossal
— 1 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8
1 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10
1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d6
1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d6 2d8
1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d6 2d8 3d6
1d6 1d8 1d10 2d6 2d8 3d6 3d8
1d8 1d10 2d6 2d8 3d6 3d8 4d6
1d10 2d6 2d8 3d6 3d8 4d6
2d6 2d8 3d6 3d8 4d6
2d8 3d6 3d8 4d6
3d6 3d8 4d6
3d8 4d6
4d6

So I come up with 3d6 * 4 for 12d6 and If d20 can't get it right, I'm going to assume neither can HERO Lab

Strength mod is +12
two handed +18
+12 power attack = 30
+8 Destructive Smite = 38
+12 Raging Brutality (Con Bonus +8) = +50
+1 Weapon Bonus = +51

On Furious Finish 113dmg


Oh, jeez. That's a big hit.

As long as you can do stuff other than Vital Strike, that's a pretty kickass build. I once expanded the table for extra spells per day for a character with 60 INT, and got similarly ridiculous results.

Grand Lodge

Once you hit the 3d6 or 3d8 mark, you just add more of the same dice per size increment. 3d6 goes to 4d6, then 5d6, etc. 3d8 goes to 4d8, then 5d8.

For a good breakdown of size adjustment rules, the d20pfsrd have a good chart, and the FAQ covers anything not listed in the chart.

d20pfsrd Enlarge Person


When I see a goliath druid, I always feel like suggesting a reach build. Just look at that stat block- 15' reach, and you don't even need to try in order to have reach dominance, just grab whatever big smashy thing you like.

Just imagine it- it is the enemy's turn, they even take a single step towards you, and then you get to throw your couple dozen d8's at their faces. And then they don't have faces anymore. And you don't even need to put any of your own action economy into this.

For a reach build, the most basic feat addition would be combat reflexes (you don't have a dex bonus, but this still lets you get AoOs in the surprise round). The other suggestion is typically lunge... but it is less essential when you have 15' reach and using regular 2 handed weapons (lunge is highly uses for positioning purposes on medium creatures with a polearm). But... being able to full attack 25' out after you 5' step is still highly useful. So it is worth considering.


Okay, you are getting an extra size bump from Titan Fighter?


Slyme wrote:

I've never really delved into the thunder and fang builds, so I can't fully weigh in on it. In general, I find two weapon fighting to be mechanically inferior. You have to spend 2x as much of your wealth updating your gear, and you suffer more penalties on your to hit rolls than single weapon fighters.

There are a few niche cases when TWF is better, but in general I would rather go GC/VS.

I had an idea about combining Shield Slam, Greater Bull Rush and Paired Opportunist with a 3 level dip in Inquisitor, with maybe 2 more to get Bane. Then, I'd get a Flanking buddy and loop Attacks of Opportunity for as long as my Combat Reflexes held out!

But then it occurred to me that it might be better to just keep it simple with VS and GC and get my AoOs another way.


Slyme wrote:

Once you hit the 3d6 or 3d8 mark, you just add more of the same dice per size increment. 3d6 goes to 4d6, then 5d6, etc. 3d8 goes to 4d8, then 5d8.

For a good breakdown of size adjustment rules, the d20pfsrd have a good chart, and the FAQ covers anything not listed in the chart.

d20pfsrd Enlarge Person

4d8 goes to 6d8 on that chart. I believe 6d8 goes to 8d8, but it’s not shown at that link. There’s a more comprehensive FAQ on the Full dice stepping; standard charts don’t really support optimized vital strike builds (yes, oxymoron) well.


To clarify, 3d8 goes to, 4d8 goes to, 6d8 which means Hero Lab got it right??? 24d8+60 would mean on a "Furious Finish" he does 252dmg.

Furious Finish
While raging, when you use the Vital Strike feat, you can choose not to roll your damage dice and instead deal damage equal to the maximum roll possible on those damage dice. If you do, your rage immediately ends, and you are fatigued (even if you would not normally be).

Cord of Stubborn Resolve
Any effect which would cause the wearer to become fatigued deals an additional 1d6 points of nonlethal damage instead. Any effect that would cause exhaustion likewise causes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage and leaves the wearer fatigued instead of exhausted.

I've been Game Mastering for 30 years, I've taught English in foreign countries. And if a GM told me this doesn't synergize I'd immediately leave his table.

That said, does the "Rage" end - absolutely!
But, are you fatigued or suffering from 1d6 nonlethal dmg? It is definitely the nonlethal! And Rage is a free action so, next turn turn the motor back on.

Weakness, character has only 16 rounds of Rage + 16 more thru the rage spell though that would end and not be restarted if Furious Finished.


"Next turn turn the motor back on" is exactly why it's supposed to fatigue you. It's meant to stop that tactic from being used- as a GM that's more concerned with balance than letting my players optimize, I'd fatigue you.


lemeres wrote:

When I see a goliath druid, I always feel like suggesting a reach build. Just look at that stat block- 15' reach, and you don't even need to try in order to have reach dominance, just grab whatever big smashy thing you like.

Just imagine it- it is the enemy's turn, they even take a single step towards you, and then you get to throw your couple dozen d8's at their faces. And then they don't have faces anymore. And you don't even need to put any of your own action economy into this.

For a reach build, the most basic feat addition would be combat reflexes (you don't have a dex bonus, but this still lets you get AoOs in the surprise round). The other suggestion is typically lunge... but it is less essential when you have 15' reach and using regular 2 handed weapons (lunge is highly uses for positioning purposes on medium creatures with a polearm). But... being able to full attack 25' out after you 5' step is still highly useful. So it is worth considering.

"reach build"??? Could you share your thoughts on feat or how to build it? I have 2 extra feats I can comfortably move around.


Reach builds are builds that focus on having a massive reach and controlling the battlefield through attacks of opportunity and easily attacking enemies that aren't adjacent.


When I say reach build, I mean taking the feat set usually used by polearm users that focus on getting AoOs from enemies crossing their threatened area. Given the fact that your giant form has 15' of natural reach, you threaten a wide enough area to pull off the same tricks no matter what weapon you use. Additionally, with the sheer damage of your one big hit, you can seriously punish enemies that try to get next to you or get around you to hit squishier party members. You can be a circle of pain 45' wide (15' on each side, and your 15' wide character in the middle)

The minimum feats are: Power attack (for big hits) and combat reflexes (dex added to number of AoOs per round; you can get AoOs in the surprise round). This is simple, yet effective. It is basically just an upgrade to 2 handing builds.

More advanced feats are all about keep away games- trip builds (this can be questionable at later levels, and needs a lot of investment; still, there is joy in knocking enemies on their rear end as they run up), lunge (gives +5 reach to regular attacks; mostly good for positioning as you can attack and still keep enemies at a good range; not as necessary for your 15' reach), and pushing assault (trade power attack damage of a hit in order to push enemies back 5'; there are size restrictions... but that is no problem for you).

Grand Lodge

Anvil Mithrashield wrote:
I've been Game Mastering for 30 years, I've taught English in foreign countries. And if a GM told me this doesn't synergize I'd immediately leave his table.

You would leave a lot of tables. It is proof that nobody is unanimous about that. IT's a grey zone which would allow for table variation at best.

Grand Lodge

Anvil Mithrashield wrote:
I've been Game Mastering for 30 years, I've taught English in foreign countries. And if a GM told me this doesn't synergize I'd immediately leave his table.

You will be getting up from a lot of PFS tables then.

The cord means you would not normally be fatigued...Furious Finish says you are anyways. That is how most GMs rule it, especially in PFS.

Rage cycling is an unintended consequence of the complexity of PF1, the devs have said on several occasions that they meant for once per rage powers to be limited, but other mechanics came along that allow you to bypass the fatigue mechanic, which lets you cheese out a number of barbarian builds. The wording of Furious Finish is supposed to supersede that by making you fatigued, even if you have abilities that allow you to ignore fatigue, but some people seem to think it is unfair to stop them from doing hundreds of points of damage on every single hit.

Even at tables where you can't rage cycle with it, you would still be able to do it every third round since fatigue only lasts 2 rounds for every round you were raging for. That is one of the reasons the Unchained Barbarian was moved to a one minute fatigue effect, and the new second edition barbarian's rage works completely differently.

If any player came to a table I was running and tried to pull that level of shenanigans I would tell them no, if they insisted on continuing I would ask them to leave and report them for cheating. If you want to play godmode, PFS is not the setting for you.

Silver Crusade

Slyme wrote:
If you want to play godmode

I find this immensely humorous of being said about a martial character.

As for the furious finish reading... RAW you will be fatigued. Full stop. It doesn't matter if you are immune, immunities are more general than this feat, which states that, no matter what other abilities you have, you are still fatigued.

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