Maximizing a AOO Reach Fighter for a game from 1 to 6.


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Need Help.

Trying a Reach AOO focused Lucerne Hammer Wielder.

See current level 1 stats in the Char profile.

Current feats are
1-Power Attack, Combat Reflexes and Pushing Assault.

Need to solidify the plan to level 6

Typical tactics for Calain will be to ready an attack to hit the 1st enemy that comes within 10ft. Then AOO them as they leave the 10ft square to close to adjacent.
The AOO will be using Pushing Assault. Since AOO's interrupt the triggering action the creature will be knocked back 5ft remaining in the 10ft away square.

This will prevent the enemy getting an attack on Calain and allow him to 5ft step back the next Rd and repeat.

He has combat reflexes so he can handle multiple opponents and AOO's (3 per Rd).

If an enemy manages to close within the 5ft, Calain will 1 handed Cestus attack if he can't step back.

Proposed Build
1-Power Attack, Combat Reflexes, Pushing Assault
2-BF- Cleave
3-Combat Expertise
4-BF: Improved Trip
5- Cleaving Finish
6-BF:Lunge


Before taking Pushing Assault, clarify how your GM will interpret its unclear "...you can choose to push the target 5 feet directly away from you instead of dealing the extra damage from Power Attack.... ...This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunities, and the target must end this move in a safe space it can stand in...." description. -- If he interprets it as simply requiring an assailant to add an additional 5' of movement to their allotment in order to reach you, then the feat isn't worth it (especially after BAB4 when your attack bonus is penalized -2 from Power Attack) unless you're always fighting opponents with really short move speeds. But If he interprets Pushing Assault as forcing the opponent to stop period, then the feat is superdope -- although much, much better at the higher levels when pouncing enemies become ubiquitous.

In the low level game, your primary problem is going to be hitting. A non-raging fighter eating a Power Attack penalty will not hit more often than a 3/4ths BAB class character (i.e., your typical S&B cleric) until his gear, feats, and class abilities have really ramped up, and if 100% of his feat list is geared toward rider-effects resultant from hitting, he's suboptimal. You'll be finally getting a +1 bonus from Weapon Training at 5th, but the amplifying Gloves of Dueling are financially out-of-reach prior to 7th or 8th level. Meanwhile, a rage-class who doesn't Power Attack is +4 to hit versus you at BAB4, and is doing +3 damage full-time due to higher raging strength bonus.

Examine this build and the follow-up post for ideas. It's not a fighter class, but it explores the polearm martial's party role in-depth.


If you are Tripping people for Attacks of Opportunity, consider using a Horsehopper instead of a Lucerne Hammer. Horsechoppers are Tripping weapons.

Also, Greater Trip and Fury's Fall are essential.

If you are Cleaving with a Reach Weapon, why not get Great Cleave? You know, there is no rule that says you can only Cleave with 1 weapon. Wear Armor Spikes. Cleave Adjacent opponents with your 'Spikes and use Reach to Cleave foes 10 away. That will make it more likely for you to realize Great Cleave.

Consider the Phalanx Soldier Archetype. That will let you fight with Polearm and Shield. You might pull some shennanigans like 2 weapon fight with Armor Spikes and Halberd. Another thing you might do is use the Ready Pike ability at level 5 and make it more likely you can exploit the Brace Feature of the 'Hammer.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
If you are Tripping people for Attacks of Opportunity, consider using a Horsehopper instead of a Lucerne Hammer. Horsechoppers are Tripping weapons.
They're a tripping weapon without a bonus to trip -- when means they're no better than a weapon without the property once you have Improved Trip. (I'm partial to the basic bardiche because it's a 19-20 threat polearm.)
Quote:
Consider the Phalanx Soldier Archetype. That will let you fight with Polearm and Shield.

One-handed use will neuter Pushing Assault.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Slim Jim wrote:
But If he interprets Pushing Assault as forcing the opponent to stop period, then the feat is superdope

That's just incorrect. Attacks of opportunity do not end the target's movement; they interrupt the movement, the AOO is resolved, and then the movement continues. Nothing Pushing Assault does changes this and would prevent the target from completing its move.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Consider the Phalanx Soldier Archetype.

Phalanx Soldier is a terrible archetype. Reach weapon and shield really isn't as good as it sounds; I allow longspears as one-handed weapons (with martial weapon proficiency) at my table as a houserule and even getting that bonus for free it's just not a very impressive fighting style. Great for clerics who just want to poke stuff at a distance, not so much for fighters that want big damage. In most cases a Fighter would rather have 1.5 strength bonus to damage than shield bonus to AC, and having to lose out on strong class features to do it is just a dealbreaker. Losing out on Weapon Training is also pretty terrible.

Speaking of which, Calain might consider taking Advanced Weapon Training at 5th level instead of Cleaving Finish. A lot of the Advanced Weapon Training options are really nice; I'm particularly partial to Versatile Training on reach builds. You're already great at hitting stuff, why not make yourself a decent party face by getting class skill and max ranks in Sense Motive and Diplomacy?


25pt buy - Human Fighter
Str 13
Dex 20 (+2)
Con 12
Int 10
Wis 11
Cha 12

Create a custom weapon for this character and make it part of your backstory. If your GM gives you Exotic Weapon Proficiency for free, then use the build below. If he makes you take Exotic Weapon Proficiency at lvl1, just postpone everything 1 level and drop Cleaving Finish at lvl 5 to make sure you fit everything in before you get Greater Trip at lvl6). Make sure that you're a Tripper because that's where your damage is going to come from. For example, if you're lvl 6 and Large sized, you can attack two targets (or three targets with haste) within 15 feet of you with trips and provoke two AoO's vs each of them per round (one AoO on the way down, and another when they use a move action to get up). If you have a Wiz/Sorc in your group that gives you haste (or UMD with a wand), may the gods be with your enemies...

Custom Weapon is: Flying Spiked Aspergillum, 10ft reach Aspergillum on a chain, spring-loaded to reduce to 5ft as a swift action. Causes Bludgeoning dmg.

3dp: weapon finesse
3dp: 19-20 crit
3dp: 2d4 dmg (becomes 2d6 while large, so get a wand of Enlarge Person)
1dp: reach
2dp: spring loaded

Traits:

Dangerously Curious: UMD as class skill (get Wands!)

Feats:
Lvl1 Weapon Finesse, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes
Lvl2 Improved Trip
Lvl3 Power Attack
Lvl4 Cleave
Lvl5 Cleaving Finish
Lvl6 Greater Trip

Get an Agile Enchant for your weapon asap. After that, get a Belt of Dex +2 for more AoO shenanigans and extra dmg and +hit.

10ft reach cleaves and trips (15ft while large)... with Greater Trip you become an AoO monster.

If the DM comes at you with enemies who are adjacent to each other but within 15ft of you, Cleave. If the DM starts sending enemies who are not adjacent to each other but within 15ft of you, Trip, Trip, Trip, and AoO all three of them 2x each round (with a 22 dex from belt of dex +2, you'll have plenty of AoO's per round).

You shall wreck faces and many faces shall be wrecked, as the prophecy foretold.


Dasrak wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
But If he interprets Pushing Assault as forcing the opponent to stop period, then the feat is superdope

That's just incorrect. Attacks of opportunity do not end the target's movement; they interrupt the movement, the AOO is resolved, and then the movement continues. Nothing Pushing Assault does changes this and would prevent the target from completing its move.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Consider the Phalanx Soldier Archetype.

Phalanx Soldier is a terrible archetype. Reach weapon and shield really isn't as good as it sounds; I allow longspears as one-handed weapons (with martial weapon proficiency) at my table as a houserule and even getting that bonus for free it's just not a very impressive fighting style. Great for clerics who just want to poke stuff at a distance, not so much for fighters that want big damage. In most cases a Fighter would rather have 1.5 strength bonus to damage than shield bonus to AC, and having to lose out on strong class features to do it is just a dealbreaker. Losing out on Weapon Training is also pretty terrible.

?

reach weapon + shield is 2 feats...and those feats re better than the archetype Shield Brace even lets you keep the 2 hander mods on your reach weapon. As a fighter you can even use your "retrain a bonus feat" to train away the shield focus feat once you get armor training and its no longer necessary for shield brace.


Dasrak wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
But If he interprets Pushing Assault as forcing the opponent to stop period, then the feat is superdope
That's just incorrect. Attacks of opportunity do not end the target's movement; they interrupt the movement, the AOO is resolved, and then the movement continues. Nothing Pushing Assault does changes this and would prevent the target from completing its move.

It doesn't matter what is "correct"; what matters is what his GM thinks based upon his reading of Paizo's infamously nebulous wording -- which is why I suggested the player find out first. (To reiterate, and double-down, I'll go so far as to say that Pushing Assault is almost worthless, if all it does is cost the opponent 5' of movement, unless your party wizard is a well-oiled Slow-spamming machine. The feat retains small value in the case of an enemy making a double-move to charge past you to a squishier target behind; in such case, they may have exceeded single-move alotment, and will lose the rest if your AoO knocks them in a tangent off their charge-line.)

~ ~ ~

(Back to the tripping subject....)

Two ways to trip:

1) Be a fighter with a lot of trip feats.

2) Be an Accelerated Drinker or Drunken Brute enlarged barbarian with no trip feats who swigs potions of Enlarge Person. Trip things as your AoO without Power Attacking when they're 15-20' away, then Power Attack on your turn when they're on the ground eating a -4 AC penalty. As your target probably lacks the reach to affect you, he cannot exploit the AoO you grant by not possessing Improved Trip.


Slim Jim wrote:
Before taking Pushing Assault, clarify how your GM will interpret its unclear "...you can choose to push the target 5 feet directly away from you instead of dealing the extra damage from Power Attack.... ...This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunities, and the target must end this move in a safe space it can stand in...." description. -- If he interprets it as simply requiring an assailant to add an additional 5' of movement to their allotment in order to reach you, then the feat isn't worth it (especially after BAB4 when your attack bonus is penalized -2 from Power Attack) unless you're always fighting opponents with really short move speeds. But If he interprets Pushing Assault as forcing the opponent to stop period, then the feat is superdope -- although much, much better at the higher levels when pouncing enemies become ubiquitous.

GM has been letting it stop their movement.


Slim Jim wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
If you are Tripping people for Attacks of Opportunity, consider using a Horsehopper instead of a Lucerne Hammer. Horsechoppers are Tripping weapons.
They're a tripping weapon without a bonus to trip -- when means they're no better than a weapon without the property once you have Improved Trip. (I'm partial to the basic bardiche because it's a 19-20 threat polearm.)
Quote:
Consider the Phalanx Soldier Archetype. That will let you fight with Polearm and Shield.
One-handed use will neuter Pushing Assault.

What are you talking about? Horsechoppers most certainly do add their Enhancement bonus to the CMB. If you are suing your +2 Horsechopper to trip, you totally get that +2.

Also, why are we even talking about Pushing Assault? The OP wants to Trip opponents to get Attacks of Opportunity. He should be looking at Felling Smash, more than Pushing Assault.

Fighting with Reach Pole Arm and Shield has other qualities, and it is for these that I like it, even if it does neuter Pushing Assault.

A limitation of the Reach Polearm is that you can't hit people adjacent to you with it. So, you might use your shield in conjunction with your Reach Pole Arm in a Great Cleave, hitting opponents adjacent and 10' away alike, some with the Pole Arm, some with the Shield. You can also do that with Armor Spikes, then the Shield is giving you extra AC, and you can never have too much of that.

You might take Shield Slam, which lets every Shield Bash turn into a Bull Rush, so you if someone gets inside the range of your Reach Pole Arm, you can Slam them away from you and put them back in range to be tenderized by your Lucerne Hammer.


Dasrak wrote:
Phalanx Soldier is a terrible archetype. Reach weapon and shield really isn't as good as it sounds

Well, I think it's just lovely.

I think Pole Arm and Shield affords some very good opportunities as diverse as Pole Arms themselves for reach and for comboing multiple attacks.

I think that Ready Pike offers a very good opportunity to the Brace Feature of the Lucerne Hammer that rarely gets used.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Shield Brace

Phalanx Fighting is better than Shield Brace. I will explain.

Ryan Freire wrote:
reach weapon + shield is 2 feats

Phalanx Fighting is a single Class Ability: no Feat Tax. When it comes to cost, 1 is better than 2.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Shield Brace even lets you keep the 2 hander mods on your reach weapon.

Shield Brace lets you fight with a pole arm while using a shield, but Pike and Shield lets you 2 weapon fight with Pole Arm and Shield (or Armor Spikes). Plus, using shield Brace comes with an Attack Penalty = the Armor Check Penalty of the Shield: -1 for a Light Shield, -2 for a Heavy Shield. Pike and Shield doesn't impose this penalty.

Ryan Freire wrote:
reach weapon + shield is 2 feats...and those feats re better than the archetype

Admittedly, Shield Focus is a lovely Feat, too. Who doesn't want +1 AC? But your Phalanx Soldier can always still take it if he can't think of anything better.


Hello Calain, I just checked your stats and I'have seen that you have int 10, so it doesn't qualify for combat expertise.
Maybe try with dirty fighting?


Scott Wilhelm wrote:


Ryan Freire wrote:
reach weapon + shield is 2 feats

Phalanx Fighting is a single Class Ability: no Feat Tax. When it comes to cost, 1 is better than 2.

Your math seems a bit off. Taking Phalanx Soldier is really expensive.

You give up bravery for...something slightly more pointless. No real cost.

You give up Armor Training for your polearm + shield fighting technique. For what you can do with 2 feats you give up a really strong class ability. With the advent of Advanced Armor Training you're effectively nerfing yourself hard to save 2 feats.

You give up Weapon Training so you can gain an ability to brace as an immediate action. Well, this is an impressive ability, except.. you gave up a constant bonus to hit and damage that grows with level and effects every attack to gain a nitch ability. This horribly expensive. Totally a bad trade. Any archetype that gives up Weapon Training should be rejected. Especially after Advanced Weapon Training was introduced.

So really, what is more expensive. 2 feats for a class that gains a feat every level? Or is it giving up class defining abilities to save 2 feats?


Meirril wrote:
You give up bravery for...something slightly more pointless. No real cost.

Meh, Bravery is pointless. I think you run into far more opponents capable of Combat Maneuvers (nearly all of them!) than ones with magic Fear Attacks.

Meirril wrote:
You give up Armor Training for your polearm + shield fighting technique.

Yes, but now you can use a Shield with your Pole Arm. That improves your Armor Class, and if it's a Heavy Shield you're using, it will be at least 6 levels before Armor Training gives you a +2. Since Enhancement bonus costs go up geometrically with extra plusses, your AC increases much faster when you can divide the cost between Shield and Armor than if you commit to just armor.

Meirril wrote:
For what you can do with 2 feats you give up a really strong class ability.

I've addressed this already. Shield Brace is not as good as Phalanx Fighting. Shield Brace does let you use your Pole Arm when you are using a Shield, but Phalanx Fighting actually lets you treat your Pole Arm as a 1 handed weapon, resulting in much more versatility. Also, Shield Brace imposes a penalty on the user that Phalanx Fighting doe not.

Meirril wrote:
to save 2 feats

2 Feats is a lot.

Meirril wrote:
You give up Weapon Training so you can gain an ability to brace as an immediate action. Well, this is an impressive ability, except.. you gave up a constant bonus to hit and damage that grows with level and effects every attack to gain a niche ability. This horribly expensive.

It's not that expensive if you want that ability. The OP is taking Leucerne Hammer. Leucerne Hammer is a Brace Weapon. If he wants to use a Brace Weapon, it's reasonable to suppose he might want to exploit the Brace Feature of his weapon, and Ready Pike is the best way I know how to do that. If he doesn't want to focus on the Bracing to receive a Charge, and instead focus on Tripping, well then he should use a different weapon. You know, like

I wrote:
If you are Tripping people for Attacks of Opportunity, consider using a Horsehopper instead of a Lucerne Hammer. Horsechoppers are Tripping weapons.
Meirril wrote:
So really, what is more expensive: 2 feats for a class that gains a feat every level? Or is it giving up class defining abilities to save 2 feats?

It depends on what you want.


Amarah wrote:

Hello Calain, I just checked your stats and I'have seen that you have int 10, so it doesn't qualify for combat expertise.

Maybe try with dirty fighting?

I don't think Calain actually offered a stat block with Ability Scores. I think you meant Ryze Kuja.

Perhaps this is a minor point.


A few things:

Shield brace is 1 feat after level 4

Giving up weapon AND armor training is just bad as of weapon/armor masters handbooks. The advanced training options are strong, very strong.

Your reach weapon counting as a 2 hander still > using it in 1 hand from phalanx fighter.

Bravery is 1 feat away from being a scaling will save bonus vs all mind affecting and 2 from sharing that with your party. Giving up bravery is a bad thing now.


Here's a build that uses Phalanx Solder, uses a Pole Arm, and gets Attacks of Opportunity, and uses Tripping.

Level 1, 1Fighter1: Combat Expertise, Imrproved Trip, Weapon Focus, Halberd, BAB+1
2F2: +1 CMD, Combat Reflexes, BAB+2
3F3: 2 Weapon Fighting, Phalanx Fighting, BAB+3

This character wears Armor Spikes and uses a Heavy Shield. He'll have very good AC, and his full Attack will be respectable.

4F3I1: Spells, Domain, Judgement, Stern Gaze

This is a Human Fighter up to this point. Dipping into Inquisitor will give a much-need boost to saving throws, and help cope with things like being in Darkness and finding Invisible opponents. Judgement is very useful and versatile.

5F3I2: Fury's Fall, BAB+4
6F3I3: Broken Wing Gambit, Solo Tactics, BAB+5
7F3I3Cavalier1: Tacitician, Paired Opportunist, Greater Trip, BAB+6

So, now the character can get attacks of opportunity through Tripping, and Broken Wing Gambit, which triggers whenever any ally is attacked. With Paired Opportunist, all the allies get Attacks of Opportunity, too.

8F3I3C1Monk1, Unarmed 1d6, Master of Many Styles, Panther Style
9F4I3C1M1: Improved Grapple, Hamatula Strike

The +2 Reflex and Will Saves of the Monk will not go amiss. Hamatula Strike gives a free Grapple with every attack with Piercing Weapons: Armor Spikes and Halberd. Wearing Armor Spikes, you get to do your extra 1d6 Armor Spike Damage with every successful Grapple Attack, so now you are sort of getting 4 attacks/round in your Full Attack, more than that when you factor in your Attacks of Opportunity.

10F4I4C1M1: Judgement 2/day
11F4I4C1M2: Retrain Weapon Focus Halberd to Weapon Focus Tiger Fork, Ascetic Style: Tiger Fork, Martial Versatility: Ascetic Style.
12F4I5C1M2: Bane, Discern Lies
13F4I5C1M2Ranger1: Vicious Stomp, Freebooter's Bane

Ascetic Style allows use of Panther Style and Vicious Stomp on the Tiger Fork. Martial Versatility allows use of Ascetic Style on any Pole Arm.

Freebooter's Bane gives a +1 Attack and Damage to the character and all his allies. And even level 1 Rangers can use a Wand of Lead Blades, which will increase the Damage of the Halberd from 1d10 to 2d8 and the Damage of the Armor Spikes from 1d6 to 1d8.

14F4I5C1M2R1Alchemist1: Bombs, Brew Potions, Extracts, Throw Anything, Mutagens
15F4I5C1M2R1A1Living Monolith1: Iron Will, Ka Stone

The Living Monlith's Ka Stone will let the character use Enlarge Person as a Swift Action, which will increase the Damage of the Halberd to 3d8 and the Armor Spikes to 2d6. It will reduce the number of AoOs available, but it will increase the CMB by +2 for both Tripping and Grappling.


Ryan Freire wrote:

A few things:

Shield brace is 1 feat after level 4

How's that?

Ryan Freire wrote:
Bravery is 1 feat away from being a scaling will save bonus vs all mind affecting and 2 from sharing that with your party. Giving up bravery is a bad thing now.

I'm not aware of this. Which Feat?


Calain wrote:
Need to solidify the plan to level 6

So does the game end at lv 6?

***

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I've addressed this already. Shield Brace is not as good as Phalanx Fighting. Shield Brace does let you use your Pole Arm when you are using a Shield, but Phalanx Fighting actually lets you treat your Pole Arm as a 1 handed weapon, resulting in much more versatility. Also, Shield Brace imposes a penalty on the user that Phalanx Fighting does not.

Do note that attack penalty from Shield Brace should be zero unless you're using a Tower Shield, since the ACP can be lowered by using a MWK shield or one made of Darkwood. Both alternatives are easily affordable by level 3.

On the subject of which is better, I'll definitely throw my vote on Shield Brace for the large majority of builds. Being forced into using your two-handed polearm as a one-handed weapon means less damage. So it is a penalty, not a benefit, for most characters.

Phalanx Fighting is the superior choice if you have a build that requires you to treat a two-handed weapon as one-handed. For example using Phalanx Fighting/Unhindering Shield to TWF with two reach weapons.

***

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
What are you talking about? Horsechoppers most certainly do add their Enhancement bonus to the CMB. If you are using your +2 Horsechopper to trip, you totally get that +2.

I think Slim Jim meant that a tripping weapon won't give you an additional bonus to the combat maneuver, like the way a weapon with the Disarm property gives you a +2 to disarm maneuvers.

So unless you plan on making a lot of tripping attempts that have less than 50% chance of succeeding, the Tripping property won't be that useful.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Phalanx Fighting is a single Class Ability: no Feat Tax. When it comes to cost, 1 is better than 2.

Losing Weapon Training is vastly worse than paying 2 feats. Fighters have no shortage of bonus feats. What they need are strong options to spend them on, and Weapon Training is a prerequisite for some of Fighter's best options. Heck, taking a 2-level alchemist dip for a vestigial arm is less expensive than losing Weapon Training.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Shield Brace lets you fight with a pole arm while using a shield, but Pike and Shield lets you 2 weapon fight with Pole Arm and Shield (or Armor Spikes).

If you're using a reach weapon then this doesn't work without some way to shorten the haft, since reach weapons and shields don't have overlapping threat range. A spiked shield is still nice so you have an option for enemies that close in tightly, but you wouldn't two-weapon fight with it.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Plus, using shield Brace comes with an Attack Penalty = the Armor Check Penalty of the Shield: -1 for a Light Shield, -2 for a Heavy Shield.

Masterwork eliminates the penalty for the light shield, and personally I don't find heavy shields worth using. They completely occupy your hand, and if your other hand is occupied by a weapon this leaves you without any free hands to do things like open doors, manipulate/grab objects, drink a potion, etc. I find that loss of flexibility isn't worth a mere 1 extra point of AC over what the light shield offers. (edit, and as Wonderstell notes you can use unusual materials to eliminate the heavy shield ACP too)

Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Here's a build that uses Phalanx Solder, uses a Pole Arm, and gets Attacks of Opportunity, and uses Tripping.

...Halberd...

Why even use the Phalanx Soldier archetype in the first place if you're just going to use a halberd? The entire point of the archetype is using reach weapons in one hand. It's completely pointless for anything else since you could have just used a one-handed weapon instead.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
How's that?

Characters with the armor training class feature can ignore the Shield Focus feat as a prerequisite for shield mastery feats. Armor Training, Weapon Training, and Bravery have all been stealth-buffed with successive releases because there are very powerful options that take them as prerequisites or give additional bonuses for having them. Most old Fighter archetypes are just straight downgrades now because they lock you out of your best options.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I'm not aware of this. Which Feat?

Armed Bravery. It's an Advanced Weapon Training option, but Fighters can take that as a bonus feat once they have Weapon Training. At the levels we're talking about it's not any better than Iron Will, but at higher levels +4 or +5 to all will saves is so good as to be basically mandatory, and is a huge loss for any Fighter archetypes that trade off Bravery or Weapon Training.


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Or Improved bravery from ultimate intrigue.

Silver Crusade

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Great discussion so far!

@OP: If your GM is committed to misinterpreting Pushing Assault as much better than it ought to be, by forcing targets to stop moving after an AoO, then be prepared to exploit that. Martials deserve nice things. Do perhaps discuss it with your GM and make sure, upon consideration, that's how your GM wants to do it. It's easy to misread the description as meaning "end your turn". If you choose to build your character on that without discussing it this can easily cause later friction with your GM.

@OP: Here's an modified alternate optimized approach to consider. This may be more than you need or want.

Here's an optimized polearm warrior approach:

Summary of this AOO Reach Warrior fighting with a Lucerne Hammer: Complementary multi-classed power-build that exploits polearm reach, AoOs, and Whirlwind Attack to attack every foe on the field once during your turn plus sets you up to fish for AoOs.

Multi-classed Cleric-1 & Brawler-1 & Fighter(Spearfighter)-1 then whichever class you favored at 1st level. Each class gives you complementary aspects of this fighting style.

Brawler lets you ignore the 13+ Int Requirement of Combat Reflexes. Brawler also gives you Improved Unarmed Combat, which helps when foes get inside your reach. Finally, Brawler gives you Martial Flexibility, which has its very own guide. Consider the Wild Child archetype if you want a pet.

Cleric gives you basic prepared spell casting and domains Plant(Growth) and Travel. This more than compensates for -1 BaB overall. Trip at 15-20' via an improved swift-action version of Slim Jim's Second Method, above. Difficult Terrain will hinder enemies & deny them the 5' step, but you can ignore Difficult Terrain. +10' movement is terrific. Optionally, consider trading away the 2nd domain and instead choose the Evangelist Cleric Archetype and be your team's Bard & Cleric both.

Fighter (Spearfighter) archetype gives you Dodge as a Bonus Feat. This shortens the 5-feat Whirlwind Attack feat down to just 3 feats plus Martial Flexibility. At 5th level your feats will be: [Yourchoice: probably Combat Reflexes] [Combat Expertise] [Dodge-FREE] [Mobility] [Spring Attack] [Whirlwind Attack via Martial Flexibility].

Keep leveling up in any one of these classes you Favored at 1st level, or in some other full-BaB class of your choice. Pick up Power Attack asap. With just 16 starting Strength your enlarged lucerne hammer will hit for base ~16.5 hp without PA. Buffs and PA can easily get you over ~30 hp damage per hit. On each combat round you'll typically get two full-BaB attacks on each foe within 30'. Every surviving foe will notice your massive damage output and will seek to target you.

At 5th level Whirlwind Attack comes online. This PC can Swift Action Enlarge and attack most every foe on the field within 30'. This usually takes one round of setup. Then on the GM's turn you will usually get an AoO against any foe with the temerity to move. Works even better if your allies combine Difficult Terrain with, say, Rimed Winter's Grasp. Your biggest problem is DEFENSE so dedicate most of your resources to defense and staying alive.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Consider the Phalanx Soldier Archetype. That will let you fight with Polearm and Shield.
One-handed use will neuter Pushing Assault.
What are you talking about?
Phalanx soldiers let you use a polearm as a one-handed weapon; Pushing Assault only works if you're making a two-handed weapon attack.
Quote:
Also, why are we even talking about Pushing Assault?
The OP listed it.
Quote:
A limitation of the Reach Polearm is that you can't hit people adjacent to you with it.

Comparison:

Fighter, with tons of feats and an 18,000gp +3 weapon (i.e., you're typical "all-in" to one weapon build). Maybe he has Pushing Assault (which doesn't work that well to shove adjacent people away with a polearm, since you're basically using the haft as an improvised quarterstaff at -4 and eating whatever your Power Attack penalty is -- and annoyances like this are why players come up with convoluted builds dipping Hungry Ghost monk so they can get Punishing Kick).

Rager, with Quick Draw and two 8,000gp +1/Furious weapons (a polearm and one-hander, each with a +3 enhancement bonus while raging). He has no problems with adversaries ducking under his polearm, as he just attacks them with his other weapon. Since he has Quick Draw, he'll equip and de-equip a light quickdraw shield as a free action -- or just wear a buckler full-time and not care.


Magda Luckbender wrote:
Cleric gives you basic prepared spell casting and domains Plant(Growth) and Travel. This more than compensates for -1 BaB overall. Trip at 15-20' via an improved swift-action version of Slim Jim's Second Method, above. Difficult Terrain will hinder enemies & deny them the 5' step, but you can ignore Difficult Terrain. +10' movement is terrific.

Plant domain's Enlarge only lasts one round, and you'll chew those rounds almost instantly in a dungeon-crawl given your probably not-stellar wisdom bonus as a martial rather than full-on cleric. I prefer either the Accelerated Drinker trait, or the barbarian archetype Drunken Brute (which stacks easily with many others, including Savage Technologist), either of which cultivate a healthy addiction to cheap 12-packs of Enlarge potions, each good for a full minute.

Favorite cleric deity for my rager martials is Kurgess, for the Travel and Community domains. "Calming Touch (Sp): You can touch a creature as a standard action to heal it of 1d6 points of nonlethal damage + 1 point per cleric level. This touch also removes the fatigued, shaken, and sickened conditions..." (apparently automatic, not an opposed check) -- IOW, easy rage-cycling for the "limited" barbarian with mostly fighter levels who must sparingly allocate Extra Rage rounds.

~ ~ ~

race: dwarf, 20pt buy

str: 15 (raise 4th)
dex: 14
con: 16+ (or 17+ & raise 8th)
int: 12 (or 10, if higher Con above)
wis: 16+
cha: 5 -

traits: Birthmark (faith), Glory of Old (regional)
1. barbarian [Savage Technologist/Drunken Brute], Steel Soul (general feat)
2. cleric1 (Kurgess, domains Community, Travel)*
3. fighter1 [Combat Reflexes], Additional Traits (Defender of the Society, Magical Knack)#
4. fighter2 [Power Attack]
5. fighter3 Extra Rage (general feat)

Mid-level gear bucket-list: +2 belt, Fortuitous polearm, Commander's Helm (Paired Opportunists), Gloves of Dueling, Celestial Plate Armor

Build rationale: trades some attack bonus versus, say, min/maxed strength half-orc rager, for jaw-dropping across-the-board saving throws that most paladins would be envious of. E.g., +11 to will save versus charms and compulsions at 1st level (!!!) while raging.

* cleric deity option: Rowdrosh (Fur/Travel) for +20 move (!!!)

# It is an annoyance that Defender of the Society (for AC+1) and Accelerated Drinker are both Combat traits. If we want the AC, then move-action potion drinking has to come via the Drunken Brute archetype, as that's the only other way to get it in the game that I know of...and Brute unfortunately forfeits the barbarian's +10 move. So, you get to pick two of: {Move+10, AC+1, drink potions as move-action}


Dasrak wrote:
Why even use the Phalanx Soldier archetype in the first place if you're just going to use a halberd? The entire point of the archetype is using reach weapons in one hand. It's completely pointless for anything else since you could have just used a one-handed weapon instead.

Wonderstell's got it:

Wonderstell wrote:
Phalanx Fighting is the superior choice if you have a build that requires you to treat a two-handed weapon as one-handed.

I posted a build that 2 Weapon Fights using a Halberd and Armor Spikes. This character gets to use a Heavy Shield in addition to whatever kind of armor seems appropriate.

Later the character takes Hamatula Strike, allowing a Grapple Attack with every hit from a Piercing Weapon: both Armor Spikes and Halberds are Piercing Weapons. When you are wearing Armor Spikes, you get to inflict Armor Spike Damage with every successful Grapple Attack. This character has 2 Size Buffs: Wand of Lead Blades + Living Monolith Enlarge Person, so the base damage of the Halberd becomes 3d8, and the Armor Spikes becomes 2d6.

So, just considering that, the Full Attack becomes:

Halberd/Grapple + Armor Spikes/Armor Spikes/Grapple + Armor Spikes for 3d8/2d6 X 3. It can be a good deal higher when the character uses Bane for an extra 2d6 on every hit. Since 2 of the Attacks only cascade off of previously successful attacks, this is not quite as good as 4 attacks/round. Nevertheless, this is a high Damage Full Attack.

The build also gets Attacks of Opportunity from Greater Trip, Vicious Stomp, and Broken Wing Gambit. I didn't specify a Dex for this build, but for a 25 point build as suggested by Ryze Kuja, a 16 Dex is certainly doable, so this character can score 4 more Attacks of Opportunity, so 4 more Halberd Attacks cascading 4 more Grapples with 4 more Armor Spike Damage. This is a build that does a great deal of Damage.

This build also gives out Attacks of Opportunity through a level in Cavalier and levels in Inquisitor. This also results in high saving throws.

So, high saving throws, high damage, high AC. 2 Weapon Fighting with Halberd and Armor Spikes, Phalanx Soldier.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Slim Jim wrote:
Magda Luckbender wrote:
Cleric gives you basic prepared spell casting and domains Plant(Growth) and Travel. This more than compensates for -1 BaB overall. Trip at 15-20' via an improved swift-action version of Slim Jim's Second Method, above. Difficult Terrain will hinder enemies & deny them the 5' step, but you can ignore Difficult Terrain. +10' movement is terrific.
Plant domain's Enlarge only lasts one round, and you'll chew those rounds almost instantly in a dungeon-crawl given your probably not-stellar wisdom bonus as a martial rather than full-on cleric. I prefer either the Accelerated Drinker trait, or the barbarian archetype Drunken Brute...

@Slim Jim: The Domain-based enlarge isn't for using in routine combat rounds - that's a waste. It's for when &^%^% goes down, you don't have time to drink the potion, yet you want to perform at your best. Clerics with Growth-domain still chug enlarge potions by the 6-pack. The ~5 daily domain uses are for those situations where the potion approach is too slow. E.g. When your MOVE ACTION goes toward Martial Flexibility and your Standard Action must be spent on some other action than drinking a potion, yet you still want to fish for AoOs and/or be Large for your Round Two Whirlwind Attack, is when one uses Growth-domain enlarge.

I've seen lots of people make the complaint that 5 uses of Enlarge per day are not enough. That's not my experience. So long as one uses a potion or spell of Enlarge Person whenever there is time, and only falls back on Enlarge when there's time pressure, the Enlarge ability rarely runs out. Also, Enlarge gives those delicious virtual 5' steps with every use, which nothing else in the game duplicates. My PCs with Growth Domain budget one use per combat and generally finish the day with 1-2 uses remaining. I've seen people combine Enlarge Domain Power with Accelerated Drinker trait and discover they are not redundant.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I posted a build that 2 Weapon Fights using a Halberd and Armor Spikes. This character gets to use a Heavy Shield in addition to whatever kind of armor seems appropriate.

Again: why? Yes, you can use a two-handed weapon in one hand, but what benefit are you getting from that? The Halberd in particular offers nothing you can't get from a one-handed weapon, so why go to all the effort, losing out on powerful Fighter class features, to use it? The Brace and Trip specials are basically irrelevant; readied actions are almost never used, and falling prone isn't really any worse than dropping your weapon. The damage dice are also pretty negligible; one-handed piercing weapons give d8 dice to the d10 dice of the halberd; that's one point of damage on average, negligible. Even with all the weapon size categories you've stacked that only adds up to 3 points of damage, far less than what you lose in terms of weapon training. Alternately with a single feat I could've take exotic weapon proficiency and have a one-handed piercing weapon with good damage dice (Estoc is a 2d4/18-20 piercing weapon)


Dasrak wrote:
Again: why? Yes, you can use a two-handed weapon in one hand, but what benefit are you getting from that? The Halberd in particular offers nothing you can't get from a one-handed weapon

I like Halberd because it does 1d10 with your choice of Piercing or Slashing, and it is a Tripping weapon.

What 1 handed weapon would you use that does 1d10 Piercing, Tripping, and gives you a choice of another kind of Damage?

Dasrak wrote:
Estoc is a 2d4/18-20 piercing weapon

Nice, but 2d4 is not quite as good as 1d10: 5 instead of 5.5, and it is Piercing only where the Halberd is Piercing or Slashing. In addition, no Tripping (You spoke to this: so did I further down.).

The OP never mentioned a desire to Crit-Fish. The Estoc is a good choice for that. So would the Fauchard: Reach, Tripping, and has a Threat Range of 18-20, and more in-line with what the OP wants.

I do have to say that the Phalanx Fighting Class Ability might be considered the equivalent of a Bonus Feat like Exotic Weapon Proficiency: (Estoc or Fauchard).

Dasrak wrote:
The Brace... basically irrelevant

Ah, the build I offered did not take advantage of Brace. I owe you another build.

Dasrak wrote:
readied actions are almost never used,

Yeah, but what if you WANT to use them? How would you build a character to use them? There is a fair chance the OP wants to use them: why else use a weapon with the Brace Feature and not the Tripping Feature if he wants to get AOOs off of Tripping? Remember the Halberd is a Brace Weapon, too. I'm offering an alternative that will give him a Tripping weapon and use Brace, if that's important to the OP.

Dasrak wrote:
Trip... basically irrelevant… falling prone isn't really any worse than dropping your weapon.

When you drop your Tripping weapon, you can just pull out another one. That's much less severe then being Prone. Admittedly, that tactic works better when your Tripping weapon is a sickle or light flail, I suppose, but it isn't irrelevant for a big Tripping Weapon like a Halberd. In 3.5 there was the Lesser Augmentation Crystal of Return, which you could use to teleport the weapon back into your hand. You could always employ a Weapon Cord on your Halberd to recover it reliably.

I have to say, though, my favorite weapon with the Tripping Quality is the Throwing Shield + the Blinkback Belt.

The other thing to bear in mind about the Tripping Quality is that if you are Tripping someone with your Halberd, Horsechopper, or sickle, you are unequivocably using your weapon to Trip with: you get your weapon's enhancemsnt bonus on your Trip CMB. I'm pretty sure you get your bonus for Weapon Focus. A player makes that case much less confidently when attempting to Trip with a Lucerne Hammer.

Dasrak wrote:
The damage dice are also pretty negligible; one-handed piercing weapons give d8 dice to the d10 dice of the halberd; that's one point of damage on average, negligible.

+3 Damage/Attack is hardly negligible! It takes 15 fighter levels to get up to +3 through Weapon Training, and that's if you aren't using any advanced weapon training options. And while it is fair to say the character build I posted forgoes those options as well, my build is doing some very special things!

Something else to bear in mind: do you remember what my thesis is?

I wrote:
Consider the Phalanx Soldier Archetype.

I'm not saying it's the bestest, awesomest, brokenest thing ever. I'm just saying it's worth considering, and I think I have proven that.


Slim Jim wrote:
Magda Luckbender wrote:
Cleric gives you basic prepared spell casting and domains Plant(Growth) and Travel. This more than compensates for -1 BaB overall. Trip at 15-20' via an improved swift-action version of Slim Jim's Second Method, above. Difficult Terrain will hinder enemies & deny them the 5' step, but you can ignore Difficult Terrain. +10' movement is terrific.

Plant domain's Enlarge only lasts one round, and you'll chew those rounds almost instantly in a dungeon-crawl given your probably not-stellar wisdom bonus as a martial rather than full-on cleric. I prefer either the Accelerated Drinker trait, or the barbarian archetype Drunken Brute (which stacks easily with many others, including Savage Technologist), either of which cultivate a healthy addiction to cheap 12-packs of Enlarge potions, each good for a full minute.

Favorite cleric deity for my rager martials is Kurgess, for the Travel and Community domains. "Calming Touch (Sp): You can touch a creature as a standard action to heal it of 1d6 points of nonlethal damage + 1 point per cleric level. This touch also removes the fatigued, shaken, and sickened conditions..." (apparently automatic, not an opposed check) -- IOW, easy rage-cycling for the "limited" barbarian with mostly fighter levels who must sparingly allocate Extra Rage rounds.

~ ~ ~

race: dwarf, 20pt buy

str: 15 (raise 4th)
dex: 14
con: 16+ (or 17+ & raise 8th)
int: 12 (or 10, if higher Con above)
wis: 16+
cha: 5 -

traits: Birthmark (faith), Glory of Old (regional)
1. barbarian [Savage Technologist/Drunken Brute], Steel Soul (general feat)
2. cleric1 (Kurgess, domains Community, Travel)*
3. fighter1 [Combat Reflexes], Additional Traits (Defender of the Society, Magical Knack)#
4. fighter2 [Power Attack]
5. fighter3 Extra Rage (general feat)

Mid-level gear bucket-list: +2 belt, Fortuitous polearm, Commander's Helm (Paired Opportunists), Gloves of Dueling, Celestial Plate Armor

Build rationale: trades some attack bonus versus,...

Check out the new exemplar traits. Now you can get both defender of the society and accelerated drinker and get a pseudo maneuver feat to boot!


Magda Luckbender wrote:
Brawler lets you ignore the 13+ Int Requirement of Combat Reflexes

You mean Combat Expertise?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scott Wilhelm wrote:


I like Halberd because it does 1d10 with your choice of Piercing or Slashing, and it is a Tripping weapon.

Damage dice are not a significant consideration unless you have some way of multiplying dice (typically Vital Strike, or Two-Weapon Fighting with lots of attacks per round). If you really need damage dice for some reason, a Fighter can always modify a weapon's damage using the Focused Weapon Advanced Weapon Training option (provided you didn't pick an archetype that traded away Weapon Training, of course). This allows you to apply the Warpriest Sacred Weapon damage progression to any one weapon you have Weapon Focus in, which by 10th level lets you have 1d10 damage dice. Typically this isn't worth spending a feat on unless you're a two-weapon fighting build with low-dice weapons.

The Tripping property does almost nothing; it lets you choose to drop your weapon instead of falling prone when you fail a Trip attempt by 10 or more. This should be incredibly unusual; if it's even possible to fail by 10 or more, it means that you had 50% or less chance of success, in which case you shouldn't have been attempting to trip in the first place. This should only ever happen if you underestimate a monster's CMD and roll low at the same time. Even then, dropping your weapon really isn't any better than dropping prone. Both shut you down for a turn and likely force you to eat an AOO. Using a Weapon Cord is a good idea, although as I already said you want to avoid putting yourself in that situation to begin with.

Finally, what do you need slashing damage for? If you're using Hamatula Strike then you do need piercing, but unless you have some feat that requires slashing damage that's just for beating unusual DR. In the odd case that comes up, just carry an Oil of Versatile Weapon and you've got those situations handled. Honestly even that's probably overkill; zombies are the only common monster with DR/slashing, and those tend to appear at low levels before enhancement is a thing so you can just carry an alternate weapon for them.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Nice, but 2d4 is not quite as good as 1d10: 5 instead of 5.5

It's half a point of damage; even at its smallest entry-level increment, Weapon Training does more than that (and the attack bonus matters more than the damage). If you're actually concerned about losing that much damage, then why are you trading off Weapon Training?

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
So would the Fauchard: Reach, Tripping, and has a Threat Range of 18-20, and more in-line with what the OP wants.

Fauchard is a great weapon; you can't get Reach (much less Reach with a nice threat range) on a one-handed weapon. That weapon could definitely be worth going to some effort to one-hand (though, as I've already said, Phalanx Warrior trades off too much to do it).

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I do have to say that the Phalanx Fighting Class Ability might be considered the equivalent of a Bonus Feat like Exotic Weapon Proficiency: (Estoc or Fauchard).

But you're trading off way more than one feat worth of stuff. Weapon Training, Armor Training, and Bravery have all been buffed quite substantially with their new options, and are invaluable. Fighters have no shortage of bonus feats, what they need are good options to spend them on, and these class features gate some of the best fighter-exclusive options.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Yeah, but what if you WANT to use them? How would you build a character to use them?

The only good readied action builds I've ever seen use the Overwatch Style Chain, which is specific to ranged weapons. I'm personally not a fan of it, but it does work.

Readied actions have a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" caveat. If your trigger doesn't occur then you effectively just lost your previous turn. If your trigger does occur then your initiative position is penalized, and if your initiative position "wraps around" then you lose your next turn. Either way you're going to lose turns on a fairly regular basis if you're using readied actions liberally. For this reason, readied actions are only used in unusual circumstances, or if you have a very powerful bonus that works with them (like the Overwatch feat chain).

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
The other thing to bear in mind about the Tripping Quality is that if you are Tripping someone with your Halberd, Horsechopper, or sickle, you are unequivocably using your weapon to Trip with: you get your weapon's enhancemsnt bonus on your Trip CMB. I'm pretty sure you get your bonus for Weapon Focus. A player makes that case much less confidently when attempting to Trip with a Lucerne Hammer.

Any GM who didn't allow you to use your weapon enhancement bonus on the trip attack is being unreasonable. There is nothing preventing you from using non-trip weapons to perform a trip maneuver. It's a maneuver that can be made in place of an attack, and if you use the weapon to do it you receive your enhancement bonus.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
+3 Damage/Attack is hardly negligible! It takes 15 fighter levels to get up to +3 through Weapon Training, and that's if you aren't using any advanced weapon training options.

First, that's not how Advanced Weapon Training works. You still get your +3 to your first weapon group even if you take AWT at every opportunity. What you lose is the ability to pick a second or third weapon group (which wouldn't be at the full bonus anyways). Also, you can take Advanced Weapon Training as a combat feat if you do want those alternate weapon groups. AWT is very flexible and easy to fit into your build provided you meet its prerequisites.

Secondly, while you won't turn your nose at free damage, the attack bonus of Weapon Training is its real strength. Unless you're a two-weapon fighting build with lots of attacks, the attack bonus will be a much bigger increase on your overall DPR than the damage bonus. You should already have lots of sources of damage bonus at these high levels, even if it's just a big strength score and some weapon enhancements. What you want is to hit consistently on those iteratives and confirm crits.

That brings us back to your proposed build. The earliest this combo can come online is 6th. Let's say you've got a +1 weapon and 20 strength with no other bonuses (more bonuses would just further drown out the difference, so this is pretty much best case for your halberd). The Halberd is +11 to hit for 1d10+6 damage, while a Weapon Training Longsword is +12 to hit for 1d8+7 damage. A typical CR 6 monster has 19 AC, meaning the Halberd has 65% chance to hit (7.475 DPR) and the Longsword has a 70% chance to hit (8.05 DPR). Applying Enlarge Person keeps the attack bonus the same (Str bonus cancels out size penalty to attack) and damage increases to 2d8+7 for the halberd [10.4 DPR] and 2d6+8 for the longsword [10.5 DPR]. Applying Lead Blades finally gets the Halberd ahead with 3d8+7 [13.325] while the longsword has 3d6+8 [12.95]. Or, put another way, when fully-buffed the one-handed Halberd hits 3% harder than the weapon training Longsword, when partially buffed the WT Longsword hits 1% harder than the one-handed Halberd, and when unbuffed the WT longsword hits 7.5% harder than the one-handed Halberd.

Lead Blades also isn't the most practical of buffs. It's a personal target spell on the Ranger spell list, so you'd need to UMD a wand to use it which is hardly practical.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I'm not saying it's the bestest, awesomest, brokenest thing ever. I'm just saying it's worth considering, and I think I have proven that.

I completely disagree; it's a cool concept that just isn't as good in practice as it looks on paper. If you could pull it off with a more minor investment that would be fine, but you're pretty much gutting the entire Fighter class by taking this archetype. If it only gave up Armor Training that would be just make it a below-average archetype, but giving up both Armor Training and Weapon Training is just a deal-breaker. A 2-level alchemist dip for a vestigial arm is a much less intensive way to get an extra arm so you can two-hand a reach weapon and still use a shield, and that would mean you'd still be eligible for Weapon Training and could get 50% increase on strength and power attack damage.


Magda Luckbender wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
Plant domain's Enlarge only lasts one round, and you'll chew those rounds almost instantly in a dungeon-crawl given your probably not-stellar wisdom bonus as a martial rather than full-on cleric. I prefer either the Accelerated Drinker trait, or the barbarian archetype Drunken Brute...
@Slim Jim: The Domain-based enlarge isn't for using in routine combat rounds - that's a waste. It's for when &^%^% goes down, you don't have time to drink the potion, yet you want to perform at your best. Clerics with Growth-domain still chug enlarge potions by the 6-pack. The ~5 daily domain uses are for those situations where the potion approach is too slow. E.g. When your MOVE ACTION goes toward Martial Flexibility and your Standard Action must be spent on some other action than drinking a potion, yet you still want to fish for AoOs and/or be Large for your Round Two Whirlwind Attack, is when one uses Growth-domain enlarge.

To be fair, my build didn't include a Brawler dip. (I find that swift actions tend to be harder to come by than move-actions, and this problem only grows more acute as you level.)

Whirlwind Attack is one of the most heavily-taxed feat-chains in the game, and I would rather just retrain into its likes at some point rather than slowly suffering toward it with CE/Dodge/Mobility stinking up the house for several levels in a polearm build without much use for those.

~ ~ ~

baggageboy wrote:
Check out the new exemplar traits. Now you can get both defender of the society and accelerated drinker and get a pseudo maneuver feat to boot!

What book are they sourced in? (I never heard of 'em, and suspect most GMs haven't either.)


Chronicle of Legends. I just recently learned of them. To me they are awesome so I thought I'd share.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The Weapon Trick feat for polearms might be useful if you want to keep your ready-action tactic after lv 6.
It allows you to ready an attack while full-attacking, effectively delaying your last attack to strike when you want.


Dasrak wrote:
Damage dice are not a significant consideration unless you have some way of multiplying dice (typically Vital Strike, or Two-Weapon Fighting with lots of attacks per round).

But, that's exactly what the build I offered above does! You should consider reading what I write before responding to it.

Dasrak wrote:
The Tripping property does almost nothing;

We've gone over this. This is getting stupid.

Dasrak wrote:
fail a Trip attempt by 10 or more. This should be incredibly unusual; if it's even possible to fail by 10 or more,

I've seen it happen. It sucks. A Tripping character should be prepared for this contingency. I stand by my advice! Plan in haste: repent at leisure.

Dasrak wrote:
Any GM who didn't allow you to use your weapon enhancement bonus on the trip attack is being unreasonable. There is nothing preventing you from using non-trip weapons to perform a trip maneuver.

I run into unreasonable GMs all the time. Public advice should consider that.

Dasrak wrote:
Lead Blades also isn't the most practical of buffs. It's a personal target spell on the Ranger spell list, so you'd need to UMD a wand to use it which is hardly practical.

My build calls for a level in Ranger with the Freebooter Archetype. There is no need for UMD for a Wand of Lead Blades when you have a level in Ranger. Freebooter's Bane adds another +1 Attack and Damage, and I don't think your number-crunching considers that. Also, your analysis of my full attack doesn't seem to consider that this character gets extra attacks through a combination of Hamatula Strike and Armor Spikes. The character build I proposed also gets multiple attacks of Opportunity through Vicious Stomp and Broken Wing Gambit, and since Halberds do Piercing Damage, those AoO's also trigger the Armor Spike Damage. I don't think you are considering these things when comparing it to longsword. You've been mentioning other options: Versatile Weapon to do Piercing Damage with some other kind of weapon, Exotic Weapon Proficiency for your Estoc, these are interesting options and different ways of accomplishing similar things, but these are nuanced choices and by no means justifies your negativity:

Dasrak wrote:
Phalanx Soldier is a terrible archetype.

Also, there is the matter that Halberd is more in line with the OP than longsword or Estoc.

Dasrak wrote:
I completely disagree; it's a cool concept that just isn't as good in practice as it looks on paper.

But that doesn't mean that it isn't worth considering, and it certainly doesn't justify your harsh language.


Half Orc: Sacred Tatoos, Shaman's Apprentice
1Fighter1: Precise Shot, BAB+1

Ryan Freire and I have been tossing this idea around. This character will use an Orc Hornbow

2F1Ranger1: Freebooter's Bane, BAB+2

I was thinking the first build would do better to take that level in Ranger earlier. Get in that +2 Reflex Save, Freebooter's Bane, and now that Wand of Gravity Bow to go along with that Wand of Lead Blades.

3F1R2: 2 weapon, Quick Draw, BAB+3

Now the character can quickly switch between melee and Ranged

4F2R2: Combat Expertise, BAB+4
5F3R2: Phalanx Fighting, Improved Trip, BAB+5
6F4R2: Combat Reflexes, BAB+6
7F4R2Living Monolith1: Iron Will, Ka Stone

So, with 1 round to self-buff:
Cast Gravity Bow as a Standard Action
Drop your quiver as a Free Action
Declare a Favored Enemy with Freebooter's Bane as a Move Action
Enlarge as a Swift Action,

Then pick up your Quiver as a Move Action next Round and start shooting arrows that do 4d6 Damage.

Or you cast Lead Blades as a Standard Action and wade in to melee with a Halberd that does 3d8 and Armor Spikes that do 2d6, depending on what the situation requires.

8F5R2L1: Ready Pike, BAB+7

So, I'm thinking that if this Archer moves out into the open with just inside an opponent's Double Move, that might finesse a Charge. Charging the archer is usually a sound move, but this archer also has a Lucerne Hammer that can be Readied as an Immediate action, perhaps drawn and readied as an Free and Immediate Action since the character also has Quickdraw.

I'm not completely sure how this would work: what does "Ready as an Immediate Action" mean in this context? Does that mean he gets to take an Attack Action as an Immediate Action? Since at this point, the character is Enlarged and is using a Reach Pole Arm, he has a Reach of 15', so is likely to score Attacks of Opportunity though Reach. I'm thinking since the Lucerne Hammer is Readied, then the Attacks of Opportunity likewise enjoy double damage. The OP has a GM to vet this with.

9F6R2L1: Greater Trip, Weapon Focus, Weapon Focus, Tiger Fork
10F6R2L1Monk1: Unarmed 1d6, Monk Stuff, Master of Many Styles, Ascetic Style, Tiger Fork
11F7R2L1M1: Vicious Stomp
12F8R2L1M1: MartiaL Versatility Ascetic Style
13F9R2L1M1: Martial Versatility Weapon Focus
14F10R2L1M1: Improved Grapple
15F11R2L1M1: Hamatula Strike
16F11R2L1M2: Panther Style
17F12R2L1M2: Panther Claw, Panther Parry


Of course, now I'm looking at this build, I'm realizing the thing to do is to just stick with the bow. Take like Snapshot Feats to make Attacks of Opportunity with the Bow, Take one of those Close Quarters shooting feats, and go from there. How do you Trip with a Bow, though?


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Of course, now I'm looking at this build, I'm realizing the thing to do is to just stick with the bow. Take like Snapshot Feats to make Attacks of Opportunity with the Bow, Take one of those Close Quarters shooting feats, and go from there. How do you Trip with a Bow, though?

Yeah, just found Ranged Trip.

Dasrak wrote:
The entire point of the archetype is using reach weapons

Why even bother writh Reach, when you can just shoot your opponents?


Half Orc: Sacred Tatoos, Shaman's Apprentice
1Fighter1: Precise Shot, BAB+1
2F1Ranger1: Freebooter's Bane, BAB+2
3F2R1: Deadly Aim, Bravery +1, BAB+3
4F2R2: Rapid Shot, BAB+4
5F3R2: Weapon Focus Orc Hornbow, Armor Training +1, Move 30' in Medium Armor, BAB+5
6F4R2: Weapon Specialization Hornbow, BAB+6
7F5R2: Point Blank Master, Weapon Training +1, BAB+7
8F6R2: Snap Shot, Bravery +2, BAB+8,
9F6R2Living Monolith1: Ka Stone, Ranged Trip
10F7R2L1: Armored Juggernaut DR2/-, BAB+9
11F8R2L1: Improved Snapshot, Combat Reflexes, BAB+10
12F9R2L1: Weapon Training +2, Fighter Tactics BAB+11
13F10R2L1: Broken Wing Gambit, Greater Snap Shot, Bravery +3, BAB+12
14F10R2L1Cavalier1: Tactician, Paired Opportunist, BAB+13
15F11R2L1C1: Dodge, Armor Training +2, Armor Juggernaut DR3/-
16F12R2L1C1: False Opening
17F13R2L1C1: Combat Expertise
18F14R2L1C1: Improved Trip
19F15R2L1C1: Greater Trip

So this character's Full Attack does 2d6 at level 1, and is buffable: 3d6 at level 2, 4d6 at level 9.

She can continue shooting in melee at level 7. She can make Attacks of Opportunity as if with a Reach Weapon at level 11. She can trip people with her Bow at level 9. She and all her allies get Attacks of Opportunity just about whenever she is attacked at level 14.

That seems pretty cool.

Thoughts?


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I think we're ranging far afield from "maximizing an AoO reach-fighter for a game from 1 to 6".


Scott Wilhelm wrote:


I was thinking the first build would do better to take that level in Ranger earlier. Get in that +2 Reflex Save, Freebooter's Bane, and now that Wand of Gravity Bow to go along with that Wand of Lead Blades.

Classes that start off with no spell casting ability give you no benefit to using wands and other spell trigger/completion items until you do gain 0 or more spells per day. Your 2 levels of ranger have no advantage over 2 levels of fighter when it comes to casting Gravity Bow. It will still require a spell completion or trigger item and it will have the exact same UMD rolls to make.

Ranger gains spell casting at 4th level. At 4th level the Ranger can use spell completion/trigger items that are on the Ranger spell list without UMD rolls.


Slim Jim wrote:
I think we're ranging far afield from "maximizing an AoO reach-fighter for a game from 1 to 6".

Actually, the build I just posted is an AoO build, and while it might not technically be Reach, for practical purposes, it is. The character Threatens Squares within 10'. And it's a Tripping build. The OP's fist build uses tripping.

So, no. My build might not be what the OP wants, but it's a lot like what he asked for. My build does not constitute "far afield."


Meirril wrote:
Classes that start off with no spell casting ability give you no benefit to using wands and other spell trigger/completion items until you do gain 0 or more spells per day. Your 2 levels of ranger have no advantage over 2 levels of fighter when it comes to casting Gravity Bow. It will still require a spell completion or trigger item and it will have the exact same UMD rolls to make.

I think that is not a problem with my character build. A Wand is a Spell Trigger Item.

Wand wrote:
Wands use the spell trigger activation method

So you are right in that a Wand is a Spell Trigger Item ,

Spell Trigger wrote:
Spell trigger items can be used by anyone whose class can cast the corresponding spell. This is the case even for a character who can’t actually cast spells, such as a 3rd-level paladin.

but I believe you are mistaken in thinking that a Level 1 Ranger cannot use a use a Wand with Ranger Spells.


By the way, I don't know if I made this clear, but I do appreciate the pointers about the awesomeness of Advanced Fighter Training. I will be revisiting and updating some of my builds!


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
By the way, I don't know if I made this clear, but I do appreciate the pointers about the awesomeness of Advanced Fighter Training. I will be revisiting and updating some of my builds!

Its really amazing, its also basically completely invalidated every fighter archetype that takes BOTH armor training and weapon training away.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
By the way, I don't know if I made this clear, but I do appreciate the pointers about the awesomeness of Advanced Fighter Training. I will be revisiting and updating some of my builds!
Its really amazing, its also basically completely invalidated every fighter archetype that takes BOTH armor training and weapon training away.

Maybe, but what is also does is make the single class Fighter much more viable as a character.


I wrote:
So would the Fauchard: Reach, Tripping, and has a Threat Range of 18-20, and more in-line with what the OP wants.
Dasrak wrote:
Fauchard is a great weapon; you can't get Reach (much less Reach with a nice threat range) on a one-handed weapon. That weapon could definitely be worth going to some effort

Half Orc: Endurance, Sacred Tatoos, Indomidable Will

1Fighter1: Phalanx Formation, Combat Reflexes, BAB+1

I don't see a lot of Reach Pole Arm builds that have Phalanx Formation. The rules actually say that when you attack with Reach from the 2nd Rank, your allies provide soft cover for your enemies. Phalanx Formation negates this.

The Endurance Feat lets you sleep in Medium Armor. Few things make my skin crawl more than that evil grin in my GM's eye when he asks, "Are you sleeping in your Armor? If the answer is yes, you wake up Fatigued. If the answer is no, you WILL be fighting Hill Giants in your underwear that night!

2F1Ranger 1: Freebooter's Bane, BAB+2

Still want that Freebooter's Bane, Reflex Save, and that Wand of Lead Blades.

3F1R2: Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, BAB+3
4F2R2: Weapon Focus Tiger Fork, Bravery +1, BAB+4
5F2R2Monk1: Unarmed 1d6, Monk Stuff, Master of Many Styles, Ascetic Style, Vicious Stomp

Vicious Stomp gives you an Attack of Opportunity when someone Falls Prone in a square you Threaten. This will stack with Greater Trip. Vicious Stomp only grants an Unarmed Attack of Opportunity. Ascetic Style allows you to apply Unarmed Strike Feats such as Vicious Stomp to any weapon in the Monk Fighter Weapon Group, hence Tiger Fork

Also, +2 Will Save

6F2R2M2: Panther Style, BAB+5

Bonus Swift Action Attack when you Provoke an Attack of Opportunity when moving out of a Threatened Square. Normally this has to be an Unarmed Strike, but with Ascetic Style, it can be with your Tiger Fork.

7F3R2M2: Greater Trip, Armor Training +1, BAB +6
8F4R2M2: Martial Versatility, Ascetic Style, BAB+7

Martial Versatility lets you apply any 1 weapon-specific Feat to all the weapons in the same group as that weapon, so now Ascetic Style, and therefore Panther Style and Vicious Stomp, can be applied to any Pole Arm, such as Lucerne Hammer, Halberd, or Horsechopper.

9F4R2M2Living Monolith1: Iron Will, Ka Stone

Iron Will won't go amiss: Will Saves are the most important Saves to keep high. Ka Stone gives us Enlarge Person which will grant a +2 CMB, +5' Reach, and increase the maximum size of creatures we can Trip. Also, it will increase the Base Damage of the Weapon.

10F5R2M2L1: Weapon Training, Pole Arms (of course)+1, BAB+8
11F6R2M2L1: Panther Claw, Panther Parry, BAB+9

Panther Claw grants Free Action Attacks = the character's Wisdom Modifier.

So, now this character gets Attacks of Opportunity due to Reach and Tripping + extra for Falling Prone. In addition, this character gets multiple Free Action Attacks through Panther Style Feats.

The base Damage of this character is considerable: between Lead Blades and Enlarge Person, that's 2 sizes A Halberd or Horsechopper would be doing 3d8. A Lucerne Hammer would be doing 4d6 (I think).

This character has high saving throws, a Reach of 10 or 15 feet depending on the weapon he is choosing: works with any pole arm.

A very reasonable variant on this would be at level 10 to take that level in Cavalier and take Paired Opportunist, so this character gives out 2 Attacks of Opportunity to all his allies whenever he uses Greater Trip.

I haven't addressed the size limit on Tripping: When Fighters get to level 9, they can take an Ability that lets them use Teamwork Feats as if all their allies have their Teamwork Feats. Harder they Fall is a Teamwork Feat that allows you to Trip creatures of any size: it requires an ally who also has that Feat to Aid Another.

Wonderstell clued me onto the Belt of Impossible Action which also allows you to Trip creatures of any size.

I didn't quite get to Fauchard. Since the defining factor of Fauchard (to me) is that Threat Range of 18-20, I was thinking of waiting until you can take Improved Critical, which is level 10 for this character--BAB+8. Then, with a Threat Range of 15-20 and a Base Damage of 3d8, take Tripping Strike, Seize the Moment or Outflank. This would also be a good time to take Broken Wing Gambit.


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Small contribution, temple guard trait for the +1 on attacks of opportunity with pole arms. Probably worth picking up


Dasrak wrote:
Armed Bravery. It's an Advanced Weapon Training option, but Fighters can take that as a bonus feat once they have Weapon Training. At the levels we're talking about it's not any better than Iron Will, but at higher levels +4 or +5 to all will saves is so good as to be basically mandatory, and is a huge loss for any Fighter archetypes that trade off Bravery or Weapon Training.

Can you cite and quote the rule that says that Armed Bravery can be taken as a Bonus Feat? I'm having trouble finding it.

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