Small sized melee characters, What are some good class choises?


Advice


So, Two of my favorite races in Pathfinder are Goblins (Woo!) And Halflings and I'm tossing arround the idea for a small sized character who fights in melee and was wondering if there are any good classes and/or archetypes for being a small melee combatant? I know Cavalier can be awesome due to the medium mount, But are there any others?

Thanks in advance. =)


Swashbuckler or Paladin are both fine. Swashbuckler(especially inspired blade) or any of the swashesque archtypes Daring Champion, Virtous Bravo can all do fine with a 10 or even 8 in strength. And you really don't care much at all about the step down weapon size.

EDIT: Melee only, losing my mind. Any fighter or barbarian can honestly do fine as a small race. Maybe not quite as decent as their human counterparts, but honestly they do fine.


The Mouser Swashbuckler archetype is built around being smaller than your opponent.


Slayer with dervish dance and take the feat multiple times that gives you extra sneak attack dice up until you match a rogue of the same level.

Simple easy, nasty. :)

Silver Crusade

Halflings make ideal Dawnflower Dervish Bards. I'm playing one in Hell's Rebels; she's the party's primary melee fighter.


Thanks! I'l look up all the classes and archetypes you have sugested when I wake up, Almost midnight here. Thanks all!

Dark Archive

Cavalier.
Medium mount fits most dungeons, extra damage on charges.


Dawnflower dervish dard. Throw away your scimitar, and then grab brass knuckles and punch everyone to death as revenge for being smol.

Seriously though- it has double inspire courage, which means +8 attack/damage on every hit, and you add +5 damage with arcane strike. That means TWF and archery are very, very powerful options because that is a lot of static bonus to damage.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Kinetic knight kineticist, or just a kinetic blade using kineticist. If you go for Overwhelming Soul archetype, you get a bonus to both your main stats. Your strength means nothing, and the fact that you lose out on Elemental Overflow means nothing as you don't get that to Kinetic Blade or Whip anyway.


I've played a halfling hunter from level 3 to 17 and she was a melee killing machine. I used the animal companion as a mount and focused the build around flanking and AoOs. Outflank, Pack Flanking, Paired Opportunists, and Combat Reflexes are a golden combo. I also took 4 levels of Unchained Rogue to get dex to damage and used the talents Combat Trick and Weapon Training for extra feats. Slap Keen on a rapier or cutlass and get crits on a 15 and boom. Everything around you is dead.


A magus whose damage is mainly spells works fine. Similarly with a bad touch cleric.

Along the same lines as the swashbucklers mentioned there's a daring champion cavalier; if you get to add twice level to damage an ability bonus as well is superfluous.


When I am playing a Size Small Melee character, I favor Sneak Attack Damage.

I like Ninja and Unchained Rogue. The former because I like more Ninja Tricks than Rogue Talents, and Ninjas get more Ki. The latter for Dex-to-Damage.

I like multiclassing a lot a lot. I like doing things like taking levels in Unchained Rogue, Snakebite Striker Brawler, maybe a couple of Fighter levels to get some extra Feats.

I have a Goblin melee build that combines Panther and Snake Style Feats and dips a level in Arcanist for the Dimensional Slide Arcane Exploit to achieve Flanking, and dips 3 levels in Brawler to Feint while moving. So the idea is lots of bonus attacks while running all over the battlefield, screaming his name: BONZAI!!


Merellin wrote:
So... my favorite races in Pathfinder… Halflings

Power Attack and Risky Strider feats don't scale down with Size.

In spite of Size and Strength, I think a Grappling build will work just fine for a Halfling or Goblin. I played a Grappler up to level 9 and got her GMB up to +30 Full Time. Plus, it would be hilarious to have a Halfling or Goblin Grappler hogtying and Ancient Dragons and Balor Demons.


Thank you all for the great tips! I shall look into all the classes and archetypes mentioned here. =) Thanks all!


Not a pure melee class but Rage Chemist Alchemist combo works. Mutagen adds +4 to his strength add Enlarge Person he isn't some small weakling. Take a few levels in a martial class say fighter for the feats or maybe Monk if you Wisdom is high enough.
Goblins have a racial alchemist archtype which is almost better then a cavalier. The mount is either a Dire Bat or Giant Vulture. When given the chance to enlarge the critter take the stat bump instead to keep it medium size. Their is a feat which allows you to take four levels of a different class where you still get to level your companion. So go fighter for feats. You become a skirmisher with your mount. Take discoveries that change and enhance your bombs.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Warpriest. No need to worry (much) about weapon damage dice, plus all the other nice tricks that a warpriest gets (like using Fervor to cast a swift action divine favor at 2nd level).


Derek Dalton wrote:

Not a pure melee class but Rage Chemist Alchemist combo works. Mutagen adds +4 to his strength add Enlarge Person he isn't some small weakling. Take a few levels in a martial class say fighter for the feats or maybe Monk if you Wisdom is high enough.

Goblins have a racial alchemist archtype which is almost better then a cavalier. The mount is either a Dire Bat or Giant Vulture. When given the chance to enlarge the critter take the stat bump instead to keep it medium size. Their is a feat which allows you to take four levels of a different class where you still get to level your companion. So go fighter for feats. You become a skirmisher with your mount. Take discoveries that change and enhance your bombs.

Never play a ragechemist alchemist. Having your Int drop so you can't use extracts is bad enough, but the penalties to Int can stack high enough to make you take a nap in the middle of battle. Which is as suicidal as it sounds. And those penalties are largely incurable except by time - no swigging a potion of lesser restoration to get rid of them.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My wife's first PFS character was a halfling underfoot adept monk. At low levels, she did very little damage, but excelled at tripping foes to provide easier targets for the other melee PCs. With judicious use of ki and a mage armor wand (bought so an ally could use it on her), she almost always had a good AC for her level.

Her AC and damage output significantly improved around level 7-8(?), when she could afford a monk's robe. Around the same time, she discovered that a merciful vicious amulet of mighty fists was a lovely tool for taking enemies out quickly without killing them.

Sadly, Greater Trip was omitted from the archetype's bonus feat list, so she had to qualify for it the hard way. But by 11th level, her usual opening tactics were pretty darn devastating:
Round 1: Move straight into the middle of the enemy ranks, using ki, Spring Attack, and Mobility to avoid hits. (She usually didn't bother with Acrobatics, because it slowed her down, and her AC was that good.) Trip the most dangerous-looking foe, then take the AoO for Greater Trip.
Round 1, allies' turns: The melee types move up to threaten and flank as many enemies as possible.
Round 2: Whirlwind Attack (possibly with Lunge?) to trip as many enemies as she can reach, granting AoO's to herself and her allies.
Round 3: If anyone's still fighting back, rinse and repeat.


Yell, BOOMURFACE! at the horse lovers as you play a Goblin Gunslinger!

Get Dex to damage with guns at level 5 and enjoy the carnage that comes with your +4 Dex racial bonus. Sneaking up on them with that Dex bonus and another +4 for being small size. Surprise Snipe them and Stealth with that mega Stealth you should have. Or just win initiative with that Dex score and Full attack the flat footed suckers at the start of the round. I recommend the Musket Master archetype.

You can leave Gunslinger to multi class after 5. Unchained Rogue will get you Sneak attacks and Debilitating Injury. Ranger will get you Favored Enemy, feats, and you can take the Boon Companion feat after 4 levels of Ranger to get an Animal Companion that's just 1 level lower than a Druid of your level.


Halfling hunter with a wardog mount and the outflank shenanigans probably.

This is a great example of how that works out. I'd look at wallace the whirlwind.


Halfling paladin/uRogue multiclass with a level of urban Bloodrager and the Extra Rage feat. 18 in dex by 4th (raging to a 24 w/belt), and at least a 16 in charisma. Skill points for days. Feats are a bit thin, but you don't need much.


Megatron777 wrote:

Yell, BOOMURFACE! at the horse lovers as you play a Goblin Gunslinger!

Get Dex to damage with guns at level 5 and enjoy the carnage that comes with your +4 Dex racial bonus. Sneaking up on them with that Dex bonus and another +4 for being small size. Surprise Snipe them and Stealth with that mega Stealth you should have. Or just win initiative with that Dex score and Full attack the flat footed suckers at the start of the round. I recommend the Musket Master archetype.

You can leave Gunslinger to multi class after 5. Unchained Rogue will get you Sneak attacks and Debilitating Injury. Ranger will get you Favored Enemy, feats, and you can take the Boon Companion feat after 4 levels of Ranger to get an Animal Companion that's just 1 level lower than a Druid of your level.

Goblin Gunslinger Grenadier!

Take Goblin Gunslinger, Burn! Burn! Burn! and Explosive Missile.

Exploding bullets are cool.

BOOMURFACE! is an awesome name for a Goblin!

Sovereign Court

Medium is pretty good as well. The halfling FCB is 1/3 to seance, so a level 6 with 18 str, Spirit Focus, Power Attack, Risky Striker has a static damage bonus of +23 and 2 attacks at full BAB: 6(2h power attack), 6(2h str), 4(risky striker), 7(spirit bonus + seance).


I want to say 2 ratfolk slayers (cohort or bring a friend :D) using swarming with blade and brush style for finesse reach sneak attack action.


I'm actually in the process of crunching the numbers for a halfling paladin right now. My DM is planning on going all Stalin for character building next campaign, so I'm trying to make as busted a character as I can with CRB+1.

So far, using elite array and APG a halfling paladin looks good. Starting with 13 strength, building for mounted combat, I'm looking at +5 for 2d6+2 on a medium mounted charge at level 1, using a lance. And my (pony/dog/boar) gets an attack too. Or +8 for 2d6+4(6vs undead etc.) If I'm smiting. This goes up to +7 for 2d6+2, or +10 for 2d6+8(14) smiting, plus mounts attack, and I get out of melee range with ride-by attack at 3. At 5th this turns into +10 for 3d6+3 (assuming masterwork lance by now), +3 damage per 5 feet my mount covered before we strike thanks to saddle surge getting multiplied by spirited charge. and my mount (now a celestial boar thanks to holy bond) is going to hit at +7 for 1d8+9 (+1 per 5 feet traveled because saddle surge works on her too), and overrun with a +11 bonus thanks to having an int of at least 6, 5 hit die, and therefore 3 feats to go straight to greater overrun at first summoning, netting me an attack of opportunity with my spiked gauntlet at +9 [assuming I've lost the +2 for charging now, but gaining +1 for higher ground ] (and -4 to their AC for prone) for 2d3+2, +whatever from saddle surge AND another gore from the boar at +5 for 1d8+9+SS, as we run merrily over their now mutilated carcass out of melee range on the off chance any CR6 or so survived that. All without smiting, I might add.

Then we start to get mean. I chose APG for two reasons. Saddle Surge was one. Furious Focus is the other. I know, I can hear the cacophonous chorus of "But that's a trap!" Already. Not really, if you're limited in your sources, and especially not if you're only making one stack a round. So, by level 9 (skipping 7 for brevity) that spirited ride-by charge is hitting at +14 for 3d6+39, assuming I have a +1 lance by this point because my DM is a miser on loot (note; I did bump strength to 14 at some point,
thus the extra +1) . oh, and that's without SS, divine power, smite, or litany of righteousness. If I can squeeze in ARG I'll be taking Risky Striker at 11, so an unbuffed charge will get to do 3d6+57 against large opponents before any other bonuses, while not hurting my chance to hit at all, and only dropping my AC by 3 extra points (total of-5 with charging). And my boar still hasn't attacked or overrun.

All this is assuming what I'm going to call a worst-case scenario, since my DM is rapidly becoming Mr. Stop-Having-Fun. Hopefully yours is nicer, but look what you can do even if they aren't.

(And yes, I know Order of the Sword Cavalier would be doing more, but I wanted paladin for three reasons; Spells [don't get many, but they pack a punch], saves [duh], and the intelligent mount [to counter the "it's not smart enough to take those feats" arguement])

(Also, yes I realize that I'm using 2h calculations for the lance. This faq page tells us that even when used one-handed on horseback, a lance is a two handed weapon for damage calculations)

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Small sized melee characters, What are some good class choises? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.