Paladin Phalanx for mass retribution?


Advice


How sound is this strategy?
A party of 5 Paladins (or paladin dedicates, likely with ranged reprisal and returning tridents), then any attack will trigger 4 reactions.

Are area attacks common?
What about area buffs? (Protective ward?)
Can people reasonably stay close enough to eachother?
Any other spells or features that could help?

Also, if something triggers multiple reactions, what order do they go in?


Well, it would leave you without anyone specializing in skills or magic, and even with ranged reprisal you have the problem that the range is still only 10 ft. So you're incredibly weak against ranged attacks of any sort (they're not going to stand in range of your retributive strike unless they're stupid).

So....probably not super well. But then you also have a whole party that is capable of healing so it'd probably be okay. But I wouldn't expect this to work as well as you would like.


You will get Kited as hell.

2 champion could make an eccellente frontline, but more, without healers, offensive casters, buffers, serious melee dps, is a setup which has many issues.

Remember also that the more you advance, the more Lay on hand sucks in terms of healing per damage taken.

Also you will be perfect for any aoe.
Like a bowling strike.


Area attack frequency will depend on who you are fighting. They are a significant portion of the arcane and primal schools, but not necessarily divine or occult, and a lot of martial enemies won't have much for them but some iconic DnD monsters (dragons) will have them. So, maybe look for a campaign about fighting a bunch of martial foes? You will still encounter them often enough though, over the course of the campaign.

Area buffs are something you will have to provide yourselves. A bard with Champion dedication gets a bunch of area stuff to play with, will be a good addition to this party you suggest.

Whether or not you can stay close together is heavily situation-dependent. If you fight in open terrain, all have comparable speeds, and don't get hit with speed debuffs often you can probably manage it. If you have to deal with narrow hallways, difficult terrain, variable speeds in the party, tanglefoot, etc, you will have trouble keeping together. Similarly if you expect to take to the skies or underseas you will probably scatter apart.

Also, note that intelligent enemies who notice that you have this trick aren't just going to play along and be within range. Ranged attacks+movement take away the main advantage of this tactic by being more than 15' away. Make sure the party is pretty diverse and MCs into paladin for a lot of it. It's a neat trick, but easily prevented.

Anything to help your mobility is good, fleet, elf step, goblin scuttle, feather step, magic boots of better speed (I don't recall the name right now), etc. Reach weapons will help keep things in range. Divine Reactions lets you use other reactions without costing you the paladin's reaction.


The strategy works very well at lower levels when enemies have fewer options and the party needs fewer options. You'd all have distance attacks via bows & the tridents would work well for close ranged & melee. The fact that everybody could Lay on Hands en masse on any wounded every 10 minutes (w/ 1 action!) would be a major asset.

The party could continue to do well into higher levels if the party were built to cover the innate weaknesses of having an all-martial party, though the Champion does come with some magic so it has a leg up. So if each took a caster MCD & they spread out their skills to cover all necessary ones, they could continue to do well. Many domain focus spells could help as well w/o an MCD and they could purchase magic w/ more focus on breadth than power.

If you do fight an enemy that requires you to disperse, using tridents allows for focused fire even apart, so you'd likely be more capable of working apart than a group that needs several members going toe-to-toe with baddies. And as you noted, when together they'd have auras to boost each other.
Vs. bosses, your Reactions could focus attacks (w/ no MAP!) and vs. hordes you could take turns covering each other w/ DR. With shields alongside the tridents, you could weather any reasonable threat.

I think the main danger might be overconfidence from stomping generic encounters might lead to inability to adjust quickly in extraordinary circumstances. Generic Paladins could easily fall into this trap, but a party tuned for utility & breadth shouldn't have too many troubles.
Well, that and if y'all need to lie you might be screwed. :)

ETA: Just imagined a group of Paladins w/ Travel Domain Spells. Flying enemies laugh until all the Paladins give themselves a fly speed and swarm them. (They'd be able to do this w/ every 10-minute lull.)


Claxon wrote:
Well, it would leave you without anyone specializing in skills or magic, and even with ranged reprisal you have the problem that the range is still only 10 ft. So you're incredibly weak against ranged attacks of any sort (they're not going to stand in range of your retributive strike unless they're stupid).

I don't see why you could't get all the skills easily enough.

What magic do you think is needed? Having one divine sorcerer seems pretty easy. Paladins get master in that.

Quote:
You will get Kited as hell.

Do that many creatures have more 50' ranged attacks?

What about Divine Steed?
Lances have reach, so you should be able to run able to run anyone down and still protect each other.

Also, can you have multiple (small) characters on the same (large) mount? That might be a good way to get them to all travel together. Just imagining several goblin paladins with bows on the back of an elephant.

And does bonus movement when mounted (ranged reprisal), work?


You can get the skills, but you're not going to be as suited for it as other combinations of classes due to the general ability needs. It's not impossible by any means, but dex based skills and int based skills are likely to suffer, or you have to sacrifice ability scores that champions would traditionally rely on to make them work.

Magic is great for utility. Things like teleport (if you get access to it) is a game changer. Magic is necessarily about in combat abilities, in about the utility the magic provides that can't really be replicated otherwise.

I'm wouldn't even recommend the divine spell list necessarily, though that is what champions would excel at, but the other list probably have more of the stuff like teleport or fog cloud. I actually haven't been able to go through all the spell list quite yet to determine what the best spells from each tradition are, but utility would be the thing to look at in my opinion. The medicine skill can do a lot of what you would want from the divine spell list (healing).

As for the kiting issue, the creature only needs to be out 15 ft from you when they make their attack, in order to avoid being on the receiving end of your reaction. So while you might be able to continuously attack them, you're going to lose out on your reactions. Which kind of causes the "Phalanx" thing to fall apart.

Edit: To clarify the trigger of Retributive Strike requires the enemy to be within 15ft of you, so if they can get further away than that it doesn't work. It's not about ranged weapon or lack thereof or being able to run down the enemy. It's that the "main power" of the entire party could be avoided if the enemy strides away from the party once.

In small room this tactic would be amazing as you could potentially place yourself in a way that it works. But in open areas you're hosed.


Mellored wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Well, it would leave you without anyone specializing in skills or magic, and even with ranged reprisal you have the problem that the range is still only 10 ft. So you're incredibly weak against ranged attacks of any sort (they're not going to stand in range of your retributive strike unless they're stupid).

I don't see why you could't get all the skills easily enough.

What magic do you think is needed? Having one divine sorcerer seems pretty easy. Paladins get master in that.

Quote:
You will get Kited as hell.

Do that many creatures have more 50' ranged attacks?

What about Divine Steed?
Lances have reach, so you should be able to run able to run anyone down and still protect each other.

Also, can you have multiple (small) characters on the same (large) mount? That might be a good way to get them to all travel together. Just imagining several goblin paladins with bows on the back of an elephant.

And does bonus movement when mounted (ranged reprisal), work?

2 casters with aoe and your are mostly done. You are a 5 men party, imagine at least 5 enemies or even more.

Not to say that your dmg will be definitely lower if compared to a standard group with at least 1 caster.


This idea is better suited as 4 classes MC champion. That way you can have a regular party.


nicholas storm wrote:
This idea is better suited as 4 classes MC champion. That way you can have a regular party.

Nope.

Mages won't hold their own in the frontline. And if focused on the "mass retribution" as per OP, Champions don't have to wait for higher levels.

Champions who step outside of their normal stereotypes work better. If everyone who meets them says "Oh, a group of Paladins" then that party likely has severe flaws. But it could work if they're diverse, especially if the party makes an effort to all pick up various Domain Focus Spells. There won't be many slots via MCD until later levels, though the party should get those too.

Notice how much of the criticism is based around clunky Paladin norms, and not the actual breadth of choices available in PF2 (even before considering MCDs). Ex. Paladins can now get Dex as their main stat, opening up archery & thief skills. You can't kite these guys. (And I don't know why people assume monsters can kite a class proficient in longbows anyway.)

Another guy could be Str/Wis, another Str/Int, and another Str/Cha. They should be able to cover all the bases, especially if they take MCDs which grant some skills, enough to cover those a party requires. With Cantrips, they wouldn't even need a high Dex to do okay at range.

Heck, single-class parties were doable in PF1 (albeit they required system mastery), so they should be more doable the way multi-classing works in PF2, especially with a warrior class that starts with healing and access to diverse Focus Spells.


The idea is not for the support/mages to be on the front; just to behind to allow them to use the reaction for essentially damage reduction to the guys in the front. And if they do get hit, the other champions can use the damage reduction for them. And you want the guys in the back to have glimpse of Redemption so either all damage is negated or attacker gets enfeebled 2.

I really started looking at this when I was making a cloistered cleric with champion dedication.


nicholas storm wrote:

The idea is not for the support/mages to be on the front; just to behind to allow them to use the reaction for essentially damage reduction to the guys in the front. And if they do get hit, the other champions can use the damage reduction for them. And you want the guys in the back to have glimpse of Redemption so either all damage is negated or attacker gets enfeebled 2.

I really started looking at this when I was making a cloistered cleric with champion dedication.

For DR use & non-Paladin Champions, I can see your point. It'd be a useful Reaction, especially for classes w/ few if any Reactions.

I could see a Sorcerer w/ 14 Str going this route for some armor, a solid Reaction, & maybe even Healing Touch & Resiliency, even if not planning to do any front line combat.


Castilliano wrote:

You can't kite these guys. (And I don't know why people assume monsters can kite a class proficient in longbows anyway.)

You can though, in the specific context the OP was looking at was using Retributive Strike and "how awesome that would be" if the whole party could do it. Except on the enemies turn they stride more than 15ft away denying the party any chance to use Retributive Strike.

I believe that is what was being referred to when talking about kiting. Yes, Champions have ranged weapon proficiency but the situation the OP was imagining doesn't work well because of the limitations on the reaction.


Castilliano wrote:


You can though, in the specific context the OP was looking at was using Retributive Strike and "how awesome that would be" if the whole party could do it. Except on the enemies turn they stride more than 15ft away denying the party any chance to use Retributive Strike.

Paladin can get opportunity attacks at 6. So free hit either way.

Or maybe go Fighter/Paladin for +2 hit.
Oh, combat grab. Maybe not worth the loss of a shield...


Sure, but AoO isn't Retributive Strike.

If this was about AoO then the whole party should be fighters. But that still has similar problems.

The end result here is, Diversify your Parties yo.


Claxon wrote:

Sure, but AoO isn't Retributive Strike.

If this was about AoO then the whole party should be fighters. But that still has similar problems.

The end result here is, Diversify your Parties yo.

well, they either attack in melee, get hit and do less damage.

Or they move away, get hit and do less damage at range.

Seems like it works fine.


I'd have at least one bard with triple time in the party. Positioning is pretty important for this group, if you center around the bard they can give everyone 10' speed when the party really needs to readjust. Meanwhile Inspire Courage is always a good AOE buff to keep up the offense and reactions.


Just noticed this combo.
Divine reflexes + rogue dedication + sidestep.

An enemy attacks you, you redirect it to an ally standing next to you, then you hit the enemy for attacking your ally. (Assuming dice cooperate).

Great for any character with a split personality.


Unfortunately you can't do bad things like harming an innocent with tennets of good.

Even a scenario which sees a defender of good team up with evil characters, to misdirect on them, could seem out of question.

I forget to say that it also crash with the paladin causes, like fight with honor.

So no cheating during combat.

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