Some advice on a few builds


Advice


So I am going into a campaign that is Undead heavy. However I don't want to jump into the typical few (cleric, paladin, necro). I want to look for something that is a little different and fun to play however I am also new enough to know what is out there. So I guess I am asking for suggestions on some other fun kinds of ideas:
The could be an interesting archetype of the above
I would like to figure out if a sorcerer, barbarian, or someone called it the VMC calvelier which I don't know what that means,
Or something completely new.

Any suggestions?


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Sorcerer is always a solid choice. If you have a problem blast it! That works on most things.

A similar choice might be a Alchemist shooting exploding bullets or exploding arrows.

The things I'd concern myself most with when fighting Undead are DR and Will Saves.

If you have an assortment of Slashing, Piercing, Bludgeoning Silver, Cold Iron, and Adamantine weapons, you should be pretty set for most DR. Get something Ghost Touch when you can.

Lots of Undead have some way of scaring you off or possessing your mind or charming you or something. There's an old gamer's saying: "Fail a Reflex Save, and you get hurt. Fail a Fort Save, and you die. Fail a Will Save, and the whole party dies." You don't want to be that Barbarian that fails his Will Save and turns on the party, killing them all. Fighter have class abilities that bump up their Will Saves. There are Feats, traits, and magic items. Personally, I like lots of multiclass dips.

If you are going up against lots of Undead, Magus would be a solid choice: You'll be a magic fighter with Good Will Saves.

If you have a Grappling build, you bypass all kinds of DR. If you get Ghost Touch somehow, you will probably be able to Grapple incorporeal undead. Grappling builds can be very complicated, though, so you might not feel like taking one on.


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Narrowascent wrote:

So I am going into a campaign that is Undead heavy. However I don't want to jump into the typical few (cleric, paladin, necro). I want to look for something that is a little different and fun to play however I am also new enough to know what is out there. So I guess I am asking for suggestions on some other fun kinds of ideas:

The could be an interesting archetype of the above
I would like to figure out if a sorcerer, barbarian, or someone called it the VMC calvelier which I don't know what that means,
Or something completely new.

Any suggestions?

What do you want to do to said undead? You you want to be able to claim and/or control them as your own? Or do you want to be really good at dispatching them? Also, what sort of class appeals to you? most classes can be geared to take advantage of an undead heavy campaign.

A Dirge Bard for example, is able to manipulate undead and depending on your choice of spells could easily be pro-undead, anti-undead or something between.


Crypt Breaker

Grave Digger

Spirit Master

Not powerhouses but they might have potential in a game with a lot of undead. :)


Hateful Rager? Favored Enemy is a good class feature when it works.


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Be a pimp ass Green Knight Cavalier.

A) You are basically immortal.

B) Order of the Green allows you to attack twice vs undead/aberrations, deal extra damage to undead/aberrations, and get a ton of bonuses to track undead/aberrations.

C) Did I mention that things you kill get automatically sanctified so suck on that stupid ass undead?

D) You get Stalwart, immunity to disease, poison and infestations.

E) EVERYTHING IS A VORPAL WEAPON.

F) You can talk to animals, that's neat.

[EDIT]
Here's a sample build on 20 PB:

Race: Human, Heart of the Fey
S16+2 D12 C14 I10 W10 CH13

Traits: Carefully Hidden, Near-Death Experience

Feats and stuff:
LV1. Power Attack, Toughness
LV3. Iron Will
LV4. +1 CHA
LV5. Shield Focus (buckler)
LV6. Unhindering Shield
LV7. Chain Challenge
LV8. +1 STR
LV9. Improved Critical (falchion)
LV11. Critical Focus
LV12. +1 STR, start getting Critical feats


Wow you guys thanks for all of the ideas. Really appreciate the help and response. Will check it out. The green knight is that an archetype of the Cavalier?


Narrowascent wrote:

Wow you guys thanks for all of the ideas. Really appreciate the help and response. Will check it out. The green knight is that an archetype of the Cavalier?

Yeah...really ridiculously survivable


Ryan Freire wrote:
Narrowascent wrote:

Wow you guys thanks for all of the ideas. Really appreciate the help and response. Will check it out. The green knight is that an archetype of the Cavalier?

Yeah...really ridiculously survivable

This is really good since I always get myself into huge messes. Any suggestion on an interesting race for the Green Knight Cav.? I can't do anything NE or CE


The green knight gets to act between zero and negative con HP, but honestly isn't that great otherwise until very high level. A barbarian (w/raging vitality as a safety net) is solidly better IMO. An alchemist with spontaneous healing is a contender there too and is more interesting otherwise.


avr wrote:
The green knight gets to act between zero and negative con HP, but honestly isn't that great otherwise until very high level. A barbarian (w/raging vitality as a safety net) is solidly better IMO. An alchemist with spontaneous healing is a contender there too and is more interesting otherwise.

Barbs don't get Order of the Green to wriggity wreck undead. You get to reroll your first attack against any target you Challenge, deal a ton of damage, and slice off heads.

The build is NOT just Raging Vitality or whatever.

Also, it has good AC – as opposed to the Barb.

Narrowascent wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Narrowascent wrote:

Wow you guys thanks for all of the ideas. Really appreciate the help and response. Will check it out. The green knight is that an archetype of the Cavalier?

Yeah...really ridiculously survivable

This is really good since I always get myself into huge messes. Any suggestion on an interesting race for the Green Knight Cav.? I can't do anything NE or CE

Probably the best race for Green Knight Cavalier is Aasimar, because of their Favored Class Bonus that grants +1/4 damage on Challenge. No other classes have a good bonus like that.

Also, Aasimars can get +2 STR/CHA from racial bonuses, which means they get more damage AND they can get more mileage out of the Chain Challenge feat.

The other good race is Dwarf, which gets MORE damage to targets of a challenge (+1/2 for FCB) and has access to all sorts of cool stuff like Steel Soul feat and Barrow Warden for a racial.
However, Dwarves with a negative CHA don't get a lot of usage out of Chain Challenge...


At work so can't respond fully but you could also go with an Expulsionist Inquisitor. It stacks with Sanctified Slayer as well. It's not "super-optimal" since it requires an investment in Charisma but if you don't mind slightly hamstringing your physical prowess to gain some interesting abilities against hordes of undead I think it's worth exploring. And honestly (especially with 20 point buy or good rolls) you can just go melee, drop your DEX and pick up Heavy Armor Proficiency with a feat and be just fine.


Just to add one more option, there are Spirit Walker Mesmerists, which specialise in controlling undead.


Secret Wizard wrote:

Here's a sample build on 20 PB:

Race: Human, Heart of the Fey
S16+2 D12 C14 I10 W10 CH13

Traits: Carefully Hidden, Near-Death Experience

Feats and stuff:
LV1. Power Attack, Toughness
LV3. Iron Will
LV4. +1 CHA
LV5. Shield Focus (buckler)
LV6. Unhindering Shield
LV7. Chain Challenge
LV8. +1 STR
LV9. Improved Critical (falchion)
LV11. Critical Focus
LV12. +1 STR, start getting Critical feats

Why are you raising charisma at 4th? That's a dump-stat for cavaliers (including the Green Knight archetype), and you're not taking any feats that utilize it (i.e., such as for intimidation tactics). Toughness and Iron Will you could replace just by being a dwarf instead of a human.

Race: Dwarf, (Barrow Warden or Death’s End), Shadowhunter
S15 D(15or14) C(14or15)+2 I10 W14+2 C5 (15,15,14,14,10,7 array)

LV1. Barbarian1, feat(g): Steel Soul
LV2. (any other martial class)
LV3. (any other martial class), feat(g): Extra Rage (if not lotsa rager class levels are planned)
...raise Str at 4th and 12th+Manual; raise the other 15 at 8th.

Your saving throws and HP will be ridiculous, and attack-bonus is equivalent to a 19 starting strength while raging (and 21 versus undead if you took Barrow Warden), and pseudo strength +2 higher once a Furious weapon is factoring attack bonus. Perception is a class skill enjoying a hefty attribute bonus.


Slim Jim wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

Here's a sample build on 20 PB:

Race: Human, Heart of the Fey
S16+2 D12 C14 I10 W10 CH13

Traits: Carefully Hidden, Near-Death Experience

Feats and stuff:
LV1. Power Attack, Toughness
LV3. Iron Will
LV4. +1 CHA
LV5. Shield Focus (buckler)
LV6. Unhindering Shield
LV7. Chain Challenge
LV8. +1 STR
LV9. Improved Critical (falchion)
LV11. Critical Focus
LV12. +1 STR, start getting Critical feats

Why are you raising charisma at 4th? That's a dump-stat for cavaliers (including the Green Knight archetype), and you're not taking any feats that utilize it (i.e., such as for intimidation tactics). Toughness and Iron Will you could replace just by being a dwarf instead of a human.

Chain Challenge.

It's like the fifth time I mention it this thread :P

It's the main reason to play CHA on a Cavalier. It increases your daily Challenges by X times your CHA, where X is your regular amount of challenges.

Silver Crusade

Secret Wizard wrote:


It's the main reason to play CHA on a Cavalier. It increases your daily Challenges by X times your CHA, where X is your regular amount of challenges.

Spoken like someone who has played the archetype before, learned how it games out in actual play, then learned how to bolster a vulnerability.


Magda Luckbender wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:


It's the main reason to play CHA on a Cavalier. It increases your daily Challenges by X times your CHA, where X is your regular amount of challenges.
Spoken like someone who has played the archetype before, learned how it games out in actual play, then learned how to bolster a vulnerability.

Sadly never got to play a Green Knight ):

Still looking for a chance!

But I've used ChCh on three other Cavs (Qadiran Horselord, Spellscar Drifter, Emissary) and I swear by it.


Magda Luckbender wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
It's the main reason to play CHA on a Cavalier. It increases your daily Challenges by X times your CHA, where X is your regular amount of challenges.
Spoken like someone who has played the archetype before, learned how it games out in actual play, then learned how to bolster a vulnerability.

Assuming you can afford a +4 headband by 7th, I have to wonder how often a Chain Challenging cavalier will pull off daisychaining five challenges in an encounter (since the feat requires each successive challenged opponent be within 30' of the one you just dropped). Many (most?) encounters don't even have that many opponents in total.

If I were to seriously MAD a cavalier's stats in point-buy for the purposes of Chain Challenge, I would start the build with several levels of paladin so as to enjoy the investment in charisma right away. The bonuses to saving throws from Divine Grace would obviate the need for Iron Will, and swift-action LoH obviate the need for Toughness. Not to mention enjoying Smite Evil versus a significant fraction of the OP's forecast opponents.

Then again, the OP was looking something off then beaten cler/pal/necro path, so there's that....


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Actually in an undead heavy campaign a ranger with maxed out favored enemy undead is an absolute brute. I am running an undead focused campaign and the ranger in the group often does better than the paladin. Smite evil is great vs the main villain, but when you need to deal with hordes of undead it is does not work that well. Favored enemy on the other hand works all the time. If your combat style focus on getting extra attacks it is even more brutal.

Ranger has a few archetypes that focus on undead. Corpse Hunter is probably your best bet. Divine Tracker also works well and stacks with Corpse Hunter. Your best blessings would be Good and Sun.

The Ranger also has a few decent spells to help out. Versatile Weapon will allow you overcome damage resistance. The ranger in my group is an archer and uses this to deal with DR bludgeoning. Corpse hunter adds a few undead related spells to the rangers spell list.

The nice thing on this build is that it works all the times. Your main source of extra damage is not limited to a certain number of times per day. The paladin is often faced with the choice of using his smite on the minions or saving it in case they encounter the boss. The ranger just kills everything. The bonus to hit is often as important, if not more than the damage bonus. A lot of abilities give you extra damage but reduce your chance to hit. Favored enemy means the ranger is hitting a lot more than most characters.

Silver Crusade

My elven Crypt-Breaker Alchemist worked out well in Mummy's Mask. That AP has a fair amount of constructs and traps as well, which plays to the archetype's strengths.


Slim Jim wrote:
Magda Luckbender wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
It's the main reason to play CHA on a Cavalier. It increases your daily Challenges by X times your CHA, where X is your regular amount of challenges.
Spoken like someone who has played the archetype before, learned how it games out in actual play, then learned how to bolster a vulnerability.

Assuming you can afford a +4 headband by 7th, I have to wonder how often a Chain Challenging cavalier will pull off daisychaining five challenges in an encounter (since the feat requires each successive challenged opponent be within 30' of the one you just dropped). Many (most?) encounters don't even have that many opponents in total.

Opponents being within 30' of each other is relatively common in most APs


Well Thanks to all of you. You gave me some amazing ideas to go off of and I really appreciated the time invested in answering me. Props to this community again!


Secret Wizard wrote:

Be a pimp ass Green Knight Cavalier.

A) You are basically immortal.

B) Order of the Green allows you to attack twice vs undead/aberrations, deal extra damage to undead/aberrations, and get a ton of bonuses to track undead/aberrations.

C) Did I mention that things you kill get automatically sanctified so suck on that stupid ass undead?

D) You get Stalwart, immunity to disease, poison and infestations.

E) EVERYTHING IS A VORPAL WEAPON.

F) You can talk to animals, that's neat.

[EDIT]
Here's a sample build on 20 PB:

Race: Human, Heart of the Fey
S16+2 D12 C14 I10 W10 CH13

Traits: Carefully Hidden, Near-Death Experience

Feats and stuff:
LV1. Power Attack, Toughness
LV3. Iron Will
LV4. +1 CHA
LV5. Shield Focus (buckler)
LV6. Unhindering Shield
LV7. Chain Challenge
LV8. +1 STR
LV9. Improved Critical (falchion)
LV11. Critical Focus
LV12. +1 STR, start getting Critical feats

So as an Aasimar I do not get two Feat's at the beggining. So out of PA, Toughness, and Iron will I will have to drop one or push them down the line


Ryan Freire wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
Magda Luckbender wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
It's the main reason to play CHA on a Cavalier. It increases your daily Challenges by X times your CHA, where X is your regular amount of challenges.
Spoken like someone who has played the archetype before, learned how it games out in actual play, then learned how to bolster a vulnerability.
Assuming you can afford a +4 headband by 7th, I have to wonder how often a Chain Challenging cavalier will pull off daisychaining five challenges in an encounter (since the feat requires each successive challenged opponent be within 30' of the one you just dropped). Many (most?) encounters don't even have that many opponents in total.
Opponents being within 30' of each other is relatively common in most APs

Context bolded.


Narrowascent wrote:


So as an Aasimar I do not get two Feat's at the beggining. So out of PA, Toughness, and Iron will I will have to drop one or push them down the line

Yes, but with Aasimar, you can go Angelkin for +STR +CHA, meaning that you could start off with 11+2 CHA... and 12 WIS.

This makes your Will saves a little higher, reducing the pressure for Iron Will.


One class that is very good for u dead heavy that didn't get mentioned spiritualist. Personally i really like the phantom blade archetype. It's particularly good if you'll be fighting incorporial undead.


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Slim Jim wrote:
Assuming you can afford a +4 headband by 7th, I have to wonder how often a Chain Challenging cavalier will pull off daisychaining five challenges in an encounter (since the feat requires each successive challenged opponent be within 30' of the one you just dropped). Many (most?) encounters don't even have that many opponents in total.

Further explanation:

The build in question was 20pt-buy with 10 points spent for a 16(+2) strength, and the remaining points MAD-statted with four attributes lower than 14, and a 13 in charisma that is raised at 4th. The build has charisma expressly (solely?) for the purpose of Chain Challenge. (Aside from Diplomacy being class, the build has no mechanical use for it.)

A +4 charisma headband is affordable at the point the feat is first available, or shortly thereafter. This yields a potential Chain Challenge "string" of five challenged opponents per each challenge expended. --So, how likely is this to occur to justify the point-buy expense of MAD-statting as opposed to just spending money on the headband?

* The vast majority of AP and PFS module encounters have fewer than five "serious" opponents in total (i.e., not counting mooks snuffable in one hit).

* Assuming sufficient opponents, the character needs to somehow daisy-chain from one to the next, keeping each next-contestant-on-the-price-is-right within 30' of the last engaged. (The build submitted contained no enemy-shoving or come-hithering mechanics to more easily enable this.) Basically you'd need your party to consciously dense-pack into a "fireball formation" for your sake so as to keep encircling enemies all within 30' of each other...and even then that'll only work so long as they don't have reach, and it's not an artillery/caster/breathweapon/flyby/etc duel wide-ranging sprawl, as becomes increasingly likely higher up.

* Challenging requires a swift action, and Chaining requires an immediate action. If an opponent dies "too quickly" (i.e., you dropped two challenged opponents in the same round), then the chain breaks because you're out of immediate actions.

Essentially, it's just vanishingly rare that you'll be able to chain more than a few before your string breaks. I mean, even if the fates brightly smiled on you with perpetual 50% chances of your encounters having sufficient opponents, and a 50% chance you can line up a full string, and a 50% chance they all croak at the right even pace -- that means there's still only a 12.5% chance you'll successfully chain five of them. With a more realistic (but still overly-generous IMO) one-third chance on each of those verifying, then you're only looking at a 0.03% chance of stringing together five.

* Having Chain Challenges only matters if you were going to run out of challenges that day anyway. If your GM is slamming you through a no-sleep dungeon crawl, you'll roast 'em, otherwise, often not, especially if you're picked up your reasonably-priced Champion's Banner and Vambraces of the Tactician.

* Getting the extra damage from an extra free challenge only matters if you needed it to drop that particular opponent right then and that opponent represents a substantial danger to you. If it has 20hp left after someone else in the party softened it up, dishing out fifty is massive overkill. If it has 60hp left and you'd either do 40 normal or 50 challenging, then it also doesn't matter because it'll live to the next round anyway (and then die due to combined party action-economy, possibly before your next turn). If the opponent has 200hp but needs 16s to hit you when you need 4s to stick them, then it also doesn't matter unless your GM has flamin' hot crooked dice because you'll whittle 'em down with a swizzle stick regardless.

-- So am I arguing that Chain Challenge is a bad feat? No. I'm arguing that you shouldn't buy up charisma in point-buy to over-emphasize it, because the odds of getting more than a few extra strokes per encounter that matter is an infinitesimal. It's a feat that comes on-line only after not-inconsiderable leveling, and at the point where money (i.e., the headband) will fuel all you're likely to get out of the feat anyway.


The Gravewalker witch has some neat stuff to handle undead. You are still a full caster, and with some feats, your spells can bypass the undead's mind-affecting immunity. You also have hexes.

I don't know how this compares in actual play.

/cevah


Ok First of all Thanks to all and especially to Secret Wizzard for all the help. I am having a blast with my Green Knight Cavalier but thanks for everyone elses contribution and ideas.

One question I would ask is I am for the moment going two handed weapon. Seems to be working but again my AC is low at 17 with armor and no shield. What are your thoughts on staying 2 handed vs going one handed with a shield.

And if I stay 2 handed what feats should I get instead of shield focus(buckler) and unhindering shield like suggested by secret. I was thinking of Furious Focus and or Dreadfull carnage as some options but wanted to know if anyone had more suggestions that might make me drool :)


Be a Vampire Hunter...?


Narrowascent wrote:

One question I would ask is I am for the moment going two handed weapon. Seems to be working but again my AC is low at 17 with armor and no shield. What are your thoughts on staying 2 handed vs going one handed with a shield.

And if I stay 2 handed what feats should I get instead of shield focus(buckler) and unhindering shield like suggested by secret. I was thinking of Furious Focus and or Dreadfull carnage as some options but wanted to know if anyone had more suggestions that might make me drool :)

The idea behind Unhindering Shield is that it lets you wield a shield AND a two handed weappn at the same time - giving you the best damage output while increasing your AC. Assuming you're wearing full-plate you should get +9AC fron your armour and +2 from your buckler.

Then instead of spending 9,000gp to get +3 Armour (for +12 AC total) you spend 8,000gp to get +2 Armour and a +2 buckler (for +15 AC total).

Or you could get +1 "Deathless" Armour and still have +14 AC and some other nice defenses, while still being ahead of someone who didn't take Unhindering Shield.


Narrowascent wrote:

Ok First of all Thanks to all and especially to Secret Wizzard for all the help. I am having a blast with my Green Knight Cavalier but thanks for everyone elses contribution and ideas.

One question I would ask is I am for the moment going two handed weapon. Seems to be working but again my AC is low at 17 with armor and no shield. What are your thoughts on staying 2 handed vs going one handed with a shield.

And if I stay 2 handed what feats should I get instead of shield focus(buckler) and unhindering shield like suggested by secret. I was thinking of Furious Focus and or Dreadfull carnage as some options but wanted to know if anyone had more suggestions that might make me drool :)

1H + shield is honestly pretty good because Challenge is so meaty as a bonus. I think that it's quite easy to break past +33 damage, at which point a Scimitar outdamages a greatsword due to critical modifier alone.


Mmm, Unhindering Shield + Falcata...

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