Help with class choice?? Please?


Advice


Like the subject says, I need a little help fitting into the flavor of my next game. Thanks for any advice.

So I'll be playing a protector/butler kind of character, who is hired to see to a rich noble woman (Played by another player, she's a Witch class, but at start nobody knows). So not only will I need to protect her, I'll also be carrying her gear and doing all the heavy lifting for her (damn rich people), so I can't dump strength. I'll also be the one doing the talking for her (rich nobles don't talk to mere commoners), so charisma will be needed as well. I don't really care if it's a melee, ranged, or caster build, as long as it can hold its own enough to be a protector, and still have decent Diplomacy.

My first thought was Monk, so I could fight at all times, even if without weapons or armor, but I would need to go Scaled Fist to keep charisma (Sorry, I can't go Dragon Disciple, another player just did it last game).

Also thought about Battle Oracle, but not sure if it fits the flavor, seeing I'd need a weapon and armor at all times, not sure if it would interfere with Butler time.

I know Paladin fits the strength/charisma needs the easiest, but the LG won't work in this group, so that's out without even thinking more on it.

So what do you guys think? Let's hear your ideas? Is Scaled Fist my best option, or something else? Thanks again for any help.


My first two ideas are a bard of some kind, if the lady is a fan of the arts.

Or, a warrior poet samurai with the order of the dragon, guard, or staff?

Silver Crusade

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Some of ideas:

A high strength bard (you could use reach tactics with a longspear if you wanted).

A high strength shaman using reach tactics. Note that you don't need high Cha to be decent at diplomacy, as long as you max out your skill ranks (and have it as a class skill). My desert half-orc Speaker for the Past shaman has 8 Cha, and acts as the party face. If the armor thing is a big deal for you, a Speaker for the Past can take the Spirit Shield revelation (at 4th lvl).

A high strength Investigator with the Student of Philosophy trait (can use Int for Diplomacy).


A Medium, Fractured Mind Spiritualist, or Mesmerist can definitely work well in the Str/Cha mode.

Technically Fractured Mind and Phantom Blade stack, but you should ask your GM if you can have an emotional focus which does nothing just to figure out what SLAs you get.


Most of the defender builds I've put together focus on Con and Cha. You could swap Con for Str, but sadly a lot of the abilities key off of Con.

One thought is to pick an option that will give you a familiar (eg. Eldritch Guardian) and then have the familiar take the Ambassador archetype. In this way you can offload needing charisma yourself and just let your familiar handle all the talking.

I'm assuming you'll want In harm's way and it's pre-requisites. Unfortunately, this means you'll also want Dex.

Do you need to make a literal bodyguard? or would just being "the muscle" be enough? The second option opens things up.


For full flavor? Majordomo Investigator or Consigliere Urogue

For more bodyguard than manservant Sister in Arms cavalier or High Guardian Fighter

Silver Crusade

For carrying stuff, any class with Ant Haul on its list will work.


There is the Empathic Diplomat and Persuasive Insight traits that allow you to apply your Wisdom ability score to Diplomacy in the place of Charisma, and Clever Wordplay which allows you to select one Charisma-based skill and use your Intelligence modifier for that instead. Since a good Wisdom score is useful for pretty much any class (who doesn't appreciate a solid Will save?) and another trait can be used to get class skill bonus, this really allows you to use any class or archetype you want. Heck, even the Fighter is a pretty solid choice for a skill monkey these days. With Lore Warden and Versatile Training (advanced weapon training) you can bring it up to effectively 6 + Int skill points.


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Rikkan the Rat wrote:
Like the subject says, I need a little help fitting into the flavor of my next game. Thanks for any advice.

So, what is the flavor of your campaign? You've talked about the role you want to play, a character specifically attuned to one of the other PCs, but what about your campaign world?

Rikkan the Rat wrote:
So I'll be playing a protector/butler kind of character, who is hired to see to a rich noble woman (Played by another player, she's a Witch class, but at start nobody knows). So not only will I need to protect her, I'll also be carrying her gear and doing all the heavy lifting for her (damn rich people), so I can't dump strength. I'll also be the one doing the talking for her (rich nobles don't talk to mere commoners), so charisma will be needed as well. I don't really care if it's a melee, ranged, or caster build, as long as it can hold its own enough to be a protector, and still have decent Diplomacy.

There are a whole lot of ways you could go with a character to fill roles like this. A lot of people said Bard, sure, as a Bard, you can be your Lady's broker, entertainer, and bodyguard.

I guess we need to ask some more questions about how you envision your role.

How do you appear next to your Lady socially? Are you her manservant, her muscle, her lover-cabana boy, her privy counsellor, or her fixer?

What happens when things get tense? She gives you a look that no one else notices, then you take a step forward, and suddenly the room gets darker, and everyone can feel the temperature change when they see your hand resting on the pommel of your sword? Or does she just laugh merrily, and shake hands with the people she was negotiating with, and only one of them will live to see the sunrise: he will wake up with the others' severed heads in his bed.

What happens in combat? Do you grab her and spirit her away? Do you vanish and pick people off one-by-one? Do you interpose yourself between her and danger warding off all harm while she ravishes everyone with Eldritch energies cracking from her fingertips? Do you work together closely with your Lady? Does she wade into battle as well, or does she hang back and cast spells over your head?


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Rikkan the Rat wrote:
Like the subject says, I need a little help fitting into the flavor of my next game. Thanks for any advice.

So, what is the flavor of your campaign? You've talked about the role you want to play, a character specifically attuned to one of the other PCs, but what about your campaign world?

Rikkan the Rat wrote:
So I'll be playing a protector/butler kind of character, who is hired to see to a rich noble woman (Played by another player, she's a Witch class, but at start nobody knows). So not only will I need to protect her, I'll also be carrying her gear and doing all the heavy lifting for her (damn rich people), so I can't dump strength. I'll also be the one doing the talking for her (rich nobles don't talk to mere commoners), so charisma will be needed as well. I don't really care if it's a melee, ranged, or caster build, as long as it can hold its own enough to be a protector, and still have decent Diplomacy.

There are a whole lot of ways you could go with a character to fill roles like this. A lot of people said Bard, sure, as a Bard, you can be your Lady's broker, entertainer, and bodyguard.

I guess we need to ask some more questions about how you envision your role.

How do you appear next to your Lady socially? Are you her manservant, her muscle, her lover-cabana boy, her privy counsellor, or her fixer?

What happens when things get tense? She gives you a look that no one else notices, then you take a step forward, and suddenly the room gets darker, and everyone can feel the temperature change when they see your hand resting on the pommel of your sword? Or does she just laugh merrily, and shake hands with the people she was negotiating with, and only one of them will live to see the sunrise: he will wake up with the others' severed heads in his bed.

What happens in combat? Do you grab her and spirit her away? Do you vanish and pick people off one-by-one? Do you interpose yourself between her and danger warding off all harm while...

Lot of really good questions here.


I'm with Dasrak here –

UnMonk + Empathic Diplomat sounds like a good combo - and then fact that your persuasiveness comes alongside a low CHA is very butler-like. You should be by all means detestable, but your irreproachable demeanour causes others to comply with your requests.

That being said, High Guardian Fighter with the proper feats is super good.


I just want to mentioned the Exemplar trait for social Traits will allow a chara get to take student of philosophy and bruising intelect and clever wordplay. With a drawback and the additional traits feat you can start with roughly 4 skills tied to inteligence. That may open up several other class options if you want.


I feel like a Yojimbo Samurai is what you're looking for. Order of the Dragon works nicely there both mechanically and thematically.


Thank you! So many options I never considered. Let me try to answer the questions:

@LordKailas Just being the muscle is good enough

@Scott Wilhelm All I know for campaign flavor is Victorian, Gothic Horror.
Between us, He would be manservant, muscle, and do most speaking and social dealings for her, things are strictly professional, no love interest. The lady is smart so she will handle knowledge and won't need his counsel. I'm assuming the lady will have a way to let him know her wishes in social situations (the other player hasn't specified how yet)
As far as tense sitations/combat. It will be up to him to feel out the situation, and step up if need be. I don't see him being the running type (unless she wishes for a retreat of course). Her abilities as a witch are not public knowledge, but I'm assuming during combat she will stay back and assist him.

I'm very open to things with this character, so if I have to change things around, I'm ok with that, I'm not even 100% sure about him being melee, now that I see things like Ant Haul (which I had forgot about), it opens the doors for for non strength options.


If you are considering casters... Witch Watcher? It stacks with both Seducer and Rethorician.

Nobody mentioned Witchguard Ranger either.


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I would discount the 'carrying stuff' need. Beyond options like ant haul, baggage isn't normally carried by either a majordomo or a bodyguard. Pack animals or low status portals are more likely. If you are strong and want to carry stuff, you can, but I certainly wouldn't make it a character criteria.

I'd think about whether I needed to be great at things like diplomacy or just competent. If you think you need to be great, then a CHR based class is probably going to be the best. If just competent (able to find out pretty basic stuff like where the best Inn is, but not necessary convince the townsfolk to follow you into revolt) then as long as you don't have a negative CHR, can put skill points into the necessary skills you should be ok, especially if they are, or can be made via a trait, class skills.

Baring information about others in the party, I might think about a cleric. They have some pretty good spells for the protector aspect, have decent martial abilities, benefit from a minor investment in CHR and magic helps out a lot if you have to fight without normal weapons and armor.

Really though, I could make such a character with just about any of the 3/4 BaB classes.


Rikkan the Rat wrote:

Thank you! So many options I never considered. Let me try to answer the questions:

@LordKailas Just being the muscle is good enough

@Scott Wilhelm All I know for campaign flavor is Victorian, Gothic Horror.
Between us, He would be manservant, muscle, and do most speaking and social dealings for her, things are strictly professional, no love interest. The lady is smart so she will handle knowledge and won't need his counsel. I'm assuming the lady will have a way to let him know her wishes in social situations (the other player hasn't specified how yet)
As far as tense sitations/combat. It will be up to him to feel out the situation, and step up if need be. I don't see him being the running type (unless she wishes for a retreat of course). Her abilities as a witch are not public knowledge, but I'm assuming during combat she will stay back and assist him.

I'm very open to things with this character, so if I have to change things around, I'm ok with that, I'm not even 100% sure about him being melee, now that I see things like Ant Haul (which I had forgot about), it opens the doors for for non strength options.

I would absolutely go for majordomo investigator or consigliere unchained rogue. Lots of skill points to be VERY good at whatever she needs you to do, not exactly the big bruiser type but competent in combat and able to direct other party members for maximum effectiveness (with teamwork feats). I'd go with the rogue option and take the skill unlock for intimidate, allowing him to threaten people in her name, as well as having some breaking and entering capability if she needs some incriminating evidence disposed of.


Ryan Freire wrote:
skill unlock for intimidate,

Intimidate sounds like a crucial skill for you. If we're thinking Rogue, I'm thinking maybe Hurtful, Dazzling Display, Shatter Defenses, which will open the door to Sap Master, after taking Sap Adept and maybe Knockout Artist. Sap Master will double your Sneak Attack Damage dice, and the other 2 increase your Sneak Attack Damage by 1 point/die each.

These Feats only work with nonlethal damage with bludgeoning weapons. Knockout Artist commits you to Unarmed Strikes.

Rikkan the Rat wrote:
the lady will have a way to let him know her wishes in social situations (the other player hasn't specified how yet)

The Bluff Skill can be used to convey secret messages.


Rikkan the Rat wrote:
My first thought was Monk

Take a look at Archon Style Feats. They are specifically for protecting allies.

I'm thinking a character that exists to defend a spellcaster might focus on survivability. Maybe find ways to gain a Miss Chance, a high AC, Damage Reduction, and/or Fast Healing. I always thought it would be cool to get all of the above.

Also, see if you make all your Saves good.


Has no one mentioned Skald? Sure it's called Skald but you can reflavor it how you want including how raging song plays out.

It covers strength, social, solid in combat and excellent utility.


Urban skald is great. And if you pick the guarded life rage power it's a great way to keep a character from dying.

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