Only frontline martial class in a party of casters. What should I be?


Advice

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Me and some friend are running War for the Crowns. They have all chosen casters (Storm Druid, Sorcerer, Cleric) which leaves me to be in the frontlines alone. Please no spoilers! My character just died and was a cavalier. Want to play something else that can survive away from the rest of my party. Currently looking at Dandy Ranger as it seems made for this campaign. But my hp and ac are not high.

What would you do? (P.s. have tried asking the cleric if they'd move closer to the action but they seem very passionate about being in the middle with a crossbow.


1) Are the other players helping you with healing and buffs, considering you're taking hits in their place?

2) What level are you at?


Wonderstell wrote:

1) Are the other players helping you with healing and buffs, considering you're taking hits in their place?

2) What level are you at?

Level 10 and the Sorcerer usually hastes a bunch and the druid has been the healer for the majority of the time. The cleric is also new as we died at the same time. The clerics archetype doesnt have channel energy. Amd everything went into wisdom. Physical stats are flat average.


TBH, frontline is the hardest role for any party.

Casting is super easy - you lay back and press buttons.

Frontline requires tactical use of space, constant strategies, etc.

Given your party composition, I think the answer is Fighter.
Seems to me like you'll be recipient of several buffs, and what you really need to do is stay in one single place and act as point guard for the backline.

A spear + shield Fighter could switch from reach tactics to close quarters tactics while keeping tools such as Pin Down to shut down enemy movement - while simultaneously having a good combination of Damage Resistance and other defensive stats to take on damage.

Contrary to this, your Cavalier was probably built for nuking enemies with a charge attack, so yeah, I think it'll be a big change.

Unless of course you are playing a Sister Cavalier - that would actually be pretty similar, as well as a Yojimbo Samurai.

Another class I'd recommend is probably something with an animal companion (instead of a mount), to add more bodies to the frontline. I could recommend a good Slayer or Monk build in this regard.


I've been in this situation though not in PF, and the main consideration was knowing when to fold and get out of the frontline, and having a means to do so. The means I used then won't be helpful but possible means in PF include a decent speed and acrobatics skill, or some form of teleportation, or invisibility. Just being a 20' move tank with no magic to speak of is asking to get squished regularly, probably eventually in a fatal fashion. This probably means not being a pure martial class.


Id be tempted to go unchained monk.

It’s pretty easy to boost your saves and AC really high so it’s unlikely you’ll just get squashed and you’re very fast so if you need to run away or go help an ally you can get there fast.

I would also talk to your backline about considering some summoning and or wall/control spells.

Edit: also haste isn’t a great spell in your party unless summons become a thing. Have gets better the more Martials you have and you don’t have many.

Better buffs for a monk for example might include Mage armour + heroism.


UnMonk + Animal Ally feat works well.

Solo UnMonk is pretty suicidal unless everyone anoints you with tons of buffs constantly.


I don’t see how you figure that?

They get high fort and reflex and are a wis based class with abilities baked in to help wis saves, so all saves covered. Both main stats attribute to AC and they get there own bonus AC and a quiggong spell version of barkskin. So they should easily reach high saves, ac and touch ac.

D10 hit dice, high saves, high AC, why exactly are they fragile?


Should be able to get Mage Armor from someone in that group as a monk, and they are pretty good defensively if you build that way. I do think reach weapon and/or ranged weapon should be looked at, as no class is going to have much fun eating every full attack an encounter has to offer in a single round, so I’d recommend ‘let them come to you’ type tactics.


Leostarnfire wrote:
What would you do?

'

I'd play another pet class, as you really need some kind of backup on the frontline. Dandy could work if you take Exotic Heritage->Eldritch Heritage (Sylvan)->Boon Companion to get one of the stronger companions available to druids.
Another interesting ranger archetype would be Realm Wanderer. You get a big bonus to Bluff/Diplomacy and your mount gains the Fiendish Template (DR/Resistances/Darkvision). Probably best to take the Beast Rider feat to upgrade your companion, though.

But at that level, I'd take a closer look at 6th lv casters since magic really starts to outshine mundane means by now. A mounted Hunter going down the Mobile Bulwark Style to grant Total Cover to themselves and their companion is pretty tanky and has enough magic to stay relevant. And hey, Sacred Huntsmaster Inquisitor is always an option.

If you want to stay completely safe, a Spirit Fuse Quintessentialist Spiritualist is a pretty specific build that allows you to send a stronger copy of yourself to fight in your stead while you stay back and relax.


Lelomenia wrote:
Should be able to get Mage Armor from someone in that group as a monk, and they are pretty good defensively if you build that way. I do think reach weapon and/or ranged weapon should be looked at, as no class is going to have much fun eating every full attack an encounter has to offer in a single round, so I’d recommend ‘let them come to you’ type tactics.

Well to be fair, a well built snake style monk might love that.

Take a attack of opportunity everytime an opponent misses you take an attack of opportunity.

Monk at this level could easily have 20 Dex, 20 wis, (should be more but for arguments sake) + barkskin (+4) + 2 ring of defence + Mage armour + 2 monk bonus

AC: 33 with extremely low budgeting and low balling. Then factor in defensive spin and you’re at 37. Almost everything at level CR 10 and below should be missing you.

On the offence with 3 attacks, 4 with a ki point spent and you could have flying kick, potentially many more with medusa wrath style. You’re not a juggernaut but you’re effective enough that one shouldn’t ignore you.

And with spells like heroism, greater magic fang, prayer, aid all pretty readily available from a party of this level you could be pretty frightening.

Heck if a Sorc casts Mage armour and Druid casts greater magic fang at the start of the day, both last 10 hours at this level. You should be good, with the possibility of heroism for over an hour if need be.

Your casters would have to spend barely anytime actually buffing you in combat, leaving plenty of time for debuffing, blasting and controlling.

Honestly I’m surprised summoning hasn’t been more of a thing in this party. Druids get it spontaneously and clerics get powerful divine template summons.

Sorc could be using wall and pit spells, or my personal fave, obsidian flow.


Wonderstell wrote:
Leostarnfire wrote:
What would you do?

'

I'd play another pet class, as you really need some kind of backup on the frontline. Dandy could work if you take Exotic Heritage->Eldritch Heritage (Sylvan)->Boon Companion to get one of the stronger companions available to druids.
Another interesting ranger archetype would be Realm Wanderer. You get a big bonus to Bluff/Diplomacy and your mount gains the Fiendish Template (DR/Resistances/Darkvision). Probably best to take the Beast Rider feat to upgrade your companion, though.

But at that level, I'd take a closer look at 6th lv casters since magic really starts to outshine mundane means by now. A mounted Hunter going down the Mobile Bulwark Style to grant Total Cover to themselves and their companion is pretty tanky and has enough magic to stay relevant. And hey, Sacred Huntsmaster Inquisitor is always an option.

If you want to stay completely safe, a Spirit Fuse Quintessentialist Spiritualist is a pretty specific build that allows you to send a stronger copy of yourself to fight in your stead while you stay back and relax.

To be fair an anger spiritualist built for enforcer with team work feats could actually be really fun in this party. They’re just a little bit brittle.


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BARBARIAN MAKE SMASH FOR PUNY WEAKLING SQUISHIES RAAWAWWAWWRRRR


Ryze Kuja wrote:
BARBARIAN MAKE SMASH FOR PUNY WEAKLING SQUISHIES RAAWAWWAWWRRRR

Maybe Bloodrager Am Smash? Some nice magic-y stuff to go along with Rage, and more of a reason to put points in CHA (I haven't played that module, but it sounds intriguing).

I'm playing a Half-Orc Aberrant Bloodrager as the only front-liner for Iron gods (Android Techslinger and Halfling Geisha in the back row) and we've been powering through the game.

I'm loving the Aberrant bloodline, but Arcane really is rediculous. Since the Sorcerer is giving you Haste you can basically always have Displacement going.

Your main job is to make getting to the casters as annoying as possible (which is easy as a Bloodrager), and your secondary job is to stay alive (hence displacement/etc).


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
To be fair an anger spiritualist built for enforcer with team work feats could actually be really fun in this party. They’re just a little bit brittle.

But why fight your own battles when you can stay back, drink as much as you want, send out a stronger copy of yourself that casts your spells, uses your ability scores and is given all your feats, while ignoring the range limitation of Etheric Tether?

So you can basically play a suicidal frontliner with plenty of feats and strength, but without worrying about the whole "dying" business. It also helps being a 6/9 caster that can run through walls. Level 10 is also when you get Fused Consciousness, so you know exactly what your phantom is up to and can give orders at any time thanks to the Link.


Well, if the cleric isn't going to get within touching range of the OP's character, the cleric isn't healing. It actually sounds like an Abadar cleric with negative energy channeling?

If the group is generally good aligned you might consider a paladin. That way you can self heal. But if the other characters in the party aren't lawful or good then that is going to be a problem. And since you are bringing a replacement character you shouldn't intentionally introduce a problem.

A good tank needs two things. First is to have a method to survive. The second is to provide a good reason why things don't just ignore you. Normally tanks put their body in the way and things just don't go around you for 'reasons'. But there is another build you could follow that convinces things to not ignore you because you are a threat.

Archery builds can put out considerable damage and unlike melee builds you only need line of sight to your opponent. No wasting rounds on single attacks, you full round attack a lot more than a melee would. You should also carry several hundred arrows with you because you will go through them.

Take fighter to at least 4th level so you can get Point Blank Mastery. That will let you shoot while threatened without giving away attacks of opportunity. A lot of people will recommend various other classes for an archerer, but honestly 10 levels of fighter will let you pick up Advanced Weapon Training: Warrior's Spirit which at 10th level would let you add Bane to your bow for a minute 3 times per day. That is extremely powerful!

For this sort of fighter you move to the best choke location you can first round and then open up on whatever looks the most dangerous each round. The monsters should consider you at least as threatening as the sorcerer.

Or you just stand next to the cleric, moving to stay within healing range. Force him to take the heat with you. Maybe even provide some healing.


I would focus on survivability.

Get your character a Miss Chance, a High AC, DR, and Fast Healing. Get yourself feats like Stand Still and Bodyguard, maybe Scorpion Style. Make sure all your saves are good.

That way, you make yourself an effective blocker and keep your caster alive long enough to kill everybody.


Play a Champion of Irori

Highest AC and saves in the party (by a substantial margin), self healing, more special abilities than you can shake a cat at, and you get to smite both Chaos and Evil a ridiculous number of times per day.


I actually see 2 holes in the party 1) the frontline, and 2) skills...

To fill 1), I say you need to be a) survivable, b) space controlling, and c) bring a friend if possible. Some support for 2) would also be nice.

Suggests to me a Hunter(3)/Ranger(x) combo, going mounted with a reach weapon, focusing on AoO...


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I’d look at some 3/4 bab options. I found a build on the boards for a totem skald that I used as a front liner in iron fang invasion. You could go bull totem +4 to str, rage +4 to str, +2 str as a medium bull, and grab the rage powers that let you pounce or get an automatic critical hit on your gore attack when charging.

Use your feats to grab skalds vigor (for fast healing 8), power attack, the feats that let you cast and talk while wild shaped. You could also take planar wildshape and get a smite attack.

Use mirror image or displacement to mitigate how often you get hit.

With this build (when raging and wild shaped) you are hitting like a front liner but you have fast healing, spells for more versatility, and skills for out of combat uses.

Edit. also with planar wild shape you will get DR 10 evil

Grand Lodge

Starting with 10th level characters? Yucckkk!!! To each their own, but why would any group want to do that?

Silver Crusade

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First of all, it's important to identify what's needed here: a frontline character who can take a lot of attacks without going down. This may or may not be a martial class. DPR should be a strictly secondary consideration.

You will need some spells/alchemy for survivability. You will have to judge whether the other PCs can be counted on to provide you the necessary defensive buffs, or whether you need to provide those yourself.

On the subject of skills, an Inspired Blade Swashbuckler 1/ Empiricist Investigator x would excel at those, while being very durable in melee.


I had a Hunter that was very good at melee. She used Pack Flanking to be constantly flanking with her mount, and Outflank and Paired Opportunists to generate a lot of AoOs. Add in 3 levels of UnRogue for Dex to Damage and some Sneak Attack - which is always on because you're always flanking. Get a rapier and slap Keen on it so you crit on a 15 and watch the damage go!

And since Hunters are casters as well, you can heal yourself in a pinch.


Layered defenses are required for a lone front liner. And your party could use an intelligence based guy, if not a skills guy.

The investigator seems to fit the bill pretty well. You can stack ac and have extracts for spells like blur and displacement.

But I’d prefer a magus. The magus has even better defense spells, like mirror image, and can easily cast them mid-combat. It’s not going to be nearly as good at skills as the investigator, but it’s a more flexible, powerful and durable combatant.


Melkiador wrote:
But I’d prefer a magus. The magus has even better defense spells, like mirror image, and can easily cast them mid-combat. It’s not going to be nearly as good at skills as the investigator, but it’s a more flexible, powerful and durable combatant.

^This^ A lot.

A magus is a great multipurpose martial character. A good mix of practical spells. Both offense and defense. At tenth level you have a lot of tools at your disposal.

First, get yourself a familiar with the Protector archetype. It effectively doubles your hit points.

Get the Wand Wielder Arcana that allows you to cast spells from a wand instead of using spell combat. Use the Weapon Wand spell to merge a wand with the reach weapon of your choice. Grow large and devastate anything withing 20 feet of you. I think your goal should be to sit back and defend the squishy casters. Get the Dueling weapon property from the Pathfinder Society Field Guide, not the one from ultimate equipment.

The Dueling Property gives you a Luck bonus to combat maneuvers equal to TWICE the enhancement bonus of the weapons. At 10th level a magus can turn a +1 weapon into a +4 weapon as a swift action. Suddenly you are getting a +8 Luck bonus on top of a +4 enhancement bonus on all your combat maneuvers. Anything that comes at you on the ground should be tripped. If it comes at you through the air, disarm it.

Focus on defense and controlling the field of battle. Let the mages blow up the bad guys.


MrCharisma wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
BARBARIAN MAKE SMASH FOR PUNY WEAKLING SQUISHIES RAAWAWWAWWRRRR

Maybe Bloodrager Am Smash? Some nice magic-y stuff to go along with Rage, and more of a reason to put points in CHA (I haven't played that module, but it sounds intriguing).

I'm playing a Half-Orc Aberrant Bloodrager as the only front-liner for Iron gods (Android Techslinger and Halfling Geisha in the back row) and we've been powering through the game.

I'm loving the Aberrant bloodline, but Arcane really is rediculous. Since the Sorcerer is giving you Haste you can basically always have Displacement going.

Your main job is to make getting to the casters as annoying as possible (which is easy as a Bloodrager), and your secondary job is to stay alive (hence displacement/etc).

BLOODRAGER NO MAKE SMASH LIKE BARBARIAN MAKE SMASH BARBARIAN SMASH EVERYTHING TO ORANGE GOO BETTER DEN EVERYBODY BLOODRAGER PANSY SQUISHY WEAKLING TOO RAWAWAWAWRRRR


Heather 540 wrote:

I had a Hunter that was very good at melee. She used Pack Flanking to be constantly flanking with her mount, and Outflank and Paired Opportunists to generate a lot of AoOs. Add in 3 levels of UnRogue for Dex to Damage and some Sneak Attack - which is always on because you're always flanking. Get a rapier and slap Keen on it so you crit on a 15 and watch the damage go!

And since Hunters are casters as well, you can heal yourself in a pinch.

I agree with this.

Your biggest issue is you're alone on the frontline.

Hunters arent alone. Your biggest issue is now solved.

Get a high AC pet and compel hostility and have it take some attacks for you over 10 rounds.

Next convince the cleric to summon. Or the druid. Then get your haste. Now haste does something.

And done.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I would focus on survivability.

I thought I'd comment on how I'd go about this.

Melkiador wrote:
Layered defenses are required

My thoughts Exactly!

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Get your character a Miss Chance, a High AC, DR, and Fast Healing.

So,

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Miss Chance

Be a Half Elf. Take the Arcane Training Alternate Racial Trait. It lets you pick a class and use Magic Wands as if you had a level in that Class, like + 1/2 a level or something. So, pick Arcanist, and you can use any Sorcerer or Wizard Wand. Blur, Blink, and Greater Invisibility give you 20%-50% Miss Chances as and when you can afford to buy them.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
High AC

Be a Fighter. Wear Armor and Shield. Have a high Dex. Take the Endurance Feat, and you can sleep in Medium Armor. Get a Wand of Swift Girding, and you can dress in your Heavy Armor as a Standard Action.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
DR

At 7th level Fighter, you can take an Advanced Armor Training. I like Armored Juggernaut, which gives you DR/-, the amount depending on how heavy your Armor is.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Fast Healing

Take 1 or more levels in Inquisitor. One of the Inquisitor Judgements gives you Fast Healing.

I was thinking it would be cool to get a Protector Familiar. Protector Familiars put Shield Other on their hosts. After taking 4 levels in Inquisitor, you can take the Shared Judgement Feat and put Fast Healing on your Protector Familiar healing it as it is also absorbing half your damage.

I multiclass extensively. I already talked about being a Fighter/Inquisitor. The character I have that is doing stuff like this is a Ranger/Fighter/Monk/Inquisitor/Cavalier/Living Monolith. One of the effects of this is that my character has huge Saving Throw Bonuses. She fights with a Split Blade Sword that is modified to also be a Monk Weapon. She uses Ascetic Style so she can use Panther Style with her 'Sword. She takes Broken Wing Gambit and Paired Opportunist, so she gets both Attacks of Opportunity and Retaliatory Strikes as she moves around the Battlefield. The Base Damage of the Split Blade sword is 2d6, up to 3d6 when she Enlarges, up to 4d6 when she uses her Wand of Lead Blades.

Anyway, she has high survivability combined with high damage.


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^^ the build I posted above (totem skald) has all that (fast healing, DR and miss chance) in one class, except high AC. You coul always by magical barding and/or dip in Oracle for a mystery that gave charisma to AC or a armor bonus.

Plus a lot of utility out of combat with knowledge and face skills. Also, has a pretty versatile spell list.


I'd probably build a caster with sub-10 Constitution and tell my "friends" to stop being so selfish.

If my friends didn't offer to change tactics when I'm clearly in trouble, I'd think less of them - on top of that, you appear to have specifically asked them and they said no! *kapow* Mind blown.

If I were the GM, I'd probably punish the casters by having a bunch of flanking encounters.

Every wizard needs to grab a dagger and stab someone in the neck once in a while.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I would focus on survivability.

I thought I'd comment on how I'd go about this.

Melkiador wrote:
Layered defenses are required

My thoughts Exactly!

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Get your character a Miss Chance, a High AC, DR, and Fast Healing.

So,

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Miss Chance

Be a Half Elf. Take the Arcane Training Alternate Racial Trait. It lets you pick a class and use Magic Wands as if you had a level in that Class, like + 1/2 a level or something. So, pick Arcanist, and you can use any Sorcerer or Wizard Wand. Blur, Blink, and Greater Invisibility give you 20%-50% Miss Chances as and when you can afford to buy them.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
High AC

Be a Fighter. Wear Armor and Shield. Have a high Dex. Take the Endurance Feat, and you can sleep in Medium Armor. Get a Wand of Swift Girding, and you can dress in your Heavy Armor as a Standard Action.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
DR

At 7th level Fighter, you can take an Advanced Armor Training. I like Armored Juggernaut, which gives you DR/-, the amount depending on how heavy your Armor is.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Fast Healing

Take 1 or more levels in Inquisitor. One of the Inquisitor Judgements gives you Fast Healing.

I was thinking it would be cool to get a Protector Familiar. Protector Familiars put Shield Other on their hosts. After taking 4 levels in Inquisitor, you can take the Shared Judgement Feat and put Fast Healing on your Protector Familiar healing it as it is also absorbing half your damage.

I multiclass extensively. I already talked about being a Fighter/Inquisitor. The character I have that is doing stuff like this is a Ranger/Fighter/Monk/Inquisitor/Cavalier/Living Monolith. One of the effects of this is that my character has huge Saving Throw Bonuses. She fights with a Split Blade Sword that is modified to also be a Monk Weapon. She uses Ascetic Style so she can use Panther Style with her...

You don't have to be a 7th level fighter to get DR.

There's an advanced armor training feat you can take as soon as 3rd level.


Secret Wizard wrote:

You don't have to be a 7th level fighter to get DR.

There's an advanced armor training feat you can take as soon as 3rd level.

Yup.


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Maybe a monster tactician inquisitor using a reach weapon? Summon a phalanx of disposable meat shields that act as the true front line. Monster tacticians get access to exceptional summons that other summoners don't and are very good in some cases. Also, sharing teamwork feats with your summoned creatures? OMG, yes please.

Take the teamwork feats that boost your AC and saves when adjacent to allies to toughen up you and your summoned creatures. Or the teamwork feats that pump AoO's and focus on those. Or the teamwork feats that boost maneuvers and CMB the heck out of everything. Or any other interesting combination of teamwork feats you fancy...you can share any two of yours each time you summon at level 10.

Standard action summons with a min/level duration is just gravy on top of all of that.


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Monster tactician can be really strong. Make-the-summoner-class-look-weak levels of strong. It’s one of the only things that got banned from PFS just for being too strong.


A summon spam focused cleric can be a great "front liner". The meatshields never need healing and can sit around guarding your squishy mage buddies.

If not I vote magus. The magus is much scarier when he is casting buffs every turn instead of shocking grasp.


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Leostarnfire wrote:
Me and some friend are running War for the Crowns. They have all chosen casters (Storm Druid, Sorcerer, Cleric) which leaves me to be in the frontlines alone. Please no spoilers! My character just died and was a cavalier.
Was the body unrecoverable? (Most PCs at 9th or so level should be able to bounce back otherwise. E.g., Breath of Life scroll, plenty of money for Raise Dead, etc.)
Quote:
Want to play something else that can survive away from the rest of my party. Currently looking at Dandy Ranger as it seems made for this campaign.
Be aware that a Dandy ranger's Favored Enemy bonuses only apply to "courtiers, officials, nobles, and gentry" of a nation. (So, you're not going to be +6 versus everything in Taldor -- just the powdered wig set.)
Quote:
What would you do? (P.s. have tried asking the cleric if they'd move closer to the action but they seem very passionate about being in the middle with a crossbow.

Clearly the other players are quite satisfied with hanging back and letting you be the guy who gets killed over and over.

Me? I'd make a caster who hangs even father back and is even more invisibly than the others -- let them get chewed on for awhile and see how they like it. (I see no point to being the sole martial in a party where the cleric doesn't tank, the sorc doesn't control the battlefield, and GM's big grapple monsters all go after the guy with the sword.)

Grand Lodge

Like Slim Jim said: given that the other players refuse to cooperate, why should you try to cover for their failings? If their Cleric can't be bothered to help tank, and their sorcerer doesn't bother with Battlefield Control, why should you offer to take all the heat on the front line? Sounds like they are incompetent and uncooperative. Sounds like the GM is going easy on them and not playing monsters to their intellectual capacity. Were I their GM they'd already have wiped via TPK.

Try having a talk with the other players and find out what they want. Highlight the weaknesses of the team, suggest ways to improve it, and offer to play a tanky martial IF AND ONLY IF they are willing to play ball. If they refuse to cooperate then 'eff 'em. Play something that avoids trouble and watch them squirm and fail. Possibly find a new group, since they sound like uncooperative incompetents.

Silver Crusade

In this situation, my inclination would be the Swashtigator I mentioned earlier (Tiefling works well). With a dex mutagen, Barkskin and Shield, AC should be about 40 with Celestial Armor. A miss chance is also available with Displacement. Saves should be good, with d8 inspiration available to add to the roll. DPR wouldn't be the highest, but that's not the point.

I would be careful with my positioning, prioritizing my own survival over protecting everyone else (I'd still try to keep the others alive, but I wouldn't sacrifice myself).

I'm playing this type of build in CoTCT (although not with this type of party), and I can attest to its high resiliency (now in Book 6).


Slim Jim wrote:
I see no point to being the sole martial in a party where the cleric doesn't tank, the sorc doesn't control the battlefield, and GM's big grapple monsters all go after the guy with the sword.

Worst of all, the better you make your character, the more it reinforces their style of play.

There's no point in putting effort into making an optimized meat shield. If the OP actually wants to acquiesce to this inane strategy, I suggest creating a fighter with 20 CON, heavy armor, and a tower shield. Every round just do Total Defense. Call him Meat Shield 1. When the character dies, create an identical character called Meat Shield 2.


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If the original poster is having fun doing this, then let’s not rain on his parade. Some people really enjoy “tanking”. And if that’s what he wants, then good for him.


Watery Soup wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
I see no point to being the sole martial in a party where the cleric doesn't tank, the sorc doesn't control the battlefield, and GM's big grapple monsters all go after the guy with the sword.

Worst of all, the better you make your character, the more it reinforces their style of play.

There's no point in putting effort into making an optimized meat shield. If the OP actually wants to acquiesce to this inane strategy, I suggest creating a fighter with 20 CON, heavy armor, and a tower shield. Every round just do Total Defense. Call him Meat Shield 1. When the character dies, create an identical character called Meat Shield 2.

Barbarians, and the cavalier's mount, are meat-shields; dwarf "blocker" fighters are brick walls. (You don't need that much Con because you don't get hit that often.)


Melkiador wrote:
If the original poster is having fun doing this, then let’s not rain on his parade. Some people really enjoy “tanking”. And if that’s what he wants, then good for him.

If that's what he wants, I will definitely not rain on his parade. Here's what I see:

1. He has mentioned he is alone and away from the group.

2. He has asked at least the cleric to move up. The cleric refused.

3. He wants a reach weapon because he says no class is fun when they take every single attack.

To be clear, I have nothing against tanking. Some of my favorite characters are tanks. Many of my tanks will charge into 3-on-1 combats while casters hang out in the back - but by my choice, not because they refuse to alter battle strategy.

The builds that people are posting are great. If the OP wants to tank, he has tons of good choices. The question is whether he wants to tank, or wants to tank under these circumstances.


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He is the lone front liner, but that’s just the way the group happens to be. I think he is interested in making the most of that. By level 10 a cleric spends almost every round casting anyway, so it’s not that weird for one to not want to be in melee range. But, the cleric should be finding other ways to help. Most notably, the cleric should be casting shield other on the lone front liner. And the cleric should probably have the reach spell feat for the rare combat cure spell or other buff.

The original poster never seemed to mention reach weapons though. But a reach build could certainly be a good idea in this situation. Going back to my suggestion, the magus has the option of the long arm spell for getting a good reach.


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Yeah I still say Hunter and double up your frontline and have some teamwork support.

Summoning takes time so it's best to just have a friend with you right off the bat.

Oh and of course with a larger pet using reach doesnt hurt either


And if you really need a second pet up there with you, Hunters automatically know Summon Nature's Ally.


Colluding Scoundrel Hunter with Antagonize, Dedicated Antagonist and Beastmaster Style.

Silver Crusade

I admit that I'm not that familiar with the Hunter class — how good are their defenses? Can they generally take most of the enemy's attacks without getting into trouble?

Grand Lodge

Offence and spellcasting are good, defences are subpar, mostly due to the low will saves which nothing in the class can inherently shore up


PCScipio wrote:
I admit that I'm not that familiar with the Hunter class — how good are their defenses? Can they generally take most of the enemy's attacks without getting into trouble?

Medium armor and shields, bonus teamwork feats which are auto-shared with the companion, d8 HD, and switchable competence bonuses to various stats and skills for one minute per level.


PCScipio wrote:
I admit that I'm not that familiar with the Hunter class — how good are their defenses? Can they generally take most of the enemy's attacks without getting into trouble?

It is mainly they have a second HP pool in their animal companion and can abuse teamwork feats with their animal companion. They also can gain a Dex or Con bonus for class level minutes per day, but it doesn't stack with a Belt of Dex/Con.

Have two targets means it is harder for enemies to take you down.

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