Post your best gish


Advice

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My two favorite Gish characters so far have been a Cleric (Warpriest) MC Champion of Torag and a Fighter MC Wizard. The Cleric focuses more on the spell support approach, but lends his support as a damage sponge to the group. The Fighter typically uses his spells for utility but does have a couple fireballs ready should they be needed for a quick burst of damage.

Both have been playing pretty well so far!


Martialmasters wrote:
But is that really better than just taking fighter feats?

I was just thinking to answer that question, someone should post a martial build or two with equipment and so on (say for example at level 11), to compare against gish builds. At that point, number and capability comparisons become much easier and could compare typical fight sequences. Or consider how they might fare when pitted against each other.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think the a answer to the question "is going gish better than focusing on your core" is the same as everything else in the game. It depends on what your up against and who you are doing that with. If no one has heal I'm going to be thankful my rogue mixed it up with angelic sorc.if we've got a bard, cleric and druid already I'd be less happy to see a fighter/wiz than a straight fighter.


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Fey-touched Gnome Scoundrel MC Fey Sorcerer. I have four cantrips at level 2 and can swap one out to adapt to enemies. Sneak attack makes me hit harder with both melee and spells at level 4, and my slots are free for covering other bases. I can still cut stuff up well with a short sword from flank.

If anything the problem is my stat spread means my weapon damage is lacking at early levels. 1d6 for one action or 1d4+4 at range with variable element for two?

Sovereign Court

Mine is a "technomancer" Fighter with the Sky Key Scholar theme and wizard MCD, flavored as the son of my PFS1 character that's getting all the Iron Gods chronicles.

Human (Ulfen, Versatile) Fighter 2/Wizard MCD
Str 18
Dex 10
Con 12
Int 16
Wis 12
Cha 10

Ancestry feats: Natural Ambition, Fleet
Class feats: Double Slice, Reactive Shield, Wizard MCD

Armor: Fullplate and steel shield

Weapons: Steel shield with shield boss +1 and gauntlet/short sword.

Cantrips: Electric Arc and Ray of Frost.

Attack routine: either a cantrip or Double Slice. Cantrips enable me to stand my ground and hammer foes from afar rather than spending my actions to close in. Up close, Double Slice is more accurate and damaging.

The third action will typically go into movement or Raise Shield. With Cantrips, I don't have to spend so many into movement so I can Raise Shield more. But if I do have to move, Reactive Shield ensures I can still get the AC bonus.

---

Future plans:
L3: Doubling Rings, using the shield boss as prime weapon
L4: Striking rune, get L1 spells.
L5: +1 Armor
L6: Staff of Divination with Shifting Rune

---

On the skill side, Int 16 means I'm pretty comfortable having both a lot of skills and being good at them. Main skills of interest include Crafting (keep my shield), Medicine (keep us all around) and Athletic (for maneuvers).


So I just realized I gave 1 too many spells known at each level to the sorcerer gish I slapped together and posted earlier in the thread.

A legal spell list should be more like:

Cantrips (6th): Shield, Electric Arc, Detect Magic, Light, Ghost sound
1st level Spells: True Strike, Magic Missile (Signature), Gust of Wind, Feather Fall
2nd level Spells: Resist Energy, Heal (Heightened, Signature, Cross-blooded), Mirror Image, Illusory Creature
3rd level Spells: Haste, Fireball (Signature), Slow, Shrink Item
4th level Spells: Spell Immunity, Lightning Bolt (Heightened, Signature), Invisibility (Heightened), Fly
5th level Spells: Chromatic wall, Cone Of Cold (Signature), Wall of Stone, Veil (Heightened)
6th level Spells: Dragon Form, Vampiric Exsanguination (Signature), Repulsion


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I've been playing around a bit, and I think the Monk and Ranger are the best base class for a gish, that you can play a character that's close to the theme's lots of people want to hit, and it's mostly because they both have a way to let you attack twice for one action.

Monk let's you go full wuxia, and have an unarmored guy running around with a temple sword, casting spells in between flurries.

Ranger both Twin Takedown and Hunted shot do the same thing, though you have to hunt prey first.

Mostly though, you get to attack twice, then use a damage cantrip to ignore the multiple attack penalty. Which gives you someone planning to liberally use damage spells and strikes in the same turns.

I'm sure there are much better more specific builds, but I think those are good starting points. They also let you get extra mileage from Bespell Weapon if you need it, more so flurry because you can use the temple sword multiple times.


Can I transform the staff of divination only in a one-hand-weapon? Have seen people handling this differently.


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The idea of "Caster gish" might sounds neat, but doesn't work in practice - if you have serious spells you will not want to do martial combat much less enter melee. Specifically, each round you wish to hit things with a weapon carries the considerable opportunity cost of not casting a spell.

So any gish needs to be martial first, caster second. (This also automatically solves any issues with armor proficiency and hit points)

The point is to cast spells that augment your personal fighting prowess. If you are a martial that cast spells in general, that's not a true gish in my book.

What I would say defines the gish is the self-buffs that increase your combat ability. The spells the wizard is too feeble to use himself. (And the wizard won't be available to cast these spells on you; he's got other things on his mind. If the Wizard buffs, he'll want to provide buffs that benefit the whole party not just you - buffs that grant non-numerical benefits: fly, invisibility, haste and so on. Incidentally, the kind of spells that DO remain viable in PF2.

(Any character wanting to cast Fireball, say, will either be a significant caster, in which case, why ever use fists or weapons; or gain the spells little and late)

And because you can't cast spells all day long, your magic-augmented fighting power must exceed that of an optimized "plain" fighter. Quite considerably, I might add. (The idea, of course, is to choose short bursts of ahead-of-curve power and then... end the day, avoiding the drawback).

But I don't see any way to use magic in this way in Pathfinder 2. The game is far too locked down for that. What you would want to see are spells that increase your melee attack bonus, your melee damage and your armor class. Above and beyond what the base class chassi gives you!

Decisive, game-changing spells such as Shield, granting you a whopping +5 AC bonus for one round, that form the basis of Eldritch Knights in 5th Edition. Maybe Offensive Prescience for old psychic warriors. (It's been too long since I played 3.x so I can't come up with more examples)

If all your gish build can do is meet (but not exceed) non-magical builds, there is no point, from a minmax perspective.

If you want, you can turn this around and say the PF2 game is so balanced now that there is no room for gishes - why turn to magic when that no longer can give you an qualitative edge? Fine.

In my mind, any vestigial builds that still feel "gishy" to you are just that: faint echoes of the past.

Do note there remains one opening for a gish character - a class that's built from the ground up to support it.


Gishes are so popular that I'm surprised Magus wasn't one of the new classes announced in the APG playtest. I would bet any amount of money that more people were clamoring for a 2e Magus than for Investigator and Swashbuckler combined.


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puksone wrote:
Can I transform the staff of divination only in a one-hand-weapon? Have seen people handling this differently.

Staves are one handed weapons. So yes. You can't shift it into a 2 handed weapon.


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Zapp wrote:

The idea of "Caster gish" might sounds neat, but doesn't work in practice - if you have serious spells you will not want to do martial combat much less enter melee. Specifically, each round you wish to hit things with a weapon carries the considerable opportunity cost of not casting a spell.

So any gish needs to be martial first, caster second. (This also automatically solves any issues with armor proficiency and hit points)

The point is to cast spells that augment your personal fighting prowess. If you are a martial that cast spells in general, that's not a true gish in my book.

What I would say defines the gish is the self-buffs that increase your combat ability. The spells the wizard is too feeble to use himself. (And the wizard won't be available to cast these spells on you; he's got other things on his mind. If the Wizard buffs, he'll want to provide buffs that benefit the whole party not just you - buffs that grant non-numerical benefits: fly, invisibility, haste and so on. Incidentally, the kind of spells that DO remain viable in PF2.

(Any character wanting to cast Fireball, say, will either be a significant caster, in which case, why ever use fists or weapons; or gain the spells little and late)

And because you can't cast spells all day long, your magic-augmented fighting power must exceed that of an optimized "plain" fighter. Quite considerably, I might add. (The idea, of course, is to choose short bursts of ahead-of-curve power and then... end the day, avoiding the drawback).

But I don't see any way to use magic in this way in Pathfinder 2. The game is far too locked down for that. What you would want to see are spells that increase your melee attack bonus, your melee damage and your armor class. Above and beyond what the base class chassi gives you!

Decisive, game-changing spells such as Shield, granting you a whopping +5 AC bonus for one round, that form the basis of Eldritch Knights in 5th Edition. Maybe Offensive Prescience for old psychic warriors. (It's been too long since...

i think there is a base issue between you and I on how the game can be enjoyed.

I asked to post your best gish

not break the game

not exceed what martial characters can do innately by self augmenting with caster multiclass

nor to enter a debate on what we believe a gish is (wich is for me, not in direct agreement with your feelings on the matter)

plus i agree with an above poster, monk/ranger seem to be at this moment the best gish characters right now, barbarian is always difficult to make work, and fighters now having those press abilities and 2 action abilities just makes it clunky. currently working on a way of the mountain yodeling bard multiclass.


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Also, I'm really waiting for Investigator to finish coming out so I can go Investigator / Rogue. Though honestly I am really tempted to ask my DM to check out Dual-Classing just so I can get silly with it. :D


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Gloom wrote:
Also, I'm really waiting for Investigator to finish coming out so I can go Investigator / Rogue. Though honestly I am really tempted to ask my DM to check out Dual-Classing just so I can get silly with it. :D

i too look forward to potential dual-classing for fun


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Zapp wrote:

And because you can't cast spells all day long, your magic-augmented fighting power must exceed that of an optimized "plain" fighter. Quite considerably, I might add. (The idea, of course, is to choose short bursts of ahead-of-curve power and then... end the day, avoiding the drawback).

But I don't see any way to use magic in this way in Pathfinder 2. The game is far too locked down for that. What you would want to see are spells that increase your melee attack bonus, your melee damage and your armor class. Above and beyond what the base class chassi gives you!

Decisive, game-changing spells such as Shield, granting you a whopping +5 AC bonus for one round, that form the basis of Eldritch Knights in 5th Edition. Maybe Offensive Prescience for old psychic warriors. (It's been too long since...

What's stopping you from buffing up as a caster? You have spells like Bless, Heroism, Fire Shield, or Enlarge for damage. What about Barkskin, Stoneskin, Blur, Blink, and Resist Energy for defense? And of course you can't pretend that Haste doesn't boost your damage. Why does it have to be +Atk and +AC that are all that matters?

I think you're underestimating the buffs that are already in the game. I personally think it's telling that Enlarge At-will costs Barbarians a class feat, and is restricted to one Instinct, but you can easily get a use of it with just a 2nd-level spell.


Martialmasters wrote:
Zapp wrote:

The idea of "Caster gish" might sounds neat, but doesn't work in practice - if you have serious spells you will not want to do martial combat much less enter melee. Specifically, each round you wish to hit things with a weapon carries the considerable opportunity cost of not casting a spell.

...

i think there is a base issue between you and I on how the game can be enjoyed.

I asked to post your best gish

not break the game

not exceed what martial characters can do innately by self augmenting with caster multiclass

nor to enter a debate on what we believe a gish is (wich is for me, not in direct agreement with your feelings on the matter)

plus i agree with an above poster, monk/ranger seem to be at this moment the best gish characters right now, barbarian is always difficult to make work, and fighters now having those press abilities and 2 action abilities just makes it clunky. currently working on a way of the mountain yodeling bard multiclass.

You're suggesting that buffs should cause you to perform worse than how a martial performs all the time? And that's your idea of a Gish? Why would you ever bother with buffs at all if you can't even briefly exceed a martial's baseline performance? The whole point of spell slots is that they let you nova. You dump a bunch of them on an encounter to make it easier, but you have to be careful that you won't run out of slots for the next encounter.


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Hey, man, Martialmasters has made it abundantly clear that they were looking for gish builds from people, not a crusade against it. If you feel that strongly that gishes are somehow harmful to the game, go make a thread instead of attacking the OP's.


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

Check out this thread from August.


Ruzza wrote:
Hey, man, Martialmasters has made it abundantly clear that they were looking for gish builds from people, not a crusade against it. If you feel that strongly that gishes are somehow harmful to the game, go make a thread instead of attacking the OP's.

Martialmasters is the only one who's saying that gishes are harmful to the game.


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Strill wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
Hey, man, Martialmasters has made it abundantly clear that they were looking for gish builds from people, not a crusade against it. If you feel that strongly that gishes are somehow harmful to the game, go make a thread instead of attacking the OP's.
Martialmasters is the only one who's saying that gishes are harmful to the game.

You're saying, or at least it reads that way to me that a gish that doesn't surpass what a melee is capable of on their own through the use of spells is useless..

I happen to disagree with that pretty heavily and I'm sure Martialmasters does as well.

Gish is a play style ... not a min-maxing exercise.

I love the fact that adding spells to a martial character allows you additional versatility and potential large bits of damage when enemies are clustered for a well placed AoE spell.

Same thing can be said about adding additional martial abilities to a Caster since it tends to give them a lot more flexibility with their action economy.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It's also especially amusing because zappos often gets annoyed at people not toeing the line in threads he makes.


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After looking at different builds I sort of came to the conclusion - that an effective melee based on a mage doesn't really exist in this game. At max level, a caster will be at best -5 to hit vs a fighter. Stack on that you are -4HP per level, it makes being in melee dangerous.

One could say that with heroism, he would be -2 to hit vs a fighter, but really why should you waste casting it on yourself when casting it on the fighter has so much more effect.

The only spells that close the gap are transformation spells - they can get a caster close to a fighter, but then you can't cast spells while transformed.

that's not to say you can't get a useful character, just that in all probability you are better off casting than attacking.


Gloom wrote:
Strill wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
Hey, man, Martialmasters has made it abundantly clear that they were looking for gish builds from people, not a crusade against it. If you feel that strongly that gishes are somehow harmful to the game, go make a thread instead of attacking the OP's.
Martialmasters is the only one who's saying that gishes are harmful to the game.

You're saying, or at least it reads that way to me that a gish that doesn't surpass what a melee is capable of on their own through the use of spells is useless..

I happen to disagree with that pretty heavily and I'm sure Martialmasters does as well.

Gish is a play style ... not a min-maxing exercise.

I love the fact that adding spells to a martial character allows you additional versatility and potential large bits of damage when enemies are clustered for a well placed AoE spell.

You're contradicting yourself all over the place. First you say that gishes shouldn't expect to surpass martials, then you give an example of a gish surpassing a martial by using AoE, and say that's good.


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nicholas storm wrote:

After looking at different builds I sort of came to the conclusion - that an effective melee based on a mage doesn't really exist in this game. At max level, a caster will be at best -5 to hit vs a fighter. Stack on that you are -4HP per level, it makes being in melee dangerous.

One could say that with heroism, he would be -2 to hit vs a fighter, but really why should you waste casting it on yourself when casting it on the fighter has so much more effect.

The only spells that close the gap are transformation spells - they can get a caster close to a fighter, but then you can't cast spells while transformed.

that's not to say you can't get a useful character, just that in all probability you are better off casting than attacking.

Why are you comparing casters to fighters, when getting +2 to hit is the fighter's special exclusive ability? Does that mean that Barbarians and Rogues and Rangers and Monks are all crap because they're at -2 to hit vs a fighter?

I just don't understand what you're expecting. If there are powerful buff spells in the game, you'll say they're better off used on the fighter, so you can't use them on yourself. If there aren't powerful buff spells, you'll say that all the gish spells were removed. What situation could there possibly be that would satisfy you? One where casters have special caster-only buff spells? Oh wait, that's literally what transformation spells are for. What are you looking for?


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The whole point of my post is if you make a caster "gish" you are better off casting than fighting with a weapon.

Comparing -2 to -5 from fighter to other martials when ranger gets reduced attack penalties and barbarian gains damage bonuses is stupid.

I wasn't expecting anything; just posting my opinion on where the caster gish lies in 2e - i.e. it doesn't.


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nicholas storm wrote:

After looking at different builds I sort of came to the conclusion - that an effective melee based on a mage doesn't really exist in this game. At max level, a caster will be at best -5 to hit vs a fighter. Stack on that you are -4HP per level, it makes being in melee dangerous.

One could say that with heroism, he would be -2 to hit vs a fighter, but really why should you waste casting it on yourself when casting it on the fighter has so much more effect.

The only spells that close the gap are transformation spells - they can get a caster close to a fighter, but then you can't cast spells while transformed.

that's not to say you can't get a useful character, just that in all probability you are better off casting than attacking.

I agree.

If you want to build a proper gish, you can't just count on Haste, Heroism and such spells to buff you to martial level as they are best cast on your party's martials. Also, taking a martial and hoping to be a proper gish with 5 spells per day is also ridiculous.
In my opinion, what you need to find is a combo between (at least) one spell and one class feature. So, the main shtick of your character will blend magic and weapon. Then, depending on if you play a caster or a martial, you'll have extra spells or extra martial abilities on the side.
For example, the Magical Trickster feat is such feat. A high level Shocking Grasp with Sneak Attack can deal tremendous damage.


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I mean Magus is probably going to come out eventually. It was pretty popular.

Sovereign Court

Yeah but what would a magus even do in this edition, that you don't do with a sorcerer/champion multiclass?


spell strike? so maybe melee and spell as one action. Also between all the archetypes their should be enough to draw from to give set them apart.


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Strill wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
Zapp wrote:

The idea of "Caster gish" might sounds neat, but doesn't work in practice - if you have serious spells you will not want to do martial combat much less enter melee. Specifically, each round you wish to hit things with a weapon carries the considerable opportunity cost of not casting a spell.

...

i think there is a base issue between you and I on how the game can be enjoyed.

I asked to post your best gish

not break the game

not exceed what martial characters can do innately by self augmenting with caster multiclass

nor to enter a debate on what we believe a gish is (wich is for me, not in direct agreement with your feelings on the matter)

plus i agree with an above poster, monk/ranger seem to be at this moment the best gish characters right now, barbarian is always difficult to make work, and fighters now having those press abilities and 2 action abilities just makes it clunky. currently working on a way of the mountain yodeling bard multiclass.

You're suggesting that buffs should cause you to perform worse than how a martial performs all the time? And that's your idea of a Gish? Why would you ever bother with buffs at all if you can't even briefly exceed a martial's baseline performance? The whole point of spell slots is that they let you nova. You dump a bunch of them on an encounter to make it easier, but you have to be careful that you won't run out of slots for the next encounter.

This reply of yours is telling.

Because at no point did I ever say worse.

A Gish is just a martial character with casting capability. That's it. Everything beyond that is merely how one likes to build a Gish.

Right now a have a mountain style monk with Bard dedication.

I took polymath so I can grab feats that let me utilize performance for face skills.

I take inspire courage and dirge of doom. for maestro and then take lingering composition and harmonize

Only two monk feats. Mountain style and style savant.

I took utility and buff spells. Things like haste. Mirror image. True strike. Etc.

I can fob+electric Arc for maximum conservation when I don't want to move.

Dirge of doom+true strike+fob

Can buff other characters

Etc

No it doesn't Nova like 1e. Rather it is a self sufficient martial base with already good action economy with multiple buff and utilities options that can help yourself or the group.

In practice this has been just as good as a pure monk for martial damage and if anything above The monks curve due to ability to self buff. Buff others. Provide utility effects.

I could actually push it's action economy further if I gave up on polymath and started with maestro. But I aimed for having some ooc features.

Plus ability for a martial to self buff or group buff without losing any substantial damage output means casters can work on other spells in the fight.

So far for anything other than jumping I've felt better than a basic monk (because jumping loses me the style)


Vidmaster7 wrote:
spell strike? so maybe melee and spell as one action. Also between all the archetypes their should be enough to draw from to give set them apart.

I imagine they will get some unique mechanics.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Martialmasters wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
spell strike? so maybe melee and spell as one action. Also between all the archetypes their should be enough to draw from to give set them apart.
I imagine they will get some unique mechanics.

I could see the magus as actually having very few spell slots and not top end proficiency but getting excellent focus spells that give them long lasting buffs, like maybe they start with being able to add elemental damage for a whole minute sort of thing.

Couple that with light armour and rogue weapon proficiency and you've a solid chassis to expand with feats.

Sovereign Court

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Vidmaster7 wrote:
spell strike? so maybe melee and spell as one action. Also between all the archetypes their should be enough to draw from to give set them apart.

Hmm, giving two attacks for the action cost of one, might be a bit of a stretch.

I could imagine a "spellstride" though, that lets you move and deliver a spell.

Being able to cast touch spells without provoking reactions could work; PF1 magi are typically good at defensive casting.

A feature of PF1 magi that I feel got rather snowed under by shocking grasp/magical lineage/intensify/pearl of power shenanigans, was that magi could do non-attack spells without sacrificing attack momentum. Maybe that will become a thing.


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Whenever someone mentions a Caster Gish they talk about how their proficiency just doesn't stack up. Honestly though Expert Proficiency isn't bad. It's enough to qualify you for Critical Specialization for most weapons and you're really only 2 points behind other martial characters.

Your bread and butter combat abilities wouldn't be running up and punching something in the face however, it would be your strong casting capabilities and your action economy when you do want to pull off some fancy melee work.

I think one of my bigger issues is that people have kind of crossed over the concept of gish with the concepts of "overtuned" and "nova" characters, being able to burn their life at both ends and absolutely wreck competition.. and that's not what a gish character is typically about.

TL;DR Expert Proficiency is not as bad as people are making it out to be.


Gloom wrote:
TL;DR Expert Proficiency is not as bad as people are making it out to be.

Yes it is. Look at Citricking work on average DPR per class. Melee casters have half the DPR of martials, mostly because of this Expert Proficiency (and of course the lack of any class ability increasing damage).

Don't expect to ever get to 2/3rd of a martial efficiency with a caster without some sort of specific combo.
A caster first attack is a martial second attack. A caster second attack is a wasted action. A caster third attack is a good joke.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Gloom wrote:
TL;DR Expert Proficiency is not as bad as people are making it out to be.

Yes it is. Look at Citricking work on average DPR per class. Melee casters have half the DPR of martials, mostly because of this Expert Proficiency (and of course the lack of any class ability increasing damage).

Don't expect to ever get to 2/3rd of a martial efficiency with a caster without some sort of specific combo.
A caster first attack is a martial second attack. A caster second attack is a wasted action. A caster third attack is a good joke.

DPR is an overrated metric and should not be the only or even primary indicator of balance.


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Realistically, when it comes to melee or ranged combat a Caster will be behind on the curve when it comes to their attack and damage bonus due to weapon specialization.

They get it later and they don't get as much of it. But it's not the end all of combat and they can indeed participate in light physical combat with their skills. The main source of power they will gain through taking a martial multiclass is a decent improvement to their combat versatility and action economy.

You still have your spells which should be the primary means of your contribution to your party in combat. Well timed and placed AoE spells can churn out an impressive amount of damage, control spells can apply powerful debuffs to enemies allowing your party a much better chance of successfully taking on a challenging encounter, and utility spells can add a surprising amount of versatility to a caster's repertoire.

While DPR is indeed a metric that can indicate damage values in a very controlled and specific circumstance, it is not wholly indicative of your contribution to the group.

If you're wanting to be a Gish character that possibly throws up a couple buff spells and then charges head-on into combat then you're wanting to play a Fighter or other Martial character as your primary class with a dedication into some spellcasting.


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Gloom wrote:


If you're wanting to be a Gish character that possibly throws up a couple buff spells and then charges head-on into combat then you're wanting to play a Fighter or other Martial character as your primary class with a dedication into some spellcasting.

There's what I've always done for Gish characters TBH. Utility. Support and buff spells on a martial character


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Gloom wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Gloom wrote:
TL;DR Expert Proficiency is not as bad as people are making it out to be.

Yes it is. Look at Citricking work on average DPR per class. Melee casters have half the DPR of martials, mostly because of this Expert Proficiency (and of course the lack of any class ability increasing damage).

Don't expect to ever get to 2/3rd of a martial efficiency with a caster without some sort of specific combo.
A caster first attack is a martial second attack. A caster second attack is a wasted action. A caster third attack is a good joke.
DPR is an overrated metric and should not be the only or even primary indicator of balance.

Well, 50% DPR is not overrated. It's the kind of DPR where you wonder if it's even worth any kind of investment.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
spell strike? so maybe melee and spell as one action. Also between all the archetypes their should be enough to draw from to give set them apart.

It'll probably be something like this from age of ashes

Broken Promises (AoA 6) wrote:


Spell Strike [free-action] Frequency once per round;
Trigger NAME begins to Cast a Spell
that targets at least 1 creature;
Effect
NAME channels his spell through
his blade. He makes a Strike with
his blade against a target within
reach. If the Strike is successful,
the target is automatically
subject to the spell. If the spell
required an attack roll, the target is
hit. If the spell required a saving throw,
the target takes a –4 status penalty to its saving throw
instead. If the spell could target multiple creatures, it
targets only the creature NAME hit with his Strike.


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It would need a lot of balancing. As is, this ability is way overpowered.


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That actually doesn’t seem that over powered. Some assumptions have to be taken into consideration, but it actually looks pretty nice.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
That actually doesn’t seem that over powered. Some assumptions have to be taken into consideration, but it actually looks pretty nice.

Free action is what makes it absolutely broken from my reading


Okay, so discussing gishes in the context of PF2 is not at all unconstructive.

Just *blindly assuming* gishes are viable/supported by Pathfinder 2 is.

First off, when somebody questions "caster gish" that has nothing to do with any specific number, as if +2 here or -2 there would totally make or break the concept.

No the reason "caster gish" is an oxymoron has to do with opportunity costs in the action economy. Either your spellcasting prowess is strong or it isn't. If it is, giving your character active martial prowess is a waste, since you're better off casting spells with your actions. (Gaining purely passive abilities, such as more hit points or higher AC would of course be useful for any caster)

To function as a gish, your spellcasting must be secondary to your martial skill, so you WANT to use your combat actions to wave swords around (or kick things with your feet etc). That way, you use your spellcasting BEFORE the fight, with the intention that the end result is greater than the sum of its parts.

In simpler words, you're doing it to save on the action economy - every action cast before combat is an action you don't have to spend during combat. In the end: you come across as someone spending 4 actions each round instead of just 3 (exact numbers not important, just an illustration). A mundane fighter can't do that: they can't spend actions ahead of the fight that then improves the actions they spend during. (Maybe spending the action to rage up can be a borderline case)

Now then. Does PF2 support gishes?

I don't just mean that in the obvious sense "can you build a character that can both kick arse and cast spells?". Some here insist that's all a gish discussion should ask. I disagree.

Why would you ever create one if you don't actually gain something from it? And I don't just mean roleplay benefits.

I want the discussion to really focus on how much of a boost (compared to a regular fighter, champion or monk) you think you need in order to depend on a very limited suppy of spells?

THAT's the interesting question.

If you can't create a gish with an perceptable edge over mundane fighters, and maintain that for long "enough", then, no, the system doesn't properly support gishes in my opinion.

Then we can debate exactly how much of an edge you need, and how long "enough" is. (If you want to play a gish just because you find it a fun concept your demands here are likely lower than a hardcore minmaxer who only would consider the build if it offers real hope of enjoying the upside while minimizing the downside).

But if all the systems puts on the table is parity with a mundane martial even though you depend on limited supply spells (and become outright disabled in an antimagic field, etc) while he can wave his sword around every round of the day, then we're just going through the motions. Then there is no gish, only the illusion of one.

Nobody is served by pretending the system offers real support for something it doesn't. So the first step of discussing specific gish builds, I maintain, is to ask ourselves if there can be gish builds in the system.

Thank you for not assuming I'm trolling or derailing the thread when I'm not. :)


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That ability is incredibly broken. It allows the person to perform both the strike and the potential spell attack at no multi-attack penalty and with no action used for the strike itself. You're also even suggesting a penalty to the saving throw that the target makes for the spell.

It's all sorts of broken as is.


Martialmasters wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
That actually doesn’t seem that over powered. Some assumptions have to be taken into consideration, but it actually looks pretty nice.
Free action is what makes it absolutely broken from my reading

I don’t see it as that different from Channel Smite. The fact that it’s a free action means you can’t stack it with other free actions; but it’s neither really here or there. I’m not sure if that’s what it’d end up looking like in the long run, but it looks nice from my reading of it.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Channel Smite uses two actions to execute a Strike and the One Action version of Harm on a target.

The proposed Spell Strike ability allows you to execute spells and a single action strike gaining you a net 1 action to your action economy.

Additionally, spells that do damage typically either have the Attack trait or prompt a save with a few exceptions such as Rays that require both. This would allow you to effectively ignore the multi-attack penalty for spells with the attack trait and/or have the enemy roll their save with a severe penalty of -4.

Gaining that much power is a tad excessive.

If you wanted something on par, it would be a two-action ability to make a strike and expend a spell slot that either contains a prepared damage spell for prepared casters, or a spell slot that can be expended to cast a damaging spell from your repertoire.

That ability would allow you to make a strike with the weapon and apply an additional 1d8 + 1d8 per heightened level of the spell slot to the strike damage of the damage type provided by the spell.

I'd also suggest a second feat to improve the damage of your spell strike from 1d8 to 1d10 damage.

IMO that would be much more balanced with Channel Smite.


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It needs to count as two attacks for MAP, then it's probably fine for magus class core ability, like flurry more monks. Action economy is the biggest hurdle for gish-esque characters anyway. So any kind of gish character will HAVE to have something that gives them one extra action like this.

The -4 might seem strong, but you have to hit first before they make the save, so I'm not sure it really is that incredible. Also the hypothetical magus would have at least -1 to either hit or saves depending on it's Key Ability, so it's all even less powerful than at first glance.

Furthermore, lots of damage spells have the AoE that makes them most effective taken away, as it's single target.

It's not THAT far from being a PC appropriate ability. Apart from the MAP.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
That actually doesn’t seem that over powered. Some assumptions have to be taken into consideration, but it actually looks pretty nice.
Free action is what makes it absolutely broken from my reading
I don’t see it as that different from Channel Smite. The fact that it’s a free action means you can’t stack it with other free actions; but it’s neither really here or there. I’m not sure if that’s what it’d end up looking like in the long run, but it looks nice from my reading of it.

You can move, Strike, cast a spell and use your attack modifier instead of your spell attack roll. So it's perma Haste + a main attack stat replacement. Not overpowered at all, no, no, no.

The same for three actions would be more in line.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Gloom wrote:

Channel Smite uses two actions to execute a Strike and the One Action version of Harm on a target.

The proposed Spell Strike ability allows you to execute spells and a single action strike gaining you a net 1 action to your action economy.

Additionally, spells that do damage typically either have the Attack trait or prompt a save with a few exceptions such as Rays that require both. This would allow you to effectively ignore the multi-attack penalty for spells with the attack trait and/or have the enemy roll their save with a severe penalty of -4.

Gaining that much power is a tad excessive.

If you wanted something on par, it would be a two-action ability to make a strike and expend a spell slot that either contains a prepared damage spell for prepared casters, or a spell slot that can be expended to cast a damaging spell from your repertoire.

That ability would allow you to make a strike with the weapon and apply an additional 1d8 + 1d8 per heightened level of the spell slot to the strike damage of the damage type provided by the spell.

I'd also suggest a second feat to improve the damage of your spell strike from 1d8 to 1d10 damage.

IMO that would be much more balanced with Channel Smite.

I'm not sure it's that horribly strong.

Channel Smite is 2 actions for Strike + Spell damage and is treated like an attack.

SpellStrike has to trigger off a spell so if using it in melee you will provoke AoO and other reactions. The spell can also be countered.

Since it's an attack roll, Caster Base classes will not have great hit chances, but if they do hit and use a Save spell they get a big boost.

Whereas martial base has a easier chance to land Spell Strike and the -4 saves would bring their DC up bit, they'd probably benefit the most.

Also there's no mention of any kind of Crit from the Strike carrying over to the Spell. Channel Smite can crit and the damage gets multiplied but with Spell Strike above only the strike would get the crit damage, the spell could only hit.

I could see lowering the -x to saves and a later ability increasing it if it's a big concern.

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