Pickaxe crit build


Advice


I'm building a dwarf fighter and want him to specialize in either the Pickaxe (2H weapon) or the Heavy Pick (1H weapon) plus a shield. Both weapons have a 4x crit multiplier, so I want to be critting often.

How should I go about building him?
Any Archetypes to recommend?
What about 2H-weapon vs. sword(pick) and board?

Silver Crusade

If you want to go straight Fighter and focus on crits, then you want to maximise damage, therefore 2H pick is preferable and the build is fairly simple: Power Attack, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialisation, Advanced Weapon Training, and crit feats.

If you instead want to play a fighter-type character, intended as a melee martial character with full (or almost-full) BAB, and you do not dislike the idea of having some magical power too, I suggest you go 2 levels Eldritch Guardian Fighter archetype, 5 levels in Spirit Binder Wizard, and then Eldritch Knight prestige class. Get an Imp improved familiar when you qualify for it, and equip it with two +1 Keen kukris (outsiders are proficient with martial weapons). You don't need to put too many points in Int, just the bare minimum to cast spells to buff yourself, the rest can go in Str and Con.

Your build would be:
1 EG: Power Attack
2 EG:
3 SB: Weapon Focus [Pickaxe], {Combat Expertise}
4 SB:
5 SB: TWF
6 SB:
7 SB: Improved Familiar, {Butterfly Sting}
8 EK: Weapon Specialisation [Pickaxe]
9 EK: iTWF
...

Feats in {} are given to your Imp familiar via Spirit Binder Wizard. TWF and iTWF (and all other Combat feats) are given as well via Eldritch Guardian.

Your combat routine would be: both you and the Imp, while invisible, move into melee range of your target; once adjacent and able to full-attack, delay your action after the Imp; the Imp full-attacks; if a crit occurs and is confirmed, it is forgone and the Imp terminates its turn; on your turn, you attack the target and, if you hit, you automatically crit.

If you prefer going Pickaxe and Shield, you can take advantage of the TWF feats you are selecting for your Imp: pick Shield Focus and Shield Bash instead of Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialisation.


Overly complicated. And frankly dont think it works. That archetype needs an animal or vermin to bind a soul to, and imps arent either so they dont qualify to gain any alignment by the archetype. Since imps are LE they cant worship a CG goddess for the feat either.

Simple method is this. Get a friend with a very high crit weapon, like a rapier.

Make it keen.

Then have your friend worship desna and take butterfly sting.

Now when your friend crits they pass the crit to you. You hit for x4 damage with 2 hands over their x2 with one hand.

With a human as your companion you can fo this by level one. Otherwise depending on class youd have to wait a maximum level 3, and of course adding Keen on later.

No multi class no iffy blurred lines on class choices, get it right off the start and you have an instant bond with a party member. Only thing it takes is teamwork.


Get another player with a 18-20 weapon, the keen enchantment, and Butterfly Sting as a feat.

Any crit he confirms he can just give to you instead as long as you hit.


Use the one-handed pick, focus on grappling, take Throat Slicer and Hamatula Strike...


What level are you starting at?

lowericon wrote:
What about 2H-weapon vs. sword(pick) and board?

You can do both nowadays. Unhindering Shield is the easiest but Shield Brace also works with a bit of cash. If you want damage I'd go for the 1.5x Strength option.


Disposable weapon feat with the ability to mend broken weapons (or have spares) would greatly improve the chances of landing a 4x when you really, really have to with a light pickaxe. It would require making the light pick out of bronze, but for a Dwarf that adds a lot of unique clan flavour (maybe friends to fey and so reserve iron work for only special items), or your clan is a copper mine and you grew up specializing in the material to the exeption of others.

You can then have your special material 2H pick enchanted, with a slew of bronze light picks and shields or pick/pick TWF.

Sovereign Court

Guardianlord wrote:

Disposable weapon feat with the ability to mend broken weapons (or have spares) would greatly improve the chances of landing a 4x when you really, really have to with a light pickaxe. It would require making the light pick out of bronze, but for a Dwarf that adds a lot of unique clan flavour (maybe friends to fey and so reserve iron work for only special items), or your clan is a copper mine and you grew up specializing in the material to the exeption of others.

You can then have your special material 2H pick enchanted, with a slew of bronze light picks and shields or pick/pick TWF.

Disposable Weapon: Confirming the crit shouldn't be an issue, its getting the threat on a 20 only base weapon that is harder.

Swashbuckler could sort of work here(ie, improved crit at 5), but Precise Strike doesn't get multiplied on a crit (which is the point of the build).

Perhaps looking into Greater Weapon of the Chosen or other versions of getting rerolls? If I am reading it correctly, Greater Weapon of the Chosen requires "the attack action", so Vital Strike? But again, its getting away from the critical focus.


lowericon wrote:
I'm building a dwarf fighter
"Oorah!"
Quote:
...and want him to specialize
"In my beloved corps, you will learn to eat with both a knife *and* a fork, and stab with 'em too!"
Quote:
...in either the Pickaxe (2H weapon) or the Heavy Pick (1H weapon) plus a shield. Both weapons have a 4x crit multiplier, so I want to be critting often.

A x4 weapon, when it crits, will much of the time just result in massive blow-through. In practice, it's generally better to have a lot of smaller-multiplier crits than fewer big ones. The 19-20/x3 falcata is the best melee weapon "on paper" when the enemy's hitpoints are infinite, but it is probably not much better in actual play than a 18-20/x2 weapon, and either are much better than the 20/x4 picks.

Picks wouldn't be that bad if they had fat dice, but if you're going to settle for a d6 weapon, there are excellent options offering an 18-20 threat-range, and one of the best martial dipping classes is proficient in the best one (waveblade). If d6 is too small for your tastes, the feat Versatile Design (note: not PFS legal, if that's an issue) can be tucked somewhere into the build below to permit flurrying with anything that suits your fancy...such as a fauchard (best not to ask how a polearm can be a "close" weapon).

~ ~ ~

"High-threat Dwarf" (racial traits: do not forfeit "Hardy")
STR: 15
DEX: 14
CON+ 16 20pt-buy, 15,14,14,14,12,10*
INT: 10
WIS+ 16
CHA- 8*
(* This is the "safe" array for dwarves that keeps CHA uselessly up a bit to please GMs that hate dumping. Min/max it down to 5 if you want via a 15,15,14,14,10,7 20pt array).

Traits: Defender of the Society, Glory of Old
01 Fighter1 [core][FEATc:Shield Focus], Steel Soul

-- This is the "Max AC/Max saves" mentality that keeps inbound damage and skullbuggery to an absolute minimum. You do not want to ever waste time drinking a cure or a lesser-restoration potion.

1st-level armor: Four Mirror + Armored Kilt; 145gp; heavy shield, 7gp

02 Brawler1 [Martial Flexibility][IUS][Brawler's Cunning][Martial Training]

You pick up Acrobatics, Escape Artist, and Perception as class-skills (not that you have a lot of points to spend, but whatever), and are also now good at fighting in your tighty-whities. You pick up proficiency in all "close" fighter-group weapons, and have a free roving combat feat deployable as a move-action.

03 Brawler2 [Brawler's Flurry][FEATc:Quick Draw], Weapon Focus:Waveblade

The dirty little secret of Brawlers is that, unlike monks, they can Flurry in heavy armor, and also with a shield equipped while doing so. So, you get to stomp in awesome armor and achieve multiple attacks without incurring additional secondary weapon expenses as you would with vanilla TWF. (There's nothing wrong with multiple weapons, but it's irritating to pay tons of gold upgrading a pair that fulfill the same one-hander role.)

Gear at 3rd: MW waveblade, MW dwarven longhammer, MW light quickdraw shield, MW longbow (no strength rating)

Your waveblade is the same d6 as the heavy-pick, but you have a 27.75% chance to score a critical threat every round in which you can attack twice with it in a flurry. (This increases to 49% once it's Keen or you've taken Improved Critical.)

Combat tactics: pre-combat, declare a ready-action to activate Martial Flexibility an the outbreak of combat. (Suggestions: Combat Reflexes if you think you're about to be mobbed by a bunch of normal-sized or smaller non-opponents. You make some AoOs, then drop it and quickdraw your shield and short weapons. The bow will eventually be a +1/Adaptive.)

04 Fighter2 [FEATc:Weapon Specialization:Waveblade]. STR>16
05 Fighter3 or (Cavalier or Samurai)1, FEATg

Q. Know what's better than Power Attacking with a -2 penalty at 4th to get +4 damage with a one-hander? Eating that same -2 to get a whole extra attack with a weapon you're already +2 damage in. (Brawler-Fighter crit-fishers are one of the few martial builds circa year 2020 where it's still OK to take 3rd edition-era Weapon Specialization rather than a swank choice off the Paizo laundry-list pre-BAB6. You can always the retraining rules to swap it out for something more powerful later.)

Flurry damage at 4th: 2x (d6+7, w/+1 weapon and belt) + ~20% confirmed crit per full-attack. It's respectable, but certainly lower than what a full-grunt 2hPA minmax strength build puts up with a butchering axe -- but as a dwarf fighter, your primary characteristic is fireplug resilience, not overwhelming offense. When the ranger is at -35 with Xs in his eyes, and the barbarian is Confused and whacking on the party cleric trying to fix him, you keep motoring along.

~ ~ ~

You can take Brawler3 to grab a free maneuver feat, but Brawler4 is a dud level, so I'm inclined to just be fighter the rest of the way after a two-level dip. (It's not like there's any impetus to hurry Weapon Training at Fighter5 when it'll be 7th minimum in most campaigns before you can afford Gloves of Dueling anyway.) Alternatively, jump to class granting Challenge to start racking up huge crit-applicable numeric bonuses to damage.


Spoilers, Slim Jim. [Spoilers]

Slim Jim wrote:
You can take Brawler3 to grab a free maneuver feat, but Brawler4 is a dud level

Is that a specific archetype? Because the Maneuver Training class feature just gives you a +1 to CMB/CMD against a specific maneuver at level 3.

===

I think the theme of the build is about a pickaxe-wielding dwarf, rather than a crit-fishing dwarf.


Alright, so Brawler3 is even worse than I thought after a cursory glance. (Two and done it is, then.)

Quote:
I think the theme of the build is about a pickaxe-wielding dwarf, rather than a crit-fishing dwarf.
About that....
OP wrote:
Both weapons have a 4x crit multiplier, so I want to be critting often.

He saw the "4x", and got stars in his eyes. But "critting often" comes from threat-range and multiple attacks, not the multiplier.

--Flurrying with an 18-20/x2 weapon, he has a 48% chance of at least one crit in two rounds. Single-attacking with a pick over the course of four rounds, he'll have only an 18.5% chance of rolling a nat-20. And then, his big moment arrived, he rolls a 3 to confirm. ...well, that sucks.... Maybe it'll hapen again sometime this year. Or, alternatively, he rolls a second 20. Hooray! Crit confirmed, with extra sprinkles! He keeps rolling high with his weapon dice and dishes out over hundred damage to the enemy -- and the GM just doesn't have the heart to tell him that the target only had 14hp left in the first place.

Nobody uses picks for good reason. You can use any weapon, of course (and it's hard to build a horrible dwarf fighter unless you nerf Hardy and don't wear armor), but your teammates would like to assume they can count on you to be takin' care of business.

~ ~ ~

If you absolutely must use a pick as a straight-class fighter, put your WF and WS into pick (because, per stipulation, nobody can talk you out of it), then take the Axe weapon-group upon acquiring Weapon Training (because picks are in the axe group). Then do this:

05 Fighter5 [Weapon Training:Axes], FEATg:Advanced Weapon Training [Weapon Specialist{Axes)].

--What this does is make every weapon in the Axe group beneficiary to your weapon-specific feats (well, a number of those feats up to your Weapon Training bonus number, which will be +3 upon purchase of Gloves of Dueling). Then you'll be applying WF, WS, etc. to nice weapons like the bardiche for a d10 bracing reach-weapon, as well as the d10 waraxe, the d8 dwarven heavy axe gauntlet (+10 against being disarmed!), and there are even a few throwing options in the axe group.

This way, you can depict the evolution of your humble dwarf miner (fighting with the one thing he knows) maturing into a professional warrior well-versed in the best weapons of the category. I.e., the equivalent of a rice-cutting peasant with a sickle who becomes a samurai and learns the wakizashi.


If you take the Quick Draw feat and use a quickdraw light (wooden or steel) shield, you can do 2-handed damage with a heavy pick on your turn while still retaining shield ac on opponent's turns. Start of your turn stow the shield as a free action, free action switch your grip to two handed, attack, free action switch your grip to one handed, free action draw the shield.


Shield Focus and Unhindering Shield will allow you to just keep your hands on your weapon, not worry about any of that one million free action shenanigans.


Cavall wrote:

Simple method is this. Get a friend with a very high crit weapon, like a rapier.

Make it keen.... butterfly sting.

Now when your friend crits they pass the crit to you. You hit for x4 damage with 2 hands over their x2 with one hand.... Only thing it takes is teamwork.

Leadership Feat, and your Cohort can take Butterfly Sting.


Cavall wrote:

Overly complicated. And frankly dont think it works. That archetype needs an animal or vermin to bind a soul to, and imps arent either so they dont qualify to gain any alignment by the archetype. Since imps are LE they cant worship a CG goddess for the feat either.

Simple method is this. Get a friend with a very high crit weapon, like a rapier.

Make it keen.

Then have your friend worship desna and take butterfly sting.

Now when your friend crits they pass the crit to you. You hit for x4 damage with 2 hands over their x2 with one hand.

With a human as your companion you can fo this by level one. Otherwise depending on class youd have to wait a maximum level 3, and of course adding Keen on later.

No multi class no iffy blurred lines on class choices, get it right off the start and you have an instant bond with a party member. Only thing it takes is teamwork.

A character with an ally like this might be a good candidate for Vital Strike Feats and maybe a couple of Size bumps. Say take a level in something that lets you Enlarge Person and cast Lead Blades (or use a Wand) on yourself to up the Pick Axe Damage to 4d6, then that gets Quadupled to do 16d6. Then each Vital Strike Feat adds 4d6

It would be really cool if you had 2 character with Crit-fishing builds, say 2 Warpriests with 2 Kukris and Improved Crit and Seize the Moment or Outflank + Combat Reflexes. Maybe make one of them a Divine Commander and gift that Teamwork Feat to the whole party.

I'm not really sure how it will work, but it sounds promising.


VoodistMonk wrote:
Shield Focus and Unhindering Shield will allow you to just keep your hands on your weapon, not worry about any of that one million free action shenanigans.

That's literally why the Quickdraw shield exists, though.

The dwarf would need to spend four free actions each turn to switch from and back into one-handed and shield. An archer with Manyshot and Rapid Shot would at BAB +6 use the same amount of free actions just to draw their arrows.


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Wonderstell wrote:
VoodistMonk wrote:
Shield Focus and Unhindering Shield will allow you to just keep your hands on your weapon, not worry about any of that one million free action shenanigans.

That's literally why the Quickdraw shield exists, though.

The dwarf would need to spend four free actions each turn to switch from and back into one-handed and shield. An archer with Manyshot and Rapid Shot would at BAB +6 use the same amount of free actions just to draw their arrows.

Not to mention that Quick Draw permits you to fight with a wide assortment of weapons without wasting time putting the right one in your hands. I.e., the axe-fighter dwarf marches with equipped LQD shield (want that flatfooted AC!) and a throwing and/or returning weapon with a ready-action declared to zing it at any appearing enemy. Then, if not able to reach the enemy in the first round, he'll chuck it again, then free-action quickdraw and equip his bardiche for some off-turn AoOs. Next round, the enemy has closed to melee, quickdraw short weapons and go to town, cycling LQD shield off and on.

Quick Draw is a fantastic, flexible feat that takes you out of the one-trick-pony box.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Cavall wrote:

Simple method is this. Get a friend with a very high crit weapon, like a rapier.

Make it keen.... butterfly sting.

Now when your friend crits they pass the crit to you. You hit for x4 damage with 2 hands over their x2 with one hand.... Only thing it takes is teamwork.

Leadership Feat, and your Cohort can take Butterfly Sting.

Not that Leadership is bad or anything (because, done right, it's the bloody best feat in the entire game, although adventuring dwarves are rather awful at it -- see below), but this is about the most convoluted, verisimilitude-breaking means of acquiring damage that a player could devise.

Even when it works, your sidekick is forgoing the possibility of dropping a bad guy right then with their crit in order to, instead, keep it alive longer until your turn. And then the still-alive bad guy waxes your sidekick.

~ ~ ~

GM (incredulously): "Are you really sure you wouldn't rather just flurry with a keen weapon *yourself* that crits on 15-20? ...I mean, getting crits is the reason you're doing all this, right? Assuming I permit Leadership at my table, let me show you all the stacking penalties that rack up: As a 7th-level Cha 8 adventuring dwarf of no renown, you're -2 to your Leadership score, and are entitled to at most one 3rd-level cohort, possibly only a 2nd-level one if they're a different alignment than you because Butterfly String requires worshipping a specific deity. Anyway, let's further suppose that this utter weakling gets killed in combat, because of course they will, and then the word gets out that you got your cohort killed, and now you're -2 to your Leadership score trying to hire the next one, who'll be a 1st-level boot-polisher. And those penalties are cumulative. Not to mention you'll also be -2 if you have an animal companion, mount, or familiar, and are another -1 if you got any of them killed. During this mookocalypse, you'll earn a record of failure for another -1, and maybe also cruelty for another -2...."


TWF with a pair of Tongi, not a pick... now you have 19-20/x3 piercing weapons. Silence the critics. Play the character you want to play, just with a slightly better chance at being successful. It's a small change with massively different results. You can still use Unhindering Shield with this to have and use a shield to help tank.


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Slim Jim wrote:
Not that Leadership is bad or anything (because, done right, it's the bloody best feat in the entire game, although adventuring dwarves are rather awful at it -- see below), but this is about the most convoluted, verisimilitude-breaking means of acquiring damage that a player could devise.

Thanks, man!


If going the butterfly sting route (however you do it, I personally wouldn't go Leadership as it's a few levels in and waiting sucks and it is often banned) there as some great traits to look at.

Killer, for instance would add 4 more damage on a crit being handed to you. I mean, it's going to come up a lot and of you're going to overkill, may as well do it with static damage before you even pick up a die.

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