The best full caster Gish I've seen


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Run half elf cloistered cleric.

Take elven weapon feats at 1/5/13

Take emblazoned armament/Divine weapon/emblazoned energy.

Take multitalented at 9 for ranger.hunted shot at 10.

Now yes your chance to hit isn't as good as a martial. At 10 your to hit will be about -3 behind a Max str barbarian (-2 if you started with 18 dex but I think you'd have to take a flaw for that)

General tactic is you spend the first round casting a buff spell and marking your target.

Second round use a blast spell and cast hunted shot. Many Divine blast spells are not attacks so don't affect your map. Hunted shot gives you double chance to utilize your attack buffs like Divine weapon.

I like this concept and will be building it for my next official run. Healing font and medicine.

What you think is a good character concept for this?


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Martialmasters wrote:

At 10 your to hit will be about -3 behind a Max str barbarian (-2 if you started with 18 dex but I think you'd have to take a flaw for that)

Just as a point on this particular comment, that won't work. You cannot gain more than a +2 at each step and - without a key ability score of Dex from your class - you will only be able to boost Dex 3 times to a 16.


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Martialmasters wrote:
What you think is a good character concept for this?

You can remove Hunted Shot. You need 4 rounds of fight against a creature that doesn't die for Hunted Shot to be just slightly better than Strike. Strike Strike Strike is equivalent to Hunt Prey Hunted Shot Hunted Shot.

Ranger's dedication is good if you can attack a lot. Otherwise, it's crap.

Also, there are not many buff spells for ranged attacks in the Divine spell list before level 11. I encourage you to debuff enemies, with Fear for example. It'll give you an equivalent bonus to attacks and help your party.


Xethik wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:

At 10 your to hit will be about -3 behind a Max str barbarian (-2 if you started with 18 dex but I think you'd have to take a flaw for that)

Just as a point on this particular comment, that won't work. You cannot gain more than a +2 at each step and - without a key ability score of Dex from your class - you will only be able to boost Dex 3 times to a 16.

That's fine honestly.


SuperBidi wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
What you think is a good character concept for this?

You can remove Hunted Shot. You need 4 rounds of fight against a creature that doesn't die for Hunted Shot to be just slightly better than Strike. Strike Strike Strike is equivalent to Hunt Prey Hunted Shot Hunted Shot.

Ranger's dedication is good if you can attack a lot. Otherwise, it's crap.

Also, there are not many buff spells for ranged attacks in the Divine spell list before level 11. I encourage you to debuff enemies, with Fear for example. It'll give you an equivalent bonus to attacks and help your party.

The issue with that is your using a martial basis for that assessment.

This character will almost always either attack once or hunted shot and attack twice. Other actions he will be casting spells.

Plus you can get 1d4 Force from Divine weapon

1d4-1d6 drop emblazoned energy

1d6 align armament


Martialmasters wrote:

The issue with that is your using a martial basis for that assessment.

This character will almost always either attack once or hunted shot and attack twice. Other actions he will be casting spells.

Plus you can get 1d4 Force from Divine weapon

1d4-1d6 drop emblazoned energy

1d6 align armament

No, I'm speaking of a caster. Hunted Shot is good only if you use it always after Hunt Prey. If you use Hunt Prey and don't follow it immediately by Hunted Shot, then you would deal more damage by just using Strike.

As a caster, you can't have too many things to do, as you'll have only one action available per turn to act. So, adding things like Hunt Prey, Rage, Stances and such is killing your efficiency, not increasing it.


SuperBidi wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:

The issue with that is your using a martial basis for that assessment.

This character will almost always either attack once or hunted shot and attack twice. Other actions he will be casting spells.

Plus you can get 1d4 Force from Divine weapon

1d4-1d6 drop emblazoned energy

1d6 align armament

No, I'm speaking of a caster. Hunted Shot is good only if you use it always after Hunt Prey. If you use Hunt Prey and don't follow it immediately by Hunted Shot, then you would deal more damage by just using Strike.

As a caster, you can't have too many things to do, as you'll have only one action available per turn to act. So, adding things like Hunt Prey, Rage, Stances and such is killing your efficiency, not increasing it.

Good thing I have true strike to combo off it then.

But noted.

It also depends on resistance's of the enemy. Since you combine the two attacks together for that purpose.

Even if it's non optimal. The fun outweighs that for me


For resistances and weaknesses, so it's not only an advantage.
Using True Strike + Hunt Prey + Hunted Shot works fine for the rounds you don't have already a prey.


Martialmasters wrote:
What you think is a good character concept for this?

Do you mean deity?

Since you have WPs covered with Ancestry feats, you are at liberty to select virtually any?

Deadly Simplicity will give you some extra damage though.

So: Cayden Caliean, Erastil, Iomedae, Norgorber plus whoever pops up next month?


rainzax wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
What you think is a good character concept for this?

Do you mean deity?

Since you have WPs covered with Ancestry feats, you are at liberty to select virtually any?

Deadly Simplicity will give you some extra damage though.

So: Cayden Caliean, Erastil, Iomedae, Norgorber plus whoever pops up next month?

Personality. Background. Origin. Quirks. Likes. Dislikes. Etc


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You ask us how your character should be?

I think that is very much up to you - everything of those things can go in every direction honestly

(Also I would first build the 'chracter' and the put stats on it)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I would play on the duality of the half-elf.
The elven parent is a happy-go-lucky fellow who passes by every now and then to teach the kid about the elven life and train them in the elven art of hunting and fighting.
The human parent is very religious and follows a peaceful take on their deity. They do not look that happily on your character's fascination for fighting and hunting and would rather the kid spends all his time studying and worshipping.
But they acknowledge the importance of having the elven parent in your PC's life.

Good thing for your PC that their deity also has a more martial aspect, even though one barely acknowledged by the community where they live.


I'm still a bit puzzled by the title: Why "best" gish?


SuperBidi wrote:
I'm still a bit puzzled by the title: Why "best" gish?

First one I've seen that is a full caster and is capable of similar damage from range as a raging barbarian in melee.

Due to map you both have a similar chance of said full damage landing as well since your operating at a less severe map and your spell can Target weaknesses or still at least do half damage if they save.

Now granted your burning through limited resource with the spell. But I think that's more than fair because you have full spell casting and can cast heals/support spells and AOE/control spells.

So I say best in terms of damage potential for a Gish.


I would like to know how you calculated it, then :)

Anyway, ranged gishes are easier to create than melee ones. The third action attack is a very nice way to complement casting.


SuperBidi wrote:

I would like to know how you calculated it, then :)

Anyway, ranged gishes are easier to create than melee ones. The third action attack is a very nice way to complement casting.

Level 13 animal instinct barbarian with +2 striking rune and Corrosive/wounding runes. 18 starting str

The barbarian does more minimum of my spell gets resisted. And it does more maximum by a negligible amount. The only costs the barbarian takes is rage and having to start his turn next to the Target.

Meanwhile the build I made requires 1 turn of setup for hunt prey and align armament (with the feat that lets it last 1 minute). You can hunted shot that first round doing limited damage and as always you are unlikely to land the second hit unless your team is debuffing.

Second round is where you do your damage casting one high slot spell. You have triggered Divine weapon. You choose what element of damage you want for emblazoned energy and you hunted shot.

The damage is roughly the same with roughly the same percentage chance of all attacks landing. Since your second shortbow attack is about as likely to land as the barbarian third attack . Especially without debuffing.

You could drop ranger and do rogue for sneak attacks. Forgoing the potential second attack hit in favor of more realistic one spell and one attack.

Barbarian and fighter I don't see much benefits.

The point here is I'm not saying it's on par with full optimized melee martials. But it's by far the closest I've seen a full caster get... With ranged attacks even. Even with the setup and resources I view this as still good because your still a full caster and have heal spells and have the medicine skill with feats.


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I have another "best" gish: fighter + any caster dedication.


puksone wrote:
I have another "best" gish: fighter + any caster dedication.

I agree with Puksone that calling your character the "best" is a bit optimistic :)


I also agree with puksone.

I highly doubt your character comes close to the DPR of a semi-optimized barbarian. A +3 to hit is a big deal. Additionally an 11th Barbarian does a lot of damage.

You've thrown words at us, now throw numbers : )


puksone wrote:
I have another "best" gish: fighter + any caster dedication.

I fail to see how. Your damage is at most better than a basic fighter by 1d6 per attack.

Your spell DC is poor meaning about all your good for is buffs. Limited spell slots available.

If you want a self buffing martial. Better off monk over fighter.

If you want a caster into martial dedication I haven't found better than a cloistered cleric ranged attack build.


Martialmasters wrote:
If you want a caster into martial dedication I haven't found better than a cloistered cleric ranged attack build.

Which is very different than calling it the "best".

Druid is the most obvious caster class for a gish. Thanks to the +2 status bonus to attack while wild shaped, you can get a better attack bonus than most unbuffed martials.


MongrelHorde wrote:

I also agree with puksone.

I highly doubt your character comes close to the DPR of a semi-optimized barbarian. A +3 to hit is a big deal. Additionally an 11th Barbarian does a lot of damage.

You've thrown words at us, now throw numbers : )

Barbarian level 13 3 attacks.

Assuming a enemy required 10 to hit on his first attack.

10/15/20 for barbarian

13/18/23 for the cleric.

First thing to note is you won't be attacking 3x with your shortbow as the cleric. Your first attack is a spell.

So your 13/18 is equivalent action to the barbarian 15/20. His first hit should be compared to your spell you led with.

Spell saves for half on the DC of at least 32 at that level. So your success will depend on the spell selected vs the Target.

But the goal isn't to come close to the DPR of a fully optimized barbarian. Rather to be able to spike and get close on single Target. So when you don't need to heal/debuff/buff/utility spell,. All of Wich you can do more often and better than a fighter with a dedication. You can spike some good damage. Plus your single action even single attack shortbow is better damage than your cantrip you might have and at worst is -1 to hit behind said cantrip... In exchange for more damage and only using one action.

But regardless I'm not trying to compete directly with martials. Rather looking to buff up my attacks and action economy as much as possible.


SuperBidi wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
If you want a caster into martial dedication I haven't found better than a cloistered cleric ranged attack build.

Which is very different than calling it the "best".

Druid is the most obvious caster class for a gish. Thanks to the +2 status bonus to attack while wild shaped, you can get a better attack bonus than most unbuffed martials.

You are merely trying to copy a martial temporarily and unless I'm wrong you can't cast your full spell list while shape shifted no? I maintain the flexibility here do I not?

Edit: best is me saying best I've seen not defacto best FYI. And I'll admit best is vague. I guess I'd need to explain why I think it's the best for what I'm trying to do.


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puksone wrote:
I have another "best" gish: fighter + any caster dedication.

Martialmasters pretty explicitly said that this is the best full caster gish they've found. Meaning, a gish with a caster base instead of a martial one.


Salamileg wrote:
puksone wrote:
I have another "best" gish: fighter + any caster dedication.
Martialmasters pretty explicitly said that this is the best full caster gish they've found. Meaning, a gish with a caster base instead of a martial one.

Thank you.

And also I said it's the best I've found. Wich doesn't necessarily mean it's the actual best. Just the best I've found!


Best is too broad a word to be used. If it fulfills your needs then it's fine. Others will find different builds they will prefer.
And your build has action issues that the Barbarian doesn't have. So, the comparison is really in a vacuum.


SuperBidi wrote:

Best is too broad a word to be used. If it fulfills your needs then it's fine. Others will find different builds they will prefer.

And your build has action issues that the Barbarian doesn't have. So, the comparison is really in a vacuum.

Absolutely agreed. Best comparison is barbarians first turn to get into melee and attack compared to mine first turn to set up and attack. That's as close as you can get to a comparison.

A more realistic build is rogue dedication for the d6 sneak attack. You won't have the same damage potential but it will be more realistic. Either way is fun. Get way more skills with rogue though.

And stating best as too broad is only true if i hadn't said (that I've found). Meaning I am very specifically not actually calling it The best. Merely there best I've found

Can you do a better caster with martial dedication that scales to high level well?

For the reverse I actually do monk with cleric dedication. Due to fob action economy and things like emblazoned feats and Divine weapon.


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Martialmasters wrote:
MongrelHorde wrote:

I also agree with puksone.

I highly doubt your character comes close to the DPR of a semi-optimized barbarian. A +3 to hit is a big deal. Additionally an 11th Barbarian does a lot of damage.

You've thrown words at us, now throw numbers : )

Barbarian level 13 3 attacks.

Assuming a enemy required 10 to hit on his first attack.

10/15/20 for barbarian

13/18/23 for the cleric.

First thing to note is you won't be attacking 3x with your shortbow as the cleric. Your first attack is a spell.

So your 13/18 is equivalent action to the barbarian 15/20. His first hit should be compared to your spell you led with. . . .

So in this scenario. Comparing the 2nd and 3rd attacks.

A barbarian and cloistered cleric with a greater striking rune. Both are 13th level, the Barbarian is Giant Instinct, both have greater striking. The Barbarian has a D12 weapon.

The Barbarian, on average, will do 3x the damage as the cleric gish.

Barbarian damage is 3D12 (average of 16.5), plus Str mod of 5, plus weapon spec of 3, plus rage of 10. Total of 34.5

The cleric gish does 5D6, 3D6 from the short bow, 2D6 from emblazoned energy and divine weapon. Total of 17.5, plus 2 from weapon spec. Total of 19.5

The barbarian's chance to hit on the 2nd and 3rd attacks are:

25% to hit, 5% to crit, weighted average total of 12.075 Dmg.

5% to crit, weighted average total of 3.45

Total: 15.525

The gish's chance to hit on the 2nd and 3rd attacks are:

10% to hit, 5% crit, weighted average total of 3.09

5% to hit, weighted average total of 0.975.

Total: 4.07

---------------------------------------------------

This was a pretty straight forward scenario. And there are other variables that can swing it more one way or the other, but there's a huge gap when it comes to DPR.

edit: Some wording


While I don't think the OP's gish is the most optimized thing in the world, I do think it's a little unfair to compare a divine gish to the highest damage output build in the game. It's the same reason people day you shouldn't compare bonuses to hit to the fighter. Accuracy is the fighter's thing, while damage is the barbarian's thing. Gishes are better off compared to monks, rangers, and champions.


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Salamileg wrote:
While I don't think the OP's gish is the most optimized thing in the world, I do think it's a little unfair to compare a divine gish to the highest damage output build in the game. It's the same reason people day you shouldn't compare bonuses to hit to the fighter. Accuracy is the fighter's thing, while damage is the barbarian's thing. Gishes are better off compared to monks, rangers, and champions.

I agree. I more or less took offense to the claim below.

Martialmasters wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
I'm still a bit puzzled by the title: Why "best" gish?

First one I've seen that is a full caster and is capable of similar damage from range as a raging barbarian in melee.


MongrelHorde wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
MongrelHorde wrote:

I also agree with puksone.

I highly doubt your character comes close to the DPR of a semi-optimized barbarian. A +3 to hit is a big deal. Additionally an 11th Barbarian does a lot of damage.

You've thrown words at us, now throw numbers : )

Barbarian level 13 3 attacks.

Assuming a enemy required 10 to hit on his first attack.

10/15/20 for barbarian

13/18/23 for the cleric.

First thing to note is you won't be attacking 3x with your shortbow as the cleric. Your first attack is a spell.

So your 13/18 is equivalent action to the barbarian 15/20. His first hit should be compared to your spell you led with. . . .

So in this scenario. Comparing the 2nd and 3rd attacks.

A barbarian and cloistered cleric with a greater striking rune. Both are 13th level, the Barbarian is Giant Instinct, both have greater striking. The Barbarian has a D12 weapon.

The Barbarian, on average, will do 3x the damage as the cleric gish.

Barbarian damage is 3D12 (average of 16.5), plus Str mod of 5, plus weapon spec of 3, plus rage of 10. Total of 34.5

The cleric gish does 5D6, 3D6 from the short bow, 2D6 from emblazoned energy and divine weapon. Total of 17.5, plus 2 from weapon spec. Total of 19.5

The barbarian's chance to hit on the 2nd and 3rd attacks are:

25% to hit, 5% to crit, weighted average total of 12.075 Dmg.

5% to crit, weighted average total of 3.45

Total: 15.525

The gish's chance to hit on the 2nd and 3rd attacks are:

10% to hit, 5% crit, weighted average total of 3.09

5% to hit, weighted average total of 0.975.

Total: 4.07

---------------------------------------------------

This was a pretty straight forward scenario. And there are other variables that can swing it more one way or the other, but there's a huge gap when it comes to DPR.

edit: Some wording

Sorry I'm at work training someone so attention us split. Having trouble keeping the evolving conversation in check.

I think what's best here is for me to try and take a moment to as best I can illustrate my issues and goals and realization.

Issue: clerics have s%$!ty attack cantrips by default. Beyond that casters have poor action economy between their cantrips and spells.

Goal: overcome the s$~~ty damage and action economy of said cantrips.

Realization: hey, look at all these weapon feats cleric get that are not tied to being a warpriest.

13 a cantrip is 6d4+5. 11-29damage. 4.5-14.5 damage per action.

13 with my build before I cast a spell. 3d6+4(shortbow)+3d6(corrosive+wounding+emblazoned energy) without any setup. Add another 1d4+1d6 (align armament+Divine weapon) with setup.

No setup. 10-40 damage per action.

With setup. 12-50 damage per action.

When you hit legendary with your spells you will at worst be -1 or -2 to hit vs your cantrips. But you do over double the damage per action. And can combine it after you cast a spell (or electric Arc Wich is a save cantrip instead of attack).

Even with the lowered hit chance this felt worth it for me especially if I don't mind the feat expenditure.

Now comparing that to a martial directly is of course folly. There raw to hit and higher proficiency along with str+some things like barbarian rage damage means this attack will not be in direct competition with them . Rather you have found a middle ground between the terrible cantrips and contribution
The fact it's at range and costs one action is a huge boon to your combat flexibility from round to round.

At the end if the day you are a full caster. That means your goal isn't always damage but the correct spell for the moment. What this does is let you spike pretty hard when combined with a spell as well as let you have better and more consistent damage contribution while still doing things like buffing and heals

So when I said they can do nearly as much damage as a barbarian. They can! But it requires you to set up a turn before. Cast a high level damage spell on top of your shortbow attacks.

That is a mention of capabilities. Not a mention of what your going to be trying to do every round. Nor is it a mention of what you will do consistently. You have to hit with your spell. Have it not be resisted for half damage. Hit with your first shortbow attack minimum. And that's 3 actions vs their two. Your need to hit your third attack to actually compare to their 3 attacks hitting.

But this is also the best I've seen. And it is realistic to land the spell and the first attack at minimum.

I think that covers it. Though I could be wrong.

Sorry for the confusion.

Sovereign Court

Xethik wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:

At 10 your to hit will be about -3 behind a Max str barbarian (-2 if you started with 18 dex but I think you'd have to take a flaw for that)

Just as a point on this particular comment, that won't work. You cannot gain more than a +2 at each step and - without a key ability score of Dex from your class - you will only be able to boost Dex 3 times to a 16.

This is not... technically completely correct.

Using voluntary flaws, you can add +4 to one ability score at the ancestries step, however, it has to be in the same stat that your ancestry had the original -2 flaw in.

So, you can get an 18 in a stat, even if it is flawed from ancestry, but you cannot get two 18s


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The King In Yellow wrote:
Xethik wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:

At 10 your to hit will be about -3 behind a Max str barbarian (-2 if you started with 18 dex but I think you'd have to take a flaw for that)

Just as a point on this particular comment, that won't work. You cannot gain more than a +2 at each step and - without a key ability score of Dex from your class - you will only be able to boost Dex 3 times to a 16.

This is not... technically completely correct.

Using voluntary flaws, you can add +4 to one ability score at the ancestries step, however, it has to be in the same stat that your ancestry had the original -2 flaw in.

So, you can get an 18 in a stat, even if it is flawed from ancestry, but you cannot get two 18s

But not Dex for a Cleric, since it's not the key ability (which was Xethik's actual point once you get past the "note that flaws can't take you to 18 by themselves" part).


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
RicoTheBold wrote:
The King In Yellow wrote:
Xethik wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:

At 10 your to hit will be about -3 behind a Max str barbarian (-2 if you started with 18 dex but I think you'd have to take a flaw for that)

Just as a point on this particular comment, that won't work. You cannot gain more than a +2 at each step and - without a key ability score of Dex from your class - you will only be able to boost Dex 3 times to a 16.

This is not... technically completely correct.

Using voluntary flaws, you can add +4 to one ability score at the ancestries step, however, it has to be in the same stat that your ancestry had the original -2 flaw in.

So, you can get an 18 in a stat, even if it is flawed from ancestry, but you cannot get two 18s

But not Dex for a Cleric, since it's not the key ability (which was Xethik's actual point once you get past the "note that flaws can't take you to 18 by themselves" part).

Not to derail the thread too much, but what I meant is you can't leave a step with more than a net +2 to a score. In the ancestry step, this does mean you can take two increases and one decrease for a final +2 modifier over what you entered the step in. But yes, I think we all three of us are in agreement, hopefully this doesn't confuse anyone who comes into the thread.

Silver Crusade

Perhaps a better use of this thread is to create actual full caster gish builds to level 13. Have it go 3 rounds against a standard/common Creature 13 entry from the Bestiary. Specify what actions your character would do for those 3 rounds and do the math so we have something concrete to compare.

So, requirements:

1. Character must start with a caster class:
- Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer or Wizard
2. Character must Archetype into at least one martial type:
- Alchemist, Barbarian, Champion, Fighter, Monk, Ranger, Rogue

3. You choose Ancestry, Background, Ability Scores, Skills, Feats advancing the character to level 13.

4. Select 2 items from the 13th Level Permanent Items (or lower) on the Treasure Table and 2 items from the 13th Level Consumables (or lower) and are able to spend up to 5000 gp for any kind of items/crafting/rune application, etc to outfit your character.

5. Specify the actions for 3 rounds of combat against a Purple Worm which starts 120 feet away and will not use the burrow speed during any of those rounds (so that it can always be targeted). The Purple Worm only moves 40 feet closer each round (no other actions). The gish goes first.

6. Calculate the damage done for those 3 rounds
(Avg damage for damage rolls * % chance to hit or failed save, etc)

7. We are able to compare/comment about the strengths/weaknesses of each build.

Sound reasonable?


corwyn42 wrote:

Perhaps a better use of this thread is to create actual full caster gish builds to level 13. Have it go 3 rounds against a standard/common Creature 13 entry from the Bestiary. Specify what actions your character would do for those 3 rounds and do the math so we have something concrete to compare.

So, requirements:

1. Character must start with a caster class:
- Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer or Wizard
2. Character must Archetype into at least one martial type:
- Alchemist, Barbarian, Champion, Fighter, Monk, Ranger, Rogue

3. You choose Ancestry, Background, Ability Scores, Skills, Feats advancing the character to level 13.

4. Select 2 items from the 13th Level Permanent Items (or lower) on the Treasure Table and 2 items from the 13th Level Consumables (or lower) and are able to spend up to 5000 gp for any kind of items/crafting/rune application, etc to outfit your character.

5. Specify the actions for 3 rounds of combat against a Purple Worm which starts 120 feet away and will not use the burrow speed during any of those rounds (so that it can always be targeted). The Purple Worm only moves 40 feet closer each round (no other actions). The gish goes first.

6. Calculate the damage done for those 3 rounds
(Avg damage for damage rolls * % chance to hit or failed save, etc)

7. We are able to compare/comment about the strengths/weaknesses of each build.

Sound reasonable?

I like this. I might say we just use the stats of a Purple Worm as a punching bag that's always in range. Quantifying melee damage vs ranged utility is hard. A melee gish will do more damage than a ranged gish, but only if they can be in ranged. So we just make the distinction, this is a range / melee (or both).

I'm also ok with however many rounds people want as well. OP's build requires a few rounds to get going.

Sovereign Court

Gish builds were about melee, though. (It was originally part of the entire concept.)

I realize ‘ranged Gish’ has become a thing, but it’s not really the default.

Having said that, there is nothing wrong with comparing the ranged damage output of multiple character types. I just wouldn’t really call them Gish.

Silver Crusade

I like the "always in range" argument, so the comparison is only about damage and not wasting actions on closing the distance for melee focused gish characters.

Yeah, I wasn't sure how many rounds to go. Perhaps we should compare how many rounds does it take your character to kill the Purple Worm.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
corwyn42 wrote:

I like the "always in range" argument, so the comparison is only about damage and not wasting actions on closing the distance for melee focused gish characters.

Yeah, I wasn't sure how many rounds to go. Perhaps we should compare how many rounds does it take your character to kill the Purple Worm.

Is the Worm doing anything in this scenario? Just using True Strike + Bespell + Ki Strike and a Monk/Wiz kills it on the third turn.

Could make that faster too depending on weapon runes, spell storing specifically could make a difference, and if the target is flat footed.


Vlorax wrote:
corwyn42 wrote:

I like the "always in range" argument, so the comparison is only about damage and not wasting actions on closing the distance for melee focused gish characters.

Yeah, I wasn't sure how many rounds to go. Perhaps we should compare how many rounds does it take your character to kill the Purple Worm.

Is the Worm doing anything in this scenario? Just using True Strike + Bespell + Ki Strike and a Monk/Wiz kills it on the third turn.

RAVIOLI RAVIOLI SHOW ME THOSE NUMBEROLIES!!!!


[Placeholder for Wizard -> Fighter, True Strike + Bespell + Power Attack analysis once I get to it.]

Silver Crusade

Vlorax wrote:
corwyn42 wrote:

I like the "always in range" argument, so the comparison is only about damage and not wasting actions on closing the distance for melee focused gish characters.

Yeah, I wasn't sure how many rounds to go. Perhaps we should compare how many rounds does it take your character to kill the Purple Worm.

Is the Worm doing anything in this scenario? Just using True Strike + Bespell + Ki Strike and a Monk/Wiz kills it on the third turn.

Could make that faster too depending on weapon runes, spell storing specifically could make a difference, and if the target is flat footed.

The Worm is doing nothing - just there for its AC, HP, saves, etc - so all builds are trying to kill the same thing. We are not going to consider any outside influences - if you want the Worm flat-footed, you have to make it so.

Purple Worm stats:
AC 32, HP 270, Saves Fort +28, Ref +21, Will +21
These should be the only things that matter to your gish build.

We can use the Azure and Crimson Worms as more challenging targets.


The thing about voluntary flaws means that you can take even stat your ancestry has a flaw in to 18 *if* it is the key ability of your class. So a Dwarf Bard can have 18 Cha at level 1, or a Goblin Druid can have 18 Wis at level 1. It does not mean a Cleric can start with 18 Str or a Sorcerer with 18 Dex- these are impossible short of a "+4 to a stat" ancestry getting printed.

It also means you can tank even a stat your ancestry has a bonus to all the way down to 8 in case you want to be a sickly dwarf or a low-charisma gnome, but this is less interesting to optimizers.


corwyn42 wrote:
I like the "always in range" argument, so the comparison is only about damage and not wasting actions on closing the distance for melee focused gish characters.

That's fair. I think part of what makes it interesting for me though is that melee combat is a lot harder to figure out for a gish.

It's relatively easy to pick up bow proficiency on a spellcaster and instantly have a reliable way to add some extra damage each round, then maybe pick up some feats to improve that.

While melee gishes have a lot more to worry about in terms of figuring out stat lines and armor proficiency and the best way to utilize their spells and stay on an enemy.

So while I think ranged gishes are much more effective overall, from the perspective of building a character I think melee is the more interesting puzzle.


For some reason I can't go back and edit my post, or I'm blind.

Level 13 Wizard with Fighter Dedication. Takes power attack, has a +2 greater Striking Great Pick. Takes Bespel Weapon.

Every turn casts True Strike, Bespell Weapon, and then Power Attack.

To Hit Bonus:
Level: 13
Proficiency(expert): 4
Ability (str): 4
Item: 2
Total: 23

Damage
Normal hit:
3D10 Great Pick, 2D10 Power Attack
D6 from Bespell Weapon
Weapon Specialization: 2
Str: 4
Total Average: 37

Crit:
5D10 turns into 10D12 plus 1 from Fatal, total 11D12
2D6 Bespell Weapon
Spec: 4
Str: 8
Total: 90.5 (Nice)

Chance to Hit: ~65% Weighted Average: 24.01
Chance to Crit: ~19% Weighted Average: 17.29

Total Weighted Average Damage per turn: 41.30

The Worm Dies in 6.5 Turns.

Full caster Gish that can P O P off on fools.

Silver Crusade

Using the higher level spell slots gets the job done faster:

Level 13 Wizard with Figher Dedication.
Takes Power Attack, Has a +2 Greater Striking Greatpick. Takes Bespel Weapon.

Wizard uses Evocation School with Spell Blending Arcane Thesis.
Two 5th level spell slots used for a single 7th level spell slot.
With Arcane Bond, wizard can cast 4 7th level spells. All spells will be Chain Lightning.

Round 1: Chain Lightning (7th) + Bespell Weapon + Greatpick Strike
Round 2: Chain Lightning (7th) + Bespell Weapon + Greatpick Strike
Round 3: Chain Lightning (7th) + Bespell Weapon + Greatpick Strike
Round 4: Chain Lightning (7th) + Bespell Weapon + Greatpick Strike
Round 5+: Use MongrelHorde's True Strike + Bespell Weapon + Power Attack

Chain Lightning (7th) = 9d12 Avg Full Dam = 58.5
Using Spell DC of 31 (4 (int) + 4 (expert) + 13 (level) + 10)
Purple Worm saves on 10-19 (50%)
Purple Worm critically saves on a 20 (5%)
Purple Worm critically fails on a 1 (5%)
50% half damage + 40% full damage + 5% double damage = 14.625 + 23.4 + 5.85 = 43.875

To Hit Bonus:
Level: 13
Proficeincy (expert): 4
Ability (Str): 4
Item: 2
Total: 23

Damage
Normal Hit:
3D10 (Greatpick)
D6 from Bespell Weapon
Weapon Specialization: 2
Str: 4
Total Average: 26

Crit:
3D10 turns into 6D12 plus 1 from Fatal, total 7D12
2D6 from Bespell Weapon
Spec: 4
Str: 8
Total: 64.5

Chance for Normal Hit: 50% * 26 = 13
Chance for Crit Hit: 10% * 64.5 = 6.45
Avg Damage from Strike = 19.45

Damage Round 1: 43.875 + 19.45 = 63.325
Damage Round 2: 43.875 + 19.45 = 63.325 Total = 126.65
Damage Round 3: 43.875 + 19.45 = 63.325 Total = 189.975
Damage Round 4: 43.875 + 19.45 = 63.325 Total = 253.3
Damage Round 5: 41.3

Damage after 5 rounds = 294.6


Wasn't my intention to make comparison charts as my personal goal was to be a full caster first and foremost. Even went healing font to better support.

But it also sounds like fun!

I'm still not sold on the power attack true strike build though. Mainly because of its obvious limitations. I like practicality in my builds.

My favorite Gish is mountain style monk.

I'm on phone and don't expect to construct a Post as nicely as you guys did though.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
MongrelHorde wrote:

For some reason I can't go back and edit my post, or I'm blind.

The Paizo forums have a 1 hour time limit in which you can edit or delete your post. After that, it gets locked in and needs moderator intervention.


corwyn42 wrote:
Using the higher level spell slots gets the job done faster:

You can't use spells, otherwise there's no point in attacking.

A Magic Missile specialized Wizard deals 240 points of damage in 3 rounds. So the Worm's dead at round 4 before the Wizard to actually play (thanks to Wands of Manifold Missiles).
And an evil Cleric deals 396.5 points of damage with Basic Fortitude saves (against a Purple Worm it doesn't work much as it's a beast in Fortitude saves, but against a monster with an "average" fortitude save, it's 277.55 points of damage in 3 rounds).

Druid with Plant Shape + Savage Bear Animal Companion + Sneak Attack through Rogue Dedication deals 185.85 damage in three rounds, 259.8 in four. So you drop the Worm at round 5.
But combat forms kind of trump the concept of gish as you can't cast spells while Wild Shaped.

Silver Crusade

I'm sorry, I was not aware that you couldn't use spells - as the OP included using blast spells:

Martialmasters wrote:
Second round use a blast spell and cast hunted shot.

If we aren't going to use blast spells (or their equivalent), only spells to buff the martial aspect, then I am not sure how to improve on MongrelHorde's build. However, if that is the case, then I agree that the Fighter build using the Wizard Archetype is a better build.

On a side note, I am trying to figure out how you arrived at 240 damage in 3 rounds w/ a specialized Magic Missile Wizard.

I got 220.5 damage from Magic Missile Wizard in 4 rounds (what am I missing? Maybe I did the math wrong)

Magic Missile (7th) 3 action casting = 12 missiles; 12 * 3.5 = 42
Two Wands of Manifold Missiles (5th Level Spell)
Magic Missile (5th) 1 action casting = 3 missiles; 3 * 3.5 = 10.5

MMX(Y) notation = Magic Missile spell X = level, Y = #actions

Round 1: Use Wand1=MM5(1), Use Wand2=MM5(2) = 31.5
Round 2: MM7(3) + 2 MM5(1) from Wands = 42 + 21 = 63 Total = 94.5
Round 3: MM7(3) + 2 MM5(1) from Wands = 42 + 21 = 63 Total = 157.5
Round 4: MM7(3) + 2 MM5(1) from Wands = 42 + 21 = 63 Total = 220.5

It looks like there needs to be some kind of way to augment the MM spell to either release more missiles or cause each missile to do more damage - but I am at a loss as to what that is. SuperBidi can you help clarify how you got there?

I would also like to see how you achieved 396.5 damage from the evil Cleric - all maxed out Harm spells? Some other kinds of spells?

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