How do you increase accuracy of a non fighter martial character?


Advice


So, As the title asks, I'm curious, What are some good ways to increase the accuracy of a non fighter martial character? I know the standard get a magic weapon and increase your strength or dexterity, Aswell as Weapon Focus for your chosen weapon. But are there any other good ways? Any good feats that work for people who arent fighters? Or are those all the options for non fighters?

I'm asking for a friend who wants to know for cavaliers, But also things that are just open for anyone.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

If you have spellcasting in your class, look at buffs to the PC. A Divine caster at level 1 may have a +1 Luck bonus to attack/damage from weapons (Divine Favor), a +1 Morale bonus to attacks and saves against Fear effects (Bless) and a +1 Competence bonus on any one attack roll or skill check (Guidance) running simultaneously.

Also for spellcasters, look at debuffs. The classic one that still gets used among my 8th level characters is casting Glitterdust to blind enemies. If you can deliver conditions that reduce a foe's AC such as Blind or Entangled, you've effectively buffed your own attacks.

For characters with an Animal Companion, a Familiar or a Mount, if they want to risk that creature in combat, they might be able to use their ally for Flanking bonuses. A Teamwork feat called Outflank boosts the bonus from Flanking to +4 instead of +2. Then the AC/Familiar/Mount might spend it's attack on delivering Aid Another instead of making it's own attack.

Also remember that such allied creatures get feats too, even if only one over the course of the PC's life (as with Familiars). If the AC/Familiar/Mount is intelligent enough to qualify for any feat, it could take Extra Traits. With the right pairing of 2 traits the creature could be delivering a +4 Aid Another bonus instead of a +2.

Tactics can also deliver a small boost. Flanking with party members delivers a base +2 to attack; Charging gives another +2. Attacking from above grants +1 to the attack. Using the Stealth skill as part of a Move action while previously unobserved might give the PC the chance to make an attack against a foe's Flat Footed AC.

Finally consider ways to target Touch AC. There's a Magus Arcana that turns melee attacks into touch attacks; nets are an exotic weapon that target Touch; alchemical splash weapons or even just flaming flasks of lamp oil target Touch as well. Touch is usually lower than normal AC though there are exceptions.

For a cavalier I'm guessing they'll be riding a mount. If a mount is larger than the foe you're facing, you get +1 to attack for Higher Ground (attacking a foe from above as mentioned earlier). If the mount charges, while the cavalier also takes a penalty to their AC they benefit from the +2 to attack at the end of said Charge action. So, at level 1:

A cavalier with an 18 Str and Weapon Focus: Lance riding a horse could spur his mount into a Charge action against a goblin with a 13 AC. Said cavalier, at the end of this charge, would make a single attack with a +9 using their lance to deal 1d8 +4 x2 damage because you're mounted and making a charge.

That's pretty nice.

Are there other classes you're looking to review for attack bonuses? Other classes have other abilities that can help. Slayers can spend a Move action to boost their attacks; the Magus or Warpriest can do the same with a Swift action. With a Cha 13 and the right build, by 3rd level a character employing a Familiar could have said Familiar wielding wands with a Use Magic Device skill of +14, so the Familiar is delivering buff spells from those wands.

Fighters get weapon training; barbarians and bloodragers gain Rage; alchemists use Mutagens; Rangers have Favored Enemies; Hunters get Animal Aspect and so on. There's a lot of ways to buff your PC's attack bonus, just simply depending on what class you take.


There can be no general answer. Most options only work for specific weapons, classes/archetypes, combat style, or builds.

It is virtually impossible to offer good help without a bunch of information. Thank heavens, the game would be boring if everyone could simply grab the same awesome fea, no matter the character.


@Mark Hoover 330, Awesome! That is a super helpful post! Thank you so very much. =) That was exactly what we needed. Thank you!

Dont have any other classes in mind, Your post gave us all the information we needed. Thanks!


Derklord wrote:

There can be no general answer. Most options only work for specific weapons, classes/archetypes, combat style, or builds.

It is virtually impossible to offer good help without a bunch of information. Thank heavens, the game would be boring if everyone could simply grab the same awesome fea, no matter the character.

Ah, Sorry for the trouble! IT was primarily the Cavalier we where wondering over, But was also wondering if there where any general feats. Thanks for the post. =)


Merellin wrote:
Ah, Sorry for the trouble!

No trouble, it's just that we can't really help without more information.

I don't think there are any feats (beyond Weapon Focus) that work for everyone or in all situations. Feats are usually more specific, some examples:
Possessed Hand doesn't work with two-handed weapons.
Furious Focus only works when using a two-handed weapon with power Attack (and only on the first attack).
Point-Blank Shot only works with ranged weapons (and only within 30 ft).
Demonic Style only works when charging (and while in the stance).
Greater Weapon of the Chosen only works for divine casters, and only when using the standard attack action.
Outflank only works when flanking.
Flagbearer takes up a hand.
Death from Above only works when charging from either flying above of on higher ground (for which creatures smaller than your mount count if mounted).

See what I mean? And that's just feats. Mark Hoover 330's last paragraph listed some possible multiclass options (and that's only a selection), but not everyone wants to multiclass. The party can also help, but to say how, we'd need to know what the party looks like.


For some particularly difficult fights you could also snag somep potions or something.

HEROISM is a great buff, it's not super cheap (400gp if made by a bard, 750gp if made by a wizard), but it's a decent buff to offense/defense/utility that lasts for ages (40 minutes - bard, or 50 minutes - wizard).


Isn't there an Ioune stone that gives a +1 to attacks? I think the same one can also be a +1 to saves.


when picking a class with a +0 bab take a class with abilities (or archype) that add to attacks. like going for warpriest - the free weapon focus (and sacred weapon increased damage).
or my go to when dipping into wizard for melee the earth school for the

earth supremacy:
Earth Supremacy (Su): You gain a +2 enhancement bonus to your CMD to resist bull rush, reposition, trip, and overrun attempts as long as you are touching the ground. This bonus increases by +1 for every five wizard levels you possess. In addition, you gain a +1 insight bonus on melee attack and damage rolls whenever both you and your foe are touching the ground...

-usually for a monk and mage armor and other spells combo.
also grabing the trait for +2 caster level make him passable for crafting wondrous items. hare valet familiar finish that up for +2 to craft and +4 initative.

Sovereign Court

VoodistMonk wrote:
Isn't there an Ioune stone that gives a +1 to attacks? I think the same one can also be a +1 to saves.

Cracked Pale Green Prism for +1 competence bonus to either Attack or Saves for 4k. I usually get one of each plus a Normal Dusty Rose Prism for +1 insight to AC for 5k.

Essentially since they don't take up a slot, you should get the AC one when you are considering increasing your Ring of Protection from 1 to 2, and the saves one when thinking about your Cloak of Protection 2 to 3, and the attack bonus when you are looking at upgrading your belt of str/dex. Mostly because weapons get expensive fast if you have any requirements like Keen or want to bypass DR.
zza ni wrote:
when picking a class with a +0 bab take a class with abilities (or archype) that add to attacks.

A level dip in Medium with Spirit Focus(Champion) and Spirit-Bonded armor enchant gets you +3 to hit and +5 to damage at the cost of a level, a feat, and wearing medium armor +6k. Of course, its not a full BAB class, so you lose that (but also gain +3 fort, +2 will & cantrips so...)

Also, if you are a dex based character, reduce person. Especially if you have dex to damage from something. My Kitsune Fox Shape Occultist routinely is Tiny for +2 to attack from size alone and +4 dex (so another +2 to hit and damage).


we banned Occult (Adventures book) classes way back in 2nd D&D edition. so i tend to gloss over them. no psychics etc in our games.


That's sad, Occultist is my new favourite class. You could easily re-flacour them as arcane/divine casters without really effecting the balance.


zza ni wrote:
we banned Occult (Adventures book) classes way back in 2nd D&D edition. so i tend to gloss over them. no psychics etc in our games.

How did you ban the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game 1st Edition book Occult Adventures decades before it was written?

MrCharisma wrote:
That's sad, Occultist is my new favourite class. You could easily re-flacour them as arcane/divine casters without really effecting the balance.

The Silksworn archetype makes them arcane, and there's at least one archetype that makes them divine. You can also make a Spiritualist divine with the Onmyoji archetype.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Most martial classes have some sort of class feature that can boost their accuracy. Quite often many players forget about these abilities so end up under playing their class. A perfect example of this is the paladin or ranger who never bothers to use spells. Look over your class and archetype and make sure you know all your class abilities. If you have access to spell pay particular attention to those.

A lot of these abilities can only be used a limited number of times per day. This requires that the player carefully consider when is the best time to use the ability. Don’t waste powerful abilities on foes that can be defeated without them. A paladin who used a smite evil against a ghoul that he can easily defeat, and latter runs into a powerful demon is not utilizing his abilities efficiently. But don’t let fall into the trap of never using the ability because you may need it latter. This is often the most challenging aspect of play. Carefully consider when to use your abilities.

When using a class ability make sure to choose the most appropriate one. Consider the nature of the encounter before deciding which ability to use. Using smite evil on a single powerful creature is a good tactic. But if you are faced with number of less powerful creatures using divine bond weapon is a better choice. Use the most appropriate tool to get the job done.

Don’t try to always match the fighter. The strength of the fighter is that they are equally strong in almost any circumstance. Most of their abilities derive from feats which do not have a limited number of uses per day. That means that their ability is consistent. Most other martial classes have a less consistent combat capability. When fighting how or what they were designed for they are more powerful than a fighter, but out of their specialty they are generally weaker. The cavalier for example shines in single combat due to challenge, but does not do as well in a fight vs a horde. As long as you are contributing to the combat don’t worry if the fighter is doing more. When you do get a chance to shine it will make up for it.

Also consider carefully what it takes to win. If you are facing a foe that is hard to take down, look at why he is so tough. Is he tough because you can’t hit him, or because he has a lot of HP. Most of the time it will be a combination of things but one of them will be more important. Adjust your tactics to suit including using the appropriate class abilities. If your cavalier is facing someone in a challenge that is hard to hit, but does not have extremely high HP you may want to not use power attack and rely on the bonus from your challenge to deal damage. If on the other hand you opponents AC is not that high but he has a lot of HP you may need to use both.

What it really comes down to is thinking tactically.


One thing I'll add to the Stranger's excellent and astute observations is this: PF 1e is a team sport.

Looking at the section on building monsters from scratch, it gives you certain benchmarks, certain averages. The baseline for monsters at CR1 is that they'll have about a 12 AC and 15 HP. Then looking at the rules for CR and you'll see that the CRs are based on a "typical" party of 4 PCs.

This means that 4 PCs at level 1, if all focused on dealing damage, should have a reliable means of overcoming an average AC of 12 to deal approximately 3.75 HP damage with their attack.

A non-martial might be casting a Cantrip, something they can spam accurately all day, while holding a flask of Acid in their hand and employing a feat that, for a Swift action, adds to their damage. They can target Touch AC from 30' away, do so with, say a +1 to their attack and deal 1d3 +2 damage with their Cantrip, thus allowing them to deal an average of 4 damage. This hits ALL of the benchmarks for a level 1 PC.

The Fighter in the meantime, built at level 1 with an 18 Strength, could literally pick up ANY weapon so long as it is a Simple or Martial weapon, and deal a bare minimum of 5 damage with said weapon at a +5 to hit. They are well over their benchmarks for this level.

As you level however, the benchmarks get tougher for non-martial types to hit. By level 10 a non-martial looking to contribute to ending fights by dealing damage has to overcome a variety of Resistances to Energy types, perhaps SR if they're a spell caster, target an average AC of 24 and deliver 32.5 HP damage with their attack. A 2/3 BAB non-martial, such as an Inquisitor, may have a handful of spells and abilities to help them hit these benchmarks a few times per day, but this does not render them helpless if those resources run out.

By level 10, WBL and the combat utility of the "big 6" items suggest that by this level you likely have a Stat booster item, a magic weapon, and at least 5 feats. If you're a non-martial focused on weapon damage, starting from a 20 Pt buy its extremely possible that you began the game at an 18 in whichever stat you intended to be your attack stat down the road. This combined with +1 point to a stat from level 4 and level 8 advancement respectively means that, regardless of your class, you have the potential of a 22 at least in an attack stat plus a +1 or better weapon in your capable hands.

If your attack stat is Str, or if your stat is Dex and you've got a consistent way to add Dex to damage without sacrificing accuracy, you've got a weapon attack that is +14 to hit without using a single, consumable resource. Figuring the avg roll on a D20 is 10 or better, you're hitting a little over half the time as a 2/3 BAB non-martial.

Now for damage you're only guaranteed (without examining your build, class, etc) to deal avg of your weapon's damage dice plus 6, or +9 if you're 2-handing your weapon. This will not get you to your expected 32.5 damage contribution. However, and this is where I say it's a team sport, if you have no daily resources left to end the fight with and you're not confident that your low attack damage can win the battle...

Aid Another and Flanking.

You attack with a +14; so long as you don't roll a 1 you succeed. If you can combine an Aid Another bonus with a Flanking Bonus for the Martial type(s) in the party, you give them a +4 or 20% greater accuracy on their attacks, regardless of your build, your feats, your abilities, etc. If you can add those bonuses into a full attack, that means the Martial's first attack is +4 but all those iterative attacks are STILL a +2 thanks to Flanking.

You might contribute, say, 2 attacks on a Full attack at 11.5 damage/hit without expending any daily resources, while your Martial(s) at this level may indeed be close to 34 damage per hit with the same non-expenditure. Making sure their 2 hits are successful may be as useful as the 55% chance that one of yours is.

Now the OP is specifically talking about a Cavalier so I have no doubt that they'll be hitting their benchmarks through level 10 and beyond in terms of accuracy, unless the GM greatly reduces the GP and resources handed out to the PCs over the course of the campaign. However for all the Magus PCs, the Oracles, the Inquisitors and so on with the 2/3 BAB that target normal AC with weapon attacks, sometimes YOUR inaccuracy can boost more accurate, more damaging PCs. Then, when you sense you're facing off against the "boss" fight, all those daily resources you've been holding back can blossom into the brilliant supernova of pain that IS your character unleashed.

Grand Lodge

Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
PF 1e is a team sport.

It should be, but no guarantees over it. I'm not making mystery of my opinion since it's not the first I'll be advocating a little more selfishness. PF1 includes teamwork as an important part, but it isn't the end of all.

There should be a balance between that and being self-reliant. I saw enough teamwork-centric concepts which ended up reduced to zero because there were denied that said teamwork. Some of them had nothing to get past vision denial or other kind of negative tactics, when using some consumables, building the character slightly differently might do the trick, even if no guarantee. That also means weakening the teamwork effort a bit as the budget is diverted, but it's a small price to pay to have a higher chance of working as a said team.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / How do you increase accuracy of a non fighter martial character? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.