Swashtigator advice wanted.


Advice


So, My group convinced me to stop worrying about stepping on peoples toes and just make what I want to play, And our Investigator told me to make one if I wanted to as he dosent mind and they can be built in many ways to be quite diferent from eachother....

So I'm working on a Swashbucker/Investigator! I decided to go Goblin cus I like goblins and they have a high Dex but i'm not quite sure how to build it to be good..

He is joining an existing campaign at level 8. I rolled my stats with the GM watching and I got 18, 17, 14, 13, 12 and 11 (The 14 was originaly a 6, But the GM told me to reroll that one and I got a 14..) So so far I have gotten together

Inspired Blade Swashbuckler 1 - Empiricist Investigator 7

Str: 13 (14 -4 for Goblin, +1 for level 4)
Dex 22 (18 + 4 for Goblin)
Con 13
Int 18 (17 +1 for level 8)
Wis 11
Cha 10 (12 -2 for Goblin)

Feats:
LEvel 1: Bonus Weapon Finesse: Rapier (From Inspired Blade Swashbuckler)
Level 1 Bonus: Weapon Focus: Rapier (From Inspired Blade Swashbuckler)
Level 1: Fencing Grace
Level 3: (Not decided yet)
Level 5: Power Attack (Because Piranha Strike dosent work with a Rapier, And at level 5 because I dident get 13 strength untill level 4)
Level 7: (Not decided yet)

Investigator Talents:
Level 3: Quick Study
LEvel 5: Mutagen (Going for Dex on it)
Level 7: Infusion (So I can share my extracts with people)

So, I have Dex to Hit and Damage while using my Rapier, But a small Rapier is only 1d4 damage and I worry I'l end up quite weak, I also am unsure if I picked the right feats and talents, And what feats to pick in my two open slots.. Also wondering if I put my ability scores in the right places..

Any help and advice is welcome!

Edit: Oh! I should add, Our other investigator is more knowledge focused, And I want mine to be more combat focused.


There's nothing especially wrong with what you've got. 1d4 is nothing as base damage sure but with a dex mutagen, a dex belt, a +1 (keen?) rapier and power attack that's actually 1d4+17. The damage dice of the weapon is not the important part of that total.

You might want extra investigator talent in the free feats. There are a lot of good investigator talents; amazing inspiration, sickening offensive or more alchemist discoveries for a start. None of those is especially knowledge-focused and sickening offensive seems goblinish to me.


Thank you avr! I'v been realy wanting to try an Investigator for a long time since I love Alchemists and Investigators seem awesome. I'l look into the Extra Talent feat, I saw there is also a Extra Inspiration feat that gives you 3 more inspiration points per day, Is that worth getting? Seems useful!


Re extra inspiration - possibly, depends how long adventuring days run in your group, or if you might use inspiration on attack rolls or saves (which burns it up far too fast even with another 3 points).

There are a lot of interesting archetypes for the investigator too. I'm guessing knowledge-focused PC is taking empiricist so not that, but there's plenty more.


Thanks, I want to be a melee focused investigator, Are there any archetypes that would work extra well on a melee investigator? As for the knowledge ivnestigator in the party, I'm not sure what if any archetype he picked..

I'm also kind of considering building a second investigator with the same stat roll to be a full investigator and strength based of a medium race to see what one I like best of the two..

What do you think, Would a strength or dex based investigator work best for melee? If I build the second strength investigator I'd use a reach weapon on him I think..

Sorry for spinning all over the place, I have so many ideas and I keep trying to avoid overshadowing people and stepping on toes so I tend to end up making characters much weaker then everyone else plays only partly by accident as I avoid the storngest options.. And my group told me to stop that and just build a character I wanna play and stop worrying about overshadowing or stepping on toes as nobody would mind..


I personally like Strength based investigators and with those stats you could rock!

S 20 (18=2 race); D 14 (13+1 4lv); C 14; I 18 (17+1 8lv) Ch 11

Feat: Toughness, power attack, medium armor proficiency, extra talent
Talents: mutagen, quick study, infusion, sickening

Damage, long spear: 1d8+9 str (with belt) + 3 mutagen + 6 power attack = 1d8+18

Race can be human half orc or half elf.

*you could also dip urban barbarian for rage but it’s not necessary


A Str-based medium size investigator with a long spear, later on using extracts which increase size could certainly work. That's a difficult build to make work at low levels but you're starting at 8. Coming up with a good mental image/concept for a Str-based investigator is a little harder.

On archetypes scavenger especially works for a goblin as a concept and doesn't lose anything important. Bonded investigator loses a talent but gains a familiar, which could be handy in melee if you're careful or if you take the arbiter inevitable improved familiar. The toxin codexer delves into poisons which are usually a vast sink for money, but could add a little more punch to your rapier or long spear.


Thanks Mr. Hebeme! That does look like quite a nice build!


avr wrote:

A Str-based medium size investigator with a long spear, later on using extracts which increase size could certainly work. That's a difficult build to make work at low levels but you're starting at 8. Coming up for a good mental image/concept for a Str-based investigator is a little harder.

On archetypes scavenger especially works for a goblin as a concept and doesn't lose anything important. Bonded investigator loses a talent but gains a familiar, which could be handy in melee if you're careful or if you take the arbiter inevitable improved familiar. The toxin codexer delves into poisons which are usually a vast sink for money, but could add a little more punch to your rapier or long spear.

Thanks. =) My concept for my investigator is a bit reversed from the usual, He was a enforcer for a thieves guild in a large city, With quite a bit more influence then most people in the guild could even imagine. Though, Things hapend, And he either had to leave, Or escape as the guild was mostly wiped out by the guards/a rival guild...


So the STR-based Investigator will definitely deal more damage, but the DEX-based one will have better defensive options. The STR-based Investigator also saves a feat, and gets access to talents a level earlier. I usually like the Extra Talent feat early, so this would let you get build-defining talents earlier. The DEX-based Swashtigatir has higher DEX for skills, and Derring Do fits nicely with Inspiration.

Also it's worth noting that the bonus damage from Studied Combat/Strike is precision damage. High crit-range weapons will lose some of their benefit, but AoOs get the full benefit of your bonus damage. The Longspear with Combat Reflexs, or the Swashtigator with Parry/Riposte both take advantage of this, so they're good options. The Swashtigator really wants a Keen weapon ASAP, but the STR-based one can go straight for the Inspired weapon property, which is an advantage.

Instead of Extra Inspiratio I'd take Expanded/Underworld Inspiration (whichever one is more thematic). This will likely give you to WAY more Inspiration per day than Extra Inspiration would. For getting the most out of your Inspiration I recommend Half elf for the FCB, and if you find yourself needing more Inspiration you can take some levels if the Elf FCB.

For archetypes I'm a big fan of the LAMPLIGHTER.


Thank you MrCharisma! Guess the big question comes down to if I want more damage or more defense.. Both are quite useful to have.. Hmm...

Silver Crusade

Using stat increases for lower stats isn't that optimal. For comparison, this is what Tiefling could look like:

Str 13
Dex 22 (+1 4,8)
Con 14
Int 19
Wis 12
Cha 9

Traits: Student of Philosophy, one other
Feats:
Level 1: Bonus Weapon Finesse: Rapier (From Inspired Blade Swashbuckler)
Level 1: Bonus: Weapon Focus: Rapier (From Inspired Blade Swashbuckler)
Level 1: Fencing Grace
Level 3: Great Fortitude (or Power Attack)
Level 5: Extra Investigator Talent: Expanded Inspiration
Level 7: Extra Investigator Talent: Infusion

Investigator Talents:
Level 3: Mutagen
Level 5: Quick Study
Level 7: Amazing Inspiration

Compared to the precious stats, this gives +1 Con, +1 Int. Wis and Cha swapped, because 9 Cha gives just as much inspiration as 10 (minimum 1), and you're using Int for social skills.

If you like the flavor of a goblin, though, by all means play one.


Rapier can be used with piranha strike if it has effortless lace applied. Unless your DM has nixed that particular magic item, you can pretty much dump strength—you don’t even need that much str to manage your gear as a small character with less than heavy armour.

If the effortless lace is available, I’d go str 7 (11-4) dex 22 (18+4) con 14 int 18 (17+1 at 4) wis 13 cha 10 (12-2). You can put the +1 from level 8 into wis for more will save or put all the rest into dex after making your int an even score. You’d be a little hardier and have better saves with my stat spread, which I feel are much more beneficial than bothering with power attack on a dex focussed character. I rocked a str 7 on my little goblin swashigator and never had any issues. Might depend on how much your DM likes foes with stat damage/drain ability though.


@PCScipio Thank you for the build! Tiefling might be cool too, I have been tossing arround the idea of building one for a while...

@born_of_fire I did not know of that magic item, I'l have a look at it, Thank you! =D


Power attack on a 1H weapon gives a payoff of 3 damage per point of penalty, piranha strike gives 2 damage per point of penalty. They're identical only when using a naturally light weapon.

An enforcer seems like they might have a slightly flashier fighting style. Demonic style/momentum is about bashing people around.


avr wrote:
Power attack on a 1H weapon gives a payoff of 3 damage per point of penalty, piranha strike gives 2 damage per point of penalty. They're identical only when using a naturally light weapon.

Either one of those was a typo or you need to re-read Power Attack. Power Attack only gives -1/+3 if you're wielding a weapon in two hands.


MrCharisma wrote:
avr wrote:
Power attack on a 1H weapon gives a payoff of 3 damage per point of penalty, piranha strike gives 2 damage per point of penalty. They're identical only when using a naturally light weapon.
Either one of those was a typo or you need to re-read Power Attack. Power Attack only gives -1/+3 if you're wielding a weapon in two hands.

Yes, I was thinking of a 1H weapon used in two hands, which obviously you won't be with a rapier. Ignore that part, please.


avr wrote:
MrCharisma wrote:
avr wrote:
Power attack on a 1H weapon gives a payoff of 3 damage per point of penalty, piranha strike gives 2 damage per point of penalty. They're identical only when using a naturally light weapon.
Either one of those was a typo or you need to re-read Power Attack. Power Attack only gives -1/+3 if you're wielding a weapon in two hands.
Yes, I was thinking of a 1H weapon used in two hands, which obviously you won't be with a rapier. Ignore that part, please.

No worries. You're one of the most reliable people around here, so I thought there might even be something I was missing.

@Merellin: Essentially this is the difference between a STR build and a DEX build. DEX builds can usually get a slightly higher chance to hit, but STR builds get 1.5×STR and 1.5×Power Attack to damage, which can end up a pretty hefty bonus. You also save yourself a feat (Fencing Grace) and a dip (Swashbuckler), meaning your Extracts, Talents and Studied Combat/Strike will be slightly better. The Swashtigator starts with everything it needs to be effective in combat (don't have to wait till level 4 for Studied Combat) and gets better AC and Opportune Parry to help mitigate damage.

Honestly they're both good, I'd say go with whichever one you think would be more fun.

Silver Crusade

I'd agree that which build (STR or DEX) is "better" is a matter of personal preference. The DEX build allows you to wade fearlessly into the middle of melee, and pull off Swashbuckler-type moves; the STR build has to be more careful, but has a higher damage output.


MrCharisma wrote:
avr wrote:
MrCharisma wrote:
avr wrote:
Power attack on a 1H weapon gives a payoff of 3 damage per point of penalty, piranha strike gives 2 damage per point of penalty. They're identical only when using a naturally light weapon.
Either one of those was a typo or you need to re-read Power Attack. Power Attack only gives -1/+3 if you're wielding a weapon in two hands.
Yes, I was thinking of a 1H weapon used in two hands, which obviously you won't be with a rapier. Ignore that part, please.

No worries. You're one of the most reliable people around here, so I thought there might even be something I was missing.

@Merellin: Essentially this is the difference between a STR build and a DEX build. DEX builds can usually get a slightly higher chance to hit, but STR builds get 1.5×STR and 1.5×Power Attack to damage, which can end up a pretty hefty bonus. You also save yourself a feat (Fencing Grace) and a dip (Swashbuckler), meaning your Extracts, Talents and Studied Combat/Strike will be slightly better. The Swashtigator starts with everything it needs to be effective in combat (don't have to wait till level 4 for Studied Combat) and gets better AC and Opportune Parry to help mitigate damage.

Honestly they're both good, I'd say go with whichever one you think would be more fun.

Thanks! Everyone here is so helpful, Sorry for always asking so many questions about diferent classes. Thank you all for your great help!

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