Seeking advice on my Fighter character


Advice


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

So I made a Human fighter for Society play and I feel like I have run into a brick wall. I came from AD&D in the 90's so its been awhile since I played but I did not realize that Fighters were more jacks of all things martial rather than optimal for tank (They aren't bad mind you). Seems the Champion fill that roll and that's OK, I moved on from that but then I noticed something I must have missed bringing me to:

Shields.
I loved them at the start but wow, the scaling is not there. I noticed I started holding off blocking more and more as I climbed in levels. I saw the hits going FAR above the standard Shield BT and many times over the total HP's. I finally decided it was time to get a new shield and bam, almost all are the same or even worse on hardness and HP. I see how the Champion can add to that between Shield ally and one of the Lastwall feats and get another 4 to the hardness. Fighter's get nothing though and it's kinda placed me to feel like I am in a conundrum. I could continue with wielding the Shield and 1h Melee and using Double slice or maybe respec and go for Power attack. I have also had suggestions from some folks to use a doubling ring and use the Shield still.

I feel that it would be better in almost all respects to just use two 1h swords with Double strike and grab the Twin parry feat to use instead of using raise shield. No more blocking but it feels so worthless to block, much less with something costs hundreds or thousands of gold that could break in one hit and maybe even destroyed (I know you see the damage first before blocking but at higher levels it feel so high most of the time its irrelevant). Im not sure If I am overthinking this but I really feel disappointed now at how bad it feels once I got a taste of the scaling for shields.

Any suggestions or help would be appreciated.


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You want the Sturdy Shields, they are far more durable than any other shield.


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Are you using Sturdy Shields? Sturdy shields will generally have enough Hardness and HP to take a few hits for their level, and if you're a shield focused character, your GM should probably be feeding you some in the loot.

The trick to shield usage is that you block the little hits. If you have a shield with 10 Hardness, and are going to get hit by two attacks, one for 15 and one for 25, you block the 15.

Either way, you're stopping 10 and taking 30, but if you block the smaller hit, your shield is only taking 5 instead of 15. Good shield discipline keeps your shield in the fight for longer, which in turn means it can soak more damage for you.

The other thing to consider for shields is being able to keep them intact. If you get to Master in Crafting and take the Quick Repair feat, you can restore 20 HP to your shield in 6 seconds (Assurance also helps). Not ideal for a fight, but it is an option, and it's great for keeping it up between fights.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber
TheGentlemanDM wrote:

Are you using Sturdy Shields? Sturdy shields will generally have enough Hardness and HP to take a few hits for their level, and if you're a shield focused character, your GM should probably be feeding you some in the loot.

The trick to shield usage is that you block the little hits. If you have a shield with 10 Hardness, and are going to get hit by two attacks, one for 15 and one for 25, you block the 15.

Either way, you're stopping 10 and taking 30, but if you block the smaller hit, your shield is only taking 5 instead of 15. Good shield discipline keeps your shield in the fight for longer, which in turn means it can soak more damage for you.

The other thing to consider for shields is being able to keep them intact. If you get to Master in Crafting and take the Quick Repair feat, you can restore 20 HP to your shield in 6 seconds (Assurance also helps). Not ideal for a fight, but it is an option, and it's great for keeping it up between fights.

Sure I know of the sturdy shields but they still are not very good. The problem is that since hardness barely goes up you AND the shield keeps taking more and more damage. The sturdy shield scales but still not great and the hardness is mediocre compared the the average rolls for damage I am seeing. I could use it just to block small hit that barely affect it but I dont see those much and that feels counter to what it should be. I don't want it to eat a full crit or anything and be barely scratched but it feels like it should be much more that it is.

A lvl7 Sturdy shield is a loss of 360gp if destroyed. That seems excessive. Also that limits it to the Steel shield only. Thereis no way to have a Sturdy Tower shield that I have seen. If the materials were the ones that actually scaled you could use a Tower Shield if you wanted. As it stands the only option if you want a mediocre scaling shield to block with is a sturdy shield. As I said this feels very unsatisfying.

Im not trying to be difficult just honest.


What are you fighting anyway?

A lvl 9 creature like a Young Blue Dragon causes like 28 average damage with a strike, with the Sturdy Shield lvl 7 you take off 10 of that because of hardness and take the 18 damage remaining leaving you still at 22/40 before broken and 22/80 before destroyed.

So it can kinda take 3 normal hits or 1 critical hit (1hit + crit if you do in that exactly order).


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber
Kyrone wrote:

What are you fighting anyway?

A lvl 9 creature like a Young Blue Dragon causes like 28 average damage with a strike, with the Sturdy Shield lvl 7 you take off 10 of that because of hardness and take the 18 damage remaining leaving you still at 22/40 before broken and 22/80 before destroyed.

So it can kinda take 3 normal hits or 1 critical hit (1hit + crit if you do in that exactly order).

I guess im being too hard on this. I will try it a bit more and head the advice and see what happens. Here's hoping.


Also, using a shield means you can use reactive shield, which means you don't need to use an action raising it.


One big thing is to be very selective about shield block. You are mostly using it for the +2 AC. Like prev stated use it on the lighter hits to make it last longer. There is a PFS magical item that boost the HP of shields. Finally Repair the thing as much as possible maby at higher lvls buy a wizard friend (or yourself if you have trick magic item) some scrolls or a wand of mending (heightened as high as possible)


Mending takes 10 minutes to cast. If you have that much time, it's likely you could Repair it via Craft. Quick Repair is a better way to go, and it scales up to where you can guarantee a repair immediately after combat ends. That's a lot of h.p. for every single battle, even if the shields themselves don't seem to be lasting long.

It can't hurt to have a backup plan, like a bastard sword to switch to bigger damage when you lose your shield or a neat feat that works w/ an empty hand. Or maybe an MCD to pick up a defensive ability.

Shield is worth the action, as it doesn't just give +2 vs. the hits, but also vs. the critical hits. At level, you can often tighten it so foes only crit on 20s.
Also, since Fighters get Attacks of Opportunity, you won't always want to use your Reaction for your shield, though Fighters are great for being able to accumulate more uses of Reactions.

And if you don't plan to block due to losing shields, Fighter have good options for getting an AC bonus w/ other fighting styles that don't require shields and do open up different offensive options.


Also you could always carry a few spare shields esp after 5th lvl where things like bags of holding become available.

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