Help building a very unusual character with some pretty large restrictions


Advice


So recently I've awakened an animal and taken it as my character's cohort for the leadership feat.
It's stats are simply amazing, but it has 2 'levels' of animal and 2 'levels' of magical beast. And can't replace a feat it started with (skill focus: perception)

I have 1 class level, and 2 feats to choose for my new buddy and I'm not sure exactly how I want to work this one.

I'm thinking of taking the wizard archetype sword binder and binding him with a +3 benevolent elven curved blade we randomly rolled up, since nobody in our area is rich enough to actually buy that. But I would need to take eschew materials (I'm assuming it would be very hard for a dog to mess with material components while casting a spell) and point blank shot (for Hand of the apprentice)

For character reasons, even with these heavy restrictions, choosing a different companion is out of the question.

Stats:

Spoiler:

Str: 18 Int: 17
Dex: 16 Wis:14
Con:15 Cha: 9

For anyone who cares about the character reasons for why replacing it is not an option.

Spoiler:
the animal is a dog that has stuck by my LE character's side since first level, and has been willing to fight even things that were clearly above its ability to handle for him. So when it was time to turn him into a hellhound, I found I couldn't kill it. So I decided my character was going to find another way. Eventually we found a druid and paid him to cast the spell.

So, thoughts?


My first 2 thoughts were Sorcerer and Bard, but looking at your Charisma of 9--I hate to say this--but you have an ugly dog.

So, how about a natural attacking melee character? The simplest way to do that is with Unchained Barbarian and Lesser Beast Totem for Claws in addition to a bite, give him a Helm of the Mammoth Lord. Let him take a level in White Haired Witch so he has a Hair Attack, too. Now he has 5 attacks/round to go with his 18 Strength, 22 when he goes into a Rage.

Another option would be Warpriest, substituting Sacred Weapon Damage for the regular natural attack damage, and maybe Divine Commander and you 2 could take some lovely Teamwork Feats together.

Monk comes to mind.


My biggest concern is that he has int as his second highest stat, and making him a pure martial would be pretty wasteful in that regard... at least that's my opinion. Plus he's never really going to be a super viable front line, since he'll always be 2 levels down.

What do you think about a rogue of some sort?


Ranger with Natural Weapons style and Aspect of the Beast feat?


Zog of Deadwood wrote:
Ranger with Natural Weapons style and Aspect of the Beast feat?

I always heard ranger is kinda gimped. Is that something that's situationally true, or an exaggeration?


If you really want to use his int/be a caster, Witch with the prehensile hair hex and Eschew feat. Though, can a dog use Somantic component? How about a Sylvan Trickster Rogue. Think of all those skill points and hexes to boot. IMO, the prehensile hair hex to manipulate tools is needed. Any martial class with some focus on natural weapons would be good.

Look up ways to change various skills to int, that could be a good use for int.


Kensai Magus, maybe?

Evangelist Cleric?

Inquisitor?


If you want to use that int...Magus? Or a really strange possibility of an Investigator. Either way you're looking at a natural attack build. The Magus would have a serious damage output, the Investigator would be a skill monkey of sorts with some decent combat ability.

Both would have a middling BAB. Long term wise it might be better to go with a full BAB class. Fighter would be a good choice simply because it gets tons of feats and with advanced armor/weapon training you can kick out class abilities you can't use for alternative abilities you can use. Also the high int makes up for the 2 skill points per level.

BTW: how exactly would your dog use a weapon? Awaken only changes their creature type and mental stats. It doesn't change the animal's body at all. While your dog can now speak, it doesn't have hands and it can't use a sword with its mouth.


An Alchemist (Beastmorph and vivisectionist) is a melee brute that has a use for a high int, who will put those high physical stats (Str, Dex, Con) to good use (and those animal and magical beast levels).


Meirril wrote:


BTW: how exactly would your dog use a weapon? Awaken only changes their creature type and mental stats. It doesn't change the animal's body at all. While your dog can now speak, it doesn't have hands and it can't use a sword with its mouth.

That was the reason I was considering the archetype which specs into an ability to use magic to make attacks with a sword.

Some pretty good suggestions all around. I'm considering magus and alchemist, after having thought about it.


With 4 levels in 'classes' without spellcasting, you're going to be better off building on that with full BAB classes IMO. Maybe 3/4 BAB at a pinch. Adaptive shifter would fit thematically, or some form of bloodrager, or metamorph alchemist could get a little use from the Int.


Pump that Wisdom, make your favorite puppy into your party mascot via Evangelist Cleric...

Forget the dismal Charisma, but you still have a Bard!


waerwolf435 wrote:
Zog of Deadwood wrote:
Ranger with Natural Weapons style and Aspect of the Beast feat?
I always heard ranger is kinda gimped. Is that something that's situationally true, or an exaggeration?

Freebooter's Bane works against any kind of opponent, and it goes up by +1 Attack and Damage every 5 levels, and that's a bonus for the whole party. That seems reasonable.

VoodistMonk wrote:
Kensai Magus, maybe?

The OP's ugly dog has both a high strength and high Intelligence, and that combination does point to Magus.

I am not a fan of Kensai, though. I don't like Diminished Spellcasting, and in combination with no armor, that just seems bad. The most attractive feature of Kensai to me is that you get to do maximum damage instead of rolling your damage dice, but the dog's weapon is it's bite, and what's the bite goiing to do: 1d6? That doesn't seem worth it. I'd recommend being a regular Magus, and invest in Lamellar Leather Barding for your dog, maybe with Armor Spikes, because you totes and a spiked collar.

Valandil Ancalime wrote:
If you really want to use his int/be a caster, Witch with the prehensile hair hex

I'd give the matter of adding more natural attacks some serious thought before proceeding. Dogs only have the 1 Natural Attack, and if a creature has only one Natural Attack, it inflicts +1.5 X it's Strength Mod for damage instead of just Strength Mod. If you want to add 1 Natural Attack, add lots of Natural Attacks: instead of dipping in Witch, dip in White Haired Witch and get a Primary Hair Attack instead of a Secondary one. Then be a Hexcrafter Magus and get both Prehensile Hair and Nails that way. Then get your dog a Helm of the Mammoth Lord for a Bite Attack and a a Tentacle Cloak because why not?

Magus isn't the way I'd go for a Natural Attack build, though. I usually think Warpriest, but I also usually think in terms of playing a Race that already has Bite and Claw Attacks such as a Tengu. So how do you get Claw and Gore Attacks? Maybe Alchemist so you can get yourself a feral Mutagen for your Claw attacks? Maybe Alchemist/Unchained Barbarian, so you can get Claws with your Mutagen and Gore with a Rage Power (lesser fiend totem); the Alchemal Bonus to Strength stacks with the bonus from Rage, so that's a +8 Strength. Barbarian Damage scales up with levels if you take the right Rage Power. I don't know how the build would work, but I think I see a lot of potential there.


(The helm of mammoth grant a gore attack, not a bite)
A vigilante dog? Many things to do with a vigilante. That includes spellcasting, or tanking, or healing. Anything really.


Cornebre wrote:

(The helm of mammoth grant a gore attack, not a bite)

A vigilante dog? Many things to do with a vigilante. That includes spellcasting, or tanking, or healing. Anything really.

I see I misspoke. Yes. Dogs already have a Bite Attack. The HotML was to also give it a Gore Attack, and then I proposed ways to give it Claw, Nail, and Hair attacks.

Grand Lodge

One major hurdle is going to be that awaken does not give the animal any new item slots, or the ability to wield weapons. You are going to have to blow most of your feats on extra item slots if you want to fully equip it.

This lends itself to either a natural attacks based build, or a support caster...depending on the GM, they may not gain the ability to cast spells (no hands/fingers for somatic components, etc)

If you had the druid cast Anthropomorphic Animal and made it permanent in addition to Awaken, then ignore the above.


waerwolf435 wrote:

So recently I've awakened an animal and taken it as my character's cohort for the leadership feat.

It's stats are simply amazing, but it has 2 'levels' of animal and 2 'levels' of magical beast. And can't replace a feat it started with (skill focus: perception)

I have 1 class level, and 2 feats to choose for my new buddy and I'm not sure exactly how I want to work this one.

I'm thinking of taking the wizard archetype sword binder and binding him with a +3 benevolent elven curved blade we randomly rolled up, since nobody in our area is rich enough to actually buy that. But I would need to take eschew materials (I'm assuming it would be very hard for a dog to mess with material components while casting a spell) and point blank shot (for Hand of the apprentice)

For character reasons, even with these heavy restrictions, choosing a different companion is out of the question.

Stats:
** spoiler omitted **

For anyone who cares about the character reasons for why replacing it is not an option.
** spoiler omitted **

So, thoughts?

If you want to make your dog an INT-based caster, have you considered a Psychic? No Verbal or Somatic components, and only expensive Material components...

There's also the Psychic Detective Investigator archetype, which gets Int-based psychic casting instead of alchemy. Might be a better choice for a character that's never going to be up to par as a pure caster...

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