Build Advice: Martial Bodyguard


Advice


We are starting a new campaign that our DM wants to keep in the heroic fantasy tier without the rocket tag arm race of the last few levels, so we will be capped to lvl 13 and then just improve our characters in narrative ways (influence, contacts and access to infrastructure).
Since the DM seems to have a problem with the toolbox multiple high level spell casters bring to the table - wanted to try something martial this time. The group has a hunter, a sorcerer and a cleric... so plenty spells already anyway.

I am aiming for character good at defending himself, one ally and hindering enemies. I think it looks good on paper, but wanted to hear a second/third opinion if someone feels like checking the build.

What the build does:
Can give +8 bonus to the AC of an attacked adjacent ally as an AoO and lasting until the beginning of my next turn (+3 benevolent armor, helpful train, harrying partners and Intercept + Bodyguard)
Can allow an adjacent ally (if he is his ward) to reroll a Fort or Will save or to automatically stabilize his ward and allow him to remain conscious if reduced below 0 hp.
Can frighten enemies in 30 feat for a round and sicken the target of his attacks for 2 rounds
Can reduce the attacks or AC of his sneak attack targets by 2 and with each attack reduce their attack stat by 1.
Has OK-ish defenses himself (I think).

Race: Human (Focused Study, Heart of the Fey)
Classes: Weapon Master Fighter 3/ Unchained Rogue Thug 4/ Yojimbo Samurai (Order of the Cockatrice) 4
PRC: Aldori Swordlord 2
VMC: Inquisitor
LN Medium humanoid (human)
Init +9; Senses Perception +25 (low-light vision)
DEFENSE
AC 31, touch 20, flat-footed 22 (+9 armor, +7 Dex, +1 trait, +2 deflection, +2 shield)
hp 100 (13 HD; 4d8+9d10+26)
Fort +15, Ref +19, Will +13 (+2 Will when adjacent to an ally, -2 to saves vs. poison, disease, illusions and the spell like and supernatural abilities of fey)
Defensive Abilities: weapon guard +1, evasion, uncanny dodge, resolve 3/day

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 keen aldori dueling sword +24/+19/+14 (1d8+11/17–20)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks sneak attack +2d6, weapon training (aldori dueling sword +1), debilitating injury, pressure points, frightening, brutal beating, challenge (+4, 2/day)

STATISTICS
Str 11, Dex 24, Con 15, Int 11, Wis 16, Cha 17
Base Atk +12; CMB +12; CMD 31

Feats Weapon Finesse, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (aldori dueling sword), Weapon Focus (aldori dueling sword), Dazzling Display, Shatter Defenses, Violent Display, Quick Draw, Aldori Dueling Mastery, Combat Reflexes, Bodyguard, Harrying Partners, Scarred Legion.
Traits Adopted (Helpful), Defender of the Society, Bastard
Drawback Fey-Taken
Skills Acrobatics +13, Intimidate +38, Knowledge (Nobility) +6, Perception +25, Use Magic Device +19, Sense Motive +25
Languages Common
SQ armor training 1, rogue talents (combat talent, ninja trick: pressure points), resolute defense, intercept, display weapon prowess, solo tactics, judgement 1/day (as lvl 10 inquisitor)

Combat Gear
[hands] Gloves of Dueling
[weapon] + 1 Keen Aldori Dueling Sword
[armor] +3 benevolent mithral breastplate
[belt] Belt of Incredible Dexterity +2
[headband] Headband of Mental Prowess +2
[head] Crown of Conquest
[shoulders] Cloak of Resistance +4
[ring] Ring of Freedom of Movement
[ring] Ring of Protection +2
[boots] Boots of Speed
[wayfinder] resonating Cracked Opalescent White Pyramid


To use Bodyguard you must be adjacent to your ally and threaten the enemy. So it won't work against ranged attacks and can easily be sidestepped by a mildly intelligent enemy since you only have 5ft reach. I'd consider Cut from the Air to solve the problem of ranged attacks.

As for the build itself, what is the Aldori Swordlord prestige class giving you that you don't already have?
Also, keep in mind that Solo Tactics wouldn't work with Harrying Partners since it's the ally that would benefit from the teamwork feat.


Hmm... good point on the adjacency issued. though I only have to be adjacent to my ally in order to assist him with the feat. Would Aldori Dueling Mastery allow me to use Swordmaster’s Flair Blue Scarf to alleviate the issue somewhat? Don't think so, but might be wrong about this one.

As for the Harrying Partners - I don't think I agree with this one. The benefit from the teamwork feat is that the benefit of your aid another action last longer, but I can see how this is open to discussion. Ring of Tactical Precision can solve that issue if my DM feels the same.

As for the prestige class... not much, but it carries a nice flavor and I am taking the prerequisites anyway for +1 to all saves, a feat and +2 to intimidate is roughly comparable to 2 more fighter levels.


Wonderstell wrote:
To use Bodyguard you must be adjacent to your ally and threaten the enemy. So it won't work against ranged attacks and can easily be sidestepped by a mildly intelligent enemy since you only have 5ft reach.

I was thinking whip mastery feats would make an awesome debuffing bodyguard character. You can be all tripping and disarming and threaten like 15'-20' around you.


Anger Nogar wrote:
Hmm... good point on the adjacency issued. though I only have to be adjacent to my ally in order to assist him with the feat.

FAQ. You do need to threaten the enemy.

Anger Nogar wrote:
As for the prestige class... not much, but it carries a nice flavor and I am taking the prerequisites anyway for +1 to all saves, a feat and +2 to intimidate is roughly comparable to 2 more fighter levels.

Welp. You're already getting dex-to-damage from your UnRogue levels so this prestige class is not giving you anything worthwhile. The only thing it does is tricking you into using a Dueling Sword, which is only okayish if you wield it in two hands for 1.5x Dex dmg (possible with Unrogue). Otherwise there's better crit weapons.

Avenger Vigilante would give you better benefits.

But as a Weapon Master Fighter you want another level to qualify for Advanced Weapon Training Options (through the feat), especially the Fighter's Tactics option which means you don't need the VMC Inquisitor. Unless you feel that Stern Gaze and 1/day Judgement is worth two feats.

===

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I was thinking whip mastery feats would make an awesome debuffing bodyguard character. You can be all tripping and disarming and threaten like 15'-20' around you.

Yup yup. It's a great weapon for dexterity based Bodyguard builds.

Liberty's Edge

Anger Nogar wrote:
I am aiming for character good at defending himself, one ally and hindering enemies. ... Yojimbo Samurai (Order of the Cockatrice) 4

I'm concerned that your bodyguard character concept is an automatic violation of your order's edict. Edicts: The cavalier must keep his own interests and aims above those of all others. He must always accept payment when it is due, rewards when earned, and an even (or greater) share of loot. The cavalier must take every opportunity to increase his own stature, prestige, and power.

This guy might accept a bodyguarding gig, if it paid well, but he'd ditch the sucker at the first opportunity for a better pay-day, a hint of real danger to himself, or a promise of a glorious kill on the other side of the battlefield.


An alternative OP might want to consider is...a vanilla fighter. Take the advanced armor/weapon training: Armor/Weapon Sacrifice. Now if you or your ally are going to be KOed by an attack you can stick your armor or weapon in the way and it takes the shot instead. Spend an extra feat to pick up Armored Juggernaut and shell out the big bucks for Adamantine Plate armor. You'll have DR 6/- and when you Armored Sacrifice the damage will have to get past the 20 hardness before it starts damaging your armor.

Also use a Tower Shield. Now you can get cover from it as a standard action. Or use a reach weapon so you can always have bodyguard available for your ally.

You need 7 levels of fighter to get Advanced Armor Training. You need 9 levels for Advanced Weapon Training. You could dip into other classes at that point, but the additional weapon training and armor training probably provide more bonuses than you'd get out of a shallow dip into another class.


You can take the advanced armor training feat as early as 3 though, and the advanced weapon training feat at 5.

Also, the High guardian is basically THE fighter archetype for this character.

Dark Archive

if you can get an animal companion, you can double the numbers since it could do the bodyguard stuff too.

or the fighter archetype that gets a familiar that shares its feats (eldritch guardian?)

Dark Archive

This could mess with your helpful from halfling, but you could do suicidal, if you think that would be a cooler ability.

Dark Archive

the trait https://www.aonprd.com/TraitDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Suicidal

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