Lvl 3 Inventor playing PFS 1-14 Lions of Katapesh

Inventor Class

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Lvl 3 Inventor playing in Low Tier 1-14 Lions of Katapesh **SPOILERS**

Name: Doc Whatever (his name is unpronounceable, so this is what people call him most of the time) & #42 (prototype construct)
Human: Versatile Heritage
Background: Tinker
Feats: Natural Ambition, Quick Repair, Multi-Lingual, Alchemical Crafting, Incredible Initiative, Toughness, Prototype Companion, Tamper, Kickback Strike
Innovation: Weapon – Glaive w/ Entangling Form
STR 16 | DEX 12 | CON 12 | INT 18 | WIS 10 | CHA 10

Intro: We had four players with 15 points, so we were at the top of low-tier. Our group was made up of a Champion, Cleric, Witch, and my Inventor

Encounter 1 – 4 Fire wolves

  • I grappled the first one from 10 feet away (felt really nice) and so it couldn't attack me and was not able to escape. I ordered my construct to flank with our champion and help him while I dealt with the other.
  • Construct hits 2 out of 3 times in this fight and did moderate damage
  • My overdrive critted (and didn't provoke since I had my opponent grappled 10 feet away) which felt like a good damage boost
    I killed my wolf, then with the last attack used Kickback strike to do the killing blow and then move swiftly into position to attack the next wolf on the other side of the map.
  • I attacked the next wolf and weakened it for the champion to come and dispatch it easily next turn.
  • Overall, I felt very useful and did something different each time.

Encounter 2 – We didn't have anybody able to track properly, so ended up fighting some lions in the camp

  • I did overdrive on my first turn and moved. Got a regular success, so bonus was nice, but not amazing
  • My second turn was spent saving a downed ally (move, pull potion, force-feed potion to ally)
  • I then used my prototype to flank with the Champion (it missed it's attack).
  • Next turn I got a solid hit on one of the lions and missed the second time
  • The lions still alive then ran away

Encounter 3 – Faced the escaped lions & big lion

  • First round I readied an action to grab anything that comes close, unfortunately I rolled a 7 a failed (the Champion dispatched both the wounded lions on his turn)
  • Second round used Overdrive (succeeded) and moved, then commanded my prototype companion to move towards the newly seen big boss. All my actions were spent doing this.
  • Move and hit with my attack (crit) as well as 1 hit with my prototype companion. Did decent damage (21)
  • Next round my prototype was dazzled (who knew, not immune) and so I moved and used explosion. Did 9 damage as it failed it's reflex save. In comparison, my previous round I did 21 damage (though admittedly one attack was a crit) so the explosion was a bit underwhelming...but still cool.
  • At this point our Champion finished him off with his first attack doing 9 damage.

Having a reach weapon with the Grapple trait was awesome. Being able to grapple a medium creature while not being within their reach felt very rewarding (though I can see why reach and grapple aren't on any current weapons naturally). In this group I was the primary damage dealer and felt effective. I certainly didn't feel like a monster in combat, but I was effective.

I play a lot of casters and while in this group I was a prime damage dealer, my damage overall felt only slightly above a typical cantrip damage I do with my casters. While this isn't terrible, I feel like if there was another martial (other than our defensively minded Champion) I would have felt lacking. This isn't bad though as it means I was right in between a cantrip and another martial

Trip and Shove both have weapon modifications that can pair with Versatile. I would like the same option with Grapple as I would love to add Grapple and Versatile at the same time.

Perhaps make the success for Overdrive add your entire intelligence bonus and a crit maybe add that plus 1d4 fire damage would put me in a place that felt good. The one time I crit succeeded at my overdrive I felt like I was doing good damage, but the other times really didn't feel much difference and honestly made me feel like I just reached a point where I would have been had I been able to put 18 to strength.

At the end of the session, I felt good. I was able to use my crafting on some skill checks between combat and was able to use some knowledge skills between fights as well, so I felt useful. Combat was interesting as I had a ton of options. Explosion and Overdrive were a bit underwhelming, but not unfun. I really like this class, and with some tweaks, I think it can make it to my top 3 favorites.

My experiences were very similar to yours! I was also playing as an level 3 inventor with a weapon innovation with the Entangling Form modification, but the rest of my build was slightly different and I have different opinions.

My inventor didn't use a glaive or work with a construct companion. Rather, I went with a greatsword and took the Explosive Leap feat. I can only think of one PFS society scenario where that would be useful, and it's not this scenario, but if I were to run and play this character outside of that context I would take that feat. I also went with a greatsword because I thought it was the most cool, not necessarily because it was the most effective. I can certainly see the benefits in having a grappling weapon with reach! (It would be even better to use a halberd or ranseur since an inventor with a construct companion and a grappling weapon is going to have poor action economy and won't make full use out of the glaive's weapon traits, but eh.)

The first battle against the wolves went largely the same way. including the crit on Overdrive, but I didn't get to use Kickback Strike as there were two other melee-focused characters who were dealing with the other wolves. In addition, I focused mostly on attacking.

Before the second battle we put up some fencing, which was cool since I distinctly recall not doing that on my first playthrough of this scenario. During the battle I went to confront a lion who sneaked up on the goblins in their tents we moved out back. The champion used their reaction to save a goblin's life and the leopard tried dragging it back to the cave it came from, but my character managed to catch it before it could run away. It feebly tried to escape and failed and my allies softened it up enough for me to finish it off. After that, all was left was Pip the halfling druid, and mastermind of this scheme.

The last encounter was probably the most disappointing, but that wasn't out of any inherent problem with the Inventor itself. Rather it's because I was playing as a half-elf with the Nimble Elf feat, meaning I reached the webs Pip had set up first and was stuck on obstacle clearing duty. The other two melee characters ran up to Pip and killed him before I had the chance to act. That said, if I wasn't stuck clearing those webs and if there was something to back Pip up at high-tier beyond more HP, things would have quickly swung around and I would have felt useful again.

Input: Inventor seems like more of a "technique"-focused class than fighter! It's not quite as strong, particularly at lower levels, but it's not really supposed to be. The fighter was doing more damage but having a sword that can extend like a whip and be used to grapple enemies is pretty strong and can easily turn what would otherwise be encounters with the enemy escaping or reaching vulnerable objectives around. This also might just be because our casters buffed us and I was wielding a high damage weapon, but Overdrive didn't feel undertuned. It's more limited than the accuracy boost fighters get or the damage boost barbarians get from rage, but it makes sense that the inventor would be more focused on utility and not as much on doing pure damage. The one complaint I have is one that I'm not sure can be solved. The weapon modifications are not created equal. I see little point in taking modifications outside Entangling Form, Modular Head, or Segmented Frame. Entangling Form is going to be the best for characters that plan on using combat maneuvers and Modular Head and Segmented Frame are generally going to be best for characters that want flexible damage types. I think the other weapon modifications are underwhelming at either, as the modular trait is generally best for the fairly situational benefit of changing damage type as it lets you use all three and grappling and tripping are almost certainly the best combat maneuvers outside of demoralizing.

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For some reason it won't let me edit my post, but I wanted to add one thing I had forgotten.

During the entire playthrough, I did not get the opportunity to use Tamper. It wasn't because I didn't want to, but because through each battle none of the enemies "wore" armor or "held" a weapon. As I started thinking back on many of the sessions I've played over the years, this is rather a common place. As such, while Tamper is a really great concept, unfortunately it will likely fall short due to lack of legal targets.

I would love if this little downfall could be rectified for the live version.

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