Which 4th party member makes this comp OP?


Advice


Rolling into a rumored brutally hard AP, and our last player is stuck in analysis paralysis to "fill the gaps." I offered Bard as a generic force multiplier, but he's cold on that. So, using all EXCEPT Alchemist, Bard, Inventor, and Gunslinger, what class will help us sweaty nerds destroy encounters and make the DM cry?

This is the party so far, with the 4th member yet to be picked. What's the most powerful option for #4?

1. Dwarf Fighter
2. Dwarf Stone Order Druid
3. Ranged Dex Human Magus
4. ???

No Free Archetype either. Doing this hard mode.

Ancestries are all common and uncommon fwiw, but primarily looking for class.

And if you have some free time, by all means, recommend any feats, archetypes, general strategies, or what have you if something down the line would really clinch things.


From those options I'd probably go with the druid. It's flexible enough to fill in the gaps of magical blaster, support, and healer in a pinch. I like Storm or Flame orders for damage and movement options.

You could also potentially take the fighter to be a frontline stopgap against being hammered, but assuming the classes you've asked us not to recommend are the ones already in the game, you have the gunslinger for the "hit gooder better" class already.


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Perpdepog wrote:

From those options I'd probably go with the druid. It's flexible enough to fill in the gaps of magical blaster, support, and healer in a pinch. I like Storm or Flame orders for damage and movement options.

You could also potentially take the fighter to be a frontline stopgap against being hammered, but assuming the classes you've asked us not to recommend are the ones already in the game, you have the gunslinger for the "hit gooder better" class already.

Ah, my bad, those three were meant to be the party composition already locked in (though if one of those could be better I'm all ears). What we need is the 4th member that brings it all together. Thank you for the input all the same!


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Looks like you are already fairly heavy on damage dealers between Fighter, Blaster Druid, and Magus. You are looking a bit squishy though. Rocket Tag doesn't work well any more.

Druid can do some in-combat healing since they do have access to Heal. Can also get Goodberry at later levels for out-of-combat healing.

My suggestions:

Champion for incoming damage reduction.

Rogue or Investigator for skills - especially the Medicine skills and skill feats.

Other than that, just make sure that these damage dealers are also thinking of their own skin - not just taking pieces of the enemy's. The party comp as decided should work just fine, and really the additional player could pick just about anything and it could be made to work.


breithauptclan wrote:

Looks like you are already fairly heavy on damage dealers between Fighter, Blaster Druid, and Magus. You are looking a bit squishy though. Rocket Tag doesn't work well any more.

Druid can do some in-combat healing since they do have access to Heal. Can also get Goodberry at later levels for out-of-combat healing.

My suggestions:

Champion for incoming damage reduction.

Rogue or Investigator for skills - especially the Medicine skills and skill feats.

Other than that, just make sure that these damage dealers are also thinking of their own skin - not just taking pieces of the enemy's. The party comp as decided should work just fine, and really the additional player could pick just about anything and it could be made to work.

Thanks for the feedback. Since I'm the druid here, could you elaborate on why Stone is a blaster order? Sure it does damage but it's got nothing on Tempest's d12's or double focus points. I thought their thing was more minor control.


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breithauptclan wrote:
Rogue or Investigator for skills - especially the Medicine skills and skill feats.

This. Forensic Medicine Investigator that archetypes into Medic. It offers solid healing and skills plus an ok attack.


If your Dwarf Fighter bears a shield, that's a solid defender so no need of a Champion. Same if wielding a Reach weapon. You'll still want somebody up front with him though, and likely somebody with speed since the party lacks that.

So I'd go w/ a Monk, either Str or Dex build should be fine...in combat.
Trouble is, there's a distinct lack of skills in the party, even if each player pads them a little (perhaps w/ Ancestry feats for lore+). So yeah, that suggests Rogue, though that'll have to play wiser in the front since it's more a skirmisher. (Two in front is kind of a minimum due to the commonality of 10' wide corridors.) Thankfully you have armored d8 folk in the back row, so the front row's not as critical as in many parties.

A Thief Rogue has a free stat for Charisma, which unlocks a bunch of abilities this party needs, even key combat ones like Demoralize for a consistent source of Frightened. I'd say this is the best option (practically required) in a fully fleshed out campaign, and even in a dungeon-crawl its abilities with traps plus debuffing can be crucial. Unless he's poor at tactics, in which go with the Monk so he can survive an oops and still get himself out of danger. (Monk's are perhaps the hardest class to hinder, even if Champion's are tougher.)


Fighter
-more fighters always works. To the point that some believe 4 fighters of different builds is an optimal party comp
-take champion archetype feats instead of playing a champion
-or spec cha and take bard feats and cha skills

Thief Rogue
-guarentees you'll have all relevant skills covered
-Thief lets you dump 2 of str,int,cha to maximize stats unlike other rogues

_____

Fighter has 6 primary builds to choose from:
1h+shield
1h+Empty hand (grapple)
Dex switch-hitter
Fake champion
2h (reach trip)
Dual-wield

The premier 1h str weapon is the flickmace since it has reach and is a flail (best crit effect). Accessible to human based ancestries through unconventional weaponry.

The recommended 2h weapons are the guisarme (d10, reach, trip) and meteor hammer (d8, reach, trip, flail).

The only shields with value are the sturdy and spellguard shields

Dex fighters generally take the archer archetype to achieve legendary at melee and ranged. If you want that sword+gun feel or will be strapped for cash, consider the repeating hand crossbow and a melee weapon joined with blazons of shared power.

Fake champion is rougher 1-6 but for 7-20 is just a champion with a better chassis and feats. Typically uses 1h+shield and shield ally.

Dual-wield has several setups. Pick+light pick is one of the highest dpr builds in the game. Flickmace+light hammer can be used for the flail and hammer crit effects as well as reach for AoO. Consider getting Double-Slice through the dual weapon warrior dedication to get access to flensing slice and maybe parry and flurry. Can also be tacked onto any empty hand or shield setup if desired.

Empty hand is usually either [something]+gauntlet or pure unarmed. Consider sorc (dragon) dedication for the focus spell claws d4+d6 base instead of a monk or martial artist stance. Being able to self buff later may be more useful than other monk/martial artist feats and you can always use multitalented at level 9 for monk to take flurry at level 10.

No matter what build you do, always take sudden charge and never take power attack.

Lacking a bard, rogues are weaker due to losing dread striker. However, if your party needs the skills that is more important overall. Gang up and the other fighter tripping should suffice.

Liberty's Edge

Champion is good damage prevention, but you might lack in skills.

Forensic Medicine Investigator with Medic dedication should cover the needs (great healing and high skills) but they certainly won't be a great damage dealer.


I would add either Rogue or Investigator. Both grant the group the Skills that the others don't have, and both do good damage, debuffing, and skill feats for Medicine.

In either case, I would go with Medic Archetype for definitive healing.


ThatGuyDM wrote:

Rolling into a rumored brutally hard AP, and our last player is stuck in analysis paralysis to "fill the gaps." I offered Bard as a generic force multiplier, but he's cold on that. So, using all EXCEPT Alchemist, Bard, Inventor, and Gunslinger, what class will help us sweaty nerds destroy encounters and make the DM cry?

This is the party so far, with the 4th member yet to be picked. What's the most powerful option for #4?

1. Dwarf Fighter
2. Dwarf Stone Order Druid
3. Ranged Dex Human Magus
4. ???

No Free Archetype either. Doing this hard mode.

Ancestries are all common and uncommon fwiw, but primarily looking for class.

And if you have some free time, by all means, recommend any feats, archetypes, general strategies, or what have you if something down the line would really clinch things.

Its a pretty solid 3 person party. You could do almost anything for the 4th member.

Bard is effective but repetitive and so I can see why its not wanted.
Personally I like a melee striker. So I'd add Thief Rogue to that mix. Which is pretty good from level 6. Lower level maybe a small switch hitter Precision Ranger on a mount.


Assuming the magus is covering thievery and you got medicine, the biggest hole is you have no charisma based characters. Too bad bard is off the table as that would fill the hole perfectly.

If the magus is not covering thievery, then a rogue (dex/cha focused) would be the best choice. Swashbuckler would also work.


I'd personally lean towards a Summoner. It covers Charisma, a mix of melee and spells (as the current party is already well balanced but lacks a second character on the front line) and can be quite good at skills for the breadth you may lack. Also, you need a second healer in case the Druid goes down, so you can choose either an Occult or a Divine Summoner for this extra bit of healing and to cover more spell lists.

But Summoner is pretty hard to play, so it really depends on your player willingness to play one.


Knowing what actual AP you’re going to play might help gauge how difficult it actually is supposed to be, OP! In a few some adventures, having party members going down might almost seem inevitable in some of its parts, for example.

People have given lovely suggestions, but I’ll be the boring one and suggest something a little more traditional but that would complement the group very, very nicely… A Cleric. A Cloistered Cleric, specifically.
It might not matter how much exponential growth a party member could bring its group to the table — from the moment that someone is knocked down, the strength of the group will waver! While in the majority of the cases APs are completely playable without dedicated combat healers… Well. Some adventures do require precise tactics and an understanding of the flow of the game that not everyone has, or is interested in having, which is okay. Going with a Cleric will help the whole group stay up and fighting, and that is particularly important since you’re four instead of five!

As far as “making the GM cry” goes, having been a GM and seeing all the damage that a boss did in a crit being whiskered away by one of the Cleric’s two-action Heals, and knowing that they probably have like ten more slots, well… It has never made me cry, but it certainly has made me go “Huh”.

Just make sure to suggest Sanctuary as one of their spells. :B


ThatGuyDM wrote:
Since I'm the druid here, could you elaborate on why Stone is a blaster order? Sure it does damage but it's got nothing on Tempest's d12's or double focus points. I thought their thing was more minor control.

I'm using the term 'blaster' as an incredibly broad category. You aren't using Wild Shape first round of combat. You don't have an Animal Companion. Therefore blaster druid. Leaf Order would also qualify.

I'm thinking of it in terms of what you are going to be doing. For this druid it is primarily going to be casting spells (cantrips, focus spells, spell slot spells) or briefly fighting at melee range - probably with a 1-hand weapon and shield. Don't stay in melee combat too long though. It looks like you are the party's primary in-combat healer, so if you go down there is no one to pick you up.

And that role of staying out of melee combat and throwing spells around sounds like a blaster role to me. Whether those spells are direct damage, status effects, healing and recovery, or terrain/crowd control.


Ohh, gotcha. Yeah I guess if your focus has 60ft range that's a hint to stay that far away. Thanks for the clarification.

And big thanks for the advice! It's all getting passed along. I tried recommending Medic in case he goes down what sounds like the culmination of everything here so far: Charisma, Skill monkey, frontline, some healing.

That's Rogue with a minor in Medicine is my best guess, but he said Medic was weak. :(


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ThatGuyDM wrote:
That's Rogue with a minor in Medicine is my best guess, but he said Medic was weak. :(

Battle Medicine/Treat Poison/Administer First Aid/Treat a Condition requires you to next to your target when used in combat, so it often takes an extra action to use: Doctor's Visitation solves that and extra actions are valuable. On top of that it gives a free skill boost to expert in medicine and extra hp when using medicine for healing. Then it allows you 1/day to treat an immune creature to another healing with medicine [creatures you use battle medicine are immune to further check for a day]. The first 2 feats are pretty strong IMO.

Also, point out that this archetype has several SKILL feats in it: Treat Condition and Holistic Care cost skill feats and NOT class feats. This means that if they play a rogue, they can get into the archetype at 2nd and be finished with it at 4th [dedication at 2nd with class feat,
Doctor's Visitation at 4th with class feat and Treat Condition with skill feat].


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ThatGuyDM wrote:
but he said Medic was weak. :(

Heh.

The strength is that it conserves your Druid's spell slot healing.

With just training to expert in Medicine and the skill feat Continual Recovery, that means that you won't need to worry about spending resources healing up after a battle. Treat Wounds will do it for free.

Battle Medicine alone will (even including the extra stride to get next to the target) be about equivalent to a 2-action Heal spell - on each character 1/day. Cleric's Divine Font has trouble keeping up with that (assuming that you keep up with your skill training to get access to the scaling Treat Wounds).

Adding the Medic archetype to allow those things to be done easier, faster, or more often is just gravy.

There is good reason that Rogue is often considered to be this edition's primary healer class. Though personally I think that Forensic Medicine Investigator is much better at it - but it is more complicated of a class, and a more niche class to build a character around than Rogue.


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breithauptclan wrote:
Battle Medicine alone will (even including the extra stride to get next to the target) be about equivalent to a 2-action Heal spell - on each character 1/day. Cleric's Divine Font has trouble keeping up with that (assuming that you keep up with your skill training to get access to the scaling Treat Wounds).

To be clear, and to put some numbers behind that statement: Expected value of healing comparing character level (not spell level) to damage healed. Also keeping it simple and not worrying about Medicine skill failures, critical failures, or critical successes.

Treat Wounds
1: trained: DC 15: 2d8 => 9
3: expert: DC 20: 2d8+10 => 19
7: master: DC 30: 2d8+30 => 39
15: legend: DC 40: 2d8+50 => 59

Max level 2-action Heal
1: 1d8+8 => 4.5+8 => 12.5
3: 2d8+16 => 8+16 => 24
5: 3d8+24 => 12.5+24 => 36.5
7: 4d8+32 => 16+32 => 48
9: 5d8+40 => 20.5+40 => 60.5
11: 6d8+48 => 25+48 => 73
15: 7d8+56 => 31.5+56 => 87.5

Max level 2-action Heal is generally better, but Treat Wounds/Battle Medicine is nothing to scoff at. 1-action Heal is generally less than Treat Wounds, and 3-action Heal is also less per character although it can affect the entire party at once.


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breithauptclan wrote:
ThatGuyDM wrote:
but he said Medic was weak. :(

Heh.

The strength is that it conserves your Druid's spell slot healing.

With just training to expert in Medicine and the skill feat Continual Recovery...

Don't forget Ward Medic.


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Pixel Popper wrote:
Don't forget Ward Medic.

Yes indeed. Ward Medic is also very nice.

I recommend Continual Recovery first. Ward Medic lets you heal 2x faster (or 4x or 8x at higher proficiency) but only if multiple people are injured. Continual Recovery lets you heal 6x faster no matter how many people are injured.

But the two stack. So getting both is even better.


I'm a bit late to the party but glad most people recommended Rogue, it would be my choice as well.

If I may, if your player likes Stealth, I recommend Scout Dedication for Camouflage later on. Together with Sneak Savant and Legendary Sneak a Rogue can succeed almost automatically at stealth if they are in natural terrain (And still be really good at it when they are not).

Liberty's Edge

Medicine feats are extremely good. Medecine is maybe the best skill in the game thanks to these. I like Robust Recovery a lot myself.

And Medic is even more goodness added, as demonstrated above.

Why does the player feel it's weak ?

Liberty's Edge

graystone wrote:
ThatGuyDM wrote:
That's Rogue with a minor in Medicine is my best guess, but he said Medic was weak. :(

Battle Medicine/Treat Poison/Administer First Aid/Treat a Condition requires you to next to your target when used in combat, so it often takes an extra action to use: Doctor's Visitation solves that and extra actions are valuable. On top of that it gives a free skill boost to expert in medicine and extra hp when using medicine for healing. Then it allows you 1/day to treat an immune creature to another healing with medicine [creatures you use battle medicine are immune to further check for a day]. The first 2 feats are pretty strong IMO.

Also, point out that this archetype has several SKILL feats in it: Treat Condition and Holistic Care cost skill feats and NOT class feats. This means that if they play a rogue, they can get into the archetype at 2nd and be finished with it at 4th [dedication at 2nd with class feat,
Doctor's Visitation at 4th with class feat and Treat Condition with skill feat].

Actually you don't need to be a Rogue to get out of the Archetype at 4th level. Any class can do it ;-)

Medic is IMO the pinnacle of archetypes in the game thanks to awesome feats and early exit. Only Sentinel comes close because of the extremely high value that the dedication feat brings.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Actually you don't need to be a Rogue to get out of the Archetype at 4th level. Any class can do it ;-)

Sorry, didn't mean to imply rogue only: it's just that rogue is swimming in skill feats so you can easily take the archetype skill feat which is important as you want several feats with Medicine. Investigator comes close with Skillful Lessons.

Liberty's Edge

I get it now. Thanks :-)


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breithauptclan wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Battle Medicine alone will (even including the extra stride to get next to the target) be about equivalent to a 2-action Heal spell - on each character 1/day. Cleric's Divine Font has trouble keeping up with that (assuming that you keep up with your skill training to get access to the scaling Treat Wounds).

To be clear, and to put some numbers behind that statement: Expected value of healing comparing character level (not spell level) to damage healed. Also keeping it simple and not worrying about Medicine skill failures, critical failures, or critical successes.

Treat Wounds
1: trained: DC 15: 2d8 => 9
3: expert: DC 20: 2d8+10 => 19
7: master: DC 30: 2d8+30 => 39
15: legend: DC 40: 2d8+50 => 59

Max level 2-action Heal
1: 1d8+8 => 4.5+8 => 12.5
3: 2d8+16 => 8+16 => 24
5: 3d8+24 => 12.5+24 => 36.5
7: 4d8+32 => 16+32 => 48
9: 5d8+40 => 20.5+40 => 60.5
11: 6d8+48 => 25+48 => 73
15: 7d8+56 => 31.5+56 => 87.5

Max level 2-action Heal is generally better, but Treat Wounds/Battle Medicine is nothing to scoff at. 1-action Heal is generally less than Treat Wounds, and 3-action Heal is also less per character although it can affect the entire party at once.

I think that by keeping it simple you are omitting a lot of context, accounting for failures and such changes the result drastically

Assuming a start with 14 wisdom and getting items and skill increases and always use the optimal DC it looks like this:

1 (DC15, +5 modifier): 5.175
3 (DC20, +10 modifier): 10.675
7 (DC20 (better to use the lower dc here), +17 modifier): 20.475
15: (DC30, +31 modifier): 42.45

So it's about between 41-48% of a 2A Heal and about 115-120% of a 1A Heal.


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breithauptclan wrote:

Treat Wounds

1: trained: DC 15: 2d8 => 9
3: expert: DC 20: 2d8+10 => 19
7: master: DC 30: 2d8+30 => 39
15: legend: DC 40: 2d8+50 => 59

Max level 2-action Heal
1: 1d8+8 => 4.5+8 => 12.5
3: 2d8+16 => 8+16 => 24
5: 3d8+24 => 12.5+24 => 36.5
7: 4d8+32 => 16+32 => 48
9: 5d8+40 => 20.5+40 => 60.5
11: 6d8+48 => 25+48 => 73
15: 7d8+56 => 31.5+56 => 87.5

Onkonk's right.

The actual levels for Treat Wounds, taking Assurance into consideration, are:
2/3: trained: DC 15: 2d8 => 9
6: expert: DC 20: 2d8+10 => 19
14: master: DC 30: 2d8+30 => 39
never: legend: DC 40: 2d8+50 => 59

It really changes the number.

As a side note, here's the progression for potions/elixirs of Life:
1: 1d8 => 4.5
3: 2d8+5 => 14
5: 3d6+6 => 16.5
6: 3d8+10 => 22.5
9: 5d6+12 => 29.5
12: 6d8+20 => 45
15: 8d6+21 => 49
18: 8d8+30 => 66


Onkonk wrote:
I think that by keeping it simple you are omitting a lot of context, accounting for failures and such changes the result drastically

And by accounting for all of the complications, you have...

Onkonk wrote:
So it's about between 41-48% of a 2A Heal and about 115-120% of a 1A Heal.
breithauptclan wrote:
Max level 2-action Heal is generally better, but Treat Wounds/Battle Medicine is nothing to scoff at. 1-action Heal is generally less than Treat Wounds, and 3-action Heal is also less per character although it can affect the entire party at once.

Come to the same basic conclusion.

Scarab Sages

ThatGuyDM wrote:

Rolling into a rumored brutally hard AP, and our last player is stuck in analysis paralysis to "fill the gaps." I offered Bard as a generic force multiplier, but he's cold on that. So, using all EXCEPT Alchemist, Bard, Inventor, and Gunslinger, what class will help us sweaty nerds destroy encounters and make the DM cry?

This is the party so far, with the 4th member yet to be picked. What's the most powerful option for #4?

1. Dwarf Fighter
2. Dwarf Stone Order Druid
3. Ranged Dex Human Magus
4. ???
<snip>
And if you have some free time, by all means, recommend any feats, archetypes, general strategies, or what have you if something down the line would really clinch things.

+1 to Thief Rogue. Medicine is worth investment but the Medic archetype isn't necessary if the player doesn't like it.

Thief details:
For ability scores, I recommend +4 DEX, +2 CON, +2 WIS, and a +1 CHA (+2 if you have an INT penalty ancestry like leshy).

Class feats, Trap Spotter or Tumble Behind, Medic Archetype or Mobility, Battle Assessment or Dread Striker, Gang Up, Opportune Backstab, Precise Debilitation or Sneak Savant, Preparation, Leave an Opening.

Skills, focus on Medicne, Intimidaiton, Stealth, and Acrobatics, and Diplomacy.

Always have sneak attack when Striking. Use Demoralize to lower foes' modifiers.

For party optimization, the Fighter should be using a reach weapon (like the guisarme) + AOO + Knockdown to lower enemies' modifiers and fire off AOOs. Knockdown or Trip has the advantage of making foes vulnerable to Sneak Attack. Invest in INT + Additonal Lore for battlefield info.

The druid should cast enlarge on the fighter, and fear on enemies, heal on whoever needs it. The magus should just focus on damage.


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breithauptclan wrote:

Come to the same basic conclusion.

Well, I think the picture painted was pretty different given that the original quote was "Battle Medicine alone will (even including the extra stride to get next to the target) be about equivalent to a 2-action Heal spell" and the numbers shown was about twice as big.

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