Good dual class combos (and builds), and what they're good for


Advice

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This came up in another thread, and it seemed like a good use of a thread, so I'm starting it. This is the place to talk about various possible dual-class combos that are Good At Things (in an optimization way), and what they might happen to be good *at*. Damage is, of course, one fo the classic things to optimize for, but it's not the *only* thing.

I'll start with something a bit wacky, that's a resuscitation of a similar but notably weaker FA build. Spellscale Kobold monk/rogue. The monk side gives you FoB, Ki Strike, Stunning Strike, Stumbling stance, Stumbling Feint, and various mobility boosters. (Winding flow!) The rogue side takes Thief rogue, and a standard thief rogue damage build. Between the two of them, they cough up enough extra feats to take swashbuckler(fencer) archetype, Finishing Precision, Finishing Follow-through, and Bleeding Finisher. From kobold, you get a dex/cha race with a built-in Electric Arc as an innate. Dex>Cha>Con>Str/Int/Wis.

So... the payoff: Thief Rogue means that you get to have the best of all worlds on the monk dex vs str problem. By level 6, your Flurry of Blows has a built-in feint for free that applies to both attacks, forces a check against stun, and reasonably reliably triggers sneak attack. Also, you have Ki Strike to make it that much better once per fight. Then, if that feint was successful, you have panache, which you can use to attack at a -6. Not bad for your third attack of the round. That's only your second action, though. You can use your third to reposition (with monk movement shenanigans) or possibly toss off a second feint to support the finisher if your foe isn't flatfooted enough for you. Alternately, you can follow up that same juiced-up FoB with a solidly respectable Electric Arc (Cha for stat, and monk providing the casting proficiency) and/or use said EArc as a viable ranged option. I admit that I haven't used the thing in actual play (I am not well-suited to play characters who invest heavily in Deception), but I suspect that it won't shame you.

What does it get out of dual class? The rogue is the add-on here, and it brings sneak attack, extra skills, and a solid fix to the monk's perennial str-vs-dex problem. Additionally, the build was already very good at generating flat-footed, and already liked attacking a lot at reasonable to-hit penalties, both things that rogues rather like having.

/*********/

Other builds (less worked out):

- Fighter/Starlit Span Magus archetype into Psionic: because adding another +2 to-hit to Psionic Starlit Span pretty much is a plan. It's also thematically appropriate, as this manages to be just as boring in play as the traditional Psionic Starlit Span is.

- Gunslinger/Thaumaturge: The Thaumaturge would desperately like to play with some of the beefier one-handed firearms, but the action economy for reloading the things is punishing. The Gunslinger's major beef is a lack of raw damage per hit, which the Theumaturge can be of notable help with. It seems like arrangements could be made... and you're running on raw dex, which means that you can still crank charisma for the traditional thaumaturge "I am the party face and the party loremaster" shenanigans.


Psychic + magus to get refocus x2 since lvl 1 would be pretty good.

The magus would also get true strike, haste and heroism.


I have heard good things about Investigator/Gunslinger. In particular, having a rifle on your back, loaded with the really good ammo, with a nice high deadly die, can pay real dividends when you know for a fact that your next shot is going to crit.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
I have heard good things about Investigator/Gunslinger. In particular, having a rifle on your back, loaded with the really good ammo, with a nice high deadly die, can pay real dividends when you know for a fact that your next shot is going to crit.

It's also pretty cool thematically ( a strategist sniper).


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My personal favourite, though I have others I'll have to go through later:

Swashbuckler or Barbarian with Monk. Archetype Staff Acrobat, grab Dancing Leaf, Powerful Leap, Flamboyant/Raging Athlete. You are now the best jumper in the game! Bonus points that you get two saves at Legendary.

That's: -10 from Athlete, +5 from Dancing Leaf, +5 from Staff Acrobat, +5 from Powerful Leap, +5/+10 from Boots of Bounding. Get a decent STR score, Quick Jump, and just jump everywhere. You have a base Leap of like 35ft by level 4, 40ft by level 7. With Barbarian you can Sudden Leap up to like 100ft straight up to hit people at level 8 (more realistically something like 50-70ft). What's difficult terrain? Who needs flight?


This is my first time allowing dual class, so no experience optimizing dual class. Let's see what people have done.


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The general rule is that Caster/Caster gets extra gas, but nothing unbalancing. Caster/Martial gets additional flexibility, but, again, nothing really unbalancing. Really abusing the system means going Martial/Martial, in ways where one class covers the other's weakness, or when two strengths stack. Often, the more tightly scoped those strengths are, the stronger that stack is.

There's another just generally powerful optimization move in cases like this that's not usually effective in PF2, but would start to show up here to a small extent - "try to figure out how many times I can sell my empty hands". This was big in 3.x optimization, and to a lesser extent in 4 - a class or other feature would have you give up a standard ability or advantage that pretty much everyone had in return for something cool. The classic one was "but you can't wield weapons and/or wear armor". So you just stack as many templates as you can that have that as their cost, or something associated. At the end, you really, really can't use weapons or wear armor, but you have huge stacks of benefits that more than make up for it... hopefully. It doesn't always work that way. Vow of Poverty Monk/Forsakers still had serious problems in actual play. Still, it's a place to go digging.

The general rules of martial/martial stacking:

- Fighter stacks with anything other than gunslinger
- Rogue stacks with basically anything, but stacks better if you're already inclined to use the right sort of weapons, use dex, and/or generate flat-footed.
- Barbarian stacks with basically anything as long as you're fighting in melee, but it works better if you're not using an agile weapon

- Gunslinger is really handy if you already wanted to use guns and not so hot otherwise
- Investigator is really handy if you have a way to seriously exploit knowing that your attack is going to crit before you take the shot, and you're already using the right weapons. Not so hot otherwise.

- Champion, Fighter, and Barbarian (in that order) are good ways to cram tank-factor on semi-martials who otherwise are a bit concerned about going into melee. Monk can do the same if you're already dex-based.

In general, though, everything other than the top three is about chasing specific synergies, and even there, its to your advantage.


A big thing you can do for optimization, even if you don't necessarily care about features or feats from one of the classes, is load up on proficiencies and skills.

Not directly damage wise, Rogue/Investigator plus anything other than each other is great. With each other it's okay. Skills and skill feats galore, and legendary perception. Monk is good because you can guarantee the saves stack. Barbarian can net you a good HP pool and Fort save. Champion gives great AC, Lay on Hands and a good reaction.

Grabbing a class with a different KAS grabs you an extra ASI.


I didn't list Champion for the reaction or the blade ally because it's relatively easy to poach both with a bit of archetype work. If you're running dual class, you really want to go for the ones that give you great stuff that *isn't* poachable in the same way, or where said poaching would take a serious feat investment.

Now, the full on Champion Defender build is like that, because it's heavily feat-based, but it's also the sort of build that doesn't necessarily do all that well in dual-classing because it's deeply constrained in both battlefield tactics and actions. Sure, you can stack barbarian or fighter on it like you can on almost anything, but aside from that, you're going to strain to fit other things in.


In my campaign, I've disallowed martial/martial stacking. I can see how that would be a big problem. Someone wanted to make a fighter/champion getting Legendary with weapons and Legendary with Heavy armor and that was going to pretty much outshine everyone. I don't want the dual class game to force everyone into martial/martial stacking or outshine the caster.

So what I did was focus on the dual class covering desirable roles like healer, buffer, trapfinder, or utility caster with whatever main class they want to play. Hopefully that will keep the crazy damage combos toned down and not create a feeling of number envy to the same degree.

This is good info for those using dual classing.


I would say a fighter with either cloistered Cleric (for a ramped up warpiest type with Channel Smite), or with Wildshape Druid could also be a bit over the curve.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Theory-crafting: druid (Wild Order) + summoner (divine casting?) dual class might have some synergies with the summoner tandem feats for action economy and Magical Understudy/Magical Adept/Magical Master to allow the eidolon to cast healing spells while the character is in combat form. Possibly taking multiclass archetype feats in barbarian, fighter, or monk to boost combat a bit.


There are a bunch of psychic+monk combinations that I think would be really fun to play.

Combine the monk's ability to spend 1 action for two strikes, a one action cantrip, a free action psi strikes, and all the one action goodness you can have with your psyche unleashed and you're packing a bunch into one turn.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
The general rule is that Caster/Caster gets extra gas, but nothing unbalancing. Caster/Martial gets additional flexibility, but, again, nothing really unbalancing. Really abusing the system means going Martial/Martial, in ways where one class covers the other's weakness, or when two strengths stack.

Really the main problem is Fighter with anything. Because the net +2 to hit so reliably stacks with other offensive powers.

There are at least significant restrictions on Barbarians rage. Most other classes features have got limits and action costs.

Tell your players to pick non Fighter classes, don't allow a Rogue Flurry Ranger, and the offensive power improvement will be moderate and not far from what a single class character can already get too. Defense, endurance and flexibility are all going to be much better but that should be OK.

Dark Archive

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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Thief Rogue means that you get to have the best of all worlds on the monk dex vs str problem.

FYI thief rogue only gets dex to damage on finesse weapons, not unarmed strikes. Sneak attack can be used with finesse unarmed strikes though. So you'll need to stick with one of the 1D6 finesse monk weapons.


Red Griffyn wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
Thief Rogue means that you get to have the best of all worlds on the monk dex vs str problem.
FYI thief rogue only gets dex to damage on finesse weapons, not unarmed strikes. Sneak attack can be used with finesse unarmed strikes though. So you'll need to stick with one of the 1D6 finesse monk weapons.

Yep. Also note that you can attack with Strength while using a Finesse weapon. Just a few little corners of Rogue are weapon dependant. Given you can pick up Flurry of Blows anyway in a normal build with a level 10 multiclass feat. Monk Rogue is nice but not over the top stronger.

Though perhaps a few people haven't realised how strong some of these options are in the first place.


If you want to play a caster, I think the Summoner + full caster combo is the best one. You end up with a full caster Summoner, which works wonders as the Summoner really has the actions to use the spells from it's other class. Among all, the ones that stick out:

Bard + Primal Summoner:
- Compositions affect your Eidolon.
- A few extra high level spells on a class with not so many of them.
- Your excellent action economy solves the first round issue of the Bard (if you need to move during your first round, a Bard can't cast and use a composition making the Bard's first rounds often subpar).
- Access to Heal and elemental blast spells on what may be the best tradition otherwise.

Wizard + Divine Summoner:
- Healing Font on a Wizard (I think we can consider that 4 extra top level Heals are equivalent to a Healing Font).
- The advantages of being both a Prepared and a Spontaneous caster.

Armor Inventor + Magus:
This one is a bit unexpected, but I think it works quite fine:
- Str 18 on an Inventor (or Int 18 on a Magus).
- Clockwork Celerity on a Magus for this massively needed extra action.
- Armor Innovation solves the Magus squishiness.
- Inventor and Magus abilities complement themselves quite fine. You benefit from both Unstable abilities and Focus Spells, Overdrive and Arcane Cascade, Arcane spells and Inventor blasts and the large array of Inventor and Magus fun abilities.

Bomber Alchemist + Fighter:
Straightforward one: you can finally play a Legendary Bomber. The only issue is to find interesting Fighter feats so you'll certainly go for a Dedication (Ranger and Rogue for range increase and even if it's illogical you can grab Raging Thrower to add Rage damage to your Bombs).

Chirurgeon Alchemist + Arcane/Occult Summoner:
Ok, this one is super weird but I think it makes for a fantastic combo.
- Bestial Mutagen works on the Eidolon, for +1 to hit and d10 damage at level 11+. With Boost Eidolon, your Eidolon nearly competes with a Greatsword Fighter in terms of damage output.
- Extend Boost made easy with your 18 starting Intelligence.
- The massive Chirurgeon self healing (3 actions to imbibe 2 Elixirs of Life) should allow you to sustain the damage your Eidolon takes once you reach level 5.
- The biggest issue of the Chirurgeon healer is the need to move to be able to feed Elixirs to a companion. With Tandem Move, it's now no more a waste of an action.
- Excellent save arrays (Alchemist and Summoner save arrays complements each other) and even advantage on area of effect damaging spells at level 10+.
- Solves the Alchemist lack of reagents at low level.
- Crazy support abilities with both Alchemy and a few spells from the biggest traditions.
- The only drawback is that you need to be a mastermind considering the massive amount of abilities you end up with and your 5 actions per round.


Gortle wrote:

Really the main problem is Fighter with anything. Because the net +2 to hit so reliably stacks with other offensive powers.

There are at least significant restrictions on Barbarians rage. Most other classes features have got limits and action costs.

Tell your players to pick non Fighter classes, don't allow a Rogue Flurry Ranger, and the offensive power improvement will be moderate and not far from what a single class character can already get too. Defense, endurance and flexibility are all going to be much better but that should be OK.

That's just not true, though. Like, the fighter stacks trivially with pretty much everything else that wants to make non-spell attacks, and all of the other mixes take at least a minimal amount of effort in adjustment to fit together properly, but if you put in that effort, you're still getting significant gains above and beyond what a single-class character could do. my little kobold deception-monk, above, is already a decently strong build, and adding a layer of rogue cranks the damage up significantly for almost no additional effort, because it was throwing around feints and generating tons of flat-footed already. For the barbarian, if you're in melee, aren't using an agile weapon, and aren't using any concentration abilities, then it's a single action with major payoff. The Champion is going to just hand you the best AC in the game, a very solid reaction, and an extra rune for your weapon, and that's before you get to the feats. All of those are significant boosts to power that do stack pretty directly with whatever else martial you're bringing to the table.

Red Griffyn wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
Thief Rogue means that you get to have the best of all worlds on the monk dex vs str problem.
FYI thief rogue only gets dex to damage on finesse weapons, not unarmed strikes. Sneak attack can be used with finesse unarmed strikes though. So you'll need to stick with one of the 1D6 finesse monk weapons.

Huh. I'd been thinking that taking a finesse unarmed strike would do the job... but you're absolutely right that it does not. Given that, the build does just fine with a scoundrel rogue instead. It loses a few points of damage per hit, but it's not like it's hurting for damage per hit, and it's not like the build can't gain benefit from yet more feint optimization.

SuperBidi wrote:

Bomber Alchemist + Fighter:

Straightforward one: you can finally play a Legendary Bomber. The only issue is to find interesting Fighter feats so you'll certainly go for a Dedication (Ranger and Rogue for range increase and even if it's illogical you can grab Raging Thrower to add Rage damage to your Bombs).

Ah. Kicking myself for not having remembered that one. Picking one of Fighter, Barbarian, or Monk to add to your alchemist is also great for having a mutagenist who can fight like you want your mutagenist to fight... or fighter/ranger/rogue to make a more combat-capable poisoner. Would it be viable to make a poisoner/gunslinger?


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Kicking myself for not having remembered that one. Picking one of Fighter, Barbarian, or Monk to add to your alchemist is also great for having a mutagenist who can fight like you want your mutagenist to fight...

Kicking myself for not having thought about this one.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
or fighter/ranger/rogue to make a more combat-capable poisoner. Would it be viable to make a poisoner/gunslinger?

I'd go with Fighter Archer personally, as archers are firing far more often than Gunslingers. But if you don't want to spend too much poisoned ammunition per round then Gunslinger should work fine.


Putting fighter aside because of its obvious domination, the next classes to look at are rogue and magus.

Thief's dex to damage, suite of strong feats and sneak attack dice fix a lot of issues on a lot of classes. We also have the only potential use for eldritch trickster as an ET rogue/SS magus appreciates the int KAS alongside the potential for big true strike spellstrikes with sneak attack dice. Extra skills are always welcome too, of course.

The non-str non-dex martials like inventor and thaumaturge also benefit from dual-class to fix their KAS. Thaumaturge in particular is already a step away from being a really strong class (as opposed to just a normally strong class) so pairing it with just about any good combat class or gunslinger can put it over the top.

Caster pairings are probably just monk or summoner for the action economy.


So, if you're limited to caster/martial, but still want to squeeze as much cheese as you can out of it, there's two things you can do. The first is to take a caster that can still add directly to your martial side. Things like wild shape optimization go here. Taking priest and grabbing smite feats. Witch hair on a monk? Maybe something with Oracles? It's there, but it's thin.

The second is to use the martial side as your answer to "Well, what do I do with my third action?" For that you want a martial who's good at spending a single action per round on ranged attacks - something like an archer fighter, a gunslinger (if you can manage the reloads), a summoner or a monk with an unarmed ranged attack from ancestry feats.

Both of these can result in gains, but it's not going to be anything like the martial/martial gains.

As far as balancing martial/caster for dual-class balance purposes, a magus is effectively martial, and a summoner (who has martial, but not in a way that stacks with any *other* martial) is whichever one their other side isn't.

Gortle wrote:

Yep. Also note that you can attack with Strength while using a Finesse weapon. Just a few little corners of Rogue are weapon dependant. Given you can pick up Flurry of Blows anyway in a normal build with a level 10 multiclass feat. Monk Rogue is nice but not over the top stronger.

Though perhaps a few people haven't realised how strong some of these options are in the first place.

It's not quite as easy as all that. Grabbing the core combo I describe for my little monk on an archetyping rogue would require feats at level 2, 4, 10, 12, and 14. The monk has it all in hand by level 6. Grabbing it via archetype also doesn't get you the monk caster skill progression that we use to keep the EArc viable, and you're missing out on the once-per-fight ki strike unless you also want to spend your lvl 6 feat. Then add to that the fact that the swashbuckler archetype is going to cost you feats at levels 2, 4, 6, and 12 (at minimum). That starts getting pretty tight on the feats.

Like, yeah, if you've got Free Archetype, you could do something like this, but it wouldn't be at all easy, and you'd miss out on basically all of the mobility feats and the rogue feats. Stuff like Distracting Feint, Twist the Knife, and Opportune Backstab also have value, after all.


If you want to focus on skills, you have the Investigator/Summoner with Rogue Dedication.
A crazy amount of skill increases from Investigator and the extra skill increases from Rogue Dedication for 6 Legendary skills and up to 5-6 Master skills. Also Legendary Perception.
18 Intelligence, 18 Charisma and 18 Dexterity (on your Eidolon) for maximum attribute boosts.
Access to Mutagens if you take the Alchemical Sciences Methodology (Mutagens are Elixirs) for skill bonuses when handy.
Double skill checks when needed thanks to your Eidolon. Legendary/Master Aid otherwise at high level.
Heroism and Guidance.

I don't think you can be more optimized for skills.


Fighter + Cleric for SMITE.

Caster plus Investigator or Rogue is great not even for skills but for Perception. Casters going earlier in combat is great.

Thaumaturge plus Sorcerer for Recall Knowledge with Esoteric Lore is great to get information.


Guntermench wrote:
Thaumaturge plus Sorcerer for Recall Knowledge with Esoteric Lore is great to get information.

What does Sorcerer bring to the table on that one?


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Investigator[Forensic Medicine]/Rogue[Mastermind]: you get an obscene number of skills and skill feats, Can use Known Weaknesses+Mastermind for sneak attacks, Athletic Strategist opens up Disarm, Grapple, Shove, or Trip attempt, using your Devise a Stratagem and can do multiple things in exploration like search for traps and Investigate while doing another activity.


graystone wrote:
Investigator[Forensic Medicine]/Rogue[Mastermind]: you get an obscene number of skills and skill feats, Can use Known Weaknesses+Mastermind for sneak attacks, Athletic Strategist opens up Disarm, Grapple, Shove, or Trip attempt, using your Devise a Stratagem and can do multiple things in exploration like search for traps and Investigate while doing another activity.

For when you want to play Sherlock and Moriarty at the same time? I feel like some sort of "alternate identity" archetype/background is almost mandatory for that one.


graystone wrote:
Investigator[Forensic Medicine]/Rogue[Mastermind]: you get an obscene number of skills and skill feats

You lose the skill increases every even level, and because you can't grab the Rogue or Investigator Dedication you end up with quite low skills for what is supposed to be a skill monkey.

I think you have forgotten that you can't get the same ability twice with Dual-Class.


Back to the topic.

Flurry Ranger + Summoner.
You get at least 3 attacks per round (Tandem Move, Eidolon Attack, Hunt Prey and Twin Takedown with 2 Agile weapons), and can get up to 6 of them with Haste or 8 with Impossible Flurry (and you can even use Impossible Flurry after the 2 attacks of your Eidolon even if it's an Open ability). You also have an obvious flanking buddy.

The force of Nature: Giant Barbarian + Cleric of Gozreh (or any deity with the Nature Domain).
Vibrant Thorns + 1-action Heal every turn = 1d6 per 2 levels damage to anyone who hits you. The enemies take more damage than they inflict and you have more hit points that them = Invincible Barbarian.


Rogue/thaumaturge is probably the best skill monkey. 5 legendary skills from rogue. Legendary esoteric lore from thaumaturge and 2 flex legendary skills from tome implement.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
graystone wrote:
Investigator[Forensic Medicine]/Rogue[Mastermind]: you get an obscene number of skills and skill feats, Can use Known Weaknesses+Mastermind for sneak attacks, Athletic Strategist opens up Disarm, Grapple, Shove, or Trip attempt, using your Devise a Stratagem and can do multiple things in exploration like search for traps and Investigate while doing another activity.
For when you want to play Sherlock and Moriarty at the same time? I feel like some sort of "alternate identity" archetype/background is almost mandatory for that one.

Vigilante


gesalt wrote:
Rogue/thaumaturge is probably the best skill monkey. 5 legendary skills from rogue. Legendary esoteric lore from thaumaturge and 2 flex legendary skills from tome implement.

I think it has also to be considered a rogue + summoner, because the character would rely on 2 different sets of stats.

For example:

The summoner would hit 24 charisma.
The summoner would also hit 20 int and 20 wis

The eidolon would hit 24 dex
The eidolon would also hit 20 str

If the eidolon would be able to be fed with elixirs ( depends the table ), they'd be able to get the right item bonus they lack.


SuperBidi wrote:
graystone wrote:
Investigator[Forensic Medicine]/Rogue[Mastermind]: you get an obscene number of skills and skill feats

You lose the skill increases every even level, and because you can't grab the Rogue or Investigator Dedication you end up with quite low skills for what is supposed to be a skill monkey.

I think you have forgotten that you can't get the same ability twice with Dual-Class.

I didn't forget anything. You get a the greater base skills plus your subclass skills and 1/level [starts with Trained in Stealth, Society, one of [Arcana, Nature, Occultism, or Religion], Medicine + [7 + Intelligence modifier]. Add your background and you'll have every skill trained + 1 lore if you start with an 18 int: note I never said you'd get more skill increases. You'll also get a skill feat every level and an extra one ever 3rd level.

There are also feats to raise some skills too: Brilliant Crafter can get Craft to legendary, Acrobat Dedication gets acrobatics to legendary, Alkenstar Agent Dedication gets you expert in Deception and Underworld Lore or Legal Lore, Alter Ego Dedication gets you expert in Deception, Archaeologist Dedication gets you expert in Society and Thievery, Captivator Dedication gets you expert in Deception or Diplomacy, Golden League Xun Dedication lets you go from untrained to expert in 2 of [Athletics, Deception, Intimidation, or Stealth], Medic Dedication gets expert in Medicine, Pathfinder Agent Dedication get expert in any skill and Pathfinder Lore, Provocator get expert in Performance and your choice of either Acrobatics or Athletics...

There's more too but I'll stop there. Add to that that several of those have skill feats that make getting into and out of their archetype quickly and you're better off than skill mastery [especially with the 2 that auto go to legendary]. Heck, with 2 sets of class feats and carefully picking archetypes that have skill feats, you can get in and out of them nearly every other level if they wished.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
graystone wrote:
Investigator[Forensic Medicine]/Rogue[Mastermind]: you get an obscene number of skills and skill feats, Can use Known Weaknesses+Mastermind for sneak attacks, Athletic Strategist opens up Disarm, Grapple, Shove, or Trip attempt, using your Devise a Stratagem and can do multiple things in exploration like search for traps and Investigate while doing another activity.
For when you want to play Sherlock and Moriarty at the same time? I feel like some sort of "alternate identity" archetype/background is almost mandatory for that one.

The description of Mastermind is "You might be a detective determined to solve crimes or a spymaster in the service of a powerful family or nation. If you operate outside the law, you might be an aspiring crime lord or information broker, excellent at directing others toward suitable jobs. If you operate outside the law, you might be an aspiring crime lord or information broker, excellent at directing others toward suitable jobs." You can clearly be fully Sherlock or fully Moriarty. Now if you WANT to Jekyll and Hyde it, that's doable too.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
Guntermench wrote:
Thaumaturge plus Sorcerer for Recall Knowledge with Esoteric Lore is great to get information.
What does Sorcerer bring to the table on that one?

Being a full caster that uses CHA so they don't need to bump INT but can take advantage of RK, especially since it gives you the weakness if you succeed. Sure, you won't be using Strikes or able to benefit from Personal Antithesis, but if you're a blaster being told their highest weakness if they have one is pretty sweet. Especially if it uses your casting stat.

Useful outside as well for using scrolls of any kind and just general RK checks with the feat that lets you do it at a -2.


graystone wrote:
Investigator[Forensic Medicine]/Rogue[Mastermind]: you get an obscene number of skills and skill feats, Can use Known Weaknesses+Mastermind for sneak attacks, Athletic Strategist opens up Disarm, Grapple, Shove, or Trip attempt, using your Devise a Stratagem and can do multiple things in exploration like search for traps and Investigate while doing another activity.

You get more skill increases by making either Rogue or Investigator a dedication, and about as many skill feats.


Investigator plus Thaumaturge can Trap Finder, Haunt Ingenuity and Ongoing Investigation for a s*@@load of Exploration activities at once. Added bonus of potentially getting 4 Recall Knowledge checks a round, if your GM gives good info from them this would be the build to exploit that. Instructive Strike, Known Weaknesses, Exploit Vulnerability, Tome Adept benefit (probably reversing that order).

2 more legendary from Time and extra increases from Thaumaturge mean if you fit Rogue in as a Dedication this is probably the most skills you can get to legendary.


gesalt wrote:
Rogue/thaumaturge is probably the best skill monkey. 5 legendary skills from rogue. Legendary esoteric lore from thaumaturge and 2 flex legendary skills from tome implement.

I don't see the best skill monkey without one class being a Summoner. And the Dedication is not enough as you need to be able to Act Together.

Having a few Legendary skills don't compete with the ability to Aid yourself, the rerolls of limited use skills, the bonuses from 2 stats array and the extra action in combat.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
All of those are significant boosts to power that do stack pretty directly with whatever else martial you're bringing to the table.

You are totally missing the point.

I'm not arguing that you aren't getting a boost out of dual class. There are a lot of obvious things which you are talking about which are improvements yes. I'm just talking about the over the top things which give a major offensive power increase. All those Champion and Monk benefits are available anyway if you go about it the right way. So what if combo is level ten instead of six it is essentially already there in the default game. Every class can and should already get itself a good reaction in the default game, and there is only a minor benefit from getting another. None of those things are a major problem. Action limits still exist. The fighter is straight from the word go. +2 to hit with Rage, +2 to hit with Flurry, +2 to hit with sneak attack.

Rage has an action cost, agile and concentration problems so it rarely stacks fully with other abilities. Sneak attack has weapon restrictions and apart from flurry builds has got limits as well. The action cost of hunting prey means that it is not a great combination with Devise a Strategm, or in Gaining Panache or OverDrive. In practice all those primary power features of martial classes just don't add all that well together. Yes there are some benefits to the combinations they just aren't in the same power bracket as the fighter combos.

Fighter is the only class that gets its primary offensive with almost no limit or action cost. I mean it can even get around the one weapon group. Gunslinger has hard rules on not expanding its top weapon proficiency. They probably should apply the same restriction to Fighter with Errata.
Rogue is next as it can pretty much automatically get sneak attack after a while. At least it still has real weapon restrictions.


Guntermench wrote:
graystone wrote:
Investigator[Forensic Medicine]/Rogue[Mastermind]: you get an obscene number of skills and skill feats, Can use Known Weaknesses+Mastermind for sneak attacks, Athletic Strategist opens up Disarm, Grapple, Shove, or Trip attempt, using your Devise a Stratagem and can do multiple things in exploration like search for traps and Investigate while doing another activity.
You get more skill increases by making either Rogue or Investigator a dedication, and about as many skill feats.

You get 6 more skill feats and you can use them to power through archetypes that have skill increases and skill feats in them: this means they can at least keep even with the rogue/investigator taking all 5 skill mastery feats if not overtake them. For 6 class feats you could either get 10 skill increases from mastery + rogue dedication [at 12th level] while you could take 3 archetypes [6 class feats and 3 skill feats] and get 9 skill increases [3 skill auto level to legendary] by 8th and 3 skill feats left over to fill in another archetype or pick up a skill feat to substitute a maxed skill for another [like Streetwise, Courtly Graces or Acrobatic Performer] or make skill better [like Discreet Inquiry or Hobnobber]. You even have 4 levels before you catch up to the earliest you can max out your skill masteries so you could fit in an archetype or 2 to get more skill increases if you wish.


graystone wrote:
For 6 class feats you could either get 10 skill increases from mastery + rogue dedication [at 12th level] while you could take 3 archetypes [6 class feats and 3 skill feats] and get 9 skill increases [3 skill auto level to legendary] by 8th

Acrobat and Inventor Dedication are the only useful Archetypes. The others are putting you only at Expert and you won't be able to get above Expert. Considering that it's easy to get at least Expert everywhere, you won't beat the skill increases from Rogue Mastery.

If you count:
Investigator class for 6 Legendary skills and 1 Expert skill
Rogue Mastery: 6 feats for 5 Master skills
Inventor and Acrobat Dedication: 4 feats (no need to finish Acrobat Dedication) for 2 Legendary skills
You cover already 14 out of the 16 skills. You don't need much to get the 2 extra skills to Expert (Dual Studies from Summoner for example).

And Skill feats are not very useful, especially when you already have 19 of them from the Investigator class.
So maybe you can get skill increases slightly earlier, but I doubt it due to the need to finish both Inventor and Acrobat Dedication (the ones giving the highest number of increases at level 7+).


Gortle wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
All of those are significant boosts to power that do stack pretty directly with whatever else martial you're bringing to the table.

You are totally missing the point.

I'm not arguing that you aren't getting a boost out of dual class. There are a lot of obvious things which you are talking about which are improvements yes. I'm just talking about the over the top things which give a major offensive power increase. All those Champion and Monk benefits are available anyway if you go about it the right way. So what if combo is level ten instead of six it is essentially already there in the default game. Every class can and should already get itself a good reaction in the default game, and there is only a minor benefit from getting another. None of those things are a major problem. Action limits still exist. The fighter is straight from the word go. +2 to hit with Rage, +2 to hit with Flurry, +2 to hit with sneak attack.

Rage has an action cost, agile and concentration problems so it rarely stacks fully with other abilities. Sneak attack has weapon restrictions and apart from flurry builds has got limits as well. The action cost of hunting prey means that it is not a great combination with Devise a Strategm, or in Gaining Panache or OverDrive. In practice all those primary power features of martial classes just don't add all that well together. Yes there are some benefits to the combinations they just aren't in the same power bracket as the fighter combos.

Fighter is the only class that gets its primary offensive with almost no limit or action cost. I mean it can even get around the one weapon group. Gunslinger has hard rules on not expanding its top weapon proficiency. They probably should apply the same restriction to Fighter with Errata.
Rogue is next as it can pretty much automatically get sneak attack after a while. At least it still has real weapon restrictions.

You are totally missing the point.

Yes, cheesing up your martial with a fighter is easymode. That's true. It can be done almost effortlessly. You take... most of the viable non-fighter martial class builds in the game, you add fighter to them, and you see a significant damage bump, and often a notable increase in defenses as well. That's true, and it takes no work. If you take fighter off the table, then it gets trickier, but rogue and barbarian are both pretty darned easy to cheese that way too. You can usually fit in at least one of them. Take those two off the table, and it starts getting downright tricky... but still not by any means impossible. Oh, and you should take alchemist off the table too, because bombers get so much benefit from attaching with almost anyone who can give them a real set of martial proficiencies.

But then you look at what you have left among the martials - Monk, Swashbuckler, Ranger, Artificer, Magus, Gunslinger, Thamaturge, Investigator, Champion. No, wait - best cut Champion as well. "best defenses in the game" stacks pretty easy too. At that point, you've cut five, leaving eight... and still there are solid builds that are happy to abuse what you have left them. There are viable cha-based monk builds out there... and every single one of them would get a significant boost from adding Thaumaturge. Many swashbucklers would too. Ranged Thaumaturge builds are already using guns, so adding Gunslinger is an obvious win... and so on. Even here we can assemble martial characters who are getting real stacking power boosts... and that means, by and large, that they're getting more than those caster/caster combinations are getting. "Stacking advantages" beats "more gas" every time, as long as you've got a fairly balanced starting point.

The point here is that the reason to limit it from dual-martial is that if you allow dual-martial, and you have a player base who knows how to optimize, then nothing else can compete. Dual-martial stacks in a way that caster/martial and caster/caster just don't... and just taking "fighter" off the top, or even "fighter, rogue, and barbarian" isn't going to be enough to stop that.

And yeah, you can poach a lot of this stuff via archetypes... eventually, sometimes anemically, at significant cost. Dual-class gives it to you faster and better, though, and still lets you take all of the other feats that juice you up that much further... possibly even branching into another class-poaching archetype, if that's your preference. Or, when the other guy is spending level 16 feats to poach your level 8 feats, you can be taking level 16 feats of your own. Martial feats often stack usefully between classes just like martial class features do... and just like caster feats don't.


As a thought experiment, what kind of caster/caster build would pull a bit ahead?

Just ar a quick glance, a spell blending wizard /occult or divine Flexible Witch would be quite strong.

-SAD
-high number of high level spells
-Great flexibility with 2 prepared casting covering most spells, and flexibility on one
-above average familiar without investment
-access to a lot of 1 action focus spells, hex centripetal and cackle for action economy

Still not as imbalanced as fighter/x


Kendaan wrote:

As a thought experiment, what kind of caster/caster build would pull a bit ahead?

Just ar a quick glance, a spell blending wizard /occult or divine Flexible Witch would be quite strong.

-SAD
-high number of high level spells
-Great flexibility with 2 prepared casting covering most spells, and flexibility on one
-above average familiar without investment
-access to a lot of 1 action focus spells, hex centripetal and cackle for action economy

Still not as imbalanced as fighter/x

For caster/caster... actually, I think you'd want to sell back as much spellcasting as you could. After all, a caster/caster is not going to be limited by spell slots in the same way. Mostly, they're going to be limited by the actions that they have available to fire those spells off.

I admit, I don't really understand casters all that deeply, but if I had to guess, I'd probably start looking at combinations based on Psionicist, Witch, Summoner (if that's allowed), and Oracle.

- Oracle has Wacky Stuff. Wacky Stuff is often a good place to find unexpected synergies, when you get to add it to toyboxes it was never intended for.
- Witch has that wealth of hex cantrips to play with. You might find something interesting to combo with in there.
- Psionicist cashes in its spell slots pretty heavily for Other Stuff. Since "not enough spell slots" simply isn't going to be the problem that you have....
- Summoner has eidolon shenanigans, action economy, and so forth, while cashing in those spell slots even harder than the Psionicist.
- I count Magus as a martial for this purpose, because of how it plays... but Starlit Span Magus/Psionicist is probably going to be one of the stronger caster/gish options out there. Yeah, the magus can poach most of it, but the build is always stronger when you get it fresh from the source.


SuperBidi wrote:
gesalt wrote:
Rogue/thaumaturge is probably the best skill monkey. 5 legendary skills from rogue. Legendary esoteric lore from thaumaturge and 2 flex legendary skills from tome implement.

I don't see the best skill monkey without one class being a Summoner. And the Dedication is not enough as you need to be able to Act Together.

Having a few Legendary skills don't compete with the ability to Aid yourself, the rerolls of limited use skills, the bonuses from 2 stats array and the extra action in combat.

Self-aid isn't all that big a deal when it's easy enough for the local cha character to poach One For All for universal aid. You also have the option to substitute aid to a degree with ageless patience. Rogue also has better perception progression which is needed to beat proficiency gates that require it. Faster skill scaling means less of a chance that you get screwed on not having the skill you need at the right proficiency.

Also, the big skill booster dedication is sleepwalker since it gives you Advantage on your skill checks with the level 6 feat. With the rogue's extra skills there's less reason to get another skill through acrobat or inventor and more leeway to use sleepwalker to achieve filthy levels of consistency.


SuperBidi wrote:
Acrobat and Inventor Dedication are the only useful Archetypes. The others are putting you only at Expert and you won't be able to get above Expert.

We'll have to agree to disagree: even if you can't get a skill to legendary it has worth, even if it's just to Aid some else that did take it to legendary.

SuperBidi wrote:
And Skill feats are not very useful, especially when you already have 19 of them from the Investigator class.

Again, agree to disagree. with those extra I can take all the ones I want AND use them for archetypes: you can get in and out of Medic in one level and that's not nothing. You are also glossing over the fact that they get progressively higher: 2 of them are going to be usable for your 15+ set of feats. I know for myself that I can spend those skell feats without any issues.

SuperBidi wrote:
So maybe you can get skill increases slightly earlier, but I doubt it due to the need to finish both Inventor and Acrobat Dedication (the ones giving the highest number of increases at level 7+).

For me, that is PRETTY important as I rarely get to the highest levels so being able to get in and out of several archetypes or getting auto raising skills to increase as many skills I have can as soon as I can is a substantial boon to me. Most times I'd rather have more expert and master skills instead of more legendary skills is I don't know if I'll see 15th level.

Also, maxing out skill increases with rogue/investigator also means no no class feats for 8th and 10th level from either class: just pushing back Suspect of Opportunity can be painful.


Some nice builds:
Kobold Monk Flame Oracle. Stand in the middle of enemies and get that fire working for you. Add Dragon disciple for more fiery fun.

No rogue flurry ranger? Hmm let's try the dual flickmace flurry ranger barbarian. Add the soulforger dedication. Works better after mighty rage and double prey and gets really nasty at the highest levels.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
You are totally missing the point.

By this you are cutting one third of the combinations entirely. You are savaging the whole concept. I'm just suggesting knocking off the top few, around one in nineteen. The ones that are a problem.

You are also defaming my position by making suggestions I defintely did not. It is really only offense that you need to worry about here for balance. I drew a very clear line and you attack it by running all over it?!?

You are also wrong to suggest that a caster with twice the number of top level spell slots is not a reasonable increase in power.


I'd try a battle oracle animal barbarian for self sustain purposes:

- Physical DR ( slashing/Piercing )
- Fast Healing ( always on because of call to arms and might domain )
- Shield Block
- Temporary HP ( by lvl 8 )
- Better hit ( +1 status, up to +3 if you cast heroism ) and extra flat damage.

And I am also curious about a weapon innovation giant barbarian in terms of extra flat damage.


Falco271 wrote:
No rogue flurry ranger? Hmm let's try the dual flickmace flurry ranger barbarian. Add the soulforger dedication. Works better after mighty rage and double prey and gets really nasty at the highest levels.

It still doesn't work well.

Hunt Prey has the Concentrate Trait, making it incompatible with Rage.

Yes, you are getting a bit of action efficiency back here, but Mightly Rage has limits and only helps for a few two action rage abilities Dragon Breath being the only one I'd normally bother to take.

You end up having to waste two actions on Rage (or Moment of Clarity), and Hunt Prey reasonably often. Maybe 2 in your first round and two in your 3rd round.

Good luck.


Anyway lets be positive about this. Combinations I like:

Outwit Ranger with Braggart Swashbuckler. I think it would be a balanced fun combination big on taunting and a worthy front liner.

Thief Rogue with Occult Shadow Sorcerer. The magic would be there for the True Strike, Improved invisibility and all the utility. A very strong ninja assassin.

Monk or Ranger with Wild Shape Druid. Maybe that is a bit too strong at least the way I read Battle Forms.

Investigator with Spell Blending Wizard. A reasonable solid base combined with a lot of top level spell slots. An allrounder

Plant Summoner Phoenix Sorcerer with a side of Master Summoner

Animal(or Dragon) Barbarian with Cloistered Cleric. I'd play it as a split personality or maybe as a persistent curse.

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