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Author Topic: Paladins OR: How I overthought a simple idea  (Read 4651 times)

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June 29, 2012, 05:46:36 PM
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Paladins have been my go to class in every game they are available ever. They're not always the best, I don't always know how to best explore the class, but I always pick them. Recently though I'm having trouble in the "Oh my god, it all looks so promising" category when it comes to my current paladin in the groups "Lets install PRC and run the OC, SoU and HotU with the same characters throughout" game.

The Party (So far)
A Lizardfolk Warlock who's just taken his first level in Hellfire Warlock
A Cleric Dwarf with a WIS build after something that's about to become obvious
A Sorcerer who hasn't been with us long
and me. The Paladin. See the problem?

That's 4 classes all of whom require Cha in some way, and basically all the CHA equipment is being fought over. I didn't know whether I should go a STR Paladin (To lighten the load on the parties in-fighting over who gets what, which sounds a lot more interesting than what actually happens) or a CHA Paladin, because the Undead/Evil across the campaigns really rack up.

For the record, I'm playing an Aasimar, also the others are fine with Re-speccing since we all need to retool at some point.

So my idea was a CHA based Paladin/Fist of Raziel/Swift Wing 20/10/10 deal. Seemed obvious what with Switch Wings fancy abilities and all 3 focusing on Smiting and Turning to some degree and advancing my spell levels. Of course this was only after I narrowed down the list including

~Strength Based~
Knight of Middle Circle
Purple Dragon Knight
Vassal of Bahamut
Dragon Devotee

~Cha Based~
Fist of Raziel
Champion of Torm
Morninglord (Only with Cleric or Contemplative)
Contemplative (As a stepping stone to Morning Lord)

My thought was I could just buff my Strength with belts and amulets while boosting my Charisma the hard way.

Right now I'm considering dropping Swift Wing and just going Paladin/Fist of Raziel 30/10. But if you have any suggestions, please help.

July 02, 2012, 05:26:36 PM
Reply #1

I have a suggestion that isn't quite what you are used to but which might be fun and would get you around the charisma problem.

Fist of Raziel is a good class, but a little known feature is that it advances the caster level of the highest divine caster class.  While it is generally used as part of a straight paladin build, if you start out with four levels of paladin (for the aura of courage, disease immunity, etc.), then take five levels of cleric, when you start adding fist of raziel levels, the cleric spellcasting is what increases. so you get a character with almost full BAB, full clerical spellcasting (if you take practiced spellcaster), and some interesting special abilities.  The only drawback is you have to take one more level of cleric to get to epic, and, since spellcraft is not a class ability for fist of raziel, you eventually need to take at least one more cleric level to qualify for epic spellcasting, if you want to go that way.  This issues reduces your BAB a little more, but it is still worth it.  And in your game, since fist of raziel doesn't progress undead turning, you don't need to worry about charisma.

If you want to go with a more diverse caster portfolio for slightly less BAB, substitute archivist for cleric.  Archivists don't have turn undead ability, but the build I'm suggesting above wouldn't be a strong undead turner anyway. (And let's face it--holy martial strike is much more effective against high level undead than turning would be anyway!)  Archivists learn spells like a wizard does and can learn any normal cleric spell, any domain spell, or any spell from any other divine caster, so that includes not only paladin, but ranger and druid as well.  Arguably, the archivist is the most versatile caster in the game, except maybe the mystic theurge.  Yes, the archivist levels contribute only 1/2 BAB, compared to the cleric's 3/4 BAB, but you can compensate for that with the occasional divine power spell, which boosts BAB to that of a fighter.  It doesn't last long, but it is a low level spell; hence, scrolls are cheap.  Best of all, the archivist is an intelligence based caster, which means your character will also become a skill monkey, and no one will fight you for intelligence based items.

Both of the suggested builds are cleric/paladin hybrids, not straight paladins, but they do work well as holy warriors. 

July 02, 2012, 07:14:26 PM
Reply #2
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Actually I've been juggling that myself, other classes I've been juggling dipping (or even majoring in) are Crusader or Templar, but I could never find any good guides for the latter or any builds for Pal/Cru/FoR.

I don't mind adding in the cleric levels and then swapping into FoR. We just hit level 11 today, so I can re-spec to Pal 4/ Cle 5/ FoR 2. We just recently added a Druid, an Illithid Healer (He chose the class because he chose such an OP Race) And I've been building 2 Cohorts in preparation for Leadership, once I figure out all the Leadership rules. Also you seem to disregard Smite Evil as well as Turn Undead (Smite uses the CHA Modifier)

So I guess my question is should I go Pal/Cle/FoR, Pal/Cru/FoR, Cru/Cle/FoR or some other variation. I've been interested in trying the crusader out and was thinking of a Full-Scale re-spec when SoU begins. Honestly if Crusader could qualify for Fist of Raziel on it's own, I probably would just play a Crusader/FoR and never look back. Of course there's also stuff like Ruby Vindicator Knight to continue Maneuvers.

Also, Turns are mostly going to be used as fuel for Divine Might/Shield if I can afford them, That should boost my Great Cleaving (I already pretty much kill everything, but this would be killing everything faster)

Speaking of which while it's here

I've built and rebuilt my first Cohort (A warforged) so many times now my eyes have gone starry. The first was a Brawler/Knight/Legendary Dreadnought build. With variations on the level around. Then I build a Warblade before finding out that Cohorts can't use those special abilities. There's always the comedy option of things like Rogue or Ninja (I will greatly sacrifice versatility for the funnies) and I think I narrowed down the classes/prestiges that I can use

>Classes with Full BAB progression
Knight - Solidifies Tanking, Bulwark Defense, AI probably wont use Fighting Challenge
Brawler - Solid unarmed fighting class, can wear Heavy Armor (Adamant) gets Fighter Bonus Feats (no Weapon Specialization)
Bowman - Surprisingly Archers Focus does not in fact require you to fight with a bow, has Weapon Specialization, has Sneak Attack, has Fast Movement
Ultimate Ranger - Solid 2-Handed (Also Mithril counts as light armor), Pet, Sneak Attack
Fighter - Favored Class, has Weapon Specialization, Bonus Feats

>Classes with 15 BAB/Dipping Classes
Rogue - Skill Monkey, Hilarious option
Ninja - Skill Monkey, Kill Skills, Hilarious option
Noble - Buffs, won't/can't effectively use them
Monk - Flurry of Blows, Free Cleave, Evasion. Otherwise worthless

Prestige Thoughts

>Full BAB Prestige Classes
Legendary Dreadnought - Completely unkillable tank. Takes a while to get to (BAB +23, 15 Intimidate, Great Cleave, Improved Knockdown (Int 13+), Lightning Reflexes, Improved Critical) but he's a Cohort anyway he levels along side me.
Foe Hunter - The One Shot Rifle class, against Hated Foe will murder, everything else, slightly less murder (Requires Ultimate Ranger)
Knight of the Middle Circle - Upside is Blind-fight, extra AC, and True Strike. On the Downside Wis-Based Casting, on the upside it's only up to Spell Level 3 if I really want it.
Man at Arms - The 'Master of None' for fighting classes, still able to kick ass with a variety of weapons.
Purple Dragon Knight - Kind of a wasted feat (mounted combat) but pretty destructive, Synergizes well with Legendary Dreadnought.
Tempest - Solely for the Ultimate Ranger, has to take a Worthless feat for it, but winds up a dealer of death. Also a Bonus Feat every other level after the 10th.
Vigilant - Hi, I would like to be more immortal please. Easy Requirements, makes for a hard tanking build. Could easy pull this and Legendary Dreadnought to become Immune to Death.
Weapon Master - The opposite of the Man at Arms, a 'Master of One' with that one being a weapon of choice. Since it needs a High-Dex for class feats, there's no reason to not pick up the Two Weapon Fighting. Even just focusing on a single weapon makes it a killer.

>2/3 BAB Prestige Classes)
Dragon Devotee - Stat boosts and ability, Only 5 levels.
Drunken Master - Comedy option, can use bottles as weapons, plus it's a Construct getting smashed. Actually not a bad class feats and skill wise.
Initiate of Draconic Mysteries - Boosts unarmed damage, gets to turn into a Huge Dragon at the end, Fear Aura, Qualifies easily
Shadowblade - Not sure if it can use the Unseen Weapon feats, otherwise a good choice if I dip into Rogue or Ninja
Shadowdancer - Again if I go Rogue or Ninja it's actually not a bad choice.
Skullclan Hunter - What do we fight alot? Undead. Here's a prestige class that's all about killing the undead. Not a bad choice considering only 10 levels.

The thought process is either going bare handed (From Brawler) Or potentially Dual-Wielding 2-Handed weapons (because of the Iron Golem model) which is why Ranger/Tempest is even on here. Though I have no trouble resting on single Halberd or Scythe.

What class I didn't bring up was Wizard, since Constructs don't take an Int hit. and the booster Con adds to survivability. I was thinking of a Cleric/Skill Monkey for the second Cohort anyway, but I haven't even begun to plan them out.


>Builds attempted
Knight/Brawler/Legendary Dreadnought (Took to long to deal proper damage, Brawler kind of pointless except to fill levels. Unkillable though)
Brawler/Legendary Dreadnought (Decent enough, the build requires 13 Int and not much else, as well as access to Tumble)
Ultimate Ranger/Tempest/Legendary Dreadnought (Failed: Not enough feats to reach LD by Level 25, Can't reach Intimidate 15 by Level 25)
Ultimate Ranger/Tempest/Weapon Master (Tanky due to natural con, but has to settle on Mithril armor. Otherwise not a bad build at all, Great Cleave + 2 Greatswords, +Two Weapon Fighting Feats clears enemies like nothing else. Probably work better with Halberds or Scythes due to the enhanced Crit ratio)
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 05:24:08 AM by Onmi »

July 03, 2012, 05:30:48 PM
Reply #3

I understand your point with regard to smite being charisma based, but in my experience a moderate charisma is enough.  At higher levels with a full BAB character and decent equipment, hitting the target is usually not a problem, with a very limited number of exceptions.  Remember that the damage for a Fist of Raziel smite is based on number of levels in the class, not on charisma, so your character would get the increased damage regardless of the size of the charisma bonus.

With regard to your dual wielding cohorts, you probably know this already, but just in case, two weapon rend is a nice epic feat.  If you hit with both weapons in the same round, you do additional damage.  At high levels that means you do additional damage practically every round.  And because the feat is automatic, it is one cohorts can benefit from.

July 04, 2012, 02:33:42 PM
Reply #4
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In the end we've been running with Paladin/Archivist/Fist of Raziel. It's a little bumming that my spell slots are tied to Wisdom when my casting stat is Int. but a Periphat of Wisdom tends to help with that a little. Been doing well with the current build and thanks for the help in sussing out the build.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 03:53:47 PM by Onmi »