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Mark Hall
2010-01-16, 09:41 PM
Ok, so my hobgoblin in our Night Below campaign has run his course (or, more specifically, he told his tribe, The Black Brigade, about the tunnels that run under the Haranshire, and the fact that they lead to an abandoned keep, leading to an invasion and occupation that's going to have the rest of the party QUITE angry at my hobgoblin bard). We've just met the svirfneblin, however, so introducing a svirfneblin or gnomish character is about right.

Which is where I hit a snag. I'm not sure what to play. The party primarily needs a skirmisher/scout right now... we've got a cleric/rogue (going into a divine variant of Arcane Trickster), a barbarian/cleric (going into a Divine variant of eldritch knight), a human paladin, a human fighter, and a tiefling sorcerer. Every so often, we have an elven necromancer who assures us he is not evil... after suggesting that we raise all of our slain allies as zombies, or suggesting torture every time we need to get information.

The character is level 6, and must be from Pathfinder. He's allowed very limited material from 3.5... so far, he's allowed 1 feat (Open Minded, from the SRD).

One option is a straight svirfneblin monk. I'm not really liking that character, however, cool though he is.
The second, however, is a bit more intriguing... a regular gnome, with some combination of Monk, Ranger, and Shadowdancer levels. The Monk levels are to help meet Shadowdancer prereqs. The Ranger levels are for favored enemy, favored terrain, etc. The Shadowdancer levels are to have some panache. But I'm not sure what ratio would be best? Monk 1/Ranger 4/Shadowdancer? Monk 2/Ranger 3/Shadowdancer 1? Monk 3/Ranger 3/ Shadowdancer eventually?

Eldariel
2010-01-17, 06:03 AM
Monk 2 is the sweet spot where it gains a ton of goodies without losing much. Every level after that is diminishing returns, though 6 levels can be vindicated at points for the bonus feat.


The principal issue the character is going to run into is, how he'll deal damage. Ranger has Favored Enemy (though limited), Monk has Unarmed Strike (though quite weak, doubly so for a small character) and Shadow Dancer has nothing (though Rogue-talents do offer some options).

As a Skirmisher, his damage output is extremely crucial since that's all he does in combat; being a Skirmisher generally entails being out of reach so opponents can't hit him back (meaning he isn't there protecting others), and he has no real means of inconveniencing the opponents, meaning all he can really do is damage.

Really, the best option seems to be, no matter how "strange", to use a two-handed weapon with Power Attack and high Strength and rely on "striking invisible"-bonuses to see that you hit. Maybe combining that with Unarmed Strikes and TWF if you end up with high-enough To Hit. The real pity is that you have no real way of utilizing the Combat Reflexes you're forced to pick without being Yet Another Spiked Chain Dude (though that weapon DOES seem appropriate for a Monk...).


He'll be an excellent scout, to be sure, between Hide in Plain Sight and Stealth and small size and so on; so that part doesn't really require much focus. If you want him to do more than 1d4+Str damage in combat though, it'll take some work.

Oh, and start with Ranger-levels for the 6+Int skills on level 1; it's pretty nice for a skill monkey. So yeah, Ranger 3/Monk 2/Shadow Dancer ->. You can do some fun stuff with Shadow Conjuration and Shadow Evocation too, so you'll have some combat usefulness once you gain those abilities. Replicating Force Cages, Resilient Spheres, Solid Fogs and so on can prove very useful.