PDA

View Full Version : Combat skillmonkey?



WarKitty
2011-02-21, 12:23 PM
I have a player that likes to play a skillmonkey but also prefers to run up and hit things. It's been causing some effectiveness problems because the player is playing a rogue for the skills but doesn't want to worry about sneak attack. Essentially, the player plays a tank whether she has a tank build or not. Is there any good class that gets decent skill points but is also relatively effective in melee?

Keld Denar
2011-02-21, 12:27 PM
What skills are you looking for? Through the use of ACFs and variant classes, you can get lots of different skills on different classes. Ranger and Barbarian both get decent skills with ACFs for things like trapfinding, while Paladins get Diplomacy and Sense Motive. Most martial classes get Ride, which can be traded for Tumble with the Skilled City Dweller ACF from the Cityscape web enhancement (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20070228a).

WarKitty
2011-02-21, 12:29 PM
What skills are you looking for? Through the use of ACFs and variant classes, you can get lots of different skills on different classes. Ranger and Barbarian both get decent skills with ACFs for things like trapfinding, while Paladins get Diplomacy and Sense Motive. Most martial classes get Ride, which can be traded for Tumble with the Skilled City Dweller ACF from the Cityscape web enhancement.

It's not the specific skills so much as having the points available. She doesn't have a lot of int and all the classes that would fit her fighting style only give her 2+int skill points per level.

Morbis Meh
2011-02-21, 12:29 PM
Well this may not be enough skill oriented but try a Warblade from the ToB it is way better than a standard tank it gets 4+ Int and int is one of the stats you want to put points into because you get bonuses later. Another option may be a factotum (Dungeonscape) specializing in Iajitsu Focus, they get 6+ Int but Int is their main stat and with a monks belt and a feat that allows to switch monks bonuses from Wis to Int they can have a huge AC, for more damage go into the PrC Iajitsu Master. They also get ALL skills as class skills.

Keld Denar
2011-02-21, 12:34 PM
Duskblade, despite only having 2+int skill points, casts off int, so being a duskblade you'll want a resonably high int. Duskblade's also have a decent skill list with all knowledges and some other goodies.

true_shinken
2011-02-21, 12:40 PM
Daring Outlaw (Rogue/Swashbuckler) and Swift Hunter (Scout/Ranger) seem to do exactly what you want.

dspeyer
2011-02-21, 01:03 PM
There's an ACF that lets rogues trade sneak attack for fighter-style bonus feats.

Alternatively, swordsage has 6+int skills and a pretty broad class skill list.

Coidzor
2011-02-21, 01:07 PM
Rogue1+Able Learner+Ranger/Melee Combo X or Factotum1-3+Able Learner+Melee Combo X.


It's not the specific skills so much as having the points available. She doesn't have a lot of int and all the classes that would fit her fighting style only give her 2+int skill points per level.

Then it sounds like she was exercising bad character planning, design, and tactical sense. And it raises the question of whether she actually likes playing a skillmonkey or if she felt obligated to do it since someone had to have skills in the party...:/

So you either have to educate her in tactics, building a character, or throw her a bone by giving her some houseruled/homebrewed material.

Giving high HD and high skills to a blocks enemies attacks with their face character doesn't really mesh with what I can gather of the mainstream design philosophy of WOTC 3.X.

Zaq
2011-02-21, 01:08 PM
Can you give me some indication of what you mean by "playing as a tank"? Does your player just want more damage? Are they not hitting frequently enough? Are they taking too much damage? What precisely is the issue?

Kyuu Himura
2011-02-21, 01:08 PM
I find surprising that no one said Swordsage.

You get 6+int skill points, decent AC, and tons of manuevers, just specialize in tiger claw and/or diamond mind, with a splash of desert wind for some bonus damage, a heavy hitter right there. You also get proficiency with every simple and martial melee weapon, light armor and a small bonus to damage when using certain techniques. Skill list is decent too.

On the downside, they have only a d8 for hit dice and 3/4 lvl for Base Attack bonus, however, it is one of the classes that gets you what you want.

Human Paragon 3
2011-02-21, 01:12 PM
I think the issue is "rogue's best class ability is sneak attack, but the player is too gung-ho to worry about setting up sneak attacks."

A possible answer would be to trade sneak attack for fighter feats. Once you get a wand of divine power (max out UMD, naturally), the rogue will be able to charge into battle and fight as well as a fighter. A feat like melee evasion should help him cope with his lack of heavy armor, or just boost dex sky high and get mithral breast plate.

My favorite feat rogue build involves taking spirited charge and fighting from the back of a mount with a lance, though I believe Human Paragon features into that build as well.

Zaq
2011-02-21, 01:45 PM
I think the issue is "rogue's best class ability is sneak attack, but the player is too gung-ho to worry about setting up sneak attacks."

If this is the case, there's always the Scout (CAdv). Charging headfirst into battle triggers your bonus d6s. They don't get as many as the rogue, but they're a lot easier to get. The only problem is the full attack, but at low levels that shouldn't be an issue.

Curmudgeon
2011-02-21, 01:57 PM
Is there any good class that gets decent skill points but is also relatively effective in melee?
Few classes get as many skill points as the Rogue. The Scout's skirmish isn't as effective as sneak attack when executed effectively, but the player is obviously not patient enough for effective execution. So skirmish is a reasonable choice, as others have already pointed out.

You can leverage skill points into combat effectiveness with two feats:

Education (Eberron Campaign Setting): makes all Knowledges class skills; and
Knowledge Devotion (Complete Champion): bonus to attack and damage enemies based on Knowledge checks.
There are 6 Knowledge skills related to creature types; those cover all the monsters in the D&D world. Human with a decent INT (14 with point buy) could maximize all of them and still be top-notch with a handful of other skills.

WarKitty
2011-02-21, 01:57 PM
If this is the case, there's always the Scout (CAdv). Charging headfirst into battle triggers your bonus d6s. They don't get as many as the rogue, but they're a lot easier to get. The only problem is the full attack, but at low levels that shouldn't be an issue.

Is there any way to get this to work better with a full attack? We're level 11, and she's a TWF build.

Honestly, part of the issue is we have a "real roleplayer" with a bad case of ingrained stormwind fallacy.

Keld Denar
2011-02-21, 02:03 PM
Barbarian and Ranger have similar fluff. Spirit Lion Barb1/Scout4/Ranger6 with Swift Hunter would get you 4 base attacks on a charge (2 mainhand, 2 offhand, +haste, etc). At 12, she's have the BAB and feat to take GTWF for 6 base attacks. Still retains a lot of wilderness based skillfulness.

Not really any way to do this without multiclass penalties unless you have some way to gain additional favored class types.

true_shinken
2011-02-21, 02:04 PM
Is there any way to get this to work better with a full attack? We're level 11, and she's a TWF build.

Honestly, part of the issue is we have a "real roleplayer" with a bad case of ingrained stormwind fallacy.

Just get her free movement (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103358) and call it a day.

Coidzor
2011-02-21, 02:27 PM
Is there any way to get this to work better with a full attack? We're level 11, and she's a TWF build.

Honestly, part of the issue is we have a "real roleplayer" with a bad case of ingrained stormwind fallacy.

Nope. Not with that kind of person dictating how all of you have to play.

Riposte (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20070228a)almost works since she apparently wants to block swords with her face, but in order to really work out it needs things like robilar's gambit/karmic strike/both and a mix of DR/good HD/miss chances to weather the cost of it. But it is an ACF

Barbarian 1 as a dip for pounce makes the most sense, as the character sounds like it wishes it were a barbarian in combat. But it's both multiclassing and an ACF.

Since she's TWF, she really should've grabbed some ranger....x.x

Unless you can find some way to get free movement that would be able to get past this other person without causing a fracas, anyway...

WarKitty
2011-02-21, 02:46 PM
Nope. Not with that kind of person dictating how all of you have to play.

Riposte (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20070228a)almost works since she apparently wants to block swords with her face, but in order to really work out it needs things like robilar's gambit/karmic strike/both and a mix of DR/good HD/miss chances to weather the cost of it. But it is an ACF

Barbarian 1 as a dip for pounce makes the most sense, as the character sounds like it wishes it were a barbarian in combat. But it's both multiclassing and an ACF.

Since she's TWF, she really should've grabbed some ranger....x.x

Unless you can find some way to get free movement that would be able to get past this other person without causing a fracas, anyway...

Eh, she doesn't really interfere with the way other people want to play. It's more that, well, the rest of the group optimizes. She doesn't optimize, and then gets frustrated when she's not that effective in combat.

Coidzor
2011-02-21, 02:49 PM
Eh, she doesn't really interfere with the way other people want to play. It's more that, well, the rest of the group optimizes. She doesn't optimize, and then gets frustrated when she's not that effective in combat.

Well, you can only tone down the rest of the group and your encounters so much. She has to understand that if she's intentionally going to go against the rules of the system and cripple her ability to do what she wants to do in combat, she's going to have to die with it. You can only offer so much help, after all.

WarKitty
2011-02-21, 02:53 PM
Well, you can only tone down the rest of the group and your encounters so much. She has to understand that if she's intentionally going to go against the rules of the system and cripple her ability to do what she wants to do in combat, she's going to have to die with it. You can only offer so much help, after all.

Thinking of a pair of boots that lets her do 1/2 sneak attack damage in exchange for moving at least 10 feet. And hopefully she put points into acrobatics. It's not a super high optimization game, so she's probably be fine with that.

Zaq
2011-02-21, 03:02 PM
Is there any way to get this to work better with a full attack? We're level 11, and she's a TWF build.

Honestly, part of the issue is we have a "real roleplayer" with a bad case of ingrained stormwind fallacy.

Greater Manyshot (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicFeats.htm#greaterManyshot) is the key to getting multiple Skirmishes at range. (Swift Hunter, from Complete Scoundrel, lets you mix Ranger and Scout. Doing so makes the BAB easier, but gets fewer skills per level and class features that are less interesting.) If you want to be melee, the list of pounce/free movement techniques has already been linked.

Waker
2011-02-21, 03:11 PM
It's not an excellent solution, but some prestige classes might help toughen her up a bit in combat while still letting her be a good fighter. Nightsong Enforcer from CAdv or Dread Commando from HoB are good for that.

Cyrion
2011-02-21, 04:13 PM
You might also want to look at Battle Trickster and possibly Uncanny Trickster from Complete Scoundrel. They're both designed to build on the skill monkey and give some buff to the combat. If she didn't design the character to use the classes, though, they may be of limited value since they rely on skill tricks, and some of those have high skill requirements.

ericgrau
2011-02-21, 04:30 PM
Give him a masterwork or magic buckler (no non-proficiency penalty) and don't forget he gets sneak attack in round 1 if he hits something whose initiative he beats. He can also use his buckler hand as his crossbow reloading hand, as the buckler is strapped to his arm. At higher levels recommend range in round 1 to get a full attack. Once he does get in melee and gets thwacked remind him he can hit and then tumble away. Or carry a healing potion in his buckler hand at all times, then when things get ugly tumble away and quaff it. And of course tumble into flanking when first engaging melee.

PetterTomBos
2011-02-21, 04:36 PM
If the party just needs the skills:

Play cleric with max possible int

bastards and bloodlines have a feat that let you cast with int.

Use spells that buff yourself and make you better at the skills you use :)

Coidzor
2011-02-21, 04:37 PM
It's not an excellent solution, but some prestige classes might help toughen her up a bit in combat while still letting her be a good fighter. Nightsong Enforcer from CAdv or Dread Commando from HoB are good for that.


You might also want to look at Battle Trickster and possibly Uncanny Trickster from Complete Scoundrel. They're both designed to build on the skill monkey and give some buff to the combat. If she didn't design the character to use the classes, though, they may be of limited value since they rely on skill tricks, and some of those have high skill requirements.

Well, now I feel dumb for forgetting about those. x,x

WarKitty
2011-02-21, 05:14 PM
If the party just needs the skills:

Play cleric with max possible int

bastards and bloodlines have a feat that let you cast with int.

Use spells that buff yourself and make you better at the skills you use :)

It's more that we have a player that wants to be able to smash people's faces in, but also wants to be able to use hide/move silently/acrobatics/various knowledges/survival.

Keld Denar
2011-02-21, 05:22 PM
Dread Commando is ok for face smashing skill based goodness. Heroes of Battle. Its only 5 levels long, but it allows you to move igore many penalizing aspects of armor while moving at regular speed. Plus, you give your whole party a +level bonus on Init, which is pretty sexy for alpha strikes. The sudden strike is just gravy on the walls at that point. Full BAB too, too bad its not longer than 5 levels though...

Thurbane
2011-02-21, 05:30 PM
How about a Rogue/Fighter (thug variant) (UA) with Able Learner? Maybe going into the Dread Commando PrC (HoH)?

gorfnab
2011-02-21, 05:37 PM
It's more that we have a player that wants to be able to smash people's faces in, but also wants to be able to use hide/move silently/acrobatics/various knowledges/survival.
Factotum (with Able Learner feat) 3/ Warblade X could easily do this if the player is willing to rebuild thief character.

Coidzor
2011-02-21, 06:13 PM
It's more that we have a player that wants to be able to smash people's faces in, but also wants to be able to use hide/move silently/acrobatics/various knowledges/survival.

In that case, Ranger. Seriously, why didn't she go with that? :smallconfused:

She's TWF, wants to smash things, and wants skillpoints to spend on mostly scouting skills and apparently doesn't care about trapfinding.

WarKitty
2011-02-21, 06:15 PM
In that case, Ranger. Seriously, why didn't she go with that? :smallconfused:

She's TWF, wants to smash things, and wants skillpoints to spend on mostly scouting skills and apparently doesn't care about trapfinding.

As far as I can tell, because we already have a ranger and she started with rogue "because someone needed to do it" and doesn't like retraining.

ericgrau
2011-02-21, 06:38 PM
It's more that we have a player that wants to be able to smash people's faces in, but also wants to be able to use hide/move silently/acrobatics/various knowledges/survival.

Well besides what I already said for tumble: There's the classic stay 20' ahead of the party, sneak ahead, sneak attack in surprise round, win initiative, more sneak attack. At the beginning of every fight be sure to ask for the appropriate knowledge checks (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/knowledge.htm) to learn special attacks / weaknesses. Survival isn't useful in fights but there (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/wilderness.htm) are (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/weather.htm) encounters (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/environment.htm) you can throw at the PCs that depend heavily on it. Intersplice those with the usual outdoors encounters (whether at the same time or a different time of day) and you could have something interesting.

That's only 5+ skills, so she may want to intersplice other variant classes as suggested. I'd strongly recommend against anything that sacrifices sneak attack damage, especially without getting full BAB. So sneak attack fighter yes (and possibly a thug as well), feat rogue heck no. She can start stacking these onto her existing levels no problem.

Coidzor
2011-02-21, 06:42 PM
As far as I can tell, because we already have a ranger and she started with rogue "because someone needed to do it" and doesn't like retraining.

Ah, in that case, run ideas by her, especially that there's more than one way to find a trap, and then judge from there whether it's appropriate to kill off her character for good so she can make one she'll actually enjoy playing since she refuses opportunities to allow her to retrain.

WarKitty
2011-02-21, 06:48 PM
Ah, in that case, run ideas by her, especially that there's more than one way to find a trap, and then judge from there whether it's appropriate to kill off her character for good so she can make one she'll actually enjoy playing since she refuses opportunities to allow her to retrain.

I am tempted. Unfortunately, killing off a high-level character in a manner such that they actually remain dead is not that easy.

Zaq
2011-02-21, 06:56 PM
You can always just give them a compelling reason to retire. If the player is on board with it and actually wants to play a new character, it's not usually that hard to find a reason for a given character to split from the party and either retire or find his/her own path.

As a somewhat silly example, I had a character who was basically a ripoff of Inspector Gadget. I enjoyed playing him, but I wanted to bring in a new character (both because the party needed the role covered and because I had done that thing where I make a new character and fall in love with them). I talked to the GM, and the next session, we saw a woman dressed in red (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmen_Sandiego_%28character%29) steal the nonintelligent door we had kinda befriended (don't ask) right in front of us, then zip away inhumanly fast. The Inspector (as I called him) ran away after her, shouting that he had been on her trail for years and before now had no idea where in the world she was. He liked the party, but he was an officer of the law and felt it was his duty to try to bring this nefarious character to justice. (He might have succeeded if he had any ranks in Knowledge: Geography.)

The level of silliness should vary from game to game, but if the player's cool with it, it's pretty easy to find something that you can say the character deems to be important enough to drop everything and focus on.

Coidzor
2011-02-21, 07:03 PM
^: Ok, that. Awesome.

Well, where there's a will there's a way


http://img576.imageshack.us/img576/461/drwhoof.jpg

JaronK
2011-02-21, 07:56 PM
Yeah, the obvious build for this person is Factotum 3/Swordsage X with Battle Jump and Able Learner... sneak around all you want, then flip out and kill people. But without retraining it's going to be very difficult, because she's playing the wrong class for what she's trying to do.

JaronK

WarKitty
2011-02-21, 09:52 PM
Yeah, the obvious build for this person is Factotum 3/Swordsage X with Battle Jump and Able Learner... sneak around all you want, then flip out and kill people. But without retraining it's going to be very difficult, because she's playing the wrong class for what she's trying to do.

JaronK

Did I mention the player doesn't like ToB? It doesn't make sense to her in-universe, so she doesn't use it.

Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I think "find a way to sneakily perma-kill her character" seems like the best idea. Although from what I remember of her fighter, I'm not sure a new character would improve matters. Primary problem seems to be that we have one "optimization=munchkinry" player in a group where everyone else optimizes.

ThirtyThr33
2011-02-21, 11:05 PM
From what i could see noone mentioned Nymph's Kiss (BOED). Gives you an extra skill point per level at the cost of a feat at lvl 1.

true_shinken
2011-02-21, 11:07 PM
From what i could see noone mentioned Nymph's Kiss (BOED). Gives you an extra skill point per level at the cost of a feat at lvl 1.
It's also an exalted feat with heavy RP requirements. Trying to sell that to someone who disagrees with Mr. Stormwind is going to be hard.

Mark Hall
2011-02-22, 12:23 PM
For core classes, look to the Ranger. Since she likes to Tank, perhaps make a custom fighting style for her, either that gives armor proficiencies (picking up Medium at 2nd and Heavy at 6th) or perhaps DR. You might also look at the Weapon and Shield (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/ranger#TOC-Weapon-and-Shield) style from Pathfinder.

WarKitty
2011-02-22, 12:45 PM
For core classes, look to the Ranger. Since she likes to Tank, perhaps make a custom fighting style for her, either that gives armor proficiencies (picking up Medium at 2nd and Heavy at 6th) or perhaps DR. You might also look at the Weapon and Shield (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/ranger#TOC-Weapon-and-Shield) style from Pathfinder.

It's more...she likes the idea of a light, dex-based, agile fighter. She just also wants to be able to charge and smash people's faces in.

I dunno...it's more of a player issue than a game issue, but I don't want to kick the player, so I'm trying to figure out how to work around it. Especially since she doesn't want to retrain because it doesn't make sense to her for a character to lose abilities and gain different ones.

Waker
2011-02-22, 12:47 PM
I dunno...it's more of a player issue than a game issue, but I don't want to kick the player, so I'm trying to figure out how to work around it. Especially since she doesn't want to retrain because it doesn't make sense to her for a character to lose abilities and gain different ones.
Ok, here's the plan then. Take the time to make up a character using some of the suggestions we've made so far. Then when you all sit down for the game, loudly yell out and point "What's that?!" When she turns around to look, swap the character sheets.