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    Default Melee build for Pathfinder

    I was looking at Pathfinder and all its existing books, what would be a good melee build from it? A barbarian/fighter with archetype of the Two Handed Fighter? A full class barbarian with the Invulnerable Rage archetype? Or should casters be the new melee like they were always?

    What if other books were allowed in from 3.5? like some of the completes and maybe psionics? Like would a psychic warrior from the psionics unleashed be good to build for a powerful melee?

    Ultimately is there a way to stay melee and have significant power throughout your levels to benefit in each fight? I'm thinking about this, because I might join a Pathfinder game and wondering what would be a good melee character to make with these type of books?

    PS: dice rolls will be high powered and (No ToB, ToM or Incarnum or maybe Psionics not sure)

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    No experience with ToB, so nothing about that.

    It's possible to make a pretty fine and powerful melee, how lame you'll be later on even with an optimized build will depend on DM and other players.

    Either way, Barbarian has some very interesting Rage powers and ACFs as you noted (especially one that gives you Pounce at lvl10), Fighters are still a "dip for feats" in my eyes and Cavalier seems nice though I don't have any experience on that one.

    Also, if you're not against casting, they've improved Paladin considerably and if you're not against a shady character, there's always Rogue and SA. Also do look into the half-casters Magus (can buff his weapon easily, Wizard-esque spell list and with a spell to close in instantly and full-attack, among other things) and Alchemist (Rageish-like buff, buff-themed spell list, with Vivisectionist you get SA, Beastmorph you get Pounce at 10, you can also get Fly pretty easy without spells and it's very easy to get a set of three nice diced natural attacks).

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Barbarians are rather excellent in Pathfinder, so you'd have plenty of fun just by going straight barbarian.

    Fighter dip is kinda meh now, because of the abundance of feats, but it's still an option.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Psionics are already officially ported over to PF and they are in the SRD, so you have that on your side. The new Soulknife is excellent in its role.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    I'd second straight Barbarian. It is an excellent class using nothing but pathfinder material: Core Rule Book, Advanced Players Guide, Ultimate Combat, and I am sure you could spice it up even further with 3.5 material -I wouldn't though. You don't need it.

    If you are going for a charger build you could consider three levels of Two-Handed Fighter to the the Overhead Chop (I think it is called), but I am not sure it is worth it considering that your access to rage powers will be stalled.

    Remember that as a Barbarian you are going to be hit a lot. Accept this and go for a build where you have more hitpoints than everyone else. I would optimize the Barbarian for the "Come Get Me" rage power AO attack bonanza -basically, as long as you have unused AO's if they try to hit you, you get to hit them first. You main weapon will be a Falchion.

    On top of this I would carry a scimitar, a shield, a decent armor and various magic protective items (and a ranged weapon). The reason is that this way you can have a decent armor class when you are not raging/power attacking. Not raging unless you need to is (at least some of) the secret to staying alive as a barbarian. There are also rage powers and feats that will help you not die. Get these.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Ironically I would say that because of rage powers, Barbarians are more versatile than fighters now.

    Sure, melee classes in Pathfinder deal less damage (less uberchargers except for maybe the mounted feat change), but that doesn't make them more incompetent than they were in 3.5.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Barbarian or Soulknife are great if you just want "simple melee with things to do." Soulknives don't use all of the psionic rules (manifesting powers and such) so they will fit in just fine with a nonpsionic party. The only time they could potentially pose a problem is if your game is extremely low-wealth/magic, in which case all the melee is in trouble anyway.

    Beyond that, your best bet for a melee class with tricks is a gish (magic/melee hybrid), and there are several gish-in-a-can classes that can do the trick in Pathfinder - the Magus, Synthesist (summoner), Ragechemist or Vivisectionist (alchemist), Dervish Dancer (bard), Psychic Warrior etc.
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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Barbarian or Soulknife are great if you just want "simple melee with things to do." Soulknives don't use all of the psionic rules (manifesting powers and such) so they will fit in just fine with a nonpsionic party. The only time they could potentially pose a problem is if your game is extremely low-wealth/magic, in which case all the melee is in trouble anyway.

    Beyond that, your best bet for a melee class with tricks is a gish (magic/melee hybrid), and there are several gish-in-a-can classes that can do the trick in Pathfinder - the Magus, Synthesist (summoner), Ragechemist or Vivisectionist (alchemist), Dervish Dancer (bard), Psychic Warrior etc.
    Not sure, Ragechemist looks like a trap, too detrimental, for too long without getting enough in bonuses IMO, I'd rather be a Beastmorpher Vivisectionist.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    I'll admit I'm not as versed with the Alchemist as I should be. The only guide I've found seems to assume you are married to the bomb-chucking concept and doesn't look into any of the other archetypes in-depth. Personally I'd love to be a Vivisectionist/Chirurgeon - respected doctor by day, lethal assassin by night

    This may require a different thread, but are there any more in-depth guides out there to this class?
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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    you can dual wielding fighter and get 2 kukri

    Take feats like weapon focus (Kukri), Weapon Specialization (Kukri), Improved Critical (Kukri), and their respective chains, and the Two weapon fighting stuff. Alongside with power attack, furious focus, that sort of stuff. Sure you only deal 1d4 + bonuses, but you're minimizing penalties to attack rolls and have a very good chance of critting something (Kukri is 18 crit after all, with Improved Crit, we're looking at 15 to crit)

    You can dip a level into barbarian for fast movement and rage.

    Dual Wielding, high critting all day
    Last edited by Zolthux; 2011-10-09 at 12:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Barbarian is probably your best bet for a non-spellcasting melee'r. Make sure to grab lots of the Extra Rage Power feat, as most Rage Powers are better than feats. Grab Raging Vitality as soon as you can, as it will be essential to your survival. The Beast Totem powers are a must, as they give you bonuses to natural armor, and pounce, most importantly of all. You'll also want to get Dragon Totem and Dragon Totem Resilience (choose fire), as they give you extra DR, energy resistances, and the third totem gives you wings, but burns lots of rage.

    Oh, and don't worry about not being able to use only one totem at once; there's a little blurb at the top of the rage power section explaining how only totem warriors can use more than one rage totem at once, and the totem warrior archetype doesn't actually replace any class features at all, so every Barbarian is a totem rager.

    Superstition gives you a good will save, and combined with Eater of Magic and Spell Sunder make you pretty much immune to most magic, or at least, able to rid the world of it in fairly short order. In order to get more use out of your 1/rage abilities (such as Eater of Magic), you must be immune to fatigue, so you can 'cycle' your rage every round. The best ways to do this are either to be a 17th level Barbarian, or to take a 5 6 level dip in Oracle (Lame), for 3rd level divine spells and immunity to fatigue at fifth level.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by Curious; 2011-10-09 at 02:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Note that in PF, Warmind is still full BAB AND you can continue your Psychic Warrior progression. Psychic Warrior/Warmind/Slayer would work nice.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious View Post
    Superstition gives you a good will save, and combined with Eater of Magic and Spell Sunder make you pretty much immune to most magic, or at least, able to rid the world of it in fairly short order. In order to get more use out of your 1/rage abilities (such as Eater of Magic), you must be immune to fatigue, so you can 'cycle' your rage every round. The best ways to do this are either to be a 17th level Barbarian, or to take a 5 6 level dip in Oracle (Lame), for 3rd level divine spells and immunity to fatigue at fifth level.

    Hope this helps!
    Another possibility is to PrC into horizon Walker for 3 levels and choose Terrain Mastery and Dominance (desert) so now you're immune to both exhaustion and fatigue. Your BAB doesn't suffer one bit and your HD is barely touched (d10). The only stinker is the pre-req of Endurance.

    Anyway, I agree with everyone here, a straight Barbarian or heavily Barbarian themed build is great for a non-magical melee and incredibly fun, you also have enough skill points to be useful out of battle.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Hi

    Synthesist is also a good melee build, The weakness is the Dismissal spell which can divest you of your extra powers.

    In addition to the redesigning of your physical powers, you also get spells to self buff.

    Dipping even a few levels can augment whatever your final choice.

    Thanks
    Paul H

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Larpus View Post
    Another possibility is to PrC into horizon Walker for 3 levels and choose Terrain Mastery and Dominance (desert) so now you're immune to both exhaustion and fatigue. Your BAB doesn't suffer one bit and your HD is barely touched (d10). The only stinker is the pre-req of Endurance.

    Anyway, I agree with everyone here, a straight Barbarian or heavily Barbarian themed build is great for a non-magical melee and incredibly fun, you also have enough skill points to be useful out of battle.
    I made one of these. With the Power Surge rage power I was able to net a +Barbarian lvl bonus to either CMD or CMB every round for free, and no penalties.
    Also, makes it really fun to continuously turn off and on rage for the bonus.
    1st round: "RAGE!" action + Power Surge, end rage.
    2nd round: "RAGE!" action + Power Surge, end rage.
    3rd round: ...etc.
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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Hmmm, So going full barbarian class look very beneficial for the rage powers and abilities it can already do previously and the strength it provides. Or at least taking a good amount of it would be good right?

    However I was wondering what about the TWF fighter? Is the Mobile or Two Weapon Warrior archetypes any good?

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by ranger557 View Post
    Hmmm, So going full barbarian class look very beneficial for the rage powers and abilities it can already do previously and the strength it provides. Or at least taking a good amount of it would be good right?

    However I was wondering what about the TWF fighter? Is the Mobile or Two Weapon Warrior archetypes any good?
    Mobile is good (comparative to the vanilla fighter), TWFing in general is not.
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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    I guess Mobile Fighter is not too bad, but most of its bonuses are equivalent to what the vanilla fighter gets, except you have to move to get access to the benefits. There are some perks at the high levels, though. Beware, however, that if you are prevented from moving you are seriously nerfed.

    Two-Weapon Fighting is a cool concept, but as Curious implies it is sub-optimal and it will never be as rewarding as a big old two-handed sword.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    So basically, Mobile fighter archetype is better than the Two Weapon Warrior archetype?

    I understand that TWFing is going to be sub-optimal compare to THF with a big two handed weapon, but I was rather risk it and see how that goes. So i was wondering what archetype would be good for that build and what feats besides the obvious ones. Also I chose to be a Half-Orc, it when well with my background lol. Also hopefully we might go gestalt later when the new players get the hang of their characters and maybe Ill go fighter//rogue to get the extra damage dice for TWF.

    Anyway back to the point of archetypes, should i just stay vanilla for TWF or go those certain archetypes? Also are the critical chain feats, the caster disruptive feats, and the step up feats any good?

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    For TWF'ing I guess you would be good going either way, regarding the archetype vs vanilla question, but I think the archetype is a bit more "fun" at high levels.

    If you are hooked on TWF'ing I do think you should consider going rogue, at least partially. It will give you access to rogue tricks, precision damage and a lot more skillpoints. On the downside you will loose a little base attack bonus, and for every rogue level you will average a hitpoint less, but I think it is worth it.

    Go for a dexterity based TWF fighter(two-weapon warrior)/rogue

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Yeah I agree that the APG archetypes will provide some more fun in the later levels compare to the vanilla core fighter. Also yeah most likely from what I said in my previous post, extra damage dice is definitely beneficial. However, I was looking at the two archetypes and I feel Mobile outweighs the Two Weapon Warrior because of being able to move quickly and do full attacks. Also mithril fullplate (+9 max dex +5) with mobile fighter would be pretty nice .

    Here is what I rolled, remember High Powered!!

    Half-orc Fighter lvl 4 (Mobile Fighter)

    Str: 20
    Dex: 19
    Con: 17
    Int: 15
    Wis:16
    Cha: 13

    Weapon: Orc double Axe

    What do you guys think? What feats should i get besides the obvious TWF chain?

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Hi

    With those rolls I'd go Bladebound (Magus Archetype), and swap some of the stats around for a finesse build.

    Str 15 Dex 20 Con 17 Int 19 Wis 16 Cha 13
    1) Arcane Pool, Cantrips, Spell Combat (Wpn Finesse)
    2) Spellstrike
    3) Black Blade (Scimitar) (Dervish Dance)
    4) Spell Recall

    1) Your Scimitar is a +1 Wpn, with 1 Arcane Pool.
    2) If you go Human instead you can take Toughness too at 1st level
    3) You're +9 to hit, doing D6+6 damage. (More with arcane pool, or spellstrike, plus extra +2 hit/dam with Cat's Grace running)
    4) Next level you can add keen and/or elemental damage. Your weapon becomes +2 Enhancement and you gain bonus combat feat.
    5) Spell recall allows you to spend Arcane Pool points to regain spells already cast.

    Thanks
    Paul H
    Last edited by Paul H; 2011-10-10 at 10:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Hi

    With those rolls I'd go Bladebound (Magus Archetype), and swap some of the stats around for a finesse build.

    Str 15 Dex 20 Con 17 Int 19 Wis 16 Cha 13
    1) Arcane Pool, Cantrips, Spell Combat (Wpn Finesse)
    2) Spellstrike
    3) Black Blade (Scimitar) (Dervish Dance)
    4) Spell Recall

    1) Your Scimitar is a +1 Wpn, with 1 Arcane Pool.
    2) If you go Human instead you can take Toughness too at 1st level
    3) You're +9 to hit, doing D6+6 damage. (More with arcane pool, or spellstrike, plus extra +2 hit/dam with Cat's Grace running)
    4) Next level you can add keen and/or elemental damage. Your weapon becomes +2 Enhancement and you gain bonus combat feat.
    5) Spell recall allows you to spend Arcane Pool points to regain spells already cast.

    Thanks
    Paul H
    Str 20 Dex 16 Con 17 Int 19 Wis 15 Cha 13 uses the same weapon but dismisses the need for both weapon finesse and dervish dance, freeing up 2 feat slots and adding carrying capacity, as well as higher damage from the get-go and later capability of using heavier armor, at the expense of -1 will and -1 ac.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreaz View Post
    Str 20 Dex 16 Con 17 Int 19 Wis 15 Cha 13 uses the same weapon but dismisses the need for both weapon finesse and dervish dance, freeing up 2 feat slots and adding carrying capacity, as well as higher damage from the get-go and later capability of using heavier armor, at the expense of -1 will and -1 ac.
    Uh, what? You're doing the same damage, due to needing to wield a weapon one-handed to use your best class feature, your AC is in the pit because if you don't wear light armor you can't cast spells without arcane spell failure chance, and your initiative and Reflex saves are both suffering.
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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious View Post
    Uh, what? You're doing the same damage, due to needing to wield a weapon one-handed to use your best class feature, your AC is in the pit because if you don't wear light armor you can't cast spells without arcane spell failure chance, and your initiative and Reflex saves are both suffering.
    Wearing the best possible light armor with dex 20 is only 1 more ac than with dex 16. Until level 3 you won't be doing dex to damage, so that's a +2 instead of +5.
    Also, when you are not using spell combat (namely whenever you are interested in moving, or not casting a spell because of a previous failed touch delivery or just straight not needing to), you can wield the scimitar 2h and benefit from the extra damage. The same applies to levels 1-8, where you can just spellstrike using it 2h since there's little point in full attacking then.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Ok, well since I posted what I was going to be in the game for my role, I should have clarified that I asked about a magus to my DM but not for this campaign. So hence that's why I went fighter and put high strength for damage and hit so I don't have to waste a feat and I dexterity to qualify for the TWF feats. Also I'm thinking mobile would be good because I still get the +2 bonus to my max dex so I can wear mithril fullplate to get my optimal AC. What do you guys think? Also what do you guys are good feats for TWF? Thanks

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreaz View Post
    Wearing the best possible light armor with dex 20 is only 1 more ac than with dex 16. Until level 3 you won't be doing dex to damage, so that's a +2 instead of +5.
    Also, when you are not using spell combat (namely whenever you are interested in moving, or not casting a spell because of a previous failed touch delivery or just straight not needing to), you can wield the scimitar 2h and benefit from the extra damage. The same applies to levels 1-8, where you can just spellstrike using it 2h since there's little point in full attacking then.
    Since he's starting at level 4, and gains Dervish Dance at level 3, there is no difference in damage. Not only that, but you won't ever need to worry about two-handing for damage while moving, since you can take Experimental Spellcaster at fifth level and grab the spell Accelerate, which gives you an extra move action. So, yeah, there's no advantage to a strength build unless you start at higher levels, and even then the hit to initiative and Reflex saves hurts.
    Last edited by Curious; 2011-10-11 at 10:39 AM.
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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious View Post
    Since he's starting at level 4, and gains Dervish Dance at level 3, there is no difference in damage. Not only that, but you won't ever need to worry about two-handing for damage while moving, since you can take Experimental Spellcaster at fifth level and grab the spell Accelerate, which gives you an extra move action. So, yeah, there's no advantage to a strength build unless you start at higher levels, and even then the hit to initiative and Reflex saves hurts.
    You are aware you need 3 feats just to make that trick work, aren't you? In addition to burning more spells every time you want to move. 2handing for damage is never a "worry" because it doesn't even take an action to make, you just declare it.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious View Post
    Barbarian is probably your best bet for a non-spellcasting melee'r. Make sure to grab lots of the Extra Rage Power feat, as most Rage Powers are better than feats. Grab Raging Vitality as soon as you can, as it will be essential to your survival. The Beast Totem powers are a must, as they give you bonuses to natural armor, and pounce, most importantly of all. You'll also want to get Dragon Totem and Dragon Totem Resilience (choose fire), as they give you extra DR, energy resistances, and the third totem gives you wings, but burns lots of rage.
    I'm pretty sure a Barbarian can't take more than one totem line of Rage powers.

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    Default Re: Melee build for Pathfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreaz View Post
    You are aware you need 3 feats just to make that trick work, aren't you? In addition to burning more spells every time you want to move. 2handing for damage is never a "worry" because it doesn't even take an action to make, you just declare it.
    Not every time you want to move, just once an encounter. Also, so what? Burning the one feat for move + full attack is definitely worth, it seeing as you are essentially getting two turns in one, move + full attack + standard action spell. And the other two feats are both ensuring that you not only have a high AC, reflex save, and initiative at low levels, but a very nice damage output as well. It's simply better than the alternative, I'm afraid.
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