Welcome to Guidance, Private Sanctuary’s source for tips and techniques for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. Today, Alex is going to be looking at multiclass barbarian/rogue build using the revised classes from Pathfinder Unchained.
As Unchained May continues, I thought hard about what sort of build(s) I wanted to look at using the new classes in Pathfinder Unchained. Sometimes I have ideas for specific characters that I want to build. Other times, I get wacky ideas based on the new content that comes out. Today is one of those latter days. Let’s look at a wacky idea!
Let’s briefly talk about the options that I’m going to be using in this build.
- Kitsune: I want to do a Vulpine Pounce build because I’ve never done one as an Iconic Design. If you don’t want to play this build as a kitsune, go either human (for a bonus feat), or either elf or half-elf (to treat the elven curve blade as a martial weapon), freeing up a feat slot in this build. Then replace Swift Kitsune Shapechanger, Vulpine Pounce, and your vacant feat slot with the beast totem rage power change using Extra Rage Power. You’ll get the same effect, but you’ll lose out on the shapechanging fun.
- Rogue (Scout): We’re going three levels in unchained rogue for Weapon Finesse and finesse training with the elven curve blade, plus a fourth level for scout’s charge.
- Barbarian: The new unchained barbarian gained something MASSIVE in the conversion to unchained; because it gains a damage bonus rather than a Strength bonus, finesse barbarians are now an option that is built into the class baseline! Its pretty fantastic, and we’re going to be using that for all its worth. Which is quite a bit.
We’ve got the pieces of the build laid out; let’s start putting it together!
Early Levels (1–7)
- Classes: rogue (scout) 4 / barbarian 3
- Feats: Combat Reflexes (1st), Exotic Weapon Proficiency: elven curve blade (Bonus), Power Attack (3rd), Weapon Focus: elven curve blade (Bonus), Furious Focus (5th), Cornugon Smash (7th)
- Abilities: danger sense +2, debilitating injury, evasion, fast movement, finesse training (elven curve blade), rogue talents (combat trick: exotic weapon proficiency, weapon training), rage, rage powers (powerful stance), scout’s charge, sneak attack +2d6, trapfinding +2, uncanny dodge
One of the things that I like about this build is that it’s relatively simple. At 1st level, I start with a shortsword or rapier; whichever one tickles my fancy. Rogues don’t’ qualify for Exotic Weapon Proficiency until level 2 when they get BAB +1, so I use the rogue combat trick talent to pick up this all-important feat, then automatically get Dex to damage with this weapon at level 3. Picking up Power Attack is important for this build, so grabbing Strength 13 (or 11 and a belt) is a must early on. This can be difficult for a kitsune, but its not impossibly hard. My second rogue talent is weapon training, as the +1 from this feat helps to offset the 3/4 BAB that I get from my rogue levels. 4th level also sees my charging abilities start to turn on when I pick up scout’s charge, a very helpful ability. Scout’s charge allows my character to add his sneak attack damage on any attack made as part of a charge. I also invest in Cornugon Smash because its an excellently good debuff ability that doesn’t cost me anything, and Furious Focus is amazing. For my rage power, I grabbed powerful stance for the damage bonus.
I love that I manage to pick up debilitating injury before I switch out of rogue, as the ability to smash my foes with a nasty AC penalty (–2 for my allies, –4 for me) is great utility. Fast movement is also going to be a strong choice for my build’s charging focus, especially after I can afford mithral medium armor. I also get uncanny dodge back relatively quickly, which is nice.
Overall, the early levels are pretty straightforward. Let’s take a peak at the mid levels.
Mid Levels (8 –14)
- Classes: rogue (scout) 4 / barbarian 10
- Feats: Combat Reflexes (1st), Exotic Weapon Proficiency: elven curve blade (Bonus), Power Attack (3rd), Weapon Focus: elven curve blade (Bonus), Furious Focus (5th), Cornugon Smash (7th), Swift Kitsune Shapechanger (9th), Vulpine Pounce (11th), Extra Rage Power: greater fey blood (13th)
- Abilities: danger sense +4, damage reduction 2/–, debilitating injury, evasion, fast movement, finesse training (elven curve blade), improved uncanny dodge, rogue talents (combat trick: exotic weapon proficiency, weapon training), rage, rage powers (powerful stance, sprint, lesser fey blood, unexpected strike, fey blood), scout’s charge, sneak attack +2d6, trapfinding +2, uncanny dodge
The mid levels is where some of my silly tricks start to come online. First is Vulpine Pounce, which lets me make a full attack at the end of any charge that I make. Combined with scout’s charge and I’m making a full sneak attack at the end of any charge; it may only be for an extra +2d6, but every extra die helps! I also start investing in some very cool rage powers, namely sprint (increase your speed by 50% when charging), lesser fey bloodline (crits sometimes confuse the target), unexpected strike (anyone who moves into any of my squares always provokes), fey bloodline (I ignore difficult terrain when I charge), and greater fey bloodline (I get a blur effect for 1 round whenever I move more than 10 feet in a turn). At this point, I can charge 150% of my speed, over difficult terrain, and make a full attack at the end of the charge. And my target gets hit by my sneak attack at the end of that charge.
Aside from the building of this combo, I get improvements to trap sense and some damage reduction; helpful, but nothing to write home about. Let’s see if that changes in the end game.
- Classes: rogue (scout) 4 / barbarian 16
- Feats: Combat Reflexes (1st), Exotic Weapon Proficiency: elven curve blade (Bonus), Power Attack (3rd), Weapon Focus: elven curve blade (Bonus), Furious Focus (5th), Cornugon Smash (7th), Swift Kitsune Shapechanger (9th), Vulpine Pounce (11th), Extra Rage Power: greater fey blood (13th), Extra Rage Power: greater shove aside (15th), Reckless Rage (17th), Extra Rage Power: improved damage reduction (19th)
- Abilities: danger sense +6, damage reduction 4/–, debilitating injury, evasion, fast movement, finesse training (elven curve blade), greater rage, improved uncanny dodge, indomitable will, rogue talents (combat trick: exotic weapon proficiency, weapon training), rage, rage powers (powerful stance, sprint, lesser fey blood, unexpected strike, fey blood, shove aside, improved damage reduction, improved damage reduction), scout’s charge, sneak attack +2d6, tireless rage, trapfinding +2, uncanny dodge
End game is a bit slow, as my combo turns on at Level 14. That said, the shove aside (and greater shove aside) rage powers are VERY useful. They let me move through my allies’ space when I charge. They’re honestly good enough that dropping Cornugon Smash for shove aside is definitely a modification to this build that’s worth considering. After grabbing those rage powers as fast as I can, I just invest in improved damage reduction. You can take it up to three times for +6 to your damage reduction while raging, which is a nice benefit, and the only other option that might be worth it for my build is swift foot, which gives a +10-foot enhancement bonus to my speed while raging that stacks per selection (max 3).
Overall this is a fun, simple build that I would recommend to anyone looking to dart into the fray, wreck face, and be nimble and fantastic while doing it.
Got any questions or comments about this build? Leave’em below I’ll see you next week for another installment of Guidance!
Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alex’s Twitter, @AlJAug.