Iconic Design: Harriet Tubman, Chelliax’s Worst Nightmare

Welcome to Guidance, Private Sanctuary’s source for tips and techniques for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. In continuation of our Hell of an August special event, I’ll be sharing a heroic build for a character that you might want to try in the Hell’s Rebels adventure path … or might want to throw at your PCs in Hell’s Vengeance!

As I mentioned in our primer of Chelliax, one of my absolute favorite parts of the Chelliax setting is the Bellflower Network, so today I’m going to be sharing a Bellflower Tiller prestige class build.

Background

The Bellflower Network is sort of like the Underground Railroad of Chelliax. Concerned citizens and freedom fighters clash with Hellknights and local authority as they attempt to rescue slaves from their masters and bring them to freedom in other lands. The front-line field agents of the Bellflower Network are called Bellflower Tillers; master survivalists and travellers who sneak in, grab the slaves, and escort them out as quickly as possible.

Build Concept

So, let’s take a quick look at the options we’ll be using.

  • Halfling: Many (but not all) of the Bellflower Tillers are halflings for obvious reasons. For one, the Chelliaxians practically don’t notice them. We’ll also be grabbing the alternate racial trait that allows the halfling to have a 30 foot movement speed as well. Why? You’ll see.
  • Inquisitor: Desna is hated by the Asmodian government, so why not add insult to inury?
  • Bellflower Tiller: This prestige class is the bread and potatoes of the build.

And with that, I think we’re ready to start piecing the build together. Let’s begin!

Early Levels (1–7)

  • Classes: unchained rogue 4, inquisitor (sanctified slayer) 3
  • Feats: Weapon Finesse (Bonus), Nature Soul (1st), Combat Reflexes (Bonus), Bodyguard (3rd), Animal Ally (5th), Outflank (Bonus), Precise Strike (7th)
  • Abilities: cunning initiative, danger sense +1, debilitating injury, detect alignment, domain: travel, evasion, finesse training (star knife), monster lore, orisons, rogue talents, studied target +1, sneak attack +2d6, solo tactics, stern gaze, studied target, track, trapfinding +2, uncanny dodge
  • Rogue Talents: combat trick (2nd), terrain mastery (any) (4th)
  • 1st-Level Inquisitor Spells (4): bless, cure light wounds, divine favor, keep watch
  • 0-Level Inquisitor Spells (6): create water, detect magic, detect poison, guidance, light, stabilize
  • Traits: Fate’s Favored

Ultimately we want to build for the Bellflower Tiller prestige class, but that class has a LOT going on with it, so it takes some proper set-up to make the class shine. Our major theme is going to be a teamwork-oriented character who uses skills to shine in evasion and navigation, so our best bet to start is the Unchained Rogue. Free Weapon Finesse at low levels and 2d6 tasty points of sneak attack damage are the highlight of this scene, especially because we need them in order to qualify for the prestige class. In terms of talents, I think that terrain mastery is a must-have because it makes you untrackable (though not your crop, sadly). I also picked up combat trick so we can start realizing one of the points of this build: aid another. It isn’t going to be the end-all champion of the aid another action, but this class is going to be able to seriously buff the AC of her allies using aid another, which is often enough for the enemies to turn their attention to that annoying, party-buffing halfling. (And if its not, oh well. Let’s face it: most of your combats are going to be with party members anyway.) Since Level 5 has the build going into inquisitor of Desna, I chose the Star Knife for finesse training. Fun, flavorful, and who cares if it does d3 damage; you’re a sneak attacker! Now, I could have stopped at Level 3, but when I’m dipping Unchained Rogue for finesse training, I always go to Level 4. For most builds (especially multiclass ones), debilitating injury is too good to pass on.

After 4 levels of rogue, its time to go inquisitor. We’re basically sticking with this build long enough to pick up solo tactics and a bonus teamwork feat, since Bellflower Tiller requires two feats for entry. Since judgment will never be improving beyond two levels, I chose to take sanctified slayer for studied target instead. True, we’re never advancing that either, but at least we’ll be sneak attacking a lot, so you can use studied target as an immediate action after you study something. Spell-wise, I focused on divine favor (because its awesome), plus a few flavorful utility spells. For feats, I wanted an animal companion because having a friend with scent is clutch when you’re trying to escape from evil Hellknights, plus even the diminished companion has its uses in combat (more on that later).

But still, I’m sure you want to see the full prestige classed-out version of the build, so let’s waste no more time and move on to the mid levels!

Mid Levels (8 –14)

  • Classes: unchained rogue 4, inquisitor (sanctified slayer) 3, bellflower tiller (7)
  • Feats: Weapon Finesse (Bonus), Nature Soul (1st), Combat Reflexes (Bonus), Bodyguard (3rd), Animal Ally (5th), Outflank (Bonus), Precise Strike (7th), Feint Partner (Bonus), Two-Weapon Fighting (9th), Combat Expertise (11th), Improved Feint Partner (Bonus), Pack Flanking (13th)
  • Abilities: bellflower crop, crop guardian, cunning initiative, danger sense +1, debilitating injury, detect alignment, domain: travel, evasion, favored barn (any 2), finesse training (star knife), monster lore, orisons, rogue talents, scarecrow +3, studied target +1, sneak attack +4d6, solo tactics, stern gaze, studied target, swift sower +20 ft., track, trapfinding +2, uncanny dodge
  • Rogue Talents: combat trick (2nd), terrain mastery (any) (4th)
  • 1st-Level Inquisitor Spells (4): bless, cure light wounds, divine favor, keep watch
  • 0-Level Inquisitor Spells (6): create water, detect magic, detect poison, guidance, light, stabilize
  • Traits: Fate’s Favored

As I mentioned early, Bellflower Tiller is a weird little prestige class with some rather scattered benefits. It gives bonus teamwork feats, advances sneak attack, and gives a strange, settlement-based version of favored terrain. The most interesting abilities that the class has to offer, however, are swift sower and scarecrow.

Swift sower gives you a scaling bonus to your overland (hint: out of combat) speed, up to a +20, and allows your allies to use your speed instead of theirs for overland travel. Depending on the campaign, this can be absolutely clutch. By taking the halfling alternate racial trait that boosts the halfling’s speed to 30 feet and the travel domain, which further boosts the halfling’s speed to 40 feet, you’re looking at a minimum overland speed of 50 feet for your entire party, which is sounding pretty good for the guy in platemail. Bonuses to speed apply to this as well, so if you grab a pair of boots of striding and springing, you’re actually buying boots for your entire party when traveling out of combat. Nifty!

Scarecrow, however, is the meat of the class. Basically, you get a scaling bonus (up to a +5!!!) on attack rolls and damage rolls against any creature that threatens a member of your Bellflower Crop. Well, how do you make a character a member of your Bellflower Crop? You use the bellflower crop ability to designate them as such, but the benefits fizzle if the opponent moves too far away. How do you fix THAT?

Animal companion.

Basically, you can pick whichever allies you want to be in your Bellflower Crop, so long as you always pick your animal companion. Your animal companion will go wherever you do, after all, so as long as you stay near your animal companion you’re getting an absolutely MASSIVE bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls on top of the fact that you get Ouflank whenever you’re flanking with your animal companion because of solo tactics. Eventually you also pick up Pack Flanking (which you may want to grab sooner then I recommend, honestly), which allows you to be flanking with your animal companion whenever you’re both ADJACENT to the same opponent. Wowzers!

So, let’s take a look at how this build ends, shall we?

Endgame (15+)

  • Classes: unchained rogue 7, inquisitor (sanctified slayer) 3, bellflower tiller (10)
  • Feats: Weapon Finesse (Bonus), Nature Soul (1st), Combat Reflexes (Bonus), Bodyguard (3rd), Animal Ally (5th), Outflank (Bonus), Precise Strike (7th), Feint Partner (Bonus), Two-Weapon Fighting (9th), Combat Expertise (11th), Improved Feint Partner (Bonus), Pack Flanking (13th), Boon Companion (15th), ANY ONE TEAMWORK (Bonus), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (17th), Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (19th)
  • Abilities: bellflower crop, crop guardian, cunning initiative, danger sense +2, debilitating injury, detect alignment, domain: travel, evasion, favored barn (any 3), finesse training (star knife), monster lore, orisons, rogue’s edge (any), rogue talents, scarecrow +5, studied target +1, sneak attack +7d6, solo tactics, stern gaze, studied target, swift sower +20 ft., track, trapfinding +3, uncanny dodge
  • Rogue Talents: combat trick (2nd), terrain mastery (any) (4th), terrain master (any) (19th)
  • 1st-Level Inquisitor Spells (4): bless, cure light wounds, divine favor, keep watch
  • 0-Level Inquisitor Spells (6): create water, detect magic, detect poison, guidance, light, stabilize
  • Traits: Helpful, Fate’s Favored

More attacks via Two-Weapon Fighting with star knives, bigger numbers, all that good stuff. I picked up more rogue levels because they’re easier, but taking one level of inquisitor instead of rogue will net you second-level spells; definitely worth looking into.

Before we sign off, an alternate way to do this build: rogue 5/ hunter 3. This version of the build doesn’t need to grab Precise Strike as a feat at 7th level (it gets Outflank as a bonus feat at Level 2) and it has a generally beefier animal companion, but said companion doesn’t advance with your level. (You need to take Animal Ally at Level 5, before going into hunter, to get the effective levels to stack and Boon Companion’s bonus isn’t large enough, which is why I don’t recommend going into Bellflower Tiller until Level 8 in this variant). You also don’t get Teamwork benefits from your allies, but you grant ALL of your teamwork feats to your animal companion, giving you an even more supercharged animal body who’s pretty darn powerful.

Whelp, that’s all for this build. What did you think? What would you do differently? What does an iconic Bellflower Tiller look like to you? Leave your questions and comments below, and I’ll see you on Monday as one Hell of an August continues!

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.

Alex Augunas

Alexander Augunas lives outside of Philadelphia, USA where he tries to make a living as an educator. When he's not shaping the future leaders of tomorrow, Alex is a freelance writer for esteemed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game publishers such as Paizo, Inc, Radiance House, Raging Swan Press, and more, and also acts as a co-host and blogger on the Know Direction Network, where he has earned the nickname, "The Everyman Gamer." Recently, Alex has forayed into the realm of self-publishing through his company, Everyman Gaming, LLC.

1 Comment

  1. cool build, you mentioned that this build is not “the end-all champion of the aid another action”
    but as someone who tried to build exactly that I wonder what you think one would look like?

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