Iconic Design: Star Light, Star Bright

Welcome to Iconic Design, Private Sanctuary’s source for innovative and evocative character builds for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. Today, we’re going to be looking at a Startoss Style fighter build.

Welcome to Iconic Design, everyone!

Today’s build request comes from BLZ_Renlar, one of the Know Direction Network’s Live Blog reviews. BLZ asks, “Hey Alex, can you do a cool star knife build that uses Startoss Style?”

Well, considering that it’s a week before PaizoCon and doing a build that’s SUPER easy to put together sounds amazing, yes BLZ. Yes I can. For you. And for no other reason.

😉

Let’s get started!

Build Concept

So, what will we use today? I’m glad you asked!

  • Startoss Style: THE thrown weapon fighting style, this was specifically requested by our reader. It’s a must-have!
  • Weapon Master Fighter: There are a lot of different ways to do this style well. I’ve decided to go Weapon Master Fighter for this one. Should be neat, right?

And that’s it! Easy, right? Let’s move on and see what’s up head in this build.

Early Levels (1–7)

  • Classes: fighter (weapon master) 7
  • Feats: Point-Blank Shot (Bonus), Weapon Finesse (1st), Precise Shot (Bonus), Weapon Focus: starknife (3rd), Startoss Style: starknife (Bonus), Quick Draw (5th), Ricochet Toss (Bonus), Startoss Comet (7th)
  • Abilities: reliable strike, weapon guard, weapon training (starknife +2)

Early levels are pretty simple: pick up the stuff you need for Startoss Style and make iterative attacks. I’ve also budgeted for Weapon Finesse at this stage in the game because you’re not always going to want to throw your star knife, but by 7th level we care less about that. (And we won’t care at all by 9th.)

It’s a very short, simple, and sweet progression that isn’t all that new or exciting. So let’s move on!

Mid Levels (8 –14)

  • Classes: fighter (weapon master) 14
  • Feats: Point-Blank Shot (Bonus), Deadly Aim (1st), Precise Shot (Bonus), Weapon Focus: starknife (3rd), Startoss Style: starknife (Bonus), Quick Draw (5th), Ricochet Toss (Bonus), Startoss Comet (7th), Weapon Specialization: starknife (Bonus), Point-Blank Master (9th), Advanced Weapon Training: trained throw (Bonus), Startoss Shower (11th), Advanced Weapon Training: focused weapon (Bonus), Greater Weapon Focus: starknife (13th), Greater Weapon Specialization: star knife (Bonus)
  • Abilities: deadly critical, mirror move, reliable strike, weapon guard, weapon training (starknife +4)
  • Advanced Weapon Training: trained throw (Bonus), focus weapon (Bonus).

At 8th level, you’re likely going to want to trade out Weapon Finesse for Deadly Aim using the fighter’s free bonus feat retrain ability, as by this point you’re going to be good enough at ranged that you don’t really need Weapon Finesse anymore. Also, immediately after you make this trade at 9th level, you’ll be picking up Point-Blank Master, which makes it so your thrown attacks with the star knife no longer provoke attacks of opportunity. From there, we start picking up fun toys like the trained throw and focused weapon advanced weapon trainings as well as more bonuses to hit and damage.

By 14th level, we’re looking at the following: 1d10 damage per hit (focus weapon) + 8 (weapon training, doubled by trained throw) + 4 (Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Specialization) + 6 (Startoss Style) + 8 (Deadly Aim) = 1d10 + 26 + your Strength modifier. That’s REALLY good static damage!

Also, you have all the fun-ness of ranged Great Cleave (aka Startoss Style) and the joy of being able to throw stuff at people in melee and have them be unable to do a damn thing about it. I always like that! Let’s move on to the end game and see what we can do for this build.

Endgame (15+)

  • Classes: fighter (weapon master) 20
  • Feats: Point-Blank Shot (Bonus), Deadly Aim (1st), Precise Shot (Bonus), Weapon Focus: starknife (3rd), Startoss Style: starknife (Bonus), Quick Draw (5th), Ricochet Toss (Bonus), Startoss Comet (7th), Weapon Specialization: starknife (Bonus), Point-Blank Master (9th), Advanced Weapon Training: trained throw (Bonus), Startoss Shower (11th), Advanced Weapon Training: focused weapon (Bonus), Greater Weapon Focus: starknife (13th), Greater Weapon Specialization: star knife (Bonus), Rapid Shot (15th), Advanced Weapon Training: fighter’s reflexes (Bonus), Improved Precise Shot (17th), Improved Critical: star knife (Bonus), Critical Focus (19th), FREEBIE (Bonus)
  • Abilities: deadly critical, mirror move, reliable strike, unstoppable strike, weapon guard, weapon mastery, weapon training (starknife +4)
  • Advanced Weapon Training: trained throw (Bonus), focus weapon (Bonus), fighter’s reflexes (Bonus),

And that’s a rap! Extra attack with Rapid Shot is always nice; honestly, I really wanted this earlier, but short of pushing back the Startoss feats a few levels I wasn’t sure of how to get the whole style for BLZ soon while still getting Rapid Shot. In the end, I pushed it back, but if I was doing this build I’d probably delay Startoss Comet and Greater Weapon Specialization: star knife to pick up Rapid Shot sooner; more attacks REALLY boosts your damage as a ranged character.

All that said, nothing really strange here. Just a fun, functional Startoss Style build. Hope you enjoy it, BLZ!

So what suggestions would YOU make to BLZ for their build? Or what sort of build would YOU like to see me tackle next? Leave your comments and suggestions below, and the next time you read an Iconic Design from me, I’ll be in PaizoCon! Woo! Take care.

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. If you like Alex's writing and are interested in supporting him while getting professional-quality material for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game while doing so, check out the Everyman Gaming, LLC catalog, which is listed under Rogue Genius Games at the following locations: http://drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/6101/Rogue-Genius-Games/subcategory/19574_25289/Everyman-Gaming-Catalog

2 Comments

  1. Always good to see another startoss build! I was trying to get to a similar place with a warpriest of Desna which just works. Although depending on stats Starry Grace might be more valuable to this build then trained throw as it allows you to focus on Dex even more, right?

  2. First and foremost, thank you so much for putting this together! I really appreciated another take on this build. Before I dig into my feedback, I did notice what I think is an error in that you list Point Blank Master, which only works for “firing” ranged weapons. In a thrown weapon build, I believe you can only take Close-Quarters thrower.

    In general I like your build a lot. I’m going to try and play this in PFS, so I made a handful of tweaks. The direction I took is mostly the same except for the first three levels.

    Swashbuckler(Flying Blade) 1 -> Monk(Far Strike) 2 -> Fighter(Weapon Master)+

    This build needs a ton of feats, and the three level dip (not sure if you can still call that a dip) helps get the essentials faster while adding some versatility and survivability. Flying Blade gets weapon finesse for free, the ability to spend panache to not provoke(helps the early levels before Point-Blank Master), and the ability to Parry while in melee. I chose Human and took Weapon Focus (Starknife) and Starry Grace for Dex to damage. Two levels in Far Strike Monk unlocks Evasion, Quick Draw, two bonus feats (Point-Blank Shot and Precise Shot), and gets a bit of a boost to Will saves. At third I started taking the same feats you listed above, Startoss Style (Starknife) and Startoss Comet.

    Lastly, depending on whether when/what gets legalized from the Magic Tactics Toolbox, I was considering Advanced Weapon Training (Warrior Spirit). I’ve always liked playing the Magus, and while Warrior Spirit is a Standard and fewer times per day, stacking with Gloves of Dueling and having access to Bane seems really solid.

    Anyways, thanks again for throwing this together!

    -Renlar

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