Iconic Design: Dancing from the Fringe, Take 2

Hey everyone, welcome back to Guidance! It’s been a few weeks, as I’ve had Randal and Vanessa fill in on several articles so I could finish preparing for the Seasons Beatings actual play podcast. If you haven’t checked that out yet, I totally recommend you do so. The first episode should be live on the site soon!

Now, if you’ll remember back to three weeks ago, I mentioned that I was going to do a Two-Weapon Fighting version of the warrior poet samurai archetype. My original build is very much based on denying enemies their actions while you dance around the battlefield, but today’s build has a slightly different focus to match the different combat style. So let’s get ready to flurry! (Sort of.)


Any information important to understanding the build or its roots goes here.

  • Class: samurai 1 / vigilante 11
  • Feats: Two-Weapon Fighting (1st), Improved Feint (1st; Bonus), Ranged Feint (3rd), Quick Draw (5th), Spring Attack (6th; Bonus), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (7th), Greater Feint (9th), Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (11th)
  • Class Features: challenge 1/day, dancer’s grace, dual identity, frightening appearance, graceful warrior, order, seamless guise, startling appearance, unshakable, vigilante specialization (stalker)
  • Flourishes: kitsune’s mystique (1st)
  • Social Talents:  All of these tend to be situational to your campaign, so pick whichever works best for the campaign you’re playing in. Honestly, the only one that would REALLY help you is going “Iron Man” (aka ignoring Dual Identity) and taking social graces for the +4 circumstance bonus to Bluff checks.
  • Vigilante Talents: Cunning Feint (2nd), Lethal Grace (4th), Fantastic Stride(6th), Surprise Strike (8th), Vital Punishment (1oth).

Playing the Build

At its heart, this build uses a LOT of the same basic mechanic ideas as the original one. It uses the warrior poet’s awesome kitsune’s mystique ability to get some great abilities that sync up well with a feint-heavy build. Where it differs, however, is that it is NOT an unarmored build. It is a multiclass build that involves taking all levels after 1st in stalker vigilante. Why stalker vigilante? Well, it has what is by far the most useful feinting-based ability in the game, cunning feint. This ability is basically the entire Two-Weapon Feint feat tree condensed into a single feat. I highly recommend this option as soon as you can grab it. In addition, the surprise strike vigilante talent grants us a very big bonus to attack rolls when we strike foes who are denied their Dexterity bonus to AC, which is hopefully often. It is basically required for this build, as the vigilante levels don’t have the full Base Attack Bonus of the samurai class.

Unlike our last build, which was very melee-heavy, this one allows a lot of great ranged-based options with Ranged Feint. Cunning Feint can be used with any type of weapon, so Ranged Feint allowing you to feint with bows basically allows you to switch hit effectively. Combine that with Spring Attack and you’re a very great switch hitter, going wherever you need to be and not taking too much punishment for doing so. Run up to an enemy, use Spring Attack so you don’t provoke on the way in and kitsune’s mystique so you get to feint the foe for free, blast the foe for a bunch of damage with the stalker’s bonus precision damage, and once you’re in melee drop the bow, grab your melee weapons with Quick Draw and get to work.

Otherwise, this build plays almost exactly to the previous one. It’s less accurate, but it throws around SO many more attacks and it has a strong ranged component that the other one doesn’t have. So, what do you think? Would you rather play this build or the previous one? Leave me your answer in the comments below or tag it to me on Discord, and I’ll see you back soon for another installment of Iconic Design!

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 Alexs Twitter, @AlJAug.


Alex Augunas

Alexander "Alex" Augunas is an author and behavioral health worker living outside of Philadelphia in the United States. He has contributed to gaming products published by Paizo, Inc, Kobold Press, Legendary Games, Raging Swan Press, Rogue Genius Games, and Steve Jackson Games, as well as the owner and publisher of Everybody Games (formerly Everyman Gaming). At the Know Direction Network, he is the author of Guidance and a co-host on Know Direction: Beyond. You can see Alex's exploits at http://www.everybodygames.net, or support him personally on Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/eversagarpg.