Welcome to Guidance, Private Sanctuary’s source for tips and techniques for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. Today, we’re going to be looking at some revisions that Alex has made to another one of his character builds that has been featured on Iconic Design.
Day Two of my Birthday week has arrived! As you can see, I’ve usurped Anthony’s normally-scheduled blog article for the week and replaced it with ANOTHER character update! Hooray for me! Hooray for my birthday!
Today, I’m going to show off how Kyr’shin, my kitsune cavalier, evolved with the release of last year’s Advanced Class Guide.
Kyr’shin’s class change wasn’t inspired by an in-game event, but rather by the release of a new archetype that PERFECTLY captured what I believe are his most important character traits. That archetype is the martial master, for fighters.
Since Kyr’shin’s first appearance in Guidance was in That’s Not a Bad Thing, one of my birthday articles from LAST year, it is only fitting that he find his way into my birthday celebration this year. Like Monday’s article, I’m going to focus on what changed between builds rather than listing all of the concepts.
- Less Fear, More Tricks: I ended up dropping my rogue levels for more fighter levels because I wanted to kick butt even more. Being the most skilled martial combatant was sort of Kyr’shin’s thing in our group, and taking a rogue level dulled that slightly. Instead, he’s focusing on fighter levels and grabbing the Martial Master archetype, which trades weapon training for martial flexibility. Kyr’shin’s build was always about having a ridiculous number of feats, and martial flexibility just makes that aspect of his build even more powerful.
- A Trick for Every Occasion: Kyr’shin’s ultimate goal is to hamper his enemies while protecting his allies; damage isn’t really his thing. That said, being good at combat maneuvers is very feat-intensive despite Kyr’shin’s awesome maneuver mastery class feature. Enter martial flexibility, which allows Kyr’shin to pick up any Improved maneuver feat he wants as early as 5th level. As he levels up, Kyr’shin’s general strategy is to grab as many of the “universal prerequisite” feats in the game, those feats that designers ALWAYS use as prerequisites, to ensure that he can literally pick any trick that he wants, when he wants it.
So, let’s look at how this build plays out for me in my second (and last, for now) revision article!
Early Levels (1–7)
- Classes: cavalier (gendarme, honor guard) 2, fighter (lore warden, martial master) 5
- Feats: Power Attack (Bonus), Improved Antagonize (1st), Dazzling Display (Bonus), Combat Reflexes (Bonus), Exotic Weapon Proficiency: katana (3rd), Combat Expertise (Bonus), Improved Trip (Bonus), Steadfast Personality (5th), Greater Trip (Bonus), Dodge (7th)
- Abilities: challenge 1/day, expertise, maneuver mastery +2, martial flexibility (5/day; move for 1), mount, order (dazzling lotus; romantic tirade)
With the exception of the drop of the rogue levels, this is pretty much the same as what I originally had in my first article, with a few key exceptions. First, you’ll probably look at this build and say, “What the heck is Improved Antagonize / the order of the dazzling lotus?!” Those are from a 3PP that I wrote, Psychological Combat, as Kyr’shin’s campaign is the one that I originally wrote and developed that product’s psychology maneuvers for. If you’re using this build in a game where my product isn’t allowed, switch Improved Antagonize for plain-old Antagonize (from Ultimate Magic) and the order of the dazzling lotus for the order of the cockatrice. You’ll have the same abilities.
With the loss of the rogue level comes the gaining of the martial maneuver’s only archetype feature; martial flexibility. I love being able to use this ability in the early levels, as it’s the keystone to Kyr’shin’s build. I also shuffled feats around so I have Steadfast Personality instead of Iron Will (the former being a bit better because of Kyr’shin’s high Charisma) as well as Dodge, seeing as Dodge is another one of those “required for everything,” feats.
Can I manage to cram even more tricks onto Kyr’shin? Let’s see!
Mid Levels (8 –14)
- Classes: cavalier (gendarme, honor guard) 4, fighter (lore warden, martial master) 10
- Feats: Power Attack (Bonus), Improved Antagonize (1st), Dazzling Display (Bonus), Combat Reflexes (Bonus), Exotic Weapon Proficiency: katana (3rd), Combat Expertise (Bonus), Improved Trip (Bonus), Steadfast Personality (5th), Greater Trip (Bonus), Dodge (7th), Bodyguard (Bonus), Horse Master (9th), Hurtful (Bonus), Weapon Focus: katana (11th), Weapon Specialization: katana (Bonus), Improved Critical (13th), Greater Weapon Focus: katana (Bonus)
- Abilities: challenge 2/day, expert trainer, expertise, intercept, know thy enemy, maneuver mastery +4, martial flexibility (8/day; move for 2, swift for 1), mount, order (dazzling lotus; romantic tirade)
Here, Kyr’shin picks up plenty of katana-enhancing feats for himself. My general rule for Kyr’shin’s build is, “Learn the feats that you always want to have, grab the ones that you’ll only sometimes want with martial flexibility.” This is why Improved Critical, Hurtful, and enhancements to Weapon Specialization are all feats that make up this leg of Kyr’shin’s build. Kyr’shin also gains his second use of challenge, his fully supped-up animal companion/mount, and increased potency with his maneuvers via maneuver mastery. I’m also a fan of the Know thy Enemy ability, as the base DC to identify enemies is surprisingly doable, even for him.
Aside from those light points, Kyr’shin’s build doesn’t change much. Onward to the end!
- Classes: cavalier (gendarme, honor guard) 4, fighter (lore warden, martial master) 16
- Feats: Power Attack (Bonus), Improved Antagonize (1st), Dazzling Display (Bonus), Combat Reflexes (Bonus), Exotic Weapon Proficiency: katana (3rd), Combat Expertise (Bonus), Improved Trip (Bonus), Steadfast Personality (5th), Greater Trip (Bonus), Dodge (7th), Bodyguard (Bonus), Horse Master (9th), Hurtful (Bonus), Weapon Focus: katana (11th), Weapon Specialization: katana (Bonus), Improved Critical (13th), Greater Weapon Focus: katana (Bonus), Extra Martial Flexibility (15th), Greater Weapon Specialization: katana (Bonus), Improved Unarmed Strike (17th), Mobility (Bonus), Critical Focus (19th), FREE BEE (Bonus)
- Abilities: challenge 2/day, expert trainer, expertise, hair’s breadth, intercept, know thy enemy, maneuver mastery +8, martial flexibility (14/day; move for 3, swift for 2, free for 1), mount, order (dazzling lotus; romantic tirade), swift lore
End Game has a few great options for Kyr’shin. I finally invest in Improved Unarmed Strike, that other, “unlocks everything,” feat. Additionally, I grab Extra Martial Flexibility for obvious reasons as well as Mobility because like Dodge, it is a very commonly required feat. Between all of these feats, Kyr’shin can quickly assume virtually any style feat chain that would be applicable to him, he can pick up feats like Spring Attack and Whirlwind Attack, and more. I picked up Critical Focus because it’s the lynchpin into every other critical feat in existence, and I left my final feat, the 16th level bonus feat, blank because at that point, I honestly don’t know what I would want. Kyr’shin has a baseline of 23 feats in this build, plus a varying 3 feats from martial flexibility. And considering that my GM’s talking about adopting the Stamina Pool system from Pathfinder Unchained, I think its safe to say that the only way Kyr’shin could possibly be better at feats would be if he were human. And seriously, is one more feat REALLY that big of a deal to this build? I didn’t think so.
And that’s number two of two for my revised character builds for my birthday week! Come back on Friday where I’ll be sharing my character build for our Know Direction Emerald Spire Game, the final Iconic Design for my birthday week! See you then!
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’s favorite color is blue, his favorite Pathfinder character is Kyr’shin, and he’s got to go and let Anthony out of the cellar now. Here’s hoping that he’ll be willing to record with Know Direction next week after all of this.