Fun with Oracles, part 1 – On the Rocks

One of my favorite characters (and my first Pathfinder Society character) was a interesting Oracle/Paladin combo that resulted in a decent throwing build based around throwing rocks…yes, rocks. My original build was intended to be simplicity itself, no grey areas, no complex tricks or mechanical interaction; I just threw rocks that hit like Falchions. Looking back on it now, it’s a mess of rule interactions  but I feel that it deserves a revision as the concept itself is just fantastic. I revised this character at level 4 as it is a point where every feature that is important to the build is online and functioning (but the concept still functions through normal PFS level ranges of 1 to 11).

Fluff

Honestly, this character had an odd and poorly constructed background that involved a multitude of drunken misadventures  across the land ending in a community that needed a sheriff. So that’s Blaine Vancorbin’s background at the moment.

Crunch

Human Oracle (Dual Cursed) 2/Paladin 2(Divine Hunter)

Str 18
Dex 16
Con 14
Int 7
Wis 7
Cha 14

Level 1 – Paladin (Divine Hunter) 1 – 12hp, BAB +1, Saves 4/3/0

1st Feat: Point Blank Shot
Human Bonus Feat: Rapid Shot
Paladin Bonus Feat: Precise Shot
Aura of Good
Smite Evil 1/day
Detect Evil

Level 2 – Paladin (Divine Hunter) 20hp, BAB +2, Saves 7/5/3

Divine Grace
Lay on Hands 3/day

Level 3 – Oracle (Dual-Cursed) 27hp, BAB+2, Saves 7/5/5

3rd Feat: Extra Revelation (Misfortune)
Mystery (Stone)
Curse (Legalistic)
Dual-Curse (Tongues, Celestial)
Revelation (Rock Throwing)

Level 4 – Oracle (Dual-Cursed) 38hp, BAB+3, Saves 10/5/6

Bonus Oracle Spell (Ill Omen)

Tactics and Mechanics

Blaine throws rocks. Specifically Blaine throws two rocks every round at +5/+5 (2d4+7)x2[20] without gear. This weapon line is from the Oracle Stone Mystery Revelation, Rock Throwing. It allows a character to throw rocks two size categories smaller then the thrower and add 1.5 strength bonus to said rocks. Ouch. It also grants a lovely range increment of 20ft (and up to 5 times) and a gravy +1 racial to-hit. Adding gear and buffs, this weapon line reaches an impressive +10/+10 (2d4+10)x2[20] (gear:Belt of Incredibly Dexterity. Buffs: Smite Evil, Divine Favor, Bless), not too shabby for a throwing build. Most of the rest of the build is just building a competent party participant. The Misfortune synergizes beautifully, enabling one a day re-roll for each enemy and each ally (additionally, it uses the swift action, which otherwise this build wouldn’t make use of). Speaking Celestial in combat isn’t a horrendous thing, it’s a fairly common language taken by parties and can provide an extra layer of defense against language based effects.

One thing I’d like to make note of is the possibility of remaking this build as a Warpriest, both with and without an Oracle dip. The Sacred Weapon ability keys off of Weapon Focus. The question that needs to then be asked is, ‘Is Weapon Focus (Rock) a legal Weapon Focus?’ If so, then the damage dealt by the rock scales as the Warpriest levels, providing a different option for a stone throw holy warriors. I would go for the Oracle/Paladin build for early levels as buffs won’t matter as much, and you’ll want every rock to hit like a truck. Higher levels, the Warpriest pulls ahead as the damage dice gap closes and the Warpriest begins to swift action buff itself.

“But I don’t live in a glass house…” – Blaine Vancorbin responding to a party member’s teasing about rock throwing

Hexing Fun! (or “I got better!”)

One of the hexes available is called Healing Hex. Simply put, it’s a hex that functions as a Cure Light Wounds spell once per day per target. At 5th, it gets bumped up to Cure Moderate Wounds. I want to like this hex so badly but the “once per day per target” coupled with it capping as Cure Moderate Wounds kills it dead for me. But now I have the ACG, more specifically, I have a spell from the ACG called “Hex Vulnerability”. This level 1 spell allows me to recast once per day per target hexes on targets that fail their will save against hex vulnerability. Allies can chose to fail their will save, enabling a level 1 spell to act like a good number more of heal spells (I’m not done yet, it gets better). Coupled with a trait “Magical Lineage” and a feat, Extend Spell. Each level 1 slot I devote to Hex Vulnerability represents (CL*2)-1 castings of Cure Light (and later Cure Moderate). Toss in a few Pearls of Power I and this is a combo that can last all day long (and who doesn’t want 1000gp, heal your entire hp bar Pearls?).

For lazy people, the tl;dr:

Extend Spell + Magical Lineage (Hex Vulnerability) + Extended Hex Vulnerability + Healing Hex + Pearl of Power I (optional) = Heals for days!

The Wall, Part 2

So I promised a while back (while I was still thinking that I wanted to write a blog ontop of a number of things), a fabulous build that involved shields, damage and was something akin to “Greatshield Bashing” chumps off walls in Dark Souls. So without further ado, here’s Spawn, The Wall.

Fluff

The towering figure clad in black and red armor stood silently in the doorway, casting a shadow into the bar. The music stopped, the conversation stopped, everything stopped for a moment. With hesitation, the carousing and merriment started up again. With near silent footfalls, the figure moved through the room and to the door leading into the owner’s office. The door cracked open after a quick knock, just long enough to allow the occupant to see the giant suit of armor and slam the door shut. A click vibrated the door as the figure reached for the doorknob. Pausing for a moment, the figure unslung the massive shield from across the back of the armor and buckled it to the gauntlet of the armor. Taking a step, the figure braced and slammed the shield into the door…which gave way with a tremendous splintering. Spawn stepped over the debris, into the owner’s office, there was work to be done.

Crunch

Spawn, The Wall
Human Fighter 2/Ranger 2

Stats
Str    20
Dex  13
Con 16
Int     7
Wis  12
Cha  7

Feats
1: Power Attack
Human Bonus Feat (HBF): Improved Bull Rush
3: Squash Flat
Fighter Bonus Feat (FBF) 1: Merciless Rush
FBF 2: Spiked Destroyer
Ranger Style Feat (RSF) 1: Shield Slam

HP:42 (4d10+12 Con+2 Favored Class)
CMB: +10 (+13 when Bull Rushing with shield)
CMD: 20
AC: 23 (10 Base + 3 Shield + 9 Armor + 1 Dex)

Armor: Masterwork Spiked Full Plate
Weapon: +1 Bashing Spiked Heavy Metal Shield
Weapon: Masterwork Armor Spikes

Traits:
Bred for War – +1 CMB and +1 Intimidate
Shield Bearer – +1 Damage with Shield Bashes, 1/day as a free action provided a +2 armor class bonus to an adjacent ally.

That’s the basics of the build. In the next two levels (5/6 both fighter), Spawn grabs Combat Reflexes and Vicious Stomp. At that point the last feat really needed is Improved Shield Bash. There’s an item from Inner Sea Gods that grants the Improved Unarmed Strike feat constantly when it is worn, Perfectionist Shavtoosh.

Tactics and Mechanics

Spawn’s entire attack routine focuses around his one attack (which he almost always will be power attacking with). Two handing his shield, the attack profile is the following:
+8(2d6+14)x2[20]
Now on each attack with his shield several things happen;
1) Shield Slam triggers a Bull Rush using the attack roll +3 (for Improved Bull Rush + Bred for War).
2) When Spawn Bull Rushes and beats his opponent by 5 or more, he can choose to move through their square (akin to Overrun) and deal his Str bonus in damage to that creature.
3) Whenever he makes a successful Bull Rush, Spawn gets a free attack with his Armor Spikes by burning his swift action. +7(1d6+9)x2[20].
4) Finally, whenever he triggers #2 Spawn also get’s a free Trip Attempt against his target.

Once he hit’s 6, he adds an unarmed strike against the tripped target at: +9(1d6+9)x2[20]

At level 4, Spawn has the potential to deal to a single foe 3.5 (1.5 Two Handing Shield + 1 Merciless Rush + 1 Spiked Destroyer) times his strength bonus in flat damage. This will, of course, be completely dependent upon what enemy he is facing, but he still is wielding what is in essence a greatsword with a poorer crit range.
As is true with most fighters, Spawn will benefit greatly from any and every buff that he can gather, especially ones that buff his strength (Bull Strength, Skald Rage song, etc). Beyond level 6, Spawn would be taking levels in Barbarian to help shore up his weak spots, increase the pile of hp that is his body, and add raging as a combat buff. Feats would be fairly standard, looking for Greater Bull Rush, Furious Focus and Vital Strike (as Spawn starts to seriously injure the game physics world when he gains multiple attacks against multiple people).

I haven’t bothered detailing specific archetypes or gear beyond the initial buy (at a later point I may come back and do just that) but that’s largely due to the fact that what you need to operate the build is online at level 4.

Books Used

All feats from this build are in:
Inner Sea Gods
Core Rules
Available for purchase at Paizo.com (follow the hyperlink!)