Normally trying to make Sword and Board not suck is a miserable ordeal fraught with failure
. Luckily I have access to some 3rd party material and a few house rules that might just give me a shot at success.
3rd Party Feats (Swashbuckling Adventures) and House Rules:
House rule - Shields add their bonus to Touch AC, if you are aware of the attack.Parry
- Like the Duelist ability, once a round you can try to counter an attack by beating an opponent's attack roll. Unlike the duelist though you don't have to sacrifice an attack to use it. Very Handy. House rules are that if you are using a shield you can parry ranged attacks, if it's a magic shield even spells that require a to-hit roll.Riposte
- If you successfully parry you can make a free attack with a free attack at your full attack bonus. More attacks that don't require any action are awesome.Bruiser
- Take a minus two to attack, add double your strength bonus to your damage instead of 1x or 1.5x. Melee attacks only, requires 2 BAB.
With Bruiser the only advantage to using a Two Handed weapon is the larger damage die (only +2.5 damage on average) and the ability to use Power Attack (Which is where most melee goodness flows).
Those feats are nice, but I need other sources of damage if I want to keep up with Power Attack, like the feats Knowledge Devotion, Blade of Force, Holy Warrior and Buff spells. This sound like a job for a Cleric!
Cleric 2/Fighter 1/Cleric 2/Ordained Champion 3/Cleric +
I can pick and choose what I like from Pathfinder (the feat progression, skill system) but unfortunately I think DMM has received some form of Nerf in our group.
3: Knowledge Devotion - I take tens on these checks
5: Weapon Focus - For Ordained Champion
7: Blade of Force
9: Holy Warrior
Then just metamagic feats, probably Quicken, Extend and Persistant (no DMM is painful).
I want to worship 'Magic', not a particular god because then the DM can fiat me into doing stupid errands. I want to take the Divine Magician ACF and the Spell Domain. I'm thinking I might want to be a spontaneous caster, while it's questionable I could use Anyspell to memorize more than one Arcane spell at a time and I can use Mneumonic Enhancer to prepare Cleric spells. Plus I can use both my reserve feats by leaving one spell slot available.
Divine Magician Spells (1-4):
1: True Strike, 2: Listening Lorecall, 3: Vampiric Touch, 4: ?Anticipate Teleport? 9: Maw of Chaos
I'm flexible to what over spells I should take. Maw of Chaos should work with the Ordained Champion's channel spell ability, so my enemy takes 20d6 force damage for 20 turns and is distracted.
Sign - For initiative
True Strike - To hit with certainty
Listening Lorecall - While the spells Blindsight and Greater Blindsight give much better range, the duration on Listening Lorecall lasts for a delve into a dungeon so it's a good defensive buff.
Lore of the gods - Magic is related to knowledge right? Probably, anyways +10 to all knowledge checks, lasts for 10s of minutes, synergizes well with Knowledge Devotion
Vampiric Touch - I can channel this to help protect my precious HPs and injure my foe.
Divine Power and Righteous Might are also handed, but with the Nerf to DMM they will only be situationally useful.
Sample damage break down by level, assuming an 18 strength and all the regular items to buff.
1: d8+4 - Good enough for Kobolds
3: d8+10 - Starting to look good
5: d8+13 - I should be keeping up
9: d8+24 (28 w/BoF) - Respectable
20: d8 + 2d6 + 54, give or take a few points
So, as you can see my build is 'nice', it can consistantly put out respectable damage and maintain a high AC. But why don't I just go with the standard Improved Buckler Defense, Power Attack, Leap Attack, Shock Trooper (or just Gish with Wraithstrike). I've fired up Excel, at level 10 the Shock Trooper can do about 70 average damage on a Pounce, my S&B can do around 50 on a full attack. The Pouncer would have to give up the 2 reserve feats, so he could skip Ordained Champion and weapon focus but he'd still have to give up another feat. Knowledge Devotion would probably go, so the Shock trooper could still get an extra attack in the round.
Going by the numbers though the Shock Trooper (even if he used flaws to get Combat Brute) only out damages my Sword and Board on a charge, only if he pounces, and his AC will be a lot lower after. So I think both builds are about equal, that being said I hope I've made a viable Sword and Boarder. Any ideas how I could improve it?