Just a Touch… (“Dipping” the Advanced Class Guide)

With all the recently released content in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide hitting the table a lot of players are going to be looking over the options for characters. New characters have a staggering amount of potential choices for awesome. And everyone can snag up a feat or spell, here or there. Some people are wondering if any of the classes are good options for more serious investment.

Late-life multiclassing.

Many build-guide users slam the notion of multiclassing and berate its ineffectiveness in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. A rare few encourage it. Some people on the other hand may find current developing characters in need of something more or be playing characters who are by nature more flighty.  Whatever your reasons the new classes have potential for your late bloomers. A breakdown of mechanically good options for “dipping” the new classes might be helpful.

What the hell is “dipping”?

“Dipping” is the build practice of leveling a low number of levels in a class to gain a mechanical advantage significant to the overall character you are advancing. It has an unfair reputation as being munchkin-ish or power-gamey. Which is fairly amusing because much of the American education system operates off of a similar concept, making it a relatively real and recognizable path of development. Dipping can occur at any point in a characters advancement but is most often in preparation for a prestige class.

The Pathfinder Roleplaying game as a whole has mechanically moved away from dipping and favors characters who are more focused, if not totally single-class.  As a general rule spellcasters are the most negatively impacted by dipping.  Melee characters tend to be more tolerant of it.  This is NOT a guide for optimal building but rather a first glance at things that might be fun in bite-size levels.

Some Ideas of What to Dip for Who

Not a conclusive list but ideas that already spring to mind:

Slayer

Who – Weapon focused combatants.

Why – Full BAB and Studied Target. This means at the cost of a move action this class raises you +2 to and gives a +1 to damage as opposed to fighter +1. Track is a mild benefit for free at this point. 2nd gives a talent and 3rd a sneak d6.

Hunter

Who – Druids, oracles and sorcerers with access to animal companions.

Why – Stacking animal companion levels and Animal Focus. Swift action stat bumps and a a persistent one on your companion? Yes, please.

Arcanist

Who – Casters looking at a late life gish.

Why – Blade Adept Magus gives you a caster level based Black Blade which makes things really interesting for 3rd party friendly games (and a myriad of ways to increase caster level) and for 3.5 reverse compatibles.

Bloodrager

Who – Melee based casters looking for greater survivability. 

Why – Abyssal and other Bloodlines add more possible natural weapon uses for melee sorcerer builds. Bloodrage qualifies as rage for feats.

Warpriest

Who – Small weapon fighters.

Why – Daggers and shuriken become 1d6. Blessings provide an array of additional options and powers even at 1st level.  Lots of textured potential here.

More looks tomorrow….

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