Let’s Have a Kiki – Youxia Sorcerer Speedster (Speed Freak Week!)

©2015 Lost Spheres Publishing, Swiftblood - Art: Dio Mahesa,

©2015 Lost Spheres Publishing, Swiftblood – Artist: Dio Mahesa,

While we at Lost Spheres have never been the biggest advocates of “build guides” (aside from their aid in quick GM prep) a lot of times we get a friend, playtester or game group member asking us to help make a  particular “type” of character. One of those is the general type of “speedster” often affiliated with comic book characters and superheroes like those at DC and Marvel.

Pathfinder (generally speaking) is not a superhero game but with characters that are fantastically gifted and heroes the comparison holds up pretty well. So where are our “speedsters?”

Well, our options for benchmarks are probably one of three: Barbarian (Enhanced Move and damage acceleration), monk (attack acceleration, movement augments) or rogue (scout archetype for damage boosts related to movement).

With the amazing breadth of third party options out there, there are probably more than enough ways to get to a fairly amazing speedster. Today we are going to look at the youxia archetype package from by Rogue Genius Games from this book and how it interacts with a sorcerer core class. To rev up our speedster we will also be using some material from the ki related feats by Legendary Games.

For base race we are going to go with human, as that the bonus feat comes in handy with our ki based needs.

Base Build:

1st Level – human sorcerer (youxia archetype)

Here’s what we start with:

  • Expeditious retreat will be our base speed effect.
  • Wushu weapon which would ideally be an unarmed strike but more efficiently will be a quarterstaff as that feats are at a premium.
  • Ki Meditation will be our 1st level free, which auto retrains into a new ki feat at 2nd level which will probably be ki sprint taking our base speed up to 40 without expeditious retreat.
  • Run will probably be our second feat.
  • Shocking grasp is a likely good second effect for our big “thunder punch.”
  • At 2nd level, the ki abilities of youxia start really kicking in and giving us max damage dice shocking grasp or hammer blows with our quarter staff.

Stats:

Generally with a standard point buy (if you have to use one) probably looking at:

Str 10 Dex 14 Con 10  Int 10 Wis 16 (14+2 racial) Cha 16 = Touch attacks and little armor make our needs less reliant on Str and Dex is critical for our feel as a speedster but not nearly as required as Cha (spells) or Wis (ki).

Racial Stat Choice: Balance a 14 for a second 16

Advancement: Consider the flavor of your speedster and how you want to develop it. Youxia will already give you options including images like a mirror image spell, metamagic feat cost substitution, self healing, and even full move acrobatics. You only get these once each 2 levels though so flavor and priority should be thought out. For our example we will take take Extend Spell for 3rd level feat and Meta-Ki at 4th level as a youxia choice.

5th Level – human sorcerer (youxia archetype)

Here’s what we are probably looking at now:

  • 2nd level spells like air step or spider climb to help with speedster thematics.
  • Alternate human favored class bonus lets us start filling out our 1st level spells.
  • 5th level gives us another feat and we are taking Quicken Spell which becomes usable with meta-ki for spell “nova-ing” which is pretty in character for our class. Also lets use expeditious retreat as a swift action now if we really need it.

Stats (Before Magic Items):

Str 10 Dex 14 Con 10  Int 10 Wis 17 (14+2 racial) Cha 16 (Getting to 18 Wisdom is probably a priority over Charisma for the ki  boost)

Advancement: Our base compares to yesterday’s umbra (40’/70′ ki sprints) base speed and Run has similar returns (200’/350′ at full speed on ground). Fleet can continue to up our base speeds but you want to hang on to feats for ki powers most likely. Again consider flavor. Abilities from Rapid Recovery (Combat, Ki) for healing to passive metamagic advantages like Unbounded Conversion (Ki) or increased spell economy Recapture Energy (Ki). Empower spell might also be a solid choice. For spells haste, fly and elemental aura will cover traditional bases, even more so when dropped with youxia powered quickens. Fire trail deserves special mention for thematics itself and the ability to use the full length of the 60′ offered by the spell.

(Like yesterday, if you are in a game where Path of War is an option, consider ranking Knowledge (martial) and taking Martial Training I allowing your speedster a selection of martial maneuvers but with this speedsters construction spells can bridge the gap just fine)

10th Level – human sorcerer (youxia archetype)

Here’s what we are probably looking at now:

  • Ki talents probably include: Arcane Arts, Meta-Ki, Ki Stance, and 2 more theme powered ki powers, probably Healing Chi and No-Shadow Step
  • A possible dip into stalker might be worthwhile as ki has become THAT important to our speed.
  • Spells like telekinetic charge (which can be used on the caster), earth glidesonic thrust, or rubberskin can go a long way to filling in speed effects.

Stats (Before Magic Items):

Str 10 Dex 14 Con 10  Int 10 Wis 18 (14+2 racial+2 level) Cha 16 (Getting to 18 Wisdom is probably a priority over Charisma for the ki  boost)

Advancement: Skill ranks should be allocated to support ki powers like Ki Cloak or Ki Agility. Intensify spell might make a good augment for our good old shocking grasp and even the possible selection of Extra Ki should be considered.

 

15th Level+ – human sorcerer (youxia archetype)

Here’s what we are probably looking at now:

  • Ki talents should include almost all powers you desire for speedsters and Iron Shirt now eclipses mage armor for AC.
  • Inscribed Ki Tattoo starts to become too tempting to resist allowing many ki based “speedster” powers to become cheaper or always be fueled.
  • Mystic Tattoo could make Extend or Intensify metamagics free for favorite spells.
  • Path of the windssirocco and sonic form should continue to round out some speed themed effects.

Advancement: If you have struggled with hitting Weapon Finesse might be a good idea for your touch spells. You should be moving at least 60′ whenever it matters and can take persistent movement augments like overland flight if you need more.

Our 15th level speedster youxia sorcerer clocks in well against his peers meeting decent outputs of speed, moderate to high damage to all three of our benchmarks (barbarian, monk and scout) but really blows the doors off of battlefield control leaving burning trails and unleashing blasts of debilitating wind.

Not to your liking? Check back tomorrow for another stab at a Pathfinder speedster!

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