[RPG] How to optimize Chicken Infested


I'm soon going to be a guest player in a Pathfinder game where silliness is the theme. (The party has been drawn into the Demiplane of Dinosaurs, which is reportedly a lot like Ravenloft, except with less gothic horror and more dinosaurs.) It's hard to match the Chicken Infested flaw for sheer silliness, so I figured I'd build a character around that.

Chicken Infested (Dragon #330 87)
You’ve got chickens.
Effect: Whenever you draw a weapon or pull an item out of a container, you have a 50% chance of drawing a live chicken instead. No, we don’t know where the chickens come from; it’s your character.
Note: The Dragon #330 Class Acts: Commoner column “Flaws for Commoners” says, “You must be a 1st-level commoner to take” this flaw (87).

Here are the requirements for the character:

  1. Only Pathfinder material. (I got a special dispensation for Chicken Infested itself.) Anything in the PFSRD is okay, as is anything in the core book or any of the Ultimate books. No custom races, but races and replacement features from Ultimate Races are okay. 3rd party material requires special permission; it's allowed for this question, but should be used sparingly.
  2. Builds should focus on levels 7-10. We'll be starting at level 7, and this silliness could last a couple of sessions. Suggestions for progressing past level 10 would be nice but are not necessary; likewise, playability at levels lower than 7 is not a priority.
  3. The build should take advantage of Chicken Infested as much as possible, rather than simply trying to avoid its (many) inconveniences. My assumption is that any build will revolve around Throw Anything or some similar use for an endless supply of improvised weapons, but other approaches are welcome.
  4. I'd like to be moderately competent at one (potentially) useful non-combat skill. This could be a Knowledge skill, a social skill (including Sense Motive), Perception, or Stealth. More skills is always nice but the minimum is one.
  5. Because this is a Chicken Infested build, the 1st level obviously has to be in commoner.
  6. Assume typical wealth for a 7th level character. I have no idea how much wealth will be available once we start; answers that don't rely on a flow of cash are preferred, but not required.
  7. I haven't checked with the DM for a ruling yet, so for the purposes of this question assume the chickens use the stats in the PFSRD.

Best Answer

There is only one thing scarier than a farmer with her flock of chickens... a sainted farmer, worshiper of the colonel with a flock of undead, flesh-eating chickens, here to sell you delicious chicken flesh.

This idead inspired from this thread where:

... you are going to be playing a very different character than the cleric of a death god who has to build her (usually individually less powerful) undead from available corpses but gets a multitude of them

The thing about chicken-infested is... you'll never run out of corpses.

The theory:

The build: Commoner 1/Cleric 6 (suggestions courtesy of Cirdec)

The cleric, with access to the spell Blood Money via Dreamed Secrets can cast Animate Dead for so long as her Lesser Restoration spells hold out.

Given that you could be a normal cleric animating the dinosaurs you're fighting, the DM should be OK with these 3rd party feats, so long as you agree not to reanimate the corpses of the enemies: the blessings of The Colonel are to be reserved for the blessed beasts only.

Purchase a staff of command undead for 6,400 gp, basic enchanted armor and weapons, and keep the rest in onyx. When you get low, swap your burning skeleton swarms out for bloody skeleton swarms, which allows them to respawn. (They're less effective, but present a good way of conserving cash.)

Rulings needed:

  • How do multiple fiery auras interact? How much damage should a swarm's firey aura do?
  • How many HD does a burning chicken skeleton have? Does the swarm's HD "feel right?"
  • Is it OK to take saint, in exchange for restricting its animate dead to only chicken you produce (providing you worship the undead chicken god named Colonel Five Spices?)
  • What attacks and capabilities the "swarm of undead burning chicken" have.

A hypothetical burning undead chicken swarm:

A raven to raven swarm upgrades from one raven to 1000 ravens and uses the swarm rules for attacks. For undead chickens, since they're kinda-sorta flying, I would assert that an undead burning chicken swarm has 300 members (not a problem for you), which does "Swarm: 1d6" damage:

Swarm Attack: creatures with the swarm subtype don’t make standard melee attacks. Instead, they deal automatic damage to any creature whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with no attack roll needed.

Which significantly reduces the dice rolls needed.

Adding the burning skeleton template turns the attack into Swarm: 1d6+1d6 fire, some adjudication of how fiery death works when destroying swarm creatures, and turns the entire setup into a 4 HD (+1 from burning) creature. Of which you can have 3 (24 HD effective) on the table from your animate dead bucket, and 1 non-burning swarm from your command undead feat bucket (if you can figure out how to take it as a saint -- see if some adaptation of the grace rules is appropriate.)

As a swarm, it'll take half damage from piercing and slashing weapons, as well as DR/5 bludgeoning. I honestly don't know how to calculate how many HP the swarm has. but i would assume (4d8+4 = 22), which does not a huge amount of good when a t-rex chomps on them (as the t-rex has bite which counts as all three types for purposes of overcoming damage reduction), but will at the very least provide an excellent distraction, and the 3 swarms working together can take one down in 5 rounds (due to burning aura, the fact that every bite it takes does some damage to it) or less, assuming it is a little unlucky. Which means that you plus three swarms makes for a decent but not overwhelmingly powerful party member.

Nominal build:

Captain Cayenne

Human Commoner 1/Cleric 6

Motto: "Original... OR EXTRA CRISPY?!"

  • Patron: The Outer God of Chickens and Death. The Colonel.

    • Patron's Domain: Death

    • Patron's Weapon: Falkata (Closest thing I could find to a very large butcher's knife)

Happily, we worship the outer god, known as "The Colonel." His white beard and unspeakable chicken practices force us to acknowledge him as a Great Old One. Therefore, we have the simpler build.


  • Human Bonus: Quick Draw (needed to ... not just waste time)
  • 1: Skill Focus: Diplomacy
  • Traits: Chicken Infested, Magical Knack
  • 3: Spell Focus (Necromancy)
  • 5: Diabolical Negotiator (wisdom to diplomacy, increase more than two steps. All the better for selling "delicious, cooked from the inside, boneless chicken wings".)
  • 7: Undead Master

With undead master, we have CL11 with regards to animate dead. Giving us 5 to 11 burning chicken skeleton swarms. In combat, stick close to someone so you can use bodyguard. (If you find yourself using it more frequently to better effect, trade out diabolical negotiator for combat reflexes).

An discussion on blood money

As per Cirdec's answer, the spell Blood Money may be used instead of the saint shenanigans. Unfortunately, Blood Money is magus 1, sor/wis 1, witch 1. And the best swarm-chicken casters are clerics. Therefore, we must class the cleric as an outer god.