[RPG] Is this Dex/Int build viable for a PVP arena playing primarily vs glass-cannon casters


I am trying to develop a character who will be able to compete on even footing with Spell-casters by focusing on a high TAC (and possibly Damage-Per-Round) to compete in an arena setting, while not being useless vs melee-characters. All fights will be vs other player characters.

The reason I want to focus on a DEX character, as I wanted to for build simplicity focus on one stat over any other. I will of course have a few points left over from point buy, as discussed further.

I have the following details to create my character with

  • Character starts at level 5, with standard WBL of 10,000gp.

  • We are using a 25 point buy, but I'm not able to dump any existing stats for extra points. My current Set up is 18 Dex, 16 Int, and 11 Con.

  • Source books: Any Paizo material is allowed from D20PFSRD. No 3rd party content is available.

I don't have any other hard requirements for this character.

I am not looking for an A-Z build of Do this, this and this. What I would like in an answer is a place to start. A class/classes, race, stat, item and feat suggestion to build a character from. While suggestions on versing spellcasters will be welcome as this character is going to be fighting quite a lot of them, I still wish to be viable in melee combat as well if possible.

Best Answer

Okay once again not much of a pathfinder player, but dexterity it is then.

“My character knows where he is but I don’t.”

(dex/cha with minimum 13 int)

The character is a Catfolk (see racial notes) Rogue. Take the Clever Cat alternative racial (for the +2 bluff), take the rogue talent Without a Trace, get the Improved Feint Feat, an enchanted Longbow with Fog Cloud (your location) and put skills points into bluff and stealth. Nothing about Feint says it has to be in melee so this is your turn.

  1. Use your move action to feint (bluff check) by firing an arrow. This will create a fog cloud. Line of Sight is now gone.
  2. Since you made a bluff check and created an area of total concealment now you can make a hide check under the diversion rule. Any reasonable DM will see that this combination of effects is exactly what a feint is by definition, but even a purist should allow you to exchange the Feint effect for the stealth check.

    Diversion Rule: “You can use Bluff to allow you to use Stealth. A successful Bluff check can give you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Stealth check while people are aware of you.”

  3. Now take your DM aside and ask them not to reveal what comes next since the other players can destroy you with this information, and they cannot see you anyway.

  4. Use your standard action to take a readied action against their attack, or spell casting as the case may be. Total concealment only gives a 50% miss chance and this also applies to range touch attack spells so this is really a very good tradeoff for you. Also your attacks that hit will be sneak attacks. (if for whatever reason you don't have a standard action on any turn simply skip this step.)
  5. Don’t let the GM get away yet. Lastly use your 5ft step… but don’t choose a direction since you are hidden. If your DM insists on one ask him to role a d8 but not to look at the result until after the other players turn. If your opponent somehow interacts with a square just roll a d8 to determine if you are in that location. At the end of their turn you must roll to determine where your character is.
  6. Before returning to the table ask your DM not to move your piece on the table. When you return to the table leave your piece where it is and do nothing to indicate your character has moved or is even hidden.
  7. Let the mind games commence!

Racial Notes: If you want to use Halfling instead of Catfolk then take either Shiftless or Swift as Shadows alternative racial, but then you have to use a shortbow or crossbow. Human is also just fine for this build. A Ratfolk with the Burrowing Teeth feat would make your hidden 5ft step absolutely incredible, and since the cloud lasts your opponent will think you are still inside the cloud somewhere.

Other Devilish Equipment: The Pharmaceuticals Hype (optional it depends on if the DM agrees it prevents spell casting), Vive (intelligence and wisdom damage), Zortaphen (expensive! But instant 1 shot knock out for most casters on a failed save). The poisons Drow Poison (cheap knock out! Yes please and now for the Coup De Grace), Black Adder Venom (cheap repeating constitution damage).

Attributes (I recommend that your level 4 bonus be in dexterity)

  1. Dex 16, Int 14, Cha 16
  2. Dex 16, Con 14, Int 14, Cha 14
  3. Dex 18, Int 13, Cha 14 (I'm not much of a fan of this last one, that 18 is expensive! Attributes of 18 in point buy are like a lode stone tied around the characters neck.)