Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Builds: The Knight of Shadows

The Knight of Shadows

Mixing the Shadow Dancer with a Dex based frontliner like the Daring Champion Cavalier is gaining many of the rogue’s best traits without relying on sneak attack. The build peaks when you add the flanking power of a shadow companion which is just awesome.

Build Core:
We’re building off the dark triad of ability scores namely Dex/Cha/Int and dipping a level of Spire Defender Magus to get a serious jump on the Shadow Dancer prerequisites. Daring Champion adds some of the Swashbuckler’s best goodies without being forced into a fancy hat!
Feats/Class Features of note:
Drow ends up being the best choice… the far ranging darkvision, the ability to cast darkness, being elf for the requisite of spire defender. There’s a multitude of good reasons for this but rest assured you will neither be dual wielding nor shall you be employing the services of a panther, sadly we will be feeding into the scimitar stereotype for dervish dancer.

1: Drow Order of the Seal Daring Champion 1: Challenge, Champion’s finesse, Tactician- Outflank, Combat Reflexes
2: DC 2: Keeper (order ability)
3: DC 3: Nimble, Dervish Dance
4: DC 4: Panache and Deeds, Challenge 2/day
5: Spire Defender Magus: Dodge, Combat Expertise, Mobility, Prof With Scorpion Whip
6: Shadow Dancer 1: Hide in Plain Sight
7: SD 2: Evasion, Darkvision extends 30ft, Uncanny Dodge, Spring Attack
8: SD 3: Rogue Talent- Fast Stealth, Shadow illusion, Summon Shadow
9: SD 4: Shadow Jump, Shadow Call, Wind Stance
10:  DC 5: Banner
11: DC 6: Whirlwind Attack, Arcane Strike
12: DC 7: Challenge 3/day
13: DC 8: I shall not be moved, Weapon Focus- either scmitar or scorpion whip
14: DC 9: Greater Tactician- Precise Strike
15: DC 10: Challenge 4/day and +2 on Banner, Stand Still,
16: DC 11: Advanced Deeds
17: DC 12: Demanding Challenge, Lightning Stance, Iron Will
18: DC 13: Challenge 5/day
19: DC 14: Greater Banner, Toughness
20: DC 15: Staggering Assault, +3 on Banner

Silent Hunter- gives a +1 to stealth and makes it a class skill
Reactionary- bonus to reflex save
Dangerously Curious get UMD as a class skill instead if you wanted.

Max Stealth, Intimidate, Disable Device spread the rest around to ensure at least a point into all class skills and “roguish skills.” Make sure you put in perform dance for both shadow dancer and dervish dance!

20 point buy
Str 8
Dex 18  (with +2 racial mod)
Con 10 (with -2 racial mod)
Int 12 (with +2 racial mod)
Wis 14
Cha 14

All stat adds into Dexterity, All class bonuses into Hit Points

Tactics at level
1- position for AOEs when possible, flank because you’re awesome at it, use challenge as your swift when you are in a good position to bull rush or trip. You also have your Darkness SLA to disable a lot of different types of foes.
3- hopefully you did a good job of picking for keeper, now enjoy dishing better damage
5- remember this, truestrike is likely your best spell, it is pretty much an auto succeed on maneuvers. Parry and riposte is a handy extra layer of defense.
7- Best of Rogue defensive abilities and spring attack in the same level, living the dream.
9- Shadow companion scout and flanker that can str drain, a few handy slas, 20% miss chance when you move on top of being able to move attack, move and getting a +4 to AC while doing so. Oh yeah and shadow jump 40ft!
11- Scorpion whip has 15ft reach, use arcane strike to add damage and hit everything in range… mobs of weenie villains beware
13+ keep collecting awesome features and feats.

Possible Variants
More shadow dancer for longer range shadow jusp was tempting but loses too much BAB. Duelist could add a splash of fun but again loses too much cavalier for me.

Attributes and Races
Traits, Skills, and Feats

Alternate Opinions and a few areas I didn't cover

Spirited Charging Pouncer
Knight of Shadows
Dragon Knight
Mighty Halfling



  1. How do you get outflank at level 1? It has a +4 BAB requirement?

  2. What armor do you plan on wearing with 8 STR?

    1. I rather regularly spend the paltry 1k on mule chords to avoid such quibbles when dumping strength. What about my shoulder slot? 1.5 times cost you can mix 2 magic items get a friend with the crafting feats and you're still only paying 75%. Then of course there's the fact you're a halfling so for a trai you can have a +2 to all saves anyway for those needing the cloak fo resistence because their saves suck.