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Pressure-Point Medical-Nin Badass
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PsionicFox
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Joined: 12 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:51 am    Post subject: Pressure-Point Medical-Nin Badass Reply with quote

So, I'm getting into a new game, and I decided to shy away from my usual fare of kenjutsu specialists and ninjutsu specialists, and do something very different - play a medical-nin.

Now, I've been dreaming about using the Pressure Secrets stuff for a while now, and today I stumbled across the Keirigan Bloodline in the main file. And I thought: "How cool would that be? A medic-nin with a gift for finding weakness? AWESOME!"

But now I come to a problem. I'm considiering trying to WIS stack as high as possible (40-point buy), with things like Pressure Secrets and Will Over Flesh. My problem is this: We start at level five, and I'm wondering if maybe I'm trying to do too many things at once.

So far the plan is Dedicated 3/Medical Specilist 1/Sacred Fist 1. Next level will be the bloodline level for an intermediate bloodline.

But I need to know: Am I really reaching too far with this?

EDIT: Okay so to make this work I need, at minimum, the Combat Martial Arts, Harmony, Advanced Bloodline (Keirigan), Medical Expert, Weapon Finesse, and Pressure Secrets feats. Which I have no chance in hell of acquiring by fifth level. Especially if I also want to have the classic Nin Weapon Proficiency. I wanted Will Over Flesh, but I need too many feats right now as-is.

With this in mind, I need help on what to focus on first. I'm thinking I should probably go with Dedicated 4, and either Sacred Fist or Medical Specialist 1. That way, I can take Adv Bloodline, Combat Martial Arts, and Nin Weapon Proficiency at 1st level, Harmony as my first Dedicated Hero bonus feat, Weapon Finesse as my 3rd level feat, and Medical Expert as my second Dedicated Hero bonus feat. This means I qualify for Pressure Secrets as my next feat, which I will get at level seven, since I need to pause to take a Bloodline Level at level six. At seventh level, I will take my first level in whichever advanced class I am missing.

The question I put to you fine fellows is: Which advanced class should I start with? Medical Specialist and do lackluster damage for two levels, or Sacred Fist, and not be a great healer for two levels?

Also, what sort of stat array should I go for, since I'm now going to need reasonable Con, Wis and Dex scores form the get-go. We have a 40 point buy.

Any assistance/advice will be appreciated!
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TheTrulyAvaricious
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, the first thing I want to know, is what is the maximum ECL your GM is running to?
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PsionicFox
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure, but its a PBP game, so I can't plan for level 20.
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keksmuzh
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't say you're trying to do too many things with this build. On the contrary, I have several variations of the Wis-based fighter in nd20, and it's incredibly potent when done correctly. The only real limitation is feat slots.

While perhaps the "easiest" way to maximize/break this is to use Byakugan (Wis to attack and damage rolls on Jyuuken, which can be used for all attack rolls and damage with a couple class features), Keirigan is a good way to go. If you're going to do this though, I would recommend Taijutsu Master over Sacred Fist. 2 levels in you get Way of Expertise, allowing you to use Wis for attack rolls for your unarmed strikes, and thus your pressure point techs. After that you can grab levels in Taiutsu Master or Medical Specialist at your leisure. If you really want to take levels in SF to grab the Wis bonus to defense, don't bother going more than 3 levels in.

Your decision between med specialist and taijutsu early on should be dependent on what you decide fits the character, as well as party balance.

As far as the feats go...you can get MOST of them by level 5. Getting all but 1 or 2 is actually fairly easy.

The way I would personally build this:

WITH NO BLOODLINE
Occupation: Adept Monk (gets you the necessary class skills early)

Fast Hero 3/Medical Expert 2

Feats:
Level 1: Medical Expert
Level 1 (Human): Will Over Flesh
Level 1 (Adept Monk): Harmony

Level 2 (Fast Hero): Weapon Finesse

Level 3: Pressure Secrets

Level 5 (Med Spec): Training

Future Feats: More medical feats, Taijutsu Adept, Combat Martial Arts (level 6?)

Next 3 Levels: Medical Specialist 1/Taijutsu Master 2

For Keireigan: Drop Will Over Flesh, which hurts the build but is liveable. Greater emphasis on Con is a necessity in this case (you'll probably want 16 anyway since you'll be on the front lines).

Fast Hero over Dedicated, because it still works, and Evasion > Slightly better saves in this system.

Good Luck!

P.S. A number of the techniques in Way of the Master are pretty overpowered in terms of the debuffs you can inflict without the opponent getting a save. Your GM may get irritated and want to nerf the book as a result. It's not as bad since you're including medic and thus don't have full BAB, but the potency of the techs is still a potential problem
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Jensik
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the City Of Bad-Asses, population us. The Pressure Point Medic is an art form that I've come close to perfecting.

First and foremost, the Wisdom based fighter is a trap. Don't fall for it. Sure, Wisdom is the relevant ability for Treat Injury, but take a close look at all the healing techniques. Ninjutsu. No bonuses based on Wisdom. That leaves you focusing on three abilities only, in this order: Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence.

Weapon Finesse and Pressure Secrets makes a high Dex taijutsu build pure sex. That combination makes the Taijutsu Master's Way of Preservation superfluous, freeing your talents up for Weapon Focus (Unarmed) and Weapon Specialization. You'll need Weapon Specialization, because you sure as hell aren't getting your damage anywhere else. It also puts you on the path to Exemplar, because fun fact: Evasion isn't a prereq for Improved Evasion!

My path of choice to level 20 was Dedicated 3/Medical Specialist 8/Taijutsu Master 4/Exemplar 5. The biggest weakness with this build is range. You have none. You're going to be constantly using Tumble to get out of the fray and toss out a heal. Tumble, Concentration, and Heroic Surge are a must.

Another protip: Take Defensive Martial Arts along with Unbalance Opponent to make you hella tanky.
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PsionicFox
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, thanks for the help there!

Sadly, the boss has decreed that I can't use Way of the Master. Which is a shame, but oh well. On the plus side, the boss has also decided to give us the Combat Martial Arts feat for free. Which means that by following your build with some slight tweaks, I can do this:

Occupation: 'Clan'

Fast Hero 3/Medical Expert 2

Feats:
GM Bonus: Combat Martial Arts
GM Bonus: Genin
Level 1: Harmony
Level 1 (Human): Will Over Flesh
Level 1 (Clan): Advanced Bloodline (Keirigan)

Level 2 (Fast Hero): Weapon Finesse

Level 3: Medical Expert

Level 5 (Med Spec): Nin Weapons Proficiency.

At seventh level (thanks to my bloodline level at six), I can take my first level of Sacred Fist. Until then I'll be a mostly dex fighter, but once I hit ninth level, my defenses jump up, as will have my melee damage.

And that works for me.
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Jensik
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh well, without Way of the Master my advice is useless. He's afraid of the City of Bad-Asses. I understand. I get that a lot.

*Walks off looking smug* :P
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PsionicFox
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EDIT: You know, I originally never saw your first, extremely helpful post. But I have now, and the GM is re-considering his stance of Pressure-Point Style. So happy days, I get to hang out in badass city. And thank you for your advice on being Wis-based. It was very helpful.

Now, I need to figure out my build progression.

So the feats I need are as follows:
GM Bonus: Combat Martial Arts
GM Bonus: Genin
Level 1 (Human): Weapon Finesse
Level 1 (Custom Occupation): Advanced Bloodline (Keirigan)
Level 1: Harmony

Level 2 (Dedicated Hero): Medical Expert

Level 3: Pressure Secrets

Awesome!

Okay, so I need to make a choice. If I take two levels of Medical Specialist right away, I can pick up my missing nin-weapon proficiency, which will help me have some minor ranged attacks and take advantage of my high dexterity, OR I can skip the whole 1d4 damage side of things, and take a level in each class so I can have at least 1d6 damage from the get go.

I'm thinking the first option, as I think character progression from support-nin to full blown combat badass will be quite nice.

Thoughts?
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Toratsume
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Joined: 27 May 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, if you meant Way of Expertise as opposed to Way of Preservation, it would still be a viable choice of talent maybe as it allows you to use either Dex or Wis for unarmed damage.
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PsionicFox
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way of Expertise wrote:
The Taijutsu Master may decide to apply either his Dexterity or Wisdom bonus to attack rolls for his unarmed attack instead of strength. The damage rolls, however, are still modified by strength


For a Dex-user, Weapon Finesse does exactly the same thing.
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Toratsume
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right yeah. I had a brain fart. But weapon finesse and weapon focus are both feats so you could take either or and use your TM talent for the other.
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keksmuzh
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, I can't argue with your GM's original decision. The book as a whole is somewhat unbalanced, and without it the taijutsu medic is fairly unimpressive in terms of power scale.

If you want ranged attacks, wasting a feat on Nin Weapon Proficiency is the wrong way to go. You're a medic, you have ranks in ninjutsu, so just grab a couple ranged ninjutsu attacks. You'll have plenty of bonus chakra to help soak the cost.

@Jensik: There's a distinction that needs to be made from your original comment: the Wis-based fighter is not a trap, but the Wis-based medic fighter can be. Without the ninjutsu-heavy medic side of things, a wis fighter with decent Con and Dex is an incredibly potent character, with an AB to rival the best melee fighters while being miles ahead in terms of utility, debuffing potential, saving throws, and chakra pool (if you do it right).
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PsionicFox
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

keksmuzh wrote:
Honestly, I can't argue with your GM's original decision...and without it the taijutsu medic is fairly unimpressive in terms of power scale.


Did you just agree and disagree in consecutive sentences? I'm confused.


keksmuzh wrote:
If you want ranged attacks, wasting a feat on Nin Weapon Proficiency is the wrong way to go. You're a medic, you have ranks in ninjutsu, so just grab a couple ranged ninjutsu attacks. You'll have plenty of bonus chakra to help soak the cost.


I do? I only seem to have about thirty-odd chakra at level five. Which tells me I probably shouldn't be fireball spamming or something. That and I need to save some of that chakra for healing people. Plus, not being able to throw a few shuriken or what-have-you as needed seems like a bad idea. And has the added benefit of being chakra-free. I seem to recall a lot of the early fights making use of shuriken, kunai, and simple melee beatdowns with the odd ninjutsu tech being thrown in for good measure.

keksmuzh wrote:
@Jensik: There's a distinction that needs to be made from your original comment: the Wis-based fighter is not a trap, but the Wis-based medic fighter can be. Without the ninjutsu-heavy medic side of things, a wis fighter with decent Con and Dex is an incredibly potent character, with an AB to rival the best melee fighters while being miles ahead in terms of utility, debuffing potential, saving throws, and chakra pool (if you do it right).


Care to explain this? Because I can see the trap in technically making myself more MAD since I'd need a good Dex, Con, Int AND Wis score due to what I'm trying to achieve, while skipping the whole Wis thing means I only need to really focus on three scores.

And before I forget, thanks for the help guys, its very informative.
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TheTrulyAvaricious
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What he means by bonus chakra is that Medical Specialist is noted for giving a good chunk of both bonus chakra pool and chakra reserve. So, be sure to take ranks in Chakra Control. As a Medic, it's what your gonna need. So, in battle, the Medic can tend to be able to hurl a good number of Ninjutsu attacks. Having a high Con doesn't hurt either.

You also may want to abandon trying to have a huge Wis score. Yeah, it's paramount for Treat Injury, but with Medical techs still being classified as Ninjutsu, it won't do you many favours down the line apart from a good Will Save. Barring Shinobi Drugs being allowed, just stick with Dexterity, Constitution and Intelligence. This way it should stop you having to take Will over Flesh, a now useless feat, you can keep both your chakra and hit points up and you can also pick up Nin Weapons Prof at first level.

Hope that helped clear things up.
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PsionicFox
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It did, thanks.

I ended up going with Fast Hero 3 to grab Evasion and Uncanny Dodge as well as a better defence.

But apart from that I am on track for medical-nin badassery.
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Dairius_Chi
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as Chakra goes...Chakra Growth Drug, the Kyoudo and Ninkido training techniques, hell even the Ki Nobori/Suimen Hokou/Yukinadare give bonus chakra and reserves, as well as a boost on Chakra Control checks to tap for reserves(allowing larger payloads at a time).
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keksmuzh
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PsionicFox wrote:
keksmuzh wrote:
Honestly, I can't argue with your GM's original decision...and without it the taijutsu medic is fairly unimpressive in terms of power scale.


Did you just agree and disagree in consecutive sentences? I'm confused


Hardly. I'm saying that Way of the Master can very easily be argued to be unbalanced, and your GM made a sound decision in banning it. The second sentence means that with the book DISALLOWED, melee medics are not very powerful. In short, Way of the Master takes the viability of melee medics from low to very high.

While there are training techniques for boosting chakra pools, they come up rather infrequently in the progression, and frankly the reserve bonuses from classes are strictly better (and with a high CC skill being a necessity, you'll basically never fail to draw from his reserves). In the grand scheme of things, the amount of chakra you get from those techs is somewhat negligible to the rest of your pool at the time you get them. I'd spend my training time on more worthwhile things.
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PsionicFox
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the help guys, it was very insightful.

Now, instead of creating a new topic, I figured I'd just post my next build question here.

I'm looking at building a 5th-level Smart ninja specialising in ninjutsu/genjutsu techniques, who has use of the Nara clan hijutsu.

My current build revolves around using the Smart Paragon, picking up combat expertise and nin weapon prof as bonus feats, while having a bloodline, weapon finesse, shadow arts, and genius nin taking up my other slots.

I currently have STR 10, DEX 16, CON 16, INT 18, WIS 12, CHA 14 out of a 40-point buy thanks to the +2 in from taking five levels in Smart Paragon.

I have Savant and Plan as my talents, but I'm wondering if it'd be worth taking Exploit Weakness instead of Plan, thus negating the need to Weapon Finesse. But I am unsure as yet. The main thing is I definitely want the character to be awesome at ninjutsu and genjutsu, and outsmart opponents.

I'd like to eventually try for Sage/Summoner, although the animal type is up in the air, so any suggestions on build progression would be awesome.

Thanks again!
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keksmuzh
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a little confused as to why you're spending 2 feats on Weapon Finesse and Combat Expertise. CE maybe, but unless you plan on fighting in melee with your crap attack bonus you'll probably be better served picking up Ninjutsu Adept or something else to make your Nara Hijutsus and other techniques more effective.

This would also allow you to lower dex in exchange for something else that fits the build, if you choose. If you did go that route, grabbing Insightful Reflexes for the nice bonus would be a good plan.

With this concept (like many), the answer for levels 4-6 is Shinobi Adept. If you're looking to go with the outsmarting/tactician route, Master Strategist is a solid class with the perfect fluff from levels 7+

If you're planning on having a bloodline, summoner might not be the way to go. Bloodlines will hurt your HD for performing techs as it is, but this hurts summoning more than most ninjutsus. Which bloodlines were you looking at?
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Jensik
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fun fact, the Nara clan doesn't have a Bloodline. No need to spend a feat.

Don't drop Plan. I can say with full confidence that Plan is amazing and your party will love you forever if you keep it.
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jensik wrote:
Fun fact, the Nara clan doesn't have a Bloodline. No need to spend a feat.


Yet.
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keksmuzh
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jensik wrote:
Don't drop Plan. I can say with full confidence that Plan is amazing and your party will love you forever if you keep it.


This. Especially if you want to go into Master Strategist (it's required, and is IMO the best Smart Hero Talent)
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PsionicFox
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice.

And its not really a bloodline. More like a custom feat that grants a non-LA template. So I don't have to worry about level adjustment when it comes to summoning.

But in essence you guys recommend going into Shinobi Adept -> Master Stategist -> Summoner -> Sage?

If I drop the Dex, I can actually ignore two levels of Smart Paragon thanks to already hitting an 18 Int and go for something like two levels of Shinobi Adept, which will help the progression. I lose a point of strength, but melee combat will never be a strong suit - I'm too clever for that.

EDIT: Also, any suggestion on an animal summon? Since I can now safely ignore Weapon Finesse, nothing is stopping me from taking a Blood Pact for say...snakes.
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keksmuzh
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless it's vital to your concept, you really only want a 1 level dip into sage down the road for the nice feat it gives. Other than that, yes. I'd envisioned the build as Smart Paragon 3/Shinobi Adept 3/Master Strategist 7/Summoner 7/Sage 1 (you can drop a level from either MS or Summoner if you want sage pre-epics). The order of MS and summoner is really up to you. You're very much a back row combatant, but with prep time you can be the most lethal thing in pretty much any given fight.

I would give Sage a higher priority if you were trying to mix more melee into the build, since Sage Mode gives amazing benefits to melee fighters.

Blood Pacts I'm personally a big fan of/are strong for you: War Hero (arguably the best pact in either book), Hivemind (easy to meet the prereq for you, and unique flavor), Spider (nice save bonuses for you, and good flavor), Hawk, Salamander, Imperial Wyrm (the stat prerequs would hurt though)

If you have access to the Conjurers Codex, also consider Cat, Wolf, Elephant (ninja Hannibal anyone?), and Wolf. If you DO have the CC, see if your GM will let you take Summon Familiar; it's a pretty ridiculous feat.
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PsionicFox
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, War Hero sounds good.

But I need an extra point of Charisma to do that. Which I need to find somewhere.

I could do: STR 10, DEX 14, CON 16, INT 16, WIS 12, CHA 16.

This would serve my build in getting me access to that summon, as well as boosting my Genjutsu a little, at the cost of a slightly lower int modifier, costing me some skill points and some Ninjutsu bonus. Which I can alleviate by taking my 4th and 8th level boosts as INT boosts.

Thoughts?
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keksmuzh
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the time you're allowed to use the summoning technique, you'll have gotten a +1 to any stat from Level 4, so you're all set in that area. Keep your old stat set and do that, it'll work better.

Honestly, with 18 int, the rate you increase it at makes the changes prety minor, so you can afford to put your first point into something else. There are always stat boosting drugs if the GM allows them.
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PsionicFox
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 18 INT comes from spending my 4th level boost on it. I could lower my WIS to 10 and get the CHA I need, and the drawbacks are pretty minor.

I think I'll do that.
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keksmuzh
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very minor. At worst, you can take Force of Personality if you have a problem with Will saves, and you have plenty of skill points for the few Wis based skills you need (like chakra control).
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PsionicFox
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep. I am doing exactly that. If I have a spare feat down the track, I may very well take it.
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PsionicFox
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the double-post, I wanted to make sure this was seen.

I have a question about the interaction between a Kage Bunshin clone, and Kage Mane.

Specifically, if I catch a victim with a clone's usage of Kage Mane, and then hit them with say, Goukakyu no Jutsu, denying them their DEX bonus.

Now, according to the rules on Kage Bunshin, both the user and the clone suffer the drawbacks. Now, I assume this means sharing damage, that's not the mission.

My questions is: If I have mastered Kage Mane, and I pass the save to avoid damage while my clone doesn't, do I still suffer the damage?

Apologies if this is worded badly, I couldn't think of how better to put this late at night. So sorry for that.

But help would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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