Building your heroes 10 levels at a time.
"Let's Roll" is a self-imposed challenge to build my (and your) favorite heroes in 10 levels or less using the Pathfinder Open Gaming License. I primarily focus on the standard Paizo rules, but have no issues dipping into 3rd party products (3PP) either - especially since I'm an author of some such products!
If you have a character you'd like to see developed, shoot me an email or check out the Kobold Company Facebook page to send in a submission!.
|NOTE: "Let's Roll" is not a min/max character creation. It is a fun attempt to replicate hero characters from other games in just 10 levels of the Pathfinder RPG. Of course there are better feat choices (spells, traits, etc.), but those selected were chosen because, in my opinion, they best emulated the abilities of the hero.|
From the Dishonored wiki: Corvo Attano is the protagonist of Dishonored and one of the two playable protagonists of Dishonored 2. Previously an agent and bodyguard to Empress Jessamine Kaldwin, Corvo is stripped of his title of Lord Protector and imprisoned by the usurper, Royal Spymaster Hiram Burrows, on the pretense of having murdered the Empress and abducted her daughter, Emily Kaldwin. After escaping from confinement on the eve of his execution, Corvo becomes either an assassin or vigilante for the Loyalist Conspiracy, eliminating Burrows' confederates to clear his name, avenge the Empress' death, and restore Emily to the throne.I just finished up playing Dishonored (yes, the first one...) and I have to say that as far as sneaky-type games go, it's a fantastic one. Playing as Corvo through a shattered, steampunk-esque world was amazing. So much so that I've decided to do the next installment of "Let's Roll" with him in mind.
BIG challenge here to emulate him in just 10 levels, but we'll see what we can do. There are some things I am just going to have to accept he's not going to be great at - but it's going to give me a chance to get really creative and (I think) put together a build I've never considered before.
Let's Roll: Corvo
The biggest issue with Corvo is his large complement of weapons. The primary focus is going to have to be his short sword (dagger?), but he also uses a hand crossbow with some unique rounds (sleep, incendiary, standard), a pistol, grenades, a nasty improvised explosive device, and - lest we forget - some magic abilities to help him sneak around as well as fight.
First, let's take a look at those magic abilities and see if we have a Pathfinder analog for each. Check out this quick video for a fun run-down of his magic abilities.
I'm going to separate out his equipment and his magic abilities into two groups. Also - only going for the Dishonored primary game, none of the DLC right now. It's going to be tough enough with just the basic game:
It's hard to ignore Corvo's mask. It's basically what makes him stand out as a game icon and is absolutely the signature item of this franchise. Going to have a hard time matching the appeal with standard magic items for this one.
Corvo uses this as his primary "quiet" weapon for assassination throughout the entire game. I'm going to go pretty crazy with this, so watch out!
Anyway, I think we can get these either through alchemy or poisons (Drow poison?).
These bad boys already have rules for them in Pathfinder, so we're good to go with this.
These things are pretty brutal, by the way. It's basically an improvised explosive device that shoots out nails when its tripped. Nasty.
Probably the least useful when trying to be stealthy is the flipping boom-cannon that is Corvo's "City Guard pistol". I hate this thing, but unfortunately it's necessary in those moments when stealth fails. This thing is viscous at close range, but difficult (for me) to aim at a distance - it often seems to behave more like a blunderbuss dealing damage to multiple targets. I don't think this is worth spending a feat on - but we'll see.
The Heart is essentially a magic item. It is useful in the game because it points Corvo towards the Runes and Bone Charms that help you customize his build throughout the game. It also possesses some psychic abilities that allows Corvo to detect the surface thoughts and other psychic emanations from people he's observing. It can come in handy when searching for clues. Not sure just yet how this will work in PF though.
Magical (Mystical) Abilities:
Corvo is granted some mystical abilities by a powerful being known only as "The Outsider". He visits Corvo throughout the game, typically when he finds a Rune. These power are, individually, easy to replicate in Pathfinder. Getting them all into a 10-level build is going to be interesting.
Blink: I'll start with the one I personally used the most - and I consider to be Corvo's signature ability: Blink. Just like in Pathfinder, this ability is pretty much a short-distance teleport.
I'm going to focus primarily on getting this ability. It'll take a little bit, but I'm confident I can get something similar within my 10-level limit.
A belt of dex and we'll be fine.
Bendtime: Well...I already said that Possession was going to be the most difficult to replicate, but I think this one will give it a run for its money. This ability slows down time or, with high a enough rune count, stop time entirely. Since Corvo's not going to be an arch-mage, I don't think we're getting Time Stop. The only thing that comes to mind is focusing on some sort of initiative bonuses that make him go SOOO fast it seems like time is slowing around him........yea.
Stats (20 point build):
As we'll see in the class selection below, both dex and charisma are going to be important. I am traditionally more of a high-fantasy player/gamer, so the idea of using 20-point builds really irks me, but there's no doubt that is the most common point-value game played out there, so we're sticking with it.
Strength: 10 - (0 points) Corvo is pretty strong in the game, but for this build, I can't afford more.
Dexterity: 16 - (10 points)
Constitution: 12 - (2 points) Minor bump for fort.
Intelligence: 10 - (0 points) Going to rely on the bonus point for being human.
Wisdom: 18 - (10 points, +2 Human) Mandatory for the route I think I'm going to be taking.
Charisma: 8 - (+2 points) No one ever accused Corvo of being a social butterfly.
OK - stats are out of the way. How are we going to build this guy?
Let's talk build. From the start, I knew that Corvo was not going to get by without some sort of spellcasting class. However, several of these abilities can be accomplished with magic items and there are some class abilities I can use as well that won't require spells. It's not the optimal route, but above all, Corvo is excellent at sneaking and close-quarter fighting.
With all that being said, we're going with Unchained Monk. Corvo will get his Blink through Abundant Step at 8th level, he'll be fast with an increased movement, he'll be good at a lot of combat maneuvers, and, with a few magic items, I can replicate just about any of the abilities he needs. Or so I think. Let's try it.
Unchained Monk is the revision Paizo just recently published which looks at creating the type of kung-fu character everyone wanted with the original 3.5 content. They've stated they weren't particularly happy bringing the monk (or rogue, or barbarian) over as written, but didn't have the resources to make any changes at the time. The biggest changes are the full BAB, a lower Will saving throw, d10 hit dice, and some changes to the way Flurry of Blows works. All-in-all, it'll be a great fit for Corvo.
HP: 11 | AC: 17
Traits: Ambush Training (+1 init, +1 damage during Surprise round), Spirit Sense (+2 to perception to avoid being surprised)
Feats: Dodge (B), Improved Unarmed Strike (B), Agile Maneuvers, Stunning Fist (B), Weapon Focus (Dagger)
Abilities: Flurry of Blows, Bonus AC (Wis)Skill List: Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str)
Skills (5): Acrobatics (+7), Intimidate (+4), Perception (+8), Sense Motive (+8), Stealth (+7)
Notable Equipment: Dagger, no armor, metal mask
Weapons: Dagger (+2 / 1d4; Flurry: +0/+0, 1d4), Unarmed Attack (+1, 1d6; Flurry: -1/-1, 1d6)
I know I talked about the short sword early on, but with the way this build is going to develop, dagger is the only option. Also, we're loaded with feats at 1st level. I went with agile maneuvers to ensure his CMB is high. If we're going to replicate some of his sneaky ambush moves, he's going to need a higher CMB. The not-so-good thing about this build being that pesky low strength. He's just going to have to deal with it at 1st level. I can't afford the points to strength. Successive levels will be much better.
I also set him up with some nice ambush mechanics. It should become apparent why here in a few levels.
Unchained Rogue 1 / UM 1
BAB: +1 | CMB: +4 | CMD: 18
Fort: +3 | Ref: +7 | Will: +4
HP: 16 | AC: 17
Feats: Weapon Finesse (B), Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Hand Crossbow)(B)
Abilities: +1d6 Sneak Attack w/ Daggers, Finesse Training, trapfinding
Skills (9): Acrobatics (+8), Disable Device (+7 (+8 Traps)), Disguise (+4), Escape Artist (+7), Intimidate (+4), Perception (+9(+10 Traps)), Sense Motive (+8), Sleight of Hands (+7), Stealth (+8), Survival (+5), Use Magic Device (+4)
Notable Equipment: Dagger (Masterwork), Hand Crossbow
Weapons: MW Dagger (+6 / 1d4 (+1d6 Sneak Attack)), Unarmed Attack (+4, 1d6; Flurry -1/-1, 1d6 (+1d6 Sneak Attack)), Hand Crossbow (+4, d4)
Unchained Rogue is a perfect combination for this build with the Unchained Monk for this build. He gets bonus damage based upon Dex, he gets the free Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Hand Crossbow), some bonus precision damage, and he'll get a nice rogue talent for a 2-level dip. Coming together nicely!
UR 2 / UM 1
Fort: +3 | Ref: +8 | Will: +4
HP: 21 | AC: 17
Feats: MobilitySkills (9): Acrobatics (+9), Disable Device (+7 (+8 Traps)), Disguise (+4), Escape Artist (+7), Knowledge (Local)(+5), Intimidate (+5), Perception (+10(+11 Traps)), Sense Motive (+8), Sleight of Hands (+9), Stealth (+9 (+14)), Survival (+6), Use Magic Device (+6)
Gold: 3,000gp (+2000gp)
Weapons: MW Dagger (+7 / 1d4; Flurry: +5/+5, 1d4 (+1d6 Sneak Attack)), Unarmed Attack (+5, 1d6; Flurry: +3/+3, 1d6 (+1d6 Sneak Attack)), Hand Crossbow (+5, d4 + poison)
Picked up Knowledge (Local) since there are a few points left over. The lack of bonus intelligence points hurts here a little bit, but it's not over the top. He's still going to turn out to be a pretty good skill monkey. He's starting to come together. Still not a power house, but we'll fix that.
Surprise attack will allow Corvo to get a sneak attack on anyone during the surprise round - it won't matter if they go ahead of him or not. Goes along nicely with our Ambush Training trait.
Lastly, while a little cliche with the Drow poison, it is the only one at a reasonable cost that will force a target unconscious. Probably going to have to go with stacked doses to make that DC a little more difficult.
UR 3 / UM 1
BAB: +3 | CMB: +6 | CMD:20
HP: 26 | AC: 17
Stat: +1 DexSkills (9): Acrobatics (+10 (+15)), Disable Device (+8(+9 Traps)), Disguise (+6), Escape Artist (+8), Knowledge (Local)(+5), Intimidate (+5), Perception (+11(+12 Traps)), Sense Motive (+8), Sleight of Hands (+8), Stealth (+10 (+15)), Survival (+7), Use Magic Device (+8)
Gold: 6,000gp (+3,000gp)
Weapons: Dagger, Masterwork (+8, +6/+6 Flurry, d4+3 (+2d6 sneak attack)), Unarmed (+6, +4/+4 Flurry, d6+0 (+2d6 sneak attack)), Hand Crossbow (+6, 1d4 + poison)
I had a hard time going unchained rogue for another level. It basically ensures I'm not going to get Abundant Step within my 10-level limit, but with the Finesse Training of the Unchained Rogue, Corvo now adds his dex to his damage with his dagger. His threat potential just spun up through the roof in combat.
You may be asking why focus on the dagger rather than unarmed combat - the truth is, weapons have a greater potential for damage than unarmed combat at higher levels. Corvo's going to be a grappler and a knife-fighter.
Danger Sense adds that +1 to avoid being surprised, and there's nothing wrong with that in this ambush build.
UR 3 / UM 2
Fort: +5 | Ref: +9 | Will: +5
HP: 32 | AC: 18
Abilities: Evasion, bonus feat
Skills (5): Acrobatics (+11 (+16)), Disable Device (+8(+9 Traps), Disguise (+6), Escape Artist (+8), Knowledge (Local)(+5), Intimidate (+5), Perception (+12 (+13 Traps)), Sense Motive (+8), Sleight of Hands (+8), Stealth (+11 (+16)), Survival (+8), Use Magic Device (+9)
Gold: 10,500gp (+4,500gp)
Notable Equipment: Dagger +1 (2,000gp), Ring of Protection +1 (1,000gp), Bolts (Drow Poison)(12)(1,200gp), Boots of Elvenkind, Cloak of Elvenkind
Weapons: Dagger +1 (+9, Flurry: +7/+7, 1d4+4 (+2d6 Sneak Attack)), Unarmed Attack (+7, 1d6; Flurry: +5/+5, 1d6 (+2d6 Sneak Attack)), Hand Crossbow (+7, 1d4 + poison)
With a +16 acrobatics check at 5th level, Corvo is basically simulating the Blink ability. Combine that with Spring Attack now and, for flavor's sake, we can essentially say it IS blink - he can jump up to 20 feet (currently with a 10' running start) and does not provoke attacks of opportunity if he uses spring attack.
Grappling is now online - he's going to be able to replicate the "choke-out" somewhat, but in all likelihood, he'll need to sneak up with stunning fist first, then move into a grapple to subdue them.
He's pretty sparse in the magic item department, but otherwise I really like this build.
UR 3 / UM 3
BAB: +5 | CMB: +8 | CMD: 22
HP: 38 | AC: 18
Ki Pool: 5
Abilities: Fast Movement (+10), Ki Pool (5), Ki Strike (Magic)
Skills (5): Acrobatics (+12 (+17)), Disable Device (+8(+9 Traps)), Disguise (+6), Escape Artist (+8), Knowledge (Local)(+5), Intimidate (+5), Perception (+13(+14 Traps)), Sense Motive (+8), Sleight of Hands (+8), Stealth (+12 (+17)), Survival (+9), Use Magic Device (+10)
Gold: 16,000gp (+5,500gp)
Notable Equipment: Dagger +1, Mask of the Mantis (6,000 gp - assumes 500gp or so extra from previous levels or a loan), Boots of Elvenkind, Cloak of Elvenkind, Bolts (Drow Poison)(12), Bolts (Incendiary)(12)
It might be a weird choice - and for RP purposes, the "mantis mask" would look like Corvo's iconic metal skull mask. It goes a long way to help replicate the "Dark Vision" power of Corvo's both with darkvision and see invisibility. It's also a creative choice since it costs charges to use, much like Corvo's abilities cost "mana".
UR 3 / UM 4
Fort: +6 | Ref: +11 | Will: +6
HP: 44 | AC: 19
Ki Pool: 6
Skills (5): Acrobatics (+14 (+19)), Disable Device (+9(+10 Traps), Disguise (+6), Escape Artist (+9), Knowledge (Local)(+6), Intimidate (+5), Perception (+13 (+14 Traps)), Sense Motive (+8), Sleight of Hands (+9), Stealth (+14 (+19)), Survival (+9), Use Magic Device (+11)
Gold: 23,500gp (+7,500gp)
Notable Equipment: Belt of Incredible Dexterity +2 (Dex 19) (4,000gp), Gloves of Reconnaissance (2,000gp - save 500gp), Pellet Grenade, Iron (10 / 500gp), Dagger +1, Mask of the Mantis, Boots of Elvenkind, Cloak of Elvenkind, Bolts (Drow Poison)(12), Bolts (Incendiary)(12)
Weapons: Dagger +1 (+11/+6, Flurry: +9/+9/+4, 1d4+5 (+2d6 Sneak Attack)), Unarmed Attack (+9/+4, 1d6; Flurry: +7/+7/+3, 1d6+0 (+2d6 Sneak Attack)), Hand Crossbow (+9, 1d4 + poison or fire)
Learn Ranger Trap....what? This is the spring razor we talked about wayyy at the beginning. It's not pretty for a min/maxer, but it works for this build. The damage is definitely not great (1d6 + 1/2 level and counts as magic for DR), but it's still a handy feature.
The other odd-ball item is the Gloves of Reconnaissance. These allow the wearer to see and hear through up to 15' of stone for up to 10 rounds per day. Excellent. Between this and Mask of the Mantis, we have almost exactly replicated the Dark Vision ability Corvo has in the game.
He had to wait until 7th level, but Corvo can now make jumps as though he was running, even while standing still. This is as close as I'm going to get with his Blink ability inside the 10 level limit, I'm afraid, without some magic.. Abundant Step comes at 11th level...blarrgh! Still, he can leap 20 feet on a roll of 2 and almost 40 feet with a roll of 20...as a move action.
UR 3 / UM 5
BAB: +7/+2 | CMB: +12 | CMD: 26
HP: 56 | AC: 20
Ki Pool: 6
Stat Bonus: Dex +1 (20)
Abilities: Purity of Body, Style Strike (Defensive Spin)
Skills (5): Acrobatics (+16 (+21)), Disable Device (+10(+11 Traps)), Disguise (+6), Escape Artist (+10), Knowledge (Local)(+6), Intimidate (+5), Perception (+14(+15 Traps)), Sense Motive (+8), Sleight of Hands (+10), Stealth (+16 (+21)), Survival (+9), Use Magic Device (+12)
Gold: 33,000gp (+9,500gp)
Notable Equipment: Dagger +1 Human Bane, Vicious (+10,000gp), Gloves of Reconnaissance, Dagger, Masterwork, Mask of the Mantis, Boots of Elvenkind, Cloak of Elvenkind, Bolts (Drow Poison)(12), Bolts (Incendiary)(12)
Weapons: Dagger +1 vicious human bane (+13/+8 (+15/+10 vs. Humans), +11/+11/+7 (+13/+13/+9 vs. Humans) Flurry, d4+6 (+2d6 sneak attack)(+2d6 vicious)(+2d6 vs. Humans)), Unarmed (+10, +8/+8 Flurry, d6+0 (+2d6 sneak attack)), Hand Crossbow (+10, 1d4 + poison or fire)
With his new Style Strike (Defensive Spin), he can engage in melee with a single opponent, gaining a +4 dodge to his AC.
More importantly is his brutal dagger....brutal against humans, effective against anything else. With Vicious and Human Bane and a sneak attack, he's going to deal 1d4+6+6d6 against a human target in exchange for taking 1d6 himself. With a full flurry and sneak attack, he would deal 3d4+18+18d6 (taking 3d6 himself) against a human.
UR 3 / UM 6
Fort: +7 | Ref: +13 | Will: +7
HP: 62 | AC: 21
Ki Pool: 7
Abilities: Bonus Feat, Ki Power (Formless Master), Move +20 (50)
Skills (5): Acrobatics (+16 (+21)), Disable Device (+11(+12 Traps), Disguise (+6), Escape Artist (+9), Knowledge (Local)(+6), Intimidate (+5), Perception (+14 (+15 Traps)), Sense Motive (+8), Sleight of Hands (+8), Stealth (+16 (+21)), Survival (+9), Use Magic Device (+13)
Gold: 46,000gp (+13,000gp)
Notable Equipment: Ring of the Ram (8,600gp), Amulet of Natural Armor +1 (2,000 gp - save the rest), Dagger +1 Human Bane, Vicious, Gloves of Reconnaissance, Dagger, Masterwork, Mask of the Mantis, Boots of Elvenkind, Cloak of Elvenkind, Bolts (Drow Poison)(12), Bolts (Incendiary)(12)
Ring of the Ram - ranged bull rush?! Yes, please! Right down to the wire, Corvo is getting his Wind Blast ability. It's not going to be great against big critters, but a +17 CMB against a medium sized opponent is going to be pretty decent!
Piranha Strike here is just gory. When he can catches a human opponent flat-footed, he can flurry with piranha strike (full-round action, mind you) assuming all hits for 3d4+36+18d6 (or a absolute max of 156)...taking 3d6 himself.
Keep in mind the whole idea behind this build is to sneak up and kill the crap out of someone. Corvo, as built here, is absolutely not sustainable in a long combat.
Finally, Formless Master is also pretty cool - it's another way for Corvo to bump up his AC against an opponent - this time as an immediate action. In addition, he's going to get a +4 to hit that opponent and + 6 (monk level) to damage him.
UR 3 / UM 7
BAB: +9/+4 | CMB: +14 | CMD: 28
HP: 56 | AC: 21
Ki Pool: 7
Abilities: Ki Strike (Cold Iron/Silver)
Skills (5): Acrobatics (+17 (+22)), Disable Device (+12(+13 Traps)), Disguise (+6), Escape Artist (+10), Knowledge (Local)(+6), Intimidate (+6), Perception (+14(+15 Traps)), Sense Motive (+8), Sleight of Hands (+10), Stealth (+17 (+22)), Survival (+9), Use Magic Device (+14)
Gold: 62,000gp (+16,000gp + 2,400gp from last level + 1,250 sold Cloak of Elvenkind)
Notable Equipment: Mithral Chain +2, Brawling Shadow (12,750 gp), Cloak of Resistance +2 (4,000gp) , ( Ring of the Ram, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Dagger +1 Human Bane, Vicious, Gloves of Reconnaissance, Dagger, Masterwork, Mask of the Mantis, Boots of Elvenkind, Cloak of Elvenkind, Bolts (Drow Poison)(12), Bolts (Incendiary)(12)
Weapons: Dagger +1 viscous human bane (+13/+8 (+15/+10 vs. Humans), +11/+11/+7 (+13/+13/+9 vs. Humans) Flurry, d4+6 (+2d6 sneak attack)(+2d6 vicious)(+2d6 vs. Humans)), Unarmed (+10, +8/+8 Flurry, d6+0 (+2d6 sneak attack)), Hand Crossbow (+10, 1d4 + poison or fire)
10th level for Corvo with this build is mega-anti-climactic with him gaining just the ability to strike as cold iron / silver with his unarmed attacks. Not a great way to end this week's build out. Still - he's come a long way and I think what we have here is a remarkable representation of Corvo from the Dishonored video game.
All in all, this turned out WAY better than I had hoped. That damage on a full-round sneak attack is beyond crazy.
Some of the things I wasn't able to get:
- True "Blink" ability. I could have picked it up - had I gone full Unchained Monk or even just two levels of Unchained Rogue, we could have had the Abundant Step monk ability. The Dex to damage thing was too appealing, though and there was just no way around it.
- The "choke out" - he's going to be a pretty good grappler, but it's going to be more like: stunning fist -> auto-grapple to keep them from talking.
- Shadowkill - Unfortunately (and I sincerely mean that) there is no ability in the Pathfinder game (that I could find) which would allow a PC to turn their opponent into ash upon a kill. I mean, I guess he could just use flint and tinder?? Might take a while...
- Bendtime - I never did get around to getting Corvo a really BIG Init modifier and, short of using high level magic, there's really no mechanic for slowing down time. He has some control abilities (stunning fist, leg sweep, etc.) but nothing that's going to slow down time.
- Possession was not even on my radar. There are plenty of abilities that can charm a bad guy, but nothing in the game lets you physically infuse a PC's body into a target, control them for a while, then pop out later. Sorry 'bout it!
- My biggest gripe with all of this was not having something to replicate the Heart. I thought about it a great deal, but never did come up with anything. I thought tumor familiar, artifact, intelligent magic item...nothing that would mechanically work is going to be available to a 10th level character....so, bummed about it, but not much I can do.
For future advancement, there's not a whole lot else to consider. Definitely pick up abundant step at 11th level (8th level Unchained Monk) and I would continue to boost up either dex or wis at 12th and 16th levels.
Nail down something for The Heart. In my head, I'd like to see an intelligent magic item - or even better, an intelligent psionic universal item that had some psychic ability. That's entirely DM dependent, however.
I pretty much ignored the gun - I didn't like using it in the game (too loud), but at 11th level, Corvo could easily pick up Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Pistols to cover that. I would personally go with Improved Initiative, but that's just me.
That's it for this edition of Let's Roll! Thank you very much for taking the time to read through this! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, let me know and I'll be sure to answer or incorporate them where I can!
|KC Rift is a long time gamer, role-player, and computer nerd. In addition to his day-job, he moonlights as a freelance writer for Total Party Kill Games and as an "Agent" for Catalyst Game Labs - His current published works include "The Deductionist" and "The Feybinder".|
Thanks to John Reyst - This was created using: