Barbarian Shadowstriker Build (Melee and Archer)

Character Name: Hidden Fury
Character Theme: This Pathfinder Barbarian Build strikes from the shadows (Hide in Plain Sight from Improved Eldritch Heritage: Shadow Well) moving before and after the attack (Bestial Leaper Rage power) for large amounts of damage (Vital Strike Chain, Power Attack, Enlarge Person Spell, Gravity Bow and/or Lead Blade, and Rage).  He is hidden, then he attacks (melee or range attack), then he hides again, because stealth can be done as a part of movement.  He is Urban Barbarian so, yes, he can hide while raging.  He can also Spell Sunder.
Long before he reaches his God-like status at 11th level (where Hide in Plain Sight kicks in), this guy is very fun to play. He is a scout and has enough skill points to be made into a party face. He is a backup caster with Use Magic Device.  Finally, he is from day 1 a Barbarian with Power Attack and Skill Focus (Stealth).  Enjoy.
Class Selection: Barbarian (Urban Barbarian Archetype) 13
  • Note – You could also take the Invulnerable Rager Archetype along with the Urban Barbarian Archetype since they are compatible given that none of the archetypes’ ability substitutions overlap.   If your party is going to call upon you to  be a front line guy, Invulnerable is likely optimal.  I didn’t because optimally, this build is stick and move from 6th level on and should not be taking full attacks from opponents.

Favorite Class Selection: Take the +1/3 Superstition bonus at every level. This build has the Finding Helen Campaign Trait that gives you a +1 skill point and hit point at every level, so you won’t miss out. Even if you decide to go with another Campaign Trait, still take the Favorite Class bonus suggested.  Superstition, with the favorite class bonuses, will add a + 9 morale bonus on saving throws made to resist spells, supernatural abilities, and spell-like abilities while raging.

Starting Stats: Str (18); Dex (16); Con (12); Int (10); Wis (10); Chr (13)
Stat Level Adjustment: Go Dex, Dex, Str, Str, Str – Be sure to purchase a +2 headband of Charisma before 11th level to qualify for improve eldritch heritage at 11th level.
Campaign Traits: Dangerously Curious (+1 Use Magic Device and UMD is Class Skill) and Finding Helen (+1 hit point and skill point per level in favorite class over and above your selected favorite class bonus).
Feats / Rage Powers / Class Abilities: 1) Power Attack, Focused Study (Skill Focus: Stealth), Crowd Control, Controlled Rage; 2) Reckless Abandon, Uncanny Dodge; 3) Deadly Aim, Trap Sense (+4); 4) Raging Leaper; 5) Eldritch Heritage (Shadow Bloodline: Shadowstrike), Improved Uncanny Dodge; 6) Bestial Leaper; 7) Vital Strike, DR/3-; 8) Superstitious, Focused Study (Skilled Focus: Use Magic Device); 9) Furious Finish; 10) Witch Hunter; 11) Eldritch Heritage (Shadow Bloodline: Shadow Well), Greater Rage; 12) Spell Sunder; 13) Improved Vital Strike
Skills (65 points): Stealth (13), UMD (10), Diplomacy (13); Perception (13), Acrobatics (13), Climb (1), Swim (1), Ride (1)
Items (124.3K): +2 Furious/Courageous Greatsword (32K); +2 Adaptive Longbow Composite (9K); +3 Mithral Breastplate (13K);  + 1 Ring of Protection (2K); +1 Amulet of Natural Armor (2K),  +2 Belt of Dexterity/Strength (10K); Handy Haversack (2K); Efficient Quiver (1.8K); +3 Tattooed Cloak of Resistance (18K); Cloak of Elvenkind (2.5K); Wing Boots (12K); Ring of Evasion (20K)
Wands (5.25K): Cure Light Wounds (50 charges); Longstrider (25); Lead Blade (25); Gravity Bow (25); Feather Step (25); Enlarge Person (25); Glitterdust (25).  All spells, except cure light wounds, are purchased at caster level 2.
Remaining Money: You still have 11K to spend on wands that are helpful in your particular campaign and with your particular party.  Remember, you don’t have to buy wands that are fully charge.  So for spells you may only need once in a while buy wands with fewer charges (as low as one charge).  The obvious wands specific for this build are the ones currently selected. Also, remember that you can purchase wands at a higher caster level than the minimum caster level.  So, with this character, notice that all of the wands (other than the cure light wand) are purchased at caster level 2.  This means that when the wands are used, the effects last twice as long.  Of course, the cost is twice as much. So by purchasing a 1stlevel spell wand with half the amount of charges (25), but that is raised to caster level 2, you end up with a wand that last twice has long with half the charges and cost the same as a first level wand with a full amount of charges.
Greatsword Vital Strike Attack: +23 (9d6 + 28) for average damage of 59.5 points and maxed damage of 82 with furious finish.  This attack/damage assumes that Shadow Striker is raging with bonuses to strength, using reckless abandon, using power attack, and has casted the Enlarge spell.  If he has used the Enlarged spell and Lead Blade, the average damage goes up to (12d6+28) for average damage of 70 and maxed damage of 100. If he has neither spell, the average damage is (6d6 +27) for 48 points average and 63 points maxed.  Even the unbuffed damage is impressive, however, why would a stealthy character with great perception ever be in a position where he can mot pre-buff.  If he did find himself in such a position, why would the party arcane caster not cast enlarge person on Shadow Striker.  Short story, he should never be unbuffed unless the opponents are so meager that they are worthy of a buff.
Longbow Vital Strike Attack:  +23 (6d6 + 16) for average damage of 34 points and maxed damage of 52 with furious finish.  This attack/damage assumes that Shadow Striker is raging with bonuses to dexterity, using reckless abandon, using deadly aim, and has casted the Gravity Bow spell.
Iterative Melee/Range Attacks: Of course, he can do iterative attacks as well for pretty impressive damage, but he is not meant to be a front line fighter or stand still archer.  He is built to stick and move into the shadows.  So play him the way he was meant to be played unless the party is in a situation where he has to do iterative attacks.  Tell your group to get another front line guy because you are not it, even though you could fulfill the role in times of desperation.

7 Responses to Barbarian Shadowstriker Build (Melee and Archer)

  1. you left out the +2 headband of cha on your item list

  2. Timothy Bow says:

    For some reason I can’t find what race this character build uses. If its intentionally not listed does that mean it doesnt matter? Or is Human Assumed?

  3. The Mighty Kobold says:

    I like this a lot. I’m probably gonna fles in the Superstitious Archetype as well for that initiative bonus. Overall though, solid build.

  4. Cheesy Troll says:

    It could be useful exchange the eldritch heritage line with 2 levels of Shadowdancer to get the same results even before than 11, and use the Heritage line with Orc Bloodline to get the Str bonus and other goodies?

Comments and Questions are Appreciated