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One of my players wants to play a character that takes on the support and tank roles and that's inspired by, among others, Brigitte from Overwatch. We've gotten down most of it, but we're having trouble with the flail.

The player would like the PC to be able to trip, disarm, or stun foes or have some other thematic effect. The PC is mostly a high-Dexterity paladin with the feat Weapon Finesse. He can spend around 10,000 gp on the flail. My guess is that we'd refluff the spiked chain, but is there something better?

brigitte gif

brigitte gif

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    \$\begingroup\$ You may be interested in this question. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Apr 19 '18 at 19:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Interesting indeed \$\endgroup\$ – aloisdg Apr 19 '18 at 19:10
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So first of all, I think you’re going to have a very, very difficult and disappointing time whenever you say “I want to play character X in RPG Y that has no relation to X’s own setting.” See our Q&A on playing Gandalf in D&D 3.5e, particularly the top two very-highly-rated answers that basically say “you can’t, Gandalf isn’t from D&D, instead you have to play a Gandalf-inspired D&D character.” Likewise, ultimately, this player cannot play Brigitte in Pathfinder; the character can at best be a Brigitte-inspired Pathfinder character. The best way to handle this is to take the character of Brigitte, her personality and preferences, and try to imagine how she would have developed as a character if she’d grown up in the world of your Pathfinder campaign instead of the world of Overwatch.

That said, you probably still want some kind of massive-reach weapon for her. Here are some thoughts:

Spiked Chain—not unless you port the 3.5e version

Unfortunately, Paizo notoriously, unreasonably, nerfed the spiked chain from D&D 3.5e. It no longer has reach. That makes it worthless for this purpose—or any other. Unfortunately, Paizo’s position is that exotic weapons should not be any better than martial weapons—players should just pay a feat to be special. They’re wrong, it’s a terrible position, and I wholeheartedly recommend using the D&D 3.5e spiked chain—in general, not just for this character—but for completeness’s sake, we’ll ignore that.

Scorpion Whip, or regular Whip—not remotely worth it but might work

Paizo did publish the scorpion whip, which has 10-ft. reach and is light, which is nice-ish. Not worth the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat, but maybe that’s a price the player is willing to play. Paizo also published a number of whip-related feats—after burning three or four feats, the whip can be almost as good as a martial weapon (⌐.⌐). In both cases, presumably this player would ask for a homebrewed bludgeoning-damage version, which is no big deal. The scorpion whip is light, and whips can be finessed despite being one-handed.

Flickmace—sounds like exactly the thing, but no finesse

On the other hand, there is something called a “flickmace” which is one-handed, has the reach and trip properties, and already deals bludgeoning damage. Flickmace certainly sounds like the thing you have in those images. The only thing it’s missing is usage with Weapon Finesse. For this paladin, who already exists, already has high Dexterity, and already has Weapon Finesse, that’s a deal-breaker. But consider allowing it to use Weapon Finesse; it’s not as though there aren’t comparable weapons (such as the scorpion whip) that work with it.

For a new character, options may be better

The high-Dexterity paladin here somewhat limits your options. Paladin doesn’t get relevant features here, like bonus feats, ways to extend his reach or improve his attacks of opportunity, and so on. Really, a paladin should probably focus mostly on damage—that’s what they’re good at. And while high Dexterity is really good, it’s really good for characters who can make a lot of use of it, like archers (which a paladin can totally be) or unchained rogues. And high Dexterity certainly seems awkward considering Brigitte’s heavy armor and shield.

For a new character, though, maybe this isn’t that big a deal. A new character could be an unchained rogue, or since Brigitte is wearing pretty heavy armor, take advantage of options that don’t need Dexterity so much.

High guardian fighter—probably closest to Overwatch

A high guardian fighter doesn’t use Dexterity for attacks of opportunity, greatly reducing the importance of Dexterity for such a character.

So the closest representation of Brigitte in Pathfinder is probably a heavily armored high guardian fighter with a heavy shield and a flickmace. For a paladin who already has high Dexterity and Weapon Finesse, houseruling the flickmace to allow Weapon Finesse, or a version of the scorpion whip that deals bludgeoning damage, are probably the best solutions.

Magus with long arm and line of sand—different, but much superior

Ultimately Brigitte does a number of things that aren’t very effective in Pathfinder. Pathfinder rewards having both hands on your weapon really heavily. Pathfinder doesn’t reward shields very much at all. Pathfinder rewards high-Dexterity characters pretty well. Pathfinder doesn’t reward heavily-armored characters nearly as well. And combat maneuver math is such that it is very difficult to succeed on combat manuevers one you get into the mid levels of the game; they are not nearly as reliable as they should be. On top of that, the overriding concern with Pathfinder—that magic dominates absolutely everything—has to be considered. All told, this player may want to imagine Brigitte responding to the realities of the world she lives and choosing other means for accomplishing her goals.

If we start thinking more outside the box, being able to cast long arm becomes pretty appropriate. Line in the sand can also replace high guardian pretty well. Brigitte isn’t magical, but she isn’t from a world of high magic—and Pathfinder is a world of very, very, very high magic. Unfortunately, the longarm bracers cruelly add a near-crippling −4 penalty on attacks, and the Lunge feat and related feats are near-useless since they apply only on your turn. So casting these spells yourself becomes very desirable. And I note that both are magus spells...

Therefore, really, my top suggestion for Brigitte is not a high guardian fighter with a flickmace and a heavy shield, even though that will give the closest rendition of her. I think a magus, who makes good use of long arm and line in the sand, works better. Maybe toss in the flickmace, though she’ll need to keep the other hand free for spellcasting (remember to grab the flickmace when attacking!). Also, it seems to me that a warpriest might be even better than a magus here—if only that class could get those spells... and those tricks could be used by a paladin too, though the limitations of paladin spellcasting make that really problematic.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "players should just pay a feat to be special." Don't you normally have to spend a feat to use exotic weapons in 3.5e? \$\endgroup\$ – JAB Apr 20 '18 at 2:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JAB Yes, but at least some of them were worth a feat, and they were generally supposed to be even if most fell well short. Paizo instead took the position that they aren’t supposed to be worth their cost, that anyone who takes that feat should not expect any particular benefit for doing so. Consequently, they nerfed those core weapons that were worth it, and did not later print others that were, as 3.5 did. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 20 '18 at 2:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I interpreted that wrongly and didn't realize you were talking about the Exotic Weapons feat. \$\endgroup\$ – JAB Apr 20 '18 at 2:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Unfortunately, Magi are not known for their power in defense or support, which is what Brigitte is about \$\endgroup\$ – Nam Nguyen Hoang Apr 20 '18 at 5:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NamNguyenHoang Fair, and there’s a reason I mentioned warpriest. Unfortunately, defense and support in Pathfinder are really limited—reach, Combat Reflexes, and combat maneuvers is the best a warrior can really do (and the numbers don’t work out really well). Otherwise, you could be a bard or skald... or a full-fledged spellcaster. There isn’t really any solid warrior-based support or defense available. So if the paladin were lower-level, oradin might be the best choice, but it’s too late for that now, and paladin auras are... not everything they could be. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 20 '18 at 13:43
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Use a Gnomish Flickmace.

The Pathfinder Companion: Gnomes of Golarion sourcebook features a weapon called the Flickmace. It's a one-handed exotic weapon (so would require investing a feat for proficiency) but it does 1d8 damage and has the special properties of Reach and Trip, so it satisfies the desire for a mace that works at a distance and can be used as an effective knockdown weapon. You can see it listed in the exotic weapons table on d20pfsrd.org.

Unfortunately, the actual description for the item was apparently mistakenly cut from Gnomes of Golarion itself, there's possibly a different version which is a two-handed weapon floating around from somewhere else, and it may have been the intention that the Flickmace could be switched between reach and not-reach modes by use of a swift action. However, one can't help but imagine it probably looks a lot like the mace that Brigitte wields - with a head that can extend on a chain or be locked in place on the shaft. Thematically, it's probably the closest you can get to Brigitte's mace with published material.

COMEDY BONUS: Argue that Torbjorn is clearly a gnome, Brigitte is culturally gnomish, therefore treats Gnome weapons like the Flickmace as martial weapons and doesn't need to waste a feat on it.

I realise this is completely unhelpful as an answer to your question but the idea amused me and I must express it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don’t play Overwatch, but it seems to me based on clips that Torbjorn has all the hallmarks of your classic dwarf, not gnome. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 19 '18 at 19:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan that's part of the comedy. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Apr 19 '18 at 19:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a fellow gnome lover, I would try to get it. I am not sure about my player though. Thank you for the answer! :) \$\endgroup\$ – aloisdg Apr 19 '18 at 19:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer Curious, I look for more about the Gnomish Flickmace and why this item does not have a description. see it here! \$\endgroup\$ – aloisdg Apr 20 '18 at 8:40
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There are a couple magic items you could easily mod to do what you want.

The Spine Flail is exactly what you are looking for in terms of an extensible flail. Its fluff is of course not exactly paladin friendly. It can permanently blind on a crit (DC15); you could swap that out for being finessable and a lesser condition. $13k.

If you're looking for significantly more reach, the Boarding Pike of Repelling can stretch out to 20'! Only $4.3k, add something that lets it be finessed on top, like an effortless lace.

Then there's Hooked Massacre, an extensible spiked chain with reposition. More exactly what you need, but pricey at $22k.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The spine flail is an excellent suggestion, as is the effortless lace (always forgetting about that). \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 19 '18 at 23:58
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Another option is the Dwarven Dorn-Dergar (aka Chain-Flail).

This 10-foot-long chain is weighted at the end by a ball of solid iron the size of a large fist. By adjusting the slack of the chain, the weapon can be used either with or without reach. Changing between using it as a normal weapon and a reach weapon is a move action.

It is a two-handed exotic weapon, but has feats associated for adjusting it more quickly and using it one-handed.

Dorn-Dergar Master (aka Chain-Flail Master) - Use one handed

Darting Viper - Reduce action economy of changing range by 1 step (Swift if using 2 hands, Move if using 1 hand)

This build allows them to use Two-Weapon Fighting with their shield, if they choose, but would not allow them to use Weapon Finesse unless they attach Effortless Lace to it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice one! A bit feat heavy, but I am glad to found about it! \$\endgroup\$ – aloisdg Apr 20 '18 at 15:37

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