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I started to play with the Pathfinder Bard. Now, I would like to build a Capoeira Dancer.

An example of capoeira.

Goals and Requirements

  • I would like this character to be good at dancing. Able to be a difficult to touch front liner. Someone tankish that can control the battlefield. A bit of damage but not a glass cannon.

  • I think the bard is a good start with some levels of monk (or umonk). I never use VMC so far, but it could be useful. I know the brawler exist, but I didn't yet read his page. The Kapenia Magus could be in theme but I would like to be bare hand. Also, I am already playing a Kensai Magus and I would like to try something else.

  • We mostly play around the level 8, but we could start at the level 4. I don't know so far.

List your group and campaign situation

  • I do not know what the other players are going to pick. It is not impossible that a social Roguish character (maybe a bit bard also) will be there. If so, I may ask the third player to be part of our band! Speculation here.

  • We are playing in a custom medfan setting. Not far from Faerun or Golarion. Homemade countries, gods, etc. Arcane magic was mostly forbidden without authorization, but more and more folks come pack to pagan magic. Magic items are restricted but not hard to find for someone who know where to ask with enough money. We try to avoid vanilla level-9 full caster.

  • Most of the content is allow (Official content, and sometimes 3.5 or 3th party content. We even have a little bit of homebrew. I personally want to avoid it). Cheesy stuff need to be discuss at the table. Fun for everybody before all. :)

  • We are not playing PFS.

  • We are using 20 point-buy (high fantasy).

  • We use most of the official rule as far as I know.

  • Most items are fine. We use the character advancement table for this.

Another capoeira animation.

The capoeira animations are by adrien-gromelle as far as I know.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What does VMC mean? \$\endgroup\$ – indigochild Jul 18 '18 at 23:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ As written, I'm unclear if there can be any single 'right' answer. You seem to be asking us to workshop ideas for how to help you build this idea and I think there could be multiple interpretations on that. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Jul 18 '18 at 23:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Variant multiclasse \$\endgroup\$ – aloisdg Jul 18 '18 at 23:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical Ultimately, the question of whether or not a question is Too Broad is if there is nothing on which users can use to judge a good answer vs. a bad answer, where all or most answers are equally-good. While you could have multiple approaches to this sort of question, it is possible to judge answers as good (well backed up, will work well, fits the desired mold) or not. See this meta discussion—while this is somewhat odd as an “optimization” question, I think you can see it as “optimizing” capoeira-ness. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jul 19 '18 at 2:02
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Note this answer predates a possibly-better option raised by gemini011’s answer. For historical reasons, I have decided to consider that option in a separate answer.


A few quick pointers

  • VMC is never useful. No, not even then. Every single VMC option is 100% trap. Please never use them.

  • Monk, likewise, is a pretty awful class; it doesn’t offer a whole lot here.

  • Bard is OK, but it’s very heavy on the “master of none” counterpart to “jack of all trades.” You don’t necessarily want all of those trades, and your ability to be a martial artist will suffer for it.

  • Meanwhile, skald is solid for a combat bard (trading some extraneous trades for some combat mastery), and unchained monk is a huge upgrade to the regular monk.

  • Brawler and ninja might also be worthy of consideration.

  • Since you want Charisma, paladin must always be on your radar. Seriously, it is impossible overstate how good divine grace is.

  • There is a metric boatload of 3.5e support here. A couple, in particular, would be fantastic for you.

Skald

The skald’s schtick is that their song can give allies (themselves included) rage-like effects, including a few rage powers. Inspired rage is the only skald performance worth using, but it’s very good and very worth using.

This does mean you can potentially multiclass here, since you get inspired rage as a 1st-level skald. That gives you very little usage of inspired rage, though, and you definitely want to have at least some rage powers for yourself and allies. The best time to break from skald will depend on other factors in your build.

The other issue is that skalds are associated with only a few types of performance: oratory, percussion, vocal, and wind. None of these is dance. In fact, since skald performances (along with bardic performances) must be heard, dance is problematic. What I have done in the past, with GM permission, is use a tambourine along with the dancing to make it percussion. Clapping or slapping could also work. With a 3.5e bard, rather than skald, I have also used tiny bells sewn into my character’s clothing, though that might be hard to argue as one of the four skald performance types. Singing is also totally hands-free, but that one is problematic simply because then it really will be completely separate from your dancing.

There is a demon dancer archetype for skalds who use dance, but

  1. it could be problematic fluff, though it doesn’t actually specify any alignment,
  2. it never specifies how dancing works in conjunction with needing to be heard,
  3. it replaces your 3rd-level, 6th-level, and 9th-level rage powers with a bite attack, the fiend totem, and the greater fiend totem. They’re not terrible but you could do better and might want something else.

Speaking of skald archetypes, none of them really jump out at me as particularly useful to your character. However, I’ll note that the fated champion is, in my estimation, pure upgrade compared to the base skald: initiative checks are often the most important roll of the battle, and well-versed is not particularly good. You probably aren’t using your spells for damage, so far seer is an upgrade too. Dirge of doom is pretty meh, while shield of foresight is pretty nice, and while master skald is great, so is not this day. All of my skalds are fated champions.

Anyway, for reasons that will become more clear, I will assume the tambourine or clapping, and thus percussion, rather than the problematic demon dancer or the dubious bell trick.

Unchained monk

There are three things you really like about unchained monk: bonus feats, including Improved Unarmed Strike which you absolutely want, improved unarmored AC (though Wisdom-based is kind of disappointing), and, at 5th level, the flying kick style strike.

Unchained monk is a solid class in many respects, and could just be your capoeira dancer itself. Perform is a monk class skill, after all. But it doesn’t have much use for Charisma or performance, so it will be pure description if you go that route.

But even in a multiclass situation, getting flying kick is just nigh-mandatory. That’s what allows you to jump around the battlefield beating people up, rather than being painfully immobile.

As for archetypes, unchained monk itself has relatively few options. One of them, however, is the scaled fist—which uses Charisma instead of Wisdom. The usefulness of that is pretty obvious. Losing maneuver training is kind of sad, but only kind of. So go with scaled fist. I recommend acid damage for the draconic fury, just because it tends to be the least often resisted, but feel free to go with whatever you like.

Invested regent has some nice Charisma-based options, though giving up feats is hard. Note that investiture stacks with divine grace, if you manage to get it, because it’s a sacred bonus equal to Charisma rather than just adding your Charisma bonus. Technically, scaled fist and invested regent are incompatible, but it’s really easy to massage them together if your GM is amenable: the only reason that they’re incompatible is because both add extra options for your bonus feats. Neither wants to take away something that the other has already “used,” so having both doesn’t seem problematic.

Paladin

You are interested in Charisma. Divine grace is a paladin class feature that adds Charisma to all saving throws. That makes it quite possibly the best defensive class feature in the game, barring high-level spellcasting. It’s incredible how good this is.

Smite evil’s pretty nice, the auras can be OK, lay on hands and mercies might be alright, but divine grace is why you are here. Taking just two levels of paladin for just divine grace is entirely legitimate.

As far as archetypes are concerned, any that leave divine grace alone can be considered, but enlightened paladin is particularly interesting—as written, confident defense should stack with the monk AC bonus, even after scaled fist switches it to be Charisma-based. Ask your GM about that; 2×Cha to AC would be pretty nice. Most of the rest of enlightened paladin is pure downgrade, though: personal trial in particular really sucks when you compare it against smite evil, and aura of excellence protects against a vastly rarer threat than aura of courage. Which might be a case you could make to justify 2×Cha to AC, if your GM is iffy about it, particularly since confident defense is capped at your paladin level and therefore requires spending more levels in paladin than you might otherwise be inclined to do if you actually want to have 2×Cha to AC. Be sure to ask how the ki pool and unarmed strike damage does or doesn’t stack, too.

Extra Performance

You are multiclassed, and therefore have notably fewer rounds of bardic performance than a straight bard or skald would. Even the minimum 4+Cha rounds per day should be pretty good—especially given your Charisma should be as high as possible. But if it is an issue, the Extra Performance feat is a solution to that.

3.5e material

There are a number of 3.5e options that are really worth considering for your character:

Snowflake Wardance

This is a feat from Frostburn. It requires that you be using a slashing weapon in one hand, which kind of works neatly with the idea of using the other hand for a tambourine or other percussion. (You could combine it with two-weapon fighting but that would require a lot of feats.)

It also explicitly requires that you dance, requires ranks in Perform (dance), and adds your Charisma bonus to attack rolls. This could not be more on-point for you. It even activates as a free action, so you don’t have to waste a turn putting it on.

You’ll notice, however, that unarmed strikes are not slashing weapons. Not to fear! Versatile Unarmed Strike is a feat from Player’s Handbook II that allows you to switch your unarmed strike to piercing or slashing damage, or back to bludgeoning damage, as a swift action.

However, bardic music changed pretty substantially between 3.5e and Pathfinder. Having Snowflake Wardance just use rounds of performance the same as any other performance works fine, though it’s far weaker than it would be in 3.5e (just as bardic music in general is far weaker than it would be in 3.5e).

In addition, you could overlap bardic music in 3.5e: each bardic music effect lingered for 5 rounds after you stopped it, so you could start one, stop, and then start another while the first still lingered. You can’t do that in Pathfinder. It’s therefore unclear if using Snowflake Wardance prevents you from also performing inspire courage/inspired rage—if it does, then you really don’t care much about most bard or skald features and just want the minimum necessary to qualify for the Snowflake Wardance feat. Extra Performance then becomes important to make sure you have enough rounds of performance to maintain the wardance as long as you need it.

Gauntlets of Heartfelt Blows

Found in Dragon Compendium (hey, Paizo content!), these magic gauntlets add fire damage to your attacks equal to your Charisma bonus. Pairs very, very nicely with Snowflake Wardance.

Song of the White Raven1

This feat, from Tome of Battle, requires a White Raven maneuver (which can be gotten through the Martial Study feat in the same book, or by taking a level of crusader or warblade). It allows crusader or warblade levels to stack with bard levels for the size of the inspire courage bonus, and allows you to use inspire courage as a swift action.

Ask your GM if you can take this an apply it to inspired rage. It is very much worth it. I recommend crusader for getting the White Raven maneuver, but either works. Grabbing mountain hammer along with your White Raven is highly recommended; that means taking your level after 4th.

Song of the Heart,1 medallion of courage,1 inspirational boost1

These options (a feat from Eberron Campaign Setting, an item from Magic Item Compendium, and a spell from Spell Compendium respectively) each improve your inspire courage bonus by +1. Ask your GM if you can apply them to inspired rage (granting another +2 Str/Con and Will).

If you really wanted to go nuts, you could also ask about Words of Creation from Book of Exalted Deeds, which doubles the bonus. Actually, don’t do that; that’s absurd.

Dragonfire Inspiration1

This feat from Dragon Magic gives you a new bardic performance that gives all of your allies +\$x\$d6 fire damage, where \$x\$ is the morale bonus that your inspire courage gives. In the case of inspired rage, \$x\$ would be half your bonus to Strength and Constitution.

Note that you must be dragonblooded to take Dragonfire Inspiration. Several 3.5e races are automatically dragonblooded, including silverbrow humans, who retain the human bonus feat. These should be relatively painless to port to Pathfinder.

Harmonious Knight

Harmonious knight from the free Champions of Valor web enhancement gets inspire courage (+1, 1/day, which matches that of a 1st-level 3.5e bard—getting the 4+Cha rounds/day of inspire courage +1, as a 1st-level Pathfinder bard, would presumably be appropriate here) rather than detect evil. That could allow you to skip bard or skald entirely—especially valuable if your GM rules that Snowflake Wardance cannot be combined with other performances and so inspire courage or inspired rage are useless. Even if you can combine them, though, Song of the Heart, medallion of courage, inspirational boost, and Dragonfire Inspiration might be good enough that you don’t miss the actual bard or skald levels. Extra Performance, again, can help with any shortage of performance rounds.

Conclusion

I think a 1st-level skald/2nd-level enlightened paladin/5th-level scaled fist is probably your choice for 8th level, at least if we make no assumptions about 3.5e material. After that point, more levels in enlightened paladin would improve your AC, at least until you reach the point where you have as many levels as your Charisma bonus (which should be a lot). But I think more skald levels are better—you already have Cha to AC once, and further AC improvements might be redundant at that point, while your inspired rage is pretty mediocre. At the least, getting a rage power from being a 3rd-level skald should be a high priority.

If you can use 3.5e material, your highest priority is Snowflake Wardance (and the Versatile Unarmed Strike you need to use it). The gauntlets of heartfelt blows pair with it amazingly well—at that point, you would have Cha to attack, damage, all saving throws, and AC. Harmonious knight might also be better than dipping skald, especially if Snowflake Wardance can’t be combined with other performances. On the other hand, if it can be combined, taking crusader or warblade at 9th to get Song of the White Raven is a fantastic choice, as are various boosts to inspire courage—which could include skald levels if you like.

  1. These options improve performances other than Snowflake Wardance. If you cannot combine another performance with Snowflake Wardance, they aren’t worth using.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Awesome build! Maybe a bit to martial a not enough a dancer but the flavor can fix this. The Skald is a great alternative to the bard. Great ideas! At level 8, a +7 BAB is nice! This is an enticing route. \$\endgroup\$ – aloisdg Jul 19 '18 at 7:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @aloisdg The character should have huge Charisma and dance through every fight—how would you imagine more of a dancer? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jul 19 '18 at 12:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ At first, I would say more a dancer but I am fine with both. Capoeira was a martial art disguised as a dance to fool guard. So a 90% martial artist is nice, effective and flavorful. I search for a Wisdom Based Bard without success (well I found some third party content). This build is far more in theme that everything I tried so far. I am still wondering if the bard with Perfom as Acrobatic can be use. \$\endgroup\$ – aloisdg Jul 19 '18 at 13:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @aloisdg Perform (acrobatics) is definitely a skill, but the problem is that bardic (and skald) performances must be heard. If the performance isn’t making much sound, the performances’ magic isn’t working very well. It also isn’t one of the four performance types listed for skald, which is problematic. And it doesn’t qualify you for Snowflake Wardance, technically (though a reasonable GM would let it, at least if Snowflake Wardance is allowed in the game at all). I would really try to go for Perform (dance), and include some method of percussion to include an audible component. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jul 19 '18 at 13:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will go with your build. Thank you again :) \$\endgroup\$ – aloisdg Jul 24 '18 at 19:09
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As a supplement to the good advice already on this page, the Martial Arts Handbook actually has a Brawler archetype called "battle dancer" that's specifically inspired by capoeira—right down to its cultural roots as a secret martial art developed by the slaves of foreign colonists.

Mechanically:

  • Use Charisma instead of Intelligence to qualify for combat feats like Combat Expertise
  • Feint with Perform (dance)
  • Unarmed strikes count as performance weapons
  • Flurry requires 5 feet of movement between attacks; this movement doesn't provoke AoO as long as you could do a normal 5-foot step, but you can use Acrobatics to avoid provoking in other situations
  • Spend AoO as immediate action to move 5 feet and gain Charisma mod as dodge bonus against a melee attack; the movement provokes AoO from enemies other than the triggering attacker, but you're allowed an Acrobatics check to avoid provoking
  • Grant flanking bonus to allies' next attack if you flank with them at any point during your flurry

This is not to say it's optimized, of course, but it could be a good fit for anyone looking to get the flavor of capoeira and a couple of interesting combat mechanics without going to the trouble of multiclassing or clearing 3rd-party or 3.5e material with their GM.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice find! With your hint, I was also able to find battle dancer available as open-game content, e.g. here, which means you could, if you liked, go into more details on what it gets, how to use it, how to optimize it, and so on. If you don’t wish to do so, I may do so myself, adding to my own answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jul 24 at 15:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the suggestion; I just happened to remember having seen it while looking through the book, and didn't initially think to go check it out on d20pfsrd. If you feel like digging into usage and optimization, I'd love to see your analysis (since that's not really my forte). \$\endgroup\$ – gemini011 Jul 24 at 16:37
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I’m making this a separate answer from my skald-y suggestion since that answer is pretty old and this idea is completely separate: the battle dancer did not even exist when I wrote the other answer, having been published in Martial Arts Handbook about four months after this question. My thanks to gemini011’s answer for bringing it to my attention.


Battle dancer brawler

The battle dancer archetype for the brawler was specifically designed for capoeira, and it does at least a few things quite well. Plus brawler is a reasonably decent class, at least as far as being a mundane martial goes, which means it’s a good idea here.

Realistically, the main draws of brawler for you are the bonus feats, flurry, and the unarmed strike damage. Martial training might be nice, and maneuver training is OK enough, but brawler’s strike will be replaced by an amulet of mighty fists, close weapon mastery is irrelevant to you, and (improved) awesome blow is just... mediocre. Knockout is good, but you won’t get it. Regardless, though, the bonus feats (particularly with martial flexibility), flurry, and unarmed strike are awesome.

Battle dancer changes brawler at 1st and again at 4th: it gains a modified flurry and alternate approach to feat prereqs at 1st, and then it gets a weird dodge move at 4th along with a flank-based maneuver at 4th. Battle dancer also misses out on shield proficiency, not that it matters.1

Rolling flurry

Rolling flurry is, mostly, a downgrade, because it forces you to move around to keep attacking and that can be awkward. If you can’t move, or move enough, you can miss out on attacks. By 16th level, a brawler’s flurry gets seven attacks—though luckily, multiplying seven by 5 feet for 35 feet represents a fencepost error since the first attack can occur without moving. So 30 feet just barely manages to cover things, but I hope you aren’t slowed by anything...

On the other hand, rolling flurry does mean you can move before attacking, and no attacks of opportunity! That’s pretty good. There’s no reason why, at 1st level, you couldn’t just move 25 feet up to someone, attack once, then move another 5 feet for your second attack. Getting to move and attack is immensely valuable, and often very difficult to achieve in Pathfinder, so that can go a long way towards mitigating the awkwardness that rolling flurry otherwise offers.

Dancer’s cunning

Dancer’s cunning is also quite good: the Int 13 offered by brawler’s cunning was good enough for most feats, but your Charisma should be much higher than 13 so this is better.

Dancing dodge

Dancing dodge is very, very strange, but it’s really good. Consider: if someone gets an opportunity to full-attack you, you can step back, risking one hit (at a higher AC) but making the rest unable to reach you. A target may be able to 5-ft. step up to you to get a second attack, but after that most characters are going to be out of luck. Since full-attacks are where almost all damage comes from for most characters, this makes you very, very tanky against melee opponents. Of course, it does nothing against ranged attacks or spells, but still. It’s a whole lot better than +1 to AC, which is what the brawler would have gotten.

On the other hand, dancing dodge is limited to half your class level per day. That’s a pretty tight restriction; you are likely to get attacked a lot more than that. But between rolling flurry keeping you out of harm’s way to begin with, and the ability of dancing dodge itself to eliminate follow-up attacks, it may not be too bad. Just reserve it for when it can get you out of several follow-up attacks by getting outside things’ reach.

Sparring partners

Where dancing dodge is a large upgrade, sparring partners is garbage, and kind of a shame because knockout was pretty good. Basically, they changed knockout from a powerful, 1/day ability, to a far milder, more situational ability... that is still just 1/day. Were I your GM, I would change this so you could use it on as many opponents as you like, and that it lasts for 1, 2, or 3 attacks depending on your level. That would be pretty good (still weaker than knockout, but that’s fine considering dancing dodge is awesome), but it’s not what they did.

Multiclassing

You may have noticed when I discussed the draws of brawler, everything good came online by 2nd. Everything battle dancer offers is done by 4th, too. That strongly suggests that you might not have any real need to be a brawler past 2nd or 4th.

Obviously, brawler doesn’t just stop at 4th; you would continue to scale each of those features if you continued taking levels of it. In particular, 6th has swift-action martial flexibility, which is great since you otherwise have little use for swift actions while you have a lot of use for move actions, and 8th gets another bonus feat and the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting version of flurry. Four levels also gets you another die-size increase in unarmed strike damage, though that’s just +1 damage on average. 10th gets you free-action martial flexibility, 12th gets immediate-action martial flexibility, and along the way you get another bonus feat and some fairly-significant effects from brawler’s strike. Plus the entire time you are scaling your uses of dancing dodge.

So you can continue with brawler. Things do, in my opinion, drop off pretty sharply at 12th, though; you have enough dancing dodge, you have the best martial flexibility, awesome blow is meh, and you can get more bonus feats from other classes. The Greater Two-Weapon Fighting version of flurry is nice, as is the adamantine version of brawler’s strike (at that point you could ignore enhancement bonuses entirely on your amulet of mighty fists, which is great), but it’s also a lot of levels to get them.

Thus I see brawler as a decent option at 2, 4, 6, 8, or 12 levels. You could go with 15 or 17, but I wouldn’t. I definitely would not bother with 18th, 19th, or 20th.

So what should you do with other class levels?

Unchained scaled fist monk

Rolling flurry makes flying kick less mandatory... but flying kick is still seriously amazing. Especially at higher levels, where you might have difficulty moving enough to get all your attacks if you don’t start next to a target, flying kick means you no longer have to worry about it. And scaled fist gets you Charisma to AC, which is really nice and stacks with the Cha-to-AC bonus you get when using dancing dodge: nice! Plus if you get some fast movement, it might help with rolling flurry.

On the other hand, brawler and monk don’t stack for flurry or unarmed strike damage, which is a huge shame, particularly the flurry. Strict-RAW, you can arguably combine monk’s flurry and brawler’s flurry, getting the bonus attacks from monk on top of those from brawler, since despite referencing the two-weapon fighting feats, a brawler doesn’t actually get his extra attacks “for using multiple weapons,” as specified in the monk’s class feature. I doubt many GMs are going to buy that, but it couldn’t hurt to ask; it’s really not that powerful.

Alternatively, though, you could just replace flurry of blows, so you get something out of those levels:

  • The sensei archetype replaces them with sage advice—which is identical to bardic performance, which is relevant to our interests. Granted, it’s “advice” rather than “performance,” but that should be an easy sell, particularly with scaled fist swapping it to scale based on Charisma. Unfortunately, that also costs you fast movement.

  • Master of many styles lets you combine more than one style feat, which could be OK. The styles aren’t as good as they should be, but this is a really easy trade that costs you nothing.

  • The sage counselor’s feinting flurry should work with a brawler’s flurry as well as it does with a monk’s, but you’ll want to check with your GM about that. Ultimately, feinting as a swift action is just... not that great. Feinting in general isn’t that great. Still, synergy there with the battle dancer’s ability to feint using Perform.

Each of these archetypes does change or remove a monk’s bonus feats, which makes them technically incompatible with scaled fist, which gives additional options for those feats. Any reasonable GM should be fine with the combination, though, since it’s trivial to just not get to use those additional options due to the bonus feats being removed or restricted as some of these archetypes do.

If you do become a 5th-level monk, you get purity of body... which is kind of meh. The hungry ghost monk gets the ability to steal ki instead. It relies on a critical hits, which is problematic, but it’s still probably better. If you go this route, at least use a cestus, which gives your unarmed strike a 19-20 critical threat range (...probably; the wording is really awkward and unclear—if not, the brawler’s close weapon mastery becomes good for something, though at that point you’re better off with a kukri).

Paladin

Seriously, divine grace. It’s so good. You want it. Smite evil is also excellent, and aura of courage never hurts (though that may be more paladin levels than you truly want).

Enlightened paladin, on the other hand, seems dubious: unless you take a lot more paladin levels than I’m expecting you to, confident defense just doesn’t do enough for you since it’s limited to by your paladin level. Smite evil and aura of courage are just way better.

If you take enough levels for it, the Oath of Vengeance is probably worth considering—your ability to channel positive energy is never going to be much to write home about, while getting more uses of smite evil is very nice. Conveniently, it’s compatible with just about everything.

Skald

With sensei as an option for monk, skald is looking a lot less desirable: you cannot have inspire courage and raging song at the same time. Skald is still an option, though. Inspire rage is still solid, and you could skip sensei for master of many styles or sage counselor. Fated champion is still great. The spellcasting is definitely a lot better than paladin.

3.5e options

As before, 3.5e has a lot of really nice bardic music options that you could take advantage of with sensei or (maybe) skald, or, for that matter, harmonious knight (Champions of Valor). Snowflake Wardance (Frostburn), of course, is amazing. If that’s allowed to combine with inspire courage, Song of the White Raven (Tome of Battle) is also excellent. Snap Kick (Tome of Battle) and Roundabout Kick (Complete Warrior) are both solid ideas, particularly if you go with hungry ghost.

The psionic power hustle (which is also available in Pathfinder through the third-party Dreamscarred Press material) gives you another move action: great for activating martial flexibility without having to give up flurry. You could also use Tashalatora from Secrets of Sarlona to turn any psionic class into a mini-monk, which could be very worthwhile.

Conclusion

My first priority would probably be 2nd-level paladin/1st-level unchained scaled fist sensei/2nd-level battle dancer, in order to secure divine grace, Cha-to-AC, inspire courage, and rolling flurry. I would probably want to end with 3rd-level paladin/5th-level unchained scaled fist sensei/12th-level battle dancer, for aura of courage and flying kick plus most of the best brawler features.

  1. If you want a shield at some point—and you likely will just as a platform for more magic—just use a mithral buckler or similar. With 0 ACP, your nonproficiency doesn’t mean anything, and it doesn’t interfere with any of your brawler class features. Even if you multiclass to something that does have problems with shields, eventually an animated shield is probably something you’ll want, again just for the magic you can put on it.
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Ascetic Entertainer

Warning this is homebrew territory! It is not what you want, but I think it mays be worth to be posted.

From Cartmanbeck’s Lab, a missing hybrid Bard/Monk appeared:

The origin of the ascetic performer can greatly vary–from the traveling minstrel and gypsy-born dancer, to the college educated troubadour, the self-taught musician, and itinerant jongleur. However, what binds these performers together into a loose brotherhood is their individual search to understand ones’ self and a yearning for some mystic discipline by which to govern their lives. To fulfill their heartfelt desires, many of these entertainers enter into monastic orders or seek out a spiritual teacher to learn the ancient, meditative arts of unarmed combat. The inherent talents of these performers often complement or enhance the martial style training they obtain. Through this harmonious fusion of musical rhythm, self-discipline, and unarmed martial training, the ascetic performer willing enters the heat of battle with a serene self-assuredness, only to erupt into a flurry of synchronized blows like the proverbial calm before the storm.

Summary:

  • Light Armor Proficiency without arcane spell failure
  • Diminished Spellcasting on Charisma
  • Unarmed Strike
  • Flurry of Blows
  • Stylish Performance (Crane Style, Janni Style, Monkey Style can be nice for you)
  • 3/4 BAB 0 2 2 saves

Cons:

  • Homebrew
  • No Charisma to attack
  • no charimsa to all saves
  • No Wis or Cha to AC not even once.
  • Not really a controller of the battlefield
  • Still Homebrew

source: d20pfsrd community pfc

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