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A while back, my Pathfinder (1st edition) group was discussing late-game possibilities. I, playing a monk, noted that at 16th level my fists counted as adamantine for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction - I could literally punch holes in mountains, given a bit of time. I was reconsidering this conversation today and I got to wondering - what is the most efficient human siege weapon we can create?

So here's the challenge: We are faced with a standard castle wall, 10 feet thick and made of stone (Per 3 feet of wall thickness: AC 2, hardness 8, 540 HP, Burst DC 50). We want to create a 20-foot-wide hole in the wall, in order to create a breach wide enough for soldiers to attack through. Since a wizard would have no trouble with this, we will be disallowing all spells and spell-like abilities (including those cast through an item). We'll also ignore any siege weapons, excluding the PC themself. Everything else is valid, as long as it is official/published - supernatural and exceptional abilities, feats, magic weapons, and so on. How can we accomplish this in as few combat rounds as possible?

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Pathfinder has gunpowder, right? "Earthshattering kaboom, coming right up!" \$\endgroup\$ – Zeiss Ikon Dec 13 '19 at 20:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why do you want to ignore siege engines? They are exactly the tools for the job. Also, anything that will allow you to make such hole quickly will be a siefe engine by definition, so you just kinda created a loop here. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Dec 14 '19 at 12:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot the premise is creating an "efficient human[oid] siege weapon". OP points that they understand siege weapons and spellcasters could do this (2 rounds of Disintegrate accomplishes it nicely) but wants to know what other build(s) could accomplish it in short order \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Dec 14 '19 at 17:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Per the rules for damaging objects, "Ineffective Weapons Certain weapons just can’t effectively deal damage to certain objects. For example, a bludgeoning weapon cannot be used to damage a rope. Likewise, most melee weapons have little effect on stone walls and doors, unless they are designed for breaking up stone, such as a pick or hammer." \$\endgroup\$ – william porter Dec 14 '19 at 17:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso The ki pool class feature of the monk, in part, says that at level 16 a monk's "unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness" (emphasis mine). \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 15 '19 at 17:13
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Less than One Round*

*No worms required.

Why bother damaging the wall when you can simply explode through it?!


Premise: The Wall has a Break DC. We're going to do that instead.

  • The DC for 3ft of Hewn Stone is 50. We will easily meet this DC. However, a 10ft wall will likely be higher. We're shooting for over 120, or even up to 150 depending on the GM. If they didn't want us getting that high, they shouldn't have run Mythic.

This answer is being updated with me being reminded that Mythic Rules are a thing. Everything about my build below is still accurate, but now I will show you how 10 Tiers of Dual Path Mythic Champion/Guardian let you clear out more wall than a Disintegrate spell.

  • Mythic Ability Scores Strength +12 (5 Tiers and Enhanced Ability)
  • Titan's Rage Enlarge has higher Strength +1
  • Display of Strength - 1 Mythic Point for +20 to a Strength check
  • Juggernaut x3 - 1 Mythic Point for +30 to break through a wall or door, and can break through 3 walls or doors in a charge
  • World's Heart - +5 to Strength Checks
  • Titan's Rage - 1 Mythic Point Free Action increase Size by one (10 rds)
  • Burst Through - Can ignore allies and Overrun enemies when charging
  • Impossible Speed - +30ft speed, 1 Mythic Point for +100 additional ft (1 hr)

When charging, you can now attempt to mow down 60ft of 10x10 wall and have the movement to do so. The DC may be higher than quoted below, but with a Mythic Power pool of 23+ (Extra Mythic Power is worth it), you can easily spend away to make your check...

  • +77 (below)
  • +7 (higher STR)
  • +20 [Untyped] (Display of Strength)
  • +30 [Untyped] (Juggernaut)
  • +5 [Untyped] (World's Heart)

= +139 (+144 1/min) (+2d12D1+1 if you spend another Mythic Power with Potent and Lucky Surge)

There are 2 Mythic Points of buffs and either 4-5 or 6-7 points per round that you spend mowing down castle (depending on how your GM reads the cost of Juggernaut).

And you still get to attack once per round, probably doing ~100 damage, all while exploding shrapnel 3/round and terrifying everything that stands against you. Protip: You're not making the DC 40 Reflex Save vs your Shrapnel, so pick the Guardian ability Absorb Blow.


As little as eight rounds without Mythic.

For this section, I will, assume we can choose to act on one 5x5x5ft cube in a round, so 5ft of wall will have a Break DC around 80 (subject to GM decision).

Build and Gear:


Bonuses:

  • Strength +21
  • Destructive Channeling +5 [Channel]
  • Strength Stance +8 [Competence]
  • Vandal +2 [Untyped/Trait(?)]
  • Untwisting Iron Strength +4 [Untyped]
  • Shrapnel Strike +20 [Base Attack]
  • Gorum Obediance +4 [Sacred]
  • Deadly Juggernaut +5 [Luck]
  • Huge (effective) Size (Enlarge Person and Titanic Armor) +8 [Size]
  • Titanic Armor +5 [Enhancement]*

*Titanic Armor's Enhancement bonus only applies once per minute. Use it on the first inner section to make a strong entrance.

Total : +77(+82 once per minute)

Chance to succeed on DC 80: 90% (100% once per minute)

Estimated rounds to completion: 9, using the 100% ability once.


It was brought up that this should be considered a 10x10x5 wall for the purposes of destruction, which would reduce the time to complete it to about 4-5 rounds.


Other notable things

  • Bring a Portable Ram to "justify" why you can break through a wall. I'm sure your GM will accept that. It's benefit doesn't apply, RAW, and wouldn't affect the numbers anyway.
  • Untwisting Iron Skin doesn't actually benefit the build. You can make a "better" breaker (specifically relating to actually Sundering) going straight Barbarian, but I wanted the extra feats.
  • Similarly, I take Stunning Irruption because it's amazing
  • If you instead follow Rovagug, there is another +4 to be had from their traits and Feat, which stacks with Vandal. This would bring you to 65/90* success rate per round.

Feats Build (10 - 5 VMC + 1 Human + 7 Fighter)

  • Destructive Persuasion (cosmetic)
  • Gate Breaker (cosmetic)
  • Improved Sunder (pre-req)
  • Intimidating Prowess (cosmetic)
  • Perfect Style - Untwisting Iron
  • Power Attack
  • Quick Channel
  • Shrapnel Strike
  • Stunning Irruption (cosmetic)
  • Toughness (pre-req, cosmetic)
  • Untwisting Iron Skin (cosmetic)
  • Untwisting Iron Strength
  • Deific Obedience
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  • \$\begingroup\$ A eidolon might be a good start for strength? A level 20 eidolon will have 16 (base) + 8 (lvl 20 bonus) + 16 (huge) + 8 (ASI) = 48 str just from their level \$\endgroup\$ – pwi Dec 18 '19 at 7:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ So basically, this is the Kool-Aid Man build? \$\endgroup\$ – Ton Day Dec 18 '19 at 7:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jgn Not a bad idea but they would also need at least Shrapnel Strike to even approach Kool-Aid man levels. I'll look into it in case there's something I overlooked. Synth summoner might be able to, but I'm unfamiliar with them. Fighter levels are necessary to have enough Feats \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Dec 18 '19 at 14:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Walls use 10' chunks rather than 5', so if you're allowed to do it in chunks rather than all at once (as is foundational to your answer anyways), you can do it faster than you are currently assuming-- a 10' by 10' by 5' chunk has the same break DC as your 5' by 5' by 5' chunk. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Dec 18 '19 at 17:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jgn While I love the idea of a Tauric Eidolon walking through enemies' keeps who annoy you, even their titanic Huge size can't keep up with the Gorum Barbarian's Channel + Strength stance bonuses. The Domain feature allows the Barbarian to "act" like it's Strength is greater than (or at least equal to) the Eidolons, but then the Eidolon doesn't have the other nifty things to continue bench pressing the wall. That being said, if you're not min-maxing to DC 80, Eidolon is a great way to break stuff (I got up around +52 without major investment) \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Dec 27 '19 at 21:29
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Race

Trox it is. 4 base Strength, +2 from Advanced Strength, and +2 Racial while using Frenzy.

Maximize Strength

Starting with a Strength of 8 + 17 = 25 from the Trox, a base Strength of 36 is easily attainable without spells or spell-like abilities though the Belt of Giant Strength +6 (Enhancement) and putting all 5 level-up points into Strength.

If we choose to spec into 13 Charisma, we can also pick up Eldritch Heritage: Orc. The effects of Improved Eldritch Heritage: Orc and Greater Eldritch Heritage: Orc will be achieved via Mythic Eldritch Heritage, giving us Strength of the Beast (+6 Inherent) and Power of Giants (+6 Size). This means that at the start, we'll need to spend 20 points on Strength and Charisma, which is manageable on regular fantasy. All other Strength bonuses we'll be using come in even numbers, so it's not efficient to start at 26.

Our Strength has now cost us 2 feats for the bloodline (Skill Focus: Survival, Eldritch Heritage: Orc) and 5 feats for the variant multiclassing. While using Greater Rage and Power of Giants together, this gives us a Strength of 36 + 6 (Inherent, Strength of the Beast) + 6 (Morale, Greater Rage) + 6 (Size, Power of Giants) = 54, which results in a Strength modifier of +22 pre-Mythic abilities (other than Mythic Eldritch Heritage).

As mentioned, I'm going to be using a Mythic character for this because Mythic is a published resource by Paizo, which is allowed by the OP. At Mythic 10, we have five ability score boosts, which each add +2, for a total of 64 Strength. We also have 5 Mythic Feats and 10 Path abilities. One of our path abilities will be Enhanced Ability, for an additional +2 to Strength, resulting in 66 Strength and a Strength modifier of +28.

Titan's Rage will not help with this build due to not stacking with Power of Giants, which is itself superior.

Class and Path

With all gains in place, let's pick a class. I'm going to choose the Two-Handed Fighter as the base class, and then use VMC to add Barbarian abilities. Remember, this adds base book Barbarian, not Unchained Barbarian, so the morale bonus goes to Strength, not damage. For our Mythic Path, the choice is obviously Champion.

Weapon

Our weapon is going to be a Large Split-Blade Sword. The Split-Blade Sword is a one-handed exotic slashing weapon, so a version made for a Large character becomes a two-handed weapon in the hands of a Medium character. Since we do not naturally have proficiency in this weapon, we'll spend a non-combat feat to pick up Weapon Proficiency (Split-Blade Sword).

At base, the Large Split-Blade Sword has 3d6 damage. If we enchant it to +5 Breaking Impact, it then deals 4d6+5+2d6 damage against objects. While using our Power of Giants ability, it increases again to 6d6+5+2d6 damage. Of course, it will also be made of Adamantium, but in this case that's really more flavor to survive the force we're using to swing it.

Feats

We'll need to pick up Power Attack, Reckless Rage, Weapon Focus (Split-Blade Sword), Weapon Specialization (Split-Blade Sword), Greater Weapon Focus (Split-Blade Sword), Greater Weapon Specialization (Split-Blade Sword), Vital Strike, Improved Vital Strike, Greater Vital Strike, and Devastating Strike. This brings our feat total up to 18, 9 of which are Combat Feats leaving room for 2 other Combat Feats and 1 non-Combat Feat.

Our five mythic feats will be Mythic Eldritch Heritage, Mythic Power Attack, Mythic Vital Strike, Mythic Improved Vital Strike, and Mythic Weapon Specialization.

Class and Path Abilities

From Two-Handed Fighter, we get Shattering Strike, Overhand Chop, Weapon Training, and Greater Power Attack.

From our Barbarian VMC we get Greater Rage, which is factored into our Strength calculations already.

Our relevant path abilites will be Devastating Smash, Destroyer, Always a Chance, and the aforementioned and Enhanced Ability. Display of Strength is also topical, but not actually able to be added to the damage dealt to an object.

Of note here is Juggernaut, which allows us to break through walls during a charge with a Strength check. With a use of mythic power, there is an additional bonus of +10 to the check, to which we can then add +20 from Display of Strength, for a total bonus of +58 to the check before any other modifiers. This technically reduces the time to break the wall down to two rounds (12 seconds), one for each 10' section with a break DC of 50, but that's a bit too easy. I put this much work into optimizing around breaking walls, so I'm going to see this build through.

Final Calculations

I skipped explaining the choices earlier for conciseness. Here, all bonuses are labeled according to their source.

Attack Roll Math: 20 BAB + 28 Strength + 5 Weapon Enhancement + 1 Weapon Focus + 1 Greater Weapon Focus + 4 Weapon Training - 2 Inappropriate Weapon Size - 6 Power Attack - 1 Reckless Rage

Total Attack Bonus: +50, easily hitting 2 AC. Natural 1s are not considered automatic misses due to Always a Chance, so every attack is 100% guaranteed to hit the wall.

Damage Math: [ 21 Average Weapon Dice Damage (6 dice) * 4 Greater Vital Strike (24 dice) + (28 Strength * 2 Overhand Chop) + [(2 Power Attack + 1 Mythic Power Attack) * 2 Greater Power Attack * 6 Power Attack @ 20 BAB] + (2 Reckless Rage * 2 Greater Power Attack) + 5 Enhancement + 7 Average Breaker Damage Dice + 4 Weapon Training + 2 Weapon Specialization + 2 Greater Weapon Specialization + 5 Mythic Weapon Specialization + 5 Shattering Strike + (1 Devastating Smash * 10 Mythic Tier) + 6 Devastating Strike ] * 24 Mythic Improved Vital Strike

Total Average Damage per Round: 5424, lasting 18 minutes or 180 rounds until Power of Giants stops, ignoring all Hardness due to Destroyer. Frenzy justs needs an ally sitting there poking us with a dagger. Pretty sure paying someone to stab us will be pretty easy at this level.

Taking the wall to have 1800 HP per 10' section (15 HP per inch, 12 inches per foot, 10 feet), we blow through the 20' section in 2 rounds, tops, meaning Power of Giants will last far longer than we need it to off of a single use of Mythic Power.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, you posted your own answer! +1 from me, but you gotta source at least that DC 50 thing, I have no idea where that is from. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Dec 17 '19 at 6:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pleasestopbeingevil OP's original post. \$\endgroup\$ – Brandon Olson Dec 18 '19 at 9:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's for a 3ft thick section of wall. I'm not sure you can just multiply it up to 107ish for the thickness the OP gives. Maybe you can just break it 3 ft at a time, though, that would be faster than most answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Dec 18 '19 at 17:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your Strength calculations are too high. Manual of Gainful Exercise is an inherent bonus, does not stack with Orc Bloodline. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Dec 19 '19 at 0:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso Thank you for pointing out my mistake. After needing to get more creative, the damage is even more disgusting. \$\endgroup\$ – Brandon Olson Dec 23 '19 at 2:37
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A boring, ol' passwall effect that's a supernatural ability or from a magic item will do the job…

The question forbids the use of the spells and spell-like abilities, but supernatural abilities and magic items that largely duplicate spells are acceptable, and the desired effect is pretty much exactly what the passwall spell's for: punching a hole in a wall. (Although it is a temporary hole, the effect has a duration measured in hours. The effect's also dismissible for extra security.)

Seriously, if a supernatural passwall effect is all that's needed, a monk can do that: The monk archetype terra-cotta monk at level 12 gains the supernatural ability sudden adit that's similar to the passwall spell except that, for example, the monk can take a move action to use it. In the same vein, if a magic item's passwall effect will suffice, a ring of elemental command (earth) allows the wearer to employ 2/week an effect like the passwall spell. (Other classes and magic items likely grant access to a non-spell and non-spell-like-ability effect that's like the passwall spell; these are merely obvious examples.)

…But getting a giant worm to do it is much cooler

Pathfinder hasn't detailed much what a creature that possesses a burrow speed can do. Specifically, readers don't know if there's any special restrictions on a creature's burrow speed. It may be that a creature employs its burrow speed whenever it's faced with a surface that it can burrow into, even if that surface is a wall. (After all, the ground is just a wall on the floor.) Ask the GM, but assuming a generous reading, the most efficient human(ish) siege engine is a dude of any level with a trained pet giant worm.

A bore worm monarch and the later-stage bore worm empress possess burrow speeds of 40 ft., and, unlike other monsters I researched at that possessed a burrow speed, each of these bore worms both can burrow through stone… and even metal (moving "through solid material, including stone and metal, as easily as a fish swims through water" when most burrowing creatures can only burrow through earth) and, in fact, must leave a tunnel when it burrows (leaving "behind a… smooth-sided tunnel coated in acid" when most burrowing creatures leave little or no sign of their passing).

These creatures possess the type vermin therefore Intelligence as a nonability. This makes either difficult—but not impossible—to train. For example, a duergar (or a creature that counts as one) can take the racial trait Vermin Driver so as to enable the duergar to make Handle Animal skill checks to train a creature that possesses the type vermin as if the creature's Intelligence score were 1. No magic necessary. (Although it may be an adventure to acquire the bore worm monarch or empress in the first place!)

What's weird is that a bore worm monarch or empress's tunnel is littler than its size. The monarch, for example, creates 5-ft.-diameter tunnels despite its size category being Large therefore its space being a 10-ft.-×-10-ft. cube. Thus to create the necessary tunnels in the 10-ft.-thick stone walls, the bore worm monarch will have to double back along its previously traveled path. Even with that in mind, when its duergar handler takes a move action to make a Handle Animal skill check to handle the bore worm monarch (DC 15 or maybe 20?) so that it performs the unique trick Dig, Baby! Dig!, when it's the bore worm monarch's turn, if it's adjacent to the wall, it'll punch four 5-ft.-diameter holes in that wall and have movement left over. Now that's really boring.


Note: Just to be clear, blowing up the wall is an option… but it's an extraordinarily expensive option. According to Damaging Objects each 10-ft.-long section of a 10-ft.-thick stone wall is hardness 8 and hp 1,800. It takes an average of about a quarter-ton of black powder to destroy such a wall section in one go. (Be aware that a black powder explosion is actually a 20-ft.-radius burst so it may take out significantly more than just that section of wall and it may excavate a rather meaningful crater if the surface is appropriate and point of origin low.) Those 103 5-lb. kegs of black powder have a price of 103,000 gp. In other words, anyone at any level with more money than magic or sense could drop off next to the castle wall a few carts full of black powder kegs and throw a torch at them, and—boom!—no more wall. (This assumes that the GM rules that multiple kegsplosions combine their damage before the wall's hardness is applied; if the GM rules this is not the case, the amount of black powder necessary just about doubles. Really, you know you're spending too much on this when the ring of elemental command (earth) is the cheaper option, but, to be fair, the ring doesn't explode.)

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Foreword

As RevenantBacon points out, however we do this, there are likely to be other, less expensive ways of doing the same thing using magic or siege weapons. That said, lets see how well we can do.

Method

We want a PC to open a 20x20 hole in a stone wall 10 ft. thick. A wall of hewn stone 10 ft. thick has 1,800 HP per 5x5 ft. square. Once our PC demolishes a section of wall, he can change targets to another section of wall with any remaining attacks in the same round. With a 5 ft. step each round, he can always remain in range of at least two remaining squares.

The wall isn't subject to critical hits, so those aren't included. A natural 1 still misses on every attack, so we'll assume that for every 19 hits, he'll miss once. So we'll figure out how many attacks it takes to destroy one square, then multiply by 16 (the number of squares) to figure out how many total attacks we'll need. We'll then divide by our number of attacks per round to figure out how long it will take.

I'm avoiding most abilities with limits measured in rounds like a barbarian's rage or a bard's inspire courage. This is for a couple of reasons:

  1. Many of them don't last long enough to get through the wall.
  2. Our PC is probably going to be fighting a lot of people after he breaks through the wall. He might need to save limited-use abilities for those fights.

Weapon Damage

Baseline

We'll start with a lvl 20 fighter wielding an adamantine heavy pick in two hands. He has 23 Str (started with 18 Str, all ability boosts in Str) for +9 damage. Weapon training with a heavy pick adds +4. With that, he deals:

3.5 average dmg from pick + 9 Str + 4 weapon training = 16.5 dmg per attack
1,800 HP / 16.5 dmg = 110 hits per segment
16 segments * 110 hits * (20 attacks / 19 hits) = 1,853 attacks
1,853 attacks / 4 attacks per round = 464 rounds

But we're just getting started...

Feats

Power Attack grants +15 dmg and doesn't change the fact that we only miss on a natural 1.

Gate Breaker from Path of the Hellknight adds our Str modifier to the damage again, for +6 dmg.

Greater Weapon Specialization adds another +4 dmg.

All together, we now have:

16.5 base + 25 feats = 41.5 dmg per hit

This cuts it down to 44 hits per segment, for a total of 742 attacks or 186 rounds.

Magic Items

Making the pick a +5 adamantine heavy pick adds +5 dmg.

A belt of giant strength +6 adds +6 Str. Reading a manual of gainful exercise +5 for another +5 Str, or 34 Str total. With 34 Str, our two-handed weapon dmg increases from +9 to +18, and our dmg from Gate Breaker increases from +6 to +12.

16.5 base + 25 feats + 20 magic items = 61.5 dmg per hit

We're now at 30 hits per section, for a total of 506 attacks or 127 rounds.

Changing Weapons

So far we've been assuming that picks are the only weapons that can damage a hewn stone wall. However, the text reads:

Likewise, most melee weapons have little effect on stone walls and doors, unless they are designed for breaking up stone, such as a pick or hammer.

If we swap our heavy pick for a warhammer, our damage die increases to d8 (a greatclub isn't made of metal, so it can't be adamantine). Since warhammers are bludgeoning weapons, we can trade a +1 enhancement bonus for the smashing property, giving us +2d6 damage vs. objects (or +7 on average). Using a +4 smashing warhammer, our damage is:

17.5 base + 25 feats + 26 magic items = 68.5 dmg per hit

We're now at 27 hits per section, for a total of 455 attacks or 114 rounds.

Sneak Attacks?

Introduction

As @annoying imp points out, there's some debate over whether objects are vulnerable to sneak attacks. The object rules don't seem to say anything about precision damage. The Vandal feat for goblins suggests that they're not affected. On the other hand, animate object turns an object into a creature with the construct type, and constructs are vulnerable to sneak attack. Since your GM might rule either way, I've split sneak attacks off into their own section.

Rogues and Slayers

We'll start by changing from lvl 20 fighter to lvl 20 rogue. We lose the +4 from fighter weapon training and the +4 dmg from Greater Weapon Specialization, and our Power Attack damage drops to +9 because of a lower BAB. However, we gain +10d6 sneak attack damage on each hit. We also lose one attack, for a total of 3.

13.5 base + 15 feats + 26 magic items + 36 average sneak attack = 90.5 dmg per hit

We're down to 20 hits per section, for a total of 337 attacks. However, since a rogue only gets 3 attacks per round, it still takes 113 rounds total.

If we use a lvl 20 slayer instead, our sneak attack damage goes down to +6d6. We can bring that up to +7d6 with Accomplished Sneak Attacker. Our average sneak attack damage is 24.5, but our BAB is back to +20, so we get +15 from Power Attack and four attacks again.

13.5 base + 21 feats + 20 magic items + 24.5 average sneak attack = 79 dmg per hit

We're back up to 23 hits per section, for a total of 388 attacks. However, with 4 attacks, we're down to 97 rounds.

Two-Weapon Fighting

Let's try a lvl 20 rogue using a +4 smashing light mace in each hand. We're still focusing on Str. Gate Breaker still gives +12, but Power Attack drops to +6 on the main hand and +3 on the off hand. With Double Slice, we still get our full Str bonus on off-hand attacks. Our damage is:

3.5 light mace + 12 Str + 12 Gate Breaker + 6 Power Attack + 4 enhancement bonus
 + 7 smashing + 36 sneak attack = 80.5 damage per main-hand attack

3.5 light mace + 12 Str + 12 Gate Breaker + 3 Power Attack + 4 enhancement bonus
 + 7 smashing + 36 sneak attack = 77.5 damage per off-hand attack

With Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, we get 3 attacks with each hand per turn. The feat requires 19 Dex, so it might seem like we'd need to drop our Str to achieve this. However, if we substitute a +6 belt of physical perfection for our old +6 belt of giant strength, we only need a 13 Dex at character creation. Perfectly doable.

It turns out that the difference in damage between the hands doesn't change how many hits it takes to destroy a segment - alternating hands, it takes 23 hits to destroy a segment. The total is still 388 attacks, but with 6 attacks per round, we're down to 65 rounds total.

Alchemists

Alchemists have the very rare ability to gain an alchemical bonus to Str with their mutagens. With Grand Mutagen, they can get another +8 to Str, for a total of 42 Str.

The Vivisectionist archetype for alchemists replaces their bombs with a rogue's sneak attack. It's banned in PFS, but we can use it here.

The Master Chymist prestige class is designed for melee alchemists. It has full BAB progression, so a Vivsectionist 11/Master Chymist 9 has a BAB of +17. That gives us a fourth main-hand attack and brings Power Attack back up to +8/+4. Master Chymist also has the Brutality class feature, adding +6 to damage with simple weapons (including light maces). With Accomplished Sneak Attacker, we also have +7d6 sneak attack damage.

3.5 light mace + 16 Str + 16 Gate Breaker + 8 Power Attack + 4 enhancement bonus
 + 7 smashing + 6 Brutality + 24.5 sneak attack = 85 damage per main-hand attack

3.5 light mace + 16 Str + 16 Gate Breaker + 4 Power Attack + 4 enhancement bonus
 + 7 smashing + 6 Brutality + 24.5 sneak attack = 81 damage per off-hand attack

It now takes 22 hits to destroy a segment. The total is 371 attacks, and 7 attacks per round gets us down to 53 rounds total.

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related. \$\endgroup\$ – annoying imp Dec 15 '19 at 19:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you're going this route, you need to use the Maul of the Titans \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Dec 16 '19 at 6:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Excellent response. At 6 seconds per round, 53 rounds is just under 5.5 minutes! That's pretty quick for taking down a wall! \$\endgroup\$ – Izzy Dec 16 '19 at 16:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't we want to create a height 5 hole? Our army is made of humans. If we include mounted soldiers standing on top of their horses, it's 15 at most. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Dec 28 '19 at 21:59
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Just remove... that stone. "About" 16 rounds.

Following up on my other answer, I found another way to overcome the Break DC of the wall instead of trying to eat through it's HP.

I will continue with my assumptions about the Break DC.

  • The DC for 3ft of Hewn Stone is 50. We will easily meet this DC. However, a 10ft wall will likely be higher. I will, however, assume we can only act on one 5x5x5ft cube in a round, so 5ft of wall will have a Break DC around 80 (subject to GM decision).


Applied Engineering allows us to spend one round planning to break down a section of wall, and a Standard Action on the next round to execute the plan. The Knowledge (engineering) DC is the same as breaking an object with Strength, so we will calculate that against the estimated DC 80.

Bonuses:

  • *Take 20 3/day Archivist Bard
  • Skill Ranks 20
  • Intelligence +12
  • Class Skill +3
  • Bardic Knowledge +18 [Untyped] (+8 innate, +8 from Favored Class, +2 for Dervish Sikke)
  • Inspire Competence +6 [Competence] (+5 innate, +1 for Dervish Sikke)
  • Inspiration +6 average (2d8/drop 1 with Sleuth Luck)
  • Structural Knowledge +1 [Trait]
  • Skill Focus +6 [Untyped]
  • Scholar +4 [Untyped]
  • Noble Scion of Lore +1 [Untyped]
  • Pale Green Prism +1 [Morale]
  • Stone of Good Luck +1 [Luck]
  • Pathfinder Chronicle +2 [Insight]

Total: +75 +d8D1 (avg +81).

Chance to Succeed on DC 80: ~99%* (2d8D1 messes with this)

  • *3 guaranteed successes. Lore Master Take 20 gives us 94-101.

Estimated Rounds to completion: 16 or 17 with one Knowledge failure.


It was brought up that this should be considered a 10x10x5 wall for the purposes of destruction, which would reduce the time to complete it to 8 rounds, with a small likelihood of taking 9 rounds.


Other notable things:

  • Disconcerting Knowledge. Get it. Why? Because the character needs a reason to exist.
  • Sacred Geometry. Because your spellcasting will be lackluster otherwise.
  • Inspiring Mentor with Omnipresent Mentor cut back on resource use.
  • Bestow Insight is a spell you have access to that would give you +6 [Insight] to ensure that you cannot fail the Knowledge check. Yes I know it makes no sense to cast it on yourself, but it doesn't say you can't...
  • Investigative Mind is a spell you have access to that would almost eliminate any chance at failure by allowing you to roll each Knowledge check twice for the better result.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ I like these answers a lot! Tackling the Burst DC is an interesting approach. I like this one (using brains instead of brawn) better than your other answer :) \$\endgroup\$ – Izzy Dec 19 '19 at 15:23
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You can do it immediately, whenever you first get within range of the wall, which is as soon as you are on the same plane as the wall.

The optional Hero Point system is neither a spell nor a spell-like ability and lets us decide it's our turn now.

Act Out of Turn: You can spend a hero point to take your turn immediately. Treat this as a readied action, moving your initiative to just before the currently acting creature. You may only take a move or a standard action on this turn.

Mythic powers (associated with the optional Mythic rules) are neither spells nor spell-like abilities and Limitless Range lets us have no maximum range:

Multiply the range increment on all of your ranged and thrown weapons by 5 feet, and these weapons no longer have a maximum range increment for you. You can throw any melee weapon as if it had a range increment of 20 feet—this increment isn’t multiplied by 5, but the weapon doesn’t have a maximum range increment.

Levels in Gunslinger can get us the Gun Training feature:

a gunslinger can select one specific type of firearm (such as an axe musket, blunderbuss, musket, or pistol). She gains a bonus equal to her Dexterity modifier on damage rolls when firing that type of firearm.

If the 'Guns Everywhere' optional rule is used, the gunslinger gets this at first level.

An ioun stone can grant us a bonus to our dexterity score. When the random resonant powers optional rule ("Method 2") is used, the maximum bonus granted to dexterity via a resonant ioun stone is infinite:

If the stone’s normal power gives the same kind of bonus, these effects stack. For example, a deep red sphere (+2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity) that has the resonant power of “+2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity” gives a +4 enhancement bonus to Dexterity.

91 Roll again, doubling the strength, uses per day, or duration of the resonant power determined by the second roll.

A Battle Host (or wizard or a couple others) can start the game with any mundane weapon in the game they would like.

At 1st level, a battle host forms a supernatural bond with a specific weapon, suit of armor, or shield. This selection is permanent and can never be changed. The bonded item is masterwork quality and the battle host begins play with it at no cost.

A 2nd level Gunslinger 1/Battle Host 1 with Mythic Tier 1, the Seeking Adventure campaign trait, and 25 gp spent on an infinitely lucky resonant ioun stone, thus, can fire their bonded adamantine dart gun or whatever, immediately, from infinitely far away and deal infinite damage to the wall. If area of effect matters, they can have bonded a weapon like the rocket launcher (ibid.) instead (which is not normally a weapon you want to bond).

If you have to hit each 10' by 10' section separately, just use another action point and fire twice.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A 3rd level gunslinger could get the wall down even faster, maybe, using their ability to draw a weapon as a non-action when rolling initiative, but I'm not sure how to weaponize that into a free attack right now. If you don't care about the character at all you can use the ioun stone for strength, take the path ability, and just throw a chainsaw at it. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Dec 16 '19 at 5:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're using Mythic, literally achieving 50 Strength (+20), triggering Juggernaut (+10) and using Display of Strength (+20) punches through the DC 50 Strength Check on a nat 1. It's also easier, less complicated, and more likely to happen than a GM allowing an Ioun Stone of Infinite X. \$\endgroup\$ – Brandon Olson Dec 17 '19 at 5:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrandonOlson Thanks! I was looking for a STR DC and couldn't find one with time I put into this. It would be nice to have more of a spectrum of plausability for this answer. Note that the fact this wouldn't work in an actual game isn't a huge concern (at least to me), though, because that doesn't seem to be the intent of the question; this is more of a theoretical optimization exercise and on that count I hope the ioun stone abuse helps readers understand the question is a bit underspecified (not unclear, just that allowing everying including optional rules but not spells is weird) \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Dec 17 '19 at 6:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrandonOlson If you can link me a source for that DC 50, I'll totally use it to expand the answer. Getting a DC 50 strength check is a lot easier than doing this much damage. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Dec 17 '19 at 6:35

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