I'm running Paizo's Crypt of the Everflame/Temple of Living God/City of Golden Death with some veteran players using 3.5 rules mostly. But these veteran players have busy lives and I think they are doing themselves a disservice with their character builds.

They're attacking once per round, hitting for weapon damage plus Strength. That's it. We have a well built Rogue in the party who comes in and hits for 18 points or something and the fighters hit for half that, and a Ranger who shoots his one arrow for 1d8.

Anyone know of a good source for some Fighter and or Ranger builds?

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    \$\begingroup\$ He is not asking for opinions, he is asking for a source for at least semi-optimized builds so he can self serve. Resource requests are on topic, as long as they don't turn into a list question - answers should try to be somewhat comprehensive. Therefore you don't need to know their builds or suggest builds, you should point to resources that provide builds. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - Justice for Monica Feb 14 '14 at 23:16

The best overall source for Pathfinder character guides is Zenith Games' Comprehensive Pathfinder Classes Guide, which links to multiple Fighter and Ranger CharOp (character optimization) guides with sample builds. For builds in general, Paizo's NPC Codex is one of the best books ever and has a bunch of interesting fighter and ranger builds of every level (and Hero Lab has it as a data pack, woot!). Those tend to be more modestly optimized, but probably do a better job of showing the kinds of PCs that Paizo expects in their adventures.

However, you should stop to consider before doing that. High levels of character optimization bring a lot of problems to groups and GMs. If the players are happy with their own builds, trying to get them to "up their numbers" isn't necessarily welcome. Let them play the way they want. As the GM you can control the power of encounters they hit, so if they can't handle CR=level+3 encounters, just don't do that. With published adventures the CRs are set but you can easily control the rate of advancement - go to fast advancement and then non-optimized characters can meet the printed challenges (there's obviously 10 other ways of finessing that but that's the most basic). Paizo modules tend to assume non-super-optimized characters, as their sample iconic characters should make clear.

If they are veteran players, they likely know they could optimize and are choosing not to. You should get on the same page as they are with game expectations and then run the game the group wants. My recommendation is to take a couple sample characters to them and say "hey, you know in Pathfinder/3.5 you can make uber builds with really high damage" - and then either they say "Really? Awesome I love me maximizing my DPS, let's do it," in which case yay, except that then you have to figure out how to run for a super-swingy glass cannon high CharOp game. Or they look at you like you're a deviant, in which case you should rethink your life choices and play a non-op game!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I just would like to point out that the NPC Codex is really not an example of optimized builds. The book has a fairly lengthy amount of errors and decisions that are considered bad by the community. Such as giving an NPC an ability that they cannot use (I also remember a druid with a steel shield), or missing/additional hp, skill points or feats (specially skills). Regardless, it's a great book for GMs and its shortcomings cannot shade its usefulness. The statblocks themselves aren't great because they used NPC-array for stats, average hit points, and options available on core books. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Aug 27 '18 at 15:09

Here's a link to several of the Treantmonk guides.

Specifically, there is a link for building Rangers. Note that the whole thing is pretty extensive, the printed version comes out to 24 pages!

The primary build he provides is a two-handed Ranger that also has some skill with the bow. So he can make ranged attacks and then drop the bow and close for combat. By level 5 that build is definitely doing more than d8 + STR damage :)


Assuming 3.5 resources are allowed, Dictum Mortum has a guide for fighters that contains many nearly-complete builds you can just snag and pick stats&skills to fit. Alternatively, use Warblades from ToB instead of fighters. Much simpler in terms of decisions in building, more interesting gameplay, and easier to contribute mechanically without heavy optimization. You'll have to spend time building, etc. anyway, but learning the system and building characters is faster than making a competent fighter if you don't have feats memorized and access to lots of books.


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