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I'm looking for ideas for a reasonably competitive thrown weapon specialist build. I'm fine with not being 100% optimized, but not with a build that's notably inferior to an archer or melee fighter. Is such a thrown weapon build possible?

Details:

  • No magic (spells or items). This will be in a very low magic world (which in a way gets rid of one problem: needing to enchant so many weapons)
  • Ideally viable by at least 2nd level
  • Fine with multiclassing, archetypes, and with any Paizo material (including the Advanced Class Guide) ...as long as it doesn't involve magic
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I'd use a barbarian - Used a similar build like the following one.


Stats

  • Class: Hurler (Barbarian Archtype)
  • Race: Human (for the bonus feat)
  • Level: 2
  • STR: 15 / DEX: 16 (14+2 racial) / CON: 15 / INT: 12 / WIS: 13 / CHA: 10 (point buy 25)

Feats

  • Bonus feat: Throw Anything (no penalties with improvised ranged weapons - using a fork or a chair as a thrown weapon is awesome!)

  • Feat 1: Raging Hurler (can throw a two-handed weapon and double range increment whilst raging)

  • Alternate Feat 1: Point Blank Shot (for Precise Shot


Class Abilities

  • Skilled Thrower (10ft range increment for thrown weapons)
  • Rage
  • Uncanny Dodge
  • Rage power: Hurling, lesser (throw objects one size category smaller than yourselfs as a full-round action, that be 2d6 + STR (small object falling damage). and you could apply power attack (if you would decide to take it))

Example attacks

non rage:

  • weapon: pilum
  • attack: +5 (3 dex + 2 bab)
  • damage: 1d8 + 2

rage:

  • weapon: dead goblin
  • attack: +5 (3 dex + 2 bab) (ranged touch attack)
  • damage: 2d6 + 4
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for dead goblin throwing, also the rest of the answer. But mostly dead goblin throwing. \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Sep 12 '14 at 10:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Another feat possibility: Stone thrower - Can throw a small stone for 1d8 damage if applicable (no throwing stones in taverns unless one was picked up earlier). Excellent way of having an improvised weapon on the fly. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil Sep 12 '14 at 12:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note, sadly, Lesser Hurling says "This damage is halved if the object is not made of stone, metal, or similar material. This is a ranged touch attack, and the target may attempt a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the barbarian’s level + the barbarian’s Strength modifier) for half damage."...so the goblin deals only 1d6 damage (unless she is petrified)...and that might be cut in half again if ones foe makes a DC 15 Reflex save. \$\endgroup\$ – Jeff Fry Apr 13 '15 at 21:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JeffFry Just keep a spare goblin sized full plate around. I0d rule that as a metal object. \$\endgroup\$ – Louis Huppenbauer Apr 14 '15 at 7:03
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I'm assuming Ki, which for all intents and purposes is essentially a trained body mechanism, does not count as magic in your world. In that case, I would fully recommend a ninja, which is an alternate class for the rogue.

Using their abilities to throw several shuriken a round, as well as damage enemies with bombs, ninjas rely pretty heavily on thrown weapons.

I'd strongly recommend this Google Doc as a reference, focusing on the ranged version.

Relevant Bit:

Ranged: This build focuses on ranged weapons that allow you to attack from afar. There is a fun build around Charging Hurler and Shot on the Run, and the Scout Archetype that can get sneak attack w/o needing to be on the front lines.

Tricks: Choking Bomb, Deadly Range, Flurry of Stars, ki Charge, Poison Bomb, Smoke Bomb

Advanced Tricks: Blinding Bomb, Deadly Shuriken.

Feats: Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Many Shot, Charging Hurler, Shot On the Run, Master Alchemist

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem with shurikens and bombs is that they must be made or bought, and from a realistic perspective, you're likely not going to find a shuriken or bomb store. Bow and arrow was a common weapon mainly because the bow could be made relatively cheaply, and the arrows can be sharpened sticks with feathers by those with a talent for it. Probably a pedantic point, and I can't fault you for such a small detail. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil Sep 12 '14 at 11:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Neil Good point about the shuriken, but the bombs themselves don't need to be bought, as far as I can tell. They are class powers, so I was under the impression you mixed them quickly before using them. \$\endgroup\$ – SurrealAnalysis Sep 12 '14 at 13:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well again, realism isn't the first consideration when writing the rules of a game for a good reason, though it's kind of silly to think of someone building a bomb ad hoc to throw at someone. It would probably require some preparation and materials. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil Sep 12 '14 at 14:23
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The new Swashbuckler class with the Flying Blade archetype is a good thrown weapon class. You get deeds and huge static damage bonuses with daggers and starknives, and the River Rat trait also works. The Range increment on daggers and starknives is kinda rough, so Far Shot (and of course Quickdraw) should definitely be on your immediate feats list. Deadly Aim could help eventually, too, since you'll be a full BAB class. And again, this is a class specifically designed for thrown weapons, giving you abilities to ignore AoOs and other neat features necessary for the path to stand as a solid choice, since the low damage dice of light thrown weapons and short range increments will work against you.

You could dip around in Knife Master, but ranged SAs as a Rogue are difficult to setup, at best, and you'll need a substantial amount of ingenuity to get that off the ground. Personally, I'd recommend dipping in Rogue only for the Sniper archetype, giving you longer ranges at which to toss your blades, but I'd advise against that, too-- you're already going to have fantastic Reflex saves and the 3/4 BAB and d8 hit die will only serve to dampen your advancement, especially with the damage boost you would be getting from Precise Strike.

You also might wanna look at the Splintering Weapon and Disposable Weapon feats, depending on what you're throwing. Splintering lets you make a fragile weapon broken on a hit and gives the target 1d4 bleed damage. Disposable Weapon lets you auto-confirm critical threats made with Fragile weapons. This is in addition to Quickdraw, Deadly Aim, Rapid Shot, Point Blank Shot, and Precise Shot.

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Another possibility is the use of Rogue(Knife Master) and the doing of Bleed damage to screw with opponents. It does require 4 feats so shines at level 3(human) or 4 and the ability to buy bronze or obsidian . The feats required are Quick-Draw, Combat Expertise for Improved Feint, and Splintering Weapon. The River Rat trait is very good for this build. One of the only real downsides is the the number of daggers/light blades you need to carry(Which is why Obsidian is the more desirable of the two listed materials as is cheaper and lighter)

Sample Lvl 3: 25 point build

Stats

  • Class: Rogue(Knife Master)
  • Race: Human
  • Stats: STR 14 / DEX 16(2 racial) / CON 14 / INT 13 / WIS 12 / CHA 14
  • Feats: Combat Expertise(LVL1) / Improved Feint(Human) / Quick Draw(LVL3)
  • Rogue Talent: Combat Trick(Splintering Weapon)
  • Abilities: Sneak stab(2d8 with daggers type weapons, 2d4 other type) / Hidden Blade(bonus to slight of hand to conceal light blades) / Blade Sense(+1 dodge AC vs light blades)

Examples of attack:

Feint Failed:

To Hit: +5(3 DEX, 2 BAB)

Damage: 1d4+1/ + 1D4 bleed

Feint Succeed:

To Hit: +5(3 DEX, 2 BAB) + Opponent denied DEX

Damage: 1d4+1/ + 2d8/ + 1D4 bleed

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there something in there that grants the bonus for feinting with ranged attacks? ("If [a feint's] successful, the next melee attack you make against the target does not allow him to use his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). This attack must be made on or before your next turn.") \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 12 '14 at 15:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ It appears that the text of MELEE attack is on the D20PFSRD, while not on the Paizo official PRD (paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/skills/bluff.html#feint) which simply mentions attack with no qualifier. \$\endgroup\$ – Guest Sep 13 '14 at 2:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ It sucks, but feint has the same language officially. (I'm really not trying to I told you so or anything--I genuinely want feinting to work better, too.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 13 '14 at 3:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Learn something new everyday. \$\endgroup\$ – Guest Sep 13 '14 at 3:11
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I know this has been successfully answered, but I'd like to add that I made a

fighter that seems to work well into Throwing.

They're the only one truely capable of getting the feats to make it work:

  • by level 2 you can have TWF, Point Blank Shot, and Precise Shot
  • by level 4 you can have Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization, giving a ranged weapon of your choice some great bonuses to hit and damage that are usually weak points of the setup
  • by level 6 you can have ITWF and Rapid Shot, giving you 5 throws on a full attack

There isn't an archetype that works well with throwing, but you may want to take Two Weapon Fighter in case you get engaged in melee or else Lore Warden because the bonus skills are good for starving Fighters.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I actually was just typing the question up, reread the feat, and its been edited to be explicit. I'll be editing this answer to that point. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Dec 16 '16 at 14:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I may have just misread it before? I think they added the 'per round' wording though. Either way, it's explicit \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Dec 16 '16 at 14:53
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I'm currently playing a Guide Ranger Marksman (half gestalt), with a chakram as a weapon. It's working out EXTREMELY well (I'm currently at level2, I never miss an attack, and I can hit pretty hard with a good roll) - but it would require your world to permit Psionics. I'm relatively new to Pathfinder, so I'm not sure if people consider Psionics to be low magic, high magic, or magic at all. It's not really spells - it's powers.

In case it's helpful to you, or anyone else, here's the few things I've done to make this player a viable thrown weapon build:

  • My Ranger Combat style is thrown weapons (recently added, has some great options for thrown, but also gives you a bone for melee if desired). My Marksmen weapon style is also thrown weapons (adds bonuses to thrown weapons).

  • My Marksmen Combat Style is Finesse (allows for some unique ranged combat options and compliments thrown style).

  • My very first bonus feat is Returning Weapon (allows for my chakram to return to me at the beginning of the next round as long as I stay focused and I haven't moved from where it was thrown).

  • I'm slowly building ranks into my Autohypnosis skill so that when the time comes, I can take the Psionic Meditation feat (allows me to restore my psionic focus with a move action). Once I have this, I can expend my focus during my turn to make my chakram return to me immediately after thrown (in case I have a multiple attack opportunity), then with a move action I can restore my focus on the next turn before attacking again.

  • Lastly, if I ever manage to get my hands on a weapon that has the returning quality, it will automatically return to me immediately after an attack so long as I'm focused.

I know it's not like a 'here, build this exactly' but maybe it will inspire someone? I chose this Guide Ranger Marksmen style, then at the last second realized more than anything I wanted to have Xena's chakram. My GM didn't even blink, encouraged me to go for it, and as I said it's going really well.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, it's an interesting read, though this campaign doesn't use any non-Paizo (including psionics). \$\endgroup\$ – Jeff Fry Sep 14 '14 at 22:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ For reference, psionics are rarely used and usually not a great default answer (although sometimes worth mentioning) and are considered high-fantasy/magic because, while it's not the typical arcane/divine source, their powers are still magical in nature and even in typical psionic lore, they are EXTREMELY rare. Like 3-4 on a continent in one lifetime rare. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Oct 9 '16 at 6:55

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