SO my last character died, a wannabe AT, due mainly to the party lack of tanks. When the group started we had one, but Real Life took that player away and my poor rogue3,wiz1 char died due to trying to tank a gnoll cleric (Not the best idea I ever had. :D). I'm now trying to create a TWF fighter at level 4, The main concept being twofold.
A. Dealing enough dmg so enemies feel the need to attack him
B. soaking most/all of the dmg off the two squishies (mage + oracle) that make up the rest of the party, so they can do their casty thing.

So to the crux of the question, What feats, stat changes, or items can I take to optimize my fighter to tank/ be threatening? also open to multiclassing options in the future.

build so far: Human, Fighter (Two weapon warrior aspect) level 4: 5.4k gp for items

DM uses a modified point buy of just counting +1 on ability scores, 12 to be exact. DM disallowed a 18,18,18,10,10,10 insisted on putting at least one +1 ability score in a non physical stat
Str: 18, Dex: 16, Con:21, Wiz: 12, Int:10, Cha:10.

Feats:Two weapon fighting, Double slice, Weapon focus(Shortsword),Weapon specialization(Shortsword), Two-Weapon Defense, Iron Will.

Items: Masterwork Breastplate, Cold Iron Shortsword+1, (Masterwork)Cold Iron shortsword, 2x silvered shortswords, 2xFeather token (Tree),1x Bladeguard, 1x Fire ward gel, standard adventuring gear.

I am open to non-fighter options if it fits better.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What (if any) splat books are you allowed to use? Depending on what's available, you can make a pretty decent and interesting two shield build. \$\endgroup\$ – Xavon_Wrentaile May 26 '16 at 1:46

I'd recommend more of a Two-handed weapon Fighter or Barbarian in lieu of using Two-Weapon Fighting.

There are multiple reasons to do so, such as the Accuracy penalties you get from Two-weapon fighting lowering your overall damage, being unable to utilize Power attack fully because of said accuracy penalty, and the fact that your gold is being spent on two weapons instead of just using all of your gold on a single weapon.

Also, Barbarian gets a D12 hit die against a Fighters D10, gets a full Base attack bonus progression, and their rage ability gives them bonuses to blanket will saves instead of just will saves against fear like the fighter, Along with a Substantial bonus to Strength and constitution when raging. ( Not to mention you probably aren't going to use all your rages in a day later in your game )

As far as your stats are concerned, for your TWF Fighter, You have the right of it. Strength, Dex, and Con are your most important stats, wisdom being secondary for will saves. Strength will contribute to your damage, Dex will boost your armor class, Con will increase your HP quite a bit.

You'll obviously want the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, So that's one of your feats. For your other two You're level four, so you could take Improved Initiative to improve your chances of getting the first action with your dexterity, and Jaguar Pounce so that if you do get the first action you have a pretty good chance of getting the jump on someone and using the high crit ranges on your light weapons to get a crit off when the fight starts.

I believe using a non-light weapon in your main hand, and a light weapon like a dagger or shortsword in your off-hand is still considered standard with TWF, But since you'd be using two weapons you'd want your weapons to threaten more, so a mainhand Scimitar to vary up the types of damage you deal ( Slashing v. Piercing ) while giving you a larger crit range on your main hand would be the best.

So I've got based on the stats specified: Str: 18, Dex: 16, Con:21, Wiz: 12, Int:10, Cha:10 Feats: Two-Weapon Fighting, Double Slice, Two-Weapon defense, Weapon Focus: Scimitar, Weapon Specialization: Scimitar, Jaguar Pounce, Improved Initiative

That puts you with 4d10+20+4HP, With a 1d6+6 Main hand. If your opponent is flat-footed your crit range is 15-20/x2, When they aren't its 18-20/x2. Your offhand is 1d6+4.

This should deal enough damage in the first round to get an enemy to focus on you instead of on someone else in your party should you roll a crit. Later on when you hit level eight you can retrain your Jaugar Pounce Feat into Improved Critical.

Some other feats you may want to look into as you level are Furious Focus, Shield of Swings, and Pushing Assault, These work well with Critical builds as if you push a target more than 5ft away, they cant use a full-attack action during that round if they don't have pounce.


Unlike 3.5 Pathfinder supports going one class all the way through much better. If you are not up for multi-classing pure fighter will work wonders, but you will need to invest into dexterity. If you are up for multi-classing, taking levels in ranger will earn you roughly the same amount of feats up to 6 levels AND you will not need to meet the minimum dexterity requirements for those feats.

Fighters get plenty of feats, and many of the useful combat feats (Combat maneuver related) require atleast an INT score of 13. Constitution is an all around good stat, but it is not one that benefits you from investing too much into. Fighters will already have good fortitude saves, and the already higher hit dice allows you to average out your con. If I were to adjust the stats, I would start with increasing the Int to 13, and decreasing your con to 18.

Weapon Choice: It is not extremely important for your first 4 levels, but later on when the fighter starts to specialize in a weapon type it makes a huge difference. This is just a suggestion, but you might want to look into Aldori dueling swords. They are exotic, but when combined with weapon finesse, they will allow you to use your dexterity instead of strength to attack rolls. With the Slashing Grace feat, dexterity will be used for damage and you won't need strength any more. The major downside to this weapon is the number of feats you will have to take, the pay off is that you no longer need a high strength score. You are a fighter so feats should not be a problem, and investing into this by level 8-9 you will notice a huge difference.

Your feat choices are good, There is nothing I would change about them except for reconsidering Iron Will. Some feats you should definitely consider with TWF are: Weapon Finesse (only if you consider aldori), Hammer the Gap (Must have), Combat Expertise (only if you consider combat maneuvers), Step Up, Improved Initiative. Iron Will is a solid choice, I only suggest reconsidering it as an early on feat, I suggest Improved Initiative because there will come a time where going first will win you the combat, especially against casters.


You can do a full Str build with Slayer. You can ignore Dex because Ranger combat styles let you get the Two-weapon Fighting feats without prerequisites. That way you can focus your stats on Str, Con, and Wis. From there, I would consider 3 levels of Weapon Master Fighter in whatever weapon you choose, because Weapon Training allows Gloves of Dueling, which are great. Ranger also gets the benefit, but Slayer can get some extra feats with Rogue Talents. Also, if you take Weapon Master to level 4, you can grab Weapon Specialization. Not sure if you want it, but it is an option.

You can bypass Str as a fighter by using Fencing Grace and an item called Effortless Lace. Wield 2 rapiers with only -2 from 2 weapon fighting, with Dex to Damage.

Either of these builds lets you ignore half the usual stat requirements of TWF. Usually you need Dex for the feats and Str for damage, but if you can ignore half of that, you can optimize the result.


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