On the main page for The DPS you’ll find information about various build information you need to know when first creating your character, while on this page you’ll find a level-by-level guide to advancing them, and information on how the character’s playstyle will change over time, when applicable. For the sake of brevity, we’ll base this information based on the build we used and we won’t quibble too much over minor variations which are possible.
|The DPS||Starting Characteristics|
|1||Barbarian (Mad Dog)||Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Bastard Sword, Weapon Focus: Bastard Sword||–|
|5||Inquisitor (Sacred Huntmaster)||Deity: Desna, Liberation Domain, Animal Companion: Continue, Outflank||–|
|7||Inquisitor||Combat Reflexes, Seize the Moment||–|
|8||Fighter (Two-Handed Fighter)||Dazzling Display||–|
|9||Fighter||Boon Companion, Shatter Defenses||–|
|1||Str 19, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 7, Cha 13|
|Persuasion (max)||Athletics (max)||Trickery (max)|
Like The Caster and The Healer, this mercenary is borne from a simple premise: take an underwhelming companion (you know who we’re talking about) and make a superior version. As usual, a lot of the work comes from the simple act of adding a pet to the mix - it really can’t be overstated how useful pets are in this game. Unlike the aforementioned two builds, however, The DPS build expends some effort to synergize with their pet, rather than simply using it to compensate for their lack of a front line presence. As for the pet, picking a Leopard, Smilodon or Wolf are all solid choices - we’re predisposed to a Wolf just for variety, and because… well, the class is called Mad DOG. Pick whatever you wish.
The class/level constraints for this class are largely determined by two simple goals: keep The DPS as combat-capable as possible without weakening your pet. Sounds simple, but there aren’t a whole lot of classes that will allow your pet to keep progressing, and if you want to do so while keeping your damage and Attack Bonus high, that really only leaves Mad Dog. We take diversions into Inquisitor (Sacred Huntmaser) and Fighter (Two-Handed Fighter), both three level dips which are neither enough to hinder our progression as a warrior nor our pet’s progression.
In the case of the Inquisitor, it’ll keep improving our pet’s level and only cost us a point of Base Attack Bonus. In return we’ll get Solo Tactics and Hunter Tactics, which will give our pet any teamwork feats we have (Outflank and Seize the Moment) and allow us to proc the effects of such feats as if our allies had them. We’ll also get some Inquisitor spells, but our Wisdom is too low to make use of them, nor do a handful of 1st-level spells really merit the effort to boost our Wisdom.
The Two-Handed Fighter, on the other hand, will not increase our pet’s level, but this is what Boon Pet is for. For spending three levels in this class we’ll get Overhand Chop, which will double our Strength bonus to damage on our first attack. We’d love to stick around for Two-Handed Weapon Training and Backswing, but getting those class abilities aren’t worth nerfing our pet for.
We’ll start out with Barbarian (Mad Dog) and stick with it for four levels (long enough to get Rage) then switch to Inquisitor (Sacred Huntmaster) and Fighter (Two-Handed Fighter) for three levels each before resuming our career as a Barbarian, which we’ll stick to for the rest of the build. We’ll finish up as a 14th-level Barbarian, which will get us Throat Cutter… a fine ability that’ll give us another Attack of Opportunity when our pet successfully trips something, but it’s a bit late, and honestly, dipping a level into Alchemist (Vivisectionist) for the Sneak Attack and Mutagen might be a better idea.
Unlike The Tank and Off Tank, you’ll notice The DPS doesn’t go down the Crane Style route. The reason why is simple - this character has no business being taking hits, so we don’t even bother with Armor Class. With The Tank, Off-Tank and three pets, The DPS doesn’t really need to draw any aggro, and frankly, if they’re being attacked, something has probably gone awry. The way you’ll participate in melee combat without coming under attack yourself is simple: a two-handed weapon and spells like Enlarge Person and later, Legendary Proportions. This will give you the reach to strike while standing behind your frontliners.
As for weapons… we don’t want to be too derivative, but Amiri honestly has the right idea this time. Bastard Swords are great weapons in this game, and you’ll have a ton to choose from, including exceptional specimens in both Chapter 4 and Chapter 5. If for some reason that doesn’t appeal to you, there are also good Greataxes and Fauchards (most of these are crafted by Shaynih’a). You can’t go wrong with any of those three, and frankly, throughout Chapters 1-3 you’ll probably just be swapping to whatever is best at the moment, Weapon Focus be damned. It’s only later in the game where you’ll find a weapon powerful enough to settle on.
Finally, we have the skills. The DPS doesn’t really need any skills save Persuasion, and that’s solely for Dazzling Display and Shatter Defenses, which are staples for virtually any character worth getting Weapon Focus with. Other than that, you can expect to max - or nearly max - any three skills of your choice. The DPS’s attributes make Athletics a good choice, but any Dexterity-based skills (Mobility, Trickery and Stealth) are all viable options, depending on what your party needs.