|2||Inquisitor (Sacred Huntmaster)||Deity: Desna, Liberation Domain, Animal Companion: Smilodon||True Strike, Remove Fear|
|3||Inquisitor||Weapon Focus: Bastard Sword||Cure Light Wounds|
|4||Fighter (Two-Handed Fighter)||Power Attack||–|
|5||Fighter||Boon Companion, Combat Reflexes||–|
|8||Ranger (generic)||Favored Enemy: Magical Beasts||–|
|9||Ranger||Seize the Moment, Cleave||–|
|10||Ranger||Favored Terrain - Underground|
|1||Str 16, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10|
|Persuasion (max)||Athletics (max)||Knowledge (Nature) (max)||Perception (max)|
Amiri starts out with a Strength score of 16, a level of Barbarian and an oversized bastard sword. It’s pretty clear what her intended vocation is. Amiri is, to put it in crude parlance, a thing-hitter, wanting nothing more than to deal as much damage as possible with her paddle-sized sword.
Unfortunately, Amiri faces some severe limitations. Her Dexterity is just high enough for a few choice feats, not high enough to boost her Armor Class much. Also, since she’s Chaotic she can’t dip into Monk, and since her Intelligence and Charisma are both low, she really can’t improve her defenses, spell-wise. Armor Class in Pathfinder: Kingmaker is kind of a zero-sum game - either you get it as high as possible (50+) in order to have a realistic shot of surviving combat, or you find ways to stay out of combat. Amiri is clearly in the latter camp. Another, more glaring weakness is her starting Strength score. A 16 for a character’s primary stat is just no good, especially when it’s the foundation of her damage, and her damage output is really her only contribution to the party.
You can get around the Armor Class issue by just keeping her out of combat; just hit her with Enlarge Person or Legendary Proportions, but her other issues are more concerning. Her generic Barbarian class and relatively mediocre Strength score means you’ll be able to make a superior mercenary that does everything Amiri can do, but better.
If you decide to use Amiri despite her faults, you’re best off focusing on the one thing she does well - inflicting damage. She’ll begin with Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Bastard Sword and Toughness, the latter of which is a waste, but the former is worth building upon, given the immense number of quality bastard swords in the game (many of which are Amiri-focused). We’ll be improving her proficiency with bastard swords over time, but the journey to make Amiri a competent warrior (as competent as she can be, anyways) is a long and winding one, making her one of the few companions worth a level-by-level analysis.
As far as skills go, Amiri will become surprisingly competent, gaining every skill as a Class Skill. Granted, it’ll take a while before this happens, but she can eventually end up taking care of three or so skills, depending on what your party needs. Technically she can max out four, but if you want to go down the Dazzling Display/Shatter Defenses route, you’ll want her to max Persuasion along with three other skills. Athletics seems like a no-brainer, given her focus on Strength, but Perception and Knowledge (Nature) aren’t bad choices, either.
There are definitely some growing pains for Amiri, and we’ll do our best to mimic our backrow DPS mercenary build, which is a simple enough goal, but not as straightforward as you might expect. It’s a shame Amiri didn’t start out as a Mad Dog, but there are two alternatives we can use to get an animal companion - Inquisitor (Sacred Huntmaster) and Ranger (generic). We’ll be dealing with the former first.
Sacred Huntmaster will get Amiri an animal companion, a deity and some spells. The first is what we’re really after, but picking Desna/Liberation Domain is also not a bad idea (if you want to be more lore-friendly, you can grab Gorum/Strength Domain). Amiri won’t be using spells all that often - at least, not Inquisitor spells - but True Strike and Remove Fear at least have some long-term utility.
As for the pet, some caveats are in order: our pet will be weaker than those the mercenary builds possess, although Amiri’s pet should be strong enough to be useful. A smilodon is a lore-friendly, high-damage choice which, like Amiri, is good at dishing out damage and not much else, but if you want something more durable you can also grab a leopard or wolf.
Pretty slow level, our pet levels up with us, we get Weapon Focus: Bastard Sword and Cure Light Wounds, which isn’t super useful, but a bit of spot healing can’t hurt… and there’s not a ton of better options.
We swap to Fighter (Two-Handed Fighter) for level four, mostly because as a 3rd-level Inquisitor we’ll gain Hunter Tactics, along with a bonus teamwork feat. We want Outflank, but don’t meet the requirements for it, yet, so we’ll postpone finishing off Inquisitor so we can avoid wasting a feat. That said, this is another slow level - pick the Power Attack feat for future utility.
Not quite ready for Inquisitor yet, so another level of Fighter, it is. Our pet is falling behind, but we can delay this by picking Boon Companion. In addition, we prepare for future feats by also grabbing Combat Reflexes.
Now that our Base Attack Bonus is up to +4, we switch back to Inquisitor to gain Hunter Tactics, which also gives us a free companion feat. We duly pick Outflank. We also get another Inquisitor spell - our final such boon. Your choice doesn’t matter much, but we grab Divine Favor for a minor self-buff.
Inquisitor is done, now it’s time to finish off Fighter. At 3rd-level we gain Overhand Chop, which doubles Amiri’s Strength bonus to damage on her first attack. She’s basically a single-hit warrior, as her weapon’s size drags down her Attack Bonus, and instead of lamenting this fact, we try to make the most of it. If she manages to hit with secondary (or later, tertiary or quaternary) attacks, great, but our focus is to ensure our first attack - the one which is by far the most likely to hit - deals as much damage as possible.
Fortunately our feat for this level also reinforces this goal, as we’ll pick Vital Strike, which allows us to, as a standard action, perform an attack which deals double the base damage. With Overhand Chop we’ll add double our Strength modifier to double our base damage which will allow us to deal 4d8+8 damage (a fairly low estimate - higher if you’ve been boosting Amiri’s Strength via levels or item and if you have any damage-boosting buffs active), which averages to around 26~ damage per hit. Not bad, but if you keep Amiri buffed with Enlarge Person, her base damage will rise to 6d8+10, for an average of 37~ damage per hit.
The second half of Amiri’s career is much more streamlined - she’s going to level up as a Ranger until the game ends. Along the way, she’ll get some new Ranger spells (including some genuinely useful ones for this build!), Favored Enemy, Favored Terrain, and her pet will start to improve again.
For Amiri’s first level as Ranger, pick Favored Enemy: Magical Beasts. It’ll help for a lot of the enemies you’ll fight in Season of Bloom, and magical beasts will remain intermittent foes throughout the game.
You’ll grab Seize the Moment this level, as well as the Cleave feat, something we’ve been ignoring for a while so we could pick it as our Combat Style Feat. We’ll likewise ignore Cleaving Finish for the same reason - so we can grab it when we hit 6th-level as a Ranger.
Pick up Favored Terrain: Underground this level, as it’ll prove useful throughout Chapter 3. Plus, there are a lot of dungeons in this game. It’s not the most important terrain to have a bonus for, but it will be immediately useful, as well as intermittently useful thereafter.