The goal is to create a character with most of the benefits of a rogue (i.e. skills, evasion, sneak attack) which is still a formidable front-line combatant. My main strategy is to incorporate the sneak attack ability into combat without resorting to invisibility or other magic tricks to deny the opponent his DX bonus to AC. The best approach is to use the feint option. Since the improved feint feat only reduces feint from a standard action to a move action and there is no way currently available to reduce it to a swift action, the character is limited to a single attack per round, so that one attack better be a heavy hit. Here's what I've come up with.
Using a 20-point human build, I generated the following stats: ST 17 IN 14 DX 14 CN 12 WS 11 CH 10 including the +2 stat bonus on ST. I take my first level in rogue with toughness and power attack as my feats. He's going to need the hps since as a rogue, he's going to limited to light armour to use evasion. The power attack will come into play soon. My second level will be fighter. I will switch to great sword and take the furious focus feat. This allows me to enjoy the damage bonus of power attack without the attack penalty and since I'm using a two-handed weapon, the power attack is even more potent. So, already at second level, I'm pounding out 2d6+7+1d6 points on a sneak attack. I take another rogue level next, taking the iron will feat and using rogue talent (weapon training), I take weapon focus (great sword). My fourth level will be fighter again and I take combat expertise as my fighter bonus feat. I also bump up my ST to 18. By this level, my sneak attack damage is 2d6+9+1d6.
Over the next four levels, I continue to alternate rogue and fighter levels. I add improved feint, skill focus (bluff), weapon specialization and I use rogue talent (combat trick) to take the vital strike feat. By 8th level, my sneak attack damage is 2d6+17+2d6+2d6 (assuming a normal weapon). Now, of course, an 8th level fighter could probably do more damage on average and would almost certainly have a higher attack modifier, more hps and better AC, but this character has enough skill points to max out bluff, perception, stealth, climb, acrobatics, disable device and use magic device, and retains evasion and uncanny dodge. So, is it worth it? What could make it better?
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