Author Topic: Build Discussion: The Always-On-Fire-Bear  (Read 771 times)

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pfooti

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Build Discussion: The Always-On-Fire-Bear
« on: August 24, 2009, 07:20:39 PM »
I'm in the middle of playing a character from 1-20 (or maybe even beyond). I have already done lots of wizardly things, as well as more traditional Beef things, so I decided to do something a bit more ... unique. My sources are more or less all non-setting and forgotten realms books, with a few DM-specific houseruled nerfs (abusing the Polymorph spell invokes the Wrath, Lion Totem Barbarians can only pounce while raging, etc).

So, here's my character: Marley the Lion-Wolf-Bear, Three Animals in One, or the Always-On-Fire-Bear

Azurin Totemist 2 / Barbarian 2 / Incarnate 2 / Totemist +1 / Totem Rager 4 / Bear Warrior 1 / Warshaper 2 / Bear Warrior +4 / Warshaper +2

ACFs: Lion Totem Barbarian (Complete Champion) 1, Wolf Totem Barbarian (Unearthed Arcana) 2

That's three base classes and three PrCs. Whee!

Feats kind of speak for themselves: Expanded Soulmeld Capacity, Power Attack (for bear warrior prereq), Improved Natural Attack Claw, Improved Trip (Barb2), Extra Rage, Extra Essentia, multiattack, etc.

By a strict reading of the rules on Girallon Arms, you can make 3 secondary claw attacks at a base of 1d4 with them bound to your totem meld. You can also bind Worg Pelt to your hands to get a free trip when you hit with a bite. The base Bearform you have starts with claw/claw/bite at 1d4 (claw) and 1d6 (bite). That improves a diesize when you hit Bearwarrior 5. You also can improve your claw damage by another die size via the Warshaper's Morphic Weapons ability, as well as improved natural attack (claw). So you've got 2 primary claws that (unfortunately) don't get enhanced with essentia, a secondary bite that leads to a free trip (and potential second bite, depending on DM interpretation of Improved Trip), followed by three secondary (and slightly beefier) claws. The claws are all 2d6 weapons to start, and the primary claws end up being 3d6 in Brown Bear form (at CL 18 when you get bear warrior 5).

The 2 levels of incarnate are there to provide a lot more utility melds (in town, I shape stuff to buff bluff, gather info, diplomacy, etc). It also provides Mantle of Flame, which is where the Always On Fire comes from. At higher levels, many monsters have an annoying amount of fire resist, making this kind of useless. But against nonresisting foes it's awesome. My DM plays monsters smart, so they tend to go hit other people instead of me.

On the downside, the overall BAB is rather low on this character. You don't mind because you don't have iterative attacks. You also get a lot of buffs for the character in general (bearform bonuses, soulmelds/essentia/etc). You're also extraordinarily flexible. With 24h warning (good scouting, etc) you can totally change into a breath-weapon guy or whatever. You can usually teleport with blink shirt and have a pretty good grapple (str, size, girallon arms) modifier as well, and Planar Ward keeps you from attacking your friends (charmproof 24/7 is pretty sexy).

So far (I'm level 8 with him right now), I'm keeping up with the rest of the damage dealers in the party, not overshadowing them in total damage dealt, but have a lot of exciting flexibility. If I went all-out as a charger (either binding Urskan Greaves or taking Thunderstep Boots as a feat), I could do ridiculous damage, but I'm trying to stay even with everybody else instead of overtaking the table group. It's a LOT of fun to play this guy, especially when I swap around my incarnate melds for the fun of it. Maybe spend a few days more vulnerable to enchant/charm effects and trade Planar Ward for Dissolving Spittle, or whatever.

pfooti

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Re: Build Discussion: The Always-On-Fire-Bear
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2009, 03:16:28 PM »
A note: due to a quirk in the way Incarnum PrCs work, the AOFB can bind his incarnate soulmelds to his crown, hands or feet chakras. He gets 1 bind from Incarnate 2 (crown-only, which is moderately useless), and totem rager 4 opens up hands and feet (somewhat more useful) chakra binds across the board (not just the meldshaping class you're advancing with the +1 ML/some levels). This is even more interesting if you avoid bear warrior entirely and go totem rager 10, of course, because then you'd have 1 bind on the incarnate side that could go to crown, feet, hands, arms, brow, or shoulders. Pretty handy, although I decided after looking at the bind effects that it wasn't worth giving up the +20 str from bearwarrior 5 / warshaper 4.