Author Topic: Little Red Raiding Hood: My Tale of & Guide to the 3.5 Dragoon  (Read 38281 times)

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LittleRedRaidingHood

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Little Red Raiding Hood: My Tale of & Guide to the 3.5 Dragoon
« on: February 19, 2010, 11:06:38 AM »
Little Red Raiding Hood
A Tale of the Many-Classed Dragoon

dragoon2.jpg

Change Log and Version History
[spoiler]2.4: Build #9, Stabby McTankerson, is up. Now you can be a very physical front-liner who rains death from above and can stand in melee for a round or few. (8 20 9)

I rearranged Shoppin' so it uses 2 posts. All items of a type (rings, wondrous items) are in a separate SBlock.

2.3: After many hours of combing through the guide, I now declare all sections free of bugs, be they mechanical, grammatical, or formatting.

I changed the ratings on some items and feats and referenced Magic Item Compendium 233-234's rules on adding common effects to existing items. I fixed all builds so their maneuvers are fully legal.

Build #7, Eternal Daughter, was missing its last stance. Build #4, The Twilight Lancer, and Build #8, The Trancer, had titles mismatch their level progressions.

I added an SBlock in Feats for Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62) on how to use it to mimic Spring Attack.

2.2: Build #8, the Trancer, is up. This build could pass for a backup arcanist much of the time.

Further proofreading revealed many now-squashed minor bugs. (7 28 9)

2.1: I fixed minor typos and tweaked the format of some things more to my liking. (7 23 9)

2.0: Build #7, Eternal Daughter, is up. I advise against playing it unless you start at or near level 20 as Island in Time, your level 20 ability, is the only redeeming feature compared to other builds!

In other news, I turned 25 last week. Happy birthday. (6 28 9)

1.9: I added my thought process to the Administrative Q&A section and fixed minor bugs. (5 16 9)

1.8: Build #6 is up for the charismatic, party-boosting dragoons. (2 6 9)

1.7: I added build #5 for those dragoons suck without Tome of Battle or Unearthed Arcana. (1 30 9)

1.6: I expanded the build section with The Blade Lancer and will soon expand it further. (11 26 8)

1.5: The maneuver progression for all builds is legal now. I also fixed minor typos and bugs. (11 11 8)

1.4: I fixed the Powertool build since it had Shock Trooper (Complete Warrior 112) listed twice. I also rearranged its feats to get Shock Trooper at level 9 for more accurate power attackin'! (10 26 8)

1.3: I added the section Your Role as a Dragoon as well as some other minor additions like spider climb.

The folks of the Brilliant Gameologists board added their comments to this thread about the Hood handbook. Thank you! (10 22 8)

1.2: I added a link in the administrative FAQ to Tempest Stormwind's revised dragoon and added the masterwork tool. (10 20 8)

1.1: I changed The Stilldancer's race from Raptoran (Races of the Wild 68) to half-orc and changed its feats to improve its effectiveness. (10 18 8)

1.0: Initial public release. Man, this thing is big! (10 17 8)

Periodically: I will edit minor things like to fix broken links or correct typos or formatting errors. Typically, I won't list periodic changes.[/spoiler]

Credits
[spoiler]These people were especially helpful in the completion of this project.

-God: For with Him, all things are possible!
-Surreal: Lists of Stuff AND Some handy links for CO work
-Tempest Stormwind: His work on the old dragoon thread and the UberERcharger inspired me to make this one.[/spoiler]

Preliminary Details

FAQ of Administrative Stuff
[spoiler]Administrative Q&A
Q: What is a dragoon? What is a dragon knight? What is a lancer?
A: A dragoon or 'dragon knight' is a high-jumping, heavy armor-wearing spear-wielding unit from the Final Fantasy series. Some dragoons, especially from Final Fantasy Tactics, are called lancers. This is the main definition. This guide is mostly about unmounted dragoons, though with certain modifications you can also handle mounted combat fairly well.

Historically, dragoons were mounted cavalry who also fought on foot. Let us discuss historical dragoons no more in this post.

For more info regarding all types of dragoons, see Wikipedia. If you want to see how a dragoon looks in action at mid levels, see General Greivous The Animated.

Q: What happened to the old dragoon threads?
A: Tempest Stormwind's dragoon builds were from this thread, now archived. I reformatted it and placed the spiffifications in a post below.

Q: Where'd you get that picture? What is it?
A: I found it on the above dragoon thread. It's a picture of the female lancer from Final Fantasy Tactics.

Q: Why write this?
A: I intended to play a dragoon and decided to share my findings with the world in a spectacular fashion. Second, I wanted to get more attention to the 3.5 boards. Also, I had a burning desire that bordered on obsession to build this character, which is awkward considering I ususally prefer wizards.

Q: What are some helpful relevant links?
A: See the links section in a below Spoiler.

Q: How long did this take?
A: 1.0 probably took at least 50 hours over 3 weeks.

Q: What do your color codes mean?
A: Blue is critical or almost critical for your build. Alternatively, an item, spell, or feat may be so worthy that it's a gimme for almost everyone. If necessary, plead with your DM to allow you this.
Navy is of high priority for most dragoons. An item may be a wonderful bargain, a spell may be more potent with your build, or a feat that normally is dubious works wonders for you.
Black is nice to have for most dragoons. Maybe an effect is awesome but can only be used once per day. Perhaps a spell is excellent, but a continuous item of that spell isn't worth the price. Some things' usefulness varies so widely that I can't adequately gauge how much it will help, and if in doubt I make it black.
Red is either extremely niche or utter crap for you. Many spells with saves work well when cast by a high INT wizard, but you aren't a primary caster. Something may seem appealing and may even be thematically appropriate, but you should only take a red item if your heart begs you to take it or there's no better choice.

I do not attempt to list every option. While I wish to provide a comprehensive list, I present only the most popular, optimal, or thematically appropriate materials.

Q: Must I wear red? Must I be female?
A: No and no, though you'd probably get more laughs than cheers if as a man you called yourself Little Red Raiding Hood.

Q: Why is this build called Little Red Raiding Hood?
A: Because she's an air raider! Let the sirens blare when you move 50 feet, jump onto your foe, full attack, and spring away via Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62) as if nothing ever happened. (Spring Attack, eat your heart out!)[/spoiler]

Game Mechanics Q&A
[spoiler]Q: What is partial BAB stacking?
A: A rogue gets 3 points of base attack bonus every 4 levels. A wizard gets 1 point of BAB every 2 levels. A rogue1/wizard1 by default rules has a BAB of 0 but with partial BAB stacking, he instead has a BAB of 1.25 which is rounded down to 1. (Unearthed Arcana 73 lists the table.)

Q: Do I need partial BAB stacking?
A: No, but if you start below level 5ish, plead with your DM to allow it. Expect to have a hard time hitting otherwise. Even if you start later, hitting them more often is better.

Q: What if my DM enforces alignment, like saying lawful barbarians can't rage?
A: Talk to your DM. Blade dancers (Oriental Adventures 37) by their flavor text seem more unlawful because of their drinking habits. They're more roguish or bardic than paladinic. If your DM uses Oriental Adventures errata, blade dancers are nonchaotic instead of just lawful. Regardless, if you can't enter and you want in, you'll need to adapt.

Failing that, seriously consider if you want blade dancer. You need three icky feats, Dodge, Mobility, and Spring Attack, to qualify.

By extrapolation, this applies to other alignment-based abilities and classes as well.

Q: What if I can't use Eberron material?
A: You lose Powerful Charge (Eberron Campaign Setting 57) and Greater Powerful Charge (Eberron Campaign Setting 54). Eberron has the least useful material available for dragoons.

Q: What if I can't use Faerun material?
A: You lose Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42), the Valorous enchant (Unapproachable East 54), and anything else from Faerun books. You can withstand losing Valorous, but Battle Jump is key to the dragoon's style. Plead with your DM to allow it if you want to be a dragoon!

Q: What if I can't use Oriental Adventures?
A: Unless you greatly wanted to be a blade dancer (Oriental Adventures 37), you lose nothing of note.

Q: What if I can't use psionics?
A: No Up the Walls or hustle for you then. You can achieve similar stylistic results by magical flight or wings, or a Transmuter's Sudden Shift (Player's Handbook II 68), but Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42) requires you hurl yourself at your opponents, not fly down at them. Also, the Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62) becomes more important.

Complete Scoundrel's skill tricks help slightly, but they do little to compensate.

Q: What if I can't use the Tome of Battle?
A: If you still want to be a dragoon, see the prettily formatted version in a post below. Alternatively, investigate Tempest Stormwind's old version. Finally, see the build posts below. (Post 1, Post 2)

Q: What if I'm stuck with core only?
A: You're on your own. Good luck.

Q: What if need a deity?
A: See the Spoiler below for Domains, Devotions, and Deities.

Q: What if my DM enforces favored classes and multiclass penalties?
A: Then I'm glad I ain't playin' in that game. Seriously, if you must, take Additional Favored Class (Unearthed Arcana 100). Alternatively, try talking to your DM to let warblade or a class of your choice be your favored class. This works especially well if your race's normal favored class is ranger, fighter, or barbarian.

Failing that, find a new build.

Q: What stats do I need to make each build work?
A: Check in each build's SBlock. (Post 1, Post 2)

Some aspects apply to all builds, however.

You need 14 WIS to get the bonus power point needed to psionically focus with 1 psychic warrior level. You need only 13 WIS otherwise.

I also recommend AT LEAST a 14 CON because you're a melee person. Over the long term, you need CON about as much as the party's tank because a giant flying, wall-running menace that impales foes with one hit and clears rooms in one round will draw aggro, if any foes remain that is.

If you wish to focus on casting, you'll need a higher INT, WIS, or CHA. Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62) requires 2 turning attempts per use, and if you don't want to blow feats or buy items, bump your CHA.

Q: Do Tome of Battle prestige classes add their initiator level bonus to crusader, swordsage, and warblade?
A: By the rules as written, yes! I consider this fair considering a full caster has far more tricks than a multiclassed martial adept.

Q: Does Evasion work with abilities that replace Reflex saves with skill checks, like Action Before Thought?
A: By the rules as written, no. Evasion applies to Reflex saves, and Action Before Thought uses a skill check instead of a save. Allowing Evasion to work is a reasonable interpretation.

Q: How should I allocate my stat points from levels?
A: Boost your stats to fill prereqs first. Casters should boost their primary casting stat. Other dragoons should boost stats according to preference.

STR: Melee accuracy & damage, Climb & Jump checks
DEX: AC, reflex saves, Tumble checks, more attacks from Combat Reflexes
CON: HP, fortitude saves, Concentration checks
INT: Skill points, Knowledge & Search checks
WIS: Will saves, Spot & Listen checks
CHA: More turn/rebuke undead attempts for Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62), social skills

Q: What about Complete Scoundrel's skill tricks?
A: As skydragonknight mentioned in this dragoon thread, there are some especially useful skill tricks like Wall Leaper. See the Spoiler below.

Q: Does becoming a Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) remove my previous race's Climb or Jump bonuses since these skills determine distance I can jump or climb per turn and I keep the movement modes of my original race? Normally I'd lose skill bonuses and a bunch of other stuff.
A: I'd like to think so, but in this guide I assume not. See the Dragonborn template below and ask your DM!

Q: If I can take traits or/and flaws, which are best?
A: [http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=7200.msg236679#msg236679]See the Spoiler below[/url].

Q: What about a certain house rule, feat, variant, item, class, or...?
A: Remember, the dragoon concept is a template and able to change a bit to suit your needs. I'm open to suggestions for its improvement, though the core concept of a high-jumping acrobatic polearm-wielding "OMGWTFBBQ" martial character, not necessarily a martial adept, won't change.[/spoiler]

Relevant Links for Aspiring Dragoons
[spoiler]Builds
-A little Lock build for you... AKA Locke Downe (aelryinth): A build centered around preventing enemies from moving
-Chuck E. Cheese (skydragonknight): Attaining light speed in D&D! [Complete Champion errata killed the trick by preventing the persisting of footsteps of the divine, but it was interesting while it lasted.]
-Circle Mower (17flyingaxes): Use Battle Jump and maneuvers to achieve ludicrous charge damage without magic items!
-Jumplomancer by Caedrus: Jump to make people your fanatical followers!

Caster Resources
-Cleric Domain List (Henry Perkins): Has most 3.5 domains listed along with their Greyhawk and Faerun deities. Also, domain spells from non-cleric lists are marked! NOTE: This list is less comprehensive and less official than ImarvinTPA's.
-Cleric Handbook (ClericHandbook)
-Complete 3.5 Polymorph Thread (MegaPlex): Get your buff forms here!
-Forms for Alter Self (PhaedrusXY)
-List of the Best Buff Spells (MegaPlex)
-Tempest Stormwind's old dragoon thread
-Treantmonk's Guide to Abjuration: God's Tools
-Treantmonk's Guide to Conjuration: God's Tools
-Tsuyoshi's Guide to Divination Spells: G-d's Eyes
-Treantmonk's Guide to Enchantment: God's Tools
-Treantmonk's Guide to Evocation: God's Tools
-Treantmonk's Guide to Illusion: God's Tools
-Treantmonk's Guide to Necromancy: God's Tools
-CantripN's Guide to Transmutation Spells: God's Gifts

Databases
-d20 SRD: The Hyperlinked Version
-IMarvinTPA's Spell, Deity, Domain, Feat, and Item Database (Andrew Bay)
-Lists of Stuff (Surreal)
-"Some handy links for CO work" AKA The Surrealdex (Surreal)

Handy Resources
-A guide to free D&D (Dictum Mortuum) - WotC gave away some of the best parts of their books. No wonder D&D 4E came out so soon.
-All About Mounts (Part Five) - Skip Williams explains the difference between [Long] and [Tall] creatures.
-Brilliant Gameologists Boards: All the cool kids are doing it!
-Cityscape Web Enhancement - Urban class features, such as losing Ride as a class skill and gaining Tumble
-Items that Grant Feats (thugsb)
-Maneuver Cards: Official cards from the WotC site
-Official D&D Errata AKA Official D&D Updates
-Why cleric 1 is an awesome option to consider for dipping (ChristopherGroves)

Misc
-Eternal Daughter (Derek Yu & Jon Perry)
-Pricegrabber.com: A place to compare prices on real world items[/spoiler]

Source Material Acronymns (Product Key)
[spoiler]This list is mostly for repliers who use acronymns instead of full names.

An      Anauroch: The Empire of Shade
AEG      Arms and Equipment Guide
BFK       Barrow of the Forgotten King
BB       Bastion of Broken Souls
BC       Book of Challenges: Dungeon Rooms, Puzzles, and Traps
BE       Book of Exalted Deeds
BV       Book of Vile Darkness
CoR       Champions of Ruin
CoV       Champions of Valor
CiP      City of Peril
CSW       City of Splendors: Waterdeep
CSQ       City of the Spider Queen
Ci       Cityscape
CV       Complete Adventurer
CA       Complete Arcane
CC       Complete Champion
CD       Complete Divine
CM       Complete Mage
CP       Complete Psionic
CS       Complete Scoundrel
CW       Complete Warrior
Co       Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave
DG       D&D Gazetteer
DH       Deep Horizon
DotF       Defenders of the Faith: A Guidebook to Clerics and Paladins
DD       Deities and Demigods
Dr       Draconomicon
DM       Dragon Magic
DCS       Dragonlance Campaign Setting
Dra       Dragonmarked
DE       Dragons of Eberron
DrF       Dragons of Faerûn
DrU       Drow of the Underdark
DMG       Dungeon Master's Guide v.3.5
DMG2       Dungeon Master's Guide II
Du       Dungeonscape
ECS       Eberron Campaign Setting
ElE       Elder Evils
EA       Enemies and Allies
ELH       Epic Level Handbook
EE       Exemplars of Evil
XPH       Expanded Psionics Handbook
Rav       Expedition to Castle Ravenloft
EDP       Expedition to the Demonweb Pits
ERG       Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk
EU       Expedition to Undermountain
EH       Explorer's Handbook
ELQ       Eyes of the Lich Queen
F&P       Faiths & Pantheons
FoE       Faiths of Eberron
FLFD       Fantastic Locations: Fane of the Drow
FLFR       Fantastic Locations: Fields of Ruin
FLHP       Fantastic Locations: Hellspike Prison
FF       Fiend Folio
FC1       Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss
FC2       Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells
5N       Five Nations
Fo       Forge of Fury, The
FW       Forge of War, The
FRCS       Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
FY       Fortress of the Yuan-Ti
FB       Frostburn
Gh       Ghostwalk
GHR       Grand History of the Realms
GC       Grasp of the Emerald Claw
HN       Heart of Nightfang Spire
HBG       Hero Builder's Guidebook
HoB       Heroes of Battle
HoH       Heroes of Horror
LM       Libris Mortis: The Book of the Dead
LG       Living Greyhawk Gazetteer
LF       Lord of the Iron Fortress
LoD       Lords of Darkness
LoM       Lords of Madness
LEOF       Lost Empires of Faerûn
MIC       Magic Item Compendium
MoE       Magic of Eberron
MoF       Magic of Faerûn
MoI       Magic of Incarnum
MP       Manual of the Planes
MW       Masters of the Wild: A Guidebook to Barbarians, Druids, and Rangers
MH       Miniatures Handbook
Mon       Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn
MM5       Monster Manual V
MM4       Monster Manual IV
MM3       Monster Manual III
MM2       Monster Manual II
MM       Monster Manual v.3.5
Mys       Mysteries of the Moonsea
OA       Oriental Adventures
PlH       Planar Handbook
PE       Player's Guide to Eberron
PG       Player's Guide to Faerûn
PH       Player's Handbook v.3.5
PH2       Player's Handbook II
PF       Power of Faerûn
RD       Races of Destiny
RE       Races of Eberron
Rac       Races of Faerûn
RS       Races of Stone
RDr       Races of the Dragon
RW       Races of the Wild
RH       Red Hand of Doom
RT       Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
RC       Rules Compendium
Sa       Sandstorm
SS       Savage Species
SoS       Secrets of Sarlona
SX       Secrets of Xen'drik
SK       Serpent Kingdoms
SSL       Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land
SL       Shadows of the Last War
Sh       Sharn: City of Towers
ShG       The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
ShS       Shining South
SM       Silver Marches
SiS       Sinister Spire, The
SaS       Song and Silence: A Guidebook to Bards and Rogues
SG       Sons of Gruumsh
SD       Speaker in Dreams, The
SC       Spell Compendium
StS       Standing Stone, The
Sto       Stormwrack
SB       Stronghold Builder's Guidebook
SuC       Sunless Citadel, The
SF       Sword and Fist: A Guidebook to Monks and Fighters
TB       Tome and Blood: A Guidebook to Wizards and Sorcerers
ToB       Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords
ToM       Tome of Magic
Una       Unapproachable East
Und       Underdark
UA       Unearthed Arcana
VGD       Voyage of the Golden Dragon
WB       Whispers of the Vampire's Blade[/spoiler]

A Dragoon's Role and By-Level Breakdown
[spoiler]Overall, your job is to do lots of damage in melee via your polearm. At mid to late levels, this will be enough to kill nearly anything in one full attack, assuming all your attacks hit. (In MMO terms, you're mad melee DPS.) While you're frequently on the front lines, if you are the main target, you should remain just ouf of reach of things wishing to harm you. Leave 'tanking' to the Big Stupid Fighter™ or Locke Downe. With your polearm, you should be able to stand far enough away to poke at anyone entering your threat range, hopefully stopping them from touching you.

You also have much more mobility than the average creature of your size category. Your second job is to get out of attack range of foes you can't kill, either by breaking line of effect or being so far away they can't hit you with their best attacks. ("Run, run as fast as you can! You can't catch me, I'm the ninja bread man!") Spells like teleport and invisibility and abilities like Abrupt Jaunt (Player's Handbook II 68) also qualify.

You should be far enough away from the fight to warn your party of impending reinforcements and to guard your wizards, archers, and other backliners.

* Stilldancer Sample Build *
Phase I: Levels 1-5 - Gritty Medieval Fantasy
Level 1: Feat Rogue1
(You gain a fighter bonus feat instead of sneak attack.)

Initially, you're one of the party's scouts. You can sneak and Spot better than the average character, though many will wonder why as a stealther you rely on a longspear. Answer: You're proficient with it and it's the best simple reach weapon available at level 1.

You may also need a bow because of your low HP, 0 BAB, and meager Fortitude save. Play it safe and you should level in a month.

You can occasionally trigger Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42), but you most likely need to climb somewhere high to do it.

If you aren't a Raptoran (Races of the Wild 68) or Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8), becoming a Dragonborn ) is an immediate goal and one you may be able to attain at level 1 in your backstory. Even if you must take out a loan or promise someone or something service, it's most likely worthwhile. (Talk to your DM about this.)

Level 2: Cleric1
After gaining your first cleric level, you're still the stealthy, scouting type with a longspear, but now you can heal yourself should you get in trouble. Hopefully you snagged the Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62) so you can move as a swift action instead of a move action.

You can also heal your allies between fights and buff slightly before fights, but you should still try to remain out of view. Remember you can use clerical wands and staves if the spell is on your cleric list or granted to you by your domains!

Level 3: Psychic Warrior1
Up The Walls, baby! Now you can trigger Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42) by backflipping from a wall onto some poor sap's head. You can also run along walls and surprise most people who don't think in 3D.

You also become proficient with lances and halberds, increasing your damage capacity slightly.

Level 4: Barbarian1
Little changes from last level, but now you're guaranteed to have a positive base attack bonus, thereby allowing Power Attack bonus damage. You can hopefully also use Whirling Frenzy to gain an extra attack for one fight per day.

While you don't benefit from it immediately, Pounce gained from the Lion Totem (Complete Champion 46) also works when hasted. Better to have it sooner than later.

You should also have the HP to take a blow or 3 in melee and not worry about falling over. Things probably only get more intense from here!

Level 5: Warblade1 (Tome of Battle 21)
Bring on the maneuvers! This is the last time your power level will increase so greatly with one level gained. You should have Moment of Perfect Mind (Tome of Battle 64) to protect against mind control, Sudden Leap (Tome of Battle 89) to allow you to jump as a swift action when your Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 162) power is depleted, and Punishing Stance (Tome of Battle 69) to do d6 more damage and be out of harm's way so the -2 AC from this stance doesn't affect you. If you're paranoid of being mind controlled, instead take the stance Bolstering Voice (Tome of Battle 90) so all allies within 60' that can hear you get +2 Will.

Now you'll need to manage your swift and immediate actions. Remember, using an immediate action when it isn't your turn steals your next turn's swift action!

Around level 5 is when you can take a few more risks around enemies and not risk death from one stab or full attack. Enemy melee characters get multiple attacks on a full attack starting around this time; beware!

Finally, if you're a Raptoran (Races of the Wild 68), you can fly for brief periods. While flying, you can perform a diving charge with a piercing weapon for double damage. Woot!

Phase II: Levels 6-10 - Heroic Medieval Fantasy
You've survived the growing pains of gaining your first point of BAB by acting smart and staying out of harm's way as much as practical. Keep up the good work and you'll be jumping even higher soon!

From now on, you won't be hiding frequently to great effect: A mere 4 ranks in Hide got you here, but it filled its purpose. (If you have more ranks, you're probably trying to be sneaky in which case, sneak on!)

I won't do a by-level breakdown for every level from now on, but instead give notes on important levels and a general feel for how I expect things to be.

Level 6: Warblade2
If you're a Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8), you can fly for brief periods. While flying, you can perform a diving charge with a piercing weapon for double damage. Woot!

Level 7: Warblade3
If you're consistently near the back ranks, you can help your wizard tremendously via White Raven Tactics (Tome of Battle 94). Spend a swift action to give him another round immediately following your turn. (WRT has a 10' range, mind you.) Have him buff you or take out an important target.

Level 8: Warblade4
You gain Leaping Dragon Stance (Tome of Battle 88), allowing you to make running jumps as standing jumps and giving you jump 10 more feet per jump.. From now on, jumping should be no problem!

Level 10: Warblade5
By now you should have White Raven Tactics (Tome of Battle 94) to allow your allies extra turns, and Iron Heart Surge (Tome of Battle 68) to ensure most status effects are a thing of the past.

Also, if you're a Raptoran (Races of the Wild 68), you can fly indefinitely with a base speed of 40' (average maneuverability). Yee haw!

Phase III: Levels 11-15 - Wuxia
To the typical commoner or low-level person, you're effectively a god. Your base land speed doubles from blade dancer (Oriental Adventures 37), you can jump tremendous heights by taking 10, withstand blow after blow that would kill commoners, and kill many if not most things with one attack or a full attack. With the aid of your party, you can do even more!

Things may get easier from here. Your cleric should be able to raise the dead. Your wizard should be able to turn you into unspeakably powerful horrors, and you two should be buddy buddy from all the extra turns you give him. Play style doesn't much change from here on unless you take levels in a different casting or manifesting class.

If you can get a turn, Moment of Alacrity (Tome of Battle 64) almost ensures you go first. Combine with other initiative boosters to improve your odds. If you can do hundreds of damage by jumping on someone by this point, more than enough to kill them, you're nearly invincible. Beware forced share pain and other effects that damage you based on damage you deal, and of course, falling rocks!

Level 12
If you're a Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8), you can fly indefinitely with a base speed of 30' (average maneuverability). Yee haw!

Phase IV: Levels 16-20 - Superheroes
You're effectively a superhero or supervillain by this point, able to make lesser gods cringe at the thought of losing initiative to you. You may be able to jump into the atmosphere with your leet skillz and come down with the force of a meteor. By level 20, you should be able to down any creature vulnerable to stabbity death with one full attack. More likely, you can do over 1000 damage per turn far before level 20, much to the ire of your DM.

Play style throughout these levels is mostly the same as Phase III: Jump to epic heights onto your foe, trigger Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42), watch problems explode, and repeat as prudent.

You also get Raging Mongoose (Tome of Battle 89) in this phase for 2 extra attacks. By the time you get it, each additional attack should add hundreds of damage if it hits. This is probably overkill, but better to do an extra thousand damage and ensure something dies than to die to it because it still had 3 HP. Like the saying goes, "There's no kill like overkill!"[/spoiler]


« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 12:22:37 AM by LittleRedRaidingHood »

LittleRedRaidingHood

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Under The Hood I
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 11:07:54 AM »
Under the Hood I
Math and Sample Builds

Attack Math For Any Build
[spoiler]NOTE: All numbers assume you hold a weapon in exactly 2 hands. Also, see this section on D&D multipliers and how D&D handles math. It's logical once you get the feel for it, but D&D attack math has its quirks.

Charge Damage Multipliers
-Battle Jump (2x)
-Diving Charge (2x): Requires a you wield a piercing weapon and that you be either a 5HD Raptoran or 6HD Dragonborn
-Halberd of Vaulting (2x)
-Headlong Rush (2x)
-Spirited Charge (2x while mounted)
-Valorous Weapon (2x) OR Valorous Lance (3x while mounted)

Power Attack Multipliers
NOTE: Power Attack normally gives double your accuracy penalty to damage when wielding a weapon two-handed. Leap Attack has errata to instead give quadruple your accuracy penalty as bonus damage for 2 handed weapons and is thus listed as (4x PA).
-Combat Brute (2x PA)
-Leap Attack (4x PA)

STR Bonus Multipliers
-Power Lunge (2x STR): Normally you'd get 1.5x your STR mod, meaning Power Lunge instead gives you 2.5x.
-More arms (+.5x STR per arm)

Bring on the Pain! Let's assume near-ideal conditions: You're wielding a Halberd of Vaulting (Arms & Equipment Guide 109) that's been modified to instead act as a lance. It has the Valorous enchant (Unapproachable East 54), and you're able to trigger Battle Jump and Leap Attack, but not Combat Brute, Headlong Rush, or Diving Charge. Since you apparently have no choice, Power Lunge also triggers.

Not including Power Attack or criticals, your charge does quadruple (4x) damage! Suddenly, a meager d8+14 damage does 4d8+56, per attack! (+6 from STR, +4 from Power Lunge, +4 from a +4 weapon - all quadrupled)

Wanna see how Power Attack beefs this up? If not, stop reading and spare your delicate eyes.

Using the same d8+14 damage (+6 is from STR), let's Power Attack for 5. You deal 4d8+136 per hit! (+20 from Power Attack, +6 from STR, +4 from Power Lunge, +4 from a +4 weapon - all quadrupled)

These are modest numbers which may be slightly inaccurate. If you wanna get fancy, read on!

Let's assume all bonuses listed above apply and you're level 20. Someone changed you into a firbolg from Monster Manual II 101 and you have +5 STR from levels (assuming stat increases every 4 levels are unnamed bonuses and not ability score replacements), +5 STR from tomes, and an item of +6 STR for a total of 52 STR for a +21 STR bonus. You're wielding a +5 weapon in 4 arms via girallon's blessing from Spell Compendium 106. You could arm wrestle lesser gods and have a chance at winning.

You're using your trusty Valorous Lance of Vaulting in an ideal unmounted case; Diving Charge, Battle Jump, Combat Brute, full Power Attack - the works. You do d8+57 damage base - before Power Attack, Power Lunge, etc.- but let's tack on s'more options. Power Lunge increases this by 21, Power Attacking for 16 by 80, and your other charge damage multipiers make this full attack do septuple (7x) damage.

Each of your 7 attacks (4 base, +1 haste, +2 Raging Mongoose) does an impressive 7d8+1118 WITHOUT a critical hit! You can do this every other round, conditions permitting as you need a turn to refresh Raging Mongoose. If everything hits for full, you'll down a great wyrn prismatic dragon in one round. To put this damage in perspective, there is no officially published creature that has more than about 3000 HP. To quote Tempest Stormwind, "Line up the deities!"

If your DM insists stat boosts from levels don't transfer to polymorph forms, you "only" have a 47 STR or "only" a +18 STR bonus. You do d8+50 base damage instead of d8+57. If your DM also says stat bonuses from tomes don't work either, you have "merely" 42 STR or "merely" a +16 STR bonus. You do d8+45 base damage. Regardless, the damage difference is practically unnoticeable when you do so much.

(I'm well aware this isn't the highest melee damage build available, but I find it respectable. See the Hulking Hurler for astronomical damage or the Circle Mower for super high damage without magic items.)[/spoiler]

Build #1: The Powertool (Power Attack Craziness)
[spoiler]
The Summary
Nonlawful Nonevil Dragonborn Half-Orc Feat Rogue1/Cleric1/Psychic Warrior1/Barbarian1/Warblade4 (Tome of Battle 21)/Psychic Warrior+1/Fighter1/Warblade+9/Fighter+1
The Necessities
Stats 13 STR (Power Attack) 14 INT or +2 skill points/level if you want to get everything at the earliest opportunity. If you can wait, 10 INT is the bare minimum, but you'll miss out. 14 WIS (Up the Walls)
Skills -Max Jump and Tumble. -Maxing Concentration is wise so you can use Diamond Mind maneuvers to greatest effect.
Alignment -You need a nonlawful alignment to enter barbarian and retain raging. -You need a nonevil alignment to become and stay Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 15).
The Breakdown
This build should be playable from level 1 on, though you need time to grow into it. Any race will do, but I recommend half-orc for Headlong Rush and Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) or some method like gliding to negate falling damage.
Ability Key
CRAPPY PREREQUISITE FEAT
[Class Feature or Class Bonus Feat]
-General Feat-

Level                  Abilities                                    Normal/Partial BAB        
01 Feat Rogue1         -Battle Jump-, [Power Attack]                 0/0
02 Cleric1             [Domain: Time, Devotion: Travel]              0/1
                       [Spontaneous Domain Casting: Time]            
03 Psychic Warrior1    -Additional Favored Class: Warblade!-,        0/2
                       [Up the Walls]
04 Barbarian1          [Lion Totem: Pounce], [Whirling Frenzy]       1/3                        
05 Warblade1                                                         2/4
06 Warblade2           -Leap Attack-                                 3/5
07 Warblade3                                                         4/6
08 Warblade4                                                         5/7
09 Psychic Warrior2    [IMPROVED BULL RUSH], -Shock Trooper-         6/8
10 Fighter1            [Headlong Rush]                               7/9
11 Warblade5           [Combat Reflexes]                             8/10
12 Warblade6           -Power Lunge-                                 9/11
13 Warblade7                                                        10/12
14 Warblade8                                                        11/13
15 Warblade9           -IMPROVED SUNDER-, [Tiger-Blooded]           12/14
16 Warblade10                                                       13/15
17 Warblade11                                                       14/16
18 Warblade12          -Combat Brute-                               15/17
19 Warblade13          [Iron Will]                                  16/18
20 Fighter2            -Cleave-                                     17/19



!If entering warblade would NOT give you an experience penalty, instead take
another feat. While Leap of the Heavens (Player's Handbook II 80) effectively
allows you to treat standing jumps as running jumps, Leaping Dragon Stance
(Tome of Battle 88) gives you the same thing at level 8.

References for Material
-Additional Favored Class (Unearthed Arcana 100)
-Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42)
-Cleave
-Combat Brute (Complete Warrior 110)
-Combat Reflexes
-Feat Rogue
-Iron Will
-Leap Attack, Errata
-Leap of the Heavens (Player's Handbook II 80)
-Lion Totem alternative class feature (Complete Champion 46)
-Power Attack
-Power Lunge (Sword and Fist 8)
-Shock Trooper (Complete Warrior 112)
-Time Domain (Spell Compendium 281)
-Tiger-Blooded (Tome of Battle 33)
-Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62)
-Warblade (Tome of Battle 21)
-Up The Walls
-Whirling Frenzy

Maneuvers and Stances
(School & Page): DM62 is a Diamond Mind maneuver on Tome of Battle page 62.

Level     Maneuvers Gained/Swapped               Stance Gained                  

W01/I03   Claw at the Moon [2] (TC86),           Punishing Stance [1] (IH69)
          Moment of Perfect Mind [1] (DM64),    
          Wall of Blades [2] (IH70)
W02/I04   Leading the Attack [1] (WR92)
W03/I05   White Raven Tactics [3] (WR94),
W04/I06   SWAP Leading the Attack [1] for        Leaping Dragon Stance [3] (TC88)
               Iron Heart Surge [3] (IH68)                                      
W05/I08   Bounding Assault [4] (DM62),
W06/I09   SWAP Wall of Blades [2] for
               Soaring Raptor Strike [3] (TC86)
W07/I10   Dancing Mongoose [5] (TC86)
W08/I11                                            
W09/I12   Moment of Alacrity [6] (DM64)
W10/I13   SWAP Soaring Raptor Strike [3] for     Hearing the Air [5] (DM63)
               Swooping Dragon Strike [7] (TC89)                                      
W11/I14   Quicksilver Motion [7] (DM65)
W12/I15  
W13/I16   Raging Mongoose [8] (TC89)
[/spoiler]

Build #2: The Stilldancer (Time Stands Still maneuver and Blade Dancer)
[spoiler]
The Summary
Neutral Good OR True Neutral Dragonborn Half-Orc Feat Rogue1/Cleric1/Psychic Warrior1/Barbarian1/Warblade4 (Tome of Battle 21)/Psychic Warrior+1/Blade Dancer1 (Oriental Adventures 37)/Warblade+8/Bloodclaw Master1 (Tome of Battle 96)/Warblade+1
The Necessities

Stats
13 STR (Power Attack)
15 DEX (Dodge [13] and Two-Weapon Fighting [15])
14 INT or +2 skill points/level if you want to get everything at the earliest opportunity. If you can wait, 10 INT is the bare minimum, but you'll miss out.
14 WIS (Up the Walls)

Skills
-Max Jump and Tumble.
-Maxing Concentration is wise so you can use Diamond Mind maneuvers to greatest effect.

Alignment
-You need a nonlawful alignment to enter barbarian and retain raging.
-You need a nonchaotic alignment to enter blade dancer at level 11.
-You need a nonevil alignment to become and stay Dragonborn..

The Breakdown
This build should be playable from level 1 on, though you need time to grow into it. Any race will do, but I recommend half-orc for Headlong Rush and Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) or some method like gliding to negate falling damage.

Ability Key
CRAPPY PREREQUISITE FEAT
[Class Feature or Class Bonus Feat]
-General Feat-

Level                  Abilities                                    Normal/Partial BAB        
01 Feat Rogue1         -Battle Jump-, [Power Attack]                 0/0
02 Cleric1             [Domain: Time, Devotion: Travel]              0/1
                       [Spontaneous Domain Casting: Time]            
03 Psychic Warrior1    -*DODGE!-, [Up the Walls]                     0/2
04 Barbarian1          [Lion Totem: Pounce], [Whirling Frenzy]       1/3      
05 Warblade1                                                         2/4
06 Warblade2           -Leap Attack-                                 3/5
07 Warblade3                                                         4/6
08 Warblade4                                                         5/7
09 Psychic Warrior2    -*MOBILITY-, [*SPRING ATTACK]                 6/8
10 Warblade5          [Combat Reflexes]                             7/9
11 Blade Dancer1       [Acrobatics (+10)],                           8/10
                       [Fast Movement: Base Land Speed x2]
12 Warblade6           -Headlong Rush-                               9/11
13 Warblade7                                                        10/12
14 Warblade8                                                        11/13
15 Warblade9           [Iron Will], -Power Lunge-                   12/14
16 Warblade10                                                       13/15
17 Warblade11                                                       14/16
18 Warblade12          -TWO-WEAPON FIGHTING-                        15/17
19 Bloodclaw Master1                                                15/18
20 Warblade13          [Lightning Reflexes]                         16/19



*This feat is solely to qualify you for blade dancer (Oriental Adventures 37).
I advise against taking this feat if you aren't aiming for blade dancer.

!If entering warblade would give you an experience penalty, instead take
Additional Favored Class: Warblade (Unearthed Arcana 100) here and
adjust your remaining feats accordingly.

References for Material
-Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42)
-Blade Dancer (Oriental Adventures 37)
-Bloodclaw Master (Tome of Battle 96)
-Combat Reflexes
-Dodge
-Feat Rogue
-Headlong Rush
-Iron Will
-Leap Attack, Errata
-Lightning Reflexes
-Lion Totem alternative class feature (Complete Champion 46)
-Mobility
-Power Attack
-Power Lunge (Sword and Fist 8)
-Spring Attack
-Time Domain (Spell Compendium 281)
-Tiger-Blooded (Tome of Battle 33)
-Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62)
-Two-Weapon Fighting
-Warblade (Tome of Battle 21)
-Up The Walls
-Whirling Frenzy

Maneuvers and Stances
(School & Page): DM62 is a Diamond Mind maneuver on Tome of Battle page 62.

Level     Maneuvers Gained/Swapped               Stance Gained                  

W01/I03   Claw at the Moon [2] (TC86),           Punishing Stance [1] (IH69)
          Moment of Perfect Mind [1] (DM64),    
          Wall of Blades [2] (IH70)
W02/I04   Leading the Attack [1] (WR92)
W03/I05   White Raven Tactics [3] (WR94)
W04/I06   SWAP Leading the Attack [1] for        Leaping Dragon Stance [3] (TC88)
               Iron Heart Surge [3] (IH68)                                      
W05/I08   Bounding Assault [4] (DM62)
W06/I09   SWAP Wall of Blades [2] for
               Soaring Raptor Strike [3] (TC86)
W07/I10   Dancing Mongoose [5] (TC86)
W08/I11                                            
W09/I12   Moment of Alacrity [6] (DM64)
W10/I13   SWAP Soaring Raptor Strike [3] for     Hearing the Air [5] (DM63)
               Swooping Dragon Strike [7] (TC89)
W11/I14   Quicksilver Motion (DM65) [7]
W12/I15   SWAP Quicksilver Motion [7] for
               Diamond Defense [8] (DM62)
B01/I16   Raging Mongoose [8] (TC89)
W13/I17   Time Stands Still [9] (DM66)
[/spoiler]

Build #3: The Blade Lancer (Full Blade Dancer, Power Attack Emphasis, and no Tome of Battle)
[spoiler]
The Summary
Neutral Good OR True Neutral Dragonborn Half-Orc  Feat Rogue1/Cleric1/Psychic Warrior1/Barbarian1/Psychic Warrior+1/Fighter2/Feat Rogue+1/Ranger1/Blade Dancer10 (Oriental Adventures 37)/Martial Wizard1

The Necessities
Stats
13 STR (Power Attack)
13 DEX (Dodge)
14 INT or +2 skill points/level if you want to get everything at the earliest opportunity.  If you can wait, 10 INT is the bare minimum, but you'll miss out.
14 WIS (Up the Walls)

Skills
-Max Jump and Tumble.

Alignment
-You need a nonlawful alignment to enter barbarian and retain raging.
-You need a nonchaotic alignment to become a blade dancer.
-You need a nonevil alignment to become and stay Dragonborn..

Alignment
-You need a nonlawful alignment to enter barbarian and retain raging.
-You need a nonchaotic alignment to enter blade dancer at level 10.

The Breakdown
This build should be playable from level 1 on, though you need time to grow into it.  Any race will do, but I recommend half-orc for Headlong Rush and Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) or some method like gliding to negate falling damage.  Nezumi (Oriental Adventures 13) is also spiffy because you get +2 CON, -2 CHA, and a 40' base land speed as a Medium creature for no level adjustment.

Your role with this build is speed at the top end, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!  (Really!  Blade Dancer doubles your base speed at its first level and triples it at level 10!)

Ability Key
CRAPPY PREREQUISITE FEAT
[Class Feature or Class Bonus Feat]
-Specific Feat-
                                                               
Level                  Abilities                                    Normal/Partial BAB        
01 Feat Rogue1         -Battle Jump-, [Power Attack]                 0/0
02 Cleric1             [Domain: Time, Devotion: Travel]              0/1
                       [Spontaneous Domain Casting: Time]          
03 Psychic Warrior1    -*DODGE-, [Up the Walls]                      0/2
04 Barbarian1          [Lion Totem: Pounce], [Whirling Frenzy]       1/3      
05 Psychic Warrior2    [*MOBILITY]                                   2/4
06 Fighter1            -Leap Attack-, [*SPRING ATTACK]               3/5
07 Fighter2            [Headlong Rush]                               4/6
08 Feat Rogue2         [Evasion]                                     5/6
09 Ranger1             [Favored Enemy], -Power Lunge-, [Track]       6/7
10 Blade Dancer1       [Acrobatics (+10)],                           7/8
                       [Fast Movement: Base Land Speed x2]
11 Blade Dancer2       [Enchanted Blade I]                           8/9
12 Blade Dancer3       -IMPROVED BULL RUSH-                          9/10
13 Blade Dancer4       [Fast Movement: Base Land Speed x2.5],       10/11
                       [Ride the Wind]
14 Blade Dancer5       [Acrobatics (+20)], [Acrobatic Attack]       11/12
15 Blade Dancer6       [Enchanted Blade II], -Shock Trooper-        12/13
16 Blade Dancer7       [Fast Movement: Base Land Speed x2.75]       13/14
17 Blade Dancer8                                                    14/15
18 Blade Dancer9       -IMPROVED SUNDER-                            15/16
19 Blade Dancer10      [Acrobatics (+30)], [Enchanted Blade III],   16/17
                       [Fast Movement: Base Land Speed x3]
20 Martial Wizard1     [Combat Brute]                               16/18


*This feat is solely to qualify you for Blade Dancer (Oriental Adventures 37).
 I advise against taking this feat if you aren't aiming for Blade Dancer.

References for Material
-Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42)
-Blade Dancer (Oriental Adventures 37)
-Combat Brute (Complete Warrior 110)
-Dodge
-Feat Rogue
-Headlong Rush
-Improved Bull Rush
-Improved Sunder
-Leap Attack, Errata
-Lion Totem alternative class feature (Complete Champion 46)
-Martial Wizard
-Mobility
-Power Attack
-Power Lunge (Sword and Fist 8)
-Shock Trooper (Complete Warrior 112)
-Spring Attack
-Time Domain (Spell Compendium 281)
-Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62)
-Up The Walls
-Whirling Frenzy[/spoiler]

Build #4: The Twilight Lancer (Power Attack Emphasis, Wizard Gish, Tertiary Arcane Caster, and no Tome of Battle)
[spoiler]
The Summary
Nonlawful Nonevil Dragonborn Half-Orc  Feat Rogue1/Cleric1/Psychic Warrior1/Barbarian1/Martial Wizard1/Psychic Warrior+1/Ruathar3 (Races of the Wild 122)/Spellsword1 (Complete Warrior 79)/Abjurant Champion5 (Complete Mage 51)/Eldritch Knight5

The Necessities
Stats
13 STR (Power Attack)
17 INT+ for wizard spells.  You also need 14 base INT at level 1 to fill all skill prerequisites in time.
14 WIS (Up the Walls)

Skills
-Max Jump and Tumble.
-Max Concentration if you intend to cast in melee range often.
-You need enough Spellcraft so you can take 10 on Spellcraft checks to copy spells to your spellbook.  Start with 2 ranks at level 1 and add points sparingly over the levels, only getting what you need.  A masterwork tool for Spellcraft costs only 50 gold and gives +2.

Alignment
-You need a nonlawful alignment to enter barbarian and retain raging.
-You need a nonevil alignment to become and stay Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 15).

The Breakdown
While this build can be played from level 1 on, I advise this build only if you start around level 8 because of the setup.  Unfortunately, this build's arcane power comes in quite late as it's a mishmash of classes for the first 6 to 8 levels and achieves only 15 BAB and wizard base CL 13, or 18 BAB with partial BAB stacking.  If you use partial BAB stacking, you can rearrange some things to enter Spellsword sooner.  If you're good, you can take sacred exorcist (Complete Divine 57) instead of eldritch knight.  I emphasized wizard caster level in this build, neglecting things such as a rogue's Evasion.

Any race will do, but I recommend half-orc for Headlong Rush and Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) or some method like gliding to negate falling damage.

Your role with this build is gargantuan burst damage.  Arcane Strike (Complete Warrior 96) and wraithstrike (Complete Adventurer 158) combine for spectacular synergy!

Ability Key
CRAPPY PREREQUISITE FEAT
[Class Feature or Class Bonus Feat]
-Specific Feat-
                                                               
Level                  Abilities                                    Normal/Partial BAB        
01 Feat Rogue1         -Battle Jump-, [Power Attack]                 0/0
02 Cleric1             [Domain: Time, Devotion: Travel]              0/1
                       [Spontaneous Domain Casting: Time]            
03 Psychic Warrior1    -Practiced Spellcaster: Wizard-,              0/2
                       [Up the Walls]
04 Barbarian1          [Lion Totem: Pounce], [Whirling Frenzy]       1/3      
05 Martial Wizard1     [Immediate Magic], [IMPROVED BULL RUSH]       1/3
06 Psychic Warrior2    -Combat Reflexes-, [IMPROVED SUNDER]          2/4
07 Ruathar1            [Gift of the Elves], [Word of Friendship]     2/5
08 Ruathar2            [Elfwise], [Low-Light Vision]                 3/6
09 Ruathar3            [Arvandor's Grace], -COMBAT CASTING-          4/7
10 Spellsword1         [Ignore 10% Arcane Spell Failure]             5/8
11 Abjurant Champion1  [Abjurant Armor], [Extended Abjuration]       6/9
12 Abjurant Champion2  -Headlong Rush-, [Swift Abjuration]           7/10
13 Abjurant Champion3                                                8/11
14 Abjurant Champion4  [Arcane Boost]                                9/12
15 Abjurant Champion5  [Martial Arcanist], -Arcane Strike-          10/13
16 Eldritch Knight1    [Shock Trooper]                              11/14
17 Eldritch Knight2                                                 12/15
18 Eldritch Knight3    -Combat Brute-                               13/16
19 Eldritch Knight4                                                 14/17
20 Eldritch Knight5                                                 15/18


References for Material
-Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42)
-Abjurant Champion (Complete Mage 51)
-Combat Brute (Complete Warrior 110)
-Combat Casting
-Combat Reflexes
-Eldritch Knight
-Feat Rogue
-Headlong Rush
-Immediate Magic (Player's Handbook II 68)
-Improved Bull Rush
-Improved Sunder
-Leap Attack, Errata
-Lion Totem alternative class feature (Complete Champion 46)
-Martial Wizard
-Power Attack
-Practiced Spellcaster (Complete Arcane 82)
-Ruathar (Races of the Wild 122)
-Shock Trooper (Complete Warrior 112)
-Spellsword (Complete Warrior 79)
-Time Domain (Spell Compendium 281)
-Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62)
-Up The Walls
-Whirling Frenzy[/spoiler]

Build #5: Fighter Flight (Power Attack Emphasis, Feat-Heavy, and no Tome of Battle or Unearthed Arcana)
[spoiler]
The Summary
Nonlawful Nonevil Dragonborn Half-Orc  Rogue1/Cleric1/Barbarian1/Psychic Warrior2/Fighter10/Occult Slayer5 (Complete Warrior 67)

The Necessities
Stats
13 STR (Power Attack)
12 INT for skills.  You need 3 skill points per fighter level to max Jump and Tumble.
14 WIS (Up the Walls)

Skills
-Max Jump and Tumble.
-You need 4 Knowledge (arcana) ranks and 3 Spellcraft ranks for Occult Slayer.  Get 2 ranks each from your rogue level.  The cleric level is the only level where both of these are class.

Alignment
-You need a nonlawful alignment to enter barbarian and retain raging.
-You need a nonevil alignment to become and stay Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 15).

The Breakdown
This build should be playable from level 1 on, though you need time to grow into it.  Assuming no partial BAB stacking, barbarian1 gives your first point of BAB.  Since Unearthed Arcana and Tome of Battle are out, fighter levels give you the extra delicious feats which is extra handy since Dragonborn  (Races of the Dragon 8) makes fighter an additional favored class.

Any race will do, but I recommend half-orc for Headlong Rush and Dragonborn or some method like gliding to negate falling damage.  You also need Dragonborn for the extra favored class without Unearthed Arcana.

If necessary, take barbarian before cleric, change to the appropriate alignment, and stay that way the rest of your career.  You may lose rage, but you'll keep your delicious cleric benefits.

Your role with this build is burst damage and to clear areas for the rest of your party to get though.  Starting at level 16, you focus more on defense with occult slayer's spell turning.  You also show Tome of Battle and Unearthed Arcana aren't so overpowering for a dragoon.

If you believe occult slayer's benefits are worth taking sooner, you can fairly easily rearrange the build to accomodate.  Occult slayer lacks Jump and Tumble as class skills!

Ability Key
CRAPPY PREREQUISITE FEAT
[Class Feature or Class Bonus Feat]
-Specific Feat-
                                                               
Level                  Abilities                                    Normal/Partial BAB        
01 Rogue1              -Battle Jump-, [Sneak Attack +1d6],           0/0
02 Cleric1             [Domain: Time, Devotion: Travel]              0/1
                       [Spontaneous Domain Casting: Time]            
03 Barbarian1          -Leap of the Heavens-, [Lion Totem: Pounce],  1/2
                       [Rage]      
04 Psychic Warrior1    [Up the Walls]                                1/3
05 Psychic Warrior2    [Power Attack]                                2/4
06 Fighter1            [Cleave], -Leap Attack-                       3/5
07 Fighter2            [Headlong Rush]                               4/6
08 Fighter3                                                          5/7
09 Fighter4            [IMPROVED BULL RUSH], -Shock Trooper-         6/8
10 Fighter5                                                          7/9
11 Fighter6            [Combat Reflexes]                             8/10
12 Fighter7            -Power Lunge-                                 9/11
13 Fighter8            [IMPROVED BULL RUSH]                         10/12
14 Fighter9                                                         11/13
15 Fighter10           [Combat Brute], WEAPON FOCUS: ANY            12/14
16 Occult Slayer1      [Weapon Bond]                                13/15
17 Occult Slayer2      [Spell Turning 1/day]                        14/16
18 Occult Slayer3      [Auravision], -Great Cleave-                 15/17
19 Occult Slayer4      [Nondetection Cloak, Spell Turning 2/day]    16/18
20 Occult Slayer5      [Blank Thoughts]                             17/19


References for Material
-Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42)
-Abjurant Champion (Complete Mage 51)
-Cleave
-Combat Brute (Complete Warrior 110)
-Great Cleave
-Headlong Rush
-Improved Bull Rush
-Improved Sunder
-Leap Attack, Errata
-Lion Totem alternative class feature (Complete Champion 46)
-Occult Slayer (Complete Warrior 67)
-Power Attack
-Rogue
-Shock Trooper (Complete Warrior 112)
-Time Domain (Spell Compendium 281)
-Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62)
-Up The Walls[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 03:29:53 AM by LittleRedRaidingHood »

LittleRedRaidingHood

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Under The Hood II
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 11:08:21 AM »
Under the Hood II
More Builds

Build #6: The Broadcaster (Charismatic, Party-Boosting Face Man & Warblade)
[spoiler]
The Summary
Nonlawful Human Bard1/Marshal2/Cleric1/Barbarian1/Warblade15 (Tome of Battle 21)

The Necessities
Stats
13 STR (Power Attack)
16 INT for skills, assuming human.  If you aren't human with Able Learner (Races of Destiny 150), you need a much higher INT for the skill points.
12 WIS (cleric spells)

Skills
-Able Learner is there so you can max Concentration, Diplomacy, Jump, Perform, Sense Motive, and Tumble.
-Maxing Concentration is wise so you can use Diamond Mind maneuvers to greatest effect.

Alignment
-You need a nonlawful alignment to enter bard and barbarian and to retain raging.

Race
-Human for skills and Able Learner (Races of Destiny 150)
-If you need Able Learner, DON'T go Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) because you need everything humanity offers!

The Breakdown
Your first priority is commanding your teammates and acting as the charismatic and hopefully fearless leader.  With them in place, you can proceed to go to town with dragoon smackdown.

This build should be playable from level 1 on, though you need time to grow into it.  You focus your pre-Warblade abilities on boosting allies, though Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42), Leap of the Heavens (Player's Handbook II 80), and Pounce allow you to hold your own much of the time

I highly recommend human for the bonus feat and skill points and a favored class of any.  This build is MAD (multi-ability dependent), requiring physical stats for damage and survival, 12 INT for skill points (14 for nonhumans), 12 WIS for Cleric spells (recommended), and a high CHA to power your auras.  Able Learner (Races of Destiny 150) keeps you sane by allowing you to max Bluff, Diplomacy, Jump, Sense Motive, and Tumble, and if desired, Perform.  While you're charismatic, you're focused on being a warrior, not a Diplomancer or Jumplomancer.

If you take Snowflake Wardance (Frostburn 50), you need a slashing weapon you can hold in 1 hand and a way to easily negate or remove fatigue.  Ray of resurgence (Lost Empires of Faerun 33) is a handy cleric1 spell that, conveniently, you can cast.

Unlike most dragoon builds, I advise AGAINST being a Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) since you need everything a human has to offer!

Ability Key
CRAPPY PREREQUISITE FEAT
[Class Feature or Class Bonus Feat]
-Specific Feat-
                                                               
Level                  Abilities                                    Normal/Partial BAB        
01 Bard1               -Able Learner-, [Bard Song 1/day],            0/0
                       -Battle Jump-                                
02 Marshal1            [Minor Aura: Motivate Dexterity]              0/1
03 Marshal2            -Leap of the Heavens-,                        1/2
                       [Major Aura: Resilient Troops]
04 Cleric1             [Devotion: Travel], [Domain: Time]            1/3
05 Barbarian1          [Lion Totem: Pounce], [Whirling Frenzy]       2/4      
06 Warblade1           -Song of the White Raven-                     3/5
07 Warblade2                                                         4/6
08 Warblade3                                                         5/7
09 Warblade4           -Snowflake Wardance-                          6/8
10 Warblade5           [Combat Reflexes]                             7/9
11 Warblade6                                                         8/10
12 Warblade7           -Power Attack-                                9/11
13 Warblade8                                                        10/12
14 Warblade9           [Iron Will]                                  11/13
15 Warblade10          -Leap Attack-                                12/14
16 Warblade11                                                       13/15
17 Warblade12                                                       14/16
18 Warblade13          -Cleave-                                     15/17
19 Warblade14          [Lightning Reflexes]                         16/18
20 Warblade15                                                       17/19


References for Material
-Able Learner (Races of Destiny 150)
-Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42)
-Combat Reflexes
-Iron Will
-Leap Attack, Errata
-Lightning Reflexes
-Lion Totem alternative class feature (Complete Champion 46)
-Marshal
-Power Attack
-Song of the White Raven (Tome of Battle 32)
-Snowflake Wardance (Frostburn 50)
-Time Domain (Spell Compendium 281)
-Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62)
-Warblade (Tome of Battle 21)
-Whirling Frenzy

Maneuvers & Stances
(School & Page): DM62 is a Diamond Mind maneuver on Tome of Battle page 62.

Level     Maneuvers Gained/Swapped               Stance Gained                  

W01/I03   Leading the Attack [1] (WR92)          Bolstering Voice [1] (WR90)
          Moment of Perfect Mind [1] (DM64),    
          Wall of Blades [2] (IH70)
W02/I04   Claw at the Moon [2] (TC86)
W03/I05   White Raven Tactics [3] (WR94),
W04/I06   SWAP Leading the Attack [1] for        Leaping Dragon Stance [3] (TC88)
               Iron Heart Surge [3] (IH68)                                      
W05/I08   Bounding Assault [4] (DM62),
W06/I09   SWAP Wall of Blades [2] for
               Soaring Raptor Strike [3] (TC86)
W07/I10   Dancing Mongoose [5] (TC86)
W08/I11                                            
W09/I12   Moment of Alacrity [6] (DM64)
W10/I13   SWAP Soaring Raptor Strike [3] for     Hearing the Air [5] (DM63)
               Swooping Dragon Strike [7] (TC89)  
W11/I14   Quicksilver Motion [7] (DM65)
W12/I15   SWAP Quicksilver Motion [7] for
               Diamond Defense [8] (DM62)
W13/I16   Raging Mongoose [8] (TC89)
W14/I17   SWAP Diamond Defense [8] for
               Time Stands Still [9] (DM66)
W15/I18   Diamond Defense [8] (DM62)
[/spoiler]

Build #7: Eternal Daughter (Time Stands Still, Eternal Blade's Island in Time)
[spoiler]
The Summary
Nonlawful Nonevil Dragonborn Half-Elf  Warblade1/Barbarian1/Fighter2/Warblade+6/Eternal Blade10 (Tome of Battle 109)

The Necessities
Stats
13 STR (Power Attack)
12 INT for skills.  Jump, and Tumble occupy your skill points during fighter levels, and you can make up your Concentration ranks later with warblade levels.

Skills
-Max Jump and Tumble.
-Maxing Concentration is wise so you can use Diamond Mind maneuvers to greatest effect.

Alignment
-You need a nonlawful alignment to enter barbarian and retain raging.
-You need a nonevil alignment to become and stay Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 15).

Race
-You need elven blood.  If favored class is a concern, half-elf is your best bet since half-elves are considered elves for all race-dependent effects.
-If your DM doesn't enforce favored class penalties, go fire elf for +2 INT and a negligible -2 CHA.

The Breakdown
This build should be playable from level 1 on.  Unlike most other builds, you start as a strong melee force and continue this way through your career, but you miss out on many options from other builds, like a cleric dip, because you must have a full BAB.  Also unlike at least most other builds presented, I only advise you play this build if you start at or near level 20!  Island in Time is the only redeeming feature about this build compared to other Hoods!

This build is feat-starved, but requires fewer sources and less multiclassing than a typical Hood build.  Taking flaws for extra feats is well-advised.

This build name references the game Eternal Daughter by Derek Yu and Jon Perry.

Ability Key
CRAPPY PREREQUISITE FEAT
[Class Feature or Class Bonus Feat]
-General Feat-
                                                               
Level                  Abilities                                    Normal/Partial BAB        
01 Warblade1           -Battle Jump-                                 1/1
02 Barbarian1          [Lion Totem: Pounce], [Whirling Frenzy]       2/2
03 Fighter1            [Improved Initiative], -Travel Devotion-      3/3
04 Fighter2            [Power Attack]                                4/4                        
05 Warblade2           [Uncanny Dodge]                               5/5
06 Warblade3           -Cleave-                                      6/6
07 Warblade4                                                         7/7
08 Warblade5           [Combat Reflexes]                             8/8
09 Warblade6           -WEAPON FOCUS: ANY-                           9/9
10 Warblade7           [Improved Uncanny Dodge]                     10/10
11 Eternal Blade1                                                   11/11
12 Eternal Blade2      -Martial Study: Dancing Mongoose-            12/12
13 Eternal Blade3                                                   13/13
14 Eternal Blade4                                                   14/14
15 Eternal Blade5      -Leap Attack-                                15/15
16 Eternal Blade6                                                   16/16
17 Eternal Blade7                                                   17/17
18 Eternal Blade8      -Martial Study: Raging Mongoose-             18/18
19 Eternal Blade9                                                   19/19
20 Eternal Blade10     [Island in Time]                             20/20


While Leap of the Heavens (Player's Handbook II 80) effectively
allows you to treat standing jumps as running jumps, Leaping Dragon Stance
(Tome of Battle 88) gives you the same thing at level 7.

References for Material
-Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42)
-Cleave
-Combat Reflexes
-Eternal Blade (Tome of Battle 109)
-Improved Initiative
-Leap Attack, Errata
-Lion Totem alternative class feature (Complete Champion 46)
-Martial Study feat (Tome of Battle 31)
-Power Attack
-Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62)
-Warblade (Tome of Battle 21)
-Weapon Focus
-Whirling Frenzy

Maneuvers & Stances
(School & Page): DM62 is a Diamond Mind maneuver on Tome of Battle page 62.

Level     Maneuvers Gained/Swapped               Stance Gained                  

W01/I01   Steel Wind [1] (IH69),                 Punishing Stance [1] (IH69)
          Sudden Leap [1] (TC89),
          Wolf Fang Strike [1] (TC90)
W02/I03   Moment of Perfect Mind [1] (DM64)
W03/I04   Leading the Attack [1] (WR91)
W04/I05   SWAP Leading the Attack [1] for        Leaping Dragon Stance [3] (TC88)
               White Raven Tactics [3] (WR94)                                      
W05/I06   Iron Heart Surge [3] (IH68)
W06/I07   SWAP Wolf Fang Strike [1] for
               Bounding Assault [4] (DM62)
W07/I08   Action Before Thought [2] (DM62)
E01/I09   Rapid Counter [5] (DM65)
E02/I10   Dancing Mongoose [5] (TC86)
E03/I11   Moment of Alacrity [6] (DM64)
E04/I12  
E05/I13   Mind Over Body [3] (DM64)              Hearing the Air [5] (DM63)
E07/I15   Quicksilver Motion [7] (DM65)
E08/I18   Raging Mongoose [8] (TC89)
E09/I17   Time Stands Still [9] (DM66)           Stance of Alacrity [8] (DM65)
E10/I18
[/spoiler]

Build #8: The Trancer (Backup Arcanist, Wizard Gish, Arcane Strike Craziness, and no Tome of Battle)
[spoiler]
The Summary
Nonlawful Nonevil Dragonborn Fire Elf  Barbarian1/Cleric1/Martial Transmuter4/Ruathar3 (Races of the Wild 122)/Abjurant Champion5 (Complete Mage 51)/Spellsword1 (Complete Warrior 79)/Eldritch Knight5

The Necessities
Stats
13 STR (Power Attack)
19 INT+ for wizard spells.  You need 16 base INT at level 1 to fill all skill prerequisites in time.  Using Urban Class Features, you can start with Tumble as a class skill.
12 WIS (cleric spells)

Skills
-Max Jump and Tumble.
-I assume you put 2 ranks in Concentration and Spellcraft at level 1 then put only 1 point per level in each afterward.
-Use your extra skill points from Ruathar to get the 6 needed Knowledge (arcana) ranks for Spellsword.

Alignment
-You need a nonlawful alignment to enter barbarian and retain raging.
-You need a nonevil alignment to become and stay Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 15).

Race
-I most strongly recommend Dragonborn fire elf as listed above or Dragonborn nezumi (Oriental Adventures 13).  Nezumi gives +2 CON, -2 CHA and has a 40' base land speed as a Medium creature.  Only go nezumi if you won't suffer favored class penalties and you need CON more than INT!

Alternate Levels
-Taking wizard5 gives an extra fighter feat but slows your BAB progression.  You'd need partial BAB stacking to get 16 BAB by level 20.

The Breakdown
You are a glass cannon with lots of buffs to boost your AC and give enemies a flat miss chance against you.  You can fill the role of backup arcanist assuming your armor has no arcane spell failure and you have the cash to spend on armor, weapons, and spells.  Most the time you're better off leaving the heavy wizardry- especially spells with saves and metamagic- to full-time wizards.

You rely on magic to the point of being nearly useless in an antimagic field, but oh the damage you can deal!  Oh the spells you can cast!  Oh the options you have!

If you don't like your physical stats, change them!  Polymorph into a girallon for 4 arms and 22 base STR.  Alter self into a troglodyte for +6 natural AC.  Check the links in the first post for spell recommendations and delicious forms for polymorph and such.  Just be careful about changing your form because you'll lose your Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) gliding ability and +10 racial Jump bonus!

You can also rely on heroics (Spell Compendium 113) to borrow fighter feats for 10 minutes per level.  Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, and many more are all legal.  There are even items that grant feats!

Because you are so wizardly, you can use offensive spells as well as buffs.  Don't just stab the night away!  Instead, cast Evard's black tentacles to occupy most the foes in a fight, then pick off the foes with your epic dragoon leaps.  You'll have spell slots to burn:  Arcane Strike (Complete Warrior 96) and wraithstrike (Complete Adventurer 158) combine for spectacular synergy, especially since Arcane Strike's damage's only upper limit is the spell slots you invest!

If you absolutely, positively have to reach that dragon who's flying away at full speed, teleport above him, high enough to trigger Battle Jump, then subdue him for all you're worth!  Alternatively, teleport your party onto his back and let them help.  First, however, ensure everyone has mass fly (Spell Compendium 96).

You aren't a typical wizard who needs to hide in back because of your frailty, the type whose skin may dissolve if someone poured a bit too much chlorine in the pool.  Instead, you can use Sudden Shift (Player's Handbook II 68) to fly to a convenient height then thrust downward onto foes with moves that would make Toon Link cry.  For most your career, you gain spells 1 character level behind a full wizard.  Smart foes may wonder if the blurry, displaced, many-imaged, 6-armed menace they see that just impaled their heads cast those spells himself.

Ability Key
CRAPPY PREREQUISITE FEAT
[Class Feature or Class Bonus Feat]
-Specific Feat-
                                                               
Level                  Abilities                                    Normal/Partial BAB        
01 Barbarian1          -Battle Jump-, [Lion Totem: Pounce]           1/1
                       [Whirling Frenzy]
02 Cleric1             [Devotion: Travel], [Domain: Time],           1/1
03 Martial Wizard1     [Power Attack],                               1/2
                       -Practiced Spellcaster: Wizard-,
                       [Sudden Shift],
                       [Specialization: Transmutation]            
04 Martial Wizard2                                                   2/2
05 Martial Wizard3                                                   2/3
06 Martial Wizard4     -Leap of the Heavens-                         3/3
07 Ruathar1            [Gift of the Elves], [Word of Friendship]     3/4
08 Ruathar2            [Elfwise], [Low-Light Vision]                 4/5
09 Ruathar3            -COMBAT CASTING-, [Arvandor's Grace]          5/6
10 Abjurant Champion1  [Abjurant Armor], [Extended Abjuration]       6/7
11 Abjurant Champion2  [Swift Abjuration]                            7/8
12 Abjurant Champion3  -Arcane Strike-                               8/9
13 Abjurant Champion4  [Arcane Boost]                                9/10
14 Abjurant Champion5  [Martial Arcanist]                           10/11
15 Spellsword1         -Cleave-, [Ignore 10% ASF]                   11/12
16 Eldritch Knight1    [Combat Reflexes]                            12/13
17 Eldritch Knight2                                                 13/14
18 Eldritch Knight3    -Leap Attack-                                14/15
19 Eldritch Knight4                                                 15/16
20 Eldritch Knight5                                                 16/17


References for Material
-Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42)
-Abjurant Champion (Complete Mage 51)
-Combat Reflexes
-Combat Casting
-Eldritch Knight
-Leap Attack, Errata
-Lion Totem alternative class feature (Complete Champion 46)
-Martial Wizard
-Power Attack
-Practiced Spellcaster (Complete Arcane 82)
-Ruathar (Races of the Wild 122)
-Shock Trooper (Complete Warrior 112)
-Spellsword (Complete Warrior 79)
-Sudden Shift (Player's Handbook II 68)
-Time Domain (Spell Compendium 281)
-Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62)
-Whirling Frenzy[/spoiler]

Build #9: Stabby McTankerson (High-Mobility/High-Damage 'Tank,' Level 9 Maneuvers, Level 4 Cleric Spells, Uses Flaws & Traits)
[spoiler]
The Summary
Nonlawful Nonevil Dragonborn Fire Elf  Warblade1/Cleric1/Barbarian1/1/Crusader1 (Tome of Battle 9)/Ruby Knight Vindicator7 (Tome of Battle)/Eternal Blade3 (Tome of Battle 109)/Ruby Knight Vindicator+2/Eternal Blade+2

The Necessities
Stats
13 STR for Power Attack.
14 INT for skills.  Jump, and Tumble occupy your skill points during cleric levels, and you can make up your Concentration ranks later.
14 WIS for Up the Walls and level 4 cleric spells.

Skills
-Max Jump and Tumble.
-Maxing Concentration is wise so you can use Diamond Mind maneuvers to greatest effect.
-To qualify for Practiced Spellcaster, you need 4 Spellcraft ranks no later than level 3
-To qualify for Ruby Knight Vindicator, you need 8 Knowledge (religion) ranks, 4 Hide ranks, and 4 Intimidate ranks no later than level 5.

Alignment
-You need a nonlawful alignment to enter barbarian and retain raging.
-You need a nonevil alignment to become and stay Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 15).

Race
-You need elven blood for eternal blade.  If favored class is a concern, half-elf is your best bet since half-elves are considered elves for all race-dependent effects.
-If your DM doesn't enforce favored class penalties, go fire elf for +2 INT and a negligible -2 CHA.

Deity
-I assume you can adapt Ruby Knight Vindicator to any deity with little trouble.  If you can't, your domain choices and feat allocations change.

Misc
-I hope you're an expert at keeping your abilities straight!  You have 3 initiator classes and a spell list!  Adaptive Style in thie build is for your sanity, but you don't need it like a full swordsage.

The Breakdown
You start as a bruiser, begging to be hit.  With your trusty halberd, you can probably one-shot foes at level 1 from d10 halberd + d6 Punishing Stance damage.  You continue as a front-liner, never getting less than d8 HP per level.  Eventually, you're effective at noticing foes via blindsense from Hearing the Air, and if you cast blindsight or greater blindsight (Spell Compendium 32), you're even better at finding foes.

You're a front-liner who can stand there and take it, or do amazing acrobatics and down foes faster than you can say, "Hey DM, do I get a free Intimidate check against the minions in the room since I did 400 damage to something with 20 HP?"

You have many options for your swift actions.  Defensive Rebuke tells boss mobs, "Attack me or you provoke.  If I don't roll a 1, I kill you."  Later, you can kill things faster with Dancing or Raging Mongoose.  If you can get into convenient position, Time Stands Still allows you to attack 8 times, +2 attacks from Whirling Frenzy, +4 attacks from Raging Mongoose.  If it ain't dead by then, you're probably in tremendous trouble.  You can move as a swift action from Travel Devotion.

You could take the Planning domain (Spell Compendium 278) for Extend spell, nab Persistent Spell (Complete Arcane 81) and Divine Metamagic: Persistent (Complete Divine 80) to make (mass) lesser vigor (Spell Compendium 229) last all day, possibly healing you fully between fights.

As a judgment call, I chose Time Stands Still at level 20 instead of Strike of Righteous Vitality, though you can get either for short periods with Eternal Training.  Time Stands Still is more generally useful, and you should have a cleric or someone to heal you between fights.

Stance-wise, I chose Stance of Alacrity instead of Immortal Fortitude since being able to use an immediate action as an instantaneous action (a free action when it isn't your turn) rocketh.  Immortal Fortitude, however, ensures you just can't die from HP damage.  I leave the choice to you, however, and you could take Martial Stance at level 15 for both stances, but you'd lose Raging Mongoose.  Ah, the possibilities.

Class-wise, ask your DM if you can take the unarmed swordsage variant (Tome of Battle 20) to get you Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat, just in case you're disarmed or somsone breaks your polearm, then you can go psycho, just like Roy.

Keeping your blade guide in your line of effect may be troublesome, considering your awesome leaps and that a wall of force blocks line of effect.  (By the rules as written, an antimagic field doesn't block line of effect.)  You'll probably only have your guide for the first round of combat, but considering your awesome damage output, how much more do you need?

You can rearrange things for different goals.  This assumes your DM interprets initiator level as I do, that prestige classes add their full class level to your IL for Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade, even if you haven't taken a level in that class yet.  I consider this balanced since level 9 maneuvers are about equal in power to level 6 spells.

You gain clerical spellcasting ability.  By level 20, you can cast up to level 4 cleric spells with a caster level of 12.  Chosen properly, these are modest boons that make you more self-reliant.

I wanted to take rogue2 for Evasion, but a ]Ring of Evasion is 25,000 gold.  Buy one if you need it.

I wanted to include Mettle in this build, but maneuvers kept calling to me.  With the meh feats True Believer (Complete Divine 81) and Weapon Focus, you can get Mettle from pious templar1 (Complete Divine 50).  Considering spells with "Fortitude half," "Will partial," or the like are so rare, it's a minor loss.  Ask your DM if you could get a Ring of Mettle for 5,000 gold or.  Ask your DM if you could safely use a wish to get permanent, extraordinary Mettle.

If you really wanted Mettle without using money, you could get it, but you'd need to devote yourself to a deity and take Weapon Focus in your deity's favored weapon.  Here's a list of deities, alignments, and favored weapons.  Click the deity's name to find the source.

Ability Key
CRAPPY PREREQUISITE FEAT, [Class Feature or Class Bonus Feat], -General Feat-
{Trait or Flaw}
                                                               
Level                  Abilities                                    Normal/Partial BAB        
01 Warblade1           {Aggressive}, -Battle Jump-,                  1/1
                       -Combat Reflexes-, -Leap of the Heavens-,
                       {Murky-Eyed], {Quick}, {Shaky}
02 Cleric1             [Improved Initiative], [Travel Devotion]      1/1
03 Psychic Warrior1    -Practiced Spellcaster: Cleric-,              1/2
                       [Up the Walls]
04 Barbarian1          [Lion Totem: Pounce], [Whirling Frenzy]       2/3                        
05 Crusader1           [Delayed Damage: 5]                           3/4
06 Ruby Knight1        -Power Attack-                                4/5
07 Ruby Knight2        [Divine Recovery]                             5/6
08 Ruby Knight3                                                      6/7
09 Ruby Knight4        -Cleave-                                      7/8
10 Ruby Knight5        [Armored Stealth]                             8/9
11 Ruby Knight6                                                      9/10
12 Ruby Knight7        [Divine Impetus],                            10/11
                       -Martial Stance: Hearing the Air-
13 Swordsage1          [Quick to Act +1], [Weapon Focus]            10/12
14 Eternal Blade1      [Eternal Training 1/day]                     11/13
15 Eternal Blade2      [Guided Strike],                             12/14
                       -Martial Stance: Hearing the Air-
16 Eternal Blade3      [Armored Uncanny Dodge],                     13/15
                       [Eternal Training 2/day]
17 Ruby Knight8                                                     14/16
18 Ruby Knight9        -Martial Study: Raging Mongoose-             15/17
19 Eternal Blade4      [Eternal Knowledge]                          16/18
20 Eternal Blade5      [Eternal Training 3/day]                     17/19


References for Material
-Adaptive Style feat (Tome of Battle 28)
-Aggressive
-Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42)
-Cleave
-Combat Reflexes
-Eternal Blade (Tome of Battle 109)
-Improved Initiative
-Leap Attack, Errata
-Leap of the Heavens feat (Player's Handbook II 80)
-Lion Totem alternative class feature (Complete Champion 46)
-Martial Stance feat (Tome of Battle 31)
-Martial Study feat (Tome of Battle 31)
-Murky-Eyed
-Power Attack
-Practiced Spellcaster feat (Complete Divine 82)
-Quick
-Shaky
-Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62)
-Up the Walls
-Warblade (Tome of Battle 21)
-Weapon Focus
-Whirling Frenzy

Maneuvers & Stances
(School & Page): DM62 is a Diamond Mind maneuver on Tome of Battle page 62.

Level     Maneuvers Gained/Swapped               Stance Gained                  

W01/I01   Moment of Perfect Mind [1] (DM64)      Punishing Stance [1] (IH69)
          Sapphire Nightmare Blade [1] (DM65)
          Steel Wind [1] (IH69)
C01/I03   Crusader's Strike [1] (DS58)           Martial Spirit [1] (DS60)
          Foehammer [2] (DS59)
          Leading the Attack [1] (WR91)
          Stone Bones [1] (SD84)
          Vanguard Strike [1] (DS62)
R01/I04                                          Bolstering Voice [1] (WR90)
R02/I05   White Raven Tactics [3] (WR94)                                      
R03/I06  
R04/I07   Defensive Rebuke [3] (DS58)
R05/I08  
R06/I09   Shadow Stride [5] (SH80)               Thicket of Blades [3] (DS60)
R07/I10                                          Hearing the Air [5] (DM63)
S01/I10   Action Before Thought [2] (DM62)       Flame's Blessing [1] (DW53)
          Dancing Mongoose [5] (TC86)
          Distracting Ember [1] (DW52)
          Mind Over Body [3] (DM64)
          Rabid Wolf Strike [2] (TC88)
          Sudden Leap [1] (TC89)
E01/I11   Iron Heart Surge [3] (IH68)
E02/I12  
E03/I13   Moment of Alacrity [6] (DM64)          
R08/I14  
R09/I15   Raging Mongoose [8] (TC89)
          Shadow Blink [7] (SH78)
E04/I16  
E05/I17   Time Stands Still [9] (DM66)           Stance of Alacrity [8] (DM65)


All maneuvers from items, feats, and prestige classes add to Warblade.[/spoiler]

Build #10: The Neo-Trancer (Gish on Steroids, Work-in-Progress)
[spoiler]
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 01:05:42 AM by LittleRedRaidingHood »

LittleRedRaidingHood

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Under The Hood III
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 11:08:50 AM »
Under the Hood III
Feats

General Feats for the Everyday Hood
[spoiler]
General Feats
*This feat can be retaken.
**This feat can be retaken with stacking effects.


Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42) [Fighter]: Requires you be from Taer, ONLY available at level 1; May require 2 Knowledge (local: Rashemen) ranks
<If you drop 5'-30' from above your foe you can treat the attack as a charge; +2 accuracy, -2 AC, and a bunch of charge-related goodies.  For purposes of triggering this feat, you require 5' + the creature's size in squares per side.  (A Medium creature is 1 square, a Large creature is 2 squares, a Huge creature is 3 squares, and so on.)>

While this feat doesn't entirely make you a dragoon, it gives you significant progress.  Plead with your DM if necessary to allow this for your dragoon!
Battle Jump Fine Print :
[spoiler]This feat is only available to level 1 characters from the Taer region.  In Player's Guide to Faerun 31, the Taer region was condensed into the Icerim Mountains, and characters from Icerim are typically only creatures of the Taer race.  (The Taer/Icerim Mountain region's local knowledge is Rashemen for some reason.)  Player's Guide to Faerun 7-8 says races and subraces are typically restricted to a specific region, like humans from human lands.  Being from another region may require DM approval, though by the rules as written don't need it.  Unapproachable East 40 states characters with 2 ranks of Knowledge (local) in the appropriate region may select regional feats from that region.

In short, take 2 ranks of Knowledge (local: Rashemen) and ask your DM to be safe.[/spoiler]
The 'Boing Boing' Battle Jump Trick:
[spoiler]Note how Battle Jump states, "You can execute a charge simply by dropping from a height of at least 5 feet above your opponent" (Unapproachable East 42).  It doesn't specify that you must use a specific action, like a standard action to do so.  By my interpretation of the rules as written, you can, with a high enough movement speed and Jump check, repeatedly hurl yourself at your foes every turn until they die, using only movement speed to execute charges.  Your DM will probably smack you or otherwise limit you if you try this, but the thought reminds me of Mario pogo-jumping around the battlefield![/spoiler]

Cleave [Fighter]: Requires Power Attack
<Once per round when you down a foe, you get an extra attack with all applicable accuracy and damage modifiers of the attack that downed the foe.>

This helps none against single big baddies, but in most cases against small groups, the extra attack matters just enough.

Combat Brute (Complete Warrior 110) [Fighter, Tactical]: Requires Improved Sunder, Power Attack, 6 BAB
<You can perform one noteworthy maneuver, Momentum Swing.  Charge your opponent and Power Attack him for at least 5 the round after.  On the round after you charge, the Power Attack damage bonus from wielding your polearm two-handed is 3x the penalty instead of 2x.  (Taking a penalty of 6 gives you a damage bonus of 18 if you hit.)>

You'll probably do this anyway, meaning you should get extra damage while you're at it.  Power Attack damage bonuses escalate quickly if you have more than 2 arms, such as being polymorphed into a girallon.  Unfortunately, Combat Brute requires the icky Improved Sunder feat.

Combat Reflexes [Fighter]
<You can make attacks of opportunity while flat-footed, and each round make one additional AoO per point of DEX bonus.>

You shouldn't be flat-footed, but your armor spikes and polearm mean you threaten at 5' and 10' away as a Medium creature.  Contemplate how spiffy this feat can be.

Dodge [Fighter]: Requires 13 DEX
<Each round, designate one foe.  You get +1 dodge AC against that foe 'til the start of your next turn.>

It's +1 dodge AC against one opponent.  It may make a difference, but Dodge is mostly a prereq for blade dancer (Oriental Adventures 37) and Spring Attack.  If you can, instead take Expeditious Dodge from Races of the Wild 150.

Expeditious Dodge (Races of the Wild 150) [Fighter]: Requires 13 DEX
<If you move at least 40' in a round, you get +2 dodge AC until the start of your next turn.>

Considering your mobility, it's significantly better than Dodge and it counts as Dodge in terms of prerequisites!  I still normally wouldn't take Expeditious Dodge, but it's better than the original.

Great Cleave [Fighter]: Requires Cleave, Power Attack
<So long as you continue dropping creatures, there's no limit to the number of times you can cleave per round.>

Great Cleave's usefulness comes only with hordes of small baddies, and if your DM or local necromancer is smart, he'll order his minions out of convenient Great Cleave formation.

As a dragoon, however, you should have long reach and high damage output.  If you happen to wield a 20' lance and have a 10' reach with your armor spikes, suddenly most of the enemy horde is fair game.  Regardless, Great Cleave is highly DM-dependent.

Greater Powerful Charge [Fighter] (Eberron Campaign Setting 54): Requires Medium or bigger size, Powerful Charge (Eberron Campaign Setting 57), 4 BAB
<You are treated as one size category larger for Powerful Charge.  When you hit on a charge attack, you do +2d6 damage if Medium, +3d6 if Large, +4d6 if Huge, and +6d6 if Gargantuan or bigger.>

This feat is of dubious worth because it's mostly an early-game damage buff.  Ask your DM if this feat's damage bonus applies to every attack of a pouncing charge.  (I believe it should.)

Headlong Rush [Fighter] (Races of Faerun 164): Requires orcishness, 4 BAB
<When you charge, you can choose to provoke attacks of opportunity from everyone along the way, including your target, to get double damage on the charge.>

Only orcs and half-orcs get this, but this is a major perk for orcish dragoons.  (The picture on this page is the stupidest I've seen for D&D.)

Improved Critical [Fighter]: Requires weapon proficiency, 8 BAB
<Your natural threat range with one weapon doubles, such as from 20 to 19 or 18 to 15.  This typically doesn't stack with other threat range increases.>

It's like the keen edge spell on your polearm in permanent feat form.  If you rely on crits, and many mid- and late-game critters are resistant or immune, and you have a spare feat, this may be worthwhile.  As a dragoon, you're probably better off with keen edge and saving a feat.

Improved Initiative [Fighter]
<+4 initiative>

If you can't get this lovely +4 initiative from the Time domain (Spell Compendium 281) or warblade bonus feats, it's still worth getting eventually.

Improved Toughness (Complete Warrior 101) [Fighter]: Requires a base Fortitude save of 2
<You get 1 HP per HD, current and future.>

This is somewhat attractive considering your low HP and is typically better than Diehard.

Knockback (Races of Stone 142) [Fighter]: Requires Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack, size Medium with Powerful Build OR at least size Large
<If you hit someone while power attacking, you may start a bull rush immediately after you hit, adding your power attack damage as a bonus on your bull rush check.  This bull rush doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity.>

It's thematically appropriate to want to knock someone back so they provoke attacks of opportunity by moving through your threatened area, but someone with pounce, such as via Lion Totem Barbarian (Complete Champion 46), can already start a bull rush as part of a charge, also getting a full attack.  There's synergy with Combat Brute (Complete Warrior 110) since you get +1 accuracy and damage for each 5' you knock a foe back with bull rush, but by the time you get the 4 requisite feats, the synergy will be minor.

The only way to qualify for this feat is with magic (polymorph, permanent enlarge person), taking a level adjustment.  The level 1-only feat Jotunbrud from Races of Faerun 166 may also qualify you, but it requires you be human.  Knockback's trick is nifty, but it's especially niche, hence the red rating.

Knowledge Devotion (Complete Champion 60): Requires 5 ranks in any Knowledge
<Make a Knowledge check and gain an insight bonus on accuracy and damage against all foes of that type for one combat.  Even if you bomb the check, you still get a bonus of at least 1.>

As a feat, the Knowledge Devotion is slightly better than Weapon Focus, though it requires being trained in the appropriate Knowledge skill and more at-table tracking.  You're better off taking a cloistered cleric and getting this instead of the Knowledge domain.

You need 5 ranks in Knowledge (planes) for Neraph Charge (Planar Handbook 40) and 5 ranks in Knowledge (religion) for a bonus turning attempt with a Relinquary Holy Symbol (Magic Item Compendium 120).  Dragoons with their first level in rogue find 5 ranks of Knowledge (local) convenient, and dragoons beginning as warblades find 5 ranks in Knowledge (history) convenient.

Leap Attack (Complete Adventurer 110): Requires 8 Jump ranks, Power Attack
<According to Complete Adventurer errata, wielding a weapon in 2 hands gives you quadruple (4x) Power Attack damage.>

You may already deal loads of damage.  If your accuracy is high enough to regularly spare some for Power Attack, go right ahead.  If you're facing creatures with stats straight from a Monster Manual, you most likely won't need the damage boost.

Leap of the Heavens (Player's Handbook II 80): Requires 4 Jump ranks
<You don't double the Jump DCs for standing jumps, effectively turning standing jumps into running jumps, and get a +5 Competence bonus on Jump checks on jumps with at least a 20' running start.>

This feat is excellent if you play in games where items granting massive Jump bonuses are rare or impractical.  The Leaping Dragon stance (Tome of Battle 88, Tiger Claw3) lets you to treat standing jumps as running jumps and gives you a continual +10 enhancement Jump.  If you can retrain feats and intend to take Leaping Dragon, Leap of the Heavens is almost a no-brainer!

From my understanding, this feat is the same as the goliath's Mountain Movement.  It sure kicks the crap odda the epic feat Legendary Leaper!

Leap of the Heavens's usefulness probably diminishes as the game progresses because eventually your Jump check will be so high that an extra 10, 20, or 40 to the DC won't matter much, especially if you can glide from being a raptoran ([i}Races of the Wild[/i] 68) or Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8).  It still may be viable for the Boing Boing trick.  (See the Battle Jump feat description.)

Martial Stance (Tome of Battle 31) [Fighter]: Requires 1 martial maneuver, otherwise qualifying for the stance
<You gain one martial stance for which you meet all prereqs.  You must also know at least one maneuver from this discipline.>

Stance usefulness varies greatly, hence the black rating.

Martial Study (Tome of Battle 31) [Fighter]
<You gain one martial maneuver for which you meet all prereqs.>

Martial maneuver usefulness varies greatly.  Choose well, grasshoppah.

Mental Leap [Psionic]: Requires 13 STR, 5 Jump ranks
<You must expend your psionic focus for +10 on one Jump check.>

It's a weak effect for a feat.  You're typically better saving your focus and feat for Up The Walls.

Mobility [Fighter]: Requires 13 DEX, Dodge
<You get +4 AC against all attacks of opportunity.>

Considering your mobile nature, this may be valuable as something more than a prereq for blade dancer (Oriental Adventures 37) and Spring Attack, but there are far better feats.

Neraph Charge (Planar Handbook 40): Requires 15 WIS, 5 Knowledge (planes) ranks
<You can charge like a neraph (Planar Handbook 13), denying a foe his DEX bonus to AC for your attack.>

This works only once per foe per encounter and your opponent must see you, making it a low priority feat.  I wanted to rate this blue, but its high requirements and use limits make this a merely OK feat for most dragoons.

Neraphim (Planar Handbook 13) can take this feat and seemingly use their racial charge and the Neraph Charge feat once each per foe per encounter.

Power Attack [Fighter]: Requires 13 STR
<At the beginning of your turn when wielding a melee weapon in 2 hands, you may a take a penalty to your melee accuracy of up to your base attack bonus and add double that penalty as a bonus to damage should you hit.  The bonuses and penalties last until the start of your next turn.>

For many, this is a key to your build and a way to squeeze more damage from well-planned attacks.  With a proper setup, you can get amazing returns on Power Attack, at least 10 damage for each point of accuracy you lose!  You also need it for Leap Attack and certain other feats.

With a high enough damage output, however, Power Attack becomes merely a placeholder feat.  Its viability varies greatly, hence its black rating.

Ordered Chaos (Fiendish Codex I 86): Requires nonchaotic alignment, base Will save of 4
<You're considered chaotic as well as your normal alignment.>

If for some reason you want to be considered chaotic and nonchaotic simultaneously, this is your feat.  For almost everyone, this is a waste.

If you desperately want this effect as your level 3 feat, ask your DM if you can remove the base will save requirement or have psychic warrior have a strong will save instead.

Powerful Charge [Fighter] (Eberron Campaign Setting 57): Requires Medium or bigger size, 1 BAB
<When you hit on a charge attack, you do +d8 damage if Medium, +2d6 if Large, +3d6 if Huge, +4d6 if Gargantuan, and +6d6 if Colossal.>

Though the majority your attacks will be charges, this is mostly useful early-game.  If you intend to play a dragoon no higher than about level 10, Powerful Charge may be worthwhile.  Ask your DM if this damage applies to every attack made with a pouncing charge.  (I believe it should.)

Power Lunge (Ghostwalk 37 and Sword and Fist 8) [Fighter]: Requires BAB 3, Power Attack
<When you hit a foe with a charge, add double your STR bonus to damage.  (For two-handed weapons like most polearms, this is 2.5x your STR bonus.)  Conversely, your foe gets an attack of opportunity on you before you can attack it.

The Ghostwalk version is identical to Sword and Fist's except it also a [Fighter] feat.>

This is a cheap, easy way to get extra damage, especially when your reach is greater than your opponent's!  Seemingly, you can choose to deal extra damage on a charge in exchange for provoking an attack of opportunity.

Practiced Manifester (Complete Psionic 57): Requires 4 Psicraft ranks
<Your manifester level in one class increases by up to 4, but no more than your hit dice.  A rogue1/cleric1/psywar1/barbarian1 with this feat has a psywar manifester level of 4.>

Take this to extend your buffs.

Practiced Spellcaster (Complete Arcane 82 or Complete Divine 82): Requires 4 Spellcraft ranks
<Your caster level in one class increases by up to 4, but no more than your hit dice.  A rogue1/cleric1/psywar1/barbarian1 with this feat has a cleric caster level of 4.>

Take this to extend your buffs and let your cure spells heal a bit more.

Psionic Charge [Psionic]: Requires 13 DEX, Speed of Thought
<You must expend your focus to be able to make one turn of up to 90 degrees while charging.>

This doesn't fit the dragoon style; you're meant to jump off walls, mounts, and orbital satelites to inflict massive stabbity death, not turn corners!

Shock Trooper (Complete Warrior 112) [Fighter, Tactical]: Requires Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack, 6 BAB
<You can perform one noteworthy maneuver, Heedless Charge.  Charge your opponent and Power Attack him for at least 5.  Instead of taking the accuracy penalty from Power Attack, you can instead take the penalty to your AC.  This effect lasts one round.>

You can reliably hit with Power Attack! (Holy cathedrals, Batman!)  You should also be far enough away that the AC penalty won't matter much.  Remember that this penalty also applies to touch AC!

Unfortunately, Shock Trooper requires the crap feat Improved Bull Rush,

Speed of Thought [Psionic]: Requires 13 WIS
<While psionically focused, you get +10' insight speed.>

You're already feat tight and an extra 10' matters much more in the early game.  If you want to try setting land speed records at level 6, this is a better investment.  Overall, you're probably better saving your feats for damage boosters.

Spirited Charge [Fighter]: Requires Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack, 1 Ride rank
<When charging while mounted, you do double damage (triple damage with a lance) should you hit.>

If you're a mounted dragoon, this is rightfully blue for its awesomeness and it's still a navy for unmounted dragoons with a knack for riding, a flying mount, and the proper gear.  Double charge damage while mounted or triple if using a lance?  Prereq feats that don't suck for a mounted dragoon?

This is especially useful for combining mounted and unmounted dragoon styles.  See the Limit Lancer trick below.
The Limit Lancer Trick-Combining Mounted & Unmounted Styles :
[spoiler]Use Ride-By Attack with a polearm, activate your Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62), jump off your mount and onto the foe, and pretend it's a Final Fantasy limit break!

If you're a Raptoran (Races of the Wild 68) or Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) and have a flying mount, you can assumedly ride-by, order your mount to fly 30' above your opponent, then dive bomb your foe at exactly 30' for the diving charge double damage plus Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42) and charge bonuses.  Woot!

Just be careful you can land or glide back onto your mount to repeat the process next turn.[/spoiler]

Spring Attack [Fighter]: Requires 13 DEX, Dodge, Mobility, 4 BAB
<When using the attack action with a melee weapon, you can move both before and after the attack, provided that your total distance moved is not greater than your speed. Moving in this way does not provoke an attack of opportunity from the defender you attack, though it might provoke attacks of opportunity from other creatures, if appropriate. You can’t use this feat if you are wearing heavy armor.>

For a dragoon, either this sucks or rocks.  It rocks if you can Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42) onto someone to trigger a charge then move away, similar to the Final Fantasy dragoons.  (If your DM rules this way, Spring Attack's rating changes to navy.)

My interpretation of Spring Attack as written is "move, attack once, move," and if that's the case, Spring Attack is only slightly useful beyond a prereq for blade dancer (Oriental Adventures 37).

Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62)
<Once per day as a swift action, you can move your normal speed for 1 minute.  Spending 2 turning attempts allows another daily use.>

While you should probably trade in your Travel domain, this devotion is worthy of a feat.  This is like hustle in feat form!

Two-Weapon Fighting [Fighter]: Requires 15 DEX
<When you make a full attack, you get an extra attack with your off-hand weapon with an accuracy penalty.  See this two-weapon fighting table for details.>

It's strictly a prereq for Bloodclaw Master (Tome of Battle 96), though it helps a bit should you want to use your polearm and armor spikes in the same round.

Up The Walls [Psionic]: Requires 13 WIS
<While psionically focused, you can walk on walls as easily as normal floors.  If you end your turn on a wall, you fall to the ground prone, taking falling damage as appropriate.  Moving from the floor to the wall costs no movement, but moving along the wall provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.>

Up the Walls lets you to get into position for many jump attacks with Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42) and Leap Attack.

If the ceiling if horizontal, you can safely stand on it and end your turn.  You may be able to convince your DM that walls are horizontal surfaces if turned 90 degrees.

*Weapon Focus [Fighter]: Requires weapon proficiency with chosen weapon, 1 BAB
<You get +1 accuracy with that weapon.>

It helps offset your Power Attack penalty, but it's mostly a prereq.

*Weapon Specialization [Fighter]: Requires Weapon Focus with chosen weapon, 4 fighter levels
<You get +2 damage when hitting with the selected weapon.>

You qualify via Warblade 6, but even then Weapon Specialization is of dubious worth as a feat.  You should be doing ludicrous amounts of damage without this, and +2 damage is barely noticeable after a short while.[/spoiler]

Warblade Feats
[spoiler]
Warblade Feats
Acrobatic
<+2 Jump and Tumble>

It's +2 Jump and Tumble, but these skills should be already ludicrously high.  Some believe every little bit is worthwhile.

Agile
<+2 Balance and Escape Artist>

Ick, even for a bonus feat.

Athletic
<+2 Climb and Swim>

You can do much better for a bonus feat.

Blade Meditation (Tome of Battle 29): Requires 1 Concentration rank, 4 BAB, 1 martial maneuver
<+1 damage with preferred weapons when using martial strikes of that discipline, +1 DC on maneuvers from chosen discipline, +2 on key discipline skill>

Normally this feat is at least average, but you'll probably have no White Raven strikes by the time you qualify.  Even then, the bonus is negligible.

Blind-Fight
<When you miss a melee attack because of concealment, you can reroll percentile.  Also, invisible attackers get no bonuses to melee accuracy against you.>

You shouldn't need this, but it's somewhat helpful for emergencies.

Combat Reflexes
<You can make attacks of opportunity while flat-footed and each round make one more AoO per point of DEX bonus you have.>

You should have higher than average DEX and longer than typical reach, making this an obvious choice.

Diehard: Requires Endurance
<You automatically stabilize at negative HP and can take a move action each round without penalty.  Most other actions cause you to lose 1 HP, and you still die at -10 HP.>

Surely you can find better!

Endurance
<You can sleep in medium or heavy armor without being fatigued and you get minor bonuses to rarely-used checks.>

Skip this!

Great Fortitude
<+2 Fortitude>

It's +2 Fortitude to your already massive Fortitude save, but it's still better than many feats here.

Improved Initiative
<+4 Initiative>

If you can't get this lovely +4 initiative from the Time domain (Spell Compendium 281), take it ASAP from Warblade feats!

Iron Will
<+2 Will>

The +2 will probably help prevent you from becoming mind controlled and slaughtering the party.  Even if it doesn't, you can tell your fellow players you at least tried to prevent it.

Ironheart Aura (Tome of Battle 31): Requires 1 Iron Heart stance
<When in an Iron Heart stance, all adjacent allies within 5' get +2 morale saves.>

Giving allies +2 morale to their saves is handy, but you will be away from them action most of the time, making this feat's worth dubious.

Lightning Reflexes
<+2 Reflex>

Failing a Reflex save typically means HP damage- no big whoop- but here's to living that much longer.  Cheers!

Quick Draw: Requires 1 BAB
<You may draw a weapon as a free action or a weapon hidden via Sleight of Hand as a move action.>

You should never need this as a dragoon.  Never.  Drawing a weapon as part of a move is possible with at least 1 BAB, and most the time you should have your polearm drawn.

Run
<You get +4 Jump on running jumps, keep your DEX to AC while running, and can run at 5x your normal speed instead of 4x.>

It's a prereq for the epic feat Epic Speed, but that's about it.  The most useful part of Run is +4 Jump on running jumps, which should be all jumps by this point.

Stone Power (Tome of Battle 32): Requires 13 STR, 1 Stone Dragon maneuver
<When you attack or use a Stone Dragon maneuver, you can subtract up to 5 from your BAB and add double that penalty as temporary HP for one round.>

Yay for a short-term HP boost!  Boo that Stone Dragon maneuvers must be used on the ground!

Tiger Blooded (Tome of Battle 33): Requires raging/shifting/wild shaping, 1 Tiger Claw maneuver
<When raging, shifted, or wild shaped into an animal form, you can use a Tiger Claw maneuver to also knock a foe 5' if they fail a Fortitude save of 10 + your STR mod + 1/2 your character level.  This foe can't be of a larger size category than you.>

It's mostly useful for knocking someone out of your threat range then forcing them to reenter your threat range, but Tiger Blooded requires a.high STR and massive size to reliably work.

Unnerving Calm (Tome of Battle 33): Requires 1 Concentration rank, 1 Diamond Mind maneuver
<You can use Concentration instead of Intimidate in a duel of wills.>

Dragoons don't do this; they kill people.

White Raven Defense (Tome of Battle 33): Requires 1 White Raven stance
<When in a White Raven stance, each adjacent ally gets +1 AC.  When wielding your halberd or another White Raven weapon, regardless of stance, each adjacent ally gets +1 AC, and I assume these bonuses stack.  (You give no AC when flat-footed.)>

This feat requires you to be next to your allies and provides a minor AC boost.  Pass.[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 03:28:12 AM by LittleRedRaidingHood »

LittleRedRaidingHood

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Under The Hood IV
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2010, 11:09:33 AM »
Under the Hood IV
Skills, Important Jump & Tumble Numbers, and Skill Tricks

Skills You Didn't Know You Wished You Had
[spoiler]All synergy bonuses are from 5 ranks in the appropriate skill.

Balance Synergy: +2 from Tumble
Chances are you'll charge over uneven or slick terrain and falling foolishly, however comical, is no remedy for killing your opponent.  I've rarely encountered Balance checks, but Balance's usefulness is DM-dependent.

One significant bonus is having 5 Balance ranks prevents you from being flat-footed while balancing, such as on slippery floors or grease patches.

Climb Synergy: +2 from Use Rope
Early in your career at least you'll need to climb to higher ground to jump onto your foes.  Late-game, you may need to climb riduculous heights in areas magic won't function.  It probably isn't worth maxing- check the skill tricks section below first- but you should have some ranks in Climb.

Concentration
Gaining a psionic focus is a DC20 Concentration check.  Moment of Perfect Mind (Tome of Battle 64) replaces your Will save with a Concentration check.  Max this!

Also, you may need to roll Concentration to manifest or cast within an enemy's threat range.

Remember, if you lose all your power points, you lose your psionic focus!

Escape Artist Synergy: +2 vs ropes from Use Rope
You need ranks for a skill trick, but you shouldn't get entangled or grappled.  Escape Artist is purely for backup.

Hide
In early to mid game, staying undetected means staying alive.  If you start with Hide as a class skill, invest at least 4 ranks in this.

Intimidate Synergy: +2 from Bluff
Aside from meeting prereqs, you shouldn't be near enough long enough to opponents to make them tremble.  Cause them to flee because you impaled their leader with one jump, not because you're charismatic.

Jump Synergy: +2 from Tumble
You're a dragoon.

Knowledge (local: Rashemen)
If you want Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42), you may need 2 ranks of this to qualify as any race.  (See the SBlock Battle Jump Fine Print above for details.)  If you intend to get the feat Knowledge Devotion (Complete Champion 60), this is an easy way to get 5 ranks to qualify since rogues have Knowledge (local) as class.

Knowledge (religion)
If you prefer a more useful knowledge than local, try religion; almost every campaign involves NPC/enemy clerics, gods, and undead.  Also, 5 ranks lets you to get 1 additional turn attempt from a Relinquary Holy Symbol (Magic Item Compendium 120).

Listen
Listen is normally good to have and may save your life, but you should only max it if you have spare skill points.

Move Silently
In early to mid game, staying undetected means staying alive.  If you start with Move Silently as a class skill, invest at least 4 ranks in this.

Ride Synergy: +2 from Handle Animal
This skill is merely OK for nonmounted dragoons but vital (blue) for mounted dragoons.  As a primarly melee character, you may need to resort to something faster than you (perish the thought!) to arrive at your target in time to inflict stabbity death, or use a flying mount as an orbital platform from which to use  Spirited Charge to activate the Limit Lancer trick.  (See the Spirited Charge feat description for details.)

Search
If you start with Search as a class skill and have Trapfinding, you can at least find traps at early levels.

While generally handy to have, save it for the true skill monkeys.

Spellcraft Synergy: +2 from Knowledge (arcana)
You can identify spells being cast by your allies and enemies.  It's helpful to have so you know whether to go all out on someone about to cast, but generally leave this for the true casters.

Spot
See Spot.  See Spot run.  Run, Spot, run!

Seriously, Spot is useful and may save your life, but max it only if you have points to spare.

Tumble Synergy: +2 from Jump
Non-winged dragoons need this so they don't kill themselves jumping.  Winged dragoons have less need for this, but still require 12 ranks to enter Blade Dancer (Oriental Adventures 37).

Those pursuing the Flame's Blessing stance (Tome of Battle 53, Desert Wind1) need 9 ranks for 10 fire resist, 14 ranks for 15 fire resist, and 19 ranks for fire immunity.

Finally, a high enough Tumble negates attacks of opportunity garnered from Headlong Rush (Races of Faerun 164).[/spoiler]

Important Jump & Tumble Ranks & DCs
[spoiler]Jump Ranks
1 Rank: If you pass a Jump check, you can choose to land on your feet.
4 Ranks: You qualify for the feat Leap of the Heavens (Player's Handbook II 80).
5 Ranks: You get +2 on Tumble checks.
5 Ranks: You qualify for the skill trick Extreme Leap (Complete Scoundrel 86).
5 Ranks: If you also have 5 Climb ranks, you qualify for the skill trick Leaping Climber (Complete Scoundrel 87).
5 Ranks: If you also have 5 Balance ranks, you qualify for the skill trick Up the Hill (Complete Scoundrel 90).
5 Ranks: If you also have 5 Climb ranks, you qualify for the skill trick Wall Jumper (Complete Scoundrel 90).
20 Ranks: You qualify for the epic feat Epic Skill Focus.
24 Ranks: You qualify for the epic feat Legendary Leaper.

Jump Results
10 Result: You can make a 10' long jump with a 20' running start, enough to trigger Leap Attack (Complete Adventurer 110).
20 Result: You can make a 10' long jump without a running start, enough to trigger Leap Attack (Complete Adventurer 110).
20 Result: With a Halberd of Vaulting (Arms & Equipment Guide 109), you can make a vaulting charge with a running start.
40 Result: You can trigger Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42) on a 5' tall or shorter target with a running start.  If you also move at least 10' horizontally, you also trigger Leap Attack (Complete Adventurer 110).
40 Result: With a Halberd of Vaulting (Arms & Equipment Guide 109), you can make a vaulting charge without a running start.
80 Result: You can trigger Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42) on a 5' tall or shorter target without a running start.  If you also move at least 10' horizontally, you also trigger Leap Attack (Complete Adventurer 110).

Tumble Ranks
1 Rank: You can use the Tumble skill.
4 Ranks: In Flame's Blessing stance (Tome of Battle 53), you have 5 fire resistance.
5 Ranks: You get +2 on Jump checks.
5 Ranks: You qualify for the skill trick Tumbling Crawl (Complete Scoundrel 90).
5 Ranks: If you also have 5 Escape Artist ranks, you qualify for the skill trick Slipping Past (Complete Soundrel 89).
5 Ranks: If you also have 5 Balance ranks, you qualify for the skill trick Up the Hill (Complete Soundrel 90).
5 Ranks: If you also have 12 Climb ranks, you qualify for the skill trick Walk the Walls (Complete Soundrel 90).
8 Ranks: If you also have Power Attack, you qualify for Leap Attack (Complete Adventurer 110).
9 Ranks: In Flame's Blessing stance (Tome of Battle 53), you have 10 fire resistance.
12 Ranks: You qualify for the skill tricks Acrobatic Backstab (Complete Scoundrel 85) and Back on Your Feet (Complete Scoundrel 86).
14 Ranks: In Flame's Blessing stance (Tome of Battle 53), you have 15 fire resistance.
19 Ranks: In Flame's Blessing stance (Tome of Battle 53), you are immune to fire damage.
20 Ranks: You qualify for the epic feat Epic Skill Focus.

Tumble Results
15 Result: You don't provoke attacks of opportunity for moving at half speed past one opponent.
15 Result: You take 1d6 less falling damage.
25 Result: You don't provoke attacks of opportunity for moving at half speed through one opponent's square.
25 Result: You don't provoke attacks of opportunity for moving at full speed past one opponent.
30 Result: You take 2d6 less falling damage.
40 Result: You can take a 10' step instead of a 5' step.  Bring on the full attacking scouts!  (See Complete Adventurer 11 for more details.)
45 Result: You take 3d6 less falling damage.  For each 15 additional points of result, you take 1d6 less falling damage.[/spoiler]

Trickin' it Out in the Hood:  Skill Tricks for Dragoons
[spoiler]
Skill Tricks
NOTE: You can only learn 1 skill trick at each level and may know 1 skill trick per 2 levels rounded up.  (You can know up to one trick at L1, up to 2 at L3, up to 3 at L5, and so on.)  Each skill trick costs 2 skill points.

Also, you can only use each trick once per encounter or once per minute for noncombat situations unless otherwise specified!

Acrobatic Backstab (Complete Scoundrel 84): Requires 12 Tumble ranks (L9)
<If you pass a Tumble check to move through an enemy's area, you can treat that foe as flat-footed for the next melee attack on your current turn.  Your foe must be standing on a solid surface for you to use this trick.>

It sounds good, but requires level 9 and careful positioning for your enemy.  Most the time, creatures and you will be airborne too often for this to be viable.

Back on your Feet (Complete Scoundrel 85): Requires 12 Tumble ranks (L9)
<You can stand from prone without provoking attacks of opportunity as an immediate action.>

This is a useful panic button against trippers.  You probably won't need this, but it's quite helpful when you do.

Extreme Leap (Complete Scoundrel 86): Requires 5 Jump ranks (L2)
<A horizontal jump of at least 10 feet allows 10 extra feet of movement that round as a swift action.>

You will be jumping often, but if you have the Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62) or otherwise frequently use swift actions, this is of little use.  Talk to your DM about whether you get a bonus on your Jump check because you can move 10 more feet the round you use Extreme Leap.  I believe the extra move speed should give +4 Jump.

Leaping Climber (Complete Scoundrel 87): Requires 5 Climb ranks, 5 Jump ranks (L2)
<Add your jump distance to the start of a climb.>

Don't get this unless you often start your climbs with jumps.  It's slightly better with Speedy Ascent (Complete Scoundrel 89), but even then, it's probably the worst dragoonish skill trick.

Nimble Stand (Complete Scoundrel 88): Requires 8 Tumble ranks (L5)
<You can stand from prone without provoking attacks of opportunity.>

If you often land off your feet or find yourself wanting to stand in enemy threat ranges often, take this.  This is mostly useful at low levels since with a DC35 Tumble check, you can stand from prone as a free action.

Shrouded Dance (Complete Scoundrel 89): Requires 8 Hide ranks, 5 Perform (dance) ranks (L5)
<As a move action, make a DC 20 Hide check.  If you pass, you have concealment (20% miss chance) 'til the start of your next turn.>

This is a borderline red because while its benefit is somewhat spiffy, it requires a move action to use and skill points in Perform which you're unlikely to have.

Slipping Past (Complete Scoundrel 89): Requires 5 Escape Artist ranks, 5 Tumble ranks (L2)
<As a swift action, you can ignore movement and AC penalties for squeezing through a tight space 'til the start of your next turn.>

I have never needed to worry about being in a space too small for me.  If that happens often to you, consider this trick.

Speedy Ascent (Complete Scoundrel 89): Requires 5 Climb ranks (L2)
<If you pass a Climb check to move at least 10 feet, you can move an additional 10 feet as part of that action.>

Climbing is rarely a factor and climbing quickly even rarer.  Speedy Ascent is slightly more useful with Leaping Climber (Complete Scoundrel 87), but I'd only take this if I had nowhere better to put my skill points.

Spot the Weak Point (Complete Scoundrel 89): Requires 12 Spot ranks (L9)
<As a standard action, make a Spot check with a DC equal to one foe's AC.  If you pass, your next attack made this or next turn is considered a touch attack.>

You need to invest heavily in Spot then you must spend a standard action and pass a Spot check.  It's only viable in emergencies.

Twisted Charge (Complete Scoundrel 90): Requires 5 Balance ranks, 5 Tumble ranks (L2)
<When charging, you can make one turn of up to 90 degrees.  Remember that running from the floor to a wall or vice versa typically requires a 45 degree turn.>

This is only viable for charging when spaces are too cramped to Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42).

Walk the Walls (Complete Scoundrel 90): Requires 12 Climb ranks, 5 Tumble ranks (L9)
<You can move up a wall without making a Climb check.  Each 5 feet of vertical movement costs you 4 squares (20 feet) of movement and you must begin and end your turn on a horizontal surface.>

This is a poor man's Up The Walls.  If you can't get Up The Walls, this may be worthwhile, but even then I rate it low.

Wall Jumper (Complete Scoundrel 90): Requires 5 Climb ranks, 5 Jump ranks (L2)
<If you pass a Climb check to ascend or descend a wall this turn or last turn, you can leap horizontally from that wall as if you had a running start.>

Joy!  From my understanding, you can use this with Up The Walls to leap further up walls and descend more painfully on foes.  Even if you can't, this is still excellent for a dragoon![/spoiler]
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 01:32:32 PM by LittleRedRaidingHood »

LittleRedRaidingHood

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Under The Hood V
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 11:10:09 AM »
Under the Hood V
Races and Templates

Races of the Hood
[spoiler]
Races
The most important aspects of a dragoon's race are, in this approximate order:

-Gliding/Wings
-Large or bigger size
-Medium or bigger size
-STR bonuses
-Jump/Tumble bonuses
-CON bonuses
-DEX/INT/WIS bonuses
-Darkvision
-Low-light vision
-Racial bonuses, such as racial traits and race-only feats

Dwarf: Humanoid, +2 CON, -2 CHA, Medium, 20' Walk, Favored: Fighter, No LA
Even with the Quick trait, these are suboptimal as dragoons.  If you're stuck with core races, play a human instead.

Elf [Dragonborn High Elf]: Humanoid (dragonblood), Medium, 30' Walk, Favored: Fighter & Wizard, No LA
See my spiel near in the templates secion about the Dragonborn template (Races of the Dragon 8).  Most often, this race setup is a step down from a Raptoran (Races of the Wild 68) but will do in a pinch if Raptorans are banned.  At least you have no stat penalties.

Goliath (Races of Stone 84): Monstrous Humanoid, +4 STR, -2 DEX, +2 CON, Medium (Powerful Build), 30' Walk, Favored: Barbarian, 1 LA
Scroll down on this page to Mountain Movement.  You can make running jumps without running, an ability even better than Legendary Leaper!  (The feat Leap of the Heavens in Player's Handbook II 80 does effectively the same thing as Mountain Movement.)  Powerful Build allows you to use Large weapons, though with the reach of a Medium creature.  Unfortunately, the goliath level adjustment and racial traits make it a merely OK race.

You may be within redemption, however.  If you want to wield Huge weapons for 1 more LA (though with Large reach) and your DM won't hurt you for it, take Half-Minotaur (Dragon 313 94).  From Half-Minotaur alone, you get +12 STR/-2 DEX/+6 CON, some from the template and some from the size increase.  See the templates section below for more details.

Half-Giant: Giant (psionic), +2 STR, -2 DEX, +2 CON, Medium (Powerful Build), 30' Walk, Favored: Psychic Warrior, 1 LA
Half-giants are second-rate goliaths for dragoons; Powerful Build but no Mountain Movement.  Half-giants are psionic, allowing them to get Up the Walls at level 1, though I still recommend a level or 2 of psychic warrior.

Half-Orc: Humanoid, +2 STR, -2 INT, -2 CHA, Medium, 30' Walk, Favored: Barbarian, No LA
Half-orcs over the long-term don't get entirely shafted.  As a half-orc, you can get the feat Headlong Rush and nab Half-Orc Paragon2 for the ability to rage while lawful, though doing so is rarely worthwhile in non-gestalt games.

I admit though, there isn't much more reason to take an untemplated half-orc.  Humans are probably the best race in the early game because of the feat crunch, and as a half-orc your skill progression is slowed from -2 INT.  If Headlong Rush is available, however, half-orcs outpace humans, and if the Dragonborn template (Races of the Dragon 8) is available, you have one of the best races for a dragoon.

However, with some slight modifications, you can become...

Half-Orc, Uberfied [Quick Dragonborn Half-Minotaur Water Half-Orc]: Humanoid (dragonblood), +14 STR, -4 DEX, +8 CON, -4 INT, -2 CHA, 2 NA, Large, 50' Walk, 50' Swim, Favored: Barbarian & Fighter, 1 LA
I don't say it often, but OMGWTFBBQ!  Even without Half-Minotaur (Dragon 313 94) you're still better than a Raptoran (Races of the Wild 68):  You glide, you have a slightly higher Fortitude save, and you qualify for Headlong Rush.   Booyah!

Human: Humanoid, Medium, 30' Walk, Favored: Any, No LA
Humans make spiffy dragoons because of the extra feat, skill points, and a favored class of any.  Unfortunately, they get no spiffy dragoon-specific bonuses, but the extra feat helps the early game feat crunch.  Going human is probably your best bet if you're stuck with core races.

Alternatively, investigate silverbrow humans from Dragon Magic 6.  They trade their bonus skill points for feather fall as a spell-like ability once per day plus once per day per 5 HD.  Additionally, they get +2 Disguise and Disguise is always a class skill.  Normal humans are better lest reducing falling damage is critical and you want to be human.

Interestingly, humans make the worst Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8).  They lose their bonus feat and bonus skill points while keeping their favored class (any).  With the wealth of D&D 3.5 material available, humans get sidelined this build.

Neraph (Planar Handbook 13): Outsider, Medium, 30' Walk, Favored: Ranger, No LA
Despite being outsiders for delicious polymorph cheese, like in this thread, they don't suit dragoons well considering the variety of better races.  Even the feat Neraph Charge (Planar Handbook 40) feels slightly weak compared to Headlong Rush (Races of Faerun 164), though maybe it's because Neraph Charge is available to all races.

Neraph get +5 to Jump, +2 natural armor, and the ability to deny each foe his DEX bonus to AC for one charge or thrown attack per encounter.

Beware!  As an outsider, not a native outsider, neraphim require revive outsider (Spell Compendium 175) or true resurrection to resurrect!  With a Dragonborn Neraph, however, you're considered an outsider and for some purposes, a dragon, meaning whether you need to eat, sleep, or breathe, as well as what spells will revive you, are up to your DM.  Ask him nicely.

Nezumi AKA Ratling (Oriental Adventures 13): Humanoid, +2 CON, -2 CHA, Medium, 40' Walk, Favored: Rogue, No LA
The only official LA0 Medium race I've found with 40' base speed, the nezumi are just plain excellent dragoons.  They're fast, hearty, and have mild stealth-related abilities.  A nezumi with 11+ WIS- and that's you!- qualifies to take Scent as a feat.  Taking Quick is more of a no-brainer.  Slap Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 10) on this baby and you're ready to go!

The main negatives are rogue as a favored class and the lack of Common as an automatic language.  (Most dragoons won't take more than 2 Rogue levels and you get Rokugan and Nezumi as automatic languages which are effectively gibberish in a non-Oriental campaign.)  You can't get Headlong Rush since you lack orcish blood, but the feat's double damage on a charge is probably overkill anyway.

However, if you go all-out, you can become...

Nezumi, Uberfied [Quick Dragonborn Water Half-Minotaur Nezumi]: Humanoid (dragonblood), +12 STR, -4 DEX, +10 CON, -4 INT, -2 CHA, 2 NA, Large, 60' Walk, 60' Swim, Favored: Fighter & Rogue, 1 LA
This extrapolates elemental race stats unofficially, but all races of water that aren't half-breeds get +2 CON, besides various penalties negated by being Dragonborn.  If your DM allows you to be a Half-Minotaur (Dragon 313 94), he'll probably allow the extrapolation, but an extra 2 CON at this point is minor either way. 

Even without Half-Minotaur, you're fast.  You're as fast as a standard heavy horse or heavy warhorse.  If I could, I'd usually take nezumi over half-orc, especially water nezumi.  Another perk is that you can still take Scent as a feat if you feel inclined.

For any DMs in the audience thinking of terrorizing low-level groups with a couple creatures which even savvy players won't expect, here you go.  The look on your players' faces when they realize two very big, draconic, telephone pole-wielding, under-CRed creatures are swooping down from the shadows to impale all of them will be priceless.  Give these guys a class level or few and you may even start a panic.

Dragoons:  For when the crab just isn't that scary.

Raptoran (Races of the Wild 68): Humanoid [?], Medium, 30' Walk, Favored: Cleric, No LA
HALLE... lujah?  Starting at low levels, raptorans can make a strong contender for the ideal dragoon race.  They can glide, giving them +10 on Jump checks and preventing them from taking falling damage while conscious.  Even if a raptoran is knocked out in the air, he only takes 1d6 falling damage, which effects like feather fall negate.  (Few things ruin an epic leap more than going splat at the end.)  At 5HD, raptorans can fly for a number of successive rounds equal to their CON bonus, to a minimum of 1, and at 10 HD, they can fly indefinitely.  A raptoran with at least 5 HD can make a diving charge with a piercing weapon that does double damage if it hits.

The Dragonborn template (Races of the Dragon 8) grants the same abilities, but a level or 2 later with 10' less speed and stat mods.  I recommend a Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) half-orc or Dragonborn nezumi (Oriental Adventures 13) for most builds, but raptorans shine in campaigns with Faerun and Oriental material banned or when you want no stat penalties and no LA.  The raptoran's best niche then is for evil characters because a Dragonborn that turns evil loses the Dragonborn template by the rules as written.

So where's the downside?  Raptorans have the icky favored class of cleric.  The Dragonborn can be attached to many if not most races, allowing a Quick Dragonborn half-orc to qualify for Headlong Rush (Races of Faerun 164), and compared to a raptoran, have +10 land speed, +1 Fortitude, and the same amount of HP, though -2 DEX.

Also, assumedly, raptorans are humanoid, but Races of the Wild lists no type for them.

Shifter (Eberron Campaign Setting 18): Humanoid (shapechanger), +2 DEX, -2 INT, -2 CHA, Medium, 30' Walk, Favored: Ranger, No LA
Originally, I included shifters as a means of qualifying for bloodclaw master (Tome of Battle 96) with no special class levels while meeting blade dancer's alignment requirement (Oriental Adventures 37).  I realized soon after that bloodclaw master doesn't require raging or shifting, thus demoting shifters.  At least you can become a Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) from the start!

Thri-Kreen (Shining South 72): Monstrous Humanoid +2 STR, +4 DEX, -2 INT, +2 WIS, -4 CHA, Medium, 40' Walk, Favored: Ranger, 1 LA (Nonpsionic), 2 HD
Thri-kreen are the original D&D high jumpers, but with various reprints and stat changes, Wizards of the Coast can't make up their mind.  Expanded Psionics Handbook 15 and lists their Jump bonus as racial (woo!) instead of competence (boo!).  Monster Manual II 196 and [i}Savage Species[/i] 222 again list their Jump bonus as competence instead of racial.  The header uses Shining South's version since it's from the most recent publication.

Dragoon-wise, thri-kreen aren't worth the price.  Admittedly, they have 40' base speed for a Medium creature, +30 competence Jump, and 4 usable arms with which to hold their polearms, but the bonus to Jump doesn't stack with blade dancer (Oriental Adventures 37) or most items that boost Jump.

Girallon's blessing (Spell Compendium 106) on a 2-armed creature can reproduce the extra arms, and high jumping will make you go splat unless you can stop the damage.  Also, going Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) removes the Jump bonus.

Finally, Thri-Kreen have short lifespans.  They reach middle age at 16, old age at 20, venerable at 25, and are expected dead by 29.  In the case of campaigns that stretch over a year or five, I don't want to risk losing physical stats or dying of old age!  Somewhat fortunately, Dragonborn returns you to the normal adult category with none your aging bonuses or penalties and with a middle age of 200 years, but, again, you lose the Jump bonus.

Warforged, Uberfied [Quick Incarnate Construct Shadow Dragonborn Warforged]: Humanoid (dragonblood), -2 DEX, +4 CON, -2 WIS, -2 CHA, Medium, 60' Walk, Favored: Fighter, No LA
A plain warforged (Eberron Campaign Setting 20 or Monster Manual III 190) makes for a bland, suboptimal dragoon.  Even the Quick trait does a little on its own.  To make a noteworthy warforged dragoon, I suggest applying the templates Incarnate Construct (Savage Species 120), Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8), and Shadow Creature (Lords of Madness 168) in that order.  You move 50% faster, meaning Quick is more appealing, though you lose composite plating and some other construct traits.   Dragonborn, like Red Bull, gives you wings!

A warforged without these templates decreases the rating to red because of the favored class of fighter, -2 WIS and CHA, and permanent 5% arcane spell failure.

Water Orc: Humanoid, +4 STR, +2 CON, -2 INT, -2 WIS, -2 CHA, Medium, 30' Walk, 30' Swim, Favored: Barbarian, No LA
With no LA but a WIS penalty, water orcs are slightly worse than half-orcs.  A Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) water orc gets -2 DEX and +2 CON as well, and removes light sensitivity and the modifiers against creatures of the fire subtype, but you need 15 base WIS for  Up The Walls.

Even without Dragonborn, the Quick trait becomes a serious consideration.

Overall, if you have enough INT, WIS, and CHA for your build and you were about to go Dragonborn half-orc regardless, be a Dragonborn water orc instead.

Whisper Gnome (Races of Stone 94): Humanoid, -2 STR, +2 DEX, +2 CON, -2  CHA, Small, 30' Walk, Favored: Rogue, No LA
Sometimes, you want to play something different.  Sometimes, being Medium or larger is a hindrance more than a help.  Sometimes, you want to threaten beings with the line, "I may be small."  (Those are separate links.)  Sometimes, you want to be a Small race with a 30' land speed besides a goblin or kobold subrace with no level adjustment.

On the down side, you lose all those misc. bonuses when you go Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8).  Your weapon damage diminishes slightly compared to a Medium creature- 1d8 with a halberd (less if smaller) versus 1d10.  Your STR is also lower compared to a Medium creature, but .hopefully your massive mobility makes up for it.

On the plus side, you have the same reach and land speed as a typical Medium creature.  Your favored class of rogue allows you to sneak.  Whisper gnomes are especially sneaky, getting darkvision and skill bonuses to make people cry, "Level adjustment!"  Small items tend to weigh half as much as Medium ones, but you have 75% the carrying capacity of a Medium creature of equal STR.  You qualify for Underfoot Combat (Races of the Wild 152), and Confound the Big Folk (Races of the Wild 153), allowing you to enter your victim's square without attacks of opportunity against you, and get accuracy or AC bonuses against creatures 2+ size categories larger.  You probably won't need these feats due to your expected damage, but they're options.

If you go Dragonborn as I expect, you have +4 CON and -2 CHA.  If you also squeeze the water variant past your DM, that's 2 more CON![/spoiler]

Templates to Make Dragoons Drool
[spoiler]Dark Creature (Tome of Magic 161): +1 LA
The most important reason to take this is for +10' to all movement speeds.  You also gain +8 Hide and Move Silently, 10 cold resistance, superior low-light vision, and hide in plain sight.

If you're willing to spare the LA and enjoy being especially sneaky, this is for you.  If you have the Shadow Creature template available (Lords of Madness 168), consider taking that instead.

Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8): Must be Non-Evil, No LA
If you become a Dragonborn, the wings are the best feature:  You initially can glide indefinitely, though at 30' (average maneuverability), and you get +10 on Jump checks!  At 6HD, you can fly for a number of successive rounds equal to your CON bonus to a minimum of 1.  (Even as a dragoon, you should be able to fly for at least 2 rounds at a time.)  While flying, you can make a diving charge with a piercing weapon that does double damage if it hits.  The biggest bonus is that a winged Dragonborn never takes falling damage while conscious, and even if you are knocked out in the air, you take only 1d6 falling damage which feather fall and similar effects negate!

I believe the best race to become a Dragonborn dragoon is a nezumi (Oriental Adventures 13).  They get +2 CON, -2 CHA, and 40' base movement as a Medium creature for no LA.  If your DM is willing, instead get +2 more CON from extrapolating the stats and take water nezumi. 

A strong contender more likely to be approved is Dragonborn half-orc because of significant physical bonuses and Headlong Rush.  If you can swing it, a water half-orc is obviously better.

Raptoran (Races of the Wild 68) is still viable- Dragonborn template aside- since they get flight at 5HD and improved flight at 10HD, but their favored class is cleric.  The only significant Dragonborn drawback compared to a Raptoran is that Raptorans can fly 10' faster and Dragonborn can't be evil.

With that stated, becoming a Dragonborn costs 100 gold and it isn't right for everyone:  Humans lose their valuable skill points and bonus feat, but keep their favored class (any).  Half-elves lose less and keep their favored class (any).  Goliaths lose their delicious Mountain Movement though they keep Powerful Build.  Most other races benefit, however.

Dragonborn have a critical clause on page 10 of Races of the Dragon which made me reread: "You lose all other racial traits of your original race, including bonus feats, skill bonuses, attack bonuses, save bonuses, and so forth."  Also, Races of the Dragon 15 states a Dragonborn who becomes evil loses the template and takes 2d6 damage per round for a number of rounds equal to his HD.

It bears emphasizing so strongly:  You can lose a feat and your delicious racial bonuses like a goliath's Mountain Movement (but not Powerful Build) are gone!  At least you gain fighter as an additional favored class, and you can make a reasonable case to your DM to change this additional favored class to warblade.

Contrary to my initial opinion, you lose all aging bonuses and penalties when you become a Dragonborn, though your age changes to a young adult!  Beware!
Dragonblood Subtype Details
[spoiler]What's so special about being a (dragonblood)?  Page 4 of Races of the Dragon lists these factors.

-You can use items requiring the dragon type or dragonblood subtype.
-You are vulnerable to "harmful" effects that only affect dragons.  This makes you Favored Enemy #1.
-You AREN'T a dragon in any other regard.
-If you somehow become a dragon, you lose the dragonblood subtype!  It bears mentioning.  Ahem.[/spoiler]

Movement Modes, a Controversy
[spoiler]As a Dragonborn you "retain your original base land speed, as well as any other modes of movement possessed by your original race.  Other racial traits related to speed or movement, such as the dwarf’s ability to move at full speed in medium or heavy armor, are lost."

Futhermore, "You lose all other racial traits of your original race, including bonus feats, skill bonuses, attack bonuses, save bonuses, spell-like abilities, and so forth." -Races of the Dragon 10

It seems straightforward, but should I keep my race's skill bonuses to Jump or Climb since these skills determine distance I can jump or climb per turn?  I'd like to think so, but in this guide I assume not.  Where that true, I'd more heavily advise a Dragonborn raptoran for raptoran wings, gliding,and skill bonuses, and the Dragonborn's breath weapon or darkvision.  Ask your DM.[/spoiler]

Half-Minotaur (Dragon 313 94): +1 LA (!)
This is a viable template for those who want massive STR and CON bonuses and a tremendous size more than all else.  (Being an inherited template, you must be born as a Half-Minotaur.)  Start with a nezumi (Oriental Adventures 13), half-orc, or goliath, embrance your Half-Minotaur heritage, then add Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8) if desired.  You must start as a giant, humanoid, or monstrous humanoid to gain Half-Minotaur, but that should be no problem!

You end with Large size and possibly Powerful Build so you can wield Large or Huge weapons.  You get +8 STR/-2 DEX/+4 CON because you grew from Meduim to Large.  You get an additional +4 STR/+2 CON/-2 INT from the Half-Minotaur template but none of the other misc. bonuses like the Track feat.  Assuming you start as a Medium creature, your total stat mods from Half-Minotaur are +12 STR/-2 DEX/+6 CON/-2 INT.  Groovy.

At low levels, you can tell the full casters to sit down and shut up while you earn the titles 'Bulldozer,' 'Meat Grinder,' and 'Rain Maker.'  Close range spells (25' + 5' per 2 caster levels) mean little when you can jump 30 feet without making a skill check, glide 30 feet, and kill everything in a 20 foot radius in the same turn at level 2!  Watch out for falling rocks.

DMs considering allowing a Half-Minotaur into their games should make the LA +2 instead of +1.  Half-Minotaur is a strong +2:  The size, STR, and CON bonuses alone are just that uber, but the other minor bonuses don't put it over the top to +3.

Incarnate Construct (Savage Species 120): -2 LA (!)
If you prefer to be a warforged (Eberron Campaign Setting 20 or Monster Manual III 190), this is the template for you!  You lose your construct traits and composite plating, but have -2 level adjustment, and conveniently, Shadow Creature (Lords of Madness 168) is +2 LA.  Happy trails!

Shadow Creature (Lords of Madness 168): +2 LA
The most important reason to take this is for its 50% speed boost!  You also get +6 Move Silently, full concealment in anything less than full daylight or the daylight spell, and one special ability per 4 HD.  Some of these abilities are fast healing 2, evasion, and DR 5/magic.

If you're willing to spare the LA, enjoy being sneaky, and want to set land speed records, this is one major way to go.  Only take this if you're comfortable with your other stats, however.[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 02:16:46 PM by LittleRedRaidingHood »

LittleRedRaidingHood

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Shoppin' In The Hood I
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 11:10:42 AM »
Shoppin' in the Hood
The Non-Wondrous
Armor & Enchants
[spoiler]
Armor & Enchants
Chahar-aina (Oriental Adventures 75): 75G, 10lb, 1ACP, 5% ASF
You can only wear this with padded armor, leather armor, or a chain shirt, and since I assume you're the good little Hood you are, you're wearing a chain shirt.  You need Medium Armor Proficiency to "wear a chahar-aina without penalty," which I'm fairly certain means no armor check penalty if you're proficient. If you make this item masterwork, there should be no armor check penalty.

Chain Shirt, Mithral: 1100G, 12.5lb, 0ACP, 10% ASF
Some recommend a breastplate instead, but the shirt is cheaper and has no armor check penalty.  Just watch out for arcane spell failure should you go that route.  Ultimately, this shirt offers the most options and is very cost effective!

Chain Shirt, Casterfied [Mithral, Feycraft, Githcraft]: 2200G, 11.25lb, 0ACP, 0% ASF
No armor check penalty?  Check.  No arcane spell failure?  Check.  Fully nonmagical?  Check.  Costs less than a +1 Twilight Mithril Chain Shirt?  Check.  Requires DM to avoid thinking too hard about how it was made?  Double check.

Feycraft is from Dungeon Master's Guide II 275.  Githcraft is from Dungeon Master's Guide II 276.

Dastana (Oriental Adventures 75): 25G, 5lb, 1ACP, 5% ASF
You can only wear this with padded armor, leather armor, or a chain shirt.  You need Light Armor Proficiency to "wear a dastana without penalty," which I'm fairly certain means no armor check penalty if you're proficient.  If you make this item masterwork, there should be no armor check penalty.

Landing Enchant [Psionic]: +4000G
You treat falls as 60' less for damage.  You shouldn't need this as a raptoran (Races of the Wild 68) or a Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8), or if you have an item of catfall; however, your DM may insist.  Boots of Landing (Magic Item Compendium 77) provide a cheap continuous version of this enchant.

Masterwork Tool: 50G, 1lb
You get +2 circumstance to any skill.  Jump and Tumble are obvious choices here.  While this bonus won't stack with other tools for the same skill, there's no specification in the rules as written requiring you hold or wear the tool to gain the bonus.  Most DMs would require you wear or wield the tool to gain its benefits, but lenient DMs would allow you to get this bonus with the tool in your Heward's Handy Haversack.

Fortification Enchant: +1 (Light), +3 (Medium), +5 (Heavy)
Negate 25%, 75% or all critical hits and sneak attacks with this.  I recommend heavy fortification despite its cost because I'm less likely to be killed by a critical I could have negated.  Medium Fortification will suffice for those on a much smaller budget.

Freedom Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 11): +5
You have continual freedom of movement.  The effect is often wonderful, but you can probably save money by instead getting a ring of freedom of movement.  If you can stick this on a +1 Dastana (Oriental Adventures 75), you get a bargain even compared to the ring!

Greater Healing Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 12): +24,000G, Requires Healing Enchant
Twice daily, you can heal 3d8+15 as a swift action and you're healed automatically for this if you fall unconscious from HP damage.  Unless I had enough money to swim comfortably in, Uncle Scrooge style, I wouldn't get this.  There are more efficient ways to heal, like a wand of cure light wounds for 750G.

Halfweight & Illithidwrought Enchants (Underdark 70): +3 or +4 Combined; see text and ask your DM
Halfweight armor is always treated as light and weighs half as much and is intended for those of you who insist on using full plate.

Seemingly, you can get Halfweight for +2 instead of +3 if your armor is Illithidwrought (Underdark 70).  Based on the chart from page 69, Illithidwrought (+1 insight AC), which normally costs +2, seemingly also gets a discount if you have Halfweight.  Ask your DM if you can get both for a total of +3.

If you want the full plate experience while maximizing your effectiveness, first get Feycraft (Dungeon Master's Guide II 275) +1 Mithral Full Plate, add Illithidwrought (Underdark 70), Halfweight, then Nimbleness (Magic Item Compendium 13).

Healing Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 12): +8000G
Once per day as a swift action, you can heal 2d8+5 HP damage.  If you're unconscious with negative HP, this healing effect triggers automatically as a free action.  It's a minor boost, but there are times when dropping unconscious saved my life and healing would have killed me.  I leave the choice to you.

Nimbleness Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 13): +1
Nimbleness reduces the armor check penalty by 2 and increases the max DEX bonus by 1.  It's intended for dragoons in mithral breastplates or full plate, but I prefer a mithral chain shirt.

Proof against Transmutation Enchant (Complete Arcane 142): +5
You become immune to petrification, involuntary shape changes, and turning to ash from disintegrate[/i] upon hitting -10 HP.  This enchant is NOT worth +5- it's maybe worth +2- but this enchant provides a bit of solace against baleful polymorph.

Quickness Enchant [Psionic]: +1
Your speed increases by 5'.  This is an unnamed bonus.  If it's prudent for your character, get this on your chain shirt, dastana (Oriental Adventures 75), chahar-aina (Oriental Adventures 75), and Animated heavy shield.

This enchantment was reprinted in Magic Item Compendium on page 13 where the bonus is now enhancement and there's no mention of psionics.  (I rate that version red.)  Ask your DM which version you're using.

Soulfire Enchant (Book of Exalted Deeds 112): +4
You become immune to death and negative energy effects, such a enervation, inflict spells, and slay living.  It's probably too cheap for a +4 enchant, but if your DM lets you, even at +5, take this!

Twilight Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 15): +1
Your arcane spell failure from this item is reduced by 10% to a minimum of 0%.  If you routinely cast wizard spells in armor and you can't get the casterfied chain shirt (above), a +1 Twilight Mithral Chain Shirt becomes a gimme.  For normal dragoons, this is worthless.[/spoiler]

Rings
[spoiler]
Rings
Ring of Adamantine (Magic Item Compendium 121): 6000G
Your melee attacks bypass DR/adamantine.  This is only useful against armies of constructs or weird creatures that have DR/adamantine.  This is mostly for backup purposes.

Ring of feather fall: 2200G
Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42) should trigger if you feather fall down by the rules as intended as there's no specific prohibition.  (Fly and levitate specifically won't work with Battle Jump by the rules as written, but as DM, I would allow Battle Jump to work with feather fall.)  If this ring won't interfere with Battle Jump, take the ring and love it as your precious.  If the ring interferes or you consistently don't land on your feet after jumping, get Boots of Landing (Magic Item Compendium 77).

If you're a raptoran (Races of the Wild 68) or Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8), you shouldn't need this since you never take falling damage unless you fall unconscious in the air, and even then no more than d6.  Your DM may say otherwise, however.

Ring of freedom of movement: 40,000G
This is a bargain compared to the price given by the formulas.  You'll need freedom of movement eventually considering the great number of grappling creatures and movement impairing spells and effects available; however, this is a mid to late game purchase.

Ring of Evasion: 25,000G
If you have the money, the Reflex save, and a ring slot available, this may be a worthy purchase.  You're probably better off spending money on items that improve movement or provide cover or concealment so you're out of the blast radius instead.

Ring of Sustenance: 2500G
If your DM enforces food and drink rules, this may be a worthy investment just so you no longer need to track personal nourishment.  The bonus of only needing 2 hours of sleep instead of 8 may allow you to regain spells more often than normal; check with your DM.[/spoiler]

Rods
[spoiler]
Rods
-Only one metamagic rod can be used with each spell at a time and the rod functions 3 times per day.  From what I understand, you need only have the rod in your possession, not your hand.  You may be able to use a metamagic rod thrice a day and pass it along since the text says, "The wielder can cast up to three spells per day that are [affected by a certain metamagic feat]."
-Spontaneous casters still must normally spend at least a full round action to use a metamagic rod on a spell.
-Lesser metamagic rods work on spells of level 3 and below, normal rods on level 6 and below, and greater rods on level 9 and below.
-Technically, aside from Heigthen Spell, a metamagicked spell changes only the spell slot needed to cast it, not the spell level.  Thus, an Extended haste cast by a typical wizard is a level 3 spell occupying a level 4 slot and a legal candidate for a Lesser Rod of Quicken.  Your DM may disagree, however.

Lesser Rod of Extend: 3000G
Your buffs like wraithstrike (Complete Adventurer 158) and haste last twice as long.  Woo!

Lesser Rod of Quicken: 35,000G
You can cast a spell as a swift instead of a standard action thirce per day.  Unfortunately, the rod is expensive and you'll often use swift actions for other things, but if you have this rod to spare, you can heal or buff yourself mid-fight.

Nightstick (Libris Mortis 78): 7500G
Even if you can only use one Nightstick per day, that's Divine Metamagic (Complete Divine 80) fuel or two more daily uses of your Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62)[/spoiler]

Weapons & Enchants
[spoiler]
Weapons & Enchants
Bloodfeeding Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 29): +1
Each time you damage a living creature, you gain a blood point, and you can spend 5 blood points to do 2 extra damage when you hit a target.  You can hold up to 10 blood points and the points last 1 hour, enough for a fight or two overland or part of a dungeon crawl.  I'm staying away from this, however great it sounds, because it does low damage and it's more to track.

Collision Enchant [Psionic]: +2
You do 5 extra damage per hit for a +2 enchant.  You can probably find better ways to reliably get more damage per strike, but this is simple.

Charging Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 31): +1
When charging while mounted, you do an extra 2d6 if you hit.  Mounted dragoons should take this; others should avoid it because of its specificity.

Eager Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 34): +1
You get +2 initiative, +2 damage with the weapon during combat's first round, and the ability to draw this weapon as a free action at any time on your turn.  Take Eager for its initiative bonus once you're out of better options.

Ghost Touch Enchant: +1
This is mostly for backup since there seems to be a batch of incorporeal creatures in every game I play.  If you become incorporeal with spells or other abilities, this ensures you can wield your weapon.  Either you need this greatly or you don't need it, and if you need it, try to instead get a Truedeath Crystal (Magic Item Compendium 66).

Halberd of Vaulting (Arms & Equipment Guide 109): 20,310G, 12lb
OMGWTFBBQ!  Whenever you charge and jump at least 5' into the air, you deal double damage!  Mind you, this is also a +2 halberd that gives a +30 unnamed bonus to Jump for the bargain price of about 20K!  Seriously, who made this and how soon can I hug him?

(Price-wise, this costs 310 for the masterwork halberd, 8K for +2, 9K for +30 to Jump under 3.0 rules, and about 3K for double damage on a charge.  Going by the numbers, this seems purposely bargain priced like a ring of invisibility.  If you manage to get one of these and want to upgrade it, a simple way would be to treat +3 as another 10K, or 15K if you wish to account for the nonstandard bonuses.  If you feel especially bold, ask your DM if you can make this a +1 Valorous Halberd (Unapproachable East 54) since it should cost the same by the rules.  Beware smackage.)

Holy Enchant: +2
Most campaigns have the goody PCs against the Evil baddies.  (Emphasis on the capital E.)  If you frequently fight demons, devils, dragons, deities, and dark casters, Holy offers 2d6 extra damage each attack.  If this is you, Holy makes for a worthy enchant at +2.  If you're the villains killing off heroes or you frequently kill nonevil foes, skip this.

Illusion Bane Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 36): +1
You automatically ignore any miss chance from illusions like blur or mirror image.  If you hit, you can use a swift action to attempt to dispel an illusion effect like silent image or all illusions on a target a la a targeted dispel magic, either at +10.  This is quite handy against casters, but it's quite niche.

Impaling Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 37): +1
As a swift action thrice per day, you can turn your next attack roll into a touch attack.  This enchant is a miniature wraithstrike (Complete Adventurer 158) that doesn't interfere with the spell.  Impaling also requires a piercing weapon, but that's a given!

Initiative Enchant (Oriental Adventures 126): +20,000G
You get +2 luck initiative for 20K.  This seems overly expensive, but initiative maniacs will find it valuable.

Keen Enchant: +1
You double your weapon's natural threat range.  A pity this doesn't stack with most other critical multipliers.  Even if it did, crits are unreliable and plenty of foes are immune.

If you're in a situation to capitalize on crits, seriously consider this and Maiming (Miniatures Handbook 40).

The Keen enchantment is a permanent version of the keen edge spell.

Lucky Enchant [Psionic]: +1
You can reroll one failed accuracy roll per day.  This may be comparable in price to the Luck Blade's luck power, 9,750 when reverse engineered, though the blade's reroll applies to any roll and it's an extraordinary ability.  Either reroll is better on ammo if each piece of ammo lets you reroll.

(My Luck Blade calculations, assuming no wishes: 9,750 = 22,060 base - 8K for +2 - 310 for a masterwork shortsword - 4K for the +1 luck bonus to saves on an unslotted item)

Magebane Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 38): +1
Against creatures capable of using arcane spells or warlock invocations (Complete Arcane 7), you get +2 accuracy and +2d6+2 damage.  This is a niche weapon, but there are plenty of creatures who can use arcane spells but aren't considered primary casters, like the rakshasa.  (Spell-like abilities drawn from the sorcerer/wizard list are seemingly arcane.  Ask your DM.)

Maiming Enchant (Miniatures Handbook 40): +1
This enchant is an oddity, turning your critical multiplier into a die roll.  A x2 weapon becomes a x1d4 weapon.  A x3 weapon is x1d6.  A x4 is x1d8.  (Assumedly, continue the pattern for higher numbers.)  Unfortunately, it's random and it requires the target be crittable.

If you're in a situation to capitalize on crits, seriously consider this and either Keen or a friendly caster who will spare the spell slots for keen edge..

A revised version is on page 38 of Magic Item Compendium, dealing d6 extra damage on a crit with a x2 weapon, 2d6 with a x3 weapon, and 3d6 with a x4 weapon.  Ask your DM which version you're using.

Parrying Enchant [Psionic]: +8000G
You get +1 insight AC and +1 insight saves while you hold the weapon, even when flat-footed.  This seems quite worthwhile.

Unfortunately, Magic Item Compendium 40 changed the price to +2 which I believe to be too much.  (My rating changes to red in that case.) Ask your DM which version you're using.

Ribbon [Kaorti] Weapons (Fiend Folio 110): See text.
If you're into crits, ribbon weapons are the way to go.  By extrapolation, ribbon weapons cost 50 times that of normal nonmasterwork weapons and require an exotic weapon proficiency to wield properly.  They allow trip attacks at +2 and their crit multiplier is x4.  If you're about to spend a feat, get an already exotic weapon and make it a ribbon weapon, though normally I don't consider spending a feat to wield a weapon worthwhile.

Shadowstrike Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 43): +5000G
Once a day, you gain +5' of reach on a melee attack and this attack denies your target his DEX bonus to AC.  It's an interesting concept that I'd like to be usable more often.

Sizing Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 43): +5000G
You can change your weapon's size category to be anything you want.  This is almost useless lest you can make your spear Colossal, maybe Colossal+++++++, to crush your opponents.

Speed Enchant: +3
This is the weapon enchant for people who can't reliably get haste.  I advise against this in most situations since your party buffer should gladly buff you and haste should be common by the time you can expect to get Speed.

The main bonus of Speed weapons over haste is Speed weapons each give +1 attack, meaning if you wielded 3 +1 Halberds of Speed with your 6 arms, you'd get 3 more attacks per full attack instead of 1.

Spellblade Enchant (Player's Guide to Faerun 120): +6000G
You're immune to a spell that targets you, chosen at the item's creation, like baleful polymorph, slow, or a targeted dispel magic.  Even better, you can cast it at another target- like the original caster- with the same DC, caster level, etc. as the original caster as a free action on your next turn.

While this enchant only works when on weapons you wield, armor spikes, gauntlets, and possibly even a horned helm count.  Make them +1 items first!

Spell Storing Enchant/Power Storing Enchant [Psionic]: +1
How I love thee; let me count the ways!  Nothin' says lovin' to a frost giant like releasing from your polearm a 12d6 scorching ray as a free action (Spell Storing) or a swift action (Power Storing) as part of a charge that does, double, quadruple, or even more damage!  Nevermind that the spell damage isn't multiplied for a crit; that sucker's goin' down!

The major drawback is its third level spell limit (Spell Storing) or 5 power point manifestation limit (Power Storing), but remember that spells cast into this weapon use the caster's caster level and DC.  Slow against a major villain as part of a full attack, anyone?

Valorous Enchant (Unapproachable East 54): +1
You do double damage on a charge, triple damage if this is a Valorous lance and you're mounted, quadruple if this is a Valorous lance and you're mounted with Spirited Charge, and perhaps more if you have other damage multipliers.  If you're a dragoon and your DM allows you Valorous, take it!

Vampiric Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 45): +2
Against living creatures, you do +d6 per hit and heal yourself for that much of the d6.  If you have low HP as I expect, this is probably OK, but only get this if your DM bans Wrathful Healing (Enemies & Allies 20).

Warning Enchant (Magic Item Compendium 46): +1
It's a +5 insight bonus to initiative, though probably more expensive than an item of nerveskitter (Spell Compendium 146).  Regardless, it will probably still save your life.

Wrathful Healing Enchant (Enemies & Allies 20): +3
This beautiful enchant is hidden in an otherwise crappy 3.0 book in a sidebar.  Wrathful Healing heals you for half the damage you deal with it, not to exceed your max HP.  Ho.  Lee.  Crap.

Note that this healing is positive energy.  A living wielder is healed, an undead wielder is harmed, and a construct is probably unaffected.

Creating a Wrathful Healing weapon requires caster level 15, regenerate, and Craft Magic Arms and Armor.  Good luck getting a DM to allow one.[/spoiler]

Weapon Augment Crystals
[spoiler]
Weapon Augment Crystals
Least crystals require weapon of masterwork or magic quality.  Lesser crystals require at least a +1 weapon.  Greater crystals require at least a +3 weapon, meaning apply greater magic weapon before use.  A straight +3 weapon is rarely worthwhile.

Typically, a lesser crystal also grants the benefit of the associated least crystal and a greater crystal also grants the benefits of the associated lesser and least crystals.

Each weapon can have only one augment crystal active at a time.

Crystal of Life Drinking (Magic Item Compendium 64): +400G (Least), +1500G (Lesser), +6000G (Greater)
Deal lethal damage to a living creature and heal 1 HP (least), 3 HP (lesser), or 6 HP (greater) per hit, up to 10 hits per day.

Fiendslayer Crystal (Magic Item Compendium 65): +1000G (Least), +3000G (Lesser), +5000G (Greater)
You do +d6 damage to evil outsiders (least) and penetrate DR/good of evil outsiders (lesser).  On a critical hit, you prevent evil outsiders from using teleportation abilities for 1 round (greater).  Evil outsiders are fairly common, making a lesser a worthwhile purchase for most campaigns.

Truedeath Crystal (Magic Item Compendium 66): +400G (Least), +5000G (Lesser), +10,000G (Greater)
You do +d6 damage against undead (least), gain Ghost Touch (lesser), and can crit and sneak attack undead (greater).  Undead seem to be foes in every campaign, making a lesser crystal the best value, though if you rely on sneak attack/skirmish/etc. or crits, get a greater.[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 12:43:08 AM by LittleRedRaidingHood »

LittleRedRaidingHood

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Shoppin' In The Hood II
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 11:11:14 AM »
Shoppin' in the Hood
Wondrous Items
Wondrous Items
[spoiler]
Wondrous Items
Unless otherwise stated, all items in this section are made at the lowest possible caster level without using optimization tricks to be able to cast spells early.

If you can choose the body slot and your DM enforces body slot affinities, see this chart on body slot affinities so you don't overspend.  Note that robes and rings can have any single effect at no extra charge!  Also, ask your DM if the 'quickness' affinity for gloves applies to movement speed and if the 'movement' affinity for boots applies to initiative.

Finally, pages 233-234 of Magic Item Compendium state many common effects that can be added to items without paying 50% more per slot.  Adding stat (enhancement bonus), save (resistance bonus), or AC (armor, deflection, or enhancement to natural) boosters only costs normal price.  For example, adding +6 STR to a Belt of Battle (Magic Item Compendium 73) costs only 36,000 gold for +6 STR and 12,000 gold for the Belt of Battle.  Prior to these rules, the cost would have been 36,000 for +6 STR and 18,000 for the Belt of Battle.

By the rules as written, however, this doesn't work in reverse.  Starting with a belt of +6 STR (36,000) and adding the effects of the Belt of Battle (12,000) would cause the Belt of Battle's effects to cost 50% more, for a total of 54,000 gold instead of 48,000.

animal affinity Item: 4500G (Dorje), 10,800G (Use-Activated), 24,000G (Continuous)
Each time you use this, you get +4 enhancement to a stat of your choice.  This is quite handy to have on a ring or robe for body slot affinity reasons.

Activate this item to boost CHA, get another daily use of Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62), then use this item again to boost DEX and get 2 more attacks of opportunity that round with Combat Reflexes.  Considering this item gives +4 enhancement to one stat, though potentially any stat, a continuous version is cheaper than a +2 Belt of Magnificence (Miniatures Handbook 42).  This item is cool!

Unfortunately, the enhancement bonus becomes obsolete, and this item's usefulness depends on how many stats benefit, hence the black rating.  Regardless, it can be fun while it lasts!

Belt of Battle (Magic Item Compendium 73): 12,000G
You always get a +2 competence bonus to initiative and this belt has 3 charges per day.  As a swift action, you can gain a move action (1 charge), a standard action (2 charges), or a full round action (3 charges).  Buy a bunch and swap them out as needed so you have even more actions per day.  This belt is awesome!

Belt of Dwarvenkind: 14,900G
If you want continuous darkvision, this is a bargain.  If you get an item of dwarvenkind, try to make it a cloak, robe, or bracers so you can also wear the magnificent Belt of Battle (Magic Item Compendium 73).

Belt of Magnificence (Miniatures Handbook 42): 25,000G (+2), 100,000G (+4), 200,000G (+6)
The typical dragoon needs STR, DEX, and CON.  Casting and manifesting-focused dragoons also need INT, WIS, or/and CHA.  This belt provides a boost to 6 stats for the price of 5 and requires only one slot.  While you probably will only need boosts to 3 to 5 stats, you may be better off with this belt because of the slots it frees.  Besides, you're able to cast higher level spells, get more daily spell slots, and have more power points from boosted mental stats.

Boots of Agile Leaping (Magic Item Compendium 76): 600G
You can use your DEX modifier instead of your STR modifier on Jump checks.  Also, if you have at least 5 ranks in Balance, you can stand from prone as a swift action.  These boots are for the DEX inclined and slightly reduce multi-ability dependency for your dragoon.

Boots of Landing (Magic Item Compendium 77): 500G
You always land on your feet and take 2d6 less falling damage.  If you're a race besides a raptoran (Races of the Wild 68) or Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon 8), you'll probably need an item like this to reduce falling damage.

If your DM interprets Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42) to work with a ring of feather fall- as I believe it should- or he says you can't take Battle Jump, get the ring instead.

These boots are worthwhile even with the ring but only if you consistently don't land on your feet.

If you get these boots, try paying 50% more to put their effects on another item, like a robe or cloak, so you free the boot slot.

cure light wounds Item: 750G (Wand), 1800 (Use-Activated)
d8+1 healing per application, anyone?  Wands are cheap enough to keep one or three or six handy at mid to high levels for the whole party to share, and if you're a cleric, you can use them safely!

In a game I DMed, I made an item called the Hand of Right, a use-activated glove of cure light wounds that worked 5 times per day.  (The thumb and each finger held a charge.)  If your DM is more permissive, get an item that lets you use cure light wounds every round as a standard action.

Everfull Mug (Magic Item Compendium 160): 200G
If you're Medium, you have enough water to last you the rest of your natural life.  This is cheaper than a ring of sustenance if you don't care about the ring's  sleep reduction.

Everlasting Rations (Magic Item Compendium 160): 350G
If your DM enforces food & drink rules, this is a perpetual personal pan pizza.  Like the Everfull Mug (Magic Item Compendium 160), these rations are personal only.

expeditious retreat or swift expeditious retreat Item (Spell Compendium 85): 750G (Wand), 1800G (Use-Activated), or 8000G (Continuous)
The enhancement bonus to speed won't stack with levels of monk or scout (Complete Adventurer 11), but this is one of the best first level wizard spells for a dragoon.  It's +30' to your land speed and +12 to Jump checks for 1 minute per level.  A continuous version is cheap enough to be gotten by level 6 to 8.  If this item is allowed, it's a gimme!

Field Provisions Box (Magic Item Compendium 160): 2000G
This will feed your party and you'll probably have supplies to spare.  Sell the extras and make a small profit each day.  Only buy this if your party pays for their portion.

girallon's blessing Item (Spell Compendium 106): 11,250G (Wand), 27,000G (Use-Activated), or 45,000G (Continuous)
The point of this spell is to wield your polearm in more hands.  By extrapolation, wielding a 1-handed spear with 1 hand gives your STR bonus to damage, wielding it with 2 hands gives you 1.5x your STR bonus to damage, wielding it in 3 hands gives 2x, and wielding it in 4 hands gives you 2.5x.  If you're mounted and hold your lance with 4 arms, that's 3x your STR bonus to damage and at least double your total damage from hitting with a lance while mounted.

I find it amusing that someone can polymorph you into a girallon with 22 base STR then have someone cast girallon's blessing on you for a total of 6 arms.  That's +21 damage from 6-handing your weapon with a base 22 STR!

Gloves of the Balanced Hand (Magic Item Compendium 105): 8000G
You fight as though you had Two-Weapon Fighting.  If you have the TWF feat, you instead fight as though you had Improved Two-Weapon Fighting.

This may qualify you for Bloodclaw Master (Tome of Battle 97) by saving you a feat, but ask your DM.  Dragoons benefit little otherwise.

greater mirror image Item (Player's Handbook II 120): 21,000G (Wand), 50,400G (Use-Activated), or 112,000G (Continuous)
The greater version is usable as an immediate action and creates 1 extra image every round the spell is active, to a maximum of 8 images.  The spell can also end if no images remain.  This is probably too expensive to get as a continuous effect and it often isn't cost-efficient considering normal mirror image is so much cheaper, but this is a toy for rich kids who need every image.

haste Item: 11,250G (Wand), 54,000G (Use-Activated), or 135,000G (Continuous)
Swift haste (Spell Compendium 110) is cheaper on an item but is generally less available.  Regardless, this rocketh if you have the round to spend buffing and the money to blow.  Never underestimate the power of an additional attack!

Healing Belt (Magic Item Compendium 73): 750G
Each belt has 3 daily charges.  As a standard action, you can use 1 charge to heal 2d8 damage, 2 charges to heal 3d8, or 3 charges to heal 4d8.  This healing is positive energy, meaning it hurts undead as well.

This belt provides lots of healing in small daily increments.  I advise getting one- even ten- of these to keep yourself healthy.  Even if you have a Belt of Battle (Magic Item Compendium 73), you can swap it out for healing between fights.  At low levels, this can save your life!

Heward's Handy Haversack: 2000G, 5lb
This is probably your first magical container since it's the cheapest in the DMG.  I adore this because it's cheap at 2K, weighs only 5 pounds, and holds 120 pounds of gear, probably more than you need.  The sack won't automatically puncture if something sharp is put in it, and you can safely place other magical containers in it.  Finally, retrieving what you want from it is a move action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity.  (Normally grabbing something from your pack provokes, but is still a move action.)

A bag of holding is a larger scale version of the haversack, but only buy it if you plan to haul castles.

hustle Item: 6000G (Dorge), 14,400G (Use-Activated), 64,000G (Continuous)
With a continuous version, you no longer need your Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62) and you have less demand on your swift actions.  Cool!

If I had to choose between a use-activated item of hustle and swift haste (Spell Compendium 110), I'd be hard-pressed.  The choice depends greatly on which items and effects I could currently do, but I'd generally take swift haste.

Lightstone [Dull Grey Ioun Stone (3.0 Dungeon Master's Guide 220) of continual flame]: 75G (PC caster) OR 135G (NPC caster)
It's a hands-free concealable light source available from low levels.  The 3.5 DMG mentions dull grey ioun stones, but lists no price.  Continual flame has 50G of ruby dust as a material component, and a typical caster will charge 60G for the service.  This is money well-spent!

Liquid sunlight (Complete Scoundrel 110) is a cheaper hands-free light at 20 gold that requires a safe storage place on your body, such as shoulder pads.

Liquid Sunlight AKA Liquid Light AKA Sunstone (Complete Scoundrel 110): 20G
It's meant to be shot at drow and vampires and other creatures afraid of the light, but it's a cheap means of lighting your way without involving your hands.  This nonmagical item "[sheds] light like a torch", illuminating a 20' radius fully and providing shadowy illumination for 20' beyond that.  When the liquid's container strikes a firm surface, the glowy juice spills out, making a bright mess.  Ask your DM if this item is worth your time, since accidentally jostling it around when it's attached to your armor or in your pack may break it.

A lightstone (see above) is less vulnerable to destruction and may persuade people that you are a wizard who will do nasty things to them if they bother you, but its lighting is magical.  Carry a lightstone and liquid light to be even more crazy prepared.

Mask of true seeing (Unapproachable East 57): 75,000G
It's expensive and not for everyone, but someone in the party, probably a caster, should have continual true seeing and this is the most efficient way to do it, and even more fortunately, masks occupy the rarely-used face slot!

The effect is powerful, but as a purchase I'd normally hesitate because of its price.

mirror image Item: 4500G (Wand) or 10,800G (Use-Activated)
Mirror image is one of those spells many wizards would be screwed without.  For a dragoon, it means that, at worst, you have a 1 in 2 chance of being hit.  With a use-activated item, you could keep using it until you rolled a 4 for 5 images so foes would have a 1 in 6 chance of hitting you.  These images last 1 minute per level or 'til they're hit with a targeted attack.

There are counters, of course.  Blindsense, blindsight, and true seeing negate this and a damaging area effect like fireball may remove the images if your DM is having a bad day, but mirror image is one of the best defensive spells for anyone at low to mid level!

nerveskitter Item (Spell Compendium 146): 750G (Wand), 1800G (Use-Activated), or 8000G (Continuous)
It's +5 initiative as an immediate action for one combat.  Booyah.

Pearl of Power: 1000G (L1), 4000G (L2), 9000G (L3)
Pearls are cheap ways for prepared casters to recast low level spells like expeditious retreat or cure light wounds.  You need a standard action to use each pearl to recall the spell, but after that the spell is ready to use as if it hadn't been cast.  Also, each prepared caster in your party can use the same pearl once per day!

Change my rating to navy if you frequently use level 1 spells and pearls.

psionic lion's charge Item: 6000G (Dorge), 14,400G (Use-Activated), 64,000G (Continuous)
If you can't get the lion totem barbarian alternative class feature (Complete Champion 45), this is a viable though expensive way to obtain continuous pounce.

Relinquary Holy Symbol (Magic Item Compendium 120): 1000G
This neck slot item acts as a holy symbol and gives an extra turning attempt per day for each of these:

-5 ranks of Knowledge (Religion)
-Improved Turning
-At least 1 divine feat such as from Complete Divine

Most likely, you'll get only 1 extra turning attempt from the Knowledge ranks.  Remember that Divine Metamagic (Complete Divine 80) gives you an extra turning attempt and DMM was errataed to only work with divine spells.

shield Item: 750G (Wand), 1800G (Use-Activated), or 4000G (Continuous)
Shield gives you +4 shield AC even against incorporeal creatures as well as making you immune to magic missile.  Since you probablly won't use a shield, this is an excellent way to cheaply boost your AC, DM permitting.  If your DM insists on using a ring of force shield instead, ponder whether the ring is worthwhile.  (In my opinion, it isn't.)

synesthete Item: 750G (Dorge), 1800G (Use-Activated), 3000G (Continuous)
If you wear nothing on your face, you can become immune to gaze attacks, see normally except for darkvision, and get +4 circumstance Search and Spot checks.  Alternatively, you can get +4 circumstance Listen.  It's cheap and kinda freaky, but I'd take it!

swift haste Item (Spell Compendium 110): 6000G (Wand), 14,400G (Use-Activated), or 64,000G (Continuous)
It's a cheaper version of an always-on haste and a swift action to activate.  Swift haste only lasts d4 rounds normally, making a continuous item so very worthwhile!

Tiger Claw Bracers (Tome of Battle 150): 3000G (Novice), 15,000G (Scholar), or 45,000G (Master)
These bracers allow you to use a Tiger Claw maneuver of up to level 3 (novice), level 6 (scholar), or level 9 (master) for which you meet all prerequisites, including initiator level.  (Items for the other 8 disciplines exist, such as a Crown of White Ravens.)  Assumedly, you can refresh this maneuver if you are a martial adept, like a warblade.

After equipping these bracers, you need 24 hours before you can use the maneuver granted by this item.  From my understanding of the wording, you choose which maneuver to gain after you attune to the bracers.

I rate this item black because of its variability.  Even if the bracers grant a specific single maneuver, like Raging Mongoose, Tiger Claw's maneuvers' usefulness varies.

wraithstrike Item (Complete Adventurer 158, Spell Compendium 243): 6000G (Wand), 10,800G (Use-Activated), 48,000G (Continuous)
For one round, all attacks become touch attacks.  A wand is the only guaranteed way to get a swift action casting time since normally use-activated and continuous items require at least a standard action to activate.  If you can get a swift use-activated or, better yet, a continuous version of this, prepare to make your party's ray mages cry and have your DM break something on you.

Winged Mask (Magic of Faerun 168): 13,000G
Fly at will with 60' speed and good maneuverability, though you emit a continual white light while doing so.  This mask is mostly for backup purposes or flight in polymorph forms since Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42) won't work with fly or levitate.[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 03:18:45 PM by LittleRedRaidingHood »

LittleRedRaidingHood

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Hood Ornaments I
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2010, 11:11:48 AM »
Reserved for Hood Ornaments I.

LittleRedRaidingHood

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Hood Ornaments II
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2010, 11:12:25 AM »
Reserved for Hood Ornaments II.

LittleRedRaidingHood

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Hooded Pupils
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2010, 11:12:59 AM »
Reserved for Hooded Pupils.

LittleRedRaidingHood

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Tempest Stormwind's Dragoon
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2010, 11:13:43 AM »
Reserved for Tempest Stormwind's Dragoon.

LittleRedRaidingHood

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Donning The Hood
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2010, 12:07:12 PM »
Personal Thoughts And Experiences
by Endarire

My Thought Process
[spoiler]
For those curious about how I assembled the various pieces for writing this guide, here y' go! This list is not necessarily in the order it happened in my head but is a rough organization of the dragoon's aspects I wanted to include.

-Dragoons are acrobatic fighters that typically use polearms.
-A rogue level would help fill this archetype with Jump and Tumble.
-Conveniently, rogues are proficient with all simple weapons and longspears are simple polearms.
-Rogues have a variant to trade Sneak Attack for a fighter feat.
-Battle Jump is a fighter feat.

-Battle Jump allows me to charge by attacking someone from above but doesn't function with magical flight or levitation.
-Lion Totem barbarian allows me to make a full attack on a charge.
-Vertical Jump checks get ridiculously high for Large and larger creatures.
-Boosting my land speed also increases my Jump checks.
-Expeditious retreat is a level 1 wizard spell and I can get longstrider as a level 1 domain spell.
-The feat Leap of the Heavens treats all standing jumps as running jumps.
-Up the Walls is a psionic feat that allows me to run up and along walls and fall on foes, but it requires 13 WIS.
-Psychic warrior1 gives a psionic or fighter feat, but I need 14 WIS to get a power point.

-Jump checks alone don't negate most falling damage.
-Tumble checks help, but the DCs ramp up quickly.
-Raptorans and Dragonborn negate falling damage, eventually fly, and get +10 racial Jump.
-A Dragonborn water half-orc gets a STR boost and swim speed but a Dragonborn fire elf gets +2 INT and a negligible -2 CHA. A Dragonborn nezumi gets +4 CON, -2 CHA, and a spiffy 40' base move speed as a medium creature for no LA.

-Each round I get a standard, move, and swift action.
-Charging is a full round (standard & move) action.
-Most the time I'm not using my swift action.
-The Travel Devotion allows me to move as a swift action a certain number of times per day.
-Taking 1 cleric level can get me the Travel Devotion and another domain, plus a bunch of other stuff.

-Battle Jump when properly set up allows me to down most foes in one hit.
-Valorous weapons, the feat Headlong Rush, and a Halberd of Vaulting increase my charge damage and thus my Battle Jump damage multiplier.
-If I had more attacks each round, I could down more foes.
-Combat Reflexes, Cleave, Great Cleave, haste, and Whirling Frenzy grant more attacks.

-I need some means of boosting my Will and Reflex saves.
-Moment of Perfect Mind is a level 1 warblade maneuver and Action Before Thought is a level 2 Warblade maneuver.
-I can get those maneuvers with 1 warblade level if I take Warblade at 5 or later.
-Evasion is handy to have for negating area damaging effects.
-I already have a rogue level.
-Rogue2 provides spiffy synergy.

-I want my allies to contribute as well.
-They can only contribute if they get a turn.
-White Raven Tactics is a level 3 warblade maneuver that gives an ally within 10' another turn.
[/spoiler]

My D&D Dragoon Experience
[spoiler]
In my experience playing the Red Hand of Doom module with my Dragonborn half-minotaur water half-orc cohort, only bosses have a reasonable chance to avoid being one-shot, and when I attack more than once per round such as via haste and Cleave, rooms clear quickly.

This cohort started 2 levels behind the party, 3 with her level adjustment, but can hit about as accurately as a casually optimized fighter, and definitely much harder. Fortunately, Red Hand of Doom has many open outdoor areas and outposts, allowing Ebony to climb or run up the sides of buildings and Battle Jump onto her victims below. My DM said that my main character and her cohort could solo or duo this module, and while it could happen, I'd need to start at level 6 or higher for Leadership.

My main character is a Conjurer5/Incantatrix4/Hathran1 who I call the special effects crew. She fortifies the party with 24 to 48 hour buffs via Metamagic Effect and her massive Spellcraft bonus. During fights, she sprinkles on the crowd control spells judiciously. A single Evard's black tentacles can shut down most the fight, while glitterdust nullifies one- or two-target threats. Ebony then acrobatic leaps, wall runs, and impalings to clear rooms in a turn or three that would make fellow dragoons proud.
[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 12:24:15 AM by LittleRedRaidingHood »

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Misc.
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2010, 12:07:36 PM »
Reserved for Misc. Purposes.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 03:24:13 PM by LittleRedRaidingHood »

LittleRedRaidingHood

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More Misc. Purposes
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2010, 03:23:56 PM »
Reserved for More Misc. Purposes.

Phoenix00

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Re: Little Red Raiding Hood: My Tale of & Guide to the 3.5 Dragoon
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2010, 01:45:25 PM »
So wouldn't Bloodstorm Blade be an awesome finish for any Hood Build.  If you can wade through 10 levels of it.  (thus not available till level 15 or possibly level 14 if you can do the cityscape trick), you gain the ability (Blade Storm) to attack all enemies with a single attack within your eyesight.  Thus it should be pretty good for any build that tries to 1 shot kill such as the hood.

How does Blade Storm interact with the charging mechanism?  How about Battle Jump?

Shadowhunter

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Re: Little Red Raiding Hood: My Tale of & Guide to the 3.5 Dragoon
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2010, 11:58:35 PM »
If making jumps and having many arms for Power Attack is good, then a Thri-Kreen should make an good hood.
[Spoiler]
Quote from: Runestar
the most effective optimization is the one you can actually get away with.  :smirk

Quote from: Vinom
(A group of nerds are called a murder because like crows we are anti-social, like shiny things, and often squack at each other over nothing for hours)

I often have to remind people not to underrate divination.  The ability to effectively metagame without actually metagaming beats the ability to set things on fire more times than not.
[/quote]
[/spoiler]

Binder? You're Welcome

Zceryll makes Binders go from tier 3 to tier 2.
Cagemarrow is a Genius

Before giving the advice that build X would be better of with Fist of the Forest, take a long, good look at Primal Living. Twice.

Endarire

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Re: Little Red Raiding Hood: My Tale of & Guide to the 3.5 Dragoon
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2010, 09:39:07 AM »
Thank you for posting this on my birthday, June 21!

I evaluated the Thri-Kreen.  In theory, they're spiffy.  The LA and incompatibility with Dragonborn (you probably lose your racial bonus to Jump checks) turn me off.  You could polymorph into one were you desperate and receive girallon's blessing (Spell Compendium) for 2 extra arms.
Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"

Endarire

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Re: Little Red Raiding Hood: My Tale of & Guide to the 3.5 Dragoon
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2011, 12:32:26 AM »
Bump for Kell's update!
Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"

Shadowhunter

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Re: Little Red Raiding Hood: My Tale of & Guide to the 3.5 Dragoon
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2011, 01:22:21 AM »
Where's the version of Diving Charge where you gain a multiplier as the one you state above?

The only version I can find is in Races of the Wild:
Quote
DIVING CHARGE
You can dive down at a target to deal a devastating strike.
Benefit: When charging while flying, if you move at least 30 feet and descend at least 10 feet, you gain a bonus on your
damage roll based on your fly speed. (The damage bonus is based on your fly speed, not how far you have moved in your charge.)
Fly Speed Damage Bonus
30 feet or slower +1d6
31 to 90 feet +2d6
91 feet or faster +3d6
In addition, after you make this attack you can choose, regardless of your maneuverability, to turn in place so that
you are now flying parallel to the ground.
[Spoiler]
Quote from: Runestar
the most effective optimization is the one you can actually get away with.  :smirk

Quote from: Vinom
(A group of nerds are called a murder because like crows we are anti-social, like shiny things, and often squack at each other over nothing for hours)

I often have to remind people not to underrate divination.  The ability to effectively metagame without actually metagaming beats the ability to set things on fire more times than not.
[/quote]
[/spoiler]

Binder? You're Welcome

Zceryll makes Binders go from tier 3 to tier 2.
Cagemarrow is a Genius

Before giving the advice that build X would be better of with Fist of the Forest, take a long, good look at Primal Living. Twice.