Author Topic: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed  (Read 3694 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

weenog

  • Grape ape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1706
low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« on: December 03, 2010, 09:59:50 AM »
I sense this getting ready to start taking up far too much of the Simple Q&A thread, so I'm making its own thread.

Situation: [spoiler]Red Hand of Doom is coming up, sooner or later.  I don't have anything in the way of specific spoilers, nor do I want them.  I have been told to expect to be fighting armies, plural, and that the occasional true dragon may show up.  Apparently we're to start at ECL 5 or 6 (though the DM can probably be talked into giving us equivalent XP instead so we can spend it beforehand if need be), and expected to go no higher than about ECL 10, 12 at the highest.

Nobody in the group is interested in coordinated character creation.  I've suggested everyone make 2 or 3 characters they'd like to play.  After we see what we have available to work with, we can try to build a cohesive group out of that, with nobody getting shoved into a role they don't want because everything else was taken beforehand.

Right now I'm trying to come up with a tank build.  Obviously the ability to avoid incoming damage, and to be menacing enough that enemies can't afford to just ignore me and attack others, is critically important.  I'd also like to be able to recover from any amount of damage that gets past my defenses without spending party resources to do it.

I have a DM that is neither very familiar nor comfortable with alternative magic systems, and specifically dislikes psionics.  If I can stick to mechanics that are present in the core rules (albeit preferably at more favorable rates and combinations than I can get in the core books), that should help to avoid a lot of nerf and ban bullshdrama.[/spoiler]


Warforged juggernaut interests me for the immunities, but the healing immunity is a turn-off since I can't count on the other players to support me with repair spells or high craft checks.  Mineral warrior for the damage reduction is something I'd like to use if I'm not warforged, or if I'm incarnate warforged.

I've also been considering using the Troll-Blooded feat along with the Feral template so I can (if necessary) survive taking far more damage than my max hp, and also recover from damage types that could actually kill me as long as I'm careful not to invite too much of it in a short period of time.  Alternative methods of getting both regeneration and fast healing that doesn't require  being conscious might be good, but I don't know any.

Right now the best I've come up with is a feral mineral warrior human (buying off feral and applying MW at 3, buying off MW at 6) barbarian 1/human paragon 1/barbarian +1/fighter 2/horizon walker 1/human paragon +2 to account for 8 levels of building.  I'm using two flaws, wolf totem barbarian, the barbarian ACF where you trade rage for favored enemies and the ranger archery combat style, and swapping the archery combat style for the strong-arm style from Dragon 326.

Feat layout looks like this.
Human: Toughness
Flaw: Weapon Focus
Flaw: Endurance
1:    Troll Blooded
WT Barbarian 2:    Improved Trip
CS Barbarian 2: Power Attack
3: Knock-Down
Fighter 1: Cleave
Fighter 2: Great Cleave
6: Improved Bull Rush
Human Paragon 2: Three Mountains

I could really use some suggestions and help, here.
"We managed to make an NPC puke an undead monster."
"That sounds like a victory to me."

PhaedrusXY

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 8022
  • Advanced Spambot
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2010, 12:53:04 PM »
Mineral warrior served me extremely well in the early part of that campaign (that's as far as we got...  :bigeye ). The DR is fantastic, and the burrow speed even let my full-plate wearing dwarf be "stealthy" when needed. The ability to basically ignore some terrain features was also helpful.

Of course a troll-blooded feral mineral warrior is going to be insanely hard to kill... You'll want some mode of flight eventually, but I wouldn't worry about it much starting out.

What are the human paragon levels for? Skills? The feat? Both?

A dip into cloistered cleric for some of the devotions and other things can be great, as well. At first I was considering just dipping ClCleric... then I wound up making a mostly cleric character.  :lol

If your party mates don't know how to optimize, expect them to die... frequently, and probably early.
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

weenog

  • Grape ape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1706
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2010, 01:17:05 PM »
The human paragon levels are for the feat and Adaptive Learning, mostly.  I'm kind of hurting to meet prerequisites and with -2 Int from Mineral Warrior and -4 Int from Feral, I'm dumb as a bag of hammers.  Getting Endurance and 8 ranks in Know Geography so I can qualify for Horizon Walker (need desert terrain mastery so sunlight won't fatigue me) is a pain otherwise.  An extra +2 Strength for hit and damage, trip checks, and save DC on Three Mountains doesn't hurt.

Initially I tried using actual ranger levels to get it as a class skill and pick up Endurance for free at level 3, but getting Power Attack at ranger 2 and Improved Trip at barbarian 2, I was having trouble getting the feats I wanted to come after their prerequisites instead of before.  I might still end up using ranger, but at the moment I don't see how.
"We managed to make an NPC puke an undead monster."
"That sounds like a victory to me."

PhaedrusXY

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 8022
  • Advanced Spambot
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2010, 01:19:57 PM »
Cloistered cleric 1 with the War domain could get you Weapon Focus, Knowledge Devotion (to add Know: Geography as a class skill), and another domain to trade out for a devotion, or for a free feat (Improved Initiative, Blind Fight, etc). It also comes with a good will save, 6 skill points per level, and the ability to use cleric wands and scrolls. :D
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

weenog

  • Grape ape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1706
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2010, 01:30:20 PM »
I hadn't realized Knowledge Devotion added the knowledges as class skills for all your classes.  Pretty useful.

Trouble with the free feats granted by domains is I'm not aware of any of them that grant Knock-Down, Three Mountains, or Great Cleave, nor any of their prerequisites (except Weapon Focus).  If there's a domain that will give me Endurance, or total immunity to fatigue so I don't need to go into Horizon Walker, that would be nice.  Is there such a domain?
"We managed to make an NPC puke an undead monster."
"That sounds like a victory to me."

PhaedrusXY

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 8022
  • Advanced Spambot
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2010, 01:37:17 PM »
I hadn't realized Knowledge Devotion added the knowledges as class skills for all your classes.  Pretty useful.

Trouble with the free feats granted by domains is I'm not aware of any of them that grant Knock-Down, Three Mountains, or Great Cleave, nor any of their prerequisites (except Weapon Focus).  If there's a domain that will give me Endurance, or total immunity to fatigue so I don't need to go into Horizon Walker, that would be nice.  Is there such a domain?
No, but you're taking Weapon Focus with a flaw now. Can't you just take Endurance with that flaw, and get Wpn Focus from the War domain?

I'm not 100% convinced that the cloistered cleric level is better than Human Paragon, but it is certainly as good, and it's another option to consider. It's basically weighing +2 to Str vs. wand/scroll access and another devotion/domain benefit. If you can manage to stick at least 1 rank in the relevant knowledge skills, it's also basically another +1 to hit/dmg, so that would counter the loss of Str somewhat, also.

It's also only costing you one level, instead of 3. So you could stick two levels of Fighter in there for another feat (or whatever).
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 02:09:50 PM by PhaedrusXY »
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

weenog

  • Grape ape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1706
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2010, 02:07:26 PM »
Actually I'm taking Endurance with my other flaw, and I can't really double up on it so that doesn't help.  Improved Trip and Power Attack are both bonus feats from barbarian 2, so I can't grab anything that follows from them with a flaw at level 1.

Too bad about the DM disliking psionics.  I suspect a tashalatora psychic warrior would be easier, more intuitive, and more useful in situations that aren't straightforward damage exchange.
"We managed to make an NPC puke an undead monster."
"That sounds like a victory to me."

PhaedrusXY

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 8022
  • Advanced Spambot
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2010, 02:11:06 PM »
Wouldn't this work?

feral mineral warrior human (buying off feral and applying MW at 3, buying off MW at 6)
CC1/barbarian 2/fighter 4/horizon walker 1

Human: Toughness
CC1: Weapon Focus, Knowledge Devotion, 1 more domain
Flaw: Endurance
Flaw: Power Attack
1:    Troll Blooded
WT Barbarian 2:    Improved Trip
3: Knock-Down
Fighter 1: Cleave
Fighter 2: Great Cleave
6: Improved Bull Rush
Ftr4: Three Mountains

Like this, you can get rid of the (questionably legal) ACF swapping, and just take Power Attack with your 2nd flaw. Then you'd get to keep rage (I'd go Whirling Frenzy), and could take Extra Rage at 9th. Or just ditch Great Cleave and take it starting out.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 02:13:33 PM by PhaedrusXY »
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

Surreal

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1430
    • Email
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2010, 02:22:16 PM »
Instead of Horizon Walker, dip into Divine Mind 1 for the repose aura to ignore fatigue. Lose a BAB, but gain some Will save, and you don't have to burn a feat and skill points.


Aaaand that might be the first time I have ever suggest Divine Mind for something CO...
---
"The late, sedate, and no to great." ~Surreal

Some Handy Links for CO Work (WotC 339 version) - a compilation of links for base/prestige class handbooks, tactics, spellcasting, character builds, D&D databases, etc.
Archived version of the above with working links

The Mango Index - a giant index for all things D&D and where to find them
The Mango List Reborn! - rehosted by KellKheraptis

Lists of Stuff - listing of class features etc and how to get them, etc. sort of like above but a little more specific and sorted by category
Polymorph, Wildshape and Shapechange, oh my! (comparison charts) - side-by-side comparison of all the various form altering abilities
Alternative Class Features
alternative ways to get class skills

weenog

  • Grape ape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1706
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 02:26:28 PM »
Good point.  I've been at this too long, it's starting to turn into one big annoyed blur and I'm forgetting why and when I'm selecting certain things.

I think I'm going to have to take barbarian first, even though I'd rather get the far greater skill points from CC for 1st level.  DM tends to clamp down on things based on how powerful (he thinks) they are, and he overvalues the ability to heal without expending resources.  I think I can get Troll Blooded past him, but he's likely to be a PITA about "Frost Barbarians, Ice Barbarians, Pale, Snow Barbarians" and insist that I have at least 1 barbarian level when I take the feat.

Swapping Rapid Shot only in light armor for Power Attack only in light armor would probably go by easier, but I would like to have whirling frenzy if I can get it.  Improved Trip and Great Cleave can only do so much for generating extra opportunities to inflict damage and/or nauseate, adding another real attack to my full attack sequence will be handy for big enemies.  I think I will go ahead and take Power Attack with a flaw freed up by the war domain like you suggest.
"We managed to make an NPC puke an undead monster."
"That sounds like a victory to me."

weenog

  • Grape ape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1706
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 02:37:59 PM »
Instead of Horizon Walker, dip into Divine Mind 1 for the repose aura to ignore fatigue. Lose a BAB, but gain some Will save, and you don't have to burn a feat and skill points.


Aaaand that might be the first time I have ever suggest Divine Mind for something CO...

Pretty sure Divine Mind wouldn't fly with this DM, unfortunately.  Even something as simple as Wild Talent + Speed of Thought won't.  He really doesn't like psionic stuff.
"We managed to make an NPC puke an undead monster."
"That sounds like a victory to me."

PhaedrusXY

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 8022
  • Advanced Spambot
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 02:41:05 PM »
Instead of Horizon Walker, dip into Divine Mind 1 for the repose aura to ignore fatigue. Lose a BAB, but gain some Will save, and you don't have to burn a feat and skill points.


Aaaand that might be the first time I have ever suggest Divine Mind for something CO...

Pretty sure Divine Mind wouldn't fly with this DM, unfortunately.  Even something as simple as Wild Talent + Speed of Thought won't.  He really doesn't like psionic stuff.
So he'll allow a feral mineral warrior whirling frenzy barbarian, but not a divine mind?  :lol
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

Sohala

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1268
  • Hammer Smash Good
    • Email
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2010, 02:43:58 PM »
If we are looking at fluff, grab just regular cleric, it lessens the lore priest look, and can be turned to more of a battle priest. Just because you don't have a barbarian level, doesn't mean you can't be one as a cleric.
"You think I'm talking about breaking the rules?"
"No I'm just trying to figure out how far you want them bent."
[spoiler]
Characters
Ixen-Elemental Mage Test Game
Torgthen-The Darkening
Eldak-The Neverending Dungeon
Games
Dungeon Delver's Delight
Adventures in Eberron
Town of Terror
Working Progress
[3.5] Mana Mage

weenog

  • Grape ape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1706
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 02:46:00 PM »
I've been trying to tell him some of his house rules and restriction ideas are nutty, but it's not working out as well as I'd like.  I'll get through to him one of these months, now that I've got a somewhat better idea of how he does things than when I started.  Possibly by running heavily optimized weak stuff, and really crappy tier 1s, until he starts to notice how you can sweat blood to turn in a functional warrior type and still not break the game, but you can do it by accident with a primary caster.
"We managed to make an NPC puke an undead monster."
"That sounds like a victory to me."

PhaedrusXY

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 8022
  • Advanced Spambot
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 02:47:27 PM »
If we are looking at fluff, grab just regular cleric, it lessens the lore priest look, and can be turned to more of a battle priest. Just because you don't have a barbarian level, doesn't mean you can't be one as a cleric.
He needs Knowledge Devotion, hence Cloistered Cleric.

As far as taking cleric vs. barbarian at 1st level, can't you claim that you were/are being trained as a "shaman"? Then you could say you rebelled due to your bestial instincts, or something. /shrug

I don't know if I'd even bother with trying to "change his mind". Usually it's a waste of time, and only winds up pissing people off, unless they're really open minded, mellow types of people... and it seems most DMs with nutty house rules and no grasp of game balance usually aren't...
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 02:49:31 PM by PhaedrusXY »
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

weenog

  • Grape ape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1706
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2010, 02:57:34 PM »
This isn't kevin's DM, at least.  I think the main problems are he's inexperienced, and one part of his limited experience went really, really badly.  I warned him letting the player in his other game be an artificer was a bad idea, but he had to learn the hard way.  He is capable of shifting though, gradually.  We've gotten from dragon shaman being a very contentious option because it does its thing in ways that aren't nearly core, to having a factotum in the group (granted the factotum is hurting both from not doing his homework, and from the polymorph-like spells being gutted).
"We managed to make an NPC puke an undead monster."
"That sounds like a victory to me."

PhaedrusXY

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 8022
  • Advanced Spambot
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2010, 03:02:03 PM »
the polymorph-like spells being gutted
Sounds like he's not entirely hopeless.  :lmao
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

Sohala

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1268
  • Hammer Smash Good
    • Email
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2010, 03:03:47 PM »
If we are looking at fluff, grab just regular cleric, it lessens the lore priest look, and can be turned to more of a battle priest. Just because you don't have a barbarian level, doesn't mean you can't be one as a cleric.
He needs Knowledge Devotion, hence Cloistered Cleric.
Thought he had an open domain.
"You think I'm talking about breaking the rules?"
"No I'm just trying to figure out how far you want them bent."
[spoiler]
Characters
Ixen-Elemental Mage Test Game
Torgthen-The Darkening
Eldak-The Neverending Dungeon
Games
Dungeon Delver's Delight
Adventures in Eberron
Town of Terror
Working Progress
[3.5] Mana Mage

PhaedrusXY

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 8022
  • Advanced Spambot
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2010, 03:11:12 PM »
If we are looking at fluff, grab just regular cleric, it lessens the lore priest look, and can be turned to more of a battle priest. Just because you don't have a barbarian level, doesn't mean you can't be one as a cleric.
He needs Knowledge Devotion, hence Cloistered Cleric.
Thought he had an open domain.
True... I guess he could just choose the domain, instead of getting it for free via the ACF. It didn't even occur to me.  :P
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

Sohala

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1268
  • Hammer Smash Good
    • Email
Re: low-level big stupid fighter, limited options, help needed
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2010, 03:22:14 PM »
I'm not saying it is better, but if it gets the DM to allow it...
"You think I'm talking about breaking the rules?"
"No I'm just trying to figure out how far you want them bent."
[spoiler]
Characters
Ixen-Elemental Mage Test Game
Torgthen-The Darkening
Eldak-The Neverending Dungeon
Games
Dungeon Delver's Delight
Adventures in Eberron
Town of Terror
Working Progress
[3.5] Mana Mage