Author Topic: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?  (Read 2713 times)

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Bard

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What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« on: July 08, 2011, 03:43:59 PM »
So, I'm trying to build a Master of Nine for my next campaign, but I'm unsure on what to get, we've got already enough control in the party (god wizard, lockdown crusader), so I'm to be a pure damage dealer. I have never ever played a damage dealer in my whole life, much less a melee one  :lmao
I've got 17/15/14/14/14/8 as stats, I'm to be a human and I'll have one feat each 2 levels instead of one each 3 (basically 1,3,5,7,9,etc) amd we're allowed 2 flaws.
My idea was something like Warblade 6-7/Fighter 0-1/Master of Nine 5/Legacy Champion 7 (for some variety with weapon aptitude and Exotic Weapon Proficiency) or same thing with the undarmed swordsage variant, but I'm really undecided about that, about the feats that would help, about what of the two builds would work better...
I'd like better going with TWF and Tiger Claw boosts, but I have no clue on how to get a consistent fixed bonus to damage that would justify TWF-ing over a 2H

How would you guys build something like that?
[Spoiler]
His old DM was on crack. He could take levels in freaking Dread Necromancer if he wanted to and no rule in the universe would keep him from doing so.
Rule 0?
Which, I guess, would be 'no rule,' since none = 0.
What's funny is he always brings up Rule 0. I actually had to ask him what that was, and without blinking an eye he gave me the most detailed explanation I'd ever heard for a rule. It was like he was in a trance when he spoke. Looking it up, it just said "The unspoken DM gets final say/veto anything he wants rule."
You're such a kind man, for taking in abused unfortunates and rehabilitating them.
[/spoiler]

TenaciousJ

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011, 04:17:12 PM »
Pick a race like Warforged that has access to a natural attack.  You can use the tiger claw boost with your natural attack as the 2nd weapon for the boosts and keep the benefits of 2 handed weapons.

Twilightwyrm

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 07:38:57 PM »
This actually brings up an interesting question I've been having. Namely, how Dancing/Raging Mongoose interacts with maneuvers such as Ruby/Diamond Nightmare Blade and/or the Mountain Hammer line. And more specifically, what happens if you activate Dancing/Raging Mongoose as a boost, followed by Ruby/Diamond Nightmare blade, in terms of the extra attacks provided by the boost? Because if so, focusing on getting these maneuvers would undoubtedly be worth while. Regardless, the Stance Related abilities the Master of the Nine gets may be quite helpful in stacking on additional damage output (Stacking Assassin's Stance with Giant's Stance, Fiery Assault, etc.) for such a damage focused character. As for weapons/feats, it depends on your style. You're going to need unarmed strike anyways for a Master of the Nine, so focusing on this wouldn't be a terrible idea, especially considering that most of your damage is going to be coming from maneuvers/stances anyways. ToB adds Superior Unarmed Strike, which will raise your unarmed strike damage as you gain levels, which will help make up for the general lack of damage an unarmed strike tends to deal. Alternatively, if you plan on having a high strength, you could always just grab the biggest weapon you can use (a greatsword comes to mind (or even a Fullblade, which might be worth the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat, giving that Warblades can change it every day, effectively giving you access to any exotic weapon your heart desires)) and swinging away with that, although that will preclude the use of a shield, if you wanted your AC a bit higher.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 07:48:44 PM by Twilightwyrm »
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Bard

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 08:15:33 PM »
This actually brings up an interesting question I've been having. Namely, how Dancing/Raging Mongoose interacts with maneuvers such as Ruby/Diamond Nightmare Blade and/or the Mountain Hammer line. And more specifically, what happens if you activate Dancing/Raging Mongoose as a boost, followed by Ruby/Diamond Nightmare blade, in terms of the extra attacks provided by the boost? Because if so, focusing on getting these maneuvers would undoubtedly be worth while.
From what I can understand from the description of the manouvers you'd get an extra attack (or more), but it wouldn't get the bonuses (they all say "this attack ..")

Quote
As for weapons/feats, it depends on your style. You're going to need unarmed strike anyways for a Master of the Nine, so focusing on this wouldn't be a terrible idea, especially considering that most of your damage is going to be coming from maneuvers/stances anyways. ToB adds Superior Unarmed Strike, which will raise your unarmed strike damage as you gain levels, which will help make up for the general lack of damage an unarmed strike tends to deal. Alternatively, if you plan on having a high strength, you could always just grab the biggest weapon you can use (a greatsword comes to mind (or even a Fullblade, which might be worth the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat, giving that Warblades can change it every day, effectively giving you access to any exotic weapon your heart desires)) and swinging away with that, although that will preclude the use of a shield, if you wanted your AC a bit higher.
For the unarmed route, I considered it, going with Unarmored Variant Swordsage would make it even better. I also considered the Fullblade. And lastly I considered going TWFing with 2 kukri's of aptitude and Lightening Mace, but it's really so much feat intensive that I don't know if I can pull it off (at lower levels I'd have to use a Fullblade anyway and then switch Ex Weap Proficiency later).
My fear is the dps output really, I don't see how it can go much high... I've seen the dps of frenzied berserkers, TWF'ing Craven Rogues, Metamagic Blaster Wizard/Sorcerers, and that is possibly the expected level of damage from a damage dealer and I'm so not sure that a build like Warblade 7/Master of Nine 2/Legacy Champion 8/Master of Nine 3 could rival them.

Doing all the five levels of Master of Nine would let me get less 9th level manouvers late but would help with the +9 to damage and TWF earlier I guess?
I really don't want to change the classes or the race to do more damage, since I quite like the flavor and the roleplaying aspect of them, but I'm not really sure if it'll work well enough.
[Spoiler]
His old DM was on crack. He could take levels in freaking Dread Necromancer if he wanted to and no rule in the universe would keep him from doing so.
Rule 0?
Which, I guess, would be 'no rule,' since none = 0.
What's funny is he always brings up Rule 0. I actually had to ask him what that was, and without blinking an eye he gave me the most detailed explanation I'd ever heard for a rule. It was like he was in a trance when he spoke. Looking it up, it just said "The unspoken DM gets final say/veto anything he wants rule."
You're such a kind man, for taking in abused unfortunates and rehabilitating them.
[/spoiler]

Nachofan99

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 01:01:56 AM »
Do you need to do "Ok (dozens-hundreds)" of points of damage to fulfill your DPS role in your gaming group, or do you need to do "Absurd (thousands-infinity)" amounts of damage to fulfill your role?  You kind of asked that question but never gave the answer, that's really a primary question. 

Right out of the box, for standard Monster Manual Monsters that aren't customized, your damage output will be fine.  If your DM optimizes more, you will have to as well.  It's just easier to deal a crapton of damage with an uber charger or twf craven sa rogue type.  Again, the real determination is how far your DM boosts his standard NPC/Monsters.

Bard

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2011, 10:16:22 AM »
Do you need to do "Ok (dozens-hundreds)" of points of damage to fulfill your DPS role in your gaming group, or do you need to do "Absurd (thousands-infinity)" amounts of damage to fulfill your role?  You kind of asked that question but never gave the answer, that's really a primary question. 

Right out of the box, for standard Monster Manual Monsters that aren't customized, your damage output will be fine.  If your DM optimizes more, you will have to as well.  It's just easier to deal a crapton of damage with an uber charger or twf craven sa rogue type.  Again, the real determination is how far your DM boosts his standard NPC/Monsters.

It's more a factor of tossing CRs that are usually way too high considering the guidelines of the DMG, last campaign I remember he sent us a CR 25 or 26 when our party was around 17/18. A normal encounter is composed by stuff that is at our level or higher (except if there's really a LOT of them). While it usually isn't an issue "somewhat" killing them with just a slightly above average damage, levels are often lost and/or money for equip is often sucked dry by buying diamon powder for True Resses (now with revifify in it should be a bit better but...) So ve need to be able to deal with the enocunters fast and safely :P

I won't need an ubercharger dealing 10 thousand damages a round, but a two or three hundreds at level 20 sounds good (he did say that this time he'll put less huge encounters, so I hope that we won't need the average of 400 damage per round we had last time)
[Spoiler]
His old DM was on crack. He could take levels in freaking Dread Necromancer if he wanted to and no rule in the universe would keep him from doing so.
Rule 0?
Which, I guess, would be 'no rule,' since none = 0.
What's funny is he always brings up Rule 0. I actually had to ask him what that was, and without blinking an eye he gave me the most detailed explanation I'd ever heard for a rule. It was like he was in a trance when he spoke. Looking it up, it just said "The unspoken DM gets final say/veto anything he wants rule."
You're such a kind man, for taking in abused unfortunates and rehabilitating them.
[/spoiler]

Endarire

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2011, 05:08:12 AM »
How do you feel about Hood?  Master of Nine is optional.
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?"

Bard

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2011, 06:14:26 AM »
I do like Dragoons (and I know full well your guide, I built a couple of those for a couple of friends many times), but it doesn't really strike me as a "Master of Nine" thing... it's more awesome brute violence than the mastery of nine paths of the sublime way :P
Beside that, the huge amount of feats required for Master of Nine, means that I can't start much till I'm fairly high levels (13 or so), that is, even IF I manage to get Battle Jump :P

Still the idea of Leap Charging with a Fullblade, Power attack and one of those fancy Diamond Mind strikes would be awesome, if only I figured a way to do it.

At the end of the day I might as well drop the whole master of nine idea and just rewrite the background my character :\
[Spoiler]
His old DM was on crack. He could take levels in freaking Dread Necromancer if he wanted to and no rule in the universe would keep him from doing so.
Rule 0?
Which, I guess, would be 'no rule,' since none = 0.
What's funny is he always brings up Rule 0. I actually had to ask him what that was, and without blinking an eye he gave me the most detailed explanation I'd ever heard for a rule. It was like he was in a trance when he spoke. Looking it up, it just said "The unspoken DM gets final say/veto anything he wants rule."
You're such a kind man, for taking in abused unfortunates and rehabilitating them.
[/spoiler]

Nachofan99

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 01:29:50 PM »
I know that you basically said that in your initial post. 

Master of Nine just is not optimal at all for dealing lots of damage.  I know you wanted to keep it but you're losing a lot of feats and levels to get something that is neat, but not exactly great.

Have you considered a Swordsage+Monk entry and getting your fist damage way way up?  You'd have incredibly AC and have the potential to deal a crapton of damage.

Bard

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2011, 02:08:29 PM »
I'm considering a Unarmed Swordsage-Rogue Entry and TWF, so I can adde dex from Shadow Blade, full Str on both weapons from 2 level dip in bloodclaw, +9 from the capstone of Mo9, plus if I flank I'll get Craven (using Island of blades stance instead of Assassin's if needed, I still retain the sneak attack thanks to the rogue that also gives me back light armor proficiency)
[Spoiler]
His old DM was on crack. He could take levels in freaking Dread Necromancer if he wanted to and no rule in the universe would keep him from doing so.
Rule 0?
Which, I guess, would be 'no rule,' since none = 0.
What's funny is he always brings up Rule 0. I actually had to ask him what that was, and without blinking an eye he gave me the most detailed explanation I'd ever heard for a rule. It was like he was in a trance when he spoke. Looking it up, it just said "The unspoken DM gets final say/veto anything he wants rule."
You're such a kind man, for taking in abused unfortunates and rehabilitating them.
[/spoiler]

bobtheapple

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2011, 06:14:15 PM »
I'm a fan of the Warblade/Mo9/with Legacy Champion if you can get it, mainly for Warblade's refresh mechanic.  Sure, Swordsage has more maneuvers known, but after 11 levels of Mo9 you have already taken the great ones... and the good ones... and are onto the mediocre ones anyway, even factoring that you can take from all schools, not just the ones available to the class you entered with.

Typically, people like to slip in 2 levels of a non-ToB class before taking levels of Crusader or Warblade, which shifts their stance progression to odd levels (when they unlock new maneuver levels) rather than even levels.  3rd level in particular has a lot of good stances, so I'd recommend taking 2 levels of something else before level 4 of Warblade, and considering its Mo9 we are talking about, probably Fighter 2 would be the best bet (for the feats).  Fighter also gives you Heavy Armor Prof, which Warblade lacks.  Fighter 1/Crusader 1 also works, as it gets you a maneuver from a 6th school which is equivalent to a feat.  You could take Monk 2 for the feats, but you would lose 1 BaB, some HP, and Heavy Armor Prof.  Might be worth it though for the saves and flurry.  My version of this build is Human Crusader 1/Fighter 1/Warblade 5/Mo9 3/Legacy Champion 10.

Swordsage is the intended entry for the class, and 2 levels of monk+unarmed swordsage helps pay for the feats fairly easily (well, assuming he is a Cobra Strike Monk of the Meditation of War school(OA) for dodge and blind fight) as well as giving you wisdom to AC twice.  It would put you one feat ahead, but Adaptive Style is practically a requirement for Swordsage, so its on par with the above build.  My version is similar to the above, Monk 2/Swordsage 5/Mo9 3/Legacy Champion 10.

Why Legacy Champion 10 rather than finishing Mo9?  Well, A) Its epic ready, which is like a Tech Bonus for builds, but more importantly B) It's actually 13/10 Initiator Level!  In addition to extending the awesome maneuver and stance progression of Mo9, Legacy Champion gives you "an increase in effective level as if you had also gained a level in a class" at 8 of its levels, which translates to +8 Initiator Level.  But since Legacy Champion is a class that does not grant maneuvers or stances, 1/2 of its class level is added to your initiator level for all classes.  Therefore it gives you +13 IL in 10 levels.

As for damage dealing, well, Mo9 is more about utility.  Honestly, Warblade 20 (or Warblade 10/Eternal Blade 10) would make for bigger numbers, what with power-attack returns for having full BaB and the massive amounts of powerful feats you could load up on.  Mo9 does get Dual Stance earlier, but for limited rounds per day, allowing for Aura of Chaos+Giant's Stance or any other powerful stance, but the feat hit is simply too great for it to be worth it from a raw dps point of view (at least that's like, my opinion).

If you are taking Bloodclaw Master, remember that Greataxe is also a Tiger Claw Weapon (pg42) and that you can make off-hand unarmed strikes (also a tiger claw weapon, ofc) while wielding a two-handed weapon.  Obviously not the intended use for the class, but pretty good.  As for getting a Strike at the end of a charge, a Use-Activated Item of Celerity that activates when you charge combined with mark of the dauntless might work...  And of course don't forget to hit raging mongoose for +4 attacks at the end of your ubercharge.
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Phoenix00

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2011, 10:48:23 PM »
A cleric entry gets you two feats if your DM lets you pick your domains
Time Domain gets you Improved Initiative
Shadow Domain (Eberron p108) gives you Blind-fight

The Unarmed Swordsage adapation gives you the Unarmed Strike feature of the monk.  Part of the Unarmed Strike feature of the monk is the feat improved unarmed strike

You should always take 1 level or Warblade and Crusader no matter what you do.

Bard

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2011, 10:40:29 AM »
yay lots of useful info... well I think I'll stick with TWF and Shadow Blade + 2nd level of Bloodclaw + capstone of master of nine for damage (+Assassin Stance/Island of Blades +Craven + 1 lvl dip rogue/sneak fighter or something similar), possibly Stormguard Warrior later, ofcourse the Moongose boosts...
I think I'll go 7/8 swordsage 0/1 rogue, 2 bloodclaw, 5 Mo9, 5 Legacy Champion (or -1 swordsage +1 legacy champion)

Clerics and Crusaders in our setting are really tied in some specific churches and orders, while I CAN take levels in those, I'd prefer not to have anything to do with those orders, so I'd exclude those even if the cleric entry is quite a good idea I'll keep for future games.

The Monk entry is quite a good idea tho IF my master rules for the 2x Wisdom to AC, and also for the free feats from the variants. I'll have to hear about it from the DM
[Spoiler]
His old DM was on crack. He could take levels in freaking Dread Necromancer if he wanted to and no rule in the universe would keep him from doing so.
Rule 0?
Which, I guess, would be 'no rule,' since none = 0.
What's funny is he always brings up Rule 0. I actually had to ask him what that was, and without blinking an eye he gave me the most detailed explanation I'd ever heard for a rule. It was like he was in a trance when he spoke. Looking it up, it just said "The unspoken DM gets final say/veto anything he wants rule."
You're such a kind man, for taking in abused unfortunates and rehabilitating them.
[/spoiler]

solara

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2011, 05:04:22 PM »
If you can get access to it, shadow pouncing (from some Forgotten Realms prestige classes) can be  . . . fun. And it'll do quite a bit of damage. There's a build for a Shadow-pouncing Master of Nine that uses Teflammar Shadowlord (Unapproachable East), but you could also use the Crinti Shadow Marauder prc (Shining Souht). Teflammar Shadowlord is considered stronger, but it gets shadow pounce later and has higher pre-req's.

If you want to try that, I'd go with something like this build: Monk 2 / Swashbuckler 1 / Fighter 1 / Warblade 6 / Swordsage 1 / Teflammar Shadowlord 4 / Master of Nine 5. Full detail of the build are here.


Nachofan99

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Re: What weapons and feats for a Master of Nine?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2011, 08:42:13 PM »
Fuck how did we all miss that?

Shadowpouncing works well with teleport maneuvers via Swordsage and can deal metric assloads of DAMAGE!  Good call Solara.

I like a 1 level dip into Wizard for the following: Focused Conjurer to get Abrupt Jaunt Immediate action teleports, Trade Scribe Scroll for Improved Initiative, get a handful of useful 1st level spells!

Agree that Teflammar is stronger but like you said it's later and has more pre-reqs.  Crinti Shadow Marauder is still serviceable.