Author Topic: An undead minion: My take on Tsuyo's Cavalier build, suggestions?  (Read 1608 times)

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Brainpiercing

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A long time ago Tsuyo posted a charger build based on the Cavalier. It can be found here:http://forums.gleemax.com/wotc_archive/index.php/t-841950

Even before finding it I was looking for a good build to create a flying Cavalry unit, or rather, the leader of said unit, henceforth referred to as the Charge Leader. The cavalry unit is comprised of 20 men riding Bone Creature Cauchemar Nightmares ranging from 14th to 20th level. Within the setting, they are a throwaway Astral Projected rapid reaction force that can plow through collections of non-epic or just about epic enemies.

The level was to be 20, since I didn't want epic minions, it would be a Corpse Creature Undead, and it would get added stuff from a homebrew PrC, like four arms and wings after becoming an undead minion. These bonuses are, however, not important for the basic build.

The build uses the following books as allowable:
Core, Completes (no champion), Races (no Dragon, Wild), BoVD, HH, LM, Faerun books (no underdark), A&EG, MIC, MMs, FF, FCI/II, MoPlanes, SC, Frost, UA, SS; I think that covers them all, perhaps I've forgotten one or two, or a restriction. No flaws.

The key was to somehow get mounted charging Full-attack. To do this I used the Warrior of Darkness from BoVD, and it's fourth level+ ability Malign Fury, which allows a full-attack after a move or move-equivalent action. Move-equivalent was to me sufficiently un-defined to allow a mounted charge to qualify, especially with Ride-by-attack.

What I took from Tsuyo was the Valorous Lance of Neverending Charge. This allows you to add another +1 to your charge multiplier, and also allows you to move upon Cleaving during a charge (or Ride-by-attack, in this case). I also took his idea of Ride-by-attack strafes in conjunction with a lot of the feats he suggested, some of which are of course no-brainers.

The build, as it was, needs fairly good Stats:
Str, Con, and Cha are important. Int for Skills. You need at least 24Cha for a +7 mod when you reach lvl 19, which is the staple level 4 of WoD, or you can't get Malign Fury, since that requires Class levels + Cha-mod to be 11 or higher. So counting a +6 Belt of Magnificence and an inherent bonus you need about 13-16 starting Cha.
Con was destroyed with becoming undead, but this build doesn't have to be undead, of course, so having good con is important.

I don't know if Cavalier stacking of Special Mount levels actually GRANT the special mount, you could probably argue either way, in any case for my minion this doesn't matter, since he uses a Bone Creature advanced Cauchemar Nightmare.

The build is as follows:

Human LE Palading of Tyranny 3/Fighter 2/Cavalier10/Wod 4/Pally 1 or WoD5

(adding meaningful class abilities, too)

1 Mounted Combat
1 Power Attack
2 (Divine Grace)
3 WF(Lance)
4 Fighter 1(Ride by Attack)
5 Fighter 2 (Spirited Charge)
6 Improved Bullrush
7 (Cav: Deadly Charge)
8 (Cav: Burst of Speed: double-length mounted charges)
9 Shock Trooper (Deadly Charge 2/day)
12 Cleave
15 Improved Sunder (Unstoppable Charge 5/day, 5x damage on mounted charge with lance)
16 (WoD: Black Magic Oil: Combat Reflexes or Blind-fight)
17 (WoD: +1 equivalent Weapon Enchantment for 50gp)
18 Combat Brute (WoD: Black Magic Elixier: Improved Initiative or Great Cleave)
19 (WoD: Black Magic Oil: Malign Fury, Full-attack on move equivalent action)
20 either DR from WoD or Rebuking from Pally 4.

Now what I would really like since I'm taking Pally 4 is Divine Might. But there doesn't seem to be a way to fit it in.

The performance is pretty good, due to Cavalier. Even without Full-attack the character does approx 2d4+120 to 170 on a mounted charge WITHOUT Power Attack, and he can cleave and hit the next target within range of his charge. With Power Attack that is easily over 400 damage per hit in the first round, which makes the full attack quite unbalanced enough :). He could even great-cleave and hit multiple enemies, at the cost of Imp. Ini. I figured though that in aerial battles mostly you wouldn't find enough enemies sitting in a straight line, since he has no way of changing direction during a charge, so I went for Imp. Ini. That makes sure he can open the battle on his terms.

Also, the minion performs a little better, yet, than a normal PC-level character, since he can have three hands on the lance and still carry a heavy shield in his fourth, which improves damage by a few tens of points per hit. For a lvl 20 Frontliner he's a little squishy at 260HP, but that can't be helped, due to being undead.

Without the book restrictions I would probably do some things a bit differently - suggestions are welcome in that area, since I can also use him in other places.

Comments? Suggestions?

woodenbandman

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Re: An undead minion: My take on Tsuyo's Cavalier build, suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 10:50:13 PM »
A charge is a full round action. The rules are a bit iffy on whether it contains a move action and a standard action or actually is just one, full round, action.

Brainpiercing

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Re: An undead minion: My take on Tsuyo's Cavalier build, suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2008, 07:43:37 AM »
Ah, but a Cavalry charge arguably uses up the rider's move action, because he can do stuff like cast spells while on horseback, too. Usually a charge takes at least a standard action with the limited charge action.

Well, I said it was an interpretation. It probably won't fly in every game.