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WarKitty
2010-09-14, 02:32 PM
I'm playing a druid battlefield controller. Unfortunately I did not roll particularly good stats, so I got stuck with a 10 dex (rolled one high and a bunch of average stats). I'm already planning on taking improved initiative when I next get a chance. Are there any other good ways to pump your initiative count?

Edit: DM has banned spell compendium, dragon magazine, and all world-specific books. All other sources are ok.

Second edit: Using PF wildshape rules. Wildshape provides a +2 bonus to Dex.

Reynard
2010-09-14, 02:36 PM
Nerveskitter (Spell Compendium) is awesome. +5 to Init rolls.
And it's a level 1 spell.

Shenanigans
2010-09-14, 02:36 PM
Off the top of my head:
- Blooded (regional feat, PGTF)
- Thug (regional feat PGTF)
- Danger Sense (feat, allows you to take better of two rolls)
- Yondalla's something or other (feat, add Wis mod to initiative)
- Duelist PrC
- Any Dex-improving item
- Nerveskitter (lvl 1 Sor/Wiz spell)

subject42
2010-09-14, 02:37 PM
I forget what it's called, but there's a feat in Dungeonscape that gives a +2 to your initiative and reduces the time necessary for perception checks.

Esser-Z
2010-09-14, 02:38 PM
Unfortunately I did not roll particularly good stats, so I got stuck with a 10 dex (rolled one high and a bunch of average stats).
[insert standard rant about hating rolling as a stat gen method here]

BeholderSlayer
2010-09-14, 02:40 PM
Nerveskitter, level 1 spell +5
Hummingbird Familiar, dragon magazine (cant remember which) +4
Eager Warning weapon +7
Stone of good Luck +1
Gloves of Dexterity +1 to +3
Belt of Battle +2
Sandals of the Vagabond +2

I think there's a few other items I'm missing.

Forged Fury
2010-09-14, 02:45 PM
I think there's a feat in Complete Mage that, once you cast a Divination spell, provides a bonus to initiative and your next saving throw equal to the level of the spell you cast. Mostly for Diviners, but I think anyone can take the feat. Pre-req may be Spell Focus (Divination).

Insightful Divination?

FirebirdFlying
2010-09-14, 02:47 PM
There's Shock and Awe (I don't remember where it's from off the top of my head) that gives no-save penalties to enemies, IIRC.

Zaydos
2010-09-14, 02:47 PM
Druid or Wizard battlefield controller?

Assuming 3.5:
Nerveskitter is a must for Wiz/Sor (+5 to Initiative, immediate action able to be used when flat-footed). Originally in a Forgotten Realm book but also in that wondrous tome we call the Spell Compendium. Only a level 1 spell too.
Primal Instinct: for those druids who want a bonus to Initiative as well. +5 competence bonus to initiative and survival for 24 hours; a 3rd level spell. Also a sorcerer spell. Part of a series of 4 spells and if you have 2 active you also get Uncanny Dodge and if you have all 4 you get Improved Uncanny Dodge. Finally if you are dragonblooded you get +5 to the knowledge of your choice and can make checks with it untrained. Dragon Magic.
Belt of Battle: +2 (competence I think, I'd have to check) to initiative, also 3 daily charges give you extra actions (3 for a full-round, 2 for a standard, 1 for a move), but it takes a swift action to activate that part. Only 13,000 GP (Magic Item Compendium).

Andion Isurand
2010-09-14, 02:49 PM
Flexible Spine (Silthilar Graft, Lords of Madness)

+4 racial bonus to Initiative as well as Balance, Escape Artist and Tumble checks

Combat Readiness spell (DotU)
Heroics spell (SpC) to gain Improved Initiative

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 02:49 PM
Druid or Wizard battlefield controller?

Assuming 3.5:
Nerveskitter is a must for Wiz/Sor (+5 to Initiative, immediate action able to be used when flat-footed). Originally in a Forgotten Realm book but also in that wondrous tome we call the Spell Compendium. Only a level 1 spell too.
Primal Instinct: for those druids who want a bonus to Initiative as well. +5 competence bonus to initiative and survival for 24 hours; a 3rd level spell. Also a sorcerer spell. Part of a series of 4 spells and if you have 2 active you also get Uncanny Dodge and if you have all 4 you get Improved Uncanny Dodge. Finally if you are dragonblooded you get +5 to the knowledge of your choice and can make checks with it untrained. Dragon Magic.
Belt of Battle: +2 (competence I think, I'd have to check) to initiative, also 3 daily charges give you extra actions (3 for a full-round, 2 for a standard, 1 for a move), but it takes a swift action to activate that part. Only 13,000 GP (Magic Item Compendium).

Druid. Could've sworn I mentioned that originally.

Forged Fury
2010-09-14, 02:49 PM
There's Shock and Awe (I don't remember where it's from off the top of my head) that gives no-save penalties to enemies, IIRC.
Spell Compendium for sure. Only problem is you have to cast it in the surprise round and I think it only works against flat-footed enemies, IIRC. Unless you get the complete drop on the bad guys, it may not be too useful. Very situational dependent, but I just used it in a PbP game and it worked great.

Not on the Druid spell list. Uh...now that I know we're considering Druid... Wild Shape into something with a killer Dex bonus and Natural Spell.

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 02:53 PM
Spell Compendium for sure. Only problem is you have to cast it in the surprise round and I think it only works against flat-footed enemies, IIRC. Unless you get the complete drop on the bad guys, it may not be too useful. Very situational dependent, but I just used it in a PbP game and it worked great.

Not on the Druid spell list. Uh...now that I know we're considering Druid... Wild Shape into something with a killer Dex bonus and Natural Spell.

PF wildshape rules.

Zaydos
2010-09-14, 02:57 PM
What level are you and how much gold to play around with?

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 02:59 PM
What level are you and how much gold to play around with?

Just hit level 4, although I'm doing a bit of long-range planning here. GM sticks fairly close to average WBL.

valadil
2010-09-14, 02:59 PM
Leadership for a pet Marshal. If he's got 18 charisma, that's +4 to your entire party's initiative. Almost as good as a 4e Warlord!

BeholderSlayer
2010-09-14, 03:02 PM
Just hit level 4, although I'm doing a bit of long-range planning here. GM sticks fairly close to average WBL.

A bunch of the initiative boosting items I mentioned above, combined with Wilding Clasps ought to do the trick (though a little expensive).

Fax Celestis
2010-09-14, 03:03 PM
Sneak up on your enemies and throw thunderstones.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-14, 03:07 PM
Bluesteel bracers is +2 (insight if I recall correctly), Incarnates can bind it to make the bonus AoE. Buying it as a feat will suffice (essentia doesn't affect the initiative bonus), making it Improved Initiative-lite.

Telonius
2010-09-14, 03:10 PM
Sneak up on your enemies and throw thunderstones.

Sneaking up is actually a decent tactic to make Initiative not matter as much. If you get the drop on your enemies you have a surprise round to play around with. Max out hide, disguise yourself as a harmless woodland creature, pump up Listen and Spot so you don't have the same done to you.

Zaydos
2010-09-14, 03:10 PM
Just hit level 4, although I'm doing a bit of long-range planning here. GM sticks fairly close to average WBL.

Then you can still get Primal Instincts next level (it's from Dragon Magic which is distinct from Dragon Magazine), although that would cost you one of your 3rd level spells per day (it would also give you a +9 initiative with Imp Init). And items lots of items.

Swooper
2010-09-14, 03:27 PM
Factotum 3 gives int to all str, dex and con ability checks, and initiative rolls are explicitly dex checks. :smallwink:

Edit: Okay, so it's not really a feasible way to boost initiative for you, but I just thought I'd mention it for completeness :smalltongue:

Curmudgeon
2010-09-14, 03:31 PM
I forget what it's called, but there's a feat in Dungeonscape that gives a +2 to your initiative and reduces the time necessary for perception checks.
You misremembered some details. The feat is Quick Reconnoiter in Complete Adventurer. Reactive Spot and Listen checks take no action, but checking for anything you didn't see or hear on first exposure normally requires a move action for each. Quick Reconnoiter gives you one retry of each as a free action each round, in addition to the constant boost to initiative.

Hague
2010-09-14, 03:46 PM
Here's one for you:

Hit-and-Run Tactics Fighter
Level: 1st.
Replaces: By selecting the hit-and-run alternative class feature, you give up proficiency with heavy armor and tower shields, even if you already have those profi ciencies from another class. You canít gain either of these proficiencies by multiclassing later, but you can gain them by selecting the appropriate feats.

Benefit: At 1st level, you gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks. In addition, when attacking a flat-footed opponent within 30 feet, you can add your Dexterity bonus (if any) as a competence bonus on weapon damage rolls.

Also, Hasty Spirit is a feat for Wu Jen that gives them another watchful spirit initiative reroll that also grants them haste for the duration of the encounter.

Draz74
2010-09-14, 03:46 PM
The ultimate Initiative win: wild shape into a Dire Tortoise.

Much easier and even cheesier: Buy a +1 Shuriken of Warning for 160 gp and carry it around in one hand. +5 Initiative, baby.

A little more sane: Buy a Ring of Anticipation (Drow of the Underdark). Now you roll Initiative twice and take the better result. Statistically, that's about a +4 bonus on average.

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 03:49 PM
Here's one for you:


Also, Hasty Spirit is a feat for Wu Jen that gives them another watchful spirit initiative reroll that also grants them haste for the duration of the encounter.

Unless you're suggesting giving up a druid level to multiclass to fighter or Wu Jen, I really don't think that's much help.

@Draz: Using pathfinder rules for wild shape.

I am looking at prices for warning weapons though. My current primary weapon is a +1 Keen dagger.

Hague
2010-09-14, 03:54 PM
I guess that's on you then. The Wu Jen level could be used for magic items. For instance, Wu Jen get the ability to make themselves 2 size categories larger with a spell. If you have a single level of Wu Jen, you could get a staff that does that for you. The fighter level isn't useless, since you get your +2 init bonus, +dex on damage rolls, weapon and armor proficiencies, 1 BAB, +2 Fort, and a bonus feat. I'd say that's a fair bit gained for one druid level.

lsfreak
2010-09-14, 03:55 PM
I am looking at prices for warning weapons though. My current primary weapon is a +1 Keen dagger.

Off the top of my head, Eager and Warning are both +1, and give +2 and +5 respectively. A +1 Eager Warning Shuriken could be held at all times for extremely cheap, or more realistically, get a second +1 warning dagger that you can drop and draw your 'real' one if you need to melee.

EDIT: Ring of Anticipation, Drow of the Underdark (not setting specific), 6000gp, +2Spot/Listen and roll twice for initiative, taking the better.

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 03:56 PM
I guess that's on you then. The Wu Jen level could be used for magic items. For instance, Wu Jen get the ability to make themselves 2 size categories larger with a spell. If you have a single level of Wu Jen, you could get a staff that does that for you. The fighter level isn't useless, since you get your +2 init bonus, +dex on damage rolls, weapon and armor proficiencies, 1 BAB, +2 Fort, and a bonus feat. I'd say that's a fair bit gained for one druid level.

All of that is pretty darn useless in our group. My character should never be in melee combat unless things are going very wrong. My job is to buff, heal, and do battlefield control. Multiclassing that doesn't advance those is out of the question.

Edit @Isafreak: this is a pathfinder with 3.5 splat game. One of the changes thankfully is to magic item gold costs. It's not not any more expensive to add Warning to my +1 Keen dagger than it would be to add Warning to a nonmagical dagger. In fact it's probably cheaper because I don't have to pay for that +1.

Hague
2010-09-14, 03:58 PM
Oh, right, I thought you were the wild-shape killer type. In fact, the first level of fighter can grant you +6 to initiative if you take your fighter bonus feat as Improved Initiative.

EDIT: Upon re-reading the OP: Drow of the Underdark is technically a world specific book, but it's got plenty of ideas for how to run drow in any campaign world (including Eberron)

Heliomance
2010-09-14, 04:01 PM
Aye, wildshape into a Dire Tortoise. Who cares about initiative, you get an automatic surprise round!

Draz74
2010-09-14, 04:15 PM
Off the top of my head, Eager and Warning are both +1, and give +2 and +5 respectively. A +1 Eager Warning Shuriken could be held at all times for extremely cheap, or more realistically, get a second +1 warning dagger that you can drop and draw your 'real' one if you need to melee.

Eager is specifically a Melee weapon enhancement, so you can't stack it on a shuriken.

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 04:18 PM
Hmmm this might be interesting. What forms would you require to be able to wield a weapon? Given wild shape's duration I'm certainly willing to use the "drop weapon, wild shape, pick weapon back up" method. An eager weapon has to be wielded; a warning weapon simply has to be held (although I suspect they meant wielded).

hamishspence
2010-09-14, 04:20 PM
Ape, Dire Ape, and Baboon might possibly qualify as able to wield a weapon, depending on the DM.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-14, 04:25 PM
Hmmm this might be interesting. What forms would you require to be able to wield a weapon? Given wild shape's duration I'm certainly willing to use the "drop weapon, wild shape, pick weapon back up" method. An eager weapon has to be wielded; a warning weapon simply has to be held (although I suspect they meant wielded).

Why not talk to your DM about making it an armor enhancement instead of a weapon enhancement, and putting it on a collar or something?

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 04:28 PM
Why not talk to your DM about making it an armor enhancement instead of a weapon enhancement, and putting it on a collar or something?

I'll take a look. My DM tends not to be over friendly to things not written in the rules, unfortunately. Eager definitely couldn't go on.

Do you think a taloned creature could reasonably wield a weapon? Like an eagle or hawk?

lsfreak
2010-09-14, 04:32 PM
Another option here would be the Necklace of Natural Attacks (Savage Species), with which you could enchant your claws with +1 warning.

I'd say a taloned creature could hold a weapon (for Warning), but not wield one. Then again, most things could potentially hold a weapon of some kind. If you have to wield the weapon, perhaps go into a squirrel monkey or ape (depending on preference/playstyle) with that dagger.

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 04:35 PM
Another option here would be the Necklace of Natural Attacks (Savage Species), with which you could enchant your claws with +1 warning.

I'd say a taloned creature could hold a weapon (for Warning), but not wield one. Then again, most things could potentially hold a weapon of some kind. If you have to wield the weapon, perhaps go into a squirrel monkey or ape (depending on preference/playstyle) with that dagger.

Playstyle=stay as far away from actual battle as possible. Use big hulking ranger for cover.

Darrin
2010-09-14, 04:50 PM
Why not talk to your DM about making it an armor enhancement instead of a weapon enhancement, and putting it on a collar or something?

That's what armor spikes are for.

Heliomance
2010-09-14, 04:51 PM
I'll take a look. My DM tends not to be over friendly to things not written in the rules, unfortunately. Eager definitely couldn't go on.

Do you think a taloned creature could reasonably wield a weapon? Like an eagle or hawk?

That's what Gloves of Man (Savage Species) are for.

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 05:09 PM
That's what Gloves of Man (Savage Species) are for.

:smalleek: that's gonna be a few levels to get that :smalleek:

Magdela
2010-09-14, 06:16 PM
Foresight. Celerity.

Who needs initiative?

Edit: Skimming the thread bleary eyed was clearly not the best ideal. I am an idiot.

Draz74
2010-09-14, 06:22 PM
Foresight. Celerity.

Who needs initiative?

I bow down before your op-fu that provides Druids with Foresight and Celerity ...

... unless you just didn't read the OP or the rest of the thread. :smalltongue:

FMArthur
2010-09-14, 06:28 PM
Foresight. Celerity.

Who needs initiative?

People who aren't ever going to be playing a 17th level wizard, and people who are not confident they can survive the first volley of attacks from the enemy before they get to act?

Endarire
2010-09-14, 06:52 PM
Optimized Initiative Compilation (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=6000.0)

WarKitty
2010-09-15, 10:22 AM
So it looks like a necklace of natural attacks is probably my best bet. Only one question: does unarmed strike count as a natural attack? If not is there a way to obtain a natural attack? Cheaper than anything else and workable with both wild shape and other forms.

Malbordeus
2010-09-15, 10:55 AM
elemental heratige - Fire? it gives a little fire added to unarmed damage and + initiative... randomly, kinda useful to lower level druids.

Custom Build an item?

Make sure your spot is high enough that you are never caught in the supprise round, then delay to the top of the initiative order?

:P ok, the last one was non-serious

2xMachina
2010-09-15, 11:07 AM
Spiked gauntlets for your paws. You're wielding them then.

I always like a pair of them. +1 Eager, +1 Warning pair.

Another_Poet
2010-09-15, 11:21 AM
The tragedy is that there are far more ways to pump initiative than good reasons to pump initiative....

WarKitty
2010-09-15, 12:21 PM
The tragedy is that there are far more ways to pump initiative than good reasons to pump initiative....

Meh, battlefield control is a good reason.

Don't think spiked gauntlets would be very good with wild shape, particularly with my love of flying forms. As far as I can tell the necklace is the only option that will let me stay armed with enchantments in all forms.

Shenanigans
2010-09-17, 04:19 PM
The tragedy is that there are far more ways to pump initiative than good reasons to pump initiative....Well, the longer a combat lasts, the more correct you are, but when many combats don't last very long at all, going first becomes especially important. Personally, when taking on any kind of caster, I think going first is absolutely critical.

Draz74
2010-09-17, 04:43 PM
Only one question: does unarmed strike count as a natural attack? If not is there a way to obtain a natural attack?

I don't know why this got the strikeout treatment, but the answer is no: unarmed strike does not count as a natural attack, unless you are a Monk or similarly have a class feature that declares your unarmed strike to be a natural attack.

There are lots of ways to get natural attacks, though. Some items grant them; a number of Soulmelds (accessible through Shape Soulmeld feats, though many also need to be bound to a chakra); or base races or templates.

WarKitty
2010-09-17, 05:00 PM
I don't know why this got the strikeout treatment, but the answer is no: unarmed strike does not count as a natural attack, unless you are a Monk or similarly have a class feature that declares your unarmed strike to be a natural attack.

There are lots of ways to get natural attacks, though. Some items grant them; a number of Soulmelds (accessible through Shape Soulmeld feats, though many also need to be bound to a chakra); or base races or templates.

I've seen it ruled both ways. Unfortunately there really is no good way to get unarmed strike that works for me. I haven't found any items; soulmelds don't exist, and my race is set already.

I might get one anyways though, it looks like bats in PF have a natural attack (which would grant the anthrobat one as well).