View Full Version : Going Epic, or how not to suck as a primary melee'er [3.5]

2010-10-04, 11:45 AM
We've just finished a weekend long one shot, and are going to skip ahead in time for another oneshot, going from lvl 12 to 21.
I'm looking for advice on how to improve my character.

This is the current build, feats can be retrained and items can be exchanged at full value.
Wild Elf
Scout 4/Wildshape Mystic Ranger 5/Whirling Frenzy Lion Totem Barbarian 1/Swordsage 2
Str 21(+4 item)
Dex 19(+4 item)
Con 13
Int 9
Wis 19(+2 item)
Cha 9
(the uneven values are because the time skip moves him into middle age:smallsigh:)
Swift and Silent
Quick Reconoitter
Extend Rage
Extra Rage
Swift Hunter
Improved Skirmish
Important items:
+1 Tiger Claw Spear
+3 Leafweave Studded Leather, shadow & silent moves

I was thinking about advancing the mystic ranger to lvl 14, putting the ability bonuses in dex and con. Getting a belt of magnificence +4 and tomes for str, dex and wis, also a cloak of flying and advancing my current weapon and armor.

I'm unsure about what feats to pick/retrain, and which items to pick/improve.
A prestige class that's fitting for a hunter and advances spellcasting would also be welcome.

Lastly, what ranger spells would be usefull at epic levels?

Many thanks

2010-10-06, 06:10 PM
Apologies for the bump, but I was really hoping someone had some advice for me, please?:smallredface:

2010-10-06, 06:19 PM
I'm no expert, especially not at this level of play, but the conventional wisdom is that nothing you can do to a primary melee character is really going to keep them on par with a primary caster at high levels. This is particularly true at epic. However this also depends a great deal on the level of optimization by the spellcasters.

How do you see the character engaging in combat? From the Lion Totem, I assume you're a charger? You may want to do a search on ubercharger builds. They are usually broken and intended as thought exercises, but in an Epic campaign they may not be out of line. Indeed, if you go that route, you're biggest problem is likely to be that despite being able to do massive raw HP damage to a single target (or handful), you're still struggling to be effective (compared to an epic spellcaster) in other ways. Even if you don't go the whole way towards ubercharge, at a minimum Power Attack and maybe Leap Attack seem caled for.

Flying is a good call.

2010-10-06, 06:24 PM
Improve that weapon like, a lot. Probably at least one backup weapon as well.

I'd improve the armor as well, but you're going to want to start looking at Miss Chance rather than AC as your primary defense.

If being stealthy is part of what you do, as it seems to be, then you should get an invisibility item, as at your level relying on mundane stealth alone is for chumps.

2010-10-06, 06:50 PM
My Hood (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19872838/Little_Red_Raiding_Hood_A_Tale_of_38_Guide_to_the_ 35_Dragoon) guide mentions this about epic levels:

-Epic battles are initiative wars. If you aren't first, chances are someone will nix you before you can act. Even if you win initiative, a caster probably has a contingent clerity handy. (Initiative wars are common far before epic, but epic accentuates this.)

-Resistances and immunities are common, but HP damage is almost always viable. This works for and against you.

-Magic is common but antimagic is fairly common. You need to be viable when none of your magical toys work. Prepare to be dispelled often.

-Sometimes, you should let the casters handle it. If you're against something with massive HP and AC yet can't fly, let them disable it with reverse gravity before you swoop in and impale it.

-On a similar note, a crazy prepared caster is impossible to touch in epic, and the only way you can even approach him is if he allows you or gods intervene. (Casting, especially epic spellcasting is just that uber.) Meanwhile, a merely well-prepared caster is merely almost impossible to touch.

-Class-wise, epic levels are a also chance to fill in some holes you couldn't pre-epic. I reiterate: Get magic somehow, be it straight cleric levels, ruby knight vindicator (Tome of Battle 122), jade phoenix mage (Tome of Battle 113), human paragon, or otherwise!