View Full Version : (D&D 3.5) Deciding what to bring to the table

2010-10-13, 05:38 AM
So, I'm going to rejoin an in-progress campaign with a new character after an extended hiatus. I've been tossing around a couple ideas, some sort of duskblade possibly a goliath one, maybe a dragonborn* dungeoncrasher/zhentarim fighter beatstick with brute force and/or lockdown and/or demoralizing, or a mystic and/or wildshaping ranger (with the ACF that trades tracking for trapfinding).

One of the bigger things giving me pause is the party roles that are already at play.

Currently the party is comprised of ECL 7-10 characters. Most are level 8, with a level 7 from reincarnating and a level 10 from lucky draws from a deck of many things.

There's a fighter, a favored soul/healer, a gnome wizard ECL7, a human monk ECL 10, a lizardfolk druid, and a bard(whose player left the campaign but whose character they have not gotten rid of yet)

From what I recall of their tactics, the wizard is a generalist and alternates between battlefield control and blasting, the monk mostly just full-attacks with the occasional grapple, the fighter tanks whatever that means, AFAIK the healer/FC heals in combat and out, and I have no indications as to what the druid does in combat.

All I know of the lizardfolk druid really is that he used diplomacy to get by the lizardfolk. But he's a druid and so has wildshape and blasting capabilities and an animal companion (a giant crocodile, I believe), so, yeah...

The monk is house-ruled so that he's allowed to flurry on a charge (but not full-attack, I think) and he has a pair of magical gauntlets that let him do his monk damage and have magic weaponry doubling as gauntlets of ogre strength. I'm not sure what kind of tactics he uses, IIRC he did surprise the DM by grappling an ogre to death. Don't know if he's a tripping monk or not.

The DM mentioned having an out for the fighter if I were adept enough at melee combat, which is lending me towards considering a template like quasi-lycanthrope for DR to help deal with wading into melee with the monk and possibly the druid.

He also doesn't want to deal with a whole lot of pets/minions slowing down combat even more considering the characters already in the party and the nature of RHOD, so so he's asked me to avoid animal companions, cohorts, summoning, combat familiars, scads of undead(my initial idea was to be a dread necromancer and spend part of my wealth as he deemed appropriate to have acquired two skellies and gear for them, bringing ample melee tanking to the table), and ye old (eternal?) wand of Hound of Doom.

Banned material: Tome of Battle at present(mostly a self-ban, as I could get him to allow some ToB material as long as I ran through it with him, but I lack access to the full text to do so with him and I don't wanna overshadow the monk, so, plz, leave the ToB discussion for the ToB thread), the animate dead spell, and the leadership feat. I can't remember for certain, but we may have made an agreement not to use shivering touch at one time, so I'm-a probably avoid that as well. Oh, and no flaws and no point-buy. Have to roll our stats 4d6 drop lowest.

Hence part of my tossing around various options, I do want to have some option between being MAD and SAD in case I only get two decent stats, Mystic Ranger without wildshaping being fairly MAD and then absurdly MAD if Sword of the Arcane Ordering it up... Using every single stat for something and all.

He's allowing variant classes and ACFs from UA and Dragon by approval, so I may also try to get the moon-warded ranger substitution that gets Wisdom to AC in light/no armor if I go with a ranger base(which would sync up nicely with a quasi-lycanthrope come to think of it).

TL;DR I'm asking for a bit of build direction and advice, especially of potential tactics so that I don't end up rubbing either the DM or other players the wrong way.

build-skeletons I've been tossing around.

1. (Goliath?) Duskblade 7 (or 8 depending upon how the DM adjudicates LA buyoff, but not far from leveling if 7 anyway)

Feats: (If Human:??? combat reflexes?)
1: Power Attack
3: Knowledge Devotion
6: Arcane Strike?
9: ??? (if human combat expertise?)
[eternal wand of heroics for improved trip?]

Suggestions would be quite welcome, as obtain familiar+improved familiar I doubt would fly with the DM.

Not much beyond feats other than gear, IIRC. AFB with Duskblades at the moment, as it is in the DM's possession. (sort of kicking myself for gifting it to him now, haha.) So I'm not 100% sure on the number of spells known that I'd have to work with as a 7th/8th level Duskblade.

Thinking about using a +1 sizing guisarme, maybe whirling, maybe metalline(?), not really sure on the enhancement there, while wearing mithril breast or full plate or maybe dragonhide breastplate. Not really sure what properties to put on it either...

Dragonborn(winged) Goliath Dungeoncrasher/Zhent Fighter 7(or 5-6)/Barbarian 1(2?). Whirling Frenzy rage with pounce and the ability to bull-rush peeps into walls/the ground, angling towards Fighter 9/Barb1 by the end.
1: Extra Rage
Fighter1: Power Attack
3: Intimidating Rage(?)
Fighter3: Zhent-Sub: Bonus Feat: Skill Focus: Intimidate
Fighter4: Improved Bull-rush
6: Shock-trooper
9: Imperious Command

ACFs: Barbarian 1 Lion Spirit Totem for Pounce
(Barbarian 2 Wolf Totem for Imp Trip?)
Whirling Frenzy rage variant

Dungeoncrasher Fighter

Zhentarim Soldier at 3rd, 5th, and 9th

Skilled City-dweller for both classes, trading ride for tumble.

Any others suggested?

Ranger-base. Probably going with the trade Tracking for Trapfinding ACF and an adamantine arrow/backup bludgeoning weapon for lock-picking.
Sort of split between a wildshaping/MOMF, a "Sword Shape Mystic Ranger," and a straight Mystic Ranger.

Considering tacking on the Quasi-lycanthrope template onto human for extra ability to mainline fight due to the DR and skillpoints'n'feat. Or possibly draconic for claws in order to better finagle an improved natural attack (claw) for wildshaping as well.

Feat layout for Mystic Ranger only 8: Human: Able Learner?Magical Training?Combat Expertise?
1: Militia or EWP:Spiked Chain
3: Combat Expertise?ImpTrip?
Ranger3: Combat Style: Strong-arm: Power Attack
Ranger4: Endurance
6: Sword of the Arcane Order
Ranger7: Improved Combat Style:Imp. Sunder
9: ???

If moon-warded substitution can be in play, it'd trade imp sunder for power attack and give Wis to AC in light/no armor, which would be preferable due to Improved Sunder being undesirable to me. I don't really want to play a bow-user right now though, hence the finagling.

Wildshaping only:Human Able Learner
1: Alertness*
3: Track*
Ranger3: Endurance
6: Improved Natural Attack (claw)? Power Attack?
9: ????

Both pre-reqs for Master of Many Forms or Nature's Warrior IIRC. I was thinking something along the lines of Ranger 5/Nature Warrior 1/MOMF 2 for fast healing and an expanded range of forms

Sword Shape Mystic Ranger:
Human: Able Learner?
1st: ?
3rd: ?
Ranger4: Endurance
6th: Sword of the Arcane Order
9th: Natural Spell

Edit: man I'm long-winded, sorry. Trimming.

2010-10-13, 07:57 AM
The trapfinder role is the one least covered by your party as outlined, so that's the one I'm inclined to recommend. Swift Hunter (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19872750/The_Swift_Hunters_Handbook_--_2007?pg=1) deserves at least a cursory examination.

2010-10-13, 08:13 AM
if u r going to retake a RHoD campaing then u need some kind of range kitter, that said. mystic ranger with range weapon is a way, or any real blaster specialized in AoE and/or bypass DR specially the kind of DR it could have a dragon or a dragonborn.

2010-10-13, 09:40 AM
Can't believe I forgot about that. *facepalm* That would take care of the loss of track as well as synergize what would be a dip for trapfinding into something that keeps scaling the power up...

2010-10-13, 10:52 AM
knowing RHoD campaing im strongly recommend not to force ur build to take trapfind. if get it fine, but don't force the all build to it.

2010-10-13, 10:52 AM
Well if intent is to lose the bard, you'll be out your skillmonkey/trapfinder role, so I'd definitely lean towards suggesting that, all other things being equal.

2010-10-13, 07:05 PM
knowing RHoD campaing im strongly recommend not to force ur build to take trapfind. if get it fine, but don't force the all build to it.

I've played through once before, and I'm not exactly sure how he's modifying it, there's just a slight bit of uncertainty as to whether I'll continue on with the group after this or not as well, so it's not just RHOD that I have to take into account.... I think....

The good thing is that I don't have to worry about multiclassing XP penalties, so it's mostly a sort of internal debate over whether the wildshaping or spells would be more valuable viz. the ranger and then having two other things that have caught my fancy jumbling around in my head.

I guess part of it is that I need to narrow my focus but I've not been having much luck keeping on one of them before coming back to look at one or both of the other two.

Dusk Eclipse
2010-10-13, 08:16 PM
A Mystic Swift Ranger is a good idea in my opinion something along the lines of scout 3/Mystic Ranger 5, possibly with SotAO, (you will want your Int Decent, if at least for skill points).