View Full Version : Totemist Optimized Build

2010-10-31, 06:00 PM
I plan on playing an upcoming 3.5 edition DND campaign and wished to play a totemist for something new and different. I have a build in mind and was just looking for any advice or critisms.

I plan on playing a dessert kobold in order to use dragon tail (feet) and claws of the wyrm (hands) from dragon magic. Along with these soulmelds I plan to use girallon arms (totem), lammasu mantle (arms), mantle of flame (shoulder) with shape soulmeld, and heart of fire (waist). With the rest being less important and as I choose. The only ones for sure being bound to chakra are the girallon arms and lammasu mantle to totem, and the heart of fire to waist.

I plan to pick up two flaws at first level.
level 1 I will get Bind vestige (Aym) for halo of fire for 1d6 damage to attackers and 1d6 damage on natural attacks. At level 1 I will also get martial maneuver (doesnt matter) and martial stance (punishing stance) -2 ac +1d6 per attack.
level 3 shape soulmeld mantle of flame.
level 6 multiattack.
level 9 double chakra (totem).
level 12 improved multiattack
possibly sacred vow and vow of poverty later on.

With this build by level 2 i will have 3 soulmelds, one of which will be bound. This will be girallon arms bound, claws of the wyrm and dragon tail unbound. This will give me four girallon arm claw attacks, 2 claws of the wyrm attacks which also specify claws and arms that appear above your own so stack with girallon, 1 tail attack and 1 natural kobold bite attack for a total of 8. I will also get +1d6 damage from punishing stance and +1d6 from halo of fire. This will also cause attackers to take 1d6 damage from halo of fire and 2d6 damage from mantle of flame with one essentia as long as they are not using reach weapons.

Not sure if I will end up playing this character for obvious reasons was just curious on opinions, advice, criticisms, and if this is actually feasible by the rules. Thanks for reading my first post.

2010-10-31, 06:10 PM
Unlike most Totemist soulmelds, the Tail doesn't explicitly say that you can combine it with a full attack involving other weapons. The Claws, meanwhile, explicitly say that if you have other claws they don't give you any new attacks, just increase your claw damage.

2010-10-31, 06:17 PM
It's really not worth it to burn a feat just so attackers without reach take 1d6 fire damage. Reasons in no particular order:

1) Fire damage is the most commonly resisted element, and many monsters are straight-up immune. This is also a reason to consider carefully before using mantle of flame all of the time.

2) Depending on enemies to hit you in order to deal damage is not a good way to go. Spell casters will completely ignore this feat, for instance.

3) Any monster/NPC with ranged attacks also ignores it.

4) 1d6 conditional damage is not worth a feat, especially long term.

This might be a fine strategy for lower levels, but you'll definitely want to switch it up as you level. Are you starting at level 12?

*NPCs may vary by campaign, but reach weapons are so common on melee fighters in so many campaigns that to me it would seem unusual to encounter NPCs without them.

2010-10-31, 06:20 PM
Starting level 5 and completely missed that on claws of wyrm but still respectable 6 attacks level 2 and 8 with lammasu when i get double chakra

2010-10-31, 06:27 PM
Main problem you're going to have is DR, so plan on grabbing power-attack, and there's heavy costs associated with getting you an enhancement bonus on your attack/damage rolls unless you can talk a party member into being a druid/archivist. And its totally worth it to go halfsies with him on the cost of a lesser rod of chaining, so he can get all your natural attacks in one casting. After that, you need to figure out ways to be dealing enough damage-per-attack so that you're not gimped out of service by the first high DR foe you face, and power attack alone isn't going to cut it, since you're only getting 1:1 conversion in a class which doesn't get full BAB. Personally, if you're planning a natural-attack oriented build, I'd suggest going into Totem Rager and snagging the full Shocktrooper chain(power attack, Imp bull rush, and ST). Between Cobalt Rage, Rage, Greater Magic Fang and Power Attack, you'll still have middling damage against tough DR foes, and Shock Trooper will help make sure you land your hits even on full power attack.

2010-10-31, 06:33 PM
Take the Wight template from Savage Species, load up on natural attacks. Each of said attacks inflicts a negative level. Just three soulmelds (Astral Vambraces, Girallon Arms, Chaos Roc Span) gets you to eight attacks.

Keld Denar
2010-10-31, 09:37 PM
Another option if you plan on charging, take Shape Soulmeld (Thunderstride Boots). Its a Soulborn bind, but is really good. Combine that bound to feet with something that gives you pounce (like Spinx Claws bound to hands, or just a Barb dip) and all of your natural attacks have a chance to stun every time you charge, not to mention the extra sonic damage each of your attacks will gain (more with more Essentia invested).