View Full Version : [3.5] Unarmed Striker Build

2010-11-04, 06:04 PM
I'd like to make a character that beats stuff up with his fists. Not claws or tentacles or sprout new appendages -- just good ol' fists. Kind of like Tifa from FF7. I want to have the build playable from level 1 to 12 and be comparable to an unoptimized warblade (the warblade is taking Power Attack and then a bunch of archery feats). All books outside of Dragon Mag, no flaws.

Is there a good way to achieve what I want outside of unarmed swordsage? I love that idea and everything, but I'm already playing a swordsage in a different campaign. Is something with Kensai a good choice?

Keld Denar
2010-11-04, 06:08 PM
Tashalatora (feat in Secrets of Sarlona)

Blends together Monk and any one Psionic class. Monk2/PsyWar18 is the standard, but you could also do Monk2/Egoist18 or Monk2/Ardent18 if you pick your mantles carefully.

Google the Tashalatoran King of Smack for more details on building one, but its pretty simple.

Psionic powers are what monks should have had ALL ALONG, but don't. This make it so.

2010-11-04, 06:09 PM
Well, the only option outside of Unarmed Swordsage is Monk, so...not really. You could do a Tashalatora/Psychic Warrior build too.

Kensai is a good multiclass with either Tash or U-Sword.

Keld Denar
2010-11-04, 06:12 PM
Bearfist Fistbear would work too, if you don't mind turning into a bear to get most of your power...

Andion Isurand
2010-11-04, 06:30 PM
Don't forget the Beast Strike feat in Dragon 355 that lets you add your claw or slam damage to your unarmed strike or grapple damage.

Dusk Eclipse
2010-11-04, 06:54 PM
A barb/Fist of the forest with superior unarmed strike might be another option. but Tashalastora King of smack is the way to go

2010-11-04, 08:47 PM
Straight Warblade with Superior Unarmed Strike. No fuss, no muss, bringing the pain.

2010-11-04, 11:04 PM
Don't forget Pharaoh's Fist et al from Sandstorm.

2010-11-04, 11:18 PM
Obligatory Person_Man list link:
Increasing Size, Effective Size, Unarmed Damage, Reach (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7081777)

Edit: And one more. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7066595)

2010-11-04, 11:29 PM
You can do well with just one bit of help: the Greater Mighty Wallop spell from Races of the Dragon. This will boost your unarmed damage by a maximum of five size categories or up to an effective size of Colossal. It's a "cast once daily" boost, so your party Sorcerer/Wizard should be able to help you out with little inconvenience.

2010-11-04, 11:40 PM
The Fist of the Forest prestige class is worth consideration. Its unarmed damage entry is poorly/ambiguously worded (see below). My belief is it is intended to be able to increase your unarmed damage beyond 1d10 in applicable scenarios.

Unarmed Damage (Ex): Your unarmed attacks deal more damage than usual. At 1st level, you deal ld8 points of damage with each unarmed strike. When you attain 3rd level, this damage increases to 1d10 points. See the monk class feature (PH 41). If your unarmed attack already deals this amount of damage, increase the base damage to the next step indicated on the monk class table.

Then get some Psychic Warrior for expansion. Kensai isn't bad if your DM won't allow other ways to enchant your fists. At level 2 it gets an ability that gives you +8 to strength.

2010-11-05, 12:09 AM
Shou Disciple is kinda neat. At least it used to be.

Andion Isurand
2010-11-05, 12:16 AM
Shou Disciple is kinda neat. At least it used to be.

It still is if you can get the DM to say that shou discple levels can stack with monk levels strait up to determine unarmed damage... that way you can get +16 BAB pre epic without losing damage progression.

2010-11-05, 12:28 AM
Shou Disciple is awesome, but its primary advantages come from NOT using your fists imo, making it a subpar choice for this thread.

2010-11-05, 01:44 AM
You could start with Monk 2 into Warblade, picking up Superior Unarmed Strike. Then just pick Snap Kick, Improved Natural Attack and so on to buff your UA Strikes. You could also take 3 levels of Fist of the Forests [Complete Champion] for epic ramping of your UA damage; and for far better stat than Wisdom to AC (Constitution!).

2010-11-05, 09:49 AM
Obligatory Monk's Handbook (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1015.0) link. This guy's definition of Monk is "somebody who uses Unarmed Strikes" so keep that in mind.

2010-11-05, 09:53 AM
I second tashalotora. The question of whether to be a psychic warrior or ardent is more difficult.

Psychic warrior:
+ they get expansion for easy damage boosts
+ they get inertial armour and concealing amphora for protection
+ they get lots of feats, enabling you to trip, grapple, psychic strike etc. Augmented by your powers
+ good wis synergy (pp and ac)
- they are starved for power points. You won't be all day every day at top output. Mitigated somewhat by extra feats and pp reducers
- they only get level 6 powers (but they do get the excellent form of doom)

+ lots of pp.
+ good wis synergy
+ up to 9th level powers
+ cool mantle abilities
- lack of certain key powers on raw mantles (expansion)
- certain roleplay restrictions
- if you run out of powers, you are more screwed than the psychic warrior as he will have feats to fall back on.

2010-11-05, 09:58 AM
I second tashalotora. The question of whether to be a psychic warrior or ardent is more difficult.

Ardent, hands down. They can get all the same powers you just listed easily and have far more PP to manifest them with. Their powers make up for the feats and the Mantle abilities practically count as bonus feats as well.

Psywar's main advantage over Ardent (besides being freely available in the SRD) is Martial Weapon Proficiency - but for a build that relies on its fists that advantage is meaningless.

Keld Denar
2010-11-05, 10:08 AM
I dunno, I think this is one of those situations where PsyWar actually wins out. Tash is VERY feat starved if you want to do all of the cool stuff. You need Monastic Training (granted, you can get this as a bonus monk feat instead of Deflect Arrows or Stunning Fist), Tash, Link Power, Snap Kick, Improved Natural Attack, and Superior Unarmed Strike, and thats assuming that you don't specialize in something like Grappling or Knockback. You don't need a billion PP as long as you aren't blowing a ton of points on Vigor or Offensive Precognition every round. My Half Giant Monk2/PsyWar3 hasn't dipped below 1/2 PP yet, and he does a 5 point Inertial Armor each day and a 1 point Expansion and a 1 point Grip of Iron (linked) every fight. Granted, I haven't gotten Psionic Lion's Charge yet, but still, he's got enough. You just have to understand that a PsyWar is not a Psion, and manifesting isn't your primary schtick. Your goal is to buff a little, then rip people's faces off like a gish, not sling spells every round.

2010-11-05, 10:39 AM
The earlier power access alone is worth it. An Ardent can get Inconstant Location 3 or even 5 levels earlier than a Psywar can depending on mantle choice, and can use it much more often. You also don't need Snap Kick or SUS to pile on attacks and damage. You can pour more PP into Expansion or Grip of Iron while still having enough for Vigor+Share Pain, Claws of the Beast, Bite of the Wolf...

Without mantle substitution then Psywars are comparable, I agree - with it, they fall behind quickly.

2010-11-05, 10:43 AM
Surprisingly enough, I've had good success with an unarmed Factotum. Just take improved unarmed strike, then superior unarmed strike, then max out Font of Inspiration.

Use your spells on long-lasting self-buffs and start each round by walloping the crap out of somebody that's flat-footed with your INT-to-damage and sneak attack abilities.

2010-11-05, 02:22 PM
The Fist of the Forest prestige class is worth consideration. Its unarmed damage entry is poorly/ambiguously worded (see below). My belief is it is intended to be able to increase your unarmed damage beyond 1d10 in applicable scenarios.
Belief isn't required here. The "applicable scenario" is when your unarmed strike deals 1d10 damage. So a Medium size Monk (levels 8-11), or a Small Monk (levels 12-15) would both be bumped up to 2d6 damage by FotF 3. (Below that you'd get boosted to 1d10 damage; above that you'd get no improvement.)