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Kyouhen
2010-11-13, 11:42 PM
So, in the campaign I'm in I'm playing a Warforged Artificer. I've got the Adamantine Body and have enough AC to cover as meat shield. The problem is I'm not a real threat in combat, and the DM is playing the enemies intelligently. They'll stab at me a few times, doing absolutely nothing, then turn around and start beating someone else to death. Last session the party's Warlock almost died because the enemy decided to teleport over there and start hammering him with a tree. (Some druidish thing with stone meld or whatever that thing that lets him move through stone is)

So what I'm looking for is better ways to be a more attractive target. We're only character level 4 right now and I'm sitting at Artificer 3/Fighter 1 (I wanted that heavy armour proficiency and the bonus feat, and will probably use the 2nd level bonus feat later. Not likely to go any further than that though.)

I'm not just looking for ideas that I can use right this instant, just anything I can pick up at any point to make me a little more interesting of a target.

Also as a quick note, the other members of the party are a Feral Gnome Barbarian (who's actually really, REALLY scary), a Human Warlock, and a Human Rogue/Spellthief.

dspeyer
2010-11-14, 12:48 AM
There aren't a lot of ways to force someone to engage you, but there are some.

The Knight class has this as a power.

ISTR a feat called "taunt" that also did it directly.

A reach weapon and combat reflexes can make getting past you painful (except for flying or teleporting enemies, and those with ranged attacks don't care).

Illusions might make you look like the party's primary offense.

JeminiZero
2010-11-14, 12:59 AM
As you admit, the problem is that you're not posing enough of a threat to your enemies, for them to bother engaging you (i.e. Dwarven Defender syndrome).

Aritificer by itself is considered tier 1, so if you're not posing a threat, you're probably doing something wrong (no offence meant). In fact, becoming a Fighter, is likely to make you LESS of a threat than another level in Artificer, and judicious application of your abilities.

My advice would be to read up the various Artificers Handbooks to figure out how to become threat with what you currently have.

Vaynor
2010-11-14, 01:11 AM
There's a feat in Complete Adventurer called Goad that lets you do this as a move action.

I also made a PrC called the Protector (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7640476&postcount=16) a while back that has a taunt ability.

Kyouhen
2010-11-14, 01:28 AM
As you admit, the problem is that you're not posing enough of a threat to your enemies, for them to bother engaging you (i.e. Dwarven Defender syndrome).

Aritificer by itself is considered tier 1, so if you're not posing a threat, you're probably doing something wrong (no offence meant). In fact, becoming a Fighter, is likely to make you LESS of a threat than another level in Artificer, and judicious application of your abilities.

My advice would be to read up the various Artificers Handbooks to figure out how to become threat with what you currently have.

Actually I'm aware of how much of a threat I could be and am actively avoiding doing just that. The rest of the party is tier 4, and I don't want to break the world and leave them behind. :smalltongue:

Of course, it doesn't help that the feral gnome, through some good dice rolls, is running around with 20 strength. He's largely invincible too, but I'll have higher AC than him before too much longer and it would be nice if I could find a better way to draw fire.


There's a feat in Complete Adventurer called Goad that lets you do this as a move action.

I also made a PrC called the Protector (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7640476&postcount=16) a while back that has a taunt ability.

Hmmm, Goad might be worth considering. And it's a Fighter bonus feat so I could pick it up any time I want...

Pechvarry
2010-11-14, 01:38 AM
Sources allowed? To be more precise: Tome of Battle allowed? A single level of Crusader will net you (a few neat tricks as well as) the Iron Guard's Glare stance, which is basically a prequel to 4E's marking: opponents you threaten take a -4 penalty on attacks not directed against you.

Kyouhen
2010-11-14, 01:51 AM
Sources allowed? To be more precise: Tome of Battle allowed? A single level of Crusader will net you (a few neat tricks as well as) the Iron Guard's Glare stance, which is basically a prequel to 4E's marking: opponents you threaten take a -4 penalty on attacks not directed against you.

Y'know, it would be awesome if it didn't carry a multiclass penalty with it. And I have some big plans for breaking the rest of the party with crafting, so I'd rather not need to juggle a second class. :smallfrown:

Are there any items or spells that would get me a similar effect?

Pechvarry
2010-11-14, 02:44 AM
Well... it'd take 2 feats. I was going to say "yes" to items, but I don't think the maneuver-granting items include stances. Someone else may have to step in for those details.

Kyouhen
2010-11-14, 03:07 AM
Well... it'd take 2 feats. I was going to say "yes" to items, but I don't think the maneuver-granting items include stances. Someone else may have to step in for those details.

Hmmm, and both of those feats can be taken as Fighter bonus... So I could potentially take another level of Fighter at the next level then pick up the stance the level after... But that'll slow down my crafting, and I really wanna get my Dedicated Wright. -_-'

ambientsneaks
2010-11-14, 03:21 AM
Race: Dwarf
Class: Knight (7) Dwarven Defender (10) Fighter/Rogue/What ever you can get here for 3 levels of a class.

Feats: Dodge; Endurance; Toughness; Improved Toughness; Shield Spec; Weapon Focus (Dwarven war axe is suggested)

Your HP each level is a d12 - so starting your DM is nice its a good 17-20 depending if you went for the max Con bonus of a dwarf or not

Armor: Full plate, Heavy Steel shield
Weapon: Dwarven War axe, Heavy Cross bow

Your AC by level 19 will be between 32 - 40 depending if you have Mi's and are in your defensive stance or not

your HP will be any where between 230 - 350 again depending if you're in your stance or not

Knight class is used to force opponents to fight you and only you, Dwarven defender makes you almost unkillable

have fun optimise

Fizban
2010-11-14, 04:06 AM
If your DM's rules-bound enough that he'll enforce multi-classing penalties on you, bust out a copy of PHBII and try the retraining rules on him. Then retrain your Fighter level into Crusader and pick up the Iron Guard's Glare while keeping your heavy armor proficiency.

Kyouhen
2010-11-14, 10:49 AM
Race: Dwarf
Class: Knight (7) Dwarven Defender (10) Fighter/Rogue/What ever you can get here for 3 levels of a class.



So, in the campaign I'm in I'm playing a Warforged Artificer.

Moving right along.


If your DM's rules-bound enough that he'll enforce multi-classing penalties on you, bust out a copy of PHBII and try the retraining rules on him. Then retrain your Fighter level into Crusader and pick up the Iron Guard's Glare while keeping your heavy armor proficiency.

Wouldn't I still suffer multiclass penalties for being Crusader 1/Artificer 3? Warforged have Fighter as their favoured class, which was one more reason to use it to get my proficiencies.

Tael
2010-11-14, 11:13 AM
Race: Dwarf
Class: Knight (7) Dwarven Defender (10) Fighter/Rogue/What ever you can get here for 3 levels of a class.


Yeah, no offense, but whatever you do, do NOT do this. Dwarven Defender is Terribad. Knight is okay for drawing fire, but don't take more than 4 levels in it.
Rebuild into Knight 4/Crusader X if you want to be melee tank, or just stay completely Artificer X if you want to craft.

Urpriest
2010-11-14, 11:17 AM
For ranged attacks, Arrow Catching is a fun little enchantment to bust out with an infusion. I've used it with an NPC party, and I was surprised at how decent a combo it is. Have a high AC and stick close to your allies and any ranged enemies (well at least any archery-focused ones, don't remember if it applies to other ranged attacks) can be tanked with minimal investment.

Togo
2010-11-14, 11:21 AM
There's no much you can do to stop people teleporting past you, except not to get to far in front of those you protect.

Trip is an attack that makes someone prone, which doesn't stop them fighting, but may stop them following their target around.

Grapple is an attack that stops the target from attacking anyone else.

I would suggest it's less a change of build and more a change of tactics that's in order.

Otodetu
2010-11-14, 11:41 AM
Dnd is actually a rather realistic game, to draw aggro you must make the enemy want to target you (unless your dm play opponents like wow npc's) by being a real threat or by appearing to be a threat based on the intellect of the enemy.

It can also be done by placing you in a situation where the most logical thing would be to hit you, but if a smart enemy finds out you have high ac, and like fast healing, they will not bother taking you on first.


The shock trooper feat is great aggression control, it lets you strike so hard that the enemy is bound to notice, and leaves you vulnerable after the attack, leading to the enemy striking out at you.

Last Laugh
2010-11-14, 12:37 PM
I await the arrival of the all knowing person man and his thorough understanding of the knight class!

PairO'Dice Lost
2010-11-14, 01:03 PM
Well... it'd take 2 feats. I was going to say "yes" to items, but I don't think the maneuver-granting items include stances. Someone else may have to step in for those details.

Stances are maneuvers, they're simply learned with a separate progression on the class table, so the maneuver-granting items should let you pick up Iron Guard's Glare. If your DM doesn't agree, I would suggest an eternal wand of heroics so you can pick up Martial Stance and Martial Study, but that's a suboptimal solution given that it only covers one encounter each day.

To stop teleporting enemies, an item of anticipate teleportation (SpC) would work nicely--3rd level wizard spell, 24 hour duration, anyone trying to teleport into a 5ft/level radius of you or a touched creature is delayed for 1 round and you know where they'll appear. The greater version is a 6th level spell that delays them for 3 rounds, but you probably can't afford that yet.

Dr.Epic
2010-11-14, 01:35 PM
I think shifter barb that goes warshaper is a good meat shield: they become immune to stuns, crits, they get fast healing, and can acquire DR/silver easily.

Urpriest
2010-11-14, 01:48 PM
I think shifter barb that goes warshaper is a good meat shield: they become immune to stuns, crits, they get fast healing, and can acquire DR/silver easily.

No offense, but that fails to address the topic of the thread in at least two distinct ways.

Flickerdart
2010-11-14, 02:08 PM
Is benign transposition a spell that Archivists can learn? If you have a problem with enemies moving past you to get to the squishies, then suddenly replacing them with your armoured face can be rather effective. Bonus points if you disguise yourself as them, too (Hat of Disguise or something) before the swap.

Urpriest
2010-11-14, 02:27 PM
Is benign transposition a spell that Archivists can learn? If you have a problem with enemies moving past you to get to the squishies, then suddenly replacing them with your armoured face can be rather effective. Bonus points if you disguise yourself as them, too (Hat of Disguise or something) before the swap.

Artificer, not archivist...which makes this tactic more feasible actually. Get access to benign transposition and put yourself in the enemy's face.

Cowboy_ninja
2010-11-14, 02:31 PM
I am remembering a PrC that allowed you to jump infront of an attack and take the damage (or half of it) for your allie.

It may have been 3.0 though because I can't find it.

Just trying to think outside the box a bit, as it is really hard to control who an opponent attacks. The feat "goad" is the only thing that comes to mind.

Also having trouble with people getting passed you, could be fixed by a tripping/reach weapon, Combat Reflexes, and Impvd Trip.

Kyouhen
2010-11-14, 02:36 PM
Stances are maneuvers, they're simply learned with a separate progression on the class table, so the maneuver-granting items should let you pick up Iron Guard's Glare. If your DM doesn't agree, I would suggest an eternal wand of heroics so you can pick up Martial Stance and Martial Study, but that's a suboptimal solution given that it only covers one encounter each day.


Ok, making the maneuver item then. Then I just have to pick up a whip and stand around the squishies for a while. I don't need to be proficient with it, I just need to be able to threaten with it. :smalltongue:



To stop teleporting enemies, an item of anticipate teleportation (SpC) would work nicely--3rd level wizard spell, 24 hour duration, anyone trying to teleport into a 5ft/level radius of you or a touched creature is delayed for 1 round and you know where they'll appear. The greater version is a 6th level spell that delays them for 3 rounds, but you probably can't afford that yet.


Is benign transposition a spell that Archivists can learn? If you have a problem with enemies moving past you to get to the squishies, then suddenly replacing them with your armoured face can be rather effective. Bonus points if you disguise yourself as them, too (Hat of Disguise or something) before the swap.

...I could have so much fun using those two as a combo.

Urpriest
2010-11-14, 02:38 PM
Ok, making the maneuver item then. Then I just have to pick up a whip and stand around the squishies for a while. I don't need to be proficient with it, I just need to be able to threaten with it. :smalltongue:


Unfortunately, I'm fairly certain whips don't threaten. It's one of the balancing factors of their extreme reach and touch attacks.

Tael
2010-11-14, 03:05 PM
Wait, Whips do touch attacks? Since when?

Coidzor
2010-11-14, 03:07 PM
Wait, Whips do touch attacks? Since when?

Well, they're really only useful for tripping, so...

Flickerdart
2010-11-14, 03:13 PM
It's pretty easy to get ridiculous reach - Large size plus a reach weapon gets you 20 feet, and that's just the beginning.

Kyouhen
2010-11-14, 03:13 PM
Unfortunately, I'm fairly certain whips don't threaten. It's one of the balancing factors of their extreme reach and touch attacks.

*Checks again*
Dammit. :smallannoyed:

Oh well, I can still pick up any other reach weapon.

Urpriest
2010-11-14, 03:40 PM
Wait, Whips do touch attacks? Since when?

My mistake, they don't.

Coidzor
2010-11-14, 03:43 PM
Now, if you took a level in Pyro/Cryo/Sono/???? Kineticist, then you'd have a touch attack energy whip.

Pechvarry
2010-11-14, 03:46 PM
Still, considering whips are worthless for attacking, you end up making touch attacks with them to initiate trips.

But that's neither here nor there. So: load up on benign transposition. The biggest problem is that it'll cost your standard actions. Plan accordingly.

Flickerdart
2010-11-14, 04:15 PM
It's a 2nd level spell, IIRC, trivial enough to Quicken.

Kyouhen
2010-11-15, 12:21 AM
Well as an update I went with the maneouver item. It ended up accomplishing exactly what I wanted. The DM had stepped up the encounters to match our party's power a little better this time, and the gnome was getting surrounded by heavily armoured enemies he couldn't hit. I flanked them, and they decided they'd rather hit me instead. (The gnome's AC is high normally, with me glaring at the enemies it made it just about impossible to hit him)

Of course the problem is my character is now dead due to an unfortunate turn of events. :smallfrown:

Pechvarry
2010-11-15, 02:33 AM
Of course the problem is my character is now dead due to an unfortunate turn of events. :smallfrown:

o.o Sometimes, advice works too well.

Silva Stormrage
2010-11-15, 02:33 AM
This probably won't be much help sense your character died but here is a short story of a tank I once made that was really effective at getting things to attack him without using the Knight Class.
I got i enough flaws + charisma penalties from races and i think one template so that I had one charisma left leaving me with a -4 penatly. Then I would take the traits that reduce diplomacy by a certain amount, that gives a -4 to diplomacy then by using a full round action diplomacy check I have a -10 to diplomacy as well as the dm giving me a reverse circlet of persuasion (he didn't realize what I was doing with it) meaning I have a total of -20 to diplomacy meaning even if I rolled a 20 I still got a zero.
While there is no RAW for this my DM said that it would be similiar to insulting them so badly they would try to tear out my throat :). It was an intresting character except the Dm got fed up with me causing the all the monster to try and attack me when I had incredibly high ac and health while the other characters hammered away at the enemies. He sent a psion at me an the psion manifested Ego Whip :smalleek: I kinda forgot about that power... then he ran up to me next round coup de graced me and then teleported out.

Pechvarry
2010-11-15, 03:27 AM
I've always liked the idea of making an intimidate check to appear threatening, whether or not you are. Perceived threat => smart opponents want to take him out first.

Darastin
2010-11-15, 05:29 AM
There are two ways to "tank": Be the most attractive target (which unfortunately often includes: be a soft target) or be "sticky". The Stand Still feat from the XPH makes you very sticky; especially when combined with reach, Combat Reflexes, the Knight class and Thicket of Blades. In the best-case scenario, you out-reach your opponent so they can't even strike you in return.

While Stand Still does not deal damage like Improved Trip does, it is a lot more reliable against big and strong nasties.

Just my two -cents;
Darastin

Kyouhen
2010-11-15, 09:27 AM
o.o Sometimes, advice works too well.

Actually no, I was still largely indestructible. Up until the rogue decided to swallow a gem that was apparently a crystalized fireball. In a room that was magically charged. Yeah, very nearly a TPK there.

Flickerdart
2010-11-15, 11:47 AM
This probably won't be much help sense your character died but here is a short story of a tank I once made that was really effective at getting things to attack him without using the Knight Class.
I got i enough flaws + charisma penalties from races and i think one template so that I had one charisma left leaving me with a -4 penatly. Then I would take the traits that reduce diplomacy by a certain amount, that gives a -4 to diplomacy then by using a full round action diplomacy check I have a -10 to diplomacy as well as the dm giving me a reverse circlet of persuasion (he didn't realize what I was doing with it) meaning I have a total of -20 to diplomacy meaning even if I rolled a 20 I still got a zero.
While there is no RAW for this my DM said that it would be similiar to insulting them so badly they would try to tear out my throat :). It was an intresting character except the Dm got fed up with me causing the all the monster to try and attack me when I had incredibly high ac and health while the other characters hammered away at the enemies. He sent a psion at me an the psion manifested Ego Whip :smalleek: I kinda forgot about that power... then he ran up to me next round coup de graced me and then teleported out.
Actually, that's sort-of RAW, since a botched Diplomacy means that the attitude of an opponent shifts a step down. So you could provoke Unfriendly people into attacking you. It doesn't go lower than Hostile though, but if combat hasn't actually started it could easily be argued that they were Unfriendly and became Hostile only when you called their mother a dog in an attempt to win their trust.

Endarire
2010-11-15, 08:54 PM
In 3.5, you can only 'hold aggro' if you're the biggest threat.

Start being it.

How?

Scrolls. You can craft scrolls of level 3 spells, higher if you go to odd classes like Beholder Mage or Ur-Priest.

Start using scorching ray or Kelgore's grave mist (Player's Handbook II 116), preferably attached with Fell Drain (Libris Mortis 27). Go ahead and take the spotlight. Your DM's intelligent foes seem to demand this.

And if you seem to be totally rocking the socks off your party members, buff 'em or tell 'em how the tier system works. Preferably both.

Peace.