View Full Version : Warshaper Build

2010-12-28, 05:19 PM
Hey all, this is my first post on the Giant in the Playground Forums. I've spent a long time reading the posts on these forums, and I finally decided to make any account to become a member of this great community.

A friend of mine is starting a 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons campaign, and I have an idea for a character, but I'm not entirely sure how I would like to go about it. The concept for the character is a melee fighter that has augmented his changeling shifting abilities to grow natural weapons, as per the warshaper prestige class. I would also like to take three levels in swashbuckler for the intelligence to damage bonus. So here is the build that I have roughly in mind:

Swashbuckler 1 Improved Natural Attack (Weapon Finesse)
Swashbuckler 2
Swashbuckler 3 Two Weapon Fighting
Fighter 1 (To Be Decided)
Fighter 2 (To Be Decided)
Warshaper 1 (Multiattack)
Warshaper 2
Warshaper 3
Warshaper 4 (Improved Two Weapon Fighting)
Warshaper 5

I'll probably end up fighting with a rapier and a shortsword for weapon finesse and insightful strike (IIRC, these bonuses apply to natural weapons as well). I don't know if the two levels in fighter are exactly what I want, for now they're just fillers, and I have no idea what I want to do after my fifth level of warshaper. Any ideas or comments would be greatly appreciated, thank you ahead of time.

2010-12-28, 06:18 PM
It depends on several factors. (Read the posting guidelines for build advice)

What books are available to you? How long do you expect the campaign to run/what level do you think you'll reach with the character? How combat-focused is the campaign? What is the current optimization level your group/DM is comfortable with (what many of us consider normal might be considered cheesy buy more insular play groups, you know?)

My impressions at first glance: Fun, defensive dual-wield-y build that doesn't do any damage at level 10. My first thought, though I loathe to offer it sup since it's so prevalent, is that Shock Trooper and pounce might be a remedy, but you can't even power attack with a short sword so that's gonna be gimped. You can, however, with natural weapons. Then I thought Tome of Battle. If all you did was finish off the last 10 levels with Warblade you'd have a very playable character. Int synergy, Tiger Claw, maybe even Bloodclaw Master... seemed like a perfect fit.

In D&D the way to make dual-wielding good is to get as many damage bonuses-per-attack as you can. Sneak Attack, Favored Enemy, ridiculous strength, elemental enhancements and the Collision enhancement, Shadow Blade feat, Wounding weapons :smallamused:, Arcane Strike (maybe?) and Skirmish are all examples. Some Tiger Claw maneuvers are specifically for dual-wielding and are quite useful. Your current build lacks these things, and the later the game plays the more you'll feel the sting. I'm sure your build is playable up to level 10 in most games, but if you play with a bunch of veterans you ain't gonnna hang, dig?

2010-12-28, 06:28 PM
How are you qualifying for Improved Natural Attack at first level since it requires BAB +4?

My suggestion for a build: Swashbuckler 3/ Warblade 2/ Warshaper 5/ Bloodclaw Master 5/ Warblade 5

Optimator does make some really good points. Some form of addition precision damage (skirmish, sneak attack, etc.) may be in order, however like he said maneuvers from ToB might just work out nicely. Also take a look at the bottom of page 97 in the ToB for the very interesting interaction between Bloodclaw Master and Shifters if you want to try something other than Changeling.

2010-12-28, 06:56 PM
We're probably going to need specifics w/r/t the rules your group's going to use for the extra natural weapons Warshaper generates. Are you going to be able to sprout a couple dozen new stabby appendages or a single extra bite attack?

Are you going to have something like a Bard in the group to generate bonus damage for you, or are you going to be on your own for that?

Also, Tiger Claw maneuvers are almost definitely your friend. Both Swordsage and Warblade would do you very well, no matter what your goals are.

Keld Denar
2010-12-28, 07:20 PM
Warshaper 5 is kinda a dumb level for your build. If you look at what it gives, you'll see that its geared more for someone accessing warshaper via polymorph or similar limited use ability. Since there is no limit to how a changeling can change, that ability is wasted. 5th level doesn't advance any saves either, so you are just getting BAB and HP, which any other martial class would give you.

2010-12-29, 12:42 AM
As far as I know, all books are allowed with DM approval. I know that this isn't going to be the most optimized build, but I really like the idea of a changeling that uses his natural shapeshifting ability to aid himself in combat.

I have no idea how far the campaign will go, but we're starting at level one. Perhaps Warblade 5/Warshaper 4/Bloodclaw Master 5 for the first 14 levels. However, I wanted to know if there was anyway to make the build slightly viable without ToB, which, while useful, is a little bit complicated.

I wasn't thinking about the +4 BAB requirement for Improved Natural Attack, I just wasn't thinking.

Regardless, thanks for all of the responses, you guys have helped a lot.

2010-12-29, 01:29 AM
take a look at the warshaper build in my signature. it should help, even if you're not going to break the game