View Full Version : Help making mostly-core melee interesting?

2013-11-24, 04:26 PM
Hello! Y'all are some clever people here, and I hope you can help me out with a character.

I've been invited to a one-shot game, and asked to make a tank-ish or "heavy" character. Our party will be level six. The system is D&D 3.5. The books available are PHB, PHBII, and any of the Complete books. (I know, the first question is to ask if the DM will allow ToB and make a warblade, but he's been pretty specific about those being the only books for this game.) I really lucked out with rolling stats, so I'm working with the unlikely array of: 16, 16, 16, 15, 14, 14.

I'm not sure how to make an interesting front-line fighter character. I hear that tripping with chain and guisarme builds can be effective, and it's going to be a one-shot so I don't think I have to worry about the tripping schtick getting repetitive. Most of the builds for it involve books outside while I'm allowed to use, though. Some of the tactical feats in Complete Warrior look like they might be worth trying.

Druid or cleric melee builds would also be fine with me, but I don't know how well they will work with only the level and books I have access to. I am also really tickled at the idea of having a spellcasting cohort as my sidekick, keeping me healed and buffed. If I go druid and spend most of the adventure in wildshape, he could ride on my back and provide me an opportunity to still participate in social situations.

Basically, I have a few ideas, and I'm open to more. Thoughts, opinions, suggestions? Thanks in advance!

- Parsimony

2013-11-25, 02:26 PM
It sounds like you wanted the D&D3e subforum for this question.

As far as options, one that comes to mind is the Horizon Tripper (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80415) build. This puts you at Barbarian 1/Fighter 1/Ranger 3/Horizon Walker 1. You'll have a 40' movement speed, tripping, both reach and close melee combat, tumble for AoO-free movement, several AoOs yourself with reach and your choice of Ranger combat style.

Another that comes to mind is simply Druid 6. Pick up Natural Spell, and you can use your Wildshape ability to turn into a bird and perch on in a tree and cast spells. You can cast spells like Entangle to pin opponents down, go into combat with some decent equipment, and bring along an animal companion along with as many Summon Nature's Ally choices you'd want.

Cleric 6 is a lot of fun, especially if you start looking into the possibilities with domains. Even by itself, you can build a Cleric to have similar stats as a Fighter, cast Bull Strength or Bless (or many others), and run around swinging a two-handed weapon with as much efficiency. As for domains, Travel is a nice one for avoiding magic like Entangle or Web. Magic is a good domain if you want to use Wizard magic items, especially their nice selection of wands. If you run into the appropriate elementals, then the four elemental domains with their rebuking ability can be a lot of enjoyment.

2013-11-25, 03:16 PM
For a tanky character, with stats like those, I'd give Knight a try. The level is low enough that you shouldn't have to worry about fliers. Throw a reach weapon + Improved Trip on there and go to town. (Feel free to drop a level or two for Fighter if you need bonus feats, but Test of Mettle lets tanking actually work at low levels).