View Full Version : Help: Crusader and Paladin Builds

2007-02-24, 11:54 PM
I'll start a campaign with some friends, and I want to use the ToB.
My first choice is to go with a crusader. My second choice would be a core paladin, using feats from Complete Adventurer and Complete Warrior.

Is there any good builds for crusader? Something that doesn't need much level dipping. Or paladin. I'm guessing a paladin/crusader could be done, but I'm not sure how effective it would be.

I'm thinking about going as a tank and/or meatshield. One of my friends will go as a wizard, and I want something that can help in a group at higher levels. The guy that will DM it said he want to take us to epic level sometime.

My stats are 17, 16, 14, 14, 14, 9

2007-02-25, 12:24 AM
Plain Crusader is good

Cleric 1/Crusader X/RKV is also good.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-25, 01:14 AM
Straight-up crusader is probably the best tank in the game, barring Druids being cheesy.

Did you want a build? I suggest a battlefield control focus. Did you have anything specific in mind?

2007-02-25, 01:18 AM
Nothing yet. I'm thinking either finding a way to disable single enemies quickly, or try battlefield control for larger groups. Maybe more a meatshield really.
The group I'm in usually don't think much in team work terms. As long they don't hit each other, they don't pay attention to what each other is doing, so I want something that can be useful in a group.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-25, 01:23 AM
Try this. Use a guisarme.

1: Combat Reflexes, Power Attack
3: Stand Still
6: Dodge
9: Karmic Strike
12: Imp. Bullrush
15: Pushback (MiniHB) or Deft Opportunist
18: Shock Trooper

You could fit in Improved Trip at the cost of two feats. You use the 3rd-level Devoted Spirit stance Thicket of Blades combined with Stand Still to keep anyone from closing with you, though; combine this way increases of your reach, like Enlarge Person potions/spells. Karmic Strike means that even if they get to attack you, you get to attack them back when they hit you, at full AB (+4 via Deft Opportunist). If you took Pushback instead, you get to bullrush them with each hit, moving them 5' if you succeed; when they move, they'll provoke an AoO.

Combine this with various Devoted Spirit and White Raven strikes, and you're set.

2007-02-25, 01:44 AM
Thank you :D I'll try that. The DM will go nuts. He's the typical "stand still, and rolls d20 and d12 till the enemy drops".

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-25, 02:18 AM
Just a note--you could do battlefield control more effectively as a fighter, psychic warrior, or fighter/psychic warrior. You'd be much less effective overall, however, so I don't recommend that. ;)
Incidentally, I forgot to work Extra Granted Maneuver into the build. It's a really good feat for crusaders. Take it instead of Dodge, then push Dodge and Karmic Strike back three levels, give up Imp. Bullrush, and get Deft Opportunist at 15, then Martial Stance (Immortal Fortitude) as your level 18 feat, I guess. Or Imp. Bullrush/Shock Trooper as level 15/18.

On maneuver selection, here's what I'd do:
Level 1: Leading the Attack (WR), Charging Minotaur (SD), Crusader's Strike (DS), Vanguard Strike (DS), Stone Bones (SD), Martial Spirit stance (DS)
Level 2: Iron Guard's Glare stance (DS)
Level 3: Battle Leader's Charge (WR)
Level 4: swap Stone Bones out for Stone Vise (SD)
Level 5: White Raven Tactics (WR), perhaps the best maneuver in the book
Level 7: Revitalizing Strike (DS 3)
Level 8: swap Battle Leader's Charge out for Divine Surge; Thicket of Blades (DS 3) stance
Level 9: Elder Mountain Hammer (SD), or Flanking Maneuver (WR) if your flankin' buddy does a lot of damage
Level 11: Rallying Strike (DS)
Level 12: swap Charging Minotaur out for Irresistible Mountain Strike (SD)
Level 13: Swarming Assault (WR) if a lot of your allies melee one creature at the same time as you, Colossus Strike (SD) otherwise
Level 14: Aura of Perfect Order stance (DS)
Level 15: White Raven Hammer (WR) - no-save stun FTW.
Level 16: swap something out for Greater Divine Surge (DS)
Level 17: Strike of Righteous Vitality (DS)! Heal yourself. You can combine this with Greater Divine Surge by burning 17 CON with GDS for a crapton of damage, using White Raven Tactics on yourself, then using Strike of Righteous Vitality to Heal yourself, removing the CON damage, right away... as long as you had all three of'em granted.
Level 19: War Master's Charge (WR)
Level 20: swap an old Stone Dragon maneuver out for Mountain Tombstone Strike.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-25, 02:23 AM
Crusader is basically the ToB paladin. It more or less replaces the old core holy knight, just as swordsage replaces ranger/monk and warblade replaces fighter. Like everything about the Nine Swords, you'll be awesome just for using it.

You might even be able to stand toe-to-toe with casters.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-25, 02:23 AM
You might even be able to stand toe-to-toe with casters.

Nah. You don't have the mobility to get there. ;)

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-25, 02:25 AM
Sadly. He'd still need to catch the caster unprepared and hopefully missing a few of his favorite spells. And even then he needs quite a bit of luck.

But he's got a way better shot at it then, say, a fighter, a barbarian, and a monk combined.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-25, 02:27 AM
Not really... he's still easy to disable in the ways tanks are usually easy to disable, and he still can't actually catch the caster. He does have a better shot than any core tank, though.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-25, 02:31 AM
Actually, a team of crusaders and warblades could do some incredible damage to an unaware caster in just the surprise round via White Raven Tactics. My PC's, half of whom use ToB classes and have lots of ranks in move silently, have dubbed it the "Julius Caesar Party".

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-25, 02:33 AM
WRT is pretty damn awesome, yeah, but it doesn't beat immediate-action spells or Contingency.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-25, 02:41 AM
There really isn't any way around that outside of a ton of forethought, information on the mage in question, and the Leadership feat to trip his emergency spells "accidentally" earlier in the day. It's the only trick there really is to fighting a caster- make him use up all his good spells before you fight him somehow, and pray he doesn't feel like stopping in a magic mansion with a ring of sustenance afterwards because he's on to your little game via divination.

The paranoia's got to get to you eventually, being a caster and being continuously afraid of running out of spells so that the one guy who rolled real well against your divinations can finally gut you. I think I understand Halaster a little better now.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-25, 02:45 AM
Crusaders do get Diplomacy as a class skill. Just talk him into being your friend, I guess. ;)

2007-02-25, 02:50 AM
That's kind of the problem with caster enemies, their weakness is primarly their lack of long term endurance, but since the assumption is that you generally won't ever engage the same enemie in multiple distinct battles it is pretty much a non-issue.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-25, 02:54 AM
Hmm. Actually, "enemy spellcaster who's used up all/most of his higher level/good spells" would make a pretty nice enemy. Survivable without the devastating offensive punch casters normally have.

2007-02-25, 03:16 AM
But what would he have used his spells on?

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-25, 03:19 AM
Balors. Tasty balors.

2007-02-25, 03:20 AM
I should get the psyonics handbook first. We never used anything like that before.
Yes, I know that the crusader is like the paladin, but there are some things the paladin have the the crusader doesn't. I know of ways to get a paladin to beat a wizard, using at least the Defenders of Faith divine feats. Without these, it's a bit harder. The only real trick is to avoid the Save-or-Suck spells, then stay out of his line of vision till he run out of defensive spells. Doesn't work on completely open spaces, of course.
But I'll try the Crusader build for now. I just started reading White Raven. Damn, there's some sweet stuff here.

The Dirge
2007-02-25, 03:24 AM
I've never used psionics. Heard they are pretty cool though.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-25, 03:24 AM
The SRD has a psionics section that has the rules.

2007-02-25, 10:55 AM
But what would he have used his spells on?

Maybe he's like Jon Irenicus, just casts Death Spell (2nd ed 7th level multiple target save or die) and Flesh to Stone on everyone even if they're level 1 city guards.

2007-02-25, 12:54 PM
I am liking this Crusader? What is that book ToB? (sry if it is a silly question)

2007-02-25, 01:03 PM
I am liking this Crusader? What is that book ToB? (sry if it is a silly question)
Yes one of the three new base classes

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-25, 01:39 PM
If you like paladins but wish they could perform Japanese RPG-style "super moves", for lack of a better term, then yes, you'll love the Crusader. If you like paladins but wish they weren't restricted to an honor code or a particular alignment, then yes, you'll love the Crusader. If the term "sword magic" sounds completely awesome to you, then yes, you'll love the Crusader.

It's very hard not to love all three martial adept classes. Crusader happens to have the best flavor of the three, and can play a defensive fight better then practically anyone else in the game (excluding, perhaps, druids and clerics that are set up for melee cheese).

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-25, 01:41 PM
Actually, Crusaders have barely any flashy, "special-move" style maneuvers.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-25, 01:46 PM
But they're far more spectacular then "Okay, I use power attack and hit the guy with my greatsword" or "I hug him tenderly and begin a passionate grapple".

Crusaders do get the least flashy attacks of the martial adepts, though. What they lose in flashy they make up for in the utility of what they can do.

2007-02-25, 07:35 PM
True. I was reading their abilities carefully, and they have this random activating thing with his maneuvers, but they refresh automatically all the time, while Swordsages and Warblades need some special actions to refresh theirs.

2007-02-25, 09:05 PM
No random activating, random knowledge.

It is similar to have a sorcerer who has a "chaotic mind" one round he has knowledge of the spell (and thus can cast it) while the next round he can't. It is like a big game of roulete.

2007-02-25, 09:30 PM
But what is the name for this ToB book?! It is the Tome of Battle? I never had access to this book, so I don't know what ToB stands for...

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-25, 09:30 PM
"Tome of Battle: the Book of Nine Swords", yes.