View Full Version : Dread Commando

2008-01-13, 09:00 PM
I recently became interested in the prestige class dread commando from Heroes of Battle and I am considering using with a gnome rouge in a current campaign.

Before I take the plunge however I wanted to see if any out there has any feeling on it or has play tested it before.

Here is a Link (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20050407b&page=6)

I'm also considering the adaptation not include in the link but appears in Heroes of Battle which replaces Armored ease class feature with a cumulative 5% miss chance per level while in natural terrain, which favors rogues.

2008-01-13, 09:08 PM
It's got some nice features, but I would rather continue the rogue progression for the sneak attack, which is slightly more useful.

2008-01-13, 09:10 PM
A buddy of mine has an half-orc Barbarian/scout/dread Commando. The turn for "Nugh" is "sick". I've seen him sprint across a full battle mat and one shot BBEG's. He was trying to decide if he wanted to go into mage slayer, at least until we found out LG was being can canceled.

I'm not sure exactly how much of his awesome was contained in the dread commando portion of the equation, however, given that we're a group that can make a rage mage something scary.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-13, 09:13 PM
I'm taking a halfling rogue into it in a campaign starting in the Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde published adventure; it's going to run into the Red Hand of Doom when we're done. You'll need some fighter levels to take best advantage of it's features, unless you can talk your DM into letting you use the concealment instead of armored ease variant they talk about later in the class description. (I did.) Sudden Strike is less versatile than Sneak Attack, but the increased durability and the ability to remain mobile while hiding (not to mention the bonus to your party's Initiative checks which, by the way, stack with that given by a marshal because it's competence instead of morale) make it worth the trade-off for a rogue that's going to spend a lot of time on the battlefield in my opinion.

2008-01-13, 09:16 PM
It's got nice flavor and some cool abilities. I was considering doing it for my Ftr4/Rog1 but decided it wasn't woth sacrificing two feats. If you're into spring attack though there's no reason not to.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-13, 09:24 PM
Spring Attack? What in there says Spring Attack to you? Sure, it requires Dodge and Mobility, but that doesn't mean you have to take it to Spring Attack.

Anyway, do you have access to the book, or are you basing it off of the article on Wizards' website? The variant I referred to above is in the Adaptation section of the class description, which isn't in the article.

2008-01-13, 09:27 PM
Maybe he was thinking of Shot on the Run. Being able to come out of full cover, take a shot, and then return to full cover a little ways away can be very powerful.

2008-01-13, 09:28 PM
Yes I do have Heroes of Battle. I did and yes I am considering the adapation, because the armor ease -4 only benifits those that can wear mediam armor.

2008-01-13, 09:31 PM
Spring Attack? What in there says Spring Attack to you? Sure, it requires Dodge and Mobility, but that doesn't mean you have to take it to Spring Attack.

You may not agree with me but unless you are giong for spring attack I consider dodge and mobility less then optimal choices.

2008-01-13, 09:40 PM
While dodge is can get rather messy, I find that mobility can be useful when moving in the battle field to engage in flanks and the like. or say when You want to switch place with the party's fighter to avoid getting ganked by an orc barbarian.

Shot on the run would be a good choice, for the style of character I am using thanks for the suggestion.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-13, 09:48 PM
You may not agree with me but unless you are giong for spring attack I consider dodge and mobility less then optimal choices.
When you're qualifying for a prestige class, those are the breaks. Sinking another feat to become entirely suboptimal is just dumb after you're already in, unless you plan to go into Bounding Assault and Rapid Blitz from there, and a rogue build won't have the BAB for that anytime soon, even with the Dread Commando's boost. As for Mobility, it can be handy when moving around, especially given that going into Dread Commando kills your Tumble skill progression.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-01-13, 10:12 PM
Hmm...did the sneak attack fighter variant change your skill list? If so, you could single class Ftr for Dread commando.

2008-01-14, 12:54 AM
Okay, I will just put it this way.

If played correctly, fighter/rogue/dread commando is the best non-caster combo in the whole game. Yes it is better than whatever else you just thought of to counter it. It is, indeed, all that and the proverbial bag of f***in' chips.

Excellent AC while still stealthing thanks to Armored Ease (such as that afforded by, say, mithril full-plate with no ACP), excellent BAB thanks to two full progression classes, can run while stealthing, has excellent damage thanks to Sneak Attack and Sudden Strike (if you've got another warrior type, flank with this sucker and a greatsword and you'll take practically anything down in one full-attack), has an insane range of class skills and a completely respectable number of points to spend on them, upper-middle range HP, good proficiencies, etc. If properly outfitted, it can take a straight-up combat class in a one-on-one fight pretty easy, and still be able to sneak around, disarm traps, bluff, use magic devices, etc. Running up to an enemy undetected, and then stabbing him with your greatsword for upwards of 50 damage on a single strike never gets old.

I once designed a guy like this who had a ring of featherfall, and he was designed to essentially be a D&D paratrooper. Wearing full-plate. With stealth-capabilities. And enough extra skill points left over and little enough ACP that I could make him a parkour expert. While wearing full-plate.

T'was awesome.:smallbiggrin: :smallbiggrin: :smallbiggrin: :smallbiggrin: [/rantoflove]

2008-01-14, 05:55 AM
You may not agree with me but unless you are giong for spring attack I consider dodge and mobility less then optimal choices.

They also lead to Elusive Target (CompW), which has lots of nice features.


2008-01-14, 06:04 AM
You may not agree with me but unless you are giong for spring attack I consider dodge and mobility less then optimal choices.

No. You pick up Elusive Target, Combat Focus and Combat Defense. That is, if you play a Fighter and have the Feats. But with this combination, you can negate Power attack damage from a charging Barbarian/giant as an immediate Action, which is 1337. Hou Yeah baby!!!!!

Keld Denar
2008-01-14, 07:34 AM
I have a buddy with a gnome barb13/DC2 with a heavy flail. He loves it. The idea of being a gnome ninja runnin around in the bush and then popping out to DECIMATE someone just thrills him to no end. The rest of the party loves the init bonus, a powerful and unique class features. Between that, the marshalls motivate dex aura, and the chained nerveskitter, our side goes first. Period.

2008-01-14, 10:52 AM
I own Heroes of Battle, and have seen a Dread Commando played as a PC in a game I DM'd. I'm not a fan of this PrC.

Dodge and Mobility are a huge waste of feats.
Sudden Strike is less versatile then Sneak Attack.
Stealthy Movement is pretty useless unless you also have Hide in Plain Site.
Armored Ease is almost entirely useless unless you want to use heavy armor, which restricts your movement speed.

The Skills are solid, it has full BAB, and the Team Initiative Bonus is basically just a free bonus feat (Improved Initiative) for everyone in your group. Nice, but not particularly huge. For a similar but better PrC, I prefer Peerless Archer (Silver Marcher).

If you do go with Dread Commando, I suggest Rogue 1/Fighter Variants 5/Shadow Dancer 2/Dread Commando 5/Something X

This gives you 4d6 Sneak Attack, 3d6 Sudden Strike, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, respectable Skills, and Hide in Plain Site (which you can do as part of any Move Action, as long as you are within 10 feet of a shadow).

Take Darkstalker (Lords of Madness) so that you can Hide under any circumstances, even when your enemy has Scent, Tremorsense, etc. Take Dragonfire Strike (Dragon Magic) to add +1d6 to your Sneak Attack/Sudden Strike damage, and convert it into energy damage, which will get you around the common Undead/Construct Precision Damage immunity thing. Then follow the archery tree up to Greater Manyshot, to maximize your damage output.

2008-01-14, 12:34 PM
I have a Tiefling Rogue 4/Fighter 2/Dread Commando 3, and yes, he's an excellent character. Versatile, good hp, decent damage if properly set up (though sudden strike is viable only once per encounter). Also my character has Outsider Wings (and Fiendish Bloodline), so, above all, he can do anything. And he wields a greatsword, and I don't actually need Hide in Plain Sight (and my group tends to avoid cheesy combinations by taking full levels in every prestige class we take), since as a tiefling I can cast darkness and have the feat from DotU which allows me to see through the darkness spell (At home in the deep), so I can hide in it, sneak attack people with it, and in turn can't get sneak attacked myself.

He's fun to play, fun to RP, but nothing overpoweringly good. I love this character because of his flavor (he resembles more a half-fiend than a tiefling, has some bad habits (like going berserk (whenever he gets hit I roll a D100, on 90-100 he goes berserk and disregards sneaky tactics and just blindly charges, using maxed out power attack) every once in a while), and the fact that with each passing level he's looking more like a devil (his horns grew bigger when I took fiendish bloodline feat, a tail when I got the wings, etc. And no, he doesn't despise his heritage, he relishes in it.)
I still prefer rogues, though.