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View Full Version : Challenge: The most powerful D&D 3.5 character with core + any one book?



storyteller
2008-04-06, 01:21 PM
Min-maxers across the boards (here at GitP, the WotC's message board, and other forums) usually utilize many books to build their characters, and for many gamers it seems to be a norm that you're allowed to use any feat, prestige class or class variant that you can find, and some people even seem to consider variant rules such as flaws from UA to be standard in all games.

Also, some of these characters are optimized for level 20 which at least for me is highly theoretical because only one campaign I've played in went all the way from level 1 to level 20.

Therefore, I present you a slightly different optimization challenge. Or actually two of them.

If you are allowed to use only D&D 3.5 core books + any one D&D 3.5 book (such as Complete Champion or Tome of Battle)

a) What's the most powerful character build and
b) What's the most powerful melee combatant build? (edit: a martially focused character such a frenzied berserker or warblade)

A few notes:

I think it's a general assumption that spellcasters possess greater combat prowess than non-spellcasters. If you disagree, you may post just one build - the most powerful melee combatant build.
For purposes of this challenge, I define powerful as "capable of dealing with tough combat challenges, be it either another character of same or higher level, a monster of appropriate CR or higher, or a large number of weaker opponents."
A character build that works only if you interpret some vaguely worded rules in certain ways is not powerful, just problematic.
Some people confuse core for SRD which are not the same thing. Core means PHB + DMG + MM. You may choose a monster race from MM, but if it's something so wonky that most DMs would refuse to let you play that race, consider picking something less weird. If the race has LA and racial HD, include them in your figures.
Preferrably use only books published by WotC.
The character should be as optimized as possible on all levels 1-20, not just 20.
You may not use flaws or create a gestalt character, or use any other variant rule that significantly changes the way characters are created. Skill tricks are ok.


Post your character build(s) in this thread or post a link. Use any format you like. Criticize and discuss the builds. :smallsmile:

Dode
2008-04-06, 01:23 PM
1) Wizard w/ Candle of Invocation & Gate
2) Druid w/ anything

Most of the broken stuff is in the core 3 books (except for Pun Pun), so this isn't really a big stipulation you're putting on us.

Solo
2008-04-06, 01:24 PM
I'm going to be lazy and say Wizard with the appropriate spells and feats as outlined in TLN's Guide and a Cleric with whatever domain gives Shapechange/PaO.

Arbitrarity
2008-04-06, 01:25 PM
I'm gonna say serpent kingdoms. Wizard 17. Get shapechange.

Before that, do what wizards do best.

bugsysservant
2008-04-06, 01:27 PM
Hmm, also lazy and going to toss out wizard/incantrix and druid/planar shepherd. The former gets all of the goodness of the classic uber-wizard builds with a slightly reduced list of feats and spells. The latter doesn't need anything to be good as long as it picks a good plane (and even if it doesn't it will still be broken, just not that broken.)

Behold_the_Void
2008-04-06, 01:35 PM
Wizard/Loremaster/Archmage with Spell Compendium, probably.

storyteller
2008-04-06, 02:44 PM
Looks like wizard is the winner :smallsmile: no big surprise I guess. Which arcane prestige class would then be the most ridiculously broken / powerful? Also, what kind of wizard build would be the fastest way to 'victory' (using core + one other book)? As far as I can see, melee types are initially more powerful and wizards tend to be fragile even if their spells are capable of dealing loads of damage a few times per day.

Shapechange is a powerful spell but you have to be at least on level 17 to cast it... candles of invocation are quite expensive for low and mid level characters, it's not like you can afford them in the long run.

The challenge b) was poorly worded, sorry about that. With melee combatant I meant martially focused characters with little or no spellcasting ability. The kind of characters that can slaughter a legion even in an antimagic field. :smallamused:

And even if druids and clerics are allowed for challenge b), I think you could easily build a character with no spellcasting ability that could easily outclass most clerics and druids in melee on, say, level 10 even if the cleric or druid has all buffs up. Who would be the most powerful melee combatant on level 5? Level 10? Level 15?

tarbrush
2008-04-06, 04:09 PM
Aah c'mon, a properly cheestastic planar shepherd could wipe the floor with a SC wizard. Even though you miss out on the the MM2/3 goodness.

Remember the woard can't get celerity without giving up the rest of SC, and candles of invocation and other itemcheese cancel eash other out.

Reinboom
2008-04-06, 04:24 PM
Aah c'mon, a properly cheestastic planar shepherd could wipe the floor with a SC wizard. Even though you miss out on the the MM2/3 goodness.

Remember the woard can't get celerity without giving up the rest of SC, and candles of invocation and other itemcheese cancel eash other out.

SC = Spell Compendium? I prefer the 'SpC' shortening, personally.

Aside, Core + Serpent Kingdoms wizard -is- superior (as has been mentioned), even to the Planar Shepherd.
Y'know, pun-pun loop.

--
For Arcane Prestige Class brokeness...
Incantatrix with high pumped spellcraft would probably be the best bet.

tarbrush
2008-04-06, 05:24 PM
You can't do Pun Pun with only core and Savage species though can you? Most of the incarnations need Divine minion (a faerun book) or psionics or some other non core stuff.

I could be wrong of course, he's changed a few times :)

EDIT: Blech. I mean serpent kingdoms. And if divine minion is in serpent kingdom, whoever wrote it deserves to be shot.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-04-06, 05:29 PM
With just Core+Serpent Kingdoms, you can't be Pun-Pun until level 17, when you pick up Shapechange. Then you just Shapechange into a Sarrukh like normal.

Kurald Galain
2008-04-06, 06:40 PM
If Pun-Pun isn't feasible, doesn't the Omniscificer still work with Core + whatever book the Artificer is in?

UglyPanda
2008-04-06, 06:55 PM
The Omniscificer requires the infinite pain loop, which requires four non-core books. Planar Shepherd's powers are based off of whichever planes he is allowed to choose, and the plane descriptions are in another book, which means it uses two non-core books. I can't think of any non-obvious answers.

[email protected] Opps, I meant Eberron planes. I'm not sure if there are any planes with flowing time or solars in the DMG.

Reinboom
2008-04-06, 06:58 PM
The Omniscificer requires the infinite pain loop, which requires four non-core books. Planar Shepherd's powers are based off of whichever planes he is allowed to choose, and the plane descriptions are in another book, which means it uses two non-core books. I can't think of any non-obvious answers.

Basic Plane Descriptions are actually in the DMG.

@^
None core, however, there is the Fire Plane still (Efreets, Infinite Wishing).

HOWEVER, without including The Eberron Campaign Setting (required for Greensinger Initiate Feat), you can only take the Nightbringer's Initiate that is also in Faiths, which is specifically labeled 'as DM's option'.

EvilElitest
2008-04-06, 07:07 PM
I wanted to say pun pun, damn ninjas
from
EE

Eldariel
2008-04-06, 07:10 PM
With just Core+Serpent Kingdoms, you can't be Pun-Pun until level 17, when you pick up Shapechange. Then you just Shapechange into a Sarrukh like normal.

You can afford a scroll of Shapechange far earlier (it's only 3825, so you can afford it on level 5). Also, Candle of Invocation, which gets any loop going, is only 8400, which you can afford by level 8. So you can 'win' D&D on level 5 with a Wizard or a Cleric with appropriate domains with Core+Serpent Kingdoms.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-04-06, 11:33 PM
You can afford a scroll of Shapechange far earlier (it's only 3825, so you can afford it on level 5). Also, Candle of Invocation, which gets any loop going, is only 8400, which you can afford by level 8. So you can 'win' D&D on level 5 with a Wizard or a Cleric with appropriate domains with Core+Serpent Kingdoms.Has to be a Wizard. You need the familiar, remember?

Squash Monster
2008-04-07, 12:25 AM
Caster
Core + PHII Wizard with Abrupt Jaunt and Celerity and whatnot.

Melee
Core + ToB Crusader with Improved Trip and Thicket of Blades.

Shenanigans
Core + Faiths of Eberron Druid / Planar Shepherd into positive energy plane.


If you raised it to +2 books I could have a field day with this. It's pretty hard to do it with just one extra though. +2 book suggestions, for reference...

Caster
Core + MMIII + Serpent Kingdoms Druid with Fleshraker and Venomfire

Melee
Core + PHII + XPH Fighter with Stand Still and Overwhelming Assault

Shenanigans
Core + PHII + ToB Ruby Knight Vindicator with lots of Extra Turning, a few ranks in Use Magic Device, and an infinite-use staff of Celerity.

ladditude
2008-04-07, 12:52 AM
My entry for melee: Cleric with Libris Mortis for Nightsticks.

I believe DMM is Core, otherwise I'm wrong...

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-04-07, 01:02 AM
Melee: Core Druid with the MiC
Spellcasting: SpC Wizard. (I usually prefer the Sorcerer, as it is easier to play, but the various ways of increasing your spell list would block the SpC)
Shenanigans: Pun-Pun.

bugsysservant
2008-04-07, 01:37 AM
My entry for melee: Cleric with Libris Mortis for Nightsticks.

I believe DMM is Core, otherwise I'm wrong...

Nope, Complete Divine, I believe.

Grynning
2008-04-07, 03:35 AM
DMM cheese requires 3 books to be truly monstrous, C. Divine (DMM), C. Arcane (Persistent Spell), and Libris Mortis (Nightsticks).
Cleric plus Complete Divine can still be stupid powerful though - if you go into both Contemplative and one of the other PrC's from that book that grants bonus domains you can end up with 5 domains.
Overall though, Spell Compendium is best for any caster (remember it has pretty much all of the domains in the back for clerics), and ToB is probably best for any melee (as much as I hate to admit it, many people have heard my opinions on that $^%*/@ book).

Edit: I also have to submit a Diplomancer build as one of the most powerful combo's, also using Complete Divine. IIRC, the only non-core thing you really need is the Fast-talk class feature from the Evangelist.

Edit again: Complete Warrior is probably a close 2nd to ToB for melee, since it has the Frenzied Berserker and the Shock Trooper and Combat Brute feats. Even without Complete Champion for the Barbarian pounce, this can still dish out a lot of damage.

Also, a question - since the EPH is now part of the SrD, do you include it in "Core?" Because if so, the original King of Smack build would be completely legal (using Psionic Lion's Charge in place of CChamp Barb Pounce) and would probably rule the melee category.

Illiterate Scribe
2008-04-07, 04:06 AM
Shenanigans
Core + Faiths of Eberron Druid / Planar Shepherd into positive energy plane.


Wait, what? You want to be using either the Celestial Plane or the Plane of Fire for Efreeti/Balors/Solars.

DrizztFan24
2008-04-07, 08:42 AM
Monk! It can cream a larger amount of lower CR guys and can just wait out any higher levels challengers by rolling more natural 20's than the baddie. They get more attacks per round. If he went against the caster the caster will only get 1 round of action before getting his face grappled and pummeled.

I would include Magic Item Compendium to get access to all the gloves and handwraps you could ever want. :smalltongue:

Let the ridicule commence!

Squash Monster
2008-04-07, 11:25 AM
Wait, what? You want to be using either the Celestial Plane or the Plane of Fire for Efreeti/Balors/Solars.That's a good choice too. Depends on how you think the immunity to negative traits of your plane effect works. If you're immune to Death By Awesome but not to gaining HP from being in a positive-dominant area, the positive energy plane is a very scary choice. If that's not true... then yeah, fire.

Myth
2010-04-03, 09:01 AM
Monk! It can cream a larger amount of lower CR guys and can just wait out any higher levels challengers by rolling more natural 20's than the baddie. They get more attacks per round. If he went against the caster the caster will only get 1 round of action before getting his face grappled and pummeled.Oh please how do you expect to outlast heavy melee classes with more HD and full BAB who have access to good equipment?

Grappling a caster? Sounds great except that there are plenty of spells that ignore SR and Freedom of Movement makes one immune to grappling.

OTOH unless you have some way of obtaining freedom of movement a grappler-oriented class like barb/reaping mauler would pulverize a vanilla monk.

Runestar
2010-04-03, 09:04 AM
It was a forgone conclusion right from the very beginning...:smallsigh:

Tinydwarfman
2010-04-03, 09:07 AM
Oh please how do you expect to outlast heavy melee classes with more HD and full BAB who have access to good equipment?

Grappling a caster? Sounds great except that there are plenty of spells that ignore SR and Freedom of Movement makes one immune to grappling.

OTOH unless you have some way of obtaining freedom of movement a grappler-oriented class like barb/reaping mauler would pulverize a vanilla monk.

2 things to consider when you post.

1: Is the poster being sarcastic or otherwise joking?

2: How old is this thread?

You're right, but look closer next time.

magic9mushroom
2010-04-03, 09:08 AM
Which arcane prestige class would then be the most ridiculously broken / powerful?

Tainted Scholar (Heroes of Horror). Horribly Overpowered, that is.

It's a win button - it gives you an effective Int of around 100 or so.

EDIT: Noticed the necro, but still, noone had pointed it out.

Penitent
2010-04-03, 09:28 AM
I pick Epic Level Handbook.

I then play a normal Wizard until I buy a Candle of Invocation.

At this point, I Gate an Efferiti, who I have wish for: 1) a Staff of Wishes, 2) A +NI CL item. 3) A +NI item to UMD.

Use staff to Wish up more +NI items, to Int, to Str, to Con, to saves, to AC, more staffs of wishes, more staffs of other non wish spells. Ect.

Best melee class in the game? Same thing. When you have a Str score of over 2 billion, it really doesn't matter what else you have.

FishAreWet
2010-04-03, 09:34 AM
Pun Pun can still be done with Cleric 1/Wizard 1 and a Candle of Invocation. Must allow Serpent Kingdoms obviously.

Eldariel
2010-04-03, 09:36 AM
Oh please how do you expect to outlast heavy melee classes with more HD and full BAB who have access to good equipment?

Grappling a caster? Sounds great except that there are plenty of spells that ignore SR and Freedom of Movement makes one immune to grappling.

OTOH unless you have some way of obtaining freedom of movement a grappler-oriented class like barb/reaping mauler would pulverize a vanilla monk.

You saw the need to point that out on a two-year old thread? Yes, his joke was extremely appropriate back then. And this damn thing was already solved back then. As Fish said, Core + Serpent Kingdoms = Pun-Pun. Yes, that's Game Over.

Roland St. Jude
2010-04-03, 12:05 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Thread necromancy = don't.