View Full Version : Gestalt Build Challenge Returns IX: Masters of the Sea

2008-10-28, 12:56 AM

Devise a character well-suited to an aquatic adventure.

"Gestalt Build Challenge" General Rules

We'll follow Duke of URL's old rules plus with a few minor changes.

For numeric attributes with progressions (such as BAB and saves) first determine at each level which progression the attribute follows, then count how many levels of each progression you have, then index into the progressions, then add them together. This means that a fighter 1 / sorceror 19 // wizard 20 has 1 level of good BAB and 19 of bad, giving +1 and +9 respectively for a total BAB of +10. Similarly, a character with 20 different marshal classes gets a base fort save of +12, not +40. It's not addressed in the gestalt or multiclassing rules, but this tends to make the most reasonable builds.

Disregard the clause about multiclassing penalties. We could never figure out how to apply it anyway.

If you are using multiple templates, you may only do so in a way which makes sense with what the template means. For example, you may only use one template that represents one parent being of a different race unless your base race is one where more-than-two parent reproduction is normal.

Well known cheese (pun-pun, omnificer, etc.) is banned.

Here are Duke of URL's old rules, for those who have forgotten them. Spoilered because they're long

Unless otherwise specified in the specific challenge, the following rules and guidelines are always in effect:
Gestalt builds; 28-point buy; use any WOTC 3.5 product (including Dragon magazine) except where noted (only 3.0 products with an official upgrade to 3.5 are allowed)
Make all builds to ECL 20. However, indicate the minimum ECL the build is playable at (the level at which all LA and/or racial HD, if applicable, are accounted for) and label any level that indicates a "power break" where the build has a significant jump in power level. Provide a detailed description of how the build operates.
Any race with a listed level adjustment is allowed (no racial progressions from Savage Species, please). LA and HD each apply to one side of the gestalt; you may include LA and HD on the same side as each other, or on other sides. No LA buyoff. LA is applied before racial HD, which must be paid off before class levels on that side. Examples: LA X / RHD Y / class Z / ... // class A / ... -OR- LA X / class Y / ... // RHD A / class B / ...
Multiclass at will, but see "voting".
Up to two flaws are allowed, but see "voting".
Templates are allowed, but see "voting".
Voting: Upon the close of entries for each challenge, members of the forum may vote in-thread for the build that best represents the goals set out by the challenge. The voting criteria should consist of: Functionality: How well does the build do in its primary role as specified in the challenge? Weaknesses: Does the build have any glaring weaknesses that can be exploited? Playability: How much of the 1-20 level range can the build be played at and be effective? Creativity: Clever use of races, classes, and/or feats that may not be "typical" choices Cheese: Minimizing the number of cheese points Using flaws (1 point each) Ignoring mutliclassing penalties -- some DMs actually do enforce this in gestalt (1 point each) Single-level dips that would require several pages of justification to RP properly (1 point each) Templates that would require several pages of justification to RP properly (1 point per +1 LA) Attempting to use more than one PrC at any given level (1 point each) Attempting to use "dual progression" PrCs (1,000,000 points each) Over-dependence on items (1 point per indispensable item) Over-dependence on Diplomacy or Use Magic Device skills (1,000,000 points each)

2008-10-28, 12:59 AM
Bajo del mar, eh? I think I can do this.

Kurald Galain
2008-10-28, 04:26 AM
Sebastian, That Damn Crab Bard

"Darlin' it's better, down where it's wetter, take it from meeeeeee!"

{table]Level|Class A|Class B
1-3|That Damn Crab|Druid
4-5|Fiendish template|Druid

Druid is for summoning lots of little fishes to dance around you, Bard is to sing the Little Mermaid tune all day. Off-key, too, because his charisma sucks. Perhaps I should add Sublime Chord or Seeker of the Song in here, too. Oh, and add a bunch of cheese points because TDC isn't actually legal for player characters.

2008-10-28, 04:38 AM
Sebastian, That Damn Crab Bard

"Darlin' it's better, down where it's wetter, take it from meeeeeee!"

{table]Level|Class A|Class B
1-3|That Damn Crab|Druid
4-5|Fiendish template|Druid

Druid is for summoning lots of little fishes to dance around you, Bard is to sing the Little Mermaid tune all day. Off-key, too, because his charisma sucks. Perhaps I should add Sublime Chord or Seeker of the Song in here, too. Oh, and add a bunch of cheese points because TDC isn't actually legal for player characters.

Have someone have cast awaken on you. Smaller cheese points for casting a spell on an illegal target.

So I take it you are using the bard's suggestion song, eh?

2008-10-28, 05:31 AM
I was actually thinking Ursula, the lycanthropic octopus. Darn you for beating me to the punch.

2008-10-28, 10:50 AM
Water Elementals basically own underwater combat. It says so right there in their stat block. This started off as an exercise in producing the largest number of water elementals possible, and then became something else.

Aquamarine: LG Aquatic Gnome

Spirit Shaman 20//Paladin 4 (Holy Warrior sub.)/Binder 1/Knight of the Sacred Seal 5/Elemental Scion of Zilargo 10

CHA > CON > WIS > other stuff

Paladin 1|Spirit Shaman 1|Weapon Focus(Gnome Hooked Hammer)
Paladin 2|Spirit Shaman 2|
Paladin 3|Spirit Shaman 3|Rapid Spell/Extend Spell
Paladin 4|Spirit Shaman 4|Water Devotion (Holy Warrior Bonus)
Binder 1|Spirit Shaman 5|
KotSS 1|Spirit Shaman 6|Energy Substitution(Cold)
ESoZ 1|Spirit Shaman 7
ESoZ 2|Spirit Shaman 8
ESoZ 3|Spirit Shaman 9|Summon Elemental
ESoZ 4|Spirit Shaman 10
ESoZ 5|Spirit Shaman 11
ESoZ 6|Spirit Shaman 12|Spontaneous Healer?
ESoZ 7|Spirit Shaman 13
ESoZ 8|Spirit Shaman 14
ESoZ 9|Spirit Shaman 15|Extra Turning?
ESoZ 10|Spirit Shaman 16
KotSS 2|Spirit Shaman 17
KotSS 3|Spirit Shaman 18|Extra turning?
KotSS 4|Spirit Shaman 19
KotSS 5|Spirit Shaman 20

Notes: (Caution, spammy)
Race: I picked Aquatic Gnome for waterbreathing, swim speed, and Small size, which will be handy later on. They sort of suffocate and die after any amount of time topside, so Aquatic Elf might be better, but anything +0 will work here.

Level 1: Right out of the box, you can cast Animate Water to get a Small Elemental. Good times. Weapon Focus is needed for KotSS, and it ought to be a piercing weapon of some sort: I just picked the Hammer because it's silly. The Holy Warrior substitution means you'll never be able to use wands of Paladin spells, but we really don't care. Skillwise, you need to buy some cross class Knowledge(Arcana) and Speak Language(Aquan), but the rest can go into Concentration, Spellcraft, Swim, and Profession: Basketweaver.

Level 2: Paladin 2 gives you CHA to saves, and Spirit Shaman 2 lets you Chastise invisible pixies shape-shifted into flaming squid. Do be careful not to accidentally blow up your summons, though: Elementals count as Spirits.

Level 3: This needed to be a Metamagic feat of some kind, in order to get us Energy Substitution at level 6. I looked for something that makes Animate Water better, but do whatever you'd like with this one. This is also when you get Summon Nature's Ally II, for more Small Elementals.

Level 4: Paladin 4 gives us Water Devotion as a bonus feat, and Turn Undead to help power it. Charisma is your prime spellcasting stat, so you should be able to power out about a half-dozen more Small Elementals in one day. Now if your DM is picky about pouring the waterskin onto the ground, and you have no ground, the whole build sort of falls apart, but hey.

Level 5: Knowledge(Arcana) and Knowledge(The Planes) finally become class skills. Hooray!

Level 6: Pick Naberius as your patron vestige, but feel free to bind whoever you want until KotSS 2, it actually doesn't matter. Energy Substitution(Cold) is here because half of the offensive Druid spells use fire damage, which sucks underwater. But because you're a Spirit Shaman, you get to metamagic your way out of that problem. This is also where the first Medium Elementals show up, courtesy of Water Devotion. This is important, because Medium Elementals can go into Vortex form and carry you around with a 90' swim speed in emergencies.

Level 7: 4th level Druid spells open up, including SNA IV for more Medium elementals. Yay! I put the first Scion level here, at the earliest you can take it, but the remaining Scion and KotSS levels can go in any order. Of course, you obviously need to buy an elemental graft first, so it might take a while. Breath of the Waves will probably be your first graft: much cheaper than Aqueous Body and more useful than Oceanic Adaptation. Either way, you probably want to start taking Scion as soon as you can, for the Elemental Spellcasting ability, which, depending on how the gestalt rules work out, has the possibility of sending your CL through the roof for Water and Cold spells. Which, thanks to Energy Substitution, is most of them.

Level 9: You knew this feat was coming.

Level 10: ESoZ 4, whenever you eventually take it, gives you the ability to grow Large elementals at will. You get 1/day for free, and further uses cause Constitution drain, Fatigue, and Exhaustion. Conveniently, Naberius heals CON drain for free, and Breath of the Waves heals Exhaustion with a standard action. Also, this is when you get some sort of useless Spirit Shaman ability that lets you make Concentration checks without using actions. That'll never come up.

It basically continues from there, with the only really notable thing happening at ESoZ 7 and Spirit Shaman 15. With the Scion's Elemental Merge ability, you can jump into a Large or larger elemental as a move action, becoming sort of invulnerable. With SNA 8 and the Summon Elemental feat, you can produce Large elementals with a standard action, at will. Probably useless, definitely fun.

Higher up, the rest of KotSS is there to give you interesting defensive things to do with your high CHA modifier, the rest of Spirit Shaman continues because it's an awesome class. Alternatively, take Paladin 5 and get a pet Celestial Shark.

The remaining three feats are basically free: I like Spontaneous Healer on Spirit Shamans to up their spells known, and because Spontaneous Summoner isn't available to paladins, tragically.

End result: BAB +17, Saves: +12, +6, +12, with CHA to saves, full plate and heavy shields if you want them, Guide Magic, full druid casting, possibly CL 30 for [water] and [cold] spells, and Binder level 6, for the heck of it. Also 1ish Elder, 12+CHA Huge, and infinite Large Water elementals per day, any of which can be Merged with.

2008-10-28, 11:21 AM
Free Concentration useless? What about Summon Elemental Monolith?

2008-10-28, 01:53 PM
Mummified Half-Scrag Pixie
Druid 20 // LA 12 / Swordsage 8
Str 18 Dex 22 Con - Int 16 Wis 26 Cha 18

{table]Level | Class 1 | Class 2 | Feat
1 | Druid 1 | LA 1 | Spell Focus (Conjuration)
2 | Druid 2 | LA 2
3 | Druid 3 | LA 3 | Augment Summoning
4 | Druid 4 | LA 4
5 | Druid 5 | LA 5
6 | Druid 6 | LA 6 | Natural Spell
7 | Druid 7 | LA 7
8 | Druid 8 | LA 8
9 | Druid 9 | LA 9 | Power Attack
10 | Druid 10 | LA 10
11 | Druid 11 | LA 11
12 | Druid 12 | LA 12 | Extend Spell
13 | Druid 13 | Swordsage 1
14 | Druid 14 | Swordsage 2
15 | Druid 15 | Swordsage 3 | Adaptive Style
16 | Druid 16 | Swordsage 4
17 | Druid 17 | Swordsage 5
18 | Druid 18 | Swordsage 6 | Quicken Spell
19 | Druid 19 | Swordsage 7
20 | Druid 20 | Swordsage 8[/table]
Level 20 numbers:
HP 20d12
BAB +15
Base saves: Fort +12 Ref +10 Will +12
AC 36 (+6 Dex, +10 Natural, +10 Wis) touch 26, flat-footed 30

With a swim speed and no Con score, your maneuverability and stamina underwater are going to be pretty good even outside of Wildshape. Standard druid goodies, plus continuous greater invisibility and up to 7th level Swordsage maneuvers. Also capable on land (although with a pitiful land speed) and in the air.

The awesome factor is a big part of this. A giant squid is scary. An invisible, flaming (do Desert Wind maneuvers work underwater?) giant squid is really scary.

2008-10-29, 11:40 AM
Free Concentration useless? What about Summon Elemental Monolith?

Sarcasm doesn't work over text. And free concentration is about the best thing ever.

2008-10-29, 12:15 PM

Concept: Troll of Pain. (Half Dragon (Black) Troll)

Base: Str 8, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 8 Cha 8
After Race/Template: Str 28, Dex 18, Con 28, Int 16, Wis 6, Cha 6
At level 20 (no gear): Str 28, Dex 18, Con 28, Int 21, Wis 6, Cha 6
First Playable at: Level 9
Power Break at: Level 9, Level 16, Level 20

{table=Header]Level | Class 1 | Class 2 | Misc
1 | Troll LA | Troll RHD |
2 | Troll LA | Troll RHD |
3 | Troll LA | Troll RHD |
4 | Troll LA | Troll RHD | Int +1
5 | Troll LA | Troll RHD |
6 | Wiz 1 | Troll RHD |
7 | Wiz 2 | H Drag LA |
8 | Wiz 3 | H Drag LA | Int +1
9 | Wiz 4 | H Drag LA |
10 | Wiz 5 | Warblade 1 |
11 | El Savant 1 |Warblade 2 |
12 | El Savant 2 |Warblade 3 | Int +1
13 | El Savant 3 |Warblade 4 |
14 | El Savant 4 |Warblade 5 |
15 | El Savant 5 |Warblade 6 |
16 | El Savant 6 |Warblade 7 | Int +1
17 | El Savant 7 |Warblade 8 |
18 | El Savant 8 |Warblade 9 |
19 | El Savant 9 |Warblade 10 |
20 | El Savant 10 |Warblade 11 | Int +1[/table]

Casts up to level 7 spells (level 14 wizard, Caster Level 18 with Practiced spellcaster)

Initiates as Warblade with initiator level of 15 (8th level maneuvers).

Takes all damage except Fire and Acid as nonlethal.

Immune to Acid (Ex) at level 9.

At level 16, gains access to Cloak of the Sea (Spell Compendium).

While underwater, gains Blur, Freedom of Movement, Water Breathing, and is not subject to nonlethal damage.

Thus, at level 16, character becomes immune to all non-fire damage while underwater.

At level 18, gains elemental immunity (level 7 spell), gains immunity to fire.
At level 20, gains fire subtype, (ex) immunity to fire. Permanently.

Steadfast Determination shores up the weak will save with a +9 Con modifier, and makes Fort saves even better, with no failing on natural 1.

Solid Strength, Solid Con, Overall well rounded (except for abysmal cha and wis, but wis is a non-stat at this point)

All energy spells cast as fire, which means you need a DC 20 spellcraft check to cast. No big there. Achievable at level 9 (1st playable level). However, most of spells will be cast on the self (buff caster).

Gains Tenser's transformation at level 16. Expected to keep up full buff suite (mage armor, Bull's strength, Cat's Grace, etc etc) around the clock. Perhaps a couple feats towards extend spell and practiced metamagic it.

Weak save is reflex, but as reflex spells are primarily damage dealers, and the character is immune to damage, that's ok.

2008-10-29, 02:05 PM
By my reading of the rules, you have to have all the LA on the same side. You may need to move some of those levels around.

2008-10-29, 02:14 PM
By my reading of the rules, you have to have all the LA on the same side. You may need to move some of those levels around.

LA is applied before racial HD, which must be paid off before class levels on that side

There's 2 LA's, and those and the RHD are paid off before class levels are taken. You could make the argument that the half-dragon LA should be before the Troll RHD, but they are on the same side, so all that would matter is which order they are written.

2008-10-29, 02:24 PM
LA and HD each apply to one side of the gestalt; you may include LA and HD on the same side as each other, or on other sides.

It doesn't say you can apply LA to both sides; it's either one or the other.

2008-10-29, 03:05 PM
I don't have the book with me, but I had thought cloak of the sea only prevented nonlethal damage from water.

Human Paragon 3
2008-10-29, 03:17 PM
Namor the Sub-mariner

Aquatic Elf Druid 20 (Druidic Avenger and Aspect of Nature Variants)//Barbarian 20 (Whirling Frenzy and Boar Totem Variants)

This character is meant to mimic the powers of the ultimate undersea adventuruer, Marvel Comics' Namor the Submariner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub-Mariner). Contrary to popular belief, Namor is the real deal, not some cut-rate Aquaman. A combination of Human and Atlantean genes, he is superior to both in every way.

The build:

This build takes advantage of a variety of Unearthed Arcana variants to maxamize Namor's abilities. As an aquatic elf, (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/elf.htm) Namor starts with a swim speed of 40, which is boosted to 50 thanks to fast movement from the druid variant. He can breathe water and air, but, like Namor, his powers start to wane if he doesn't return to an aquatic environment after lengthy landbound stay. Aquatic Elf traits also give him the ability to see very far in the merky depths and survive there without preconditions.

Also like Namor, this character will be super strong. Strength should be his first stat priority, followed by wisdom and constitution. With both Rage and Whirling Frenzy in effect, he could have a strength as high as 26 at level one. This improves dramatically at level eight when the Vigor Aspect gives him an additional +8, and again when he gains Greater and Mighty Rage later. A variety of druid spells, such as Bear's Strength can buff Namor further, making him eventually as strong as his comic book counterpart. At level 20, you can expect a strength score of above 60 as a matter of routine. At level five he also gains access to the Wing Aspect (on his feet, of course) allowing him to fly just like Namor. His wild empathy in addition to druid spells like "Speak with Animals" gives him Namor's rapport with undersea creatures. He can even do Namor one better by summoning his own aquatic allies. The Boar Totem gives him Namor's unmatched endurance and nigh invulnerability.

In meele he is a full BAB character with enormous strength. A two-handed weapon such as the trident will maxamize his ability here. He performs best when buffed and with both Rage and Frenzy active. He is a tireless rager thanks to boar totem, and can even heal himself from negative HP thanks to the free diehard feat. He also has the option the cherry pick spells (the comic book Namor is partial to lightning) to whatever his needs may be that day. Outside of combat, he has the utility of a full-casting druid with the ability to fly or survive underwater indefinately. With maxed out swim ranks, a swim speed of 50, and the ability to gain an untyped +8 bonus to swim with the aquatic Aspect, Namor should be able to outswim basically anyone. Barbarian and Druid skill list is fair.

As for feat selection, anything that improves his rage will be useful. Extra rage and extend rage will be especially good for him, as he shines when raging. Extra Wild Shape is another good choice for Namor, since he will probably want to play around with Vigor and Agility as necessary. Lightning reflexes might be a good choice too, to compensate for a poor reflex save. Power Attack is a given. GP should be spent to increase armor class (and strength) since he will want as light armor as possible.

I know this build gives away the Druid's two best features, true wild shaping and an animal companion, but the awesomeness of being Namor makes up for it. This character will be extremely formidable on land, but at sea he will be truly mighty. His great mobility, full spellcasting, and brute force make him a character not to be trifled with.

2008-10-29, 03:26 PM
It doesn't say you can apply LA to both sides; it's either one or the other.

The gestalting rules used in Duke URL's competition required Racial HD and Racial LA to be on opposite sides. Template LA are a different story.

2008-10-29, 04:18 PM
The gestalting rules used in Duke URL's competition required Racial HD and Racial LA to be on opposite sides. Template LA are a different story.

I don't see any rule differentiating template LA from racial LA, and it does say they can be on the same side.

2008-10-31, 06:13 PM
For Halloween I thought I'd tell a ghost story and what's better than ghost pirates?

Captain Bilge Neutral Evil male ghost human (evolved undead, incorporeal)

14 Swashbuckler/ 3 Warblade / 3 Scarlet Corsair // 11 Rogue / 3 Lurking Terror

Base Stats: 12 Str, 16 Dex, 8 Con, 16 Int, 9 Wis, 11 Cha
After the Template: 12 Str, 16 Dex, - Con, 16 Int, 9 Wis, 17 Cha
Final:12 Str, 20 Dex, - Con, 16 Int, 9 Wis, 18 Cha
20d12 HD, +12 Fort, +16 Reflex, +10 Will

Level Progression:
{table]Level|Class A|Class B|Misc
1|LA 1|Swashbuckler 1|
2|LA 2|Swashbuckler 2|
3|LA 3|Swashbuckler 3|
4|LA 4|Swashbuckler 4|+1 Cha
5|LA 5|Swashbuckler 5|
6|LA 6|Warblade 1|
7|Lurking Terror 1|Warblade 2|
8|Lurking Terror 2|Warblade 3|+1 Dex
9|Lurking Terror 3|Swashbuckler 6|
10|Rogue 1|Swashbuckler 7|
11|Rogue 2|Swashbuckler 8|
12|Rogue 3|Swashbuckler 9|+1 Dex
13|Rogue 4|Swashbuckler 10|
14|Rogue 5|Swashbuckler 11|
15|Rogue 6|Swashbuckler 12|
16|Rogue 7|Swashbuckler 13|+1 Dex
17|Rogue 8|Swashbuckler 14|
18|Rogue 9|Scarlet Corsair 1|
19|Rogue 10|Scarlet Corsair 2|
20|Rogue 11|Scarlet Corsair 3|+1 Dex[/table]

Feat Progression:
1|Martial Study-Shadow Blade Technique|Arcane Stunt-expeditious retreat (variant)
Human|Martial Stance-Child of Shadow|
Bonus|Shadow Blade|Flaw:Inattentive
Bonus|Ghostly Grasp|Flaw:Unreactive
3|Flyby Attack|
6|Adaptive Style|
9|Gloom Razor|
11| |Arcane Stunt-blur (variant)
12|Victor's Luck|Death's Ruin (variant)
13| |Disruptive Attack (variant)
15|Unbelievable Luck|
18|Better Lucky Than Good|
Rogue Bonus|Crippling Strike|[/table]

Text Brick:
The idea behind this character was to create a melee character suited to underwater combat. He outmaneuvers his opponents using a combination of maneuverability and invisibility in order to deliver ability damage or damage via sneak attack+melee damage.

Necessary skills for this character are Bluff, Tumble, Hide, 1 rank of Knowledge (Arcana) for Arcane Stunt, Concentration (mostly cross class fyi), eight ranks of Intimidate and four ranks of Profession (Sailor) to qualify for Scarlet Corsair. Any additional skill points can be spent at will. Ghostly Grasp is taken simply because it is much more inexpensive than purchasing multiple Ghost Touch items, which in turn makes this build viable at all levels. A player with much more starting gold or starting at a different level might opt to dump the flaw or take another feat.

Offense is favored over defense simply because he starts with options to avoid being hit and keeps getting more. The luck feats are completely optional to the build. I took them as an artificial boost to crits, although a much wiser man would have used them to find a way to better combat critical hit and sneak attack immune foes. I felt that these feats served the character concept of a bitter, dangerous pirate ghost better so I took them. Let's take a look at the progression.

Level 1: Right off the bat this character does not suffer many of the penalties of underwater combat. Ghosts are able to move underwater as easily as they are in air and in air they have 30ft of movement with perfect maneuverability. Arcane Stunt can boost this speed with expeditious retreat as many times per day as your Int mod, it lasts only a round however. As undead they don't need to worry about breathing. Being incorporeal means that they are not subject to the many grapple checks of the tentacled horrors of the deep.

As an evolved undead creature Bilge gains fast healing 3 continually, this along with draining touch are his two sources of healing. The other two ghost abilities I've chosen are Horrific Appearance for extra stat damage and Malevolence for those days when you need to posses someone. He can also use Greater Invisibility once per day from the evolved template. The templates also grant +CHA+1 deflection AC, which is 4 at the moment. That is of course when the 50% miss chance to all attacks and spells directed at him (with exceptions) do hit. It should be noted that the 20% concealment from Child of Shadows does not stack with this, but the concealment helps later on and also allows him to add his Dex mod to damage.

The Shadow Blade feat requires us to be in a Shadow Hand stance, no problem since we only have one, and to use a Shadow Hand weapon to grant the damage bonus. I've gone with Short Sword because of the crit range (which can later be bumped with an enchantment). There is no need for it to be a ghost touch weapon due to the Ghostly Grasp feat.

Level 3: Insightful Strike allows you to add Int to your damage, but only on things that are not immune to critical hits and sneak attack. Still that gets added to Str and Dex now, throw a few stat boosting items there and blow through anything that moves. Oh yeah and Flyby Attack should work just fine underwater.

Level 6: Warblade is taken at this level to provide a boost to initiator level and thus Bilge can take maneuvers of second and first level on his first level of Warblade. He takes Wall of Blades for anything that gets through his 50% or that makes touch attacks, Moment of Perfect Mind to provide a boost to his lackluster Will saves, and Mountain Hammer for DR mitigation. Hunter's Sense is taken for the stance. As of now Bilge can use Shadow Blade Technique and Child of Shadows as a Warblade. He should be in Child of Shadows during battle and Hunter's Sense outside of it. As many ranks as possible are put into Concentration while it is a class skill. This is specifically to bolster Moment of Perfect mind while Bilge's Will saves are still weak. Adaptive Style will allow Bilge to change his prepared maneuvers in battle. Handy because he's about to get more.

Level 7: First level of Lurking Terror, Bilge can add these class levels to his Ghost skill DCs for more ability damage fun. He can now take 3rd initiator level maneuvers and takes Iron Heart Surge, what few status effects that can get him won't last long.

Level 9: Big Level. Hide in Plain sight lets you take advantage of the Concealment granted by Child of Shadows. You have to be moving to get that concealment, but its a good thing making a hide check is considered part of the move action anyway. The tactical feat Gloom Razor is introduced on top of this. You now have more options to become invisible/hidden than you should know what to do with. Gloom Razor also lets you take a little more advantage of Flyby Attack by making targets flatfooted next round so long as you attack and move at least 10ft this round. If only the Captain had Sneak attack...

Level 10: First Rogue level and all the benefits that come with it, including a much higher allotment of skills points per level. Don't forget to get the prerequisites for Scarlet Corsair.

Level 11:Another Arcane Stunt: Blur. Just in case you didn't feel like moving around to make a Hide check.

Level 12: Bilge gains Death's Ruin and those pesky undead are no long immune to your sneak attacks. Just half damage. Victor's luck is taken, just in case Battle Ardor isn't enough to confirm the crit the first time.

Level 13:Improved Uncanny Dodge lost to take Disruptive Attack. Don't worry you'll get it back in a few levels. If you cann't deal ability damage, sneak attacks, or critical hits at least you have disruptive attack to kill their AC.

Level 17: Bilge's last level of Swashbuckler gives him weakening critical. Str damage is now the damage of choice if you can help it. Plenty of sneak attack damage by now and there's more on the way.

Level 18:Scarlet Corsair gives you Improved Feint and later Corsair's Feint, opening up more opportunities for Sneak Attack. The feat Better Lucky Than Good is taken to remove those pesky natural 1s. If you grabbed a Keen Shortsword your effective crtical range is now 16-20 which can be bolstered an effective 50% if you attack with Shadow Blade Technique. Not too shabby with all that extra crit confirmation stuff and ability damage stacked into the bundle.

Level 19:Rogue level 10 opens up and Bilge gains Crippling Strike. Your critical hits now do 4 Str damage. You are the bane of anyone not immune to critical hits. Those guys you just possess.

A nice thing about this character is that he can be played from 1-20 with the switch to using sneak attack damage the only large change in style. Bilge isn't particularly gear dependent either. His only 'must need' item is some manner of Shadow Hand weapon, preferably keen later on, but that is optional.

As to handling the seas, he is immune to pressure damage, when there is no light he has darkvision, he cannot drown and the only underwater combat penalty he suffers are ranged attack penalties which he doesn't make anyway. In clear water he has multiple means at his disposal to vanish and bewilder his foes. His biggest weaknesses are critical immune, ability damage immune, and sneak attack immune creatures, but he has options to deal with those and can whittle them down with enough hit and run. The biggest threat to him is a Cleric turning undead, to which he only has a +4 turn resistance.

Edit: Forgot to add; in the event that Bilge does die, as a ghost he has Rejuvenation which means he'll come back in 2d4 days in his old haunt. His haunt is the sunken ship Burning Ego. As the only way to prevent a ghost from rejuvenating is to "determine the reason for its existence and set right whatever prevents it from resting in peace" we'll say that the Burning Ego was on its way home when sunk by a tremendous storm. Bilge never saw his wife again and will not rest until his bones are laid by her side.

Add that to the list of weaknesses: True Love.

2008-10-31, 07:59 PM
It doesn't say you can apply LA to both sides; it's either one or the other.

All LA from one source must be applied to the same side. Thus, you can't put half of your Pixie LA on one side, and half on the other.

However, I have seen no rule showing that in Gestalt, all LA, regardless of source, must be on the same side. Please enlighten me, if you've seen something that states that LA from different sources must be on one side of the build.

2008-11-01, 03:33 PM
(do Desert Wind maneuvers work underwater?)

Some do, but very few. Martial maneuvers are either extraordinary or supernatural abilities according to the ToB. It lists supernatural abilities usually at the end of the maneuver description. According to the DMG (p.93) "A supernatural fire effect is ineffective underwater unless its description states otherwise." So technically you can use Desert Wind, but only when it is an extraordinary ability, a non-fire supernatural ability, or if there is a maneuver that specifically states you can use it underwater.

One could argue that the feat Steam Magic from Stormwrack could get you around that difficulty, but that might be a stretch.

2008-11-01, 10:51 PM
Meh. Probably better off focusing on another school, anyway.