Build #1

Enrico Tortuga
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Human CG Natural Lycanthrope Were-Snapping Turtle Rokugan Ninja 13/Vigilante 5

Story
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"You have done well, my son." The old were-rat's voice rasped through the underground chamber, "the Plague Rats' hideout in the lower sewers has been scattered into disarray, thanks to your efforts."

Rico's heart was filled with pride, but he contained his feelings and only responded, "Thank you Master. It is your training that made it possible."

The were-rat raised an eyebrow and stared at Rico for a moment, "I see you are taking my advice and learning to control your emotions, it suits you." He poked Rico's shoulder with his wooden cane, "Now if only you would reconsider my advice and recruit some like-minded individuals to the cause. You would do well with more of your kind to aid you."

Rico shook his head and growled, "Master, you know I won't do that. I was born this way, but I'm not going to curse anyone else just to have some company. Besides, I totally don't need help taking these Plague Rat punks down. You should have seen the look on this one guy's face when I ..." Rico's voice trailed off when his Master let out a sigh.

"Perhaps I spoke to soon, your emotions still get the better of you far too easily." The were-rat eased himself down into a cross-legged sitting position with a groan. "My affliction has been both a blessing and a curse. I have used it to help others in ways that I could not have done without it. Do not be too hasty in your decision. But we will discuss this no more tonight. The city of Waterdeep owes you a great debt, though they will never know it. A pity, too, because we could put the reward money to good use. Now, go fetch dinner from Vittorio's Apothecary. I understand that he has been experimenting with different ways to utilize various different potions. He has a new mystical foodstuff he has been working on lately. See if he will create one of these P'zas using my medicine. Drinking it in liquid form disagrees with my stomach."


Build
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{table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

1st|Were-Snapping Turtle 1|
+0
|
+2
|
+2
|
+0
|(2+Int)Gather Information (2), Intimidate (2), Knowledge(Local) (2), Sense Motive (2)|Improved Natural Armor(B), Weapon Focus(Bite), Improved Unarmed Strike, Iron Will(B)|

2nd|Were-Snapping Turtle 2|
+1
|
+3
|
+3
|
+0
|(2+int)Intimidate (2.5), Knowledge(Local) (2.5), Sense Motive (2.5), Swim 1|-|

3rd|Rokugan Ninja 1|
+2
|
+3
|
+3
|
+2
|(4+Int)Gather Information 3, Intimidate (3), Knowledge(Local) (3), Search 2, Sense Motive (3)|Alertness|Sneak Attack +1d6, Ninja Dodge +1

4th|Rokugan Ninja 2|
+3
|
+3
|
+3
|
+3
|(4+Int)Gather Information 5, Hide 1, Move Silently 1, Search 4|-|Poison Use

5th|Rokugan Ninja 3|
+4
|
+4
|
+4
|
+3
|(4+Int)Intimidate (4), Knowledge(Local) (4), Sense Motive (4)|-|Sneak Attack +2d6, Uncanny Dodge

6th|Rokugan Ninja 4|
+5
|
+4
|
+4
|
+4
|(4+Int)Gather Information 6, Hide 3, Knowledge(Local) (4.5), Move Silently 2, Sense Motive (4.5)|Two-Weapon Fighting|Speed of Darkness

7th|Rokugan Ninja 5|
+6
|
+4
|
+4
|
+4
|(4+Int)Gather Information 7, Hide 4, Knowledge(Local) (5), Move Silently 4, Sense Motive (5)|-|Sneak Attack +3d6, Ninja Dodge +2

8th|Rokugan Ninja 6|
+7
|
+5
|
+5
|
+5
|(4+Int)Gather Information 8, Hide 6, Knowledge(Local) (5.5), Move Silently 5, Sense Motive (5.5)|-|Uncanny Dodge

9th|Rokugan Ninja 7|
+8
|
+5
|
+5
|
+5
|(4+Int)Hide 8, Knowledge(Local) (6), Move Silently 7, Sense Motive (6)|Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting|Sneak Attack +4d6

10th|Rokugan Ninja 8|
+9
|
+5
|
+5
|
+6
|(4+Int)Hide 10, Knowledge(Local) (6.5), Move Silently 9, Sense Motive (6.5)|-|Shadow Run

11th|Rokugan Ninja 9|
+10
|
+6
|
+6
|
+6
|(4+Int)Hide 12, Knowledge(Local) (7), Move Silently 11, Sense Motive (7)|-|Sneak Attack +5d6

12th|Rokugan Ninja 10|
+11
|
+6
|
+6
|
+7
|(4+Int)Hide 14, Knowledge(Local) (7.5), Move Silently 13, Sense Motive (7.5)|Darkstalker|Blindfight, Ninja Dodge +3

13th|Rokugan Ninja 11|
+12
|
+6
|
+6
|
+7
|(4+Int)Hide 16, Knowledge(Local) (8), Move Silently 15, Sense Motive (8)|-|Sneak Attack +6d6

14th|Rokugan Ninja 12|
+13
|
+7
|
+7
|
+8
|(4+Int)Hide 17, Move Silently 17, Tumble 3|-|Deflect Arrows

15th|Rokugan Ninja 13|
+14
|
+7
|
+7
|
+8
|(4+Int)Hide 18, Move Silently 18, Tumble 7|Improved Two-Weapon Fighting|Sneak Attack +7d6

16th|Vigilante 1|
+14
|
+7
|
+9
|
+10
|(6+Int)Hide 19, Move Silently 19, Tumble 13|-|Detect Evil, Streetwise +2, Spellcasting

17th|Vigilante 2|
+15
|
+7
|
+10
|
+11
|(6+Int)Hide 20, Move Silently 20, Tumble 19|-|Smite the Guilty 1/day

18th|Vigilante 3|
+16
|
+8
|
+10
|
+11
|(6+Int)Balance 4, Hide 21, Move Silently 21, Tumble 21|Staggering Strike|Quick Search

19th|Vigilante 4|
+17
|
+8
|
+11
|
+12
|(6+Int)Balance 5, Hide 22, Inimidate 8, Move Silently 22, Tumble 22|-|Speak With Dead

20th|Vigilante 5|
+17
|
+8
|
+11
|
+12
|(6+Int)Hide 23, Inimidate 13, Move Silently 23, Tumble 23|-|Quick Hide[/table]



Spells per day/Spells Known
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{table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

1st|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

2nd|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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5th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

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10th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

11th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

12th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

13th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

14th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

15th|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

16th|4|4|4|4|4|3|2|1|-|-

17th|4|4|4|4|4|3|3|2|-|-

18th|4|4|4|4|4|4|3|2|1|-

19th|4|4|4|4|4|4|3|3|2|-

20th|4|4|4|4|4|4|4|3|2|1[/table]

Spells Known:
1st - Disguise Self, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall, Prestidigitation
2nd - Alter Self, Invisibility, Tongues
3rd - Gaseous Form, Haste


Stats:
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[Human Form] Starting Stats (+ Racial Mods)
Str - 14
Dex - 16
Con - 12
Int - 14
Wis - 10 (+2) = 12
Cha - 12

[Hybrid and Animal Forms] Starting Stats (+ Racial Mods)
Str - 14 (+2) = 16
Dex - 16
Con - 12 (+4) = 16
Int - 14
Wis - 10 (+2) = 12
Cha - 12

[Human Form] Final Stats:
Str - 14
Dex - 17 (+1 level increase at 4th)
Con - 16 (+4 level increases at 8th, 12th, 16th, 20th)
Int - 14
Wis - 12
Cha - 12

[Hybrid and Animal Forms] Final Stats:
Str - 16
Dex - 17 (+1 level increase at 4th)
Con - 20 (+4 level increases at 8th, 12th, 16th, 20th)
Int - 14
Wis - 12
Cha - 12


Level Breakdown
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Level 5
Rico has just started out on his path. His natural Lycanthrope abilities and his Ninja skills make him a formidable fighter, though he is still more of a thug than a master swordsman. He can do solid damage if he can get his sneak attack damage, and he does good damage two-handing a katana. His AC is a solid 19 thanks to his Natural armor and Dex mod. That coupled with his DR makes him sturdy enough to take on many even leveled CRs without a sweat (as long as they don't have silver weapons!). Scent and the Alertness feat give him some reasonable detection ability to track his quarry.

Level 10
Rico's Ninja training is progressing excellently, and he is definitely no slouch in combat. He's picked up a few useful abilities. Speed of Darkness lets him add his Int mod to his initiative, to help ensure he gets his sneak attack damage off in the first round of combat. In addition, he can wield two Katanas as if he were wielding a light weapon in his off-hand, meaning his damage output shoots up. He can get four attacks in a round all at a pretty good BAB and each attack can apply sneak attack damage should he be in a position to do so. (His normal routine at this level is +10/+10/+5 Katana plus a bite at +7. He normally forgoes the bite attack when fighting a foe he isn't planning on killing, as he doesn't want to curse others with Lycanthropy. If he intends to kill his foe, however, he totally CHOWS DOWN!)

Note: Importantly, the Shadow Run ability from Rokugan Ninja overcomes the one large liability that Rico has from his Snapping Turtle heritage, his movement speed. In hybrid or animal form, a Lycanthrope can move only as fast as the base animal. For a Snapping Turtle, that is 5 feet per round. Thus far, Rico has had to either fight in human form, or get himself a pair of Boots of Striding and Springing in order to move at a reasonable speed. But with Shadow Run, he longer needs to worry! This ability increases his base movement speed by 5' * Con Mod (so +15' speed at this point, bringing him to a 20' movement speed). As his Con mod goes up, so does his base movement speed (up to a 30' speed at 20th level, before items).

Level 15
Young though he is (he is still only a teenager), Rico's Ninja training is complete, and he is a formidable opponent indeed! He is a great sneak, with Darkstalker and good Hide and Move Silently scores. He can Deflect Arrows, and can really dish out the pain with two off-hand attacks (from Improved Two-Weapon Fighting) and +7d6 sneak attack.

Level 20
Rico continues his fight for justice by devling into some of the more mystical Ninja arts, and embraces the path of the Vigilante. He can Detect Evil at will, and can commune with the spirits of the dead to find out who killed them and bring them to justice (Speak With Dead). He has some great utility casting (specifically Invisibility, Disguise Self, Expeditious Retreat, and Alter Self), as well as the ability to put some extra icing on the pain cake with Smite the Guilty 1/day. If he has a +4 Charisma boosting item (pretty trivial by this level, and he'll want it anyway for Smite the Guilty), he also adds Gaseous Form and Haste to his arsenal of spells.


How Enrico Meets The Master Swords-man? Challenge
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  • He doesn't abuse charging, or any similar mechanic.
  • He utilizes several classic fighting tropes (see Tropes, below)
  • He's a were-creature, and a new one at that! (snapping turtles are specifically called out in Stormwrack as vicious predators, so it definitely qualifies as an appropriate animal for the template).
  • He doesn't just use one sword, he uses two!
  • He has 1st-2nd (possibly 3rd) level spells, but no higher.
  • He uses nothing from the Tome of Battle.


Tropes (some via TV Tropes) of Fighting that Rico uses:
  • Katanas Are Just Better - Rico uses the ever stylish Katana.
  • If one sword is good, then TWO swords is twice as good! - Rico dual wields Katanas, for maximum Katana fun!
  • Implausible Fencing Powers - Thanks to his Deflect Arrows feat, Rico can deflect incoming projectiles and thrown weapons, meaning that you never want to be the one to bring a gun to a knife fight.
  • Ninja Run - While it isn't exactly a sword fighting trope, it crops up often in the medium. Thanks to his spellcasting from Vigilante, Rico can Ninja Run (Shadow Run + Expeditious Retreat), and can Ninja Vanish (Invisibility).


Sources:
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Player's Handbook - (Two-weapon fighting, Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus, Iron Will, Alertness)
Rokugan Campaign Setting - Oriental Adventures (Rokugan Ninja Class)
Monster Manual - (Lycanthrope Template, Improved Natural Armor)
Stormwrack - (Snapping Turtle)
Complete Adventurer - (Vigilante Class, Staggering Strike, Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting)
Lords of Madness - (Darkstalker)


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