Utinam me facit istorum est Latine sciebant.

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Margrave
Background
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Educis a morte. Custodi animam.

Mr. Margrave has always been a warrior for his goddess, though his faith was strengthened ever since his brush with death early in his career. He was a on the front lines defending a Jasinian temple against a heretical cult bent on preaching their blasphemous dogma. The fighting was intense, and he engaged in a fighting retreat all the way into the inner sanctum of the temple, where at last a cultists blade felled him. Had another unit of defenders not fortuitously taken a shortcut through the sanctum on their way to defend another section of the temple, his brief service would have ended there. Instead, he lay at the heart of a temple to his goddess, his life ebbing away, and found himself not afraid, but fascinated. He was dragged to safety and brought back from the brink of death, but what he had seen had changed him, and he was closer to his goddess as a result.

His fascination with the ebb and flow of life eventually led to him leaving his military duties behind temporarily to go on a pilgrimage in search of a deeper understanding of death. His journeys brought him to battlefields, healers communities, and to more than one necromancer. When he returned to his temple, his insights had gifted him with some small measure of divine power. His newfound talents coupled with his martial training made him an ideal candidate for induction into the Ruby Knights, and he took to the training with zeal.

And now, as a full member of the order, Mr. Margrave is a terrifying instrument of Wee Jas' divine will. He is adept at stalking through the shadows to slip in and smite selective targets, being an engine of unstoppable destruction on a battlefield, raising an army of undead soldiers, or even tending to wounds of the fallen.

He is a bringer of death, and a keeper of life.


Build
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Mr. Margrave
LN Human Crusader 8/Death Delver 2/Ruby Knight Vindicator 10

Starting Stats: Str 14, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 14
Final Stats: Str 19, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 14
Stat increases go to Str.

Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
1st Crusader 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Balance 2, Concentration 4, Heal 2, Hide 2, Intimidate 4, K:Religion 4, Move Silently 2, Tumble 4 Power Attack, Able Learner Furious Counterstrike, Steely Resolve 5
2nd Crusader 1 +2 +3 +0 +0 Balance 4, Concentration 5, Intimidate 5, K:Religion 5, Tumble 5 Indomitable Soul
3rd Crusader 3 +3 +3 +1 +1 Concentration 6, Hide 3, Intimidate 6, K:Religion 6, Move Silently 3, Tumble 6 Magic Devotion Zealous Surge
4th Crusader 4 +4 +4 +1 +1 Balance 5, Concentration 7, Heal 3, Intimidate 7, K:Religion 7, Tumble 7 Steely Resolve 10
5th Crusader 5 +5 +4 +1 +1 Concentration 8, Hide 4, Intimidate 8, K:Religion 8, Move Silently 4, Tumble 8
6th Crusader 6 +6 +5 +2 +2 Concentration 9, Heal 4, Intimidate 9, Tumble 9, Never Outnumbered Adaptive Style Smite 1/day
7th Death Delver 1 +6 +7 +2 +4 Concentration 10, Hide 5, K:Religion 9, Move Silently 5 Deathsense, Rebuke Undead, Spellcasting
8th Death Delver 2 +7 +8 +2 +5 Concentration 11, Intimidate 10, K:Religion 10, Tumble 10 Deadened Soul, Spontaneous Casting
9th Ruby Knight Vindicator 1 +8 +8 +2 +7 Concentration 12, Hide 7, K:Religion 11, Move Silently 6, Tumble 11 Extra Turning
10th Ruby Knight Vindicator 2 +9 +8 +2 +8 Concentration 13, Hide 10, K:Religion 12, Tumble 12 Divine Recovery, +1 Level Divine Spellcasting Class
11th Ruby Knight Vindicator 3 +10 +9 +3 +8 Concentration 14, Hide 12, K:Religion 13, Move Silently 7, Tumble 13 +1 Level Divine Spellcasting Class
12th Ruby Knight Vindicator 4 +11 +9 +3 +9 Concentration 15, Hide 15, K:Religion 14, Tumble 15 Touch of Healing +1 Level Divine Spellcasting Class
13th Ruby Knight Vindicator 5 +12 +9 +3 +9 Concentration 16, Hide 16, Intimidate 11, K:Religion 15, Move Silently 8, Tumble 16 Armored Stealth, +1 Level Divine Spellcasting Class
14th Ruby Knight Vindicator 6 +13 +10 +4 +10 Concentration 17, Hide 17, Intimidate 13, K:Religion 16, Tumble 17
15th Ruby Knight Vindicator 7 +14 +10 +4 +10 Concentration 18, Hide 18, Intimidate 14, K:Religion 17, Move Silently 9, Tumble 18 Augment Healing Divine Impetus, +1 Level Divine Spellcasting Class
16th Ruby Knight Vindicator 8 +15 +10 +4 +11 Concentration 19, Hide 19, Intimidate 16, K:Religion 18, Tumble 19 +1 Level Divine Spellcasting Class
17th Ruby Knight Vindicator 9 +16 +11 +5 +11 Concentration 20, Hide 20, Intimidate 17, K:Religion 19, Move Silently 10, Tumble 20 Divine Fury, +1 Level Divine Spellcasting Class
18th Ruby Knight Vindicator 10 +17 +11 +5 +12 Concentration 21, Hide 21, Intimidate 19, K:Religion 20, Tumble 21 Darkstalker +1 Level Divine Spellcasting Class
19th Crusader 7 +18 +11 +5 +12 Concentration 22, Hide 22, Intimidate 20, K:Religion 21, Move Silently 11, Tumble 22
20th Crusader 8 +19 +12 +5 +12 Concentration 23, Hide 23, Intimidate 22, K:Religion 22, Tumble 23 Steely Resolve 15


Spell List
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Spells marked with an asterisk(*) are Conjuration(Healing) spells.
1st:
Bless, Cause Fear, Detect Poison, Detect Undead, Hide From Undead, Lesser Restoration*, Remove Fear
2nd:
Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength, Command Undead, Delay Poison*, Remove Paralysis*, Resist Energy, Rigor Mortis
3rd:
Animate Dead, Deep Slumber, Halt Undead, Protection From Energy, Remove Blindness/Deafness*, Remove Disease*, Speak With Dead
4th:
Break Enchantment, Death Ward, Enervation, Fear, Freedom of Movement, Neutralize Poison*, Restoration*


Maneuvers/Stances Known
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Maneuvers/Stances Known:
Level Initiator Level Maneuvers Known Stances Known Maneuvers
1 1 5 1 Crusader's Strike, Douse the Flames, Leading the Attack, Stone Bones, Vanguard's Strike, Martial Spirit Stance
2 2 5 2 Iron Guard's Glare Stance
3 3 6 2 Battle Leader's Charge
4 4 6 2
5 5 7 2 Revitalizing Strike
6 6 7 2
7 6 7 2
8 7 7 2
9 8 7 3 Island of Blades Stance
10 9 8 3 Cloak of Deception
11 10 8 3
12 11 9 3 Bloodletting Strike
13 12 9 3
14 13 10 4 Shadow Blink, Assassin's Stance
15 14 10 4
16 15 11 4 Castigating Strike
17 16 11 4
18 17 12 4 Five-Shadow Creeping Ice Enervation Strike
19 18 13 4 Strike of Righteous Vitality
20 19 13 5 Immortal Fortitude Stance


Tactics
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In General

Mr. Margrave walks the line between the realms of the dead and the realms of the living. He is just as skilled at dealing death as he is preserving life. He has an array of impressive healing abilities, and numerous devastating attacks. He is at home on the front lines taking the fight to the enemies of Wee Jas, or sneaking through the shadows to assassinate her detractors. He picks up a falchion and dons some platemail and goes to town on his enemies.

Level 5

Margrave plays much like any other Crusader at this level, with a couple of notable exceptions. The first is that he has a few useful mobility skills (Balance and Tumble) as well as decent stealth capability. The second is his Magic Devotion feat. It's a handy little 1/day ranged option at this point, and nicely fits the idea that he is a warrior who has dedicated himself to a Goddess of Magic.

Level 10

Margrave's stealth ability at this point has gotten a huge boost. He's gotten much better at hiding (thanks to it now being a class skill), and now has the Cloak of Deception maneuver from the Shadow Hand school thanks to his Ruby Knight Vindicator levels. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. His Death Delver levels represent his deeper understanding of his Goddess's connection to death, and he is able to tap into some of her divine power to control undead, protect others from the undead, sense the ebb and flow of life in others, and channel divine power into healing the wounds of the living. He can also swap his readied maneuvers in an instant, as well as recover them with holy power. The Extra Turning feat provides ample turn attempts to power his abilities, and a reasonable surplus to use with Magic Devotion should he need to use that ranged option more frequently. The Never Outnumbered skill trick gives him a nice alternative to slaying his opponents.

Note: Margrave's spell list might look rather anemic, but he's got almost every Conjuration(Healing) spell you could want: Lesser Restoration, Delay Poison, Remove Paralysis, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Remove Disease, Neutralize Poison, and Restoration. In addition, his second level of Death Delver lets him spontaneously cast cure spells. And his Devoted Spirit maneuvers give him further healing options meaning he can play the role of in-combat healer quite well. He hits the sweet spot for out of combat healing at level 12, when he picks up the Touch of Healing reserve feat.

Level 15

Margrave's hiding ability is now very good with the addition of the Armored Stealth ability and maxed ranks in hide. The Touch of Healing Reserve Feat and Augmented Healing feats both provide him with a massively improved ability to heal the wounds of others, as well as potentially improve his spells that heal ability damage (Augmented Healing just states that it adds 2 points to the amount of damage healed by a conjuration(healing) spell, it doesn't specify hitpoint damage. Presumably, this means you can use it to heal 1d4+2 points of ability damage with Lesser Restoration). He continues to delve into the Shadow Hand maneuvers, and picks up some excellent utility and offense.

Level 20

At this point, Mr. Margrave is a juggernaut on the battlefield. Divine Fury gives him another way to hammer his enemies with his abundant Turn attempts, and his high level maneuvers make him a massively heavy hitter as well as improving his survivability to ridiculous levels. He also picks up Darkstalker, rounding out his stealth abilities.


Suggested Equipment
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The standard array of usual items is good here, stat & save boosters, awesome weapon, awesome armor, etc. This section isn't here for that, it's here for some specifics:

Stealth boosters - Quick, somebody get that man a suit of +1 Mithral Full Plate of Silent Moves to boost his Move Silently skill! Other than that, he's good.

Metamagic Rods - Metamagic Rods on a frontliner? In this case, absolutely! Drop some change on lesser rods of Extend, Quicken, and Silent. Why Lesser Rods? They're reasonably cheap, and the lesser version works with 3/4 of your spells (you only get up to 4th level spells).


Sources
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Player's Handbook Extra Turning, Power Attack
Tome of Battle Ruby Knight Vindicator, Adaptive Style
Heroes of Horror Death Delver
Complete Champion Magic Devotion, Touch of Healing
Complete Divine Augment Healing
Races of Destiny Able Learner
Lords of Madness Darkstalker
Cityscape Web Enhancement Skilled City Dweller (Swap Ride for Tumble)