He's so fat, he separates East and West Berlin
Quote Originally Posted by Torgar Steinnhus
Torgar Steinnhus, "The Wall"

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A scarred and battle-worn dwarf trudged down the line of new recruits, "I am Captain Torgar Steinnhus, your commander and senior instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your stinking ale-holes will be 'sir'. Do you maggots understand that?"

The dwarven recruits shouted in unison, "Sir! Yes Sir!"

Steinnhus nodded once, continued his pacing and raised his voice, "Good. Now then, the deadliest weapon in the world is a Dwarven Defender and his axe. It is your killer instinct which must be harnessed if you expect to survive in combat! Your axe is only a tool ..."

One of the recruits, Lorgar, leaned over to whisper to the nervous dwarf next to him, "They call him 'The Wall'! They say he's faced off against impossible odds too many times to even count!" Godrig, the nervous dwarf next to him, swallowed hard. "I heard he held off a Stone Giant once by standing there and letting it beat on him until the East Quarter could be evacuated. That guy is seriously crazy."

'The Wall' continued his tirade, "It is a hard heart that kills and survives. If your killer instincts are not clean and strong, you will hesitate at the moment of truth. You will not kill. And if you do not kill, you will not survive. You will become dead Dwarven Defenders. And then you will be in a world of crap. Because Dwarven Defenders are not allowed to die without permission! Do you maggots understand?" At this he stopped his pacing and turned to glower at the dwarven recruits.

The dwarven recruits snapped back to attention and shouted in unison, "Sir! Yes Sir!"

'The Wall' resumed his pacing and shouting, "If you goblinoids survive recruit training, you will be a weapon. You will be a minister of death praying for war. But until that day you are worms. You are the lowest form of life under the mountain. You are nothing but unorganized beardless pieces of bat guano! You ..."

Lorgar continued whispering, "He used to be force recon. You know, get in, kill the enemy, and then report back on how many there were?" The young dwarf grinned, "That's where he learned his way around an axe. I heard he can decapitate a goblin at fifty yards."

"Because I am hard, you will not like me. But the more you hate me, the more you will learn. I am hard, but I am fair ..."

Godrig responded, his voice raising slightly with excitement, "He spent some time with the Deepwardens, too. I heard he was actually booted out of their order ..."

The young dwarf was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Steinnhus, "By the beard of Moradin! What in the nine hells is going on here? You have been told to speak only when spoken to. Your incompetence makes me physically ill!" The elder dwarf cuffed Godrig and sent him sprawling. "Now get up, get on your feet. You had best learn to take a hit and stand tough, or you can stop wasting my time and feed yourself to a goblin berserker!"

Poor Godrig clambered quickly back to his feet and stood at attention. "Sir! I'll stand tough, sir!"

Momentarily satisfied, Steinnhus nodded. Then his head snapped around and he shouted out to a recruit down the line. "Are you eyeballin' me boy? ..."


Build
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Torgar Steinnhus, "The Wall"
LN Dwarf Ranger 3/Warblade 2/Deepwarden 2/Bloodstorm Blade 4/Dwarven Defender 9

Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
1st Ranger 1 +1 +2 +2 +0 Balance (2), Climb 4, Concentration 4, Heal 4, Jump 4, K:Dungeoneering 4, Survival 4 Track(B), Wild Talent 1st Favored Enemy (Goblinoids), Track, Wild Empathy
2nd Warblade 1 +2 +4 +0 +0 Balance 5, Concentration 5, Tumble 1 Battle Clarity(Reflex Saves), Weapon Aptitude
3rd Ranger 2 +3 +5 +3 +0 Climb 5, Concentration 6, Heal 5, Jump 5, K:Dungeoneering 5, Spot 1, Survival 5 Two-Weapon Fighting(B), Point Blank Shot Combat Style
4th Warblade 2 +4 +6 +3 +0 Balance 7, Concentration 7, Spot (2) Uncanny Dodge
5th Ranger 3 +5 +6 +3 +1 Balance (8), Concentration 8, Spot 6 Endurance(B) Endurance
6th Bloodstorm Blade 1 +6 +8 +3 +1 Concentration 9, Spot 9, Tumble 2 Midnight Dodge, Throw Anything(B) Returning Attacks, Throw Anything, Weapon Aptitude
7th Bloodstorm Blade 2 +7 +9 +3 +1 Concentration 10, Spot 10, Tumble 5 Martial Throw, Thunderous Throw
8th Bloodstorm Blade 3 +8 +9 +4 +2 Concentration 11, Tumble 7, Point It Out Power Attack(B) Bonus Fighter Feat
9th Bloodstorm Blade 4 +9 +10 +4 +2 Concentration 12, Spot 12, Clarity of Vision Azure Toughness Lightning Ricochet
10th Dwarven Defender 1 +10 +12 +4 +4 Concentration (13), Spot 13 Defensive Stance 1/day
11th Dwarven Defender 2 +11 +13 +4 +5 Concentration (14), Spot 14 Uncanny Dodge (Elevated to Improved Uncanny Dodge)
12th Dwarven Defender 3 +12 +13 +5 +5 Concentration (15), Spot 15 Heavy Armor Optimization Defensive Stance 2/day
13th Dwarven Defender 4 +13 +14 +5 +6 Concentration (16), Spot 16 Trap Sense +1
14th Dwarven Defender 5 +14 +14 +5 +6 Concentration (17), Spot 17 Defensive Stance 3/day
15th Dwarven Defender 6 +15 +15 +6 +7 Concentration (18), Spot 18 Deflective Armor Damage Reduction 3/-, Improved Uncanny Dodge
16th Deepwarden 1 +16 +17 +6 +9 Concentration 19, Listen 5, Spot 19 Track(B) Track, Trap Sense +1
17th Deepwarden 2 +17 +18 +6 +10 Concentration 20, Listen 10, Spot 20 Stonewarden
18th Dwarven Defender 7 +18 +18 +6 +10 Concentration (21), Spot 21 Roll With It Defensive Stance 4/day
19th Dwarven Defender 8 +19 +19 +6 +11 Concentration (22), Spot 22 Mobile Defense, Trap Sense +2
20th Dwarven Defender 9 +20 +19 +7 +11 Concentration (23), Spot 23 Defensive Stance 5/day


Ability Scores
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Starting Ability Scores:
Str - 14
Dex - 15
Con - 18
Int - 12
Wis - 10
Cha - 8

Final Ability Scores:
Str - 17 (12th, 16th, and 20th levels)
Dex - 15
Con - 20 (4th and 8th levels)
Int - 12
Wis - 10
Cha - 8


Maneuvers/Stances Known
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Maneuvers/Stances Known:
Level Initiator Level Maneuvers Known: Stances Known: Maneuvers & Stances
1 - - -
2 1 3 1 Moment of Perfect Mind, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Steel Wind, Punishing Stance
3 2 3 1
4 3 4 1 Action Before Thought
5 3 4 1
6 4 4 1
7 4 4 1
8 5 4 1
9 5 4 1
10 6 4 1
11 6 4 1
12 7 4 1
13 7 4 1
14 8 4 1
15 8 4 1
16 9 4 1
17 9 4 1
18 10 4 1
19 10 4 1
20 11 4 1


Level Breakpoints
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Level 5

Torgar is a capable frontline fighter, despite being lightly armored. He has solid mobility skills, can track, and not much will escape his notice. He's got some great offense and defense from his Warblade maneuvers, and he's sitting on a hefty pile of hitpoints, if all else fails. He can move into a densely populated spot on the battlefield to take advantage of his Steely Strike maneuver, or go toe-to-toe with a single foe and have a shot at coming out on top. At this level, he'll either two-weapon fight with a Dwarven Waraxe and shield, or two-hand a dwarven waraxe. Alternating between Ranger and Warblade lets him pick up maneuvers and skills in relatively equal measure (and nab an important 2nd level maneuver - Action Before Thought), as well as avoiding an XP penalty for going all one and then the other. His 3rd ranger level nets him one of the SI requirements for free. Wild Talent is grabbed at first level to provide a power point reserve, so that Torgar can become psionically focused (which will be very important at level 15). If the alternate Hidden Talent is available, that should be taken instead, and Expansion should be the power chosen.

Level 10

Torgar has now entered the SI, and his defensive capability starts to climb the peaks of his mountain home. Midnight Dodge and Azure Toughness make an appearance as replacements for the SI requirements. Each feat adds 1 essentia point to Torgar's pool, which means he can effectively turn his normally useless Toughness feat into another +1 Dodge bonus by investing both points of Essentia into Midnight Dodge (for +2 dodge bonus), and none into Azure Toughness (for 0 bonus hitpoints). Torgar maxes out Spot and Concentration, a trend that will continue throughout his career. In order to make the most of his focused skillset, he picks up two skill tricks: Point It Out and Clarity of Vision. Lastly, his Bloodstorm Blade levels give him Power Attack for free (which he can use to great effect with Sapphire Nightmare Blade), and the ability to hurl his waraxe at his foes without having to move from where he stands, which means he can stand strong in his Defensive Stance and still bring the pain to his foes. His AC and HP should be so solid at this point that he can pretty much always be in his Punishing Stance for additional damage. His levels in classes that almost all grant d12 hitpoints leaves him with a huge chunk of hitpoints, should something manage to breach his impressive defenses. The Heavy Armor Proficiency granted by the SI is hugely useful here, because none of his previous classes grant him Heavy Armor Proficiency, and he needs it for his trick that comes online next.

Level 15 - "Sweet Spot"

Torgar is now a rock standing strong against the tide of battle. One of his last tricks comes from the two feats he picks up by this level: Heavy Armor Optimization and Deflective Armor. Because Torgar can become psionically focused (which he does at the start of each day), he can now apply the AC bonus from his armor (including enhancement bonus) to his Touch AC. When taken in conjunction with his already formidable dodge bonus to AC (+4 in general, or +6 against a specific foe), hitting him with orb spells and the like becomes an unlikely prospect. Improved Uncanny dodge renders him relatively immune to sneak attack (flanking being the easiest and most common way of gaining it), so Torgar is at home when surrounded by foes, and he's got the mobility to reliably get into the thick of the fighting before using his Defensive Stance ability. His Damage Reduction just adds to his survivability. Trap Sense gives him a minor boost against traps, and with his saves (and save boosting maneuvers) he can pretty reliably spring any traps his unit might encounter.

Level 20

Torgar's final defense boosting trick comes with the Stonewarden feature of Deepwarden. Torgar now adds his considerable Con bonus to his AC instead of his Dex bonus, which is only further enhanced when he uses his Defensive Stance ability. These also both boost his touch AC (and his Reflex and Will saves through maneuvers), so he continues to be a frustrating target for many methods of attack that can usually be used against a fighter. Mobile defense lets Torgar reposition slightly should his foes start maneuvering away, but as he can still reach them with thrown attacks thanks to Bloodstorm Blade, he may not need to. Lastly, Torgar does not take the capstone ability for the SI, because he replicates almost completely with the feat Roll With It from Savage Species (the feat has a prerequisite of Toughness, which dovetails nicely into the SI requirements). This feat grants him a stacking DR 2/-, meaning that he comes out with only 1 DR less than he would had he grabbed the last level of the SI (and doing so would cost him either the Stonewarden ability from Deepwarden, or the Lightning Ricochet ability from Bloodstorm Blade - neither trade is worth it). So he misses out on 1 point of DR, 1 point of AC (which is mitigated by the extra point he gets from Midnight Dodge), and 1/day use of his Defensive Stance ability (but he's already got enough Defensive Stance uses for a typical adventuring day and they'll last all combat, thanks to his sky-high Con score).

Oh, and Torgar also has a delicious +20 BAB.


Variations and Comments
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Alternate Feat Choices

If it is available, Torgar should take Hidden Talent rather than Wild Talent, with Expansion as his power known. If retraining or Dark Chaos Shuffling is allowed, Torgar can swap out one of his Track feats for Martial Study to pick up Iron Heart Surge or Steadfast Determination for additional options on defense.


Sources
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Player's Handbook
Tome of Battle (Warblade, Bloodstorm Blade)
Races of Stone (Deepwarden, Heavy Armor Optimization, Deflective Armor)
Magic of Incarnum (Midnight Dodge, Azure Toughness)
Expanded Psionics Handbook (Wild Talent)
Dungeon Master's Guide (Secret Ingredient)
Savage Species (Roll With It)