Entry number 10:
Quote Originally Posted by Li'l Brudder
Li'l Brudder
”I can make it on my own!”

NG Elf Martial Wizard 1 / Dragon Shaman 1 / Martial Rogue 8 / Order of the Bow Initiate 10

Spoiler: Vital Statistics

STR: 14 (+2) (6 pts)
DEX: 16 + 2 [elf] = 18 (+4) (10 pts)
CON: 8 – 2 [elf] – 2 [Flaw: Pathetic Constitution] = 4 (–3) (0 pts)
INT: 16 (+3) (10 pts)
WIS: 14 (+2) (6 pts)
CHA: 8 (–1) (0 pts)

Level-up points go into DEX.

Flaw: Pathetic Constitution [–2 CON] (no bonus feat selected)
Flaw: Frail [–1 HP gained each level, min. 0] (no bonus feat selected)
Trait: Quick [ –1 HP gained per level, min 0; no benefit claimed]

HP: 0
Move speed: 30 ft

Spoiler: Build Table
Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
1st Martial Wizard (Conjurer) 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Concentration 4 (4), Autohypnosis 2 cc (2), K: Religion 4 (4), Craft (Bowmaking) 4 (4), Heal 2 cc (2) Endurance, Bonus: Point Blank Shot Spells, Bonus Feat, Abrupt Jaunt
2nd Martial Rogue 1 +0 +0 +2 +2 Concentration +1 cc (5), Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (2.5), Craft (Bowmaking) +1 (5), Balance 5 (5), Spot 2 (2) Bonus: Precise Shot Bonus Feat, Trapfinding
3rd Dragon Shaman +0 +2 +2 +4 Heal +4 (6), Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (3) Diehard Draconic Auras (Vigor, Senses, Energy Shield), Totem Dragon (gold)
4th Martial Rogue 2 +1 +2 +3 +4 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (3.5), Craft (Bowmaking) +2 (7), Spot +3 (5), Listen +3 (3), Skill Trick: Healing Hands Bonus: Weapon Focus (longbow) Bonus Feat, Evasion
5th Martial Rogue 3 +2 +3 +3 +5 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (4), Craft (Bowmaking) +1 (8), Heal +2 cc (8), Spot +2 (7), Listen +3 (6) No new feats Trap Sense +1
6th Martial Rogue 4 +3 +3 +4 +5 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (4.5), Craft (Bowmaking) +1 (9), Heal +1 cc (9), Spot +2 (9), Listen +3 (9), Skill Trick: Point It Out Lightning Reflexes, Bonus: Rapid Shot Bonus Feat, Uncanny Dodge
7th Martial Rogue 5 +3 +3 +4 +5 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (5), Craft (Bowmaking) +1 (10), Heal +1 cc (10), Spot +1 (10), Listen +1 (10), Climb +5 (5) No new feats No new class features
8th Martial Rogue 6 +4 +4 +5 +6 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (5.5), Craft (Bowmaking) +1 (11), Heal +1 cc (11), Spot +1 (11), Listen +1 (11), Climb +5 (10) Bonus: Prone Attack Bonus Feat, Trap Sense +2
9th Martial Rogue 7 +5 +4 +5 +6 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (6), Craft (Bowmaking) +1 (12), Heal +1 cc (12), Spot +1 (12), Listen +1 (12), Climb +1 (11), Knowledge (Religion) + 1 cc (5), Skill Trick: Spot the Weak Point Travel Devotion No new class features
10th Order of the Bow Initiate 1 +6 +4 +7 +8 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (6.5), Heal +1 cc (13), Skill Trick: Clarity of Vision No new feats Ranged Precision +1d8
11th Order of the Bow Initiate 2 +7 +4 +8 +9 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (7), Heal +1 cc (14), Spot +2 (14) No new feats Close Combat Shot
12th Order of the Bow Initiate 3 +8 +5 +8 +9 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (7.5), Heal +1 cc (15), Spot +1 (15), Listen +0.5 cc (12.5) Travel Devotion [2] Ranged Precision +2d8
13th Order of the Bow Initiate 4 +9 +5 +9 +10 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (8), Heal +1 cc (16), Spot +1 (16), Listen +0.5 cc (13) Bonus: Greater Weapon Focus (longbow) Greater Weapon Focus (longbow)
14th Order of the Bow Initiate 5 +10 +5 +9 +10 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (8.5), Heal +1 cc (17), Spot +1 (17), Listen +0.5 cc (13.5) No new feats Ranged Precision +3d8
15th Order of the Bow Initiate 6 +11 +6 +10 +11 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (9), Heal +1 cc (18), Spot +1 (18), Listen +0.5 cc (14) Travel Devotion [3], Bonus: Sharp-Shooting Sharp-Shooting
16th Order of the Bow Initiate 7 +12 +6 +10 +11 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (9.5), Heal +1 cc (19), Spot +1 (19), Listen +0.5 cc (14.5) No new feats Ranged Precision +4d8
17th Order of the Bow Initiate 8 +13 +6 +11 +12 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (10), Heal +1 cc (20), Spot +1 (20), Listen +0.5 cc (15) No new feats No new class features
18th Order of the Bow Initiate 9 +14 +7 +11 +12 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (10.5), Heal +1 cc (21), Spot +1 (21), Listen +0.5 cc (15.5) Travel Devotion [4] Ranged Precision +5d8
19th Order of the Bow Initiate 10 +15 +7 +12 +13 Autohypnosis +0.5 cc (11), Heal +1 cc (22), Spot +1 (22), Listen +0.5 cc (16) No new feats Extended Precision
20th Martial Rogue 8 +16 +7 +13 +13 Heal +1 cc (23), Spot +1 (23), Listen +7 (23), Craft (Bowmaking) +1 (13) Bonus: Improved Initiative Bonus Feat, Improved Uncanny Dodge

Spoiler: Spells per Day
Spells per Day/Spells Known
Spells per Day/Spells Known
Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st 3 1+1 - - - - - - - -
(Spells do not progress beyond 1st level. This table does not include spells gained from a high INT score.)
Spells in book: All non-banned cantrips, Nerveskitter, Blockade, Grease, Silent Image, Benign Transposition, Magic Weapon
Banned schools: Evocation, Necromancy
Typical spells prepared: Detect Magic (2), Prestidigitation, Grease (2), Nerveskitter

Spoiler: Story
Li'l Brudder is not one of the lucky ones. He was born with a host of maladies, including advanced cancer of the elf, mephitic ocular ryoma (gotta be careful with those mephits), planar fasciitis (where the plane in question is Gehenna, specifically), and several missing organs, including one of his lungs. The doctors tried to amputate his CON in the hopes of stopping the spread of his cancer of the elf, but unfortunately, it had metastasized.

Still, Li'l Brudder dreamed of being an adventurer someday. Like all elves, he practiced hard with the longbow, even though the effort of shooting so much as a single arrow would cause him to cough up blood until he passed out. Recognizing that he might work better with his mind than with his body, his parents sent him to Wizard Academy. He mastered the basics of some Conjuration spells (even though casting them made him pass out just like shooting an arrow did), but when it came time to scribe some new spells into his book, he found that he was horribly allergic to the special dragonsblood ink necessary for scribing spells. (Once it was dry, he could use his spellbook, but it was far too dangerous for him to attempt to learn anything new.) Discouraged, he dropped out of the Academy and went back to practicing with his bow, dreaming of someday being as well-known as his hero, Lanky Lowshot.

Li'l Brudder had always relied on sheer force of willpower to keep body and soul together during his many fainting spells. Day after day he practiced, coughing up more blood than one elf should seem to have and discovering new ailments that the doctors didn't even have names for. At some point, he managed to master the art of staying awake after doing things, though he still experienced horribly painful and bloody coughing fits with every arrow he shot. Still, his soul's will to live seemed to have a rejuvenating effect on his body (such as it is), and he became less and less likely to die after shooting an arrow.

Of course, just failing to die after shooting an arrow isn't really enough to get into an adventuring party. Li'l Brudder went to tavern after tavern seeking a party of stalwart comrades to join, but nobody was interested in joining forces with an elf who seemed to be in more danger from himself than from the dungeon. After dozens of parties turned him down for being constantly staggered, he decided to get the law on his side. Finding a lawyer who was willing to help him pro bono, Li'l Brudder sued the last party who turned him down for unfair discrimination under the Adventurers with Disabilities Act. The party grumbled, but rather than fight an ugly court battle, they took Li'l Brudder with them on their next adventure (figuring that he would probably keel over and die on the first day in the dungeon, thus ceasing to be their problem far sooner than if they had to go to court for weeks).

Through some combination of dumb luck and managing to magically blink away whenever trouble got too close, Li'l Brudder survived the dungeon. The party grumbled that he slowed them down, but he was still their problem now. They were somewhat consoled by the fact that his indomitable will to live seemed to even patch up their wounds when they got bad enough, even though that's so cheesy that they found it flatly unrealistic. Still, Li'l Brudder's practice with tending to his own injuries made him reasonably good at patching up scrapes and bruises, and he could still plink away with his arrows.

After a surprisingly long time adventuring with his frustrated party, Li'l Brudder got the opportunity he'd always dreamed of. As the party was carousing in a tavern and planning their next adventure (yes, adventurers can carouse and plan at the same time), over in a corner, Li'l Brudder saw his hero: the one and only Lanky Lowshot. Gibbering with excitement, Li'l Brudder went over to Lanky and asked him to autograph his bow. After a few moments of sputtering about being his biggest fan, Li'l Brudder finally worked up the courage to ask Lanky, “do you think I'll be able to shoot as well as you do someday?” Lanky started to answer, but the party Fighter (a rather argumentative drunk who was running low on patience) interrupted and said “For Pelor's sake, don't get the kid's hopes up, or we'll never hear the end of it. Just tell him the truth. What's the truth, Lowshot?” Lanky froze in mid-word. Like a man possessed, he picked up his bow and wordlessly let fly an arrow (somehow managing to miss everyone in the packed tavern, though the barmaids certainly weren't happy about it). Seeming to regain his senses (but apparently not aware of what he had just done), Lanky offered Li'l Brudder a book of battle techniques he had written, which actually did cause Li'l Brudder to pass out.

From then on, Li'l Brudder religiously followed Lanky's teachings. He never managed to control his shaking hands enough to shoot more than a single arrow at once, but his arrows started flying truer, dealing considerable damage when they found their mark. He could even shoot in close combat without leaving himself open. He still coughed up blood after every shot, and a single shot was about all he could do, but he did it with relish.

The adventuring party never did get rid of him.

Spoiler: Strategy and Tactics
Li'l Brudder has 0 HP. (He gets –5 HP per level, minimum 0, and he rolls low.) This means that he is only able to take a single move action or standard action per turn, and he can't take full-round actions. This makes Order of the Bow Initiate perfect for him: he can't full attack, so he's not losing anything by using the standard-action Ranged Precision ability offered by OotBI. Ranged Precision is therefore the best thing he can be doing with his actions, so the SI is absolutely critical to playing the character. Close Combat Shot helps for when he doesn't have an action available to get out of melee range. Diehard keeps him awake even when he goes into negatives, and Autohypnosis is much more reliable than a d% stabilization roll (Concentration is used for the synergy bonus). He does take damage whenever he takes a standard action, but whenever he's not at full HP, he's considered to be below half of his max HP, so his draconic Vigor aura kicks in and heals him back up. If he needs a few extra HP of healing, he can reliably roll to stabilize himself with Heal, and his Healing Hands skill trick gives him an extra d6 of HP (though he still caps out at 0).

If he gets knocked down, he has a hard time mustering a move action to stand back up, but Prone Attack solves the issue nicely. As a ranged attacker, Li'l Brudder doesn't need to move around much, but in the event that he does want to change his battlefield position and still fire an arrow, he can use Travel Devotion (since being at 0 HP doesn't interfere with swift actions). His skill trick Spot the Weak Point only works on one attack, but since he's only making one attack per round, that's still pretty helpful for him (once per encounter, at least). With his low HP, he looks relatively vulnerable to area attacks, but he's got Lightning Reflexes, Evasion, high DEX, and a high base Ref score, so he's not as vulnerable as one might think. Abrupt Jaunt is as useful on him as on everyone else.

Spoiler: Optional Material
As far as items go, Li'l Brudder doesn't need anything unexpected. The better his bow is, the happier he'll be, and no archer will turn down a DEX-boosting item. Basically everyone can benefit from magic armor and from a Cloak of Resistance, and Li'l Brudder is no exception.

If you choose to use flaws to gain feats, it's not going to be a bad idea to get Diehard immediately. If the GM allows the feat Draconic Aura (from Dragon Magic) to pick up the Vigor aura (there's contention over whether that's legal), that can be easier than dipping Dragon Shaman, though I decided to go with the uncontroversial method.

Ruathar is thematically appropriate to round out the build after OotBI, since it's basically the participation medal of PrCs, but I avoided it for Li'l Brudder because it advances Wizard casting, and Li'l Brudder is allergic to spellbook ink.

If you feel like dealing with mounted combat (since that would allow Li'l Brudder to move without spending too many of his own precious actions), you can swap a feat for Wild Cohort, turn the extra Travel Devotions into mount-based feats, and shuffle points into Ride, but I didn't want to be accused of relying on a Large mount in a dungeon.

Spoiler: Sources

Martial Wizard, Martial Rogue, Flaws, Traits: Unearthed Arcana/SRD
Dragon Shaman, Abrupt Jaunt: PHB2
Order of the Bow Initiate, Prone Attack, Sharp-Shooting: Complete Warrior
Travel Devotion: Complete Champion
Skill Tricks, Blockade: Complete Scoundrel
Autohypnosis: Expanded Psionics Handbook/SRD
Nerveskitter, Benign Transposition: Spell Compendium
Rogue, Wizard, elf, all feats/skills/spells not mentioned here: PHB/SRD