Entry number 8:

Quote Originally Posted by The Brothers Leech
The Brothers Leech
LE Dvati Rogue 1/Cloistered Cleric 1/Totemist 6/Swordsage 1/Thief of Life 10
See the Blood Begin to Flow
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My brother and I are of two bodies and yet of one soul.

How can this be so?

Each body has its own blood, and the teachings of Vol tell us that blood is life, that blood is the soul.

Then so too must we be of one blood.

Are then all bodies of one blood?

Blood is soul is it not? And do the souls of beasts not flow through us at our behest?

So it must be the same with blood.

Thus is the teaching of Vol.

Then it does not do to spill more blood than necessary, for we open our own veins in so doing.

We thus seek not to shed blood, but to mark it with the signature of our soul.

To stake claim upon it.

Upon Blood. Upon Soul.

Upon Life.

Blood Brothers
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Ability Scores
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32 Point Buy: 16 Str 10 Dex, 16 Con, 10 Int, 12 Wis, 12 Cha
All stat increases go to Con


Build Table
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Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
1st Wilderness Rogue 1 +0 +0 +2 +0 Knowledge (Nature) 4, Knowledge (Geography) 4, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Jump 4, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4 Darkstalker Poison Use (Replaces Trapfinding), Sneak Attack 1d6
2nd Cloistered Cleric of the Blood of Vol 1 +0 +2 +2 +2 Knowledge (Nature) 4, Knowledge (Geography) 4, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Jump 4, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2 Knowledge Devotion (Geography), Incarnum Spellshaping, Extra Turning Rebuke Undead, Knowledge Domain, Incarnum Domain, Undeath Domain
3rd Totemist 1 +0 +4 +4 +2 Knowledge (Nature) 4, Knowledge (Geography) 4, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Jump 4, Tumble 4, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4 Divine Soultouch Wild Empathy, Skilled City Dweller (Trade Ride for Tumble)
4th Totemist 2 +1 +5 +5 +2 Knowledge (Nature) 4, Knowledge (Geography) 4, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Jump 4, Tumble 5, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Collector of Stories - Totem Chakra Bind (+1 Capacity)
5th Totemist 3 +2 +5 +5 +3 Knowledge (Nature) 4, Knowledge (Geography) 4, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Jump 4, Tumble 8, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Totem’s Protection
6th Totemist 4 +3 +6 +6 +3 Knowledge (Nature) 5, Knowledge (Geography) 4, Hide 5cc, Move Silently 4, Jump 4, Tumble 9, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories Shape Soulmeld (Gloves of the Poisoned Soul) -
7th Totemist 5 +3 +6 +6 +3 Knowledge (Nature) 5, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 5, Move Silently 5cc, Jump 4, Tumble 10, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Chakra Binds (Crown, Feet, Hands)
8th Totemist 6 +4 +7 +7 +4 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 5, Move Silently 6cc, Jump 4, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 4, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Totem Chakra Bind (+1 Meldshaper Level)
9th Swordsage 1 +4 +7 +9 +6 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 6, Move Silently 6, Jump 8, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 4, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories Martial Stance (Assassin’s Stance) Quick to Act +1, Discipline Focus (Weapon Focus: Tiger Claw)
10th Thief of Life 1 +4 +9 +11 +6 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 8, Move Silently 8, Jump 8, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 6, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Lifesense (5ft)
11th Thief of Life 2 +5 +10 +12 +6 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 9, Move Silently 9, Jump 9, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 9, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Sneak Attack 2d6
12th Thief of Life 3 +6 +10 +12 +7 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 11, Move Silently 11, Jump 10, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 10, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories Maiming Strike Lifesense (10ft)
13th Thief of Life 4 +7 +11 +13 +7 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 12, Move Silently 12, Jump 12, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 12, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Borrow Vigor
14th Thief of Life 5 +7 +11 +13 +7 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 14, Move Silently 14, Jump 13, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 13, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Immunity to Fear, Lifesense (15ft)
15th Thief of Life 6 +8 +12 +14 +8 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 15, Move Silently 15, Jump 15, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 15, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories Expanded Soulmeld Capacity Sneak Attack 3d6
16th Thief of Life 7 +9 +12 +14 +8 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 17, Move Silently 17, Jump 16, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 16, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Immunity to Energy Drain, Lifesense (20ft)
17th Thief of Life 8 +10 +13 +15 +8 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 18, Move Silently 18, Jump 18, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 18, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Steal Vitality
18th Thief of Life 9 +10 +13 +15 +9 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 20, Move Silently 20, Jump 19, Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 19, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories Open Greater Chakra (Throat) Immunity to Death Effects, Lifesense (25ft)
19th Thief of Life 10 +11 +14 +16 +9 Knowledge (Nature) 6, Knowledge (Geography) 5, Hide 21, Move Silently 21, Jump 21 , Tumble 11, Use Magic Device 21, Balance 5, Heal 4, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Knowledge (The Planes) 1, Collector of Stories - Sneak Attack 4d6, Steal Immortality

Subsystems
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Meldshaping
Level Soulmelds Essentia Chakra Binds
3rd 2+1 2 0
4th 3+1 3 1
5th 3+1 3 1
6th 4+1 4 1
7th 4+1 4 1
7th 4+1 5 2
18th 4+1 5 2+1
The +1s denote specific soulmelds and chakra binds from feats which do not count against the numbers of soulmelds and chakra binds available to him from class levels.

Swordsage Maneuvers
Level Initiator Level Maneuvers Readied Maneuvers Known Stances Known
9 5 4 Claw at the Moon, Sudden Leap, Cloak of Deception, Shadow Jaunt, Distracting Ember, Strength Draining Strike Island of Blades, Assassin’s Stance

Cleric Spellcasting
You get 3 Orisons, 1 1st level spell, and 1 1st level domain spell each day unless your Wisdom increases. The 1st level slot will most likely be Blood Wind, and the Domain spell must either be Detect Undead or Detect Incarnum. The 0th level slots will most likely go to Cure Minor Wounds


And My Blood is My Own Now
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ECL 5
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BAB and a number of skills lag a bit behind where I’d like them, but you’ve got a reliable flanking buddy for your Sneak Attacking, Knowledge Devotion, and the advantages of Incarnum frontloading to help you out. Enhancement bonuses on weapons and competence bonuses to skills won’t be overlapping with gear much yet, so you can bolster your stealth skills by binding the Kruthik Claws and get your attack rolls up to par by investing essentia into whichever Totem meld seems good on a given day, with the ability to increase the essentia cap on your melds for 8 rounds each day with Divine Soultouch (so most likely the majority of rounds in the average 4 combat adventuring day).


ECL 10
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We’ve finally set to make our entry into the SI with Assassin’s Stance getting us to the Sneak Attack requirement and have the basics of what will be our primary strategy online. Our go-to Soulmeld setup will be to bind the Wormtail Belt to the Totem Chakra and the Gloves of the Poisoned Soul to the Hands (select your third meld to taste). With so many class features that are dependent on killing enemies, we want a way to save some of those enemies for later, hence ability damage to incapacitate enemies. The Wormtail Belt’s Str Poison can be delivered on the same action as a Strength Draining Strike (each twin gets a Strength Draining Strike readied each encounter, which is handy, and helps make up for the save DC being so low), and with Gloves of the Poisoned Soul as a finisher you’ll be able to severely debuff enemy bruisers and outright paralyze lower Str foes. You also have Poison Use, so feel free to apply any Str poisons that you get your hands on to your backup weapon or the weapons of any allies who can reliably make the DC 15 Reflex Save to not poison themselves on a natural 1.

If you or your allies do end up knocking an enemy you’d like to save for later into negatives you’ve got a few daily castings of Cure Minor Wounds to stabilize them.


ECL 15
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Of course, for some enemies, Str damage isn’t really a viable way of subduing them. If you’ve got access to the right poisons you might be able to bring them low with Wis damage with the help of Gloves of the Poisoned Soul, but Maiming Strike’s Cha damage is generally going to be a more reliable proposition. Apart from anything else, you’re unlikely to find a better HD/CR ratio than that of the Collossal Monstrous Scorpion, which has a whopping Cha score of 2, meaning you can drop one comatose with a single hit. Then you just have to work out how you intend to cart the thing around. I assume extra-dimensional space will be involved somehow.

We’ve entered the SI, and a few of its abilities are starting to pull some weight. Apart from the aforementioned Borrow Vigor, we’ve got a 4th dice of Sneak Attack (necessary for that 2 Cha damage Maiming Strike hit), and Lifesense. If you expect to fight invisible enemies or the like who you will only be able to detect with Lifesense, consider switching your second Chakra Bind over from the Gloves of the Poisoned Soul Hand Bind to the Basilisk Mask Brow Bind for Blind-Fight.


ECL 20 (Sweet Spot)
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Well, it took us long enough, but we’ve finally reached the capstone. Depending on where you choose to apply Expanded Soulmeld Capacity on a given day you can either pump your Wormtail Belt as high as 7 essenita, or another meld up to 6 with the help of Divine Soultouch allowing us to make good use out of the large essentia boosts from Steal Immortality. We also get a third bind at the Throat Slot, which means our wild card meld slot is now being filled by the Brass Mane. Now we don’t need to bother with trying to Blind-Fight enemies we can only detect by Lifesense, we just use the AoE effect from the Brass Mane’s Throat Bind. It would seem that only one twin can roar in a given minute, meaning you won't get enemies exhausted without help from an ally also using fatigue effects or some manner of other chicanery, but it's noteworthy that they don't risk fatiguing each other or being fatigued by an ally using a similar effect in tandem to exhaust foes thanks to Steal Vitality making them immune to the condition. Fatigue and Exhaustion come with Str penalties as well, making this tactic dovetail nicely with the earlier Str damage strategy.


Use of Secret Ingredient
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Prerequisites – This is probably the weakest point, but at least all of the required skills are acquired as class skills and Knowledge Devotion and Collector of Stories get some mileage out of the Knowledge ranks.
Lifesense – Using the Basilisk Mask’s Brow Bind we can get Blind-Fight to strike at enemies we can detect but not see. At high levels the Brass Mane’s Throat bind gives an even more potent way to deal with such foes.
[b]Sneak Attack[/u] – In the early levels the extra d6 on Totemist’s many attacks will come in handy and at later levels Maiming Strike can help to subdue foes without killing them to save the benefits of Borrow Vigor/Steal Vitality/Steal Immortality for later.
Borrow Vigor – Dvati are a bit frail what with their divided HP and LA, so being able to pick up a little extra is nice. You’ll find a use for the essentia as well, though a single point for 4 levels isn’t much to write home about.
Immunity to Fear – This was always going to be more bug than feature on a rogue-type, but as the Brothers focus on subduing enemies to kill them later rather than bringing them down outright with HP damage, we don’t miss Craven as much as we otherwise might.
Immunity to Energy Drain – It’s hard to really do much with Immunities, but it’s nice to have I guess.
Steal Vitality – Here’s an immunity we can do something with. Immunity to Fatigue and Exhaustion keeps each brother safe from the other’s Brass Mane roar. As with Borrow Vigor, the extra HP is nice as well.
Immunity to Death Effects – Again, it’s nice to have, but hard to really optimize.
Steal Immortality – With the Totem Chakra’s +1 capacity, Divine Soultouch, and Expanded Soulmeld Capacity, the Brothers have high essentia capacity to make use of the large amount of essentia granted by the capstone in addition to their aforementioned use for more HP. Due to their Level Adjustment, they also have the ability to Steal Immortality from foes from the standard races with CR equal to their ECL, as such enemies will have more HD than the Brothers.


Adaptations
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If you're curious as to my flagrant disregard for multiclass penalties, or if you just hate Dvati, it may interest you to know that the build was modified from using Silverbrow Human as its race (either with the Dark Template or another Swordsage level at 20th) in the 11th hour. The primary difference in tactics (past lower levels where Claws of the Wyrm and Dragon Tail soulmelds are significant) was that the Throat Bind could conceivably be the Dragonfire Mask instead of the Brass Mane with a Crown of the North Wind (Dragons of Faerun) converting the fire breath weapon into the Gold Dragon's Weakening Gas. With Steal Immortality, it would have been possible to age the character to Venerable with no ill effects, meaning that their age category for the purpose of the breath weapon would be 4, an additional point of Str damage above what the crown will normally get you. I suspect that the original version of the build would actually have scored higher, but I felt the Dvati version more interesting. No regrets.



So Bring Me the Blood and Red Wine
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Cityscape Web Enhancement: Skilled City-Dweller ACF
Dragon Compendium: Dvati
Drow of the Underdark: Rogue Poison Use ACF
Exemplars of Evil: Maiming Strike
Faiths of Eberron (also Web): Thief of Life, Blood of Vol as a faith
Lords of Madness: Darkstalker
Magic of Incarnum: Totemist, Divine Soultouch, Expanded Soulmeld Capacity, Incarnum Spellshaping, Open Greater Chakra, Shape Soulmeld, Soulmelds, Incarnum Domain
Tome of Battle: Swordsage, Martial Stance, Maneuvers
Everything else should be in the SRD.