Shrift the Mighty
This little kobold can give a big helping hand to friends and enemies alike.Spoiler: Stat Block (ECL 9)
Venerable Male Earth KoboldMM+UA Monk 1/Psychic Warrior 6/Fighter 2 LE Medium Dragon (Reptilian)
Initiative +2; Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Light Sensitivity; Listen +7; Spot +7
Languages Draconic, Common
AC 14 T 14 FF 14; Fort +9 Ref +4 Will +7
–-2 saves vs [air] creatures
Speed 30 ft.
BAB +6 Grapple +12
–+1 Battlefist [+14 (6d6+7+2d6(claw) | x2)] (Brutal Surge)
– Claws of the Beast [+7 (2d6+3 | x2)] (Secondary)
– Slam [+7 (1d4+3 | x2)]
Attack Options +1 attack vs [air] creatures, Bull Rush (+14), Dungeon Crasher, Power Attack
–Brutal Surge – Bull Rush as swift action after melee attack.
–Decisive Strike – Full-round action, attack at -1 for double damage.
–––+1 Battlefist [+13 (12d6+14+4d6(claw) | x2)]
Power Points/Day: 20; Powers Known (ML 6):1st – Call Weaponry, Claws of the Beast†, Expansion†Spell-Like Abilities: Mighty Wallop 3/day†
2nd – Animal Affinity†, Hustle, Strength of My Enemy
hp 71 (9 HD)
Strength 22 (+6)
Dexterity 10 (+0)
Constitution 14 (+2)
Intelligence 12 (+1)
Wisdom 16 (+3)
Charisma 11 (+0)
Special Qualities Slight BuildWeb, Stability +4, Draconic Rite of Passage
Feats HD1 – Dragonwrought (Emerald Dragon)RotD, Flaw – Kobold EnduranceRotD, Monk1 – Improved Unarmed Strike
Monk1 – Monastic Training (Psychic Warrior)ECS, PW1 – Power Attack, PW1 – Weapon Focus (Battlefist), HD3 – TashalatoraSoS, Ftr1 – Improved Bull Rush, HD6 – Draconic ReservoirWeb, PW5 – Beast StrikeDragon#355, HD9 – Shock TrooperCW, Item – Improved Natural Attack (unarmed strike)
(Flaws: Meager Fortitude)
Possessions combat gear plus Strongarm BracersMIC, Mighty ArmsFoe, +2 Wisdom item, Fanged RingDrM, 6300 gp
Skill Total Ranks Listen +7 4 Spot +7 4 Autohypnosis +10 5 Concentration +7 5 Tumble +10 10 Unspent Skill Points - 49
Born and raised high in the mountains, Shrift lived out his early years in a monastery built by kobolds descended from an emerald gem dragon said to live in the nearby volcano. Though more myth and legend than fact, the elder took the occasional rumblings of the volcano as proof that their patron dragon was alive and well and guarding over them. The kobold monks lived in peace, perfecting their minds and bodies and most devious traps... for physical training purposes, of course.
As Shrift grew up, he knew he was different from the other monks. He had a bit more spark than they did, a bit more emerald to his scales. True, all the kobolds here were dragonwrought, but he felt he was even more dragon than that. He was quite certain he was stronger, tougher, and psionicer than his peers. His one love in life? Hitting things. And he could hit things. Hard!
Spoiler: ECL 1-3At 1st level, Shrift is a Monk. He punches things and dreams small dreams of being big. He really wants to punch big, so he takes the alternate class feature Decisive StrikePHB2 – Trade flurry of blows for making a single attack that deals double damage. Eventually, he'll be able to make two attacks at double damage, but not for awhile. If he's less concerned with big numbers, he might stick with flurry to make multiple hits, but that's just crazy talk!
2nd and 3rd levels are Psychic Warrior with the ACF Soulbound WeaponWeb – Lose 2nd level bonus feat, forced choice of 1st-level power. Gain Weapon Focus and a summoned weapon that scales with level.
Soulbound Weapon is an interesting ACF in that you trade away your second level bonus feat and gain an extra bonus feat at 1st-level. It makes dipping one level for two bonus feats a viable option, assuming you want Weapon Focus, but we're not actually doing that here...
While not immediately that useful at this level, it will definitely help Shrift out later. His favorite trick is summoning a weapon with Brutal Surge for extra uses of swift action bull rush. For now, it just ensures that he has a weapon on hand when needed. Mostly, he still just uses his fists and saves his power points for other things.
Starting Ability Scores: (28 pt. buy)
Str 14, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 9, Wis 11, Cha 8
Class BAB Fort Ref Will Feats Special 1 Monk 1 +0 +2 +2 +2 HD1 – Dragonwrought (Emerald Dragon)RotD
Flaw – Kobold EnduranceRotD
Monk1 – Improved Unarmed Strike
Monk1 – Monastic Training (Psychic Warrior)ECS
Bonus Feat, AC bonus, decisive strike (-2), unarmed strike 2 Psychic Warrior 1 +0 +4 +2 +2 PW1 – Power Attack
PW1 – Weapon Focus (Battlefist)
Bonus Feat, Weapon Focus 3 Psychic Warrior 2 +1 +5 +2 +2 HD3 – TashalatoraSoS Soulbound weapon
When playing this character, beg to start at a higher level than first. Six or higher is best, but starting below 3rd is just painful.
That said, Shrift's main focus is punching things. He's decent at it for a little guy. He deals a measly 1d4 damage with his unarmed strike, but he's got tricks!
By third level, he's picked up the Mighty Arms graft from Faiths of Eberron. This gives him a 1d4 slam attack, which he can use as a secondary attack at -5 if he wants, but he's much more likely to use that full round action for Decisive Strike to do double damage. The main purpose of the graft is to be able to use a battlefist. If you haven't picked up a bttlefist for him at this point, you can call one with Call Weaponry, albeit without its usual +1 enhancement.
The best part of the battlefist is that it lets a monk deal unarmed damage at +1 size. So, with a decisive strike, Shrift can deal 2d6+2xStr damage. That's still not wonderful, but it's a start and not terrible for 3rd level. But we're not done yet!
Shrift also picks up Expansion as a power known at 3rd level, so with that active, his damage increases to 2d8+2xStr.
He also performs the Draconic Rite of PassageRotD sometime after 2nd level, picking up Mighty Wallop as a 1/day SLA. So, for a few rounds a day, that decisive strike damage further increases to 4d6+2xStr. Now we're talking. He saves this ability for fighting big boss monsters and uses his smaller punches for everything else.
He's also got Power Attack at this level, but it's not really useful due to the -2 penalty from decisive strike and only having +1 BAB. He won't use the two together, but he might power attack for 1 to blow through mooks a little faster.
Tashalatora lets Psychic Warrior and Monk stack for a few things, including unarmed damage. So, other than a quick dip in Fighter coming up, Shrift is probably going to stay in Psychic Warrior from here on out.
As an alternative to Mighty Wallop, Shrift might choose Blood WindSpC so that he can throw his fists at range. Yeah, it costs him a little damage, but it gives him range. If there's a wizard in the party, he should be casting (greater) mighty wallop of Shrift anyway... at least if that wizard doesn't want to get thwacked!
As he grew, Shirft started to become something of a bully, knocking the other young kobolds around as he pleased. Hearing the squeaks of fear and occasional crunching bones filled his dark little heart with mirth as he sent his training partners tumbling along the ground. Known for his massive metal fist of fury, the other kobolds gave him a wide berth when they could and prayed for a quick recovery when they couldn't. Shrift ruled the monastery with a iron fist, well, steel fist, at least among the younglings. The elders still had a few tricks up their sleeves to keep him in place when he got too out of hand, but he was learning quickly.
Then one day a traveler arrived at the monastery. Bedraggled, burnt, and suffering from exposure, the man-thing was taken inside. After a brief interrogation, the head monks killed him and tossed his gangrenous corpse outside their walls. Tales of a red dragon rampaging across the human lands in the valleys below was of no concern to them. After all, they had their own patron dragon to protect them. No lesser dragon, no mere red could harm them or their guardian.
Shrift knew different. Their patron wasn't going to protect them. Shrift was. He could handle any threat that came his way. After all, he was the dragonest thing around these parts, and he was determined to prove it!
Spoiler: ECL 4-64th and 5th level are both in Fighter. He likes the idea of shoving people around, so he takes Improved Bull Rush as his bonus feat. At 5th level, he takes Dungeon CrasherDun for a bonus to saves/AC vs traps, a bonus to breaking down barriers, and a very nice damage bonus of 4d6+2xStr when he knocks someone into a wall.
At 6th level, he hops back into Psychic Warrior and picks up Claws of the Beast as his power and Draconic Reservoir as his feat. Draconic Reservoir Gives him another 2 daily uses of Mighty Wallop, and Claws of the Beast gives him some other secondary attacks for when he doesn't want to use decisive strike. It also will give him a nice combo in a few levels.
Kobold Endurance that we took at 1st-level might have seemed like an odd feat choice, I mean, it's basically Endurance. Blegh. However, it gives a few other miscellaneous bonuses over normal Endurance, including a +4 bonus to Str checks. Bull Rush is a Strength check. Combined with Improved Bull Rush, that's an extra +8 to the check. Combined with Stability of an Earth Kobold, that's an extra +8 to resist bull rushes. Combined with dungeon crasher, that's an extra +8 to break things. Seems like that's worth a feat to me, and that doesn't even touch on the other things it does.
Class BAB Fort Ref Will Feats Special 4 Fighter 1 +2 +7 +2 +2 Ftr1 – Improved Bull Rush Bonus Feat, Hit-and-Run Tactics 5 Fighter 2 +3 +8 +2 +2 Dungeon crasher 6 Psychic Warrior 3 +4 +8 +3 +3 HD6 – Draconic ReservoirWeb —
Tactics at these levels aren't really any different. Punch things when you can.
One difference is that by this level, Shrift has picked up a pair of Strongarm Bracers, allowing him to wield larger weapons as though he had Powerful Build. This gives him a Medium battlefist, which should give him an additional size increase to damage (but ask your DM). Additionally, battlefists specifically look as if they were made for a size larger creature, so we have our small kobold dragging around a giant metal fist nearly as large as he is, swinging it around wildly in battle.
Unarmed strike damage has gone up to a base of 1d6→
1d82d6(battlefist)→3d6(expansion)→4d6(mighty wallop)→8d6(decisive strike).
The monastery was burning. Shrift was dying. His "friends" were dead. Dragons cheat! They can freakin' fly! How was he supposed to punch it if it was up in the stupid sky?! It wasn't fair!
With one last desperate effort of psionic might, Shrift managed to stabilize his wounds, drifting away into a self-induced psionic coma. He awoke a few days later with just enough energy to draw the last of his reserves into knitting his wounds enough to keep his intestines where they belonged. Pulling himself into a sitting position, he looked around. The monastery was devastated, the kobolds slaughtered, and their patron dragon's volcano merrily erupting with no signs of their patron in sight.
With the elders dead, Shrift decided that is was his duty to rebuild. He would become the new master of the few survivors and create a new order of psionic monks, an order capable of defending itself against even the cheating dragons!
Spoiler: ECL 7-9Levels 7 to 9 are when Shrift starts to really get his act together. We see the powers Animal Affinity, granting him a +4 bonus to the ability score of his choice, Hustle for more move actions, and Strength of My Enemy to drain Str from targets and add it to his own.
The biggest boons though are the reduction in the penalty to decisive strike and the Beast Strike and Shock Trooper feats. Shock Trooper has been covered to death, and it's pretty easy to figure out. Beast Strike lets Shrift stack his claw damage with his fist.
He's also picked up a Fanged Ring for Improved Natural Attack (unarmed strike).
Class BAB Fort Ref Will Feats Special 7 Psychic Warrior 4 +5 +9 +3 +3 Decisive strike (-1) 8 Psychic Warrior 5 +5 +9 +3 +3 PW5 – Beast StrikeDragon#355 Bonus Feat 9 Psychic Warrior 6 +6+1 +10 +4 +4 HD9 – Shock TrooperCW —
More of the same, really. He's really only got one trick, but he's not totally useless when he can't put everything together. He's got enough skill points to do something else on the side too, but I haven't really explored that with this build... I leave that up to you.
Now, onto the fun parts.
Beast strike is a fun little toy that lets Shrift add his claw damage to his unarmed strike. Claws of the beast gives him claws that scale with his level. His unarmed strike scales with his level. The two stack. So, his damage scales with his level twice over. Gotta love that.
So, we have a base of 1d6→
1d82d6(battlefist)→3d6(Improved Natural Attack)→4d6(expansion)→6d6(mighty wallop).
So, we have 6d6+Str+2d6 from our claws. We make this a decisive strike for 12d6+2xStr+4d6. (Note that claw damage may or may not double depending on DM interpretation. The one time I used it, the DM ruled that it doubled for decisive strike but not for critical hits. So... *shrug* ask your DM. Even without doubling at all, it's good extra damage from the feat.)
With all of his buffs active, a light tap from Shrift deals an average of 70 damage, threatening death by massive damage. If his target survives that, he activates Brutal Surge, throwing his target back into a wall for an additional 4d6+2xStr damage. On an average hit with bull rush, Shrift is dealing 84 damage.
Unarmed strike and claws of the beast only improve from there, the penalty from decisive strike fades away, and he eventually does two hits instead of one. While 84 damage per hit at 9th level isn't phenomenal, it's certainly respectable. If he takes Psychic Warrior all the way to 20, he'll be doing serious damage, even without decisive strike by stacking his unarmed strike and fully augmented claws of the beast. The additional powers he gains can give him added power or flexibility (claws of the vampire for healing is good), and he has an additional seven feats to select.
As a final note on items, if you purchase a permanent battlefist (which I do in this build) try to get a wand chamberDun built into it. Also try to get a wand sheathECS in your mighty arms, two if you can. Stick dorjes of useful powers in these so you have them on hand and can't drop them or be disarmed of them. It's like picking up a few extra powers known at the cost of a little gold. Some very useful powers that you would want that aren't included in the build are inertial armor and force screen (especially with the abjurant champion adaptation), vigor, detect hostile intent (better as a continuous item...), concealing amorpha, prowess.
Spoiler: ECL 10-20Levels 10 to 20 are just lots of Psychic Warrior. Lots of it. Shrift needs to take PsyWar at least to level 10 so he can get the double decisive strike for two attacks when making a decisive strike. He might consider picking up Snap KickToB to make a third attack.
Beyond that, I might suggest Abjurant ChampionCM with the suggested psionic adaptation (which I stat out here) is also quite good, though I think only 2 levels rather than the full 5. Abjurant Champion would help out with getting the most out of his psionic powers, but it halts monk progression for each level he takes. He doesn't really have the spare power points to power the psionc version of arcane boost, and the capstone is useless to him, since his ML is already higher than his BAB.
Class BAB Fort Ref Will Feats Special 10 Psychic Warrior 7 +7+2 +10 +4 +4 — 11 Psychic Warrior 8 +8+3 +11 +4 +4 PW8 – Bonus Feat, decisive strike (-0) 12 Psychic Warrior 9 +8+3 +11 +5 +5 HD12 – — 13 Psychic Warrior 10 +9+4 +12 +5 +5 Double decisive strike 14 Psychic Warrior 11 +10+5 +12 +5 +5 PW11 – Bonus Feat 15 Psychic Warrior 12 +11+6+1 +13 +6 +6 HD15 – — 16 Psychic Warrior 13 +11+6+1 +13 +6 +6 — 17 Psychic Warrior 14 +12+7+2 +14 +6 +6 PW14 – Bonus Feat 18 Psychic Warrior 15 +13+8+3 +14 +7 +7 HD18 – — 19 Psychic Warrior 16 +14+9+4 +15 +7 +7 — 20 Psychic Warrior 17 +14+9+4 +15 +7 +7 PW17 – Bonus Feat