You've seen the orc shotput, now get ready for the orc long jump.

Quote Originally Posted by Minerva
Quote Originally Posted by Monster Manual, pg. 204, "Orc Society"
Orc society is patriarchal: Females are prized possessions at best and chattel at worst.
What's an orc to do when she grows up in orc-controlled sector of the Taer region and is told by all the orcs there that she's basically property? When she feels completely out of sync with the alignment of the orcish hordes and is sick to death of the conquering and pillaging? When she's had it up to here with the sheer inequality forced upon her kind?

Simple. She gets a little help from the Platinum Dragon and goes about crushing the patriarchy. Literally. From above.

Hey, have you seen those jerks? They deserve it.



Minerva

Lawful good
Dragonborn of Bahamut, wings aspect (Races of the Dragon 8) orc (Monster Manual 203)
Region of origin: Taer
Humanoid (orc, dragonblood)
Stat adjustments from race: STR +4, DEX -2, CON +2, INT -2, WIS -2, CHA -2

Stat Starting PB cost Racial Net
STR 14 6 +4 18
DEX 14 6 -2 12
CON 10 2 +2 12
INT 14 6 -2 12
WIS 14 6 -2 12
CHA 14 6 -2 12
Level-up bonuses: All STR


Spoiler: Tables
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Spoiler: Main build
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Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
1 Monk 1 (Cobra Strike ACF, Unearthed Arcana 52) 0 +2 +2 +2 jump 4, tumble 4, climb 4, balance 4, craft (winemaking) 4 Dragon Wings (Races of the Dragon 100) Monk unarmed strike (Improved Unarmed Strike B), DodgeB, flurry of blows, AC bonus, unarmed damage 1d6
2 Monk 2 (Invisible Fist ACF, Exemplars of Evil 21) 1 +3 +3 +3 jump 5, tumble 5, climb 5, balance 5, craft (winemaking) 5 MobilityB, invisible fist
3 Monk 3 (Standing Jump ACF, Dungeonscape 10) 2 +3 +3 +3 jump 6, tumble 6, climb 6, Wall Jumper (Complete Scoundrel 90) Battle Jump (Unapproachable East 42) Still mind, standing jump (long)
4 Monk 4 (Wall Walker ACF, Dungeonscape 11) 3 +4 +4 +4 jump 7, tumble 7, climb 7, balance 7 (+2) Ki strike (magic), AC bonus +1, wall-walker 20 ft, unarmed damage 1d8
5 Monk 5 3 +4 +4 +4 jump 8, tumble 8, climb 8, Leaping Climber (Complete Scoundrel 87) Purity of body
6 Monk 6 4 +5 +5 +5 jump 9, tumble 9, climb 9, balance 9 (+2) Ordered Chaos (Fiendish Codex I 86) Spring AttackB, wall-walker 30 ft, standing jump (high)
7 Monk 7 5 +5 +5 +5 jump 10, tumble 10, climb 10, balance 10, craft (winemaking) 6 Wholeness of body
8 Barbarian 1 (ACFs: Whirling Frenzy, Unearthed Arcana 66; Spiritual Lion Totem, Complete Champion 46; Skilled City-Dweller [Ride to Tumble], Cityscape Web Enhancement) 6 +7 +5 +5 jump 11, tumble 11, climb 11, Extreme Leap (Complete Scoundrel 86) Whirling frenzy 1/day, pounce, illiteracy
9 Barbarian 2 (Wolf totem ACF, Unearthed Arcana 49) 7 +8 +5 +5 jump 12, tumble 12, climb 12, Up the Hill (Complete Scoundrel 90) Mantis Leap (Sword and Fist 7) Improved TripB
10 Cleric 1 (Cloistered Cleric ACF, Unearthed Arcana 50) 7 +10 +5 +7 jump 13 (cc), tumble 13 (cc), craft (winemaking) 7, Walk the Walls (Complete Scoundrel 90) Lore, spells (0th: 3/day, 1st: 1+1/day), Knowledge domain, Celerity domain (Spell Compendium 271), Travel DevotionB (Complete Champion 62)
11 Blade Dancer 1 (Oriental Adventures 37) 8 +10 +7 +7 jump 14, tumble 14, balance 11 Acrobatics +10, leap of the clouds, fast movement
12 Blade Dancer 2 9 +10 +8 +7 jump 15, tumble 15, climb 13 Headlong Rush (Races of Faerun 164) Enchanted blade I
13 Blade Dancer 3 10 +11 +8 +8 jump 16, tumble 16, balance 12 lol dead level
14 Blade Dancer 4 11 +11 +9 +8 jump 17, tumble 17, climb 14 Ride the wind, fast movement
15 Blade Dancer 5 12 +11 +9 +8 jump 18, tumble 18, balance 13 Mighty Leaping (Savage Species 37) Acrobatics +20, acrobatic attack
16 Blade Dancer 6 13 +12 +10 +9 jump 19, tumble 19, climb 15 Enchanted blade II
17 Blade Dancer 7 14 +12 +10 +9 jump 20, tumble 20, balance 14 Fast movement
18 Blade Dancer 8 15 +12 +11 +9 jump 21, tumble 21, climb 16 Dash (Complete Warrior 97) lol dead level
19 Blade Dancer 9 16 +13 +11 +10 jump 22, tumble 22, balance 15 lol dead level
20 Blade Dancer 10 17 +13 +12 +10 jump 23, tumble 23, climb 17 Acrobatics +30, enchanted blade III, fast movement



Spoiler: Jump bonuses by level
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Level Speed (ft.) Speed bonus to Jump Ranks Racial Synergy Acrobatics Strength Mighty Leaping feat Minimum roll Total
1 30 0 +4 +20 +0 0 4 0 1 29
2 30 0 +5 +20 +2 0 4 0 1 32
3 30 0 +6 +20 +2 0 4 0 1 33
4 30 0 +7 +20 +2 0 4 0 1 34
5 30 0 +8 +20 +2 0 4 0 1 35
6 30 0 +9 +20 +2 0 4 0 1 36
7 30 0 +10 +20 +2 0 4 0 1 37
8 30 0 +11 +20 +2 0 5 0 1 39
9 30 0 +12 +20 +2 0 5 0 1 40
10 40 4 +13 +20 +2 0 5 0 1 45
11 80 20 +14 +20 +2 10 5 0 10 81
12 80 20 +15 +20 +2 10 5 0 10 82
13 80 20 +16 +20 +2 10 5 0 10 83
14 95 24 +17 +20 +2 10 5 0 10 88
15 95 24 +18 +20 +2 20 5 10 10 109
16 95 24 +19 +20 +2 20 6 10 10 111
17 105 28 +20 +20 +2 20 6 10 10 116
18 110 32 +21 +20 +2 20 6 10 10 121
19 110 32 +22 +20 +2 20 6 10 10 122
20 135 40 +23 +20 +2 30 6 10 10 141

Explanation: This is the result we can expect per level without relying on ANY dice. "Minimum roll" is 1 before achieving the ability to take 10 no matter what, so from levels 1-10 we will always get at LEAST the desired result but may (95% chance) get more. From 11+, the result is guaranteed if we take 10, which we can do regardless of circumstances. I suppose you could theoretically choose to roll, but why would you at that point unless you already have a cushion of at least 9 points?

Remember that from level 3 on, we don't need a running start to make a long jump, and from level 6 on, we don't need a running start to make a high jump either.

As a helpful reminder, you cover the horizontal distance of your Jump result (in feet) and your feet reach a height of (Jump result / 4) off the ground for a high jump.

Also potentially relevant:
Quote Originally Posted by PHB, pg. 77, Jump
Action: None. A Jump check is included in your movement, so it is part of a move action.




Spoiler: Part one: Ya!
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"They tried to hold me down to earth. We'll just have to see how well that works out for them."
-Minerva

Okay. We start off crazy jumpy. Let's look at some helpful rules text.

Quote Originally Posted by Races of the Dragon pg. 9
Wings (Ex): A dragonborn who selects the wings aspect hatches sporting fully formed wings. Dragonborn can use these wings to aid their jumps (granting a +10 racial bonus on Jump checks) and to glide. Those with 6 HD or more can use their wings to fly.
Quote Originally Posted by Races of the Dragon pg. 100
DRAGON WINGS
Your draconic ancestry manifests as a pair of wings that aid your jumps and allow you to glide.
Prerequisites: Dragonblood subtype, 1st level only.
Benefit: You have wings that aid your jumps, granting a +10 racial bonus on Jump checks. In addition, you can use your wings to glide, negating damage from a fall from any height and allowing 20 feet of forward travel for every 5 feet of descent. You glide at a speed of 30 feet with average maneuverability. Even if your maneuverability improves, you can’t hover while gliding. You can’t glide while carrying a medium or heavy load. If you become unconscious or helpless while in midair, your wings naturally unfurl, and powerful ligaments stiffen them. You descend in a tight corkscrew and take only 1d6 points of falling damage, no matter what the actual distance of the fall.

Note about 1st level feat: per RotD 10, it is possible, upon taking the Rite of Rebirth, to swap out any feat for a feat that requires the dragonblood subtype and that can only be taken at 1st level. Therefore, regardless of whether Minerva scrapes together the money for the Rite before or after 1st level, the table presented is functionally correct; just take Toughness or whatever other level 1 feat to swap out for Dragon Wings if necessary.


Quote Originally Posted by Player's Handbook pg. 171
Bonus types: With the exception of dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, and racial bonuses, only the better bonus works.
So, per the Player's Handbook (seriously, look it up if you don't believe me, I didn't make this up), racial bonuses stack. We're rocking a +20 to Jump before even looking at ranks or STR or anything. Sweet. You can get into fun trouble with that even at level 1. Dodge is a prereq for later, as is Mobility, but Mobility honestly isn't the worst feat out there until our Tumble is high enough to be unbeatable. Skills and skill tricks are basically all about motion and getting where we want to be.

Several things come online at level 3. First, standing jump makes long jumps easier for now and is soon going to be crucial for high jumps. Second and really importantly, Battle Jump. Oh my, Battle Jump. Let's just crack this bad boy open.

Quote Originally Posted by Unapproachable East pg. 42
Battle Jump
Benefit: You can execute a charge simply by dropping from a height of at least 5 feet above your opponent. For example, a ledge 10 feet above the floor of a cavern would suffice for jumping on a Medium-sized creature, while a ledge 15 feet high is required for jumping on a Large creature. You can't jump from more than 30 feet above your opponent, nor can you effectively battle jump while under the influence of a fly or levitate spell or effect, as you have to hurl yourself down on your foe.
If you hit, you can choose either to do double damage with a melee weapon or natural attack or to attempt a trip attack. You are treated as one size category larger than normal if you try to trip your opponent with the battle jump. After you attack, you take falling damage as normal for the distance you jumped. You are entitled to a Jump check (DC 15) to take less damage, as if you had fallen 10 feet less than you actually did. If you fail this Jump check, you fall prone 5 feet from your opponent.
Can we take a moment and appreciate that this feat prevents you from performing a battle jump "while under the influence"? Don't get a citation for BJUI, boss.

Okay, so, first off, let's increment the Damage Doubling CounterTM by one! Damage Doubling CounterTM: 1 (200% normal)

Being able to charge, which is normally a full-round action, with only a move action (or any form of movement that results in jumping down on someone) is… wild. We're wild. Let's have some fun. Doesn't say that you have to START 5 feet above their heads, of course. Just that your motion has to involve going down 5 feet onto their heads.

At this level of play, we do have to get a little bit creative to successfully charge like this. We can't reliably high jump to 10 feet in the air QUITE yet, though we can on a good roll. That's coming. Still, between Climb, wall-walker (to heck with slow fall!), Wall Jumper, Leaping Climber, and an honestly really nice bonus to Jump checks overall, this isn't impossible. It's delightful when it works. Engineer when you can.


Spoiler: Part two: Wa!
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"You know, sweetie, we HAVE stairs. You don't HAVE to come upstairs in a single bound."
"Those stairs are for you, darling. We all have different needs."
-Lady Samia and Minerva discussing domestic design layout

Spring Attack is a prereq, but it's actually not bad for kiting when necessary. What's really interesting at 6th level is not needing a running start to make a high jump. This will be relevant. Also at 6th level, Ordered Chaos comes online. Minerva feels the typical chaos of her orc brethren in her soul, but her devotion to justice, discipline, and the Platinum Dragon keep it under control. This lets her qualify for things.

Monk 7 comes online. Why take 7 levels of monk? How strange. There must be a reason coming. (This is called foreshadowing.)

Hey, look! Barbarian! This is why we wanted Ordered Chaos. We're lawful, to stay as a monk (and qualify for blade dancer), and also chaotic (i.e., non-lawful), to count as a barbarian. Kickass. Whirling frenzy is super nice 1/day even if we can't rely on it all the time. You know what we can rely on all the time? Pounce. Full attack on a charge. A charge? When do we charge? Oh, right, every time we jump on someone. Fabulous.

Another level of barb… Improved Trip without prereqs isn't something we necessarily use all the time, but since we CAN make free trip attacks on a battle jump, we may as well have the option now and again. But look what else we get.

Quote Originally Posted by Sword and Fist pg. 7
Mantis Leap
Prerequisites: Monk level 7th+, 5 ranks in Jump
Benefit: Designate an opponent who is within the maximum distance you can reach with a successful Jump check. Make a normal Jump check; if your check is successful, you can make a normal charge attack against the opponent you designated as part of the same action. If your charge attack is successful, you inflict normal damage, plus your Strength modifier multiplied by 2.
This feat uses the word "normal" three separate times. That sounds like me when I do Iron Chef all weekend and then someone asks me about my weekend on Monday.

So we've got TWO ways that a Jump check (normal normal normal) results in a charge. As part of the same action, even. So that's two charges on a move action. And one of those charges does double damage, and they both result in a full attack. Oh, and you can get two move actions per round. By, you know, just taking a double move. Notice that there's no limit on how many times per round we can use Mantis Leap, either.

This also happens to be the level where we can guarantee, if we roll a 1, that we can achieve a high jump of 10' from a standing start. Which is enough to achieve a drop of 5' onto the head of a Medium or smaller opponent. So, you know, we can do that twice per round, and each of those is a charge. Sorry, two charges. A charge dealing double damage and also a charge doing normal normal normal damage (plus double STR) on our three-swing (BAB +7 and flurry) attack routine. So that's like what, twelve swings per round? Dang. Nice. Even if you have to move around a little bit (and then maybe you won't get the full twelve), that's still a LOT of damage. And you can spread it around just by jumping on other enemies' heads! Long jump and high jump at the same time! If you're fighting something in a position that prevents you from just doing this jump routine multiple times, consider using Spring Attack and just using this jump-charge as part of the movement.

There's more fun to be had still! We need to get into the secret ingredient! And for that we need spells. So let's take a quick jaunt into cloistered cleric (worshiping the ideal of Progress, represented by the Travel and Celerity domains). Celerity increases base speed, so that'll get us up onto the next level of the table for blade dancer. Travel Devotion allows more movement, and more movement allows more jumping, and more jumping allows more charges. We've got three minutes a day (spend all those turn undead uses) with Travel Devotion up, and that's sick as heck. Even without Travel Devotion, being at a 40' move speed means 80' on a double move, and that means that each move action can jump on a Medium critter's head TWICE (10' up, 10' down, 10' up, 10' down). So that's MORE charges and MORE full attacks. (If you don't like cloistered cleric for flavor-related reasons, then you can take normal cleric and just lose some skill points with no major loss of effectiveness. But since you can't use armor anyway and you won't be in long enough for the BAB to matter, you might as well grab the skill points.)

And yet, the best is still to come. How can this possibly be? Stay tuned.



Spoiler: Part three: Wha-HOOO!
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"Minerva, I've received the scouting report about the enemy forces. It looks like the front lines will be composed of—"
"Grapes. As far as I'm concerned, love, they're all grapes."
-Lady Samia and Minerva discussing strategy
/

Blade dancer! We finally made it! And man have things gotten crazy for Minerva. We go from counting on a Jump result of 45 to a Jump result of 81! Reminder: we haven't needed a running start since level 6. So that's a standing leap of 20 feet straight up! That's… well over enough to Battle Jump down on a Large enemy's head. TAnd with speed of 80 (160' on a double move, 240' with Travel Devotion), we can do this MANY times a round.

Furthermore, we can do additional damage when we jump from a little higher! I summon once more the text of Races of the Dragon!

Quote Originally Posted by Races of the Dragon, pg. 10
A dragonborn with flight can make a dive attack. A dive attack works like a charge, but the dragonborn must move a minimum of 30 feet and descend at least 10 feet. A dragonborn can make a dive attack only when wielding a piercing weapon. If the dive attack hits, it deals double damage.
A piercing weapon? This sounds like a job for the siangham! Yeah, I know, it's totally cheesy and overpowered at 1d6/x2 and no special abilities at all other than being a monk weapon, but hey, that's why they made it an exotic weapon. Can't let just anyone have access to the good stuff like that--making such weapons commonly available just wouldn't be good game design. Anyway, if we use a siangham and meet the criteria for a dive, we get to increment the Damage Doubling CounterTM again! Damage Doubling CounterTM: 2 (300% normal)

So now we have to do some math about when it makes sense to dive and when it makes sense to not spend those feet of movement (thereby doing more normal normal normal jumps and thereby more attacks). Please note that absolutely nothing about the dive attack says you have to move 30' horizontally. Fifteen up and fifteen down? That's thirty. And of course, if you happen to need to move horizontally ANYWAY to reach the next patriarchal orc bad guy to squish, you might as well. We'll put the math later just for readability.

Acrobatics isn't only about Jump, either! We were pretty good at Tumbling before, but now we can ABSOLUTELY Tumble at full speed without even blinking and with no chance of a bad roll. Also gives us another way of reducing damage after a fall, just in case we didn't have enough of that already!

The movement speed is critical not only because it turbocharges our Jump result but also because it lets us Jump more times, resulting in more full attacks.

Level 12 is a fun level because Headlong Rush lets us haul out the Damage Doubling CounterTM again! Damage Doubling CounterTM: 3 (400% normal)

Quote Originally Posted by Races of Faerun, pg. 164, Headlong Rush
Prerequisite: Orc or half-orc, base attack bonus +4 or higher
Benefit: Instead of a normal charge attack, you can perform a headlong rush. A headlong rush is a charge that proves attacks of opportunity from every foe who can reach its path, including the opponent you attack. A headlong rush otherwise functions like a charge attack except that a successful attack deals double damage.
Now, Headlong Rush has a downside: it provokes. Here's why that isn't so much of a problem. First, you can only provoke from a given enemy once per round per action, so most enemies will only get to take one swing at you for this (and hey, you've got Dodge and Mobility to help with that). Second, you can't AoO what you can't see, and Minerva can often go invisible with invisible fist to ensure just that. Third, risk/reward is a thing--you're going to hit them WAY harder and WAY more often than they hit you back. If there's an opponent whose AoOs are extra-dangerous to you, then don't use Headlong Rush! But if you use it, welp, that's another 100% damage on all your many, many, many attacks.

Enchanted blade is best if you need a ghost touch weapon, but even if you're just adding a d6 with flaming/frost/whatever, that still benefits Minerva more than many other blade dancers. Considering just how many dang swings she gets per round, those d6s add up and they add up fast! (At this point, a full attack is three swings: one base, one iterative, one flurry. Each move action against a Medium foe results in about five full attacks--fifteen swings--if you're doing non-dive and four boosted full attacks--twelve swings--if you dive. That's per move action, so double it for a basic double-move turn.

Next breakpoint comes at 14th-15th. Ride the wind references air walk, which says that moving upward is similar to walking up a hill. If necessary, Up the Hill (Complete Scoundrel pg. 90) should be relevant there! But mostly air walk is useful out of combat. It can also be cast on a friend if you like!

More importantly, we get another swing in each of our many full attacks, and we get even more fast movement, so we jump higher and attack more times.

Quote Originally Posted by Savage Species pg. 37, Mighty Leaping
Prerequisite: STR 21, Dodge, Mobility, Jump 9 ranks or a racial bonus on Jump checks
Benefit: You gain a +10 competence bonus on Jump checks. If you intentionally jump down from a height, a successful Jump check (DC 15) lets you take damage as if you had fallen 20 feet less than you actually did.
Love that the prereqs mean you've got at least +5 from STR alone, at least +1 from a racial bonus, and then you've got +10 from the feat itself, totaling a minimum of +16 before roll/ranks/speed/others, and yet they specify a DC 15. Yeah, there's def gonna be enough penalties in play to make that roll relevant. Sure, WotC.

Another dose of Acrobatics comes online at the same time as Mighty Leaping (STR is above 21 from level-ups by now), so there's +20 from the two of those over our previous total. That's enough to get our feet more than 25 ft off the ground from a standing start, so that's enough to fall down 10 ft on the head of a Huge opponent. You love to see it.

Acrobatic attack means that we've got a +2 on attack rolls and damage rolls for everything we do, because we're ALWAYS jumping at our opponent. Always.

Enchanted blade II lets Minerva add a "burst" enhancement (i.e., does extra on a crit) to her siangham! When you consider how many swings we're making per round (at the level it comes online, four per charge, about 12 charges per round on a Medium opponent, so roughly 48 attack rolls per round), there's actually going to be a LOT of critical threats rolled. When's the last time you saw a crit-fisher with a siangham? That's what I thought!

Dash increases base speed (it's not a bonus!) by 5'. Since this puts base speed (ignoring blade dancer's bonus) at 45' (30' orc, 10' Celerity domain, 5' Dash), we used the value on Darrin's table that's halfway between 40' base and 50' base for the 7th-9th level range, and since blade dancer straight up trebles your speed at the final breakpoint, we did that too.

In the end, a guaranteed Jump result of 141 is enough to get Minerva's feet 35' off the ground from a standing start, allowing her to Battle Jump (though not Dive) down on a Colossal creature's head, guaranteed. Boing!

Against a Medium or smaller opponent (say, any individual orc), it's more like 18 full attacks totaling 90 attack rolls. Each round. Before counting the damage multipliers. No consumable resources expended.



Spoiler: LET'S GET MATHEMATICAL
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So let's lay out a few assumptions here! I think all of them are 100% defensible and, to be honest, they're all about as conservative as you get.

  • Because Mantis Jump requires a "normal charge", we assume that you must travel 10ft in a straight line (down) before being adjacent to the enemy on all jumps.
  • This means jump height must always be creature size + 10 ft.
  • Dive also requires dropping 10ft, so that's always taken care of.
  • Dive also requires traveling 30 ft before impact (which means traveling upward 20 ft before the 10ft drop). Thus, Dive will always activate for creatures of size Large and larger.
  • For Medium and smaller, it's a choice, and the best choice depends on your speed.


Let X equal the expected damage of a full attack. (This is a heck of a lot of swings, but that doesn't change when making the decisions we're talking about here, so we can reduce it to X since this is just a strict comparison.)

For a normal double-movement turn of jumping on a single Medium or smaller enemy:

Level 12-13: Dive is better.
No dive: 10 full attacks, total damage 25*X
Dive: 8 full attacks, total damage 28*X

Level 14-16: No Dive is better.
No dive: 12 full attacks, total damage 30*X
Dive: 8 full attacks, total damage 28*X

Level 17-19: Tie.
No dive: 14 full attacks, total damage 35*X
Dive: 10 full attacks, total damage 35*X

Level 20: No Dive is better.
No dive: 18 full attacks, total damage 45*X
Dive: 12 full attacks, total damage 42*X

(Note that the math changes again if using Travel devotion to have a triple-move instead of double; then Dive is always the best option, except at level 17 where no Dive wins 50*X to 49*X.)

Reminder: The above is only for Medium and smaller enemies. If you're fighting things Large or larger or if you already have to move 30' in the course of getting to the next target, dive away!







Spoiler: Usin' Dat Buffalo
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Prereqs: Dodge and Mobility help make Headlong Rush less of a bad idea, and they're prereqs for Mighty Leaping, which is awesome. The skills (Jump and Tumble) are critical to how we do things. The need to cast spells gets us into cleric, which makes us even more able to bounce on people (through Travel Devotion and the Celerity domain).

Acrobatics: Basically our whole game, along with fast movement. Minerva is all about maximizing head-jumps per round, and absolutely nothing makes that easier than these game elements. She's constantly Tumbling at full speed while doing so. Balance is useful for resisting being tripped (Complete Adventurer, pg. 97: If you have 10 or more ranks in Balance, you can make a Balance check in place of a Strength or Dexterity check to avoid being tripped by an opponent. You take a -10 penalty on your Balance check. If you succeed on this check, you are not tripped."), which is great if someone decides to get cute on the AoO from Headlong Rush and trip you to interrupt your movement; this isn't reliable from ranks alone but is VERY reliable with Acrobatics on our side.

Fast movement: The other half of "basically our whole game." Fast movement increases both how well we jump and how many times per round we can jump. It's huge.

Enchanted blade: At tier I, we can take advantage of making lots of swings. At tier II, we take advantage of the fact that we're basically crit-fishing with all of our myriad attack rolls. At tier III, we can either get burst enhancements twice per day, get even MORE swings with a speed weapon, or get some out-of-combat utility with passage.

Ride the wind: While we're not relying on this, arguably it can be used to not have to return to ground level after jumping and falling. For example, you could perhaps turn on ride the wind, jump up and Battle Jump on a Large creature, "land" five feet above the ground, and repeat, spending less movement than usual and thereby jumping more. Nothing says you can't jump while air walking, after all! Battle Jump calls out fly and levitate but nothing about air walk, by the way. I checked. (Don't buy this argument? Cool. Ignore it. It doesn't change the build at all.) We can also go up faster than usual with Up the Hill.

Acrobatic attack: We do this on literally every attack we plan to make. Ever. +2 is a small amount of damage at the level it comes online, but we not only apply it many times over, we also get to make it bigger with the Damage Doubling CounterTM.


Spoiler: Commentary
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Desirable items:
  • Minerva doesn't have any all-day enhancement bonuses to speed, so anything that makes her faster makes her deadlier.
  • Typical numerical buffs ([i]bracers of armor[i], stat-boosting gear, magical bonuses on the siangham, cloak of resistance, etc.) are just as useful here as anywhere else.
  • Nightsticks (Libris Mortis pg. 78) mean more turn undead uses which mean more Travel Devotion uses.
  • As is typical for anyone making attacks as their primary deal, enhanced vision modes (things that grant see invisibility, for instance) help.
  • As mentioned, Minerva makes a ton of attack rolls and will score some critical threats quite often by the time she's doin' her thang. Items that trigger on crits are therefore pretty funny.


Nonmagically, Minerva wants a 10 gp pair of sundark goggles (Races of the Dragon pg. 123) to negate the typical orcish light sensitivity and a 3 gp siangham to make dive attacks with.

There's absolutely no reason not to be a water orc (Unearthed Arcana pg. 18) if you want an extra +2 CON and the ability to swim. I chose to go with the normal orc for thematic reasons. After all, Minerva got her start by being angry about her inequality, so having a net stat penalty felt right. Also, she's mad at her old horde, and let's not have any arguments about whether they'd be in the water or not. It's harder to jump when in the water. Still, by all means, if you want free CON, take it. Nothing changes about choices or strategy.

If taking flaws, you could get Leap of the Heavens (PHB2 pg. 80) instead of using the standing jump ACF, thereby gaining monk fast movement.

I suppose it might be possible to trade out the Knowledge domain, which we don't use, for Knowledge Devotion (since that guarantees a +1), but eh, let's just not have that argument.

Just so we're clear, between Dragon Wings, the wings aspect of dragonborn, the Tumble skill, the Battle Jump feat, and the Mighty Leaping feat, we can reduce falling damage basically to zero pretty much guaranteed. Just if that wasn't clear.

Note that all of Minerva's class-granted bonus feats from monk and from barbarian explicitly ignore prereqs.

Craft (winemaking) is for flavor and is not mission-critical.

Improved Trip isn't used every day but still is kinda cool on occasion. The build does not assume that you need to knock enemies prone, but if you do, maybe ask if you don't have to go as high in order to jump on their heads?

We don't rely on actual flight to get high up, but you know, we can still fly (at 6 HD and up). Just in case that's relevant.

"Unable to reach an opponent" is not exactly the build's most likely problem, but we are proficient in all martial weapons (thanks, barbarian!) and can easily have a backup ranged attack of some kind, just in case.



Spoiler: Nova resources (not commonly used)
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The build as presented doesn't really rely on per-day abilities. Still, Minerva has a few. We can mention them here just for funsies; they're useful when they work but are not relied upon at all in the basic calculations we presented.

Spells: Three (with 12 WIS) 1st-level spells per day, one of which has to be expeditious retreat. An extra 30' move speed is pretty darn funny for making this build flow. Otherwise, eh, CLW I guess can be a few extra HP per day, or maybe magic weapon just in case, or sign (Spell Compendium pg. 189) for a nice init bonus, or omen of peril (SpC pg. 149) for minor utility, or healthful rest (SpC pg. 111) just because you only need it 1/day? Whatever.

Whirling frenzy: Bonus to hit, bonus to AC, bonus to damage, and an extra attack every full attack? This makes your numbers a lot bigger for about one encounter per day.

Travel Devotion: This is the big one, and it's actually usable more than once per day. Since Minerva has four uses of turn undead per day (3 base + 1 CHA) and nothing better to spend them on, she'll spend them all on Travel Devotion to get two extra uses (plus one base, total three) of Travel Devotion per day. When TD is active, you can effectively expect Minerva's damage to increase by a minimum of about 50% simply because she can nearly directly convert movement into damage. That's three full minutes (separate) per day when you get this. That's noticeable. And we didn't even include it in the basic numbers--aren't we frugal?