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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Person_Man's Avatar

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    Default [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    One of my favorite classes is the Knight. I've compiled a lot of info on the class, and just recently completed a campaign with a Knight PC. So I thought it might be useful to put all of that information in one place, and see if any other Playgrounders had suggestions on how to improve it.

    In order to comply with posting guidelines, Iíve specifically left out as much fluff, Save DCs, bonus amounts, durations, etc., as possible, and all of my ability/feat descriptions are only a few sentences long. I suggest you may wish to do the same when posting.

    Knight Basics:
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    Pros:
    • Full BAB.
    • High hit points and AC.
    • Several useful battlefield control options.
    • Strong Will Save and a Will boosting class ability.
    • Class abilities are all Extraordinary (not subject to anti or dispel magic).
    • Flavorful and generally fun to play.


    Cons:
    • Like most meat shields, you have a hard time keeping up with full casters.
    • MAD (Cha, Str, Con, Dex).
    • Weak Ref and Fort Saves.
    • Many enemies are immune to 80% of your class abilities.
    • Knight's Code.
    • Dead levels: 5-7 levels where you get barely anything.
    • Poor Skills: Other then Handle Animal, Intimidate, and Ride, there's not much you can do.


    Class Abilities:
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    Key:

    Red
    = Meh.
    Indigo = Potentially useful for specific builds.
    Black = Good
    Blue = Awesome

    Fighting Challenge: A poorly scaled bonus to hit, damage, and Will Saves against a single enemy.

    Bonus feats: Mounted Combat is forced on you at level 2. So in most cases, you want to take the Ride by Attack, Spirited Charge, and Quick Draw. A small race can ride a medium mount almost anywhere. And even a medium Knight will benefit significantly when outdoors. Other then that, your bonus feat options suck.

    Shield Block: A minor bonus to AC. Most Knight builds will want to buy an animated shield, so you don't have to give up two handed Power Attack.

    Bulwark of Defense: Enemies cannot Charge or take a 5 ft step in difficult terrain, so this is an excellent addition to any battlefield control combo. But note that it only effects enemies who start their turn in your threatened area.

    Armor Mastery: Whenever possible, a Knight should be mounted, so this ability is usually pointless. Even when you're not, it's a minor improvement in movement.

    Test of Mettle: Aggro. Love it or hate it, this will be your defining ability for most of your career, and can lead to many different combos and interesting roleplaying. Note that tons of enemies are immune to it though, so be prepared to use combos that don't depend on it. If you play a multi-class Knight, this will be the natural break point. But be mindful that the Save DC depends on your Knight level.

    Vigilant Defender: Screw you Rogues! This is another nice addition to battlefield control, and it's always on. But again, be mindful that it scales with your Knight level, so it's not much use to multi-class Knights.

    Shield Ally/Improved Shield Ally(Ex): This is useful at low levels to protect squishy casters (until they get Fly, Invisibility, etc, and then they donít need you), and for those Knights who are always on their mount, itís useful to protect them from harm when needed.

    Call to Battle: This is useful in a very limited number of circumstances, but is rarely actually used. So unless you fight a ton of dragons and have party members with weak Will Saves, this is generally a waste.

    Daunting Challenge When combined with any other Fear ability, this is a ridiculously useful against some enemies, especially against mook rushes.

    Bond of Loyalty: Limited use Slippery Mind. But with a strong Will Save, you probably wonít need it often.

    Impetuous Endurance I've only rolled 1 on a Save a few times in my career, and given the result I would have failed anyway.

    Loyal Beyond Death: Perhaps the most powerful defensive ability in 3.5 D&D. Just be sure that at least one person in your party has some serious healing ability, and that you carry a few backup potions as well.


    The Knightís Code
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    In many ways, your code is more stringent then a Paladinís code. He can slaughter whoever he wants, as long as he has a reasonably Good reason to do so. But you canít hit Flat Footed enemies or deal lethal damage against Helpless enemies without burning through your Challenges. This is a pretty big deal, since enemies are Flat Footed at the start of every combat (and as a result of several feats and spells) and Helpless encompasses a wide array of conditions (Paralyzed, Unconscious, Sleep, enough Ability Damage, etc). This makes any Knight/Rogue or Knight/OA Samurai (with Iajutsu Focus) build difficult or impossible to pull off, even though they might make perfect fluff sense. Personally, I think the Knightís code borders on Lawful Stupid, though your mileage may vary. There are several ways of dealing with this:

    1) Role Play it Strait: Take your code seriously, and consider a good chance for roleplaying. Avoid breaking your code except for when itís absolutely necessary and within your character to break it. But remember, just because you canít attack an enemy, doesnít mean you just have to stand there like an idiot. If an enemy is Flat Footed, you can take that time to buff yourself with a magic item, Demoralize an enemy, attack someone else, or use one of your Knight Challenge abilities. If an enemy is Helpless, you can use an action to lock him in manacles or deal non-lethal damage to reduce him to 0 hit points.

    2) Play a Pacifist: This is actually a viable build for a Knight. See below.

    3) Struggle with your code: Youíre Lawful, but have a hard time sticking to the code of your order/church/whatever. You burn through Challenge uses when needed. This is only a viable option for a mid-high level strait Knight build, which will have spare Challenges available.

    4) Hand Wave: Ask your DM to modify or throw away the code. Come up with some sort of Lawful code that doesnít depend on any particular battle tactics. This is my preferred option.

    5) Ask for something extra: If your DM is insistent on using the code, ask for some benefit for observing it. Youíre making a sacrifice, and should get something in return besides just your modest class abilities.


    Races:
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    Darfellan: Bonus to Str, bite attack, Swim speed. Remember that natural attacks count for Power Attack and Weapon Finesse. Link. Stormwrack pg 37.

    Dragonborn: Bonus to Con, flight. Natural Flight is always useful, especially when combined with Test of Mettle and/or Flyby Attack. Link. Races of the Dragon.

    Gold Dwarf: Bonus to Con, stability, darkvision, other minor benefits. An excellent choice if your DM is fond of Trip and Bull Rush. DMG pg.171

    Goliaths: Bonus to Str and Con, Powerful Build, other minor benefits. +1 LA. The only reason to spend +1 LA on this race is if you want the Knockback build. But thatís a pretty good reason. Link. Races of Stone.

    Human: Bonus feat and Skill points. The most popular race, and for good reason. But I think there are better Knight options out there. Core.

    Killoren: Medium, 30 ft, Fey, varies. Have a Smite attack (with untyped bonuses) that work against a variety of enemies and can be used once per hour. Being Fey protects you from various spells. Races of the Wild pg 92.

    Mineral Warrior (template): Bonus to Str and Con, Burrow speed, Natural Armor, Darkvision, DR. +1 LA. The cheapest way to get high DR. Link. Underdark.

    Mountain Spiritfolk: Climb speed, other minor bonuses. The Climb Speed is useful if you want to use Test of Mettle while standing on the roof or some other difficult to reach spot. Unapproachable East pg 72.

    Neanderthal: Bonus to Str and Con, other minor bonuses. What Half-Orcís stats should have been. But they really don't offer anything special for a Knight. Frostburn pg 36.

    Necropolitan (template): You lose a level, and gain the undead type. Undead have a huge number of immunities, and are healed by negative energy. This means that friendly casters can dump Uttercold spells right on top of you when you fight enemies at close range, healing you while harming (non-undead) enemies. The down side is that you must be very, very careful when fighting enemies with Turn/Rebuke Undead. Libris Mortis.

    Saint (Template): Con, Wis, and Cha bonuses, Fast Healing, DR, Circle of Protection, Lesser Globe of Invulnerability, Wis bonus to AC, Fire Resistance, Immunity to Acid, Cold, Electricity, and Petrification, and a bunch of other perks. Although the +2 LA is a big investment, the special abilities that this template grants are ridiculous. Book of Exalted Deeds.

    Strongheart Halfling: Small size, bonus feat, other minor perks. You trade the Halfling bonus to Saves for a bonus feat, which is a great deal. Also, small races make great mounted builds, as their medium mounts can go anywhere your medium sized party members can go. This is my default choice for any Knight build that doesn't require Powerful Build or flight. Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

    White Dragonspawn(template): Bonus Dex, Con, Natural Armor, wings, breath weapon, 1st level Sorcerer casting. Another broken +1 LA template. Dragonlance Campaign Setting.


    Feats:
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    Before you do anything else, decide how you want to stop all of the enemies who will be attacking you once you use Test of Mettle. In most cases, this will be some combo involving Evasive Reflexes, Knock-Back, Knock-Down, or Stand Still, plus a reach weapon (usually a lance or glaive). There are potentially other ways (magic items, Tome of Battle manuevers, etc). But whatever you do, keep in mind that your primary goal is to lock down enemies and defend friends, so that the big guns (casters) can deal with them. So I left off a lot of potential offensive feats (Headlong Rush, Battle Jump, Lightning Maces) that really donít work well for a Knight. If you want to play an uber charger or other massive damage dealer, look elsewhere.

    Like almost all melee builds, Knights are very feat hungry. So if you can use Flaws, do so.

    Ability Focus: Although I loath spending a feat on a small discrete bonus, Test of Mettle is just so important that I would consider it. MM pg 303.

    Acheron Flurry: You can basically spend your turn to limit one enemy to a single Move or Standard action on his next turn. No To-Hit roll, no Save, it just happens. There are various little mechanical restrictions on this, but itís a great way to prevent a boss enemy from making a full attack or Summoning while your friends pummel him. Requires Improved Unarmed Strike and 15 Wis and Dex. Planar Handbook pg 37.

    Ancestral Relic: Pick one item (usually a weapon). You can sacrifice treasure to improve that item, bypassing the need to sell stuff at the standard 50% mark down. Assuming your DM plays using standard wealth by level and doesnít short change you because he knows you have this feat, this is a great choice for long running campaigns. Book of Exalted Deeds pg 39.

    Arcane Schooling: Youíre treated as having one level of one arcane class for the purpose of activating spell trigger items (like Wands). Hello buff spells, good bye UMD! Playerís Guide to Faerun pg 33.

    Combat Focus + Combat Vigor + Combat Stability: Bonus to Will Saves, to resist bull rush/trips/grapple/etc, and Fast Healing. A big, but useful investment, PHBII pg 87.

    Combat Reflexes: Almost every Knight build will need this or Evasive Reflexes at some point. PHB.

    Deformity (Tall): Bonus to your natural reach. Requires Willing Deformity (bonus to Intimidate). Heroes of Horror pg 121.

    Dreadful Wrath: Gives you a Frightful Presence. Playerís Guide to Faerun pg 38. (Or you can take Frightful Presence, which is very similar feat, from the Draconomicon).

    Dragon Trainer: You can use Handle Animal to train dragons. Races of the Dragon pg 98.

    Evasive Reflexes: You can take a 5 ft step instead of an AoO. When combined with a reach weapon and anything that generates additional AoO (Hold the Line, Karmic Strike, Robilarís Gambit, etc) you can often foil most Charges and Full Attacks against you. And using Evasive Reflexes does not burn an AoO, so itís a good option for Knights with mediocre Dex. Tome of Battle pg 30.

    Fearless Destiny: Once per day when you are reduced to -10 or fewer hit points, you are instead reduced to -9 and stable. A lot cheaper then Resurrection. Races of Destiny pg 152.

    Force of Personality: Cha replaces Wis for Will Saves against mind affecting effects. This pretty much lets you dump Wis entirely, which is useful for a Knight. But most builds won't need it. Comp Adventurer pg 109.

    Goad: Poor manís Test of Mettle that only works against one enemy. Multi-class Knight builds may want this as a backup plan. Comp Adventurer pg 109.

    Hold the Line: Free AoO when your enemy charges you. Works particularly well with Evasive Reflexes. Complete Warrior pg 100.

    Improved Toughness: Bonus hit points equal to your hit die. Extra hit points are always useful. But with limited feats and d12 hit die, I think you have better options. Complete Warrior pg 101.

    Imperious Command: Drastically improves your ability to Demoralize. Drow of the Underdark pg. 50.

    Inhuman Reach: Increases your natural reach. Requires Aberration Blood. Lords of Madness pg 180.

    Item Familiar: Can drastically boost one Skill (such as Intimidate), and gains other powers as you gain levels. Unearthed Arcana.

    Knockback: Free Bull Rush attempt whenever you hit an enemy with Power Attack. Requires that you be Large or have Powerful Build (Goliath, Half-Giant). Races of Stone pg 142.

    Knock-Down: Trip is a popular way to keep your enemies at bay. Requires Improved Trip (which in turn usually requires Combat Expertise). Deities and Demigods (officially updated for 3.5).

    Leadership: The most straitforward way of getting a mount that doesnít die after a few hits. PHB.

    Mage Slayer: Casters cannot cast defensively when you threaten them. And thanks to your Bulwark of Defense class ability, if they start your turn within your threatened area, it counts as difficult terrain. So they can't just take a 5 ft step away, essentially locking them into place or forcing them to waste their action to Withdraw. This is a must have feat for any mid-high level Knight. Comp Arcane pg 81.

    Magic Device Attunement: Greatly improves your UMD ability. Complete Mage pg 44.

    Martial Stance: You gain one Tome of Battle stance. Stances are effectively an all day buff, and there are a ton of useful options. Requires one martial maneuver (a level of a ToB class or the Martial Study feat). Tome of Battle pg. 31.

    Martial Study: You gain one Tome of Battle maneuver. Again, there are a ton of excellent options. Tome of Battle pg. 31.

    Mercantile Background: You can sell items for much higher then the standard 50%. Like Ancestral Relic, this is very useful for a long campaign, especially if you know your DM sticks to standard wealth by level. Playerís Guide to Faerun pg 41.

    Nymphís Kiss: Bonus to Cha checks, Saves, and bonus Skill points. Book of Exalted Deeds pg 44.

    Pierce Magical Concealment: Allows you to ignore the miss chance from any spell or spell-like ability. Iíve found that this is pretty much a requirement for any melee build if you want a chance of hitting BBEG at high levels. Combine this feat with any Blink effect to impose a 50% miss chance on your enemies and deny them their Dex bonus, without suffering the 20% miss chance. Requires Mage Slayer and Blind Fight. Complete Arcane pg 81.

    Parrying Shield: You add your shield bonus to Touch AC. Lords of Madness pg 181.

    Power Attack: The bread and butter of melee bonus damage. PHB.

    Pushback: The poor manís Knockback. Once per round when you hit an enemy of your size or smaller, you can Bull Rush him back 5 feet and move into his space. Miniatures Handbook pg 27.

    Rampaging Bull Rush: Any enemy that you successfully Bull Rush is also knocked Prone. Requires Large size or Powerful Build. Obviously works well with Knockback. Races of Stone pg 143.

    Reaping Talons: When using TWF with Tiger Claw weapons, you can use Combat Expertise or Fight Defensively or use Total Defense for one round and move no more then 5 ft, and the next round make a full round action to attack everyone who has attacked you (not everyone who hit you, everyone who attacked you) at your full BAB. Although a TWF Knight/Swordsage or Knight/Warblade will have horrible MAD, this can be absolutely devastating to your enemies at low-mid levels, especially when combined with a good status effect like Trip, Daze, or Nauseated. Requires Two Weapon Fighting, +6 BAB, and two Tiger Claw maneuvers. Tome of Battle pg 35.

    Robilarís Gambit: Enemies get a bonus to hit you, but all melee attacks provoke an AoO. PHBII pg 82.

    Saddleback: You can use Ride in place of Reflex Saves once per round for you and your mount. Playerís Guide to Faerun pg 43.

    Sand Snare: Makes it much more difficult for a Tripped enemy to stand up in certain terrain. No Save. Working with someone who has a Bottle of Endless Sand or sand creating spells, this is a great way to lock down enemies. Sandstorm pg 52.

    Shield Slam: When you charge an enemy and attack with your Shield, you get a free Trip attack and your enemy must Save or be Dazed for 1 round. A good mid level combo. But unless your DM is generous in how he reads the feat, it canít be used with Pounce or two handed Power Attack, so it loses itís usefulness by ECL 11+. Requires Shield Bash and Shield Charge. Complete Warrior pg 105.

    Shield Ward: Your shield bonus applies to touch attacks and checks to resist Bull Rush, Disarm, Grapple, Overrun, and Trip attempts. Requires Shield Specialization. PHBII 82.

    Shock Trooper: Letís you shift your Power Attack penalty to AC, and it gives you some very useful Bull Rush maneuvers as well. This feat is pretty much standard for any build with Power Attack. Be warned though Ė dumping your AC can quickly lead to death, especially for a Knight using Test of Mettle. Complete Warrior pg 112.

    Spirit Sense: Letís you see an interact with spirits of the recently dead. ďSorry that we had to ambush you, but could you tell us your masterís weaknesses?Ē ďAre you kidding me, you just killed me.Ē ďI demand you tell me!Ē (My Intimidate check is 52.) ďFine, fine. Heís vulnerable to fire.Ē Heroes of Horror pg 124.

    Stand Still: Although it deals no damage, unlike Trip or Bull Rush, this feat is unaffected by size, almost always works, and has few pre-reqs. Remember, enemies cannot Charge through occupied squares, and take penalties if try to squeeze into the same square to fight you. Requires Combat Reflexes. Expanded Psionics Handbook.

    Stone Power: You gain temporary hit points each turn in exchange for lowering your To-Hit. Very useful at low-mid levels, especially when combined with DR and/or regular and/or Fast Healing. Requires one Stone Dragon maneuver. Tome of Battle pg 33.

    Tomb Tainted Soul: The poor manís Necropolitan, you are healed by negative energy and harmed by positive. Libris Mortis pg 31.

    Tremendous Charge: Use your mount's Str mod instead of your own when making a Charge with a lance. Your lance has to make a Fort Save or it shatters. Potentially useful if you have an uber mount but a small/weak Knight. Dragonlance Campaign Setting)

    Vow of Peace: Continuous Calm Emotions aura. A bonus to AC and Diplomacy. And if a creature strikes you with a manufactured weapon, the weapon must make a Fort Save or shatter. And Vow of Nonviolence (prereq) boosts the Save DC of many abilities. The down side is that you have to vow never to harm any living creature, and your party has some strict roleplaying restrictions as well. Never take this feat unless everyone in the party is on board with it. Assuming they are, this is a phenomenal feat for a Knight (Please, donít hit anyone! Ok, youíve decided to hit us. I demand you hit me!) or other tank builds that focus solely on aggro, defense, and disabling enemies. Requires Sacred Vow, Vow of Non-Violence. Book of Exalted Deeds pg 48.

    Wild Cohort: The next best thing to Leadership for any mounted build. Link.


    Multiclassing and Prestige Classes:
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    The Knight is good at some levels, and not so good at others. Your build should depend on what ECL you are playing at, and how high your campaign will go to.

    Max level of campaign: My suggestion.

    ECL 1-3: Donít play a Knight. Youíre better off as a Barbarian 1/Fighter 2, Crusader 3, or something else. Just call yourself a knight, and no one will care.

    ECL 4: Strait Knight. Test of Mettle is phenomenally useful once you get it, especially at low levels.

    ECL 5-11: 4 uses of Test of Mettle per day should get you through most combats, so this is the ECL when you benefit from multi-classing and/or going into a PrC.

    ECL 12-19: This can be a difficult ECL range for the Knight. If you multiclass, then your Test of Mettle Save DC will be too low to effect many enemies. And plenty of enemies will be immune to it as well. But with 12-19 Challenges, you can use one almost every turn of combat, drastically improving your effectiveness in combats against some enemies. So my suggestion for this range is to go strait Knight, and focus your feats and magic items on improving your prowess against enemies that are immune to Mind Effecting effects. Alternatively, a multiclass Knight build can partner with a dedicated debuffer, although this tends to be difficult, since many debuff effects have a limited number of targets and/or range.

    ECL 20: The only way to get Loyal Beyond Death is Knight 20, so thatís what I suggest if youíre playing to this level.

    Ashworm Dragoon: One of the best mounted PrC, you get a poisonous burrowing worm to ride that improves with your levels, unlimited Mount Combat uses per round (essentially preventing melee damage to your mount), Pounce, and the ability to Burrow with your mount. This last ability is particularly important, because enemies can't target you if they don't have line of effect. This gives you great Test of Mettle combo. The only down side is that once your Test of Mettle DC starts being useless, so do your Knight levels. Best ECL: 6-11. Sandstorm.

    Blackguard: Cha to Saves, a penalty to your enemies Saves, Sneak Attack (useful because it qualifies you for the Staggering Strike feat), and Rebuke Undead (because it qualifies you for a dozen uber useful Divine feats, like Travel Devotion, Earth Devotion, Divine Shield, etc). But your spells stop scaling at ECL 16, so donít bother with it if youíre playing above that level. Alternatively, you can use the Paladin of Tyranny to get everything but Sneak Attack and the semi-useful spells. Best ECL: 7-12. DMG.

    Bloodlines: Bloodlines count toward all class based calculations, which includes a Knight's Challenge/Test of Mettle uses per day and Saving Throw DC. Bloodlines are a very mixed bag, so whether or not you take any is highly dependent on your ECL and build goals. But it could be worth it, especially when mixed with other classes that have most of their stuff progressed by Bloodlines, such as Bard, Binder, Hellfire Warlock, etc. Unearthed Arcana.

    Binder: Although they lack full BAB, a few Binder vestiges have some serious defensive ability. Binders are also ridiculously flexible, in that they can choose new vestiges every morning. But itís also the most ridiculously complex class. If you and your DM are not intimately familiar with this class, then skip it. Best ECL: 5-8. Tome of Magic.

    Crusader: Crusaders can delay damage, heal, attack, and use decent battlefield control. The potential comboís and builds are too numerous to list in a short blurb, but trust me, they rock. Best ECL: 5-8. Tome of Battle.

    Deepwarden: 2 levels will let any Dwarf get its Con to AC (instead of Dex). If you give up the need to make AoO and find a way to take the Action Before Thought maneuver or 5 levels of Kensai or the Saddleback feat (to deal with your Ref Save), you can reduce your MAD down to Cha/Con/Str. Link. Best ECL: 6-8. Races of Stone pg 105.

    Fighter: One or two levels for the bonus feat is a respectable choice for a Knight 4. But beyond that, you have many much better options. Best ECL: 5-6. PHB.

    Hellreaver: Probably the best self healing tank out there. This PrC gets immunity to Fear, Mettle, and the ability to heal 10/20/30 hit points (depending on your level) to yourself or any Good ally within 10 feet every round of combat as a Swift action pretty much every round of combat (that youíre not using Test of Mettle or some other Immediate/Swift Action). Best ECL: 6-11. Fiendish Codex II.

    Hexblade: Cha to Saves vs. Spells and Mettle. But your most powerful class feature is your full BAB Familiar, which is open to all sorts of combos with Share Spells and some wands. And/or you can trade in your Familiar for Dark Companion (PHBII), giving a few enemies a -2 to Saves. Best ECL: 5-8. Complete Warrior.

    Kensai: A 10th level Kensai can get two (or more) magic weapons for a very reasonable xp cost. That by itself is pretty powerful, and frees up a ton of cash that you can invest in various defensive magic items. In addition, you get the ability to replace Ref Saves with Concentration checks (ridiculously easy to boost via magic items), and a bonus to Str. He can also gets a nifty boosts to several Skills, including Intimidate. Finally, a Kensai can transfer some or all of his BAB and/or Saves to a willing ally. Plenty of combos here. Best ECL: 6-10. Complete Warrior pg 52.

    Marshal: A one level dip into Marshal will give you and your friends your Cha bonus to Str checks, which will work wonders on your Trip or Bull Rush attempts. Alternatively (or in addition) you could gain your Cha bonus to Dex Skills/checks (Ranger 1/Marshal 1/Knight 4 could be a sold Special Forces leader) and/or Cha checks (making your Diplomacy/Intimidate checks uber). Best ECL: 1-5. Miniatures Handbook.

    Paladin: Basically all of the benefits of being a Blackguard except for Sneak Attack. Also, take a look at the Wary Swordknight Substitution level from Champions of Valor, which allows a Halfling Paladin to be treated as one size larger when its advantageous to them (Bull Rush, Trip, Grapple, etc). Best ECL: 1-8. PHB.

    Tactical Soldier: Like the Fighter, the Tactical Soldier is a good 2 level dip. It essentially gives you Adaptable Flanker and Sidestep, which would normally cost 5 feats to get if you got them via other means. Best ECL: 6-8. Miniatures Handbook pg 22.

    Totemist: Yet another good dip class. Soulmelds can do all sorts of nifty things, and the Totemist Save DC's are Con based. You also pick up Wild Empathy, which is useful for a Cha based class like the Knight, and easy to boost with 1 level of Marshal. Best ECL: 1-6. Magic of Incarnum.

    Warblade: Although not as great as the Crusader at tanking, the Warblade has some amazingly useful Counters. Best ECL: 5-8. Tome of Battle.

    Warchanter: Full BAB, Bardic music, and other nifty Bardic music abilities. Bardic music can fuel all sorts of potent feats, such as Doomspeak and Snowflake Wardance. This is a particularly good choice if your party includes a dedicated summoner, like a Druid or Malconvoker. Best ECL: 6-15. Complete Warrior pg 87.


    Skills
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    Although tanks donít get many Skills, they do get some. Skills are ridiculously easy to boost, so be sure to pick a few that are useful to you to use to your advantage.

    Handle Animal: The splat books are littered with mounts that you can purchase or find on a side quest and train, without needing a Special Mount or Animal Companion class feature. Anything listed as an animal (such as dinosaurs) plus many magical beasts (griffin, pegasus, rust monster, etc) can make excellent mounts.

    Intimidate: Learn to optimize your ability to Demoralize. It synergizes very well with Daunting Challenge and Frightful Presence. It gives you something to do when you canít attack an enemy. And itís ridiculously effective in some circumstances.

    Ride: For any mounted Knight, this is a very important Skill to boost, because it can replace the AC of your mount once per round (Mounted Combat). It can also replace your Reflex Save with the Saddleback feat.

    Speak Language: For 2 Skill Points you can take Battle Signals (essentially Special Forces sign language) to communicate silently with anyone else who knows Battle Signals. Have everyone in the party take it, and it can be very handy for setting up ambushes or communicating in dungeons without giving yourself away. Heroes of Battle pg 95.

    Tumble: If you're not mounted or flying, you're going to want to put a few ranks into this, and buy a Skill boosting item. At some point you're going to be surrounded, and you're going to want a way out. Keep in mind that Armor Mastery for medium armor kicks in at 4th level, so you can use Tumble without penalty while wearing Mithral heavy armor.

    Use Magic Device: As a Cha based class, this is actually a respectable cross-class investment for you. All you need to do is hit DC 20 reliably. This is an especially good choice for non-mounted Knights, who donít care about Handle Animal or Ride. Also, remember that if you have a single level of a class, you can use any spell trigger item for that class, even if youíre not high enough level to cast it yourself. For example, a Ranger 1/Knight X can get Pounce whenever he needs it by putting a Wand of Lion's Charge (Spell Compendium) into a lance with a Wand Chamber (Dungeonscape).


    Equipment:
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    General Notes:
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    Some of the equipment listed has been updated (and nerfed) in the Magic Item Compendium. (Which I havenít indexed here yet, because I really donít use it very often, since I have access to pretty much every other splat book). Check with your DM to see which version he is using.

    As with Feats, you should remember that your primary goal is defense and control, not offense. This actually works to your advantage, since the most expensive piece of equipment for any meat shield tends to be their weapon. If you don't worry about devoting a lot of gp to that, you have a lot more money for high AC, Saves, and special tricks.


    Armor/Defense:
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    Animated Shield: In most cases, you will want to enchant your shield with this ASAP so that you can use your weapon two handed. DMG.

    Empyreal armor or shield enhancement: You can transfer your enhancement bonus to AC to be a sacred bonus to Saves. Although adding this to a +5 shield to get a bonus to your Saves would be twice as expensive as a Cloak of Resistance, itís noteworthy in that the bonuses stack. A good high ECL choice. Book of Exalted Deeds pg 112.

    Gemstone of Heavy Fortification: Very useful. Draconomicon

    Ghost Shroud: Deflection bonus to AC, and all of your attacks have the Ghost Touch property. Libris Mortis pg 76.

    Hideous Armor: Competence bonus to Intimidate. Champions of Ruin pg. 40.

    Mechanus Gear: Probably the best mundane heavy armor in the game. Manual of the Planes pg 69.

    Retributive Amulet: Probably one of the most powerful defensive items out there. Every time you take melee damage, that damage is split between you and the attacker. Book of Exalted Deeds pg 116.

    Shield of the Severed Hand: Once per round grants you a Free Bull Rush whenever an enemy attacks you and misses. Requires True Believer feat and 7 HD. Complete Divine pg 102 or Magic Item Compendium.

    Shadowy Diadem: Concealment and immunity to energy drain limited times per day. Cheap. Dragon Magic pg 103.

    Shadow Veil: Deflection bonus to AC and limited concealment. Libris Mortis pg 76.

    Spellguard Rings: Allows you to ignore the spells cast by an ally. For example, they could lob a Fireball at a group of enemies even though youíre standing in the middle of them without effecting you. Complete Mage pg 127.

    Tabard of Valor: When reduced to 50% hit points or less, you gain Mettle. If you already have Mettle, you gain Improved Mettle (which works just like Improved Evasion, but for Will and Fort Saves). A must have for any Knight/Hexblade or Knight/Hellreaver. Complete Champion pg 142.

    Wakeful Mind construct graft: You gain immunity to Sleep and Stun effects, and no longer need to sleep. Mostly useful to prevent ambushes in the middle of the night, and I also like the fluff value. Faiths of Eberron pg 158.


    Weapons/Offense:
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    Akkabarís Battleblade Ring: Blade Barrier once per day. Blade Barrier rocks. Playerís Guide to Faerun pg 122.

    Aurorum: Destroyed weapons made of this material can be re-formed as a full round action, restoring them to their previous state. Only a truly spiteful DM would Sunder your magical weapon. But if he does, this is your protection. Book of Exalted Deeds pg 38.

    Armbands of Might: Unnamed bonus to Str checks, Skills, and damage when you use Power Attack. Comp Adventurer pg 132.

    Banishing weapon enhancement: Extraplanar creatures must Save or be sent back to their home plane. Pretty much an auto win button against summoned enemies, demons, devils, elementals, and many others. Book of Exalted Deeds pg 113.

    Bodyfeeder weapon enhancement: Any time you crit, you gain temporary hit points. The problem is that there aren't any high crit reach weapons out there. But this is still a good choice for certain builds. Link. Expanded Psionics Handbook

    Exit Wound: If you hit an enemy with a ranged weapon, it also effects the enemy behind him, and potentially the enemy behind him, and so on. A great enchantment to put on your backup bow or shield (if it also has Throwing and Returning), as its absolutely devastating if you have a conga line of bad guys lined up to attack you in a dungeon. Complete Warrior pg 134.

    Explosive: Whenever you hit with this weapon, everyone within 5 ft of your target (including the target, and potentially you) takes additional damage. Iíve found that this enhancement is very useful against groups of weak enemies. Just be sure to use a reach weapon, especially at low levels. Complete Warrior pg 134.

    Frightful Crest draconic graft: Gives you a potent Frightful Presence. Races of the Dragon pg 128.

    Glove of Taarnahm the Vigilant: Any weapon you wield is given Throwing and Returning. Helpful if you kill off an enemy as part of your full attack routine, canít reach any other enemy, and have a left over attack that you donít want to waste. Playerís Guide to Faerun pg 123.

    Merciful: Extra 1d6 damage, and deal non-lethal damage without penalty. Useful for when you want to attack someone who is helpless. Link. DMG.

    Mohrgís Tongue undead graft: Gives you a secondary touch attack that Paralyzes enemies. Libris Mortis pg 80.

    Nychyaellaís Healing Spear: Vampiric Touch three time per day. Playerís Guide to Faerun pg 121.

    Paralyzing weapon enhancement: Any creature hit must Save or be paralyzed. They get a new save every round. Book of Exalted Deeds pg 113.

    Pandemonic Silver: Counts as alchemical Silver. And when you draw a weapon made of this material, everyone within a certain radius must Save or Cower. Now hereís the weird part - the Save DC is based on the speed of wind in the air. Itís bizarre, I know. But if you can get hurricane strength wind (through Control Weather, or an Air Elemental and a nice DM or whatnot) then the Save is very impressive. Complete Warrior pg 136.

    Poison Fangs yuan-ti graft: Adds a strong poison to any existing bite attack. Serpent Kingdoms pg 154.

    Riding Boots: Unnamed bonus to Ride, and if you have Spirited Charge you further multiply your damage when you Charge. DMGII pg 270.

    Roaring weapon enhancement: Evil creatures must Save or be Shaken. Book of Exalted Deeds pg 113.

    Scourge of Fangs: Scourge that turns into snakes. You can make 5 attacks when you make a full attack, and it has a debuff effect. Serpent Kingdoms pg 152.

    Shadow Striking weapon enhancement: After one hit, your weapon will automatically bypass any alignment or material base DR. Tome of Magic pg 155.

    Spell Storing weapon enhancement: Have a caster from your party put their best debuff effect into this for you. DMG.

    Splitting: Arrows or bolts with this enchantment split in mid air, doubling your attacks. Champions of Ruin pg 42.

    Star Metal: Weapons made of this material count as adamantine for all purposes (bypassing DR, hardness, Sundering, etc) and deals extra damage to extraplanar creatures (which includes all Summoned creatures). If you use Sunder for some reason (a Knight/Blackguard) this is a good choice for your weapon. Comp Arcane pg 141.

    Subjugating weapon enhancement: Enemy must Save or be Shaken. Heroes of Battle pg 130.

    Sudden Stunning: Enemy must Save or be Stunned for multiple rounds. Useable Cha bonus times per day. Very cheap. Magic Item Compendium.

    Torturous: On a successful hit, target must make Fort save or Stunned for 1 round. The Save DC is piss poor and plenty of enemies are immune to Stun, but it's cheap and effective against mooks. (Ghostwalk p. 64)

    Vampiric weapon enhancement: Each hit heals a small amount of damage. Unapproachable East pg 54.

    Valorous weapon enhancement: Double damage on a charge. Unapproachable East pg 54.


    Healing:
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    I wonít give a full rundown here, because someone else already did a better job. But youíre going to be taking a lot of damage, so learn how to heal yourself effectively, and make sure other party members can heal as well.


    Misc:
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    Amber Amulet of Vermin Summon a flying mount once per day. 800 gp. Magic Item Compendium p 68.

    Amulet of Aberrant Empathy: You can use a Handle Animal check in place of a Diplomacy check to influence the attitude of aberrations with low Int. Cheap. Comp Adventurer pg 132.

    Amulet of Fearsome Might: Increases the area and Save DC of your Frightful Presence. Dragon Magic pg 93.

    Banner of Law: All day Protection from Law 30 ft. Can be made for Protection from Evil, Good, etc. Remember, Protection from Whatever prevents mind control and prevents summoned enemies from attacking you. Heroes of Battle pg 133.

    Cloak of the Dragon: Wings and a breath weapon once per day for a limited duration. Bargain price. Complete Champion pg 138.

    Cloak of Mysterious Emergence: Dimension Door limited times per day. Dragon Magic pg 93.

    Effigy Creatures: Construct animals that do whatever you tell them to do. Although they tend not to have a lot of hit points (Constructs have no Con score) they have a ton of immunities, DR, and theyíre relatively cheap. Just make sure someone in your party has access to Repair spells (or buy them a Wand). Complete Arcane pg 152.

    Everlasting Rations: Enough food to feed 1 person for a day, every day. Heroes of Battle pg 131.

    Feather Fall Talisman: Gives you Feather Fall, once. Keep one per adventure, and you should be fine. Sharn City of Towers pg 170.

    Figurine of Wondrous Power, Gold Beetle or Ivory Camel. Good as mounts if you don't want to be bothered with Handle Animal. Sandstorm p. 133.

    Fiendring: Once per day you can turn into any fiendish creature, devil, or demon that can be summoned via Summon Monster I through IV. Unlike Polymorph, you gain all of their special abilities (DR, SR, etc). Lost Empires of Faerun pg 152.

    Five Virtues: A Knight oriented collection of magic items. If you have all five, you get a very minor bonus to Will and adjacent allies AC. Magic Item Compendium pg 195-197.
    • Armband of Confrontation: Fighting Challenge lasts extra rounds.
    • Crystal of Alacrity: Minor bonus to your land speed.
    • Medal of Steadfast Honor. Spend Knight's Challenges to stand up as a free action.
    • Shield of Vigor. Spend Knight's Challenges to gain Fast Healing 5 for 3 rounds. Very useful at low levels.
    • Standard of Valor. Spend Knight's Challenge to allow any ally to reroll a failed Fear save.


    Glove of the Master Strategist. Gloves of Storing plus True Strike once per day for a reasonable price. Ghostwalk p. 71.

    Iyaringu of the Earth Dragon: Negates difficult terrain. Dragon Magic pg 102.

    Kimono of Storing: Essentially two Gloves of Storing. Very useful for swapping out your lance or another melee weapon on the fly. Oriental Adventures p. 140.

    Masterwork Tools: A cheap way to add +2 to any Skill check. Theoretically this works for any Skill. PHB.

    Mighty Arms construct graft: You gain a slam attack as per a construct of your size. Natural attacks can be used as secondary attacks (at a -5) and count for Power Attack and Weapon Finesse. Ridiculously cheap. Faiths of Eberron pg 158.

    Night Caller: You can blow this whistle over any grave to turn a corpse into a zombie that serves you loyally until destroyed. After you kill a powerful enemy, bury him and then make him serve you. Libris Mortis pg 79.

    Noble Pennon. Slightly increases your Knight's Challenge DC and Smite Evil damage, and you can spend renewable charges to improve your Will or Fort Save. Also, it doesn't take up any item slot. Magic Item Compendium pg 166

    Pendant of Dragon Empathy: You can use a Handle Animal check in place of a Diplomacy check to influence the attitude of dragons with low Int. Cheap. Comp Adventurer pg 134.

    Slippers of Battledancing: Various bonuses, and if you have some ranks in Perform (dance) you can use your Cha instead of Str or Dex as your bonus to attack with one handed or light weapons. DMGII pg 272.

    Surcoat of Valor. Slightly increases your Knight's Challenge DC (and usually duration). Every point of DC helps, but you'll probably fill your torso magic item slot with something much better later in your career. Magic Item Compendium pg 139.

    Wand Bracer: Holds multiple wands, and you can draw any one as a Swift Action. Dungeonscape pg 33.

    Wand Chamber: Puts a single wand inside a weapon or shield. As long as youíre holding it, you count as holding the wand. Dungeonscape pg 34.
    Last edited by Person_Man; 2013-09-16 at 01:36 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Specific Builds and Tactics:

    Sir Didymus
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    Strongheart Halfling Knight 10+

    Con > Cha > Dex > Str > Int 13 > Wis (dump): You need a Dex of at least 14, because you're going to be making a lot of AoO. It's ok to dump Wis, because you have a strong Will Save and can always buy a Cloak of Resistance.

    Feats:
    1: Combat Expertise, Improved Trip (Halfling bonus feat)
    2: Mounted Combat (Knight bonus)
    3: Knock-Down
    5: Ride By Attack (Knight bonus)
    6: Combat Reflexes
    9: Power Attack
    10: Spirited Charge (Knight bonus)

    You can switch out Combat Expertise->Improved Trip->Knock-Down for Combat Reflexes->Stand Still, which is more efficient for battlefield control but never deals damage. If there is any way to take a Flaw so that you can take Combat Reflexes early, do so. Other great feat options for Sir Didymus include Saddleback, Leadership, and Sand Snare.

    Invest in Handle Animal and Ride. Buy a pack of dogs, trained for guard duty, attack, and riding. They're cheap, fast, and also useful for disarming traps in dungeons. (Fetch the bone Lassie!) Ride one into combat, and have the others guard the campsite and act as replacements in case your main mount gets killed. At higher levels be sure to invest in a better mount.

    Your combo is simple. Use Test of Mettle to draw your enemies to you. Charge through and past them repeatedly, drawing them as far away as you can from the rest of your party. Divide and conquer. Have the rest of the party gang up on whoever passed their Test of Mettle Save, and once they're dead, have them kill whoever is following you around - one at a time - vastly increasing your party's effectiveness.

    Use your lance and shield together for higher AC, or use your lance two handed for Power Attack and Spirited Charge for 3(1d6+magic+[Str*1.5]+[BAB*2]) damage. As soon as you can afford it use an animated shield, so that you can gain you Knight bonus to it while maximizing your damage output.

    If someone tries to attack you, you get a free hit on them (lance is a reach weapon) followed by a free Trip attempt (Knock-Down). Remember, no one can charge through an occupied square, so if the person isn't killed, they become defensive terrain for you. And with Vigilante Defender, Skill Monkeys and Monks will have a hard time bypassing your defenses.

    Also, its important to note that if someone under the effect of your Test of Mettle is standing 0-10 feet away from you, your next action should usually be to Withdraw or Move away at your full speed, or if possible Charge through and past them or someone else on the battlefield, ending up 70ish+ feet away. Don't make a Full Attack (unless you have Pounce). This is counter intuitive, but remember that your main goal on the battlefield is to control your enemies, not engage them. If they spend every round chasing you, that's another round they're not attacking your friends. This is your true goal. Occasional massive damage from a great charge attack is just a helpful side effect.

    Keep in mind that using this combo is just begging your DM to throw incorporeal (immune to Trip) enemies and/or enemies with no Int score (immune to Test of Mettle) at you. So I suggest you buy two lances: One main +4 Adamantine Lance (maximizing your chance To-Hit) for regular combat, and a secondary +1 Cold Steel Ghost Touch Lance of Disruption for when its appropriate.

    Also note that with a small size race, you're going to be taking a penalty to your Trip checks. So it might be a good idea to mix in Marshal or Wary Swordknight Paladin to improve your chances.

    Your DM will probably also mix in a large number of ranged combatants, so be sure to have a friend cast Protection from Arrows on you.


    Ping Pong Pete
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    Goliath Knight 12+ (ECL 13)

    Cha > Dex > Str > Con > Int 13 > Wis (dump): Like Sir Didymus, you need a Dex of at least 14, because you're going to be taking a lot of AoO. And it's ok to dump Wis, because you have a strong Will Save and can always buy a Cloak of Resistance. But thanks to the racial bonuses, Pete doesn't need to invest in Str and Con as highly as Sir Didymus.

    1:Power Attack
    2: Mounted Combat (bonus)
    3: Improved Bull Rush
    5: Ride By Attack (bonus)
    6: Combat Reflexes
    9: Knockback (Races of Stone)
    10: Spirited Charge (bonus):
    12: Shock Trooper

    If you can use Flaws Pete becomes playable at level 6 (ECL 7). If you know that youíre not playing far beyond ECL 7ish, then Knight 4/Fighter 2 is a good option as well.

    Pete has two combo's. The first copies Sir Didymus. Get on a horse, use Test of Mettle, divide and conquer. Note that your damage output will definitely be higher, because you can use a large lance, use Shock Trooper to shift the To-Hit penalty to AC, and will generally have higher Str.

    The second combo revolves around Knockback. It's a feat that's limited to Large and Powerful Build races which gives you a free Bull Rush whenever you hit an enemy, adding your Power Attack bonus to it. So instead of leaving your enemies Prone, you push them back. Shock Trooper allows you to move your enemies one square to the left or right for each square you push them back. And it gives you a free Trip attempt if you can steer a Bull Rushed enemy into another enemy's square. And hilariously, all your enemies can do is get up and head right back towards you.

    This build is more powerful, but it suffers from two big weaknesses. First, since goliaths are a medium race, they can generally only be mounted while outdoors. Being a small race, Sir Didymus can pretty much go anywhere on his medium mount, maintaining his mobility under almost any conditions. If you just know that you're going to be spending a lot of time indoors, then drop the Ride By Attack and Spirited Charge and pick up Iron Will and Great Fortitude instead (sigh - I wish the Knight's bonus feat list was better), and pick up Leap Attack as soon as you can.

    Second, Sir Didymus is playable at every level, but Pete desperately needs lots of feats for his key second combo to work. Flaws help. But if you can't use flaws and you're playing at mid levels you have to suck it up and take 2 levels of Fighter, and accept the fact that your Knight abilities will be somewhat sub-par.


    Hentai, the Knight Protector
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    Whatever Knight X

    Cha > Dex > Str (13+)> Con > Int (10+) > Wis (dump): Basically, this Knight has three goals:

    1) Get access to Standstill, Combat Reflexes, Mage Slayer (Complete Arcane), Supernatural Opportunist (Tome of Magic), and Frightful Presence (Draconomicon).

    2) Getting ridiculous reach. This can be accomplished a number of ways:

    Play a big race (try to avoid LA)
    Reach Weapon: Doubles reach.
    Wild Shape: There are many ways to get this via class abilities.
    Polymorph: Ask a friend to turn you into something bigger.
    Expansion (doesn't stack with Enlarge Person): +1 or +2 size.
    Alter Self (doesn't stack with Enlarge Person or Expansion): +1 size.
    Willing Deformity -> Deformity Tall (Heroes of Horror): +5 ft.
    Aberration Blood -> Inhuman Reach (Lords of Madness): +5 ft.
    Extended Reach (req tentacle like limbs, provided by Inhuman Reach): +5 ft.
    3 levels of Warshaper (Comp Warrior): +5 ft, but only with natural weapons.

    Some of these options aren't a good choice for this build, but I'd though I'd put them out there anyway. But it should be relatively easy for you to get 30+ feet of reach with a moderate investment. If a friend isn't willing to buff you, take the Arcane Schooling (Playerís Guide to Faerun pg 33) and now you can use wands without UMD.

    3) Find a way to consistently deal 40ish damage per hit - not very hard with decent Str, a two handed weapon magic weapon, etc. This will make the Reflex Saves needed to accomplish any type of movement and the Concentration checks needed to cast ridiculously hard.

    Put these together with your Knight class abilities (Bulwark of Defense, Vigilant Defender, Daunting Challenge, Test of Mettle) and basically everyone within your reach will be screwed one way or another. Stand near the party Wizard or whoever needs to be protected the most, and the enemies will come to you, even without Test of Mettle.

    The down side of this build is that it really doesn't come together until at least ECL 12ish, if not much higher. It lacks any offensive combo besides Fear, though you could certainly add some at high levels. And your DM is definitely going to use lots of very long range enemies against you, so be prepared.


    Sir Spoony
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    Bard 1/Knight 4/Warchanter X

    Bard grants you useful Skills and access to Bardic music.

    Knight 4 gives you Test of Mettle.

    Warchanter gives you additional Bardic music uses, full BAB, and several very useful new uses for Bardic music.

    The key to this build is Doomspeak, a feat from Champions of Ruin. You burn a Bardic music use, and impose a massive penalty on one enemy for one round. If youíre fighting a lot of enemies, use Inspire Awe (Warchanter Fear song) instead (or in addition). Combine this with any other standard Knight build to divide and conquer your enemies.

    Itís also worth mentioning that with the Bardís music and Skill list, you have a much easier time qualifying for some other very useful feats and items, such as Snowflake War Dance (Cha to hit), Slippers of Battledancing (Cha to Hit), and Combat Panache (Cha to AC against one enemy).


    Fine But Deadly
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    Oriental Adventures Samurai 1 or Factotum 1/Knight X

    Like Sir Spoony, this tactic can be combined with any other Knight build, as long as you have the feats available.

    The key to this build is a feat called Confound the Bigfolk from Races of the Wild. It has some very specific mechanics you have to follow, but basically if you're two sizes smaller then your enemy then you can move into his square, and the next round heís Flat Footed against you, and when other enemies attack you they have a 50% chance of hitting the enemy in your square instead of you.

    Now, there are a bunch of different methods for getting really small (preferably Fine, so you can effect anyone who is Tiny size or larger):
    Reduce Person
    Compression
    Alter Self
    Polymorph
    Polymorph Any Object
    Ring of Reduction (Lords of Madness pg. 130)
    Divine Minion template (hawk or cat).
    Tibbit (Polymorph into cat) Dragon Compendium.
    Jermalaine (Tiny, MMII) tiny, LA +0
    Muckdweller (Serpent Kingdoms)
    Master of Many Forms (Wildshape: Diminuitive at 8th)
    Hengeyokai (Polymorph into sparrow)

    My suggestion is Hengeyokai because sparrows are Fine sized. Once youíve found a way to get really small, the tactics are pretty straitforward:

    1) Move into an enemy's square and find something to do for one round.

    2) Use Test of Mettle. Enemies attack you. They have a 50% chance of hitting their friend, and a 50% chance of hitting you (which should be very difficult, given your Size, Dex, armor, shield, Underfoot/Confound bonuses, Combat Expertise, etc). If they kill the enemy whose square you're in, move into another enemy's square.

    3) If heís still alive, attack the enemy whose square you are in. Heíll count as being Flat Footed, which opens him up to Sneak Attack, Sudden Strike, and Iaijutsu Focus.

    Iaijutsu Focus is a Skill from Oriental Adventures. (By RAW, 3.0 is grandfathered into 3.5, and the Samurai and Factotum both get it as class Skills). Whenever you are making an attack roll immediately after drawing a weapon and your target is Flat Footed you may make an Iaijutsu Focus check as a free action. You can gain massive damage to your attack, based on your check. And it goes without saying that Skills are quite easy to boost via feats, items, dips into Marshal, Item Familiars, and spells. You can use Quickdraw (Knight bonus feat) to draw a weapon every time you want to attack, or invest in Exotic Weapon Prof (Gnome Quickrazor, from Races of Stone), which is a free action to draw and sheath. Of course, to use this tactic successfully, youíll need a modification on your Knight Code from your DM. If he makes you play it RAW, then you should consider a different build.

    Special thanks to Darrin for suggesting most of the ways to get very small in various threads on similar topics.


    Saint Bertold
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    Whatever 3/Knight 4/Apostle of Peace 4/Full Caster Progression PrC X

    Saint Bertold should only be played by a mature player, interested in a lot of roleplaying, with an all Good group interested in a challenge. Your Vows have all sorts of ridiculous pre-conditions, such as taking all helpless or incapacitated living enemies prisoner instead of killing them. So again, do not play this build unless everyone in your party is on board with it. That said, hereís how it works:

    Whatever 3 can be anything with Concentration (prereq for Apostle of Peace) as a class Skill A mix of Paladin, Binder, Incarnate, and/or any Skill Monkey class might be a good idea.

    Knight gives you Test of Mettle.

    Apostle of Peace (Book of Exalted Deeds) offers ridiculously fast casting, giving you 9th level spells at ECL 16, albeit from good but somewhat limited list. It also gives you Turn Undead, a no Save Calm Emotions, and Censure Demons. Nothing but spells after 4 levels though, so head into any other PrC that offers full caster progression.

    The catch is that you need to take Sacred Vow, Vow of Peace, Vow of Non-Violence, and Vow of Poverty.

    Vow of Peace and Vow of Non-Violence boosts the Save DCs of all of your abilities and spells (including Test of Mettle), makes weapons break against you, and give you other abilities.

    So your combos are rather strait forward. Use Test of Mettle, and enemies will hopelessly attack you, breaking their weapons against you. Your friends can incapacitate those who aren't effected, and then focus on the people who are one at a time. If an enemy isnít effected by Test of Mettle, you can use Calm Emotions, Skills, or the many spells at your disposal.


    The Red Knight
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    This is my take on Thurbane's Tactical Soldier post:

    Strongheart Halfling Knight 6/Tactical Soldier 2/Whatever X

    Feats:
    1: Combat Reflexes, Cleave (Halfling bonus feat)
    2: Mounted Combat (Knight bonus)
    3: Hold the Line
    5: Ride By Attack (Knight bonus)
    6: Evasive Reflexes
    7: Sidestep (Tactical Soldier bonus feat)
    9: Mage Slayer

    Again, Flaws would help a lot (Power Attack, Spirited Charge, etc). Just be sure to use a lance or some other reach weapon.

    Virtually every Knight ability will be used in some way for this build. Mounted Combat for protecting your mount, Ride by Attack for tactical positioning, Bulwark of Defense against casters, Vigilant Defender against Rogues, and Shield Ally to protect your Mount and squishy Rogue and Wizard allies. Knight levels 7-11 are really a dead zone, offering little beyond Spirited Charge or Quickdraw as a bonus feat. So if you're going to be playing above ECL 8, I suggest some mix of Fighter, Paladin, Blackguard, etc. I don't think this build will work well above ECL 12ish, unless you can find some way to seriously boost your Test of Mettle DC.

    Tactical Soldier gives you a very useful Flanking ability, which lets your ally Flank from any square adjacent to you (directly in front of you, standing next to you, or other odd angles if you mount can Fly or Climb). It also gives you the Sidestep feat without the uber annoying Dex 15, Tumble 8, Dodge and Mobility pre-reqs. Sidestep lets you take an extra 5 ft step once per round after you attack.

    This build is all about careful tactical choices. It excels when you have a Rogue in the party, as you have a very easy time positioning yourself on the battlefield and Flanking.

    When fighting in an open field, you should use hit and run tactics just like Sir Didymus. Be sure to use Ride by Attack to hit them and move as far away from them as possible, so they have to Charge you (or use ranged attacks - be prepared for this with your equipment choices). Use Test of Mettle to get people to attack you. Except instead of using Knock-Down, when your enemies Charge you can hit them (bonus attack from Hold the Line), take a 5 ft step (Sidestep), and then take another 5 ft step (normal AoO from moving through your threatened area, replaced by Evasive Reflexes). This essentially negates their Charge, since they have to move in a strait line to attack you, and you've moved 10 feet away to either side. If more then one person Charges you, you can just use Evasive Reflexes twice.

    When in a dungeon, you can still be mounted, thanks to your Small size. Be sure to stand anywhere near a Rogue so that you can Flank. Use Shield Ally as needed to protect him. Make sure he takes the Opportunist Rogue special ability when he qualifies.

    When fighting a caster, you can get right on top of them. With Mage Slayer, they should have a very hard time casting. Bulwark of Defense will make it impossible for them to take a 5 ft step. Find a way to limit them to a Standard Action (Acheron Flurry, Staggering Strike, anything that Nauseates or Staggers them) and they won't be able to Withdraw (a full round action) either.

    When Test of Mettle fails or just doesn't work, you can just stand near your enemy, make a full attack, and then use Sidestep (and your normal 5 ft step) to adjust your position as necessary, always keeping them within your optimal range. Again, Bulwark of Defense should be very helpful.

    FYI, the build name is an allusion to a minor Forgotten Realms god of tactics, planning, and strategy.


    The Green Knight
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    Ranger 1/Knight 4/Abolisher 1/Master of Many Forms X

    Ranger grants you a bunch of Skills, the Track feat, and a Favored Enemy.

    Knight gives you Bulwark of Defense, Test of Mettle, and Armor Mastery (letting you use Tumble in Mithral Heavy Armor, if need be).

    Abolisher (Lords of Madness) gives you limited Wild Shape and Favored Enemy (Aberation).

    Master of Many Forms gives you ridiculous Wild Shape options. Although your Wild Shape hit dice will still be severely limited, this is one of the fastest routes to Large -> Huge size, Pounce, Improved Grab, and various other special abilities which synergize well with your Knight abilities.


    Sir Smack
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    This is the Knight take on a classic Psychic Warrior build, the "King of Smack."

    Knight 4/Sanctified Mind 1/War Mind 5/Sanctified Mind 2-6

    Key Feats: Practiced Manifester, Combat Reflexes, Karmic Strike, Robilar's Gambit.

    Knight provides Test of Mettle.

    Sanctified Mind (Lords of Madness) is 6 level, full BAB PrC which provides 5/6 caster or manifester progression (player's choice) with the dead level being the first level of the class. Unlike most other classes, you can enter it at ECL 5. It also has some semi-useful class abilities, including Power Resistance based on your HD, which counts as Spell Resistance if your DM is using the transparency rules. And it provides you with access to Knowledge (Psionics), which is needed as to enter Warmind.

    Warmind provides fast Psychic Warrior power progression. The key powers are Claws of the Beast + Claws of the Vampire. Claws of the Beast gives you claws that deal a lot of damage. Claws of the Vampire heals you 50% of the damage that you deal. As an added bonus, the Warmind Sweeping Strike ability allows you to hit one adjacent enemy every time you make an attack.

    Karmic Strike Feat gives you an attack of opportunity every time an enemy hit you, and Robilar's Gambit gives you an attack of opportunity every time an enemy attacks you.

    So, Test of Mettle, enemies attack you, you AoO them once or twice with each melee hit against you, you also get free attacks on adjacent enemies, and you heal 50% of the damage you deal.

    It would also be helpful to increase your size and reach, since that would increase your base claw damage and the number of attacks of opportunity that you generate.

    The down side is that the build is terribly, horribly MAD. Although this can be mitigated with various feats and magic items, at the very least you'll need decent Wis, and you'll want your Con and Cha to be as high as possible.

    It's also terribly Feat intensive. You're looking at 3-6 Feats just to get the basic combo off the ground, and maybe more.


    This handbook is a work in progress. This thread will also serve as the template for a larger guide that I am writing on 3.5 melee combat. So please post any and all critiques, advice, discussion, etc related to the Knight or tanks in general, but please avoid but posting anything that might get the thread locked.

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Wild Cohort may interest you as far as ways to get ahalf-descent mount are concerned (it grants an animal companion, which I think, is roughly equal to a Paladin's mount).
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Very cool. Two things I'd like to add:

    1) PrCing can be very expensive for a Knight. Test of Mettle's save DC is based on your Knight level, so unless you have a way to debuff enemies or supercharge your Charisma, if you want to rely on Test of Mettle, I find it's best to go straight or almost straight Knight.

    2) I would rate Goad at least Yellow or Black instead of Red. Yes, it's inferior to Test of Mettle in every way, except one: You can use them both. When you really, really need to protect someone by forcing the enemy to attack you and only you, I think it's a good idea to have two chances to force them into it. Remember that you only get one shot with Test of Mettle, and if the enemy simply says "no," well, a backup is a good thing to have.

    Both of these of course only apply to someone who cares deeply about Test of Mettle, but given how salient it is to most Knights, I think it's worth mentioning.

    One more thing. A gish or gestalt knight with some magic on the other side can make use of a lot of spells that are cool but not usually very useful, namely those spells that say "when an enemy hits you, X." Karmic Aura, for instance, or Death Armor (I think I've got those names right... I don't have my books open). Usually you want to prevent the enemy from hitting you, rather than punishing him for doing so, or else your enemy will simply say "Ow, attacking him hurts, I'm not going to do that." However, with a Knight's survivability and Test of Mettle, you don't have to give your enemy a choice.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Hengeyokai do not have a +1 LA. Their level adjustment was removed when OA was updated to 3.5.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Did you intentionally rate the Ride skill as yellow, or was that a typo? Because it seems to me that that should be a high priority, if "you should be mounted whenever possible".
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Fennac View Post
    Wild Cohort may interest you as far as ways to get ahalf-descent mount are concerned (it grants an animal companion, which I think, is roughly equal to a Paladin's mount).
    I second this endorsement. If Leadership isn't allowed (which is a very sensible rule from the DM's point of view), this becomes the easiest way to get a mount that won't die in one hit.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Teeny tiny slightly off topic nit-pick: Mind changing your color scheme slightly? That yellow is awful on the eyes.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    An interesting knight build is taking a few levels in the Divine Celibate from Book of Erotic Fantasy (no, I'm serious, hear me out).

    5 levels in that gets you full BAB, Evil Outsider turning (as a cleric of your level), some random bonuses to poison, disease and enchantments (and immunity to sex magic, not that that ever comes up - pun intended?), 3rd-level cleric spells, and a souped-up unicorn mount (standard unicorn + share spells, empathic link, imp speed, Celestial template, DR 5/evil, greater teleport). The only drawback is having to be celibate, so no in-character whoring for you.
    People seemed to like this better, but only marginally so - the way one might prefer to be stabbed than shot. Optimally, one isn't stabbed or shot. Optimally, one eats some cake! But there are times when cake is not available, and instead we are destroyed. This is the deep poetry of the universe. -- Tycho Brahe

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Did you intentionally rate the Ride skill as yellow, or was that a typo? Because it seems to me that that should be a high priority, if "you should be mounted whenever possible".
    Normally, I was going to say, you'd want to use the Cityscape enhancement to swap Ride for Tumble, but mounted combat is forced down your throat... then again, most ride check DCs are never high enough to worry all that much about.

    I think you only need enough ranks of Ride to make your Cover check even on a 1. There's a Haberdash trick that uses a free dismount to get two full attacks, but once you can consistently hit DC 20, I don't think you have to put any more ranks into Ride.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Would you consider adding a RP section, with experiences from your campaign and sources of inspiration?

    I always think of Mandorallen (of David Eddings' Belgariad/Mallorean) when I think of a fantasy RPG Knight.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by ocato View Post
    Teeny tiny slightly off topic nit-pick: Mind changing your color scheme slightly? That yellow is awful on the eyes.
    quoted for truth

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Nice guide - I would ask for your feedback on the following items:

    * Tactical Soldier PrC (MH) has some abilities that dovetail nicely with the Knight class IMHO, especially some of the early ones like Flanker, Sidestep and Interpose (which is a nice supplement to the Shield Ally ability)...

    * Since the Knight's code precludes inflicting lethal damage on helpless opponents, the Merciful enchantment on a weapon can come in extremely handy.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    * Since the Knight's code precludes inflicting lethal damage on helpless opponents, the Merciful enchantment on a weapon can come in extremely handy.
    What, so he can pistolwhip already downed opponents into submission without losing honor?

    Just kidding, I see your point.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Hmmm.

    Ranger 1/Marshal 1/Knight 4 > Dread Commando?

    Yes, Sudden Strike is completely worthless to you, but think of all the heavily armored and high-speed stealth!

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Added Wild Cohort to feat section. Does anyone know what book this is from? It's not on the WotC index.

    Fixed Hengeyokai level adjustment.

    Added Merciful enhancement to equipment section. But I'm not sure the book citation (BoED) is correct. I think I've seen it several places.

    I'm on the fence about how to rank Ride and all of the Ride related feats. On one hand, every Knight should be mounted whenever possible. On the other hand, if you're not a Small (or smaller) race, you probably won't be mounted when you're indoors, and thus probably won't want to take Ride by Attack->Spirited Charge for your bonus feats, even though most of the other options suck. Suggestions?

    I'm considering adding other suboptimal PrC's and with caveats to the list. If you'd like to make a case for Tactical Soldier or Dread Commando or whatever, please stat out your build. My sense is that including weak-ish builds isn't the best idea for a guide, but I'm flexible.

    I've decided to change the Yellow rankings to some other color, because it does in fact look horrible. But none of them are particularly appealing to me, especially against the green Spoiler background. Ideas?

    I'm definitely up for adding a roleplaying section. It's just going to take a while to write up. If someone else would like to do it for me, I'd definitely consider adding it.

    Again, thanks for posting.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    I wanted to point something out, and if I'm wrong, I apologize.

    I was under the impression that a caster in the Knight's difficult terrain couldn't shift out of it. If that's the case, Mage Slayer goes way, way up, IMHO.

    I love the Knight class myself. I just finished GMing a campaign last night that had a new player as a Knight in it. He actually managed to successfully challenge the Aspect of Mephistopholes (Mini's Handbook), which basically won the fight.
    Last edited by sombrastewart; 2009-04-16 at 11:49 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man
    Paralyzing weapon enhancement: Any creature hit must Save or be paralyzed. They get a new save every round. Book of Exalted Deeds pg 113.
    I haven't checked everything in MIC, but I do know the Paralyzing weapon enhancement was nerfed to 1/day.

    Some other suggestions for equipment/magic items:

    Amber Amulet of Vermin, Giant Wasp. For only 800 gp, a flying mount you can summon 1/day for 15 rounds. MIC p. 68.

    Figurine of Wondrous Power, Gold Beetle or Ivory Camel. Good as mounts if you don't want to be bothered with the care/feeding/training of a normal animal. Why these two over the figurines normally found in the DMG? Well, for some reason neither of these figurines has a usage limit per day or per week, just a maximum number of hours per week. If you only use them in combat, which rarely lasts more than a minute or two, then you almost have unlimited usage. Also very handy for dungeon-delving, since you can transform it back to an easily-carried figurine whenever there isn't enough room for it. And if that wasn't enough, the Gold Beetle has stats that are very similar to That Damned Crab. Sandstorm p. 133.

    Glove of the Master Strategist. Everything a Glove of Storing can do without the insane 3.5 price increase, plus true strike 1/day. Ghostwalk p. 71. For just a smidgen more gold, you can get the equivalent of two Gloves of Storing with the Kimono of Storing, Oriental Adventures p. 140. Very useful for swapping out your lance or another melee weapon on the fly.

    Five Virtues (magic item set, MIC pp. 195-197). Overall, kind of underwhelming, but not that expensive, either. 14000 GP gets you the whole set, but the collection benefits aren't exactly... impressive. +1 on will saves (2 items) and +1 AC for all adjacent allies (5 items).

    Armband of Confrontation. Fighting challenge lasts an extra 3 rounds.

    Crystal of Alacrity. +5' speed.

    Medal of Steadfast Honor. Spend knight's challenges to stand up as a free action.

    Shield of Vigor. Spend knight's challenges to gain Fast Healing 5 for 3 rounds. MIC p. 196.

    Standard of Valor. Spend knight's challenge to allow any ally to reroll a failed fear save.

    Also in the MIC:

    Surcoat of Valor. The red-headed stepchild of the Tabard of Valor? Increases your knight's challenge DC by 1 and possibly the duration. Shares the same body slot as the Tabard, so this will most likely get tossed into the "donate to charity" pile as soon as you can afford the Tabard.

    Noble Pennon. Increases your knight's challenge DC by 1. Can also spend charges for a +2/+3/+4 morale bonus on Fortitude and Will saves. MIC p. 166.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    I admit i'm not much of an optimizer, and I don't know much about a lot of the non-core material, but I'm still not sure what I think of the mounted combat stuff. I grant that it's probably the best offensive way to go for the Knight, but I'm not convinced it's going to work all that often. You often can't ride indoors, and many traditional mounts won't perform well inside anyway.

    Personally, since you can have Endurance as a bonus feat, I like Steadfast Determination as a feat choice. This way you can ignore Wisdom and have a truly absurd Will save, which may help you if the DM plays "intelligent" opponents accurately and has them target you with Will-save effects, thinking you a standard Fighter.

    I'll be following this thread for sure, as Knight is one of my favorite classes.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Tumble: If you're not mounted or flying, you're going to want to put a few ranks into this, and buy a Skill boosting item. At some point you're going to be surrounded, and you're going to want a way out.
    Uhm... don't forget that Tumble works only if your speed is not reduced.

    In other words: It won't help you unless you don't wear anything heavier then light or mithral medium armour.

    And not more then a light load on top of that.

    So maybe not for every knight build.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Added Wild Cohort to feat section. Does anyone know what book this is from? It's not on the WotC index.
    It's never been in a book. Published only on the web.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    It's never been in a book. Published only on the web.
    WotC website, Random Encounters: Wild Life articles:

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a

    Also, you may want to add the Silverwood Outrider to the PrCs:

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031202a

    If you're using Wild Cohort as a mount, then this PrC is good for a 1-level dip. This gets you the Fast Handling ability, allowing you to direct your mount with a Handle Animal check as a free action. This prevents you from getting stuck with standard attacks just because you had to tell your mount to do something.

    You may also want to link to the tricks article, as this is where you'll find the "Pin" trick:

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031125a

    This is important if you're trying to use sneak attack or sudden strike (Dread Commando) on an opponent. The Knight's Code discourages you from attacking flanked and flat-footed opponents. However, it says nothing about opponents who are denied their Dex bonus due to some other condition. If you can order your mount to grapple with the Pin trick, then you can sneak attack/sudden strike. Marbles (A&EG p. 24), blinding (flash pellets, blinding spittle), grease, ice slick, path of frost, invisibility, or blinking would probably also be good for denying your opponent's Dex bonus.

    If you want to add some spellcasting so your Knight/Dread Commando can cast grease, try dipping one level of Duskblade and take Arcane Disciple for the Slime Domain. I can only confirm one Slime deity... Ghaunadaur (Drow, Faiths & Pantheons). Maybe Moander... in Faiths & Avatars? Not sure of that one.

    Ugh, what was I thinking? Marbles/grease/ice slick/path of frost won't work, balance check means flat-footed which is a no-no.

    Which reminds me, another magic item you need to add for the ultimate mount:

    Amulet of Ooze Riding. A&EG p. 85. "Yes, you craven currs, come and attack me while you stand inside my gelatinous cube!"

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    I've decided to change the Yellow rankings to some other color, because it does in fact look horrible. But none of them are particularly appealing to me, especially against the green Spoiler background. Ideas?
    You could just do what Wizard CO board does: light blue for really good picks, dark blue for good but not fantastic picks, then red for poor choices?
    People seemed to like this better, but only marginally so - the way one might prefer to be stabbed than shot. Optimally, one isn't stabbed or shot. Optimally, one eats some cake! But there are times when cake is not available, and instead we are destroyed. This is the deep poetry of the universe. -- Tycho Brahe

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Merciful is in the DMG, so it shouldn't be a problem. As for the color, why not go for orange, or sienna?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Merciful, as per the SRD:
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Merciful: The weapon deals an extra 1d6 points of damage, and all damage it deals is nonlethal damage. On command, the weapon suppresses this ability until commanded to resume it. Bows, crossbows, and slings so crafted bestow the merciful effect upon their ammunition.

    Faint conjuration; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, cure light wounds; Price +1 bonus.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    I've decided to change the Yellow rankings to some other color, because it does in fact look horrible. But none of them are particularly appealing to me, especially against the green Spoiler background. Ideas?
    I will suggest
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    indigo
    . It's easy to see and looks sharp when put with green.
    Last edited by Graymayre; 2009-04-16 at 07:12 PM.
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    I am laughing my head off and applauding your tactic genius all at the same time. Bravo, good sir...
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    Default Tactical Soldier build

    OK, hereís the build I propose using the Tactical Soldier PrC out to 9th level (someone can probably optimize this a heck of a lot more than me). The main reason for the TS is to get the Sidestep feat without having to meet the prereqs (free 5-ft step every time you make an AoO). I was trying to get him the ability to use Knock Down to trip an opponent, then 5ft back so the opponent will provoke another AoO on his next move, depending on reach and positioning. This build is standard WBL for a PC and elite array for abilities:

    Human Knight 3/Fighter 2/Tactical Soldier 4

    STR 16
    DEX 14 (16)
    CON 12
    INT 14
    WIS 8
    CHA 10 (12)

    Feats: Cleave, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Spiked Chain), Improved Trip, Knock Down, Mounted Combat, Power Attack, Sidestep

    Skill Ranks: Handle Animal 5, Intimidate 12, Jump 5, Ride 12, Sense Motive 11, Tumble 6

    Gear: +1 Merciful Spiked Chain, Belt of Growth, Boots of Striding & Springing, Cloak of Charisma +2, Gloves of Dexterity +2, Mithral Full Plate +3, Potions of Bullís Strength x2

    [edit]Now that I think about it, you could probably ditch 3rd and 4th levels of TS and go back to Knight, although Interpose and Defensive Shield are quite nice... [/edit]

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishy View Post
    Hmmm.

    Ranger 1/Marshal 1/Knight 4 > Dread Commando?

    Yes, Sudden Strike is completely worthless to you, but think of all the heavily armored and high-speed stealth!
    Sudden Strike isn't completely useless. Apparently you can't attack an opponent who is flanked or isn't ready for an attack, but you can attack him if he can't see you... fair is fair, right? Other than blinding and invisibility, grappling would also work.

    If you want to combine Knight with Dread Commando/Sudden Strike, I'd suggest:

    Knight 5/Silverwood Outrider 1/Ghost-Faced Killer 2/Dread Commando 5/Ghost-Faced Killer +6/Knight +1

    Take Natural Bond so your Druid level is the same as your Character Level for the purposes of picking your wild cohort (not exactly RAW but I have a hard time seeing any DM ixnay this), and make sure your wild cohort is a good grappler (start with a camel, move up to a bison or rhino when available). Teach your wild cohort the Pin trick, and whatever he can't grapple, use Ghost Step.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Bodyfeeder weapon enhancement: Any time you crit, you gain temporary hit points. The problem is that there aren't any high crit reach weapons out there.
    Not so:

    Talenta Sharrash. Reach, 1d10 damage, crit 19-20/x4. Eberron Campain Sourcebook.
    Drow Scorpion Chain. Reach, 1d6 damage, crit 19-20/x2. Secrets of Xendrik.

    You can upgrade that Drow Scorpion Chain to 19-20/x4 by making it a Kaorti weapon:

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031014a

    To optimize Bulwark of Defense, you want as much reach as possible. Either weapon above might be worth spending a feat on EWP. Combine with Psychic Warrior for Expansion and Psychic Weapon Master for 15-20 crit range. Hmm... PsyWar 1/Knight 4/War Mind 6/PsyWM 7/Knight +2 maybe? Aptitude Weapon + Lightning Hammer for more attacks.

    Another interesting possibility for a reach weapon: Chaos Roc's Span, a Totemist soulmeld in Dragon #350. You gain two wing buffet attacks that have reach and can be used as secondary attacks. This also leaves both hands free if you have some other two-handed weapon or fighting style you prefer. Oddly enough, the wing buffets only deal nonlethal damage (preserving your Knight's Code if you manage to find any helpless opponents) unless bound to your shoulder chakra. So spending a feat on Shape Soulmeld or dipping into Totemist might be worthwhile for a Knight. Bound to your shoulder chakra, in addition to doing lethal damage, they give you a chance to daze an opponent for 1d4 rounds (Fort save) if you hit with both wing buffets. Bound to your totem chakra, they deal random energy damage in a 10' cone.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person Man's Knight Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycar View Post
    Uhm... don't forget that Tumble works only if your speed is not reduced. Snip.

    Lycar
    Your Armor Mastery class ability eliminates the movement penalty from armor. So as long as you're not weighed down by encumbrance, you're fine.

    More changes:

    Changed Yellow to Indigo.

    Fixed Merciful citation.

    Added Darrin's equipment suggestions.

    I'll do my best to optimize a Whatever/Knight/Tactical Soldier and a Ranger/Knight/Whatever build, and add them to the builds section. I'm also working on a breakdown of specific tactics (how to fight from a mount, how to fight casters, how to fight ranged enemies, how to fight BBEG, battlefield control for melee builds, etc). As always, all suggestions are welcome.

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