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    Default [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Now that WotC is done with publishing official 3.5 material, Iím doing my best to index every major combo. This thread is dedicated to optimizing a character's ability to hit.

    General Advice and Tactics:

    1) Pick one attribute and have it be the base for all of your offensive abilities. If you have class abilities that depend on one attribute (spells, psionics, binding, meldshaping, blade magic) you should use your primary attribute for that class. This may require you to take an X stat to Y bonus ability in order to get that attribute to apply to your ability to-hit. For example, it's a good idea for Psychic Warriors to take Intuitive Strike, so that he can use his Wisdom bonus to-hit instead of Strength. This will help a great deal when you allocate your attribute scores during character creation, and help you conserve resources when you buy magic items and use buffs. However, this is not always the case, especially at low level. In particular, if you just happen to roll high scores for 3 or more attributes and are playing in a low level campaign, then Multiple Attribute Dependency (MAD) isnít a big deal. If your class doesn't depend on Save DC's (Fighter, Barbarian, Rogue, etc) then the attribute you pick should be Strength for melee builds, Dexterity for ranged builds.

    2) Avoid spending resources on small static bonuses. Weapon Focus is not worth spending a feat on. Don't spend money on a +4 Glaive, when you can buy a +1 Spell Storing Wounding Glaive and have a friend cast Greater Magic Weapon on it for you. This also applies to X stat to Y bonus abilities - if you have a Strength of 14 and a Dexterity of 18, it's not worth spending a feat on Weapon Finesse to get a +2 to-hit (though it might be worth it later in your progression when your Dex gets higher). The biggest exception to this guideline is spells. A mid to high level caster can easily accumulate a ton of small bonuses, often without expending any high level spells, buffing himself to insane power levels (ie, CoDzilla).

    3) Be very aware of combat modifiers, and use them to your advantage whenever it is reasonably possible. Flank your enemy. Fight from horseback so that you count as being on higher ground. If you have Quickdraw and you're fighting a BBEG, your first attack against him should be with a Net. And so on.

    4) A debuff to your enemyís AC can sometimes be just as good as a bonus to-hit. But not always. Against a single powerful enemy itís even better, because all of your friends essentially get a bonus to-hit against that enemy as well. Against a group of enemies itís often worse, as many debuffs only effect a limited number of targets. Debuffs also often allow Saving Throws, making them inhearently weaker then bonuses to-hit, which are always on.

    5) At higher levels, your real problem is Miss Chance and other magical protections, not AC. A Pit-Fiend (highest AC in the MM, IIRC) has an AC of 40. So once you accumulate a ECL + 20ish bonus to-hit (including BAB, your primary to-hit attribute, and all the miscellanies bonuses and debuffs) you can move on to optimizing something else.

    6) Denying your enemy their Dexterity bonus and/or using touch attacks can make it much easier to hit your enemy. In fact, if you combine these two things, (which is not hard to do even in a core only game Ė Flame Blade and Greater Invisibility) you often have a 95% chance of hitting your enemy every time you make an attack. ButÖ

    7) Donít over do it. It's important for any build to be good at hitting things, especially when you expend a resource of some kind (spells, power points, daily abilities, etc). But you don't want to be so good that you hit things 95% of the time every time, because then your DM just ups the AC, hit points, miss chance, and other protections on your enemies in order to challenge you. Figure out the overall power level of the other PCs in your party, and try to be in the same ball park. Keep a couple of tricks up your sleeve for when you absolutely need them, but donít use them in every combat.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Bonus To-Hit
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    {table=head]Name | Type | Book |
    Page #
    |
    Edition
    | Bonus | Notes
    Animal Devotion | Feat | Complete Champion |
    55
    |
    3.5
    | +1 to +4 | Str bonus
    Archivist 1 | Class | Heroes of Horror |
    84
    |
    3.5
    | +1 to +3 | Applies to all allies, depends on Knowledge
    Avenging Strike | Feat | Tome of Battle |
    28
    |
    3.5
    | Charisma | vs evil outsiders, 1/day/cha bonus
    Battlecaster Offence | Feat | Complete Mage |
    40
    |
    3.5
    | +1 | Limitations
    Battledance | Epic Feat | Dragon #297 |
    28
    |
    3.0
    | Charisma | ?
    Barbarian | Class | PHB |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | +2/+3/+4 | Rage, Str bonus
    Blackguard 2 | PrC | DMG |
    182
    |
    3.5
    | Charisma | Smite Good, limited use per day
    Bow of Song | Equipment | Magic Item Comp |
    48
    |
    3.5
    | Charisma | requires Bard music
    Chameleon 3 | PrC | Races of Destiny |
    112
    |
    3.5
    | Charisma | 1/day per 2 lvls
    Chaos Devotion | Feat | Complete Champion |
    56
    |
    3.5
    | random | -
    Companion Guard Style | Feat | Dragon #315 |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | Dexterity | ?
    Control Body | Power | Expanded Psionics Handbook |
    86
    |
    3.5
    | Intelligence | of Dominated foe
    Deft Opportunist | Feat | Miniatures Handbook |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | +4 on AoO | -
    Eternal Blade 1 | PrC | Tome of Battle |
    110
    |
    3.5
    | Intelligence | Against 1 creature type
    Factotum 1 | Class | Dungeonscape |
    14
    |
    3.5
    | Intelligence | Requires Insp. Point
    Greater Weapon Focus | Feat | PHB |
    95
    |
    3.5
    | +1 | -
    Heart of the Beast | Magic Item | Magic of Faerun |
    160
    |
    3.5
    | Divine Power | One use item.
    Imbued Healing | Feat | Complete Champion |
    60
    |
    3.5
    | +1 | Secondary healing effect.
    Killoren (Destroyer Aspect) | Race | Races of the Wild |
    102
    |
    3.5
    | Charisma | Limited Smite 1/hour
    Knight | Class | PHBII |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | +1 to +4 | Fighting Challenge, against 1 enemy, limitations.
    Knight of the Middle Circle | Prestige Class | Defenders of the Faith |
    ?
    |
    3.0
    | +2/+4/+6 | Combat Sense, 1 enemy
    Knowledge Devotion | Feat | Complete Champion |
    60
    |
    3.5
    | +1 to +5 | Requires Knowledge check
    Law Devotion | Feat | Complete Champion |
    61
    |
    3.5
    | +3/+5/+7 | -
    Marshal | Feat | Miniatures Handbook |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | +1 to +4 on melee | Motivate Attack Aura, all allies
    Marshal | Feat | Miniatures Handbook |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | +1 to +4 on ranged | Steady Hand Aura, all allies
    Martial Disciple | Magic Weapon | Tome of Battle |
    148
    |
    3.5
    | +1/+3 | Depends on Discipline use
    Master of Masks | PrC | Complete Scoundrel |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | +1 to +4 | Gladiator Persona Mask
    Mineral Warrior (+1LA) | Template | Underdark |
    96
    |
    3.5
    | Constitution | 1/day
    Paladin 1 | Class | PHB |
    42
    |
    3.5
    | Charisma | Smite Evil, limited times per day
    Reckless Charge | Feat | Miniatures Handbook |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | Extra +2 on Charge | -2 AC
    Shiba Protector 1 | PrC | Oriental Adventures |
    222
    |
    3.0
    | Wisdom | ?
    Smite Fiery Foe | Feat | Frostburn |
    50
    |
    3.5
    | Charisma | Smite Fire subtype, limited uses
    Snowflake Wardance | Feat | Frostburn |
    50
    |
    3.5
    | Charisma | requires Bard music
    Soulborn 1 | Class | Magic of Incarnum |
    25
    |
    3.5
    | Charisma | Smite Opposition, limited times per day
    Tomb Warden 3 | PrC | Libris Mortis |
    58
    |
    3.5
    | Charisma | 10 min/day
    Vexing Flanker | Feat | PHBII |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | Extra +2 on Flank | -
    Warblade 3 | Class | Tome of Battle |
    22
    |
    3.5
    | Intelligence | To confirm Criticals only
    Watery Death | Domain | Player's Guide to Faerun |
    92
    |
    3.5
    | Wisdom | On Smite, limited use, aquatic creatures only
    Weapon Focus | Feat | PHB |
    102
    |
    3.5
    | +1 | -
    [/table]

    Replaces X Attribute with Y Attribute To-Hit
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    {table=head]Name | Type | Book |
    Page #
    |
    Edition
    | Replaces | Notes
    Brutal Throw | Feat | Complete Adventurer |
    106
    |
    3.5
    | Str for Dex | Thrown weapons
    Charming the Arrow | Feat | Online |
    NA
    |
    3.5
    | Cha for Dex | With bow/crossbow
    Fey-craft | Equipment | DMGII |
    275
    |
    3.5
    | Dex for Str | limited weapons
    Intuitive Strike | Feat | BoED |
    44
    |
    3.5
    | Wis for Str | limited weapons.
    Ordained Champion 5 | PrC | Complete Champion |
    91
    |
    3.5
    | Wis for Str | Uses Turn attempts
    Serenity | Feat | Dragon Mag #306, Drag Comp |
    106
    |
    3.5
    | Wis for Cha | For all Paladin Abilities, including Smite Evil.
    Shiba Protector 1 | PrC | Oriental Adventures |
    222
    |
    3.0
    | Wisdom ? | ?
    Slippers of Battledancing | Equipment | DMGII |
    272
    |
    3.5
    | Cha for Str | Limitations
    Tomb Warden 3 | PrC | Libris Mortis |
    58
    |
    3.5
    | Charisma ? | 10 min/day
    Weapon Finesse | Feat | PHB |
    102
    |
    3.5
    | Dex for Str | limited weapons
    Whirling Blade | Spell | Spell Compendium |
    238
    |
    3.5
    | Int or Cha for Str | Uses primary caster statistic
    Whirling Blade | Spell | Spell Compendium |
    238
    |
    3.5
    | Int or Cha for Str | Uses primary caster statistic
    Zen Archery | Feat | Complete Warrior |
    106
    |
    3.5
    | Wis for Dex | Ranged weapons
    [/table]

    Deny Enemy Dexterity Bonus
    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Name | Type | Book |
    Page #
    |
    Edition
    | Notes
    Acrobatic Backstab | Skill Trick | Complete Scoundrel |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | 1 attack
    Blink | Spell | PHB |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | -
    Confound the Big Folk | Feat | Races of Stone |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | -
    Escape Attack | Skill Trick | Complete Scoundrel |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | 1 attack
    Flick of the Wrist | Feat | Complete Warrior |
    99
    |
    3.5
    | 1 per round, 1 per opponent
    Greater Invisibility | Spell | PHB |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | -
    Hidden Blade | Skill Trick | Complete Scoundrel |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | 1 attack
    Invisibility | Spell | PHB |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | 1 attack
    Ninja | Class | Comp Adventurer |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | Invisibility for 1 round, 1/2 level + Wis times per day
    Ring of Blinking | Item | DMG |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | -
    Sudden Draw | Skill Trick | Complete Scoundrel |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | 1 attack
    [/table]

    Melee Touch Attacks
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Name | Type | Book |
    Page #
    |
    Edition
    | Bonus | Notes
    Eldritch Glaive | Invocation | Dragon Magic |
    82
    |
    3.5
    | Warlock Least | -
    Emerald Razor | Maneuver | Tome of Battle |
    63
    |
    3.5
    | 1 attack, Diamond Mind 2 | -
    Flame Blade | Spell | PHB |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | Druid 2 | -
    Heartseaker Amulet | Item | Magic Item Comp |
    110
    |
    3.5
    | 1 attack, 3 times per day | -
    Master Thrower 5 | PrC | Comp Warrior |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | Weak Spot | -
    Pyrokineticist 1 | PrC | XPH |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | Fire Lash | -
    Spectral Weapon | Spell | Spell Comp |
    58
    |
    3.5
    | Wizard 3 | -
    Spot the Weak Point | Skill Trick | Complete Scoundrel |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | 1 attack, Skill Trick | -
    Wraithstrike | Spell | Spell Comp |
    ?
    |
    3.5
    | Wizard 2? | -
    [/table]

    Debuffs to AC
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    This is pretty much an empty stub right now. I will fill it with:
    Dexterity Damage.
    Fear.
    Ways to knock your enemy Prone.
    Anything other debuff anyone posts.
    To those who have already posted a few debuffs, I have noticed, and thank you. I just haven't created a table for this section yet.


    This guide is basically just cobbled together from other guides I've done. Over the next few weeks I'll go through the books and do my best to index everything related to To-Hit. I'm well aware that it's missing tons of stuff. Please help by posting what you know about. If you do, please post the full citation (name, type, book, pg number, edition, notes) and links if possible. Also, feel free to debate the relative importance of optimizing to-hit, and the various tactics for doing so.

    Thanks.

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    Surgebinder in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Snowflake Wardance and Eternal Blade deserve special note because they allow you to add an ability score bonus to attack rolls in addition to rather than instead of the normal ability score, and they are the only such abilities that can reasonably be used on almost every attack roll in each combat in a typical campaign. Unlike smite abilities, they last either effectively or explicitly for an entire encounter, and can be used either 1/encounter or a lot more times per day than you will normally have encounters.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Under Touch Attacks:
    • Heartseeking Amulet: Magic Item, MIC p.110, 3.5e. 3/day, swift action.
    • Emerald Razor: Maneuver, ToB p.?, 3.5e. Diamond Mind L2 strike.
    • Spot the Weak Point: Skill Trick, CSc p.?, 3.5e. Standard action, 1/encounter.


    Under Debuffs to AC:
    • (Mass) Curse of Impending Blades, SpC p.56, 3.5e. -2 AC, no save. Wizard/Ranger spell list, L2 (or L3 for Mass version). Not the most powerful spell, but fun and oft-forgotten.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2009-12-09 at 03:48 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    For to hit:

    Class:
    Archivist 1: Dark knowledge bonus betwen +1 and +3 depending on knowledge check against various type of creature. The bonus applie to all allie.
    Heroes of horror p84

    Edit:

    Feat:

    Battlecaster offense: Give a +1 to melee attack roll against one creature if you damage it with a spell the round before.
    Also give a +1 to save DC of a spell if you make a melee attack against her the round before.
    Complete mage p40
    Last edited by zagan; 2009-12-09 at 05:35 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    AC Debuff:
    -Debilitating Aura (Paladin of Slaughter 3)
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Dex Denial needs Flick of the Wrist from CW, which is like Sudden Draw but as a feat that works more than once per combat, barring Skill Trick PRC shenanigans.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Gah! I could have used this a while back. Thanks for this! It's nice...
    Homebrew
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Touch Attack Spells:

    Spell Compendium: Scimitar of Sand (2), Claws of Darkness (2), Shadow Weapon (3), Blade of Pain and Fear (3), Flame Dagger (2), Fire Whips (4), all sor/wiz. There's also a Paladin one that lasts for 1 round/level on the first attack each round.

    Unapproachable East: Decastave (2) sor/wiz.

    That's all I can remember at the moment. Should really make a list...oh wait!
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Feats:

    Deft Opportunist (MH): +4 on AoO rolls
    Reckless Charge (MH): extra +2 on charges (with an extra -2 to AC)
    Reckless Offense (EPH): +2 to melee attacks (for a -4 to AC)
    Vexing Flanker (PHB II): extra +2 when flanking

    Classes:

    Fighting Challenge (Knight): between +1 and +4 to hit (and damage) against a specific opponent
    Gladiator Persona Mask (Master of Masks): between +1 and +4 competence bonus to hit
    Motivate Attack Aura (Marshal): between +1 and +4 circumstance on melee attacks (all allies)
    Steady Hand Aura (Marshal): between +1 and +4 circumstance on ranged attacks (all allies)

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Knight of the Middle Circle (3.0 Defenders of the Faith but never updated so still legal for 3.5) gets this Combat Sense (Ex) ability that allows you to designate a single opponent in combat (similar to Dodge), you get a +2/+4/+6 insight bonus to attack and +2 insight bonus to AC against that opponent. It's not quite the same thing as free +2/+4/+6 BAB, but it's darned close.

    Heart of the Beast, Magic of Faerun p. 160, Divine Powah! (BAB = character level) as a 2000 GP one-shot item for non-Clerics.

    Persist Flame Blade/Scimitar of Sand/Flame Dagger, touch attack weapon that lasts all day.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Martial Discipline weapons. Tome of Battle. p.148

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Don't forgot the Warlock's Eldritch Blast and Eldritch Glaive. Both are (ranged) touch attacks.


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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Feat:

    Chaos devotion: roll a die (d6, d8 or d10) depending on character level an gain the result as a sacred or profane bonus to hit if odd or to AC if even. Reroll every round for 1 minute. Complete champion p56

    Law devotion: gain a sacred or profane +3, +5 or +7 depending on character level bonus to hit or to AC for one minute you can reallocate the bonus each round.
    Complete champion p61

    Imbue healing with the war domain: give a +1 to hit to any creature you cast conjuration (healing) spell on. Other effect depending on the other domain. Complete champion p60

    Animal devotion: Can gain a sacred or profane bonus to strenght betwen +2 and +8 depending on level. That give betwen +1 and +4 to hit with melee weapon.
    Can be use for other thing. Complete champion p55
    Last edited by zagan; 2009-12-11 at 06:04 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    I've updated all the tables.

    Now that I've started this, it occurs to me how many different bonuses to-hit that there are. For example, everything that provides a Str bonus. Also, there's an inexplicably huge variation in the investment/outcome ratio of different bonuses. For example, Weapon Focus takes 1 feat to gain a +1 bonus To-Hit. Knowledge Devotion takes 1 feat (and a few Turn attempts, depending on how many battles you fight per day) but can grant a +7 bonus to hit. I think we've all known this for a while - but seeing most of the bonuses in one place on a chart, it's really striking.

    In addition to creating a debuff section (which in itself will probably take a week), I need to add a section on avoiding miss-chance. Blind Fight, Pierce Magical Concealment, etc.

    Again, if anyone knows anything I missed, please post it. Thanks for the help everyone.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Should the Deep Impact / Unavoidable Strike / Fell Shot feats from the Expanded Psionics Handbook be added to the Touch Attack section?
    Will be edited by Ryuuk : Sometime in the future.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Now that I've started this, it occurs to me how many different bonuses to-hit that there are. For example, everything that provides a Str bonus. Also, there's an inexplicably huge variation in the investment/outcome ratio of different bonuses. For example, Weapon Focus takes 1 feat to gain a +1 bonus To-Hit. Knowledge Devotion takes 1 feat (and a few Turn attempts, depending on how many battles you fight per day) but can grant a +7 bonus to hit. I think we've all known this for a while - but seeing most of the bonuses in one place on a chart, it's really striking.
    Knowledge devotion is the only devotion feat that don't necessite turn undead to work just a skill check, as long as you can do that it's a will.
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    quiet1mi's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Alchemic Weapons, particularly splash weapons, as they are only touch attacks and can deal some damage with out an attack roll...
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    A Fighter/Paladin will just hack you to bits

    A Wizard/Sorcerer will just blow you up with a spell

    A Rogue/Ranger/Monk will just kill you in your sleep

    A Cleric/Druid will just squash you after buffing himself

    A Bard will slowly twist your ethics, corrupt your morals, and make you do vile acts just for the chance to face him. When you fight him, he will have your family and friends fighting for him. For he wields the deadliest weapon against you and that is, his word against yours.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    Hit Bonus
    Acrobatic Strike feat, PH2, +4 to hit when you tumble through an opponent's threatened area.

    Melee Touch Attacks

    blade of pain and fear, SC
    ice axe, SC
    Last edited by jiriku; 2009-12-11 at 02:06 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    While you said it's a poor choice and I agree adding in the table the +1 weapon enchantment might be nice for completeness.

    Bonus to hit:

    Specal action ?
    Aid another: +2 to hit or AC in melee for an allie.

    Race:
    Neanderthal: +1 to hit with primitive weapon. Frostburn p36

    Class:
    Incarnate 3: Incarnum radiance ability, Lawfull incarnate get +1 to +5 bonus to melee attack. Limit time per day and later can be shared with allie. Magic of Incarnum p20

    Feat:
    Cobalt charge: Gain invest essentia as bonus on attack and damage roll when charging. Magic of incarnum p35

    Cobalt Critical: Gain invest essentia as bonus on melee attack roll to confirm critical threat. Magic of incarnum p35

    Cobalt expertise: Gain invest essentia as bonus on trip or disarm attack. plus a few other thing. Magic of incarnum p35

    Cobalt Precision: Gain invest essentia as bonus on range attack roll to confirm critical threat, 30ft max. Magic of incarnum p35

    Soulmeld:
    Most (but not all) soulmeld giving natural weapon can use essentia for enchantment bonus to hit and damage. Magic of incarnum p54

    Bloodwar gauntlet: +1 to melee attack roll. Magic of incarnum p61

    Heart of fire: Gain invest essentia to attack roll against cold creature. Magic of incarnum p70

    Incarnate avatar: Gain invest essentia as bonus to hit melee for lawfull creature and ranged for chaotic creature. Magic of incarnum p71

    Incarnate weapon: Gain invest essentia as enchantment bonus. Magic of incarnum p72

    Lucky dice: +1 to attack roll or other thing. Magic of incarnum p77

    Necrocarnum shroud: +1 to attack roll when an adjacent creature take damage. Magic of incarnum p70

    Necrocarnum weapon: Held weapon gain invest essentia as bonus to confirm critical threat. Magic of incarnum p81

    Rageclaw: While at 0 or less hp you gain +2 to attack roll. Magic of incarnum p83

    Enchantment:

    Soulbound weapon: Increase weapon enchantment equal to essentia. Magic of incarnum p111

    Deny Dex to AC:

    Soulmeld:

    Blink shirt: Blink at will, probably not aviable before epic. Magic of incarnum p61

    For the futur avoid miss chance section:

    Soulmeld:

    Apparition Ribbon: Reroll miss chance against incroporeal creature. Magic of incarnum p57


    And that's all for now, i haven't look at the Prc in the book yet and I might have miss thing elsewhere but I hope that help.
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  21. - Top - End - #21
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit

    The Elocater's Opportunistic Strike eventually grants a +6 insight bonus to one attack against an opponent struck by an ally. You lose a minimum of 3 BAB to get the +6 bonus, so it's possible to come out a little ahead.

    The 3.0 (but never updated) Arcane Duelist's Dexterous Attack allows her to subtract potential weapon damage and add the same amount to hit.

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