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  1. - Top - End - #1

    Default LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    I realize Sohei is a decent at best class, however, i see potential for a powerful PC.

    Here's my thought:

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    Race: Vashar or Lesser Drow
    Class: Sohei 10/Blackguard 10
    Feats: Flay Opponent, Instantaneous Rage, Shorten Grip, Spinning Halberd Style, Vault, Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave
    Weapon: Halberd, Throwing Axes, Kukri
    Armor: Spiked Black Fullplate



    Any ideas to modify/improve/ect. Thanks in advance.

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    Lightbulb Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    :( somebody please give me ideas?????!!!!!

    Plus, I was told by my now XDM that Blackguard is a broken assassin. how???

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    What is the power level of the game that you are wanting? Do you want it to be able to go toe-to-toe with a cleric or wizard? Do you know how optimized the other PCs will be or what classes they will be?

    I would imagine doing something to maximize your size, halberd reach, and exploiting attacks of opportunity would be a useful tactic.

    Edit: I wouldn't call blackguard broken; seems rather sub-optimal to me. You can get crazy AC by getting multiple, stacking Cha-to-AC (such as Paladin of Tyranny, then Blackguard), but you're not working at that with that build.
    Last edited by JeenLeen; 2010-03-01 at 03:20 PM.

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    As long as you're group doesn't have anyone playing a batman wizard or a war-hulking-hurler or something similar, you should do just fine. Though you should probably ask your dm if it's okay to use instantaneous rage with the sohei's ki-frenzy.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2010-03-02 at 12:03 AM.

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Blackguard is a great PrC, it's just a nuisance to qualify for. Power Attack, Cleave, Sunder, and a few skill points in non-fighter skills. And an awesome RP qualifier, that's just a treat. Peaceful contact with a demon? Hell yes.

    As a turning character with no particular ability to turn undead, you should grab a feat or two to allow you to use your turning for combat purposes. Like, Divine Might/Shield.

    Overall, your build's not bad, per se, it just lacks awesome. Sohei lacks BAB (which it occasionally makes up with via Ki Frenzy) and you're climbing a steep hill for the 5 ranks in Hide and the feats. If you want to make a damage-focused build, keep going with those feats and grab the usual Shock Trooper and Leap Attack additions for ridiculousness. You're reasonably tough to kill and, if you keep going with your damage-boosting feats, you can be a decent damage machine for the party wizard to rely upon. If you have a second warrior-type, your Sneak attack damage becomes cake.
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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Just to ask: do you know that sohei has been upadted and pimped in a Dragon Magazine issue (#318 IIRC) ?
    Warning: my time zone and internet acces may lead to strange/late post answers.
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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Abd al-Azrad View Post
    Blackguard is a great PrC, it's just a nuisance to qualify for. Power Attack, Cleave, Sunder, and a few skill points in non-fighter skills. And an awesome RP qualifier, that's just a treat. Peaceful contact with a demon? Hell yes.
    I suggest succubus. Just remember to use protection.
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    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Sohei has a Full BAB, partial WIS casting, and "rage"
    Blackguard has full BAB, Partial WIS casting, and a mount


    The actual plan is to be a damage-monster, dealing as much damage with a Halberd as possible. I thought Flay Opponent and Vile Martial Strike were good feat choices, considering my damage output is 1d12+1d6+Str+1 Vile

    I mostly want to be able to suck up damage and deal it back 10fold

    Note: And my XDM said that a well-built Blackguard is like an Asassin with no limit on Death Attacks. How is that possible?

    Edit: We have a Warforged Fighter and a Human Paly who will multiclass into Knight
    Last edited by LichPrinceAlim; 2010-03-02 at 12:10 PM.

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    ??????????

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Couple of things:

    It's been a while since I've read Oriental Adventures, but IIRC Sohei is garbage. Why are you taking it?

    There's really not much reason to go above Blackguard 5. Beyond that all you're getting is a few dice of Sneak Attack, 1 more Smite Good per day, and one or two 4th level spells. It's a particularly bad choice above ECL 10ish, as your low level spells are a joke by then.

    All of your feat choices except for Power Attack are very weak, and you forgot to take Improved Sunder (pre-req for Blackguard). What are your build goals?

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by LichPrinceAlim View Post

    Note: And my XDM said that a well-built Blackguard is like an Asassin with no limit on Death Attacks. How is that possible?

    Edit: We have a Warforged Fighter and a Human Paly who will multiclass into Knight
    Cause he's a dumbnut? Blackguard doesn't have Death Attack....and Assassin doesn't have any limits on Death Attack anyways.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Couple of things:

    It's been a while since I've read Oriental Adventures, but IIRC Sohei is garbage. Why are you taking it?

    There's really not much reason to go above Blackguard 5. Beyond that all you're getting is a few dice of Sneak Attack, 1 more Smite Good per day, and one or two 4th level spells. It's a particularly bad choice above ECL 10ish, as your low level spells are a joke by then.

    All of your feat choices except for Power Attack are very weak, and you forgot to take Improved Sunder (pre-req for Blackguard). What are your build goals?
    Basically, I want to be a LE secondary tank and secondary heavy damage with Blackguard and Sohei.
    Last edited by LichPrinceAlim; 2010-03-02 at 02:58 PM.

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Sohei from Oriental Adventures has 3/4 BAB progression. Unless you're talking about a different class than I am (which I suspect you are), that will always be a problem for your build.

    I have to agree with Person_Man about the Blackguard. I love the class, but it's not good enough in later levels to go all out. Unless you can find some really pimp 4th-level Blackguard spells, I'd say those levels could be better used elsewhere.

    I get your idea for using Vile Strike and Flay to pump up your damage, so I hope you'll bear with me when I say: It's not worth the feats. Honestly, I can't even find Flay Opponent as a printed feat, but if all it does is boosts your weapon damage by 1d6... eh. It's probably one of the better iterations of a damage-boosting feat, certainly better than Specialization, but it's still underwhelming for the same reason.

    You have used up two of your feats, which are extremely rare and valuable parts of your build, to increase your average damage by 4.5. Vile strike is the wastiest of them all, despite it being very cool in concept. Honestly, ONE point of damage for the cost of a feat? It is not a good trade, even with the fluff.

    Your feats are, honestly, all messed up. Half of them have prerequisites you didn't take (Short Haft requires Weapon Focus, Spinning Halberd requires Combat Reflexes, Two-weapon Fighting and Weapon Focus), see the above note that you don't have Improved Sunder which is needed for Blackguard, etc.

    In the interest of not sounding like a complete jerk who has nothing but criticisms, here are some of my ideas to improve the build, noting your interest in sticking with a Halberd-weilding, damage machine Sohei/Blackguard.

    1) Turn that Sunder prerequisite into something wonderful with Combat Brute (CW), which, among other things, allows you to increase your Power Attack damage. Each point of attack penalty gives you a +3 damage bonus. That means, this is ONE feat that can give you, easily, +15 damage.

    2) Don't worry about Short Haft. It sounds cool, but in practice, in most situations where you need to take a swift action to change your weapon's reach, you could take an equivalent swift action to 5' step. And it doesn't cost you a feat to do so. Similarly, probably best to drop Spinning Halberd, because I doubt you can afford it.

    3) Combat Reflexes. You have a reach weapon. Use it.

    4) This is more of a departure from your concept, but rather than a Halberd, if you pick up a Guisarme you can take Expertise and Improved Trip, and enjoy the fact that you will always present a 10' radius zone where enemies can take no useful actions. Combined with Combat Reflexes, you can stop enemies from moving past or towards you.

    5) Consider rounding our your build with Fighter or Warblade levels, for the obvious benefits each class offers. I hate to resort to litany, but they really are the best classes for melee types.

    Anything helpful?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophismata View Post
    You are a bad, bad man, Abd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    'Psionics' is just tapping into the core of magic within yourself, whereas the mumbo-jumbo dancing, gibbering, and flinging around esoteric material components is like trying to paint-by-numbers when the guy next to you is rendering works from Picasso by memory alone.

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  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    With Flurry and weak rebuking, Travel Devotion is a must.


    Sohei doesn't really give you any useful abilities beside Mettle (its Flurry-Rage thing even stops you from using any skills, which sucks). What you're going to have to find are feat chains that make your character worthwhile despite its class abilities. In this case, that's probably going to mean a polearm, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack and Stand Still.




    Out of curiosity, would you be opposed to doing something like Paladin of Tyranny/Singh Rager instead? The fluff would be identical, but the build would be much more coherent.


    As far as the Blackguard being a powerhouse, Ex-Pally 1/Blackguard 10 is pretty good at level 11 (especially in Core-only games):
    11 BA, 4d6 SA, Level 4 spells, Poison Use, Aura of Fear, Dark Blessing, Rebuke Undead, 5 Smites/day
    ..'Course, before and after ECL11, the class sucks. And for non-Paladins, the class is pretty mediocre.
    Last edited by Pluto; 2010-03-03 at 02:56 AM.

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    I see all of the points. I just wanted to use Sohei in a build for a "Lawful Rager," but as I can see, its decent at best.

    However, I enjoy Blackguard for the flavor more than its functionality. It is a damage-sponge which can wreck someone's day. My ex DM suggested the sohei/blackguard as a good combo, along with sohei 8/runescarred barbarian 10/monk 2 (yes, monk for 2 levels)

    So if Sohei isn't what I like, PoT is a good alternative, minus it lacks rage-iosity. And I think I have a "secondary" remix, removing sohei's stench of mediocrity :'( and upgrading the build...

    Race: Dragonborn of Tiamat Gruumsh-Spawn Water Orc
    Class: Paly of Slaughter 1/Crusader 6/Blackguard 4/Eye of Gruumsh 9
    Feats other than Required: Great Cleave, Vault, Battle Jump, Leap Attack, Shocktrooper,
    Weapons: Deep Crystal (Red) Orc Double Axe (Add Enchantments L8r), Returning Mithril Throwing Axes

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by LichPrinceAlim View Post
    Race: Dragonborn of Tiamat Gruumsh-Spawn Water Orc
    Class: Paly of Slaughter 1/Crusader 6/Blackguard 4/Eye of Gruumsh 9
    Feats other than Required: Great Cleave, Vault, Battle Jump, Leap Attack, Shocktrooper,
    Weapons: Deep Crystal (Red) Orc Double Axe (Add Enchantments L8r), Returning Mithril Throwing Axes
    1. I don't know what "Gruumsh Spawn" means.
    Google doesn't either.

    2. You're wasting levels:
    Eye of Gruush is pretty weak, given its two wasted feats.
    (Dragonborn costs you your base racial features.)
    Paladin of Slaughter 1 is dead. Unless you just like Detect Good.
    Blackguard 4 isn't going to be helpful.

    More Crusader couldn't do any harm.

    3. Your feats are all fouled up:
    Vault is awful. Especially if you aren't even using a polearm.
    Great Cleave is a bad feat unless you have ridiculous reach.
    Also, where are you getting 11 feats?

    I'd drop Eye of Gruumsh; the Battle Jump/Leap Attack/Shock Trooper thing is too sweet to pass up. And Crusader levels give you some flexibility for when the DM impedes your charging pony's trick.



    I still think you should check out Paladin of Tyranny/Singh Rager (Oriental Adventures).
    It uses the same fluff as your original build, but it makes for a powerful melee character.
    Last edited by Pluto; 2010-03-03 at 09:21 PM.

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by LichPrinceAlim View Post
    I see all of the points. I just wanted to use Sohei in a build for a "Lawful Rager," but as I can see, its decent at best.

    However, I enjoy Blackguard for the flavor more than its functionality. It is a damage-sponge which can wreck someone's day. My ex DM suggested the sohei/blackguard as a good combo, along with sohei 8/runescarred barbarian 10/monk 2 (yes, monk for 2 levels)

    So if Sohei isn't what I like, PoT is a good alternative, minus it lacks rage-iosity. And I think I have a "secondary" remix, removing sohei's stench of mediocrity :'( and upgrading the build...

    Race: Dragonborn of Tiamat Gruumsh-Spawn Water Orc
    Class: Paly of Slaughter 1/Crusader 6/Blackguard 4/Eye of Gruumsh 9
    Feats other than Required: Great Cleave, Vault, Battle Jump, Leap Attack, Shocktrooper,
    Weapons: Deep Crystal (Red) Orc Double Axe (Add Enchantments L8r), Returning Mithril Throwing Axes
    I'm reasonably certain you can't be an evil dragonborn. IIRC there's a little sidebar in that section of Races of the Dragon that says that if a dragonborn turns evil that bahamut turns him back into whatever he was before and inflicts some damage to boot.

  18. - Top - End - #18

    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    I'm reasonably certain you can't be an evil dragonborn. IIRC there's a little sidebar in that section of Races of the Dragon that says that if a dragonborn turns evil that bahamut turns him back into whatever he was before and inflicts some damage to boot.
    However, Tiamat is the same "rank" as bahamut, therefore Hypothetically can and would create dragonborn loyal to her.

    My DM also said that Dragonborn of Tiamat/Bahamut is a TEMPLATE, not race. That one is similar to the 4e dragonborn (ie, a nerfed Draconic Human).

    And I LIKE GRUUMSH, therefore EoG makes logical sense.

    Okay, take 2 on revised (v2.0):

    Race: Dragonborn of Tiamat Goliath (LA Buyoff)
    Classes: Warblade 7/Duskblade 6/Bloodstorm Blade 7
    Feats: Cleave, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Power Throw, The Prerquisite Feat for Power Throw, Point Blank Shot, Great Cleave
    Weapon: Adamantine Greatsword (Large)

    Premise: Semi-Gish. Imbue any touch spell onto by greatsword and let 'er rip!

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Your revisions are pretty, um, extensive.




    This last one also has me a bit confused. Are you planning on throwing level 2 spells (CL6) and level 4 maneuvers around throughout your career?

    I'd recommend Duskblade 13/Bloodstorm Blade 4/Abjurant Champion 3:
    • With Practiced Spellcaster, you don't lose CL.
    • You get to combine full-round channeling with the Bloodstorm Blade's Lightning Ricochet.
    • It eats 3 more feats, but you get level appropriate abilities throughout your career. And Improved Sunder, Great Cleave and Brutal/Power Throw weren't doing much for you.
    • (If you're sundering at a range, the AoO shouldn't matter. Great Cleave only works on enemies that aren't worth cleaving. Brutal Throw and Power Throw are superfluous with Bloodstorm Blade in the build.)

    Quote Originally Posted by LichPrinceAlim
    My DM also said that Dragonborn of Tiamat/Bahamut is a TEMPLATE, not race. That one is similar to the 4e dragonborn (ie, a nerfed Draconic Human).
    Does that mean you retain all the benefits of Dragonborn and the base race at +0 LA?
    Last edited by Pluto; 2010-03-04 at 01:03 PM.

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Pluto View Post
    Your revisions are pretty, um, extensive.




    This last one also has me a bit confused. Are you planning on throwing level 2 spells (CL6) and level 4 maneuvers around throughout your career?

    I'd recommend Duskblade 13/Bloodstorm Blade 4/Abjurant Champion 3:
    • With Practiced Spellcaster, you don't lose CL.
    • You get to combine full-round channeling with the Bloodstorm Blade's Lightning Ricochet.
    • It eats 3 more feats, but you get level appropriate abilities throughout your career. And Improved Sunder, Great Cleave and Brutal/Power Throw weren't doing much for you.
    • (If you're sundering at a range, the AoO shouldn't matter. Great Cleave only works on enemies that aren't worth cleaving. Brutal Throw and Power Throw are superfluous with Bloodstorm Blade in the build.)


    Does that mean you retain all the benefits of Dragonborn and the base race at +0 LA?
    1. I see. That works more fluidly, though I dislike Abjurant Champ. I don't know why. Too defensive...

    2. Yes. Toldja he's plumb loco

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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by LichPrinceAlim View Post
    That works more fluidly, though I dislike Abjurant Champ. I don't know why. Too defensive...
    For BAB, full caster progression. That's about as offensive as you can get.
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    Default Re: LE Sohei Optimization [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by LichPrinceAlim View Post
    1. I see. That works more fluidly, though I dislike Abjurant Champ. I don't know why. Too defensive...
    Drop it if you like.
    I usually tack it onto the end of Duskblade builds without much thought.
    In your case, it might not be so useful (I imagine Bloodstorm Blade will eat your swift action each round).

    More Duskblade levels will do more or less the same thing and might actually synergize a bit better than AC (slightly improved Fortitude, less competition for Swift Actions, a passive +1 to beat SR).
    Last edited by Pluto; 2010-03-04 at 09:17 PM.

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