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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Need help deciding on a D&D build

    These are my ability scores: 17, 17, 14, 12, 12, 10

    This 3.5 campaign is going to be somewhat urban and the DM is very big on RPing. I'd prefer either a Human or a Halfling, but I'm open to other options. I'm definitely planning on taking Swashbuckler at some point, but I'm not sure what my base class should be; either Fighter or Rogue. I want a maximum of two classes to keep it less complicated (I'm a newbie, as you can see)

    PS. If you need any additional info please post asking for it

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give!
    Last edited by Black_Zawisza; 2010-08-22 at 06:46 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    What books are you allowed to use? Additionally, if you're in an established setting(Faerun, Eberron), please let us know.

    I would suggest going Rogue 4/Swashbuckler 16, and taking the Daring Outlaw feat as soon as possible. I'd put your 17s into Intelligence and Dexterity, probably, and send the 14 to Str or Constitution. The rest of your stats can be allocated however you wish, since you don't have a large need for charisma or wisdom.

    Other relevant feats include the Two-Weapon fighting line and related feats.
    Last edited by ex cathedra; 2010-08-22 at 06:57 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    You don't necessarily have to take the swashbuckler class to play a character with a swashbuckler feel. Class names and descriptions are little more than a summary of what the class could be, not what it has to be. A lot of people try to play their class, instead of playing their character, and this is a huge mistake. Figure out who you want your character to be first, then pick a class/build to suit that, don't pick a class for what your character is going to be and force his personality and background to fit around that. The built in flavor of the classes has zero relevance, you can and should ignore it and just focus on what the class does and come up with your own unique explanation of how your character accomplishes that.

    For example, Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes would probably have at least three levels of Swashbuckler. The class allows you to add your Int bonus to damage, and this is exactly what he does on several occasions. That character is no dashing swordsman, he has none of the built-in flavor of the Swashbuckler class, but its mechanics suit him perfectly so that is what should be used to represent his abilities.


    Being a newer player, you should definitely familiarize yourself with spellcasting, since that is where true power lies in this game. Somewhat urban with heavy RP would be a great opportunity to try out Beguiler from PH2. You get to pick what spells to use on the fly so there's no headaches planning out which spells to learn or prepare. Start out with Beguiler 5, take one level in Mindbender from Complete Arcane, and then just stick to more Beguiler levels for the rest of his career. Your feats can include (Greater) Spell Focus: Enchantment and/or Illusion, Improved Initiative, Metamagic School Focus from Complete Mage, Mindsight from Lords of Madness, and Versatile Spellcaster in Races of the Dragon. The character could be a professional con man, a retired circus performer, an elven diplomat, a spy, an upper-class adviser to nobility, a seducer of women, or any combination of the above. You can describe the source and use for his skills and abilities any way you choose.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Darrin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Zawisza View Post
    This 3.5 campaign is going to be somewhat urban and the DM is very big on RPing. I'd prefer either a Human or a Halfling, but I'm open to other options.
    Ask your DM if Lesser Tiefling is available. This is an optional rule on page 191 of the Player's Guide to Faerun. It doesn't give a stat block, it just says take the standard planetouched races, and change their type to humanoid with the planetouched subtype. This removes the +1 Level Adjustment while keeping their ability adjustments intact: +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Cha. Since it's an urban campaign, put a few points in your Disguise skill to hide your horns, or just wear a big floppy hat.

    If that's not available, Gray Elf also has +2 Dex, +2 Int, but -2 Str and -2 Con. Fire Elf (detailed in the SRD/Unearthed Arcana) is actually a better choice: +2 Dex, +2 Int, but -2 Con and -2 Cha instead. Also, fire resistance: 5.

    Strongheart Halfling (also a Forgotten-Realms specific subrace) is also quite popular, since it trades the halfling's racail bonus on saves for a bonus feat.

    Whisper Gnome could also work well, and has lots of stealthy flavor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Zawisza View Post
    I'm definitely planning on taking Swashbuckler at some point, but I'm not sure what my base class should be; either Fighter or Rogue. I want a maximum of two classes to keep it less complicated (I'm a newbie, as you can see)
    Rogue 3/Swashbuckler 3, picking up Daring Outlaw at 6th level, is a solid start. Pick up a level of Rogue sometime later, and finish off the rest with Swashbuckler levels (as aethernox suggests, this is usually expressed as Rogue 4/Swashbuckler 16). Swashbuckler is not a very interesting class past three levels, but it offers full BAB and 4 skill points per level. Take the Able Learner feat, and your Rogue skills effectively become class skills for your Swashbuckler levels. This, along with your Int bonus, gives you a decent chance to still be a passable skill monkey while holding your own in combat.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    Thanks for the help, guys. =D With a Halfling Rogue 4/Swashbuckler 16 melee build in mind, what feats and attributes should I prioritize?
    Last edited by Black_Zawisza; 2010-08-22 at 06:14 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    Also, I'm looking at TWF, what combination of rapiers and short swords should I use? Is there any reason to use a rapier and a short sword over dual rapiers?
    Last edited by Black_Zawisza; 2010-08-22 at 06:40 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    TWFing Rapier is bad because a Rapier is not a light weapon (and thus has massive penalties to accuracy with TWF). You'd be better with Rapier+Shortsword or dual Shortswords.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Yorrin View Post
    TWFing Rapier is bad because a Rapier is not a light weapon (and thus has massive penalties to accuracy with TWF). You'd be better with Rapier+Shortsword or dual Shortswords.
    Is there any benefit to using dual shortswords over one of each, then?

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Zawisza View Post
    Thanks for the help, guys. =D With a Halfling Rogue 4/Swashbuckler 16 melee build in mind, what feats and attributes should I prioritize?
    1) Rogue 1. Feat: Craven (Champions of Ruin)
    *** NOTE *** If you don't have access to this book, take the Travel Devotion from Complete Champion instead. If you have a racial bonus feat (Strongheart Halfling, Human, or Azurin), try to pick up both here.
    2) Rogue 2.
    3) Rogue 3. Feat: TWF
    *** NOTE *** Take the Penetrating Strike Alternate Class Feature (ACF) from Dungeonscape here. You lose trap sense (meh), and instead you still do half your sneak attack damage to enemies that are normally immune to sneak attack (constructs, elementals, oozes, plants, undead).
    4) Swash 1. Bonus Feat: Weapon Finesse.
    5) Swash 2.
    6) Swash 3. Feat: Daring Outlaw.
    7) Rogue 4.
    8) Swash 4.
    9) Swash 5. Feat: Staggering Strike (Complete Adventurer)
    10) Swash 6.
    11) Swash 7.
    12) Swash 8. Feat: Improved TWF
    13) Swash 9.
    14) Swash 10.
    15) Swash 11. Feat: Greater TWF
    16) Swash 12.
    17) Swash 13.
    18) Swash 14. Feat: Undo Resistance (Fiendish Codex II)
    19) Swash 15.
    20) Swash 16.

    Improved TWF: Pick this up with Gloves of the Balanced Hand (Magic Item Compendium, 8000 GP).

    Greater TWF: Save this for later, maybe for your 15th or 18th level feat. You can still qualify while wearing Gloves of the Balanced Hand, but if you lose the gloves, you'll lose access to the feat.

    Mobility/Spring Attack/Whirlwind Attack: Avoid these, Spring Attack in particular (limits you to one attack per round). If you really need whirlwind attack, you can get it 3/day as a +1 weapon enhancement (Whirling, Magic Item Compendium).

    Telling Blow: Don't get this, it's not worth it.

    Maiming Strike (Exemplars of Evil): Give up 2d6 sneak attack to do 1 point of Charisma damage. TWF has a hard time keeping up with two-handed power-attack charge-wombats on pure damage, but when your multiple attacks do ability damage, you can rack up some impressive *pwnage*. Another neat little quirk of this feat... *each* 2d6 you can give up (and you can give up multiples in a single hit) reduces Cha by 1. So if you give up 10d6 SA, that's -5 Cha. Three or four hits of that should drop just about anything. Requires the wielder to be evil, though.

    Planar Touchstone linked to Oxyhynchus (Planar Handbook). This one's a little complicated to explain, but with 8 ranks and Knowledge: the Planes, you can pick up a touchstone object for 250 GP and link yourself to a special planar site that gives you a "basic" ability. You don't have to actually visit this site, but if you do, you can perform some task or test and unlock a higher ability. The planar site Oxyhynchus is particularly useful to TWF rogues. The base ability grants you an extra attack at -5 BAB whenever your target is denied its Dex bonus.

    Weapons:
    Don't go for anything too exotic, you don't really have the feats to spare for EWP. Stick with rapier + shortsword or dual shortswords, simple and effective. Save up to buy a pair of basic non-legacy Sunswords. This is a magic item from Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (page 210). Sort of a Walmart version of the Sunsword in the PHB, its a +1 bastard sword that can be wielded as if it were a shortsword or bastard sword by anyone who can normally wield such a weapon, and thus makes it one of the best off-hand weapons in the game. Best of all, it's only 3000 GP.

    Add Wand Chambers (Dungeonscape, 100 GP each) to both weapons, and crank up your UMD skill so you can comfortably hit DC 20 to activate wands. Get some low-level wands that can be activated as swift/immediate actions for each wand chamber. Favorite spells might include:

    Blades of Fire (Spell Compendium): 1d8 fire damage on all your weapons for the round.
    Critical Strike (Spell Compendium): against flanked or sneak attackable opponents, +1d6 damage, doubles your crit range, +4 bonus on confirming crits.
    Haste, Swift (Spell Compendium): Expensive (Ranger 2), but one of the few swift-action spells that lasts 1d4 rounds.
    Invisibility, Swift (Spell Compendium): lasts 1 round, or until you attack.
    Lion's Charge (Spell Compendium): Another Ranger 2 spell, but grants you Pounce if you don't have it already.
    Wraithstrike (Spell Compendium): One of the most drool-inspiring spells in the game, all your attacks for the round become touch attacks.
    Close Wounds (Spell Compendium): cures 1d4+1 HP as an immediate action, can stop you from dropping into negatives or avoid that freak hit that instantly brings you down below -10 HP.
    Nerveskitter (Spell Compendium): When you absolutely, positively must win initiative.
    Lesser Energy Surge (PHBII): adds +1d6 al-a-carte energy damage.
    Electric Vengeance (PHBII): immediate revenge (2d8+1 damage) whenever you get hit.
    Bloodletting (Complete Mage): 3 rounds of 1d6 bleeding damage.
    Instant of Power (Forge of War): as an immediate action, +4 bonus to next attack roll, damage roll, or saving throw.

    Add Lesser Crystals of Energy Assault to each weapon (Magic Item Compendium, 3000 GP each). I recommend acid, since fire, cold, electricity, and sonic damage can be added via spells or alchemical items.

    Sudden Stunning (DMGII): for a flat +2000 GP, adds a stun affect as a swift action after you hit an opponent in melee. DC scales up as your level and Cha bonus increases. If you're looking for more energy damage, Caustic, Icy, and Lightning Surges are the same price.

    When you can afford it, pick up Bracers of Lighting (Magic Item Compendium, 11000 GP). Adds the shocking property (+1d6 electricity damage) to all your attacks.

    Bracers of Murder (Drow of the Underdark, 8000 GP): +2 attack and damage against flat-footed opponents, and reroll 1's on sneak attack dice.

    Marbles (Arms & Equipment Guide p. 24, 2 SP per bag): creates a non-magical 5' x 5' square of slippery footing, similar to a grease spell. Takes a standard action to spread them, but this can be done by an unseen servant, animal companion/familiar/wild cohort, or a trained monkey.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    BTW, with the Swashbuckling special ability...

    When attacking with a light weapon (or a rapier or similar weapon) and nothing in the other, a swashbuckler deals 1d6 extra damage on every attack (as long as it is made with the light weapon or rapier). The extra damage increases by 1d6 every 3 levels thereafter (as seen on the swashbuckler table above). This damage does not affect creatures immune to critical hits. Swashbuckling damages are not multiplied by critical hit. Swashbuckling can only be used if the swashbuckler wear light or no armor.

    Would it be worth it to use just a rapier over TWF?
    Last edited by Black_Zawisza; 2010-08-23 at 02:10 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Greenish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Zawisza View Post
    BTW, with the Swashbuckling special ability...

    When attacking with a light weapon (or a rapier or similar weapon) and nothing in the other, a swashbuckler deals 1d6 extra damage on every attack (as long as it is made with the light weapon or rapier). The extra damage increases by 1d6 every 3 levels thereafter (as seen on the swashbuckler table above). This damage does not affect creatures immune to critical hits. Swashbuckling damages are not multiplied by critical hit. Swashbuckling can only be used if the swashbuckler wear light or no armor.

    Would it be worth it to use just a rapier over TWF?
    Where's that from?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius Maximus View Post
    Also fixed the money issue by sacrificing a goat.
    Quote Originally Posted by subject42 View Post
    This board needs a "you're technically right but I still want to crawl into the fetal position and cry" emoticon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yukitsu View Post
    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."
    Praise for avatar may be directed to Derjuin.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Zawisza View Post
    [
    Is there any benefit to using dual shortswords over one of each, then?
    Only if you plan to go with Weapon Focus. Which is generally a waste of a feat.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    Where's that from?
    http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Swash...#Swashbuckling

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    Urban Druid - Whisper Gnome - Eschew Materials - Natural Spell

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Zawisza View Post
    For the record, this site is really annoying. It makes everything look so legitimate, but then you scroll down to the bottom and realize it's homebrew. So yeah, unless your DM allows homebrew, realize that his might not be an option...

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Greenish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Zawisza View Post
    Ah, you might want to note when you're referring to some homebrew thingy instead of the official class of the same name.


    Also, I can't help but notice the description in the end reads "Balance point: wizard".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius Maximus View Post
    Also fixed the money issue by sacrificing a goat.
    Quote Originally Posted by subject42 View Post
    This board needs a "you're technically right but I still want to crawl into the fetal position and cry" emoticon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yukitsu View Post
    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."
    Praise for avatar may be directed to Derjuin.

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    bartman's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help deciding on a D&D build

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorrin View Post
    TWFing Rapier is bad because a Rapier is not a light weapon (and thus has massive penalties to accuracy with TWF). You'd be better with Rapier+Shortsword or dual Shortswords.
    If you have a feat slot, there is the Oversize TWF feat in CAdv, treats your OH weapon as a light weapon. Dual rapiers are fun, I use them on all my roguish builds

    Edit: Just looked up the feat and you need a 13 in STR, so keep that in mind if you choose to take it
    Last edited by bartman; 2010-08-23 at 06:41 PM. Reason: Addition
    Awesome avatar done by Ravens_Wing

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