A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 35
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default A short guide to defensive fighting

    This is a repost/update of an old guide I had back in 339. Feedback is always welcome.
    Fighting defensively is an option in combat that gives you better AC in return for a penalty to attack. There is also the Combat Expertise feat, which basically does the same and also stacks with fighting defensively.

    Usually, having higher Armor Class may not seem that important. At high levels, attack bonus progresses a lot faster, so most people think investing in AC has little return. However, fighting defensively is a very low-cost investment. It's a good way to increase your AC, specially at lower levels when it is indeed important. Since you get a dodge bonus, it's even better for touch AC. And dodge bonuses stack.

    It's important to know, though, that not Combat Expertise nor fighting defensively can be your only means of defense or your only trick. This guide here works as a way to supplement your character's defenses, but don't go out of your way for this options. Performing your standard melee tricks (and you can find info on them on Person Man's excelent guide) is a lot more important. Also remember to boost your AC in other ways - good armor and bonuses from magical items (such as an amulet of natural armor and ring of deflection) are always, always important.

    Now, if you are really into the defensive fighting thing, there are basically two ways of optimizing it:
    1. Reduce your penalty to attack rolls/bonus to AC ratio
    2. use the Dancing with Shadows feat from Races of Eberron to get a high AC on one round and then make a powerful counterattack the following round.


    From the SRD: fighting defensively as a full-round action, Combat Expertise, Tumble skill.

    Races
    Azurin (Magic of Incarnum): Grants you 1 point of Essentia and Cobalt Expertise as a bonus feat; 2 essentia is all you need to optimize Cobalt Expertise.
    Human: Can't go wrong with an extra skill point and feat; azurin is outright better if available, though (saves you a feat to get that extra 1 essentia).

    Base Classes
    Swashbuckler (Complete Warrior, page 11): Full BAB, d10 Hit Dice, Tumble as a class skill, Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat, Int (required for Combat Expertise) to damage at level 3. Also see Shield of Blades under Alternate Class Features.
    Monk: With Carmendine Monk/Kung-fu Genius, it's Int to AC. Those bonus feats could be useful - check the variant fighting styles under Alternate Class Features. Also gains evasion at 2, allowing you to qualify for Thief-Acrobat.
    Warblade (Tome of Battle, page 20): Full BAB, d12 Hit Dice, Tumble as a class skill, adds Int to many things, gains standard-action strikes that goes well with Einhander.
    Rogue: Rogues have low hit points and no AC-boosting abilities of their own, so they could use a few love in this regard. They get evasion at 2, allowing you to qualify for Thief-Acrobat.
    Spellthief (Complete Arcane): Like Rogues, Spellthieves have low hit points and no AC-boosting abilities of their own. They are probably the class that could get the most benefit out of daggerspell stance due to the Master Spellthief feat that boosts caster level considerably.

    Alternate Class Features:
    Shield of Blades (Player's Handbook II, page 63): You lose the Swashbuckler's Dodge bonus and gains a +2 shield bonus to AC when fighting (defensively) with two light weapons. It also increases with levels, if you have room for more than Swashbuckler 5.
    Fighting Styles: The Passive Way variant grants you Combat Expertise as a bonus feat at level 1. The Sleeping Tiger variant grants you Weapon Finesse at level 1. Either is good, you'd probably want both feats anyway. Denying Stance grants a bonus on grapple checks and disarm attempts (kinda meh). The Invisible Eye variant can get you an extra +1 to AC while using CE, fighting defensively or using total defense, but you need to take Agile as a feat and the bonus feats it grants are pretty worthless in this kind of build (Combat Reflexes, Lightning Reflexes, Blind-Fight). Undying Way gets you DR2/- while fighting defensively, but those feats suck so hard I can't even explain it.

    Traits
    From Unearthed Arcana, traits are a very interesting option that adds flavour and cool stuff to a character. It's rarely used, it seems, but I think it's way better balanced than flaws.
    Cautious: +1 bonus to AC while fighting defensively. You can't be immune to fear and you suffer -2 on saves vs fear. It's worth it, I guess.

    Feats
    Allied Defense (Shining South): Why not share your AC bonus with your team mates, uh? This actually makes your high AC matter a lot more, since not only are you protecting yourself, you are buffing an ally.
    Combat Expertise: Already mentioned, but I think the link is handy. Combat Expertise is not required to use most of the abilities listed here; some don't even work with it (Einhander, for example). It can increase your AC even more if you combine it with fighting defensively and it has a better cost/benefit ratio when used alone.
    Deadly Defense (Complete Scoundrel, page 76): No requirements, +1d6 damage when fighting defensively (or using Combat Expertise with at least -2 penalty) with finesseable weapons. If you have room and you are fighting defensively (and if you are reading this, I think you are), I'd take it.
    Einhander (Player's Handbook II, page 95): Easy requirements (BAB+6 and Tumble 6), +2 dodge bonus to AC while fighting defensively or using total defense with nothing in the off-hand and other minor bonuses. Nice and flavorful.
    Quickstaff (Complete Warrior): +2 to AC while fighting defensively with quarterstaff. I still like Broadblade Shortsword better for some reason, though. Maybe because swords are cool?
    War Devotion (Complete Champion, page 63): Increases your bonuses for fighting defensively while it reduces penalties, gets better as you level up. It does not require a swift action to activate (it requires no action at all other than fighting defensively, actually), so it stacks with Defensive Surge/Vest of Defense. Unfortunatelly, it's just 1/day unless you grab a level of Cleric, 4 levels of Paladin or 2 levels of Dread Necromancer for burning turn attemps to fuel it.
    Craven (Champions of Ruin): If you have sneak attack (probably from Rogue levels), this feat alone might make Two-weapon Fighting worth it. I dislike the flavour but if you don't mind being a coward, take it.
    Two-weapon Fighting series: An alternative for more attacks and extra damage. It's very feat intensive, but it looks really cool. Specially useful if you are using Swashbuckler for Shield of Blades.
    Superior Unarmed Strike & Snap Kick (Tome of Battle): If you took Monk levels, you really should take these feats as well. They will improve your damage output considerably.

    Prestige Classes
    Exotic Weapon Master (Complete Warrior, page 30): If you are using broadblade shortsword (or any pair of exotic weapons), a single level dip (requiring a few skill ranks and Weapon Focus) reduces your penalties for TWF to -1. A d10 Hit Dice completes the deal. It's not awesome by all means.
    Bladesinger (Complete Warrior, page 17 or Races of Faerun page 179): While not amazingly powerful as gishes, Bladesingers really add something to Einhander-users. You are restricted to a one-handed weapon anyway, adds Int or class level to AC and eventually gains a flurry-like ability. Races of Faerun version is arguably better - it has harder requirements, but has it's own spellcasting (allowing you to qualify with Duskblade and actually gaining spells on a useful pace) and you gain 3 bonus feats. You have to be an elf of half-elf in both cases, so think carefuly. Very flavorful, too.
    Dervish (Complete Warrior): +4 to AC when fighting defensively. Feat intensive, but a very good PrC that everyone has heard about already.
    Thief-Acrobat (Complete Adventurer, page 83): 3/4 BAB and low Hit Dice, but increases bonuses for fighting defensively by +2 with 4 levels (you only lose 1 BAB). Requires evasion, though, so you'll probably need levels in Monk or Rogue.
    Duelist: Adds level as a bonus to AC while fighting defensively. Requires Dodge and Mobility, though, and is a late bloomer gaining this ability only at level 7. I'd avoid this.
    Incandescent Champion (Magic of Incarnum, page 116): This is not an overpowered class by any means and it does not directly increase your defensive fighting potential. Requirements are rather easy is you are an azurin though (an azurin Warblade qualifies without even trying; you could even give it a try as a Soulborn, but do that at your own peril). It has damage dealing abilties that mix well with Two Weapon Fighting and limited fast healing. For the tactical minded, this could be a rather fun PrC, so I think it deserves a shout out.
    Daggerspell Mage (Complete Adventurer): This is here as a warning - even if you take the daggerspell stance feat, I don't think this is class is worth it. No abilities that synergize with defensive fighting and nothing too spectatular. It's only somehow useful if you use a Duskblade chassis, because it gives expanded channeling options and alternate ways to use spell slots.

    Equipment:
    Bradblade Shortsword (Complete Adventurer, page 117): Adds +1 dodge bonus to AC while fighting defensively or using Combat Expertise with at least -2. It was +2 on release, but it was nerfed in the errata.
    Vest of Defense (Magic Item Compendium, page 146): As a swift action, 3/day, +2 on AC while fighting defensively or using Combat Expertise.
    Defensive Surge (Magic Item Compendium, page 32): As a swift action, gain a +2 bonus to armor class while fighting defensively or using Combat Expertise for 1 round. Usable 1 + Int modifier times per day. Sadly, it can't be combined with Vest of Defense, since both use your swift action. You should probably have both, for more uses per day. If you ever run out of uses per day, just get a second defensive surge weapon.
    Bracers of Blocking (Dragon Magazine 322, page 55): At 7000gp, these work like bracers of armor +2 and add an extra +2 dodge bonus when you fight defensively or use total defense.

    Spells:
    Daggerspell Stance (Spell Compendium): When fighting defensively and using two daggers, you gain spell resistance 5 + caster level. This adds another layer of defense; if you have a Master Spellthief build, just a bit of defensive optimization to go with your high caster level will make you a lot more resilient.

    Builds:
    Daring Defender
    Azurin Swashbuckler 11/Rogue 4/Thief-Acrobat 4/Exotic Weapon Master 1 Feats: Combat Expertise (1), Cobalt Expertise (Azurin bonus), Weapon Finesse (Swashbuckler bonus), Exotic Weapon Proficiency: broadblade shortsword (3), Weapon Focus: broadblade shortsword (6), Two-Weapon Fighting (9), Deadly Defense (12), Daring Outlaw (15), Extra Essentia (18) Take Shield of Blades with Swashbuckler and Twin Exotic Weapon Fighting with Exotic Weapon Master.
    Equipment Needed: +1 defensive surge broadblade shortsword, other broadblade short sword
    Spoiler
    Show
    Base Attack Bonus 18, 12d10+8d6 HD. You gain +8 dodge bonus to AC for using Combat Expertise (with Cobalt Expertise, Agile Fighting and Defensive Surge) at -2 and +4 shield bonus to AC from Shield of Blades, for a total of +12 AC for -2 to attacks. You are dual wielding, but you gain no penalties to your attack roll because of twin exotic weapon fighting and Weapon Focus. This build is really feat-starved and a late bloomer. Also, per RAW Daring Outlaw does not advance Shield of Blades (only Dodge, that you swaped for Shield of Blades), but I think allowing it is not a stretch and is probably intended. Check with your DM. To speed things up, use Azurin Swashbuckler 3/Fighter 2/Rogue 3 into the PrCs and ignore Shield of Blades; a Wand of Shield gives you the same effect with minimum buff time. Flaws could also help you.


    Ruby Knight Defender
    Human Rogue 3/Swashbuckler 4/Cleric 1/Crusader 1/Ruby Knight Vindicator 7/Thief-Acrobat 4 Feats: Combat Expertise (1), Cobalt Expertise (Human bonus), Weapon Finesse (Swashbuckler bonus), Exotic Weapon Proficiency: broadblade shortsword (3), Weapon Focus: broadblade shortsword (6), Two-Weapon Fighting (9), Deadly Defense (12), Daring Outlaw (15), Extra Essentia (18)
    Equipment Needed: Vest of defense, +1 defensive surge broadbade shortsword, broadblade shortsword
    Spoiler
    Show
    The feat setup is practically the same of the last build; does not use Azurin for favored class issues. A lot of MAD here. Needs Dex and Int for feats and Wis for Cleric casting. Uses Divine Impetus to activate both Vest of Defense and Defensive Surge at the same turn (actually, since you get more than 1 swift action, you could activate either multiple times for some nova and more AC than you'll ever need, I guess). Using both, you get +10 to AC from fighting defensively and +2 shield bonus from Shield of Blades (but check the last build) for a total of +12 for -2 to attacks.


    The Bladesinger
    This uses the Races of Faerun version: Half-Elf Duskblade 2/Passive Way Monk 1/Fighter 2/Swashbuckler 3/Bladesinger 10
    Feats: Einhander, Carmendine Monk Some Int synergy - Carmendine Monk for Int to AC x2, Insightful Strike for Int to damage with rapier. You get a few bonus feats, cast one Bladesinger spell per round as a swift action and you gain a flurry ability. You fight defensively for -4 and gets +6 to AC (+5 if your DM is a jerk and can't accept Oriental Adventures on Tumble even if it follows the progression of ELH).
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-12-06 at 01:24 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Dancing With Shadows

    Everything listed in the last post also works with Dancing with Shadows - except for TWF, since this relies on Power Attack for damage. Well, you could use TWF with Dancing With Shadows (heavy weapons and the like) but I find it quite subpar when compared with Power Attack.
    Please note this is based upon setting-specific stuff.
    Races:
    Kalashtar: The obvious choice. You need this for Path of Shadows and Dancing with Shadows. Has favored class issues (psion as favored class) and other racial abilities do not help.
    Changeling: Racial Emulation allows them to qualify for Path/Dance.

    Feats:
    Dancing With Shadows (Races of Eberron, page 117): Requires base attack +4, Perform (dance) 8 and Path of Shadows. There are two maneuvers of interest here, Graceful Lunge and Lingering Defense. The first adds a bonus to your first melee attack equal to the dodge bonus you gained from Combat Expertise/fighting defensively (you then convert this to hideous amounts of damage with maneuvers/Power Attack, of course). The second gives you the same dodge bonus from Combat Expertise/fighting defensively the third consecutive round you use the feat for no attack penalty (and you can continue to CE/fight defensively for x2 bonus). Your order should be something like:
    Turn 1: fighting defensively
    Turn 2: Graceful Lunge (still fighting defensively/using CE with -2 or more)
    Turn 3: Lingering Defese (probably still fighting defensively/using CE with -2 or more)
    Turn 4: Graceful Lunge (fighting defensively/using CE with -2 or more)
    ...and so on and so forth.
    Improved Combat Expertise (Complete Warrior): Combat Expertise up to your BAB. Tasty.
    Path of Shadows (Races of Eberron, page 110): Requires Perform (dance) 5 ranks. +2 on Tumble checks, swaps Concentration for Perform (dance) for casting/manifesting defensively. Not very good, but a requirement for Dancing With Shadows. I could see some use with this and Darksong Knight (Fighter variant that uses Perform (dance) for Bluff checks) but that's cross-setting.
    Power Attack: This allows you to convert the Graceful Lunge bonuses to damage. A lot of damage.
    Racial Emulation (Races of Eberron, page 110): Allows changelings to qualify for Path of Shadows & Dancing with Shadows.

    Affiliations
    War Affiliation (Complete Champion, page 44): For 1 round, double your bonus from Combat Expertise. Since this matters only on round 1, it's basically extra AC for free.

    Prestige Classes
    Arcane Duelist: Requires Dodge and Mobility to qualify and the ability to cast 1st-level arcane spells, it's 1/2 BAB with no casting advancement. But, at 3rd level, it gains Dexterous Attack. You are using a two-handed weapon - let's say greatsword - and as such can take a -11 penalty to damage for a +11 to hit... and then convert that +11 for +22 damage with Power Attack (actually +11, since you lost -11). It's +11 damage for no penalty to attack. It's very, very good. This depends on he weapon total damage, not only the dice, so your limit will probably be a lot higher than you base attack anyway.
    Exotic Weapon Master (Complete Warrior, page 30): If you have high Strenght, Uncanny Blow adds it twice instead of x1.5 to damage with an exotic weapon.

    Equipment:
    Jovar (Planar Handbook, page 58): Exotic weapon, 2d6 damage, critical range 18-20. With all that bonus, a critical is going to hurt. Not finesseable, so a bit MAD.
    Elven Courtblade (Races of the Wild, page 166): Exotic weapon, two-handed and finesseable, 1d10 damage, critical range 19-20. More damage but less utility than a spiked chain. Spiked Chain: Exotic, two-handed, finesseable, has reach and can trip/disarm.

    Builds:
    Duelist of Shadows
    Kalashtar Bard 3/Swashbuckler 3/Psychic Warrior 2/Fighter 2/Arcane Duelist 3/Warmind 7
    Abilities: Str 13 for Power Attack, all the Int you can get (at least 13) for Insightful Strike, Dex for attack and AC, Cha for AC from Arcane Duelist (who cares about 3rd-levle Bard casting?). You need Wis 15 for manifesting; your kalashtar bonus power points will deal with the rest. Con is needed for non-HP damage, but I guess a 14 is enough - you have good hit dice classes (except for Bard and Arcane Duelist) and a very good Fortitude save for all the diping. Manifesting is not the focus here, it just helps when you are not fighting defensively (Vigor could help the HP).
    Feats: Combat Expertise (1), Path of Shadows (3), Dancing With Shadows (9), Improved Combat Expertise (12), Dodge (Psychic Warrior 1), Mobility (Psychic Warrior 2), Exotic Weapon Proficiency: elven courtblade (Fighter 1), Weapon Focus: elven courtblade (Fighter 2), open (level 15), open (level 18)
    Equipment Needed: +5 elven courtblade
    Spoiler
    Show
    BAB 16, your damage potential for Dexterous Attack will be more than this (with Str 13 and Int 13, it's exactly that, actually - 1d10+5+1+1= max damage 17-1=16). So, let's consider your routine with Dancing With Shadows and Dexterous Attack:
    Turn 1: Improved Combat Expertise; -16 attack, +16 defense
    Turn 2: Improved Combat Expertise + Graceful Lunge + Dexterous Attack + Power Attack; +0 to attack, +16 to defense, +16 to damage
    Turn 3: Improved Combat Expertise + Lingering Defense; +0 to attack, +16 to defense
    Turn 4: Improved Combat Expertise + Graceful Lunge + Dexterous Attack + Power Attack; +0 to attack, +16 to defense, +16 to damage Repeat turns 3 and 4 until you defeat whatever you are fighting. Hustle helps you reach them, other psionic powers help your damage. Sweeping Strike hits two with one blow; very nice since you are attacking just once per round and all.



    Mr. Hurting Wall by Amechra
    Kalashtar Fighter (Darksong Knight Substitution levels. Rename them what you wish) 6/Cleric 1/Barbarian 2/Swashbuckler 3
    Needs a 13 in Str and Int

    Spoiler
    Show
    Feats:
    1st: Combat Expertise
    Fighter: Power Attack
    Flaw (): Dodge
    Flaw (): Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Longstaff)
    Fighter: Two Weapon Fighting
    3rd: Path of Shadows
    Fighter: Weapon Focus (Quarterstaff)
    6th: Lady's Gambit
    Fighter: Improved Combat Expertise
    9th: Dancing With Shadows
    Swashbuckler: Weapon Finesse
    12th: Stone Power

    Obtain Iron Will from the Oytugh hole, and have fun!
    Swap out the War domain from Cleric 1 into War Devotion. Again, have fun!

    He fights with a Longstaff, which means that, as long as he's fighting defensively, he has complete immunity to Flanking. Plus, due to Uncanny Dodge, he doesn't lose his Dodge bonus while flatfooted. Of course, this guy is more defensive than anything, but he can still dish out some hurt: 3 attacks per round at double Power Attack or grabbing Gloves of Perfect Balance and TWF for 5 attacks at reduced damage.

    Lady's Gambit is a Dragon Magazine feat, so ask your DM before using. If you are allowed Dragon Magazine, use Ranger to grab TWF instead of Fighter, and take
    Favored Power Attack, to boost damage from Power attack against one type of Favored Enemy.

    Also, this guy would actually work in a 0 wealth campaign; quarterstaves are free, and really, all that Longstaves give us is immunity to flanking; just don't get surrounded and you should do fine.

    Also, Amechra's musings on Mr Hurting Wall.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Actually, since Lingering Defence still counts as being from Combat Expertise, you could use it to continually stack with itself:
    BAB 15 (let's assume)
    1. (Improved Combat Expertise): -15 attack, +15 Dodge AC.
    2. (Improved Combat Expertise+Graceful Lunge): +0 Attack, +15 Dodge AC.
    3. (Improved Combat Expertise+Lingering Defense): -15 Attack, +30 Dodge AC.
    4. (Improved Combat Expertise+Graceful Lunge): +15 Attack, +15 Dodge AC.
    Repeat 3 and 4. If you want something with a better to-hit, use Lingering Defense a bunch of round in a row.

    Of course, this comes from my reading Combat Expertise's limit as applying only to the amount you can take out of your attack, not the maximum amount of AC. I'm assuming this because Power Attack isn't limited to only BAB to damage...

    Alright, so basically, if you want a rather silly NPC, have one that combines this, Stone Power (Reduce attack to get some temporary HP, caps at 10) and Lady's Gambit (Sacrifice health for bonuses to attack and damage, limited by your BAB), and use a Kalashtar Barbarian 2/Fighter 8, as fights with him would look like this without even using rage:
    1st: (Improved Combat Expertise): -10 Attack, +10 Dodge AC.
    2nd: (Improved Combat Expertise+Graceful Lunge+Lady's Gambit+Stone Power+Power Attack w/ a twohanded weapon): +10 Dodge AC, -15 Attack, +25 Damage
    3rd: (Improved Combat Expertise+Lingering Defense+Lady's Gambit+Stone Power): +20 Dodge AC, +5 damage, -15 Attack
    4th: (Improved Combat Expertise+Graceful Lunge+Lady's Gambit+Stone Power+Power Attack w/ a twohanded weapon): +10 Dodge AC, -5 Attack, +25 Damage

    Just constantly repeats the 3rd and 4th rounds.
    Once we hit 20th, then it becomes (assume we took Arcan Duelist 3 somehow, and are buffed with Divine Might)

    1st: (Improved Combat Expertise): -20 Attack, +20 Dodge AC.
    2nd: (Improved Combat Expertise+Graceful Lunge+Lady's Gambit+Stone Power+Power Attack w/ a twohanded weapon+Dexterous Attack): +20 Dodge AC, +0 Attack, +30 Damage, -10 HP
    3rd: (Improved Combat Expertise+Lingering Defense+Lady's Gambit+Stone Power+Dexterous Attack+Power Attack w/ a twohanded weapon): +40 Dodge AC, +30 damage, -20 Attack, -10 HP
    4th: (Improved Combat Expertise+Graceful Lunge+Lady's Gambit+Stone Power+Power Attack w/ a twohanded weapon+Dexterous Attack): +20 Dodge Ac, +20 Attack, +30 Damage, -10 HP.

    Repeat 3 and 4 until dead. Have fun. Or, use round 3 over and over to get an obscene attack bonus on round 4; each round he does so, the resulting attack bonus goes up by 20...
    And in the meanwhile, his ac goes up by 20 each round. So he essentially turtles until he just hits people. Hits them without any chance of missing. Unless they have some form of miss chance.

    Gets even better if you factor in Ranger levels with Favored Power Attack; If you do this, the damage each round goes up from 30 to 50...

    Only problem is that you're on a timer...
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-12-13 at 05:24 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Dusk Eclipse's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Runite
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post

    Builds:
    Daring Defender
    HumanAzurin Swashbuckler 11/Rogue 4/Thief-Acrobat 4/Exotic Weapon Master 1 Feats: Combat Expertise (1), Cobalt Expertise (Azurin bonus), Weapon Finesse (Swashbuckler bonus), Exotic Weapon Proficiency: broadblade shortsword (3), Weapon Focus: broadblade shortsword (6), Two-Weapon Fighting (9), Deadly Defense (12), Daring Outlaw (15), Extra Essentia (18) Take Shield of Blades with Swashbuckler and Twin Exotic Weapon Fighting with Exotic Weapon Master.
    Equipment Needed: +1 defensive surge broadblade shortsword, other broadblade short sword
    Spoiler
    Show
    Base Attack Bonus 18, 12d10+8d6 HD. You gain +8 dodge bonus to AC for using Combat Expertise (with Cobalt Expertise, Agile Fighting and Defensive Surge) at -2 and +4 shield bonus to AC from Shield of Blades, for a total of +12 AC for -2 to attacks. You are dual wielding, but you gain no penalties to your attack roll because of twin exotic weapon fighting and Weapon Focus. This build is really feat-starved and a late bloomer. Also, per RAW Daring Outlaw does not advance Shield of Blades (only Dodge, that you swaped for Shield of Blades), but I think allowing it is not a stretch and is probably intended. Check with your DM. To speed things up, use Azurin Swashbuckler 3/Fighter 2/Rogue 3 into the PrCs and ignore Shield of Blades; a Wand of Shield gives you the same effect with minimum buff time. Flaws could also help you.
    Fixed that for you

    Also, good guide, I am not a fan of fighting defensively, but this thread has made me start to consider it. I like the Dancing with shadows idea.
    Just call me Dusk
    Avatar by Ceika

    Dming: Eyes of the Lich Queen IC OOC


  4. - Top - End - #4
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Flickerdart's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    I don't think anybody has ever focused on fighting defensively before. Cool guide!
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Greenish's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Finland

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    You should mention synergy bonus from ranks in Tumble. I seem to recall OA allowed you to gain higher and higher bonus as your ranks increased.

    Also, I think Mongrelfolk could qualify for Dancing with Shadows, even if it's a bit iffy by fluff (since being a kalashtar is binary: you either are one, or not, no halfsies).
    Quotes:
    Spoiler
    Show
    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.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SurlySeraph's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Department of Smiting
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Nice.

    If you expand this into "Ways for melee to fight defensively well" instead of just focusing on Combat Expertise, you might want to talk about Word Given Form from Tome of Magic. It's a "martial art," meaning you gain it automatically when you have the prereqs for it, and it says it gives you total concealment "When using the Dodge feat against an opponent." Combined with things like Desert Wind Dodge and Expeditious Dodge that count as dodge, this can be very valuable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Flickerdart's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Nice.

    If you expand this into "Ways for melee to fight defensively well" instead of just focusing on Combat Expertise, you might want to talk about Word Given Form from Tome of Magic. It's a "martial art," meaning you gain it automatically when you have the prereqs for it, and it says it gives you total concealment "When using the Dodge feat against an opponent." Combined with things like Desert Wind Dodge and Expeditious Dodge that count as dodge, this can be very valuable.
    Except the martial art very specifically refers to "an opponent" and "that opponent". Expeditious Dodge isn't used against anyone, so it doesn't actually work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    While this is pretty cool, it flirts with Dwarven Defender Syndromeói.e., what's to stop your enemies from just ignoring your unhittable character? I can see those Dancing with Shadows users putting out enough damage to make themselves noticeable, but a lot of the others seem to not have many tricks other than a very impressive AC. If I'm missing something, can you elaborate on that a little bit?
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

    ~ Gay all day, queer all year ~

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    While this is pretty cool, it flirts with Dwarven Defender Syndromeói.e., what's to stop your enemies from just ignoring your unhittable character? I can see those Dancing with Shadows users putting out enough damage to make themselves noticeable, but a lot of the others seem to not have many tricks other than a very impressive AC. If I'm missing something, can you elaborate on that a little bit?
    It's just very, very easy to optimize defensive fighting, that's all. It requires very little if you take the feats and spends a little gold on items. For example, let's you're an Azurin with Cobalt Expertise and a Vest of Defense. That's enough to get +8 AC with only a -2 to hit - you can take whichever damage dealing methods you want.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SurlySeraph's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Department of Smiting
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Except the martial art very specifically refers to "an opponent" and "that opponent". Expeditious Dodge isn't used against anyone, so it doesn't actually work.
    Melee attacks, strikes, etc. refer to a single opponent, but you can use the War Mind's Sweeping Strike ability to hit multiple opponents. I think using Word Given Form against multiple opponents is a legitimate interpretation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Flickerdart's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Melee attacks, strikes, etc. refer to a single opponent, but you can use the War Mind's Sweeping Strike ability to hit multiple opponents. I think using Word Given Form against multiple opponents is a legitimate interpretation.
    Sweeping Strike is a specific exception to a general rule, and still functions like an attack (albeit with multiple targets). Expeditious Dodge doesn't have targets at all.
    It wouldn't really break anything (it's a fantastic return, but also a heavy investment) but it's a very shaky interpretation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Sweeping Strike is a specific exception to a general rule, and still functions like an attack (albeit with multiple targets). Expeditious Dodge doesn't have targets at all.
    It wouldn't really break anything (it's a fantastic return, but also a heavy investment) but it's a very shaky interpretation.
    That's really unfortunate. The wording is really specific. It doesn't work by RAW, but I as a DM would allow it in my games.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Salanmander's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Except the martial art very specifically refers to "an opponent" and "that opponent". Expeditious Dodge isn't used against anyone, so it doesn't actually work.
    If I recall correctly, isn't there an even more fundamental problem with using alternate dodge feats with this martial art? I'm pretty sure the alternate dodge feats are called out as counting as dodge "for the purposes of qualifying for prestige classes and feats" or something like that. Is there anything that gives them blanket permission to be used in abilities this way? (RAW, of course)

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Person_Man's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Longstaff: Complete Adventurer: If you fight defensively or use Combat Expertise while using this weapon, you canít be flanked.

    Allied Defense grants adjacent allies your bonus from Combat Expertise, but not any bonus from Fighting Defensively.

    Cobolt Expertise should be listed separately under feats, as any one can take it. It grants an Insight bonus on Disarm attacks, Feints, Trip attacks, and AC when using Combat Expertise equal to the essentia invested in the feat. It also grants +1 essentia. The maximum amount of essentia that can be invested in a feat is based on your hit dice, and tops out at 4. Once invested in a feat, essentia cannot be transferred out into soulmelds or into any other feat. These limitations greatly reduce the usefulness of most Incarnum feat.

    Also, after reading this thread it seems clear to me that trying to optimize defensive fighting or Combat Expertise is highly inefficient. Spending a feat or class level to get a +2ish bonus to AC is a very bad idea. Spending 3+ feats and several class levels and taking a -5 penalty To-Hit to get a +9ish bonus to AC seems ludicrous.

    The only thing I could think of is that bonuses to Dodge always stack. So a group of allies standing in the same space using Combat Expertise + Allied Defense can theoretically get (# of allies * 5) AC. It might be an interesting idea for a DM - a pack or Tiny Rogues working together. But I'm not sure how a PC would find it useful.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Excellent guide, but I checked and the Elven Courtblade has a crit range of 18-20/x2, not 19-20. Which is why I prefer it to the spiked chain.

    Is it implied that you can use the spiked chain as a two-handed weapon, since it's large, even though it doesn't say so in its description?

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Also, after reading this thread it seems clear to me that trying to optimize defensive fighting or Combat Expertise is highly inefficient. Spending a feat or class level to get a +2ish bonus to AC is a very bad idea. Spending 3+ feats and several class levels and taking a -5 penalty To-Hit to get a +9ish bonus to AC seems ludicrous.
    Well, this school of thinking ends up with 'anything rather than PunPun is highly inefficient' and we all now how silly that gets. It's even mentioned in the OP that Combat Expertise is not exactly a gamebreaker or anything.
    Spending two feats for +4 AC and bonus on combat maneuvers? Increasing to +6 AC with a cheap magical item? Well, that sounds like my cup of tea. Specially at lower levels (again, like it is pointed out in the OP) it makes a huge difference.
    Again - AC itself is a rather underwhelming portion of the game. Combat Expertise/fighting defensively is just one way to increase it.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoatBoy View Post
    Excellent guide, but I checked and the Elven Courtblade has a crit range of 18-20/x2, not 19-20. Which is why I prefer it to the spiked chain.
    Oops, my mistake.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoatBoy View Post
    Is it implied that you can use the spiked chain as a two-handed weapon, since it's large, even though it doesn't say so in its description?
    Well, maybe you're using the 3.0 PHB? Spiked chain is two-handed in 3.5; weapons are no longer categorized by size.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-12-06 at 12:38 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Greenish's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Finland

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    Well, this school of thinking ends up with 'anything rather than PunPun is highly inefficient'
    No, it doesn't, and trying to counter with "why not pun pun" every time someone suggest that something is a poorer option is just a way to avoid having to come up with a real argument.

    Still, while not something you'd focus a build on (except on a very low op game or maybe with Path of Shadows), many melee builds include Combat Expertise as a matter of course, so a guide on how to use it is nifty.
    Quotes:
    Spoiler
    Show
    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.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Person_Man's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    Well, this school of thinking ends up with 'anything rather than PunPun is highly inefficient' and we all now how silly that gets. It's even mentioned in the OP that Combat Expertise is not exactly a gamebreaker or anything.

    Spending two feats for +4 AC and bonus on combat maneuvers? Increasing to +6 AC with a cheap magical item? Well, that sounds like my cup of tea. Specially at lower levels (again, like it is pointed out in the OP) it makes a huge difference.
    Again - AC itself is a rather underwhelming portion of the game. Combat Expertise/fighting defensively is just one way to increase it.
    I think PunPun is a strawman. I'm not suggesting that anything less then a Tier 1 class is weak. I'm suggesting that spending resources on 2 feats, a (limited use) magic item AND your racial ability AND taking a penalty to hit AND potentially spending your Swift (and/or Standard) action to get a bump to AC is a poor use of resources.

    Better non-magic non-psionic non-Tome of Battle options:

    An animated shield adds 2 + enhancement to your AC.
    • The Wormtail Belt soulmeld (which can be gained with the Shape Soulmeld feat) grants a 2 + essentia invested bonus to Natural Armor, and as a soulmeld it's much more flexible then the Cobolt Expertise feat.
    • The Incarnate Avatar soulmeld improves the AC of Good Incarnates and their allies.
    • Divine Shield feat adds your Cha to your Shield bonus to AC.
    • Improved Bind Vestige can add 1/2 your Con bonus to your Natural Armor.
    • Neraphim get +2 to Natural Armor as a racial ability, and a host of other bonuses.
    • A Defending weapon lets you shift your enhancement bonus to AC (pro-tip: Enchant your gauntlets with Defending, and have an ally cast Greater Magic Weapon on them).
    • Just buying better armor and/or bracers.


    It's good to list all of our available options, and I applaud your work. But it's also good to look at them reasonably and realize that some are better then others.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    It's good to list all of our available options, and I applaud your work. But it's also good to look at them reasonably and realize that some are better then others.
    None of your options affect touch AC. That's a niche dodge bonuses fill in pretty well.
    Of course some options are better than the others. If you have to take Combat Expertise for some reason (say, as a requirement for Improve Trip) why not make it's AC bonus actually significant?
    Could you use your feats for better damage? Yeah, you could. You could also engage in battlefield control. What if that's not what you want? What if you want a warrior that is a good at avoiding attacks because he is that good, not because he bought a suit of magical armor? Or rather - he defends himself better than a guy with just a suit of magical armor because he has the armor in addition to his skill.
    Compared to most melee combos, optimizing CE requires very low investment. It's meant (and it's mentioned in the OP as well) to suplement other tricks, not to stand on it's own.
    EDIT: Edited the OP with extra info on why it should be suplementary.
    Thanks for the feedback, Person Man.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-12-06 at 01:25 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Cieyrin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    What if you want a warrior that is a good at avoiding attacks because he is that good, not because he bought a suit of magical armor? Or rather - he defends himself better than a guy with just a suit of magical armor because he has the armor in addition to his skill.
    It's a common trope to weapon masters that they can be nigh unhittable without being decked out from head to toe in steel. It's also a pain to represent in D&D without being a Duelist/Invisible Blade/Bladesinger or having UA's Defense Bonus in play. So, I don't mind having a guide to evoking that image.

    Also, it still bugs me that Combat Expertise is capped and Power Attack isn't. The cap should never have existed, as optimization has clearly shown that AC has lesser returns at higher levels.

    I'm also curious to how raw legal Dodge alternatives are to getting effects like Elusive Target and Words Given Form to kick in, as well as whether you can sacrifice BAB to both Power Attack and Combat Expertise separately or whether they both draw from the same BAB pool.
    Goblin Cannon Crew avatar by Vrythas.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Gnome Gun Mage avatar by NEO|Phyte
    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    Damn you Cieyrin! Cieyrin!!!!!read as Khaaaaan!

    My badges! :D
    My Homebrew
    The Gunslinger's Handbook
    Archetype Combo List!

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    AstralFire's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Cloak Dance fit in there somewhere?


    a steampunk fantasy ♦ the novelthe album

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by evil0ne View Post
    anyone in here familiar with Everquest game? if someone had already played this game, can you please suggest a best Power Leveling set.... thanks..
    Wait, what?!?!?!

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Thurbane's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Terra Australis
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    The Tactical Soldier PrC (MH) gets Defensive Shield (Ex) as a 4th level ability. When fighting defensively, he grants up to two adjacent allies a +2 dodge bonus to AC.

    Feats -
    Active Shield Defense: (PHB 2) Make AoOs without penalty when fighting defensively
    Defensive Strike: (PHB 2) Attack opponent next round at +4 bonus if you are missed using total defense action
    Melee Evasion: (PHB 2) While fighting defensively, negate foe's attack
    Recitation of the Fortified State: (ToM) Gain a natural armour bonus while using the total defense action

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    I've seen people try to make optimized defensive AC machines. The end results are usually unplayable. Nothing stops the monsters from just going over and hitting someone else, and since many higher level monsters target something other than AC (saves, usually) all that energy spent on defense ends up being wasted. It just doesn't work too well. So far, I've seen nothing in this thread to indicate otherwise.

    Meanwhile, there IS a Warblade maneuver for doing that weapon master thing. You use your attack bonus as your AC. This lets you be a threat on the battlefield and have that nice little "you can't hit me" trick... even if you used Shock Trooper this round.

    JaronK

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    absolmorph's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    A place with no pants

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Actually, true_shinken, Shield Ward.
    Your shield bonus to AC applies to your touch AC and is a bonus against some combat maneuvers.
    However, this is still a handy guide. Well done.
    Last edited by absolmorph; 2010-12-06 at 09:48 PM.
    Some men just want to watch the world shift uncomfortably in its seat.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Kylarra View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by absolmorph View Post
    I happen to like screwing around with Handle Animal.
    Red Mage, is that you?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rawhide View Post
    Now you're cranking it up to eleven.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimonite View Post
    A week ago, I didn't know who you were. Now I know: you're the BEST PERSON EVER.
    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    You seem to be having trouble with the idea that a rulebook can contradict itself, because it shouldn't, but...WotC.

    If you're reading this for some reason, you can find me in a few places on the web as azoicennead.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Amechra's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Where I live.

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Well, I would play one. Our games are low op because most of the players are new to DnD.

    So this is useful for me. Thank you, True_Shinken.

    Edit: Actually, since Lingering Defence still counts as being from Combat Expertise, you could use it to continually stack with itself:
    BAB 15 (let's assume)
    1. (Improved Combat Expertise): -15 attack, +15 Dodge AC.
    2. (Improved Combat Expertise+Graceful Lunge): +0 Attack, +15 Dodge AC.
    3. (Improved Combat Expertise+Lingering Defense): -15 Attack, +30 Dodge AC.
    4. (Improved Combat Expertise+Graceful Lunge): +15 Attack, +15 Dodge AC.
    Repeat 3 and 4. If you want something with a better to-hit, use Lingering Defense a bunch of round in a row.

    Of course, this comes from my reading Combat Expertise's limit as applying only to the amount you can take out of your attack, not the maximum amount of AC. I'm assuming this because Power Attack isn't limited to only BAB to damage...

    Alright, so basically, if you want a rather silly NPC, have one that combines this, Stone Power (Reduce attack to get some temporary HP, caps at 10) and Lady's Gambit (Sacrifice health for bonuses to attack and damage, limited by your BAB), and use a Kalashtar Barbarian 2/Fighter 8, as fights with him would look like this without even using rage:
    1st: (Improved Combat Expertise): -10 Attack, +10 Dodge AC.
    2nd: (Improved Combat Expertise+Graceful Lunge+Lady's Gambit+Stone Power+Power Attack w/ a twohanded weapon): +10 Dodge AC, -15 Attack, +25 Damage
    3rd: (Improved Combat Expertise+Lingering Defense+Lady's Gambit+Stone Power): +20 Dodge AC, +5 damage, -15 Attack
    4th: (Improved Combat Expertise+Graceful Lunge+Lady's Gambit+Stone Power+Power Attack w/ a twohanded weapon): +10 Dodge AC, -5 Attack, +25 Damage

    Just constantly repeats the 3rd and 4th rounds.
    Once we hit 20th, then it becomes (assume we took Arcan Duelist 3 somehow, and are buffed with Divine Might)

    1st: (Improved Combat Expertise): -20 Attack, +20 Dodge AC.
    2nd: (Improved Combat Expertise+Graceful Lunge+Lady's Gambit+Stone Power+Power Attack w/ a twohanded weapon+Dexterous Attack): +20 Dodge AC, +0 Attack, +30 Damage, -10 HP
    3rd: (Improved Combat Expertise+Lingering Defense+Lady's Gambit+Stone Power+Dexterous Attack+Power Attack w/ a twohanded weapon): +40 Dodge AC, +30 damage, -20 Attack, -10 HP
    4th: (Improved Combat Expertise+Graceful Lunge+Lady's Gambit+Stone Power+Power Attack w/ a twohanded weapon+Dexterous Attack): +20 Dodge Ac, +20 Attack, +30 Damage, -10 HP.

    Repeat 3 and 4 until dead. Have fun. Or, use round 3 over and over to get an obscene attack bonus on round 4; each round he does so, the resulting attack bonus goes up by 20...
    And in the meanwhile, his ac goes up by 20 each round. So he essentially turtles until he just hits people. Hits them without any chance of missing. Unless they have some form of miss chance.

    Gets even better if you factor in Ranger levels with Favored Power Attack; If you do this, the damage each round goes up from 30 to 50...

    Only problem is that you're on a timer...
    Last edited by Amechra; 2010-12-11 at 06:58 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    Well, I would play one. Our games are low op because most of the players are new to DnD.

    So this is useful for me. Thank you, True_Shinken.
    Thanks a lot ^^
    Also, your build seems very interesting. Mind if I add it to the guide?

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ponyville
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    Craven (Champions of Ruin): If you have sneak attack (probably from Rogue levels), this feat alone might make Two-weapon Fighting worth it. I dislike the flavour but if you don't mind being a coward, take it.
    Superior Unarmed Strike & Snap Kick (Tome of Battle): If you took Monk levels, you really should take these feats as well. They will improve your damage output considerably.
    Umm, unless I'm really missing something, I don't think either of these belongs on the "Defensive" guide.
    [retired]

    Horribly out of date guide goes here:
    Oradin Guide

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Amechra's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Where I live.

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    Thanks a lot ^^
    Also, your build seems very interesting. Mind if I add it to the guide?
    Sure, go ahead!

    Also, you might want to add Factotum as a nice class to have, especially since they can get extra standard actions. That+Deft Strike (Bypass Natural and Armor bonuses to AC) is nice.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by grarrrg View Post
    Umm, unless I'm really missing something, I don't think either of these belongs on the "Defensive" guide.
    It's just an afterthought. If you already dipped Monk or Rogue, they're good choices. Added them because of the common issue that high AC by itself is not very useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    Sure, go ahead!
    Do you have a name for that build, btw?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •