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    Default The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    The Spiked Chain Master

    Prerequisites:

    To become a spiked chain master, you must meet the following prerequisites:

    Base Attack Bonus: +5
    Feats: Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Spiked Chain, Improved Trip, Combat Reflexes

    HD: d10

    Class Skills: The spiked chain master's class skills are Balance, Climb, Craft, Escape Artist, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Jump, Profession, Ride, Swim, Tumble, and Use Rope.

    Skill Points: 4+Int per level

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|+1|+2|+0|+0| Spiked Chain Mastery +1, Thunder Strike

    2nd|+2|+3|+0|+0| Superior Trip

    3rd|+3|+3|+1|+1| Spiked Chain Mastery +2, Iron Snake

    4th|+4|+4|+1|+1| Superior Reflexes

    5th|+5|+4|+1|+1| Spiked Chain Mastery +3, Chain Charmer

    6th|+6|+5|+2|+2| Trip Master

    7th|+7|+5|+2|+2| Spiked Chain Mastery +4, Superior Feint

    8th|+8|+6|+2|+2| Reflex Master

    9th|+9|+6|+3|+3| Spiked Chain Mastery +5, Wild Swing

    10th|+10|+7|+3|+3| Combination Attack[/table]

    Class Features:

    The following are class features of the spiked chain master.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The spiked chain master is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as light, medium, and heavy armor. The spiked chain master does not gain proficiency with shields.

    Spiked Chain Mastery (Ex): The spiked chain master gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls he makes with a spiked chain. This bonus increases by +1 at 3rd level, and every two levels after that, to a maximum of +5 at 9th level. Additionally, any spiked chain the spiked chain master wields is treated as magical for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction and striking incorporeal creatures.

    The bonus from Spiked Chain Mastery also counts as the spiked chain's enhancement bonus for all the spiked chain master's class features that consider the spiked chain's enhancement bonus, unless the spiked chain's actual enhancement bonus is higher.

    Thunder Strike (Ex): A spiked chain master is capable of shifting the focus of his attack away from ripping and tearing his opponent with spikes, to smashing their faces in with the ends of his chains. As a standard action, a spiked chain master may make a Thunder Strike. A Thunder Strike is a very precise attack, and requires that the spiked chain master hold his weapon steady. Because of this extra care, the spiked chain master is unable to put his full weight behind the attack, and so he only adds his Strength modifier to his damage roll if the attack hits instead of 1 1/2 times his Strength modifier, as if he was using the spiked chain as a one-handed weapon.

    The spiked chain master makes a single melee attack at his highest attack bonus. If the attack hits, the spiked chain deals bludgeoning damage, rather than piercing damage and the target must make a Fortitude save (DC 10+the spiked chain master's class level + the spiked chain master's Strength modifier) or be dazed for 1 round.

    Superior Trip (Ex): At 2nd level, a spiked chain master receives a +4 bonus on all Trip checks he makes with a spiked chain, and is able to Trip any creature, regardless of its Size.

    Iron Snake (Ex): At 3rd level, a spiked chain master gains the Improved Grab special attack with his spiked chain, except it works on a creature of any Size category, up to one Size larger than the spiked chain used to grab it. If the spiked chain master hits a creature, he may immediately attempt to start a grapple without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. Unlike most grapples, this ability involves wrapping the chain around the creature. As such, the spiked chain master is not considered grappled, and retains his Dexterity bonus to his AC against other creatures. The spiked chain master still does not threaten any other squares while he is grappling in this way. The size limitation on this grapple check uses the spiked chain's size rather than the master's. Additionally, the spiked chain master gains a circumstance bonus to his grapple checks made with his spiked chain equal to the spiked chain's enhancement bonus.

    The spiked chain master gains a constrict attack with his spiked chain, allowing him to deal damage equal to his spiked chain's damage plus 1 1/2 times his Strength modifier on a successful grapple attack. This damage is treated as both bludgeoning and piercing damage.

    A creature may make a Strength attempt to break the spiked chain while they are grappled. This is a full round action that provokes an attack of opportunity from the spiked chain master, who may use the AoO to make a Constrict attack against the creature's AC rather than making a grapple check. The DC for the Strength check is equal to 10+the spiked chain master's class level+the spiked chain master's Strength modifier+the spiked chain's enhancement bonus. If the creature succeeds the check, the chain is forced off of the creature, but it is not broken unless the grappled creature's natural weapons are made of adamantine.

    Superior Reflexes (Ex): At 4th level, a spiked chain master may add his spiked chain's enhancement bonus to the number of attacks of opportunity he may make per round with that spiked chain.

    Chain Charmer (Sp): At 5th level, a spiked chain master's skill with his chains is almost supernatural. At will, the spiked chain master may manipulate any type of chain within 60 ft as if he cast the animate rope spell on it, with a caster level equal to his character level.

    Trip Master (Ex): At level 6, a spiked chain master adds his spiked chain's enhancement bonus to his Trip attempts made with that spiked chain. Additionally, a dwarf or a creature with four or more legs no longer receives a Stability bonus to resist Trip attempts made by the spiked chain master using his spiked chain.

    Superior Feint (Ex): At level 7, a spiked chain master's reflexes have sharpened so much that he is able to direct his normally instinctive attacks as if he had the time to think them through. Whenever a creature provokes an attack of opportunity from the spiked chain master, the spiked chain master may use his attack of opportunity to instead make a single melee or Trip attack against any creature he threatens (even if it is not the creature that provoked the AoO)

    Reflex Master (Ex): At level 8, a spiked chain master doubles his reach with his spiked chain. A level 8 human spiked chain master has a reach of 20' with his spiked chain, and threatens all squares within 20 feet of him. Additionally, enemies treat all squares the spiked chain master threatens as difficult terrain.

    Wild Swing (Ex): At 9th level, the spiked chain master's experience with his weapon is so great that he is able to execute daring attacks without risking harm to himself. As a full-round action, the spiked chain master may swing his spiked chain in a full circle. He makes a single melee attack at his highest attack bonus against every creature within his reach. (The spiked chain master is unable to control the swing well enough to guide it around allies. If an ally is within his reach, he must make an attack roll against them too.)

    This attack is so powerful that the spiked chain master is able to build up momentum similar to if he had initiated a charge on all creatures he attacked. He receives a +2 bonus on his attack rolls, and a -2 bonus on his AC, and every attack he rolls is treated as a charge for all related effects, such as the Shock Trooper feat and the Leap Attack feat, however, the spiked chain master cannot actually move during the attack (he may still jump in the air, as long as he lands in the same square(s) he was occupying before the jump)

    Even if the spiked chain master has an ability that allows him to make a full attack at the end of a charge, he may only attack each creature within his reach once with this ability.

    Combination Attack (Ex): A level 10, when a spiked chain master successfully Trips an opponent with an attack of opportunity, he may make a full attack against that enemy instead of a single attack (This ability augments the free attack made by the Improved Trip, it does not stack with it).
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-02-28 at 05:48 PM.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Hrm, I have a fighter/rogue who's gone into Master of Chains (VERY slightly modified to come in line with 3.5, double chain grants 2wf, then improved 2wf comes at level 8, scare DC scales with level), and although this is not too shabby as a class, it doesn't really feel like an improvement of the original v3.0 PrC. It is agruably more potent in combat, certainly with the trips and the capstone (very nice btw), but it lacks the flavour of the original.

    Consider this, the MoC gets a fear effect, double chain, a control chains ability which functions almost exactly like control rope, chain armour (arguably the best non-magical armour option you could get for a MoC, high AC & max Dex, low ACP) and climb fighting.

    In comparison, these guys get better damage, tripping and a few more AoO. Reflex Master could be nice, but needs rewording for clarity.

    See my point? I do like this though, it rewards a spiked chain wielder with a damage increase, something sorely lacking from MoC except the flat +2 damage they gain.
    Last edited by Veklim; 2011-10-06 at 05:43 AM.
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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Veklim View Post
    snip
    I don't play 3.0. Don't have any 3.0 material save Champions of Ruin and Book of Vile Darkness. I have no idea what you're talking about.

    What do you think is unclear about Reflex Master?

    Edit: Let me rephrase. You wrote your post under the assumption that I knew this...Master of Chains PrC...and was writing a 3.5 version of it. However, I was completely unaware of its existence, and writing this PrC simply from my own imagination. So, while you describe this class's features and compare them to mine, I'm sitting here thinking "what's the point of that?"

    To be honest, I'd rather you just PEACH the class as it is instead of comparing it to a class with a similar premise but nothing really in common from a previous edition.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-10-06 at 11:30 AM.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Why does it give any shield proficiency at all, much less tower/exotic? A spiked chain is a two-handed weapon.

    Reflex Master has a few problems. Among them the fact that a human with a spiked chain has a base reach of 10 feet, so doubling it would only give you a 20 ft reach. Which is still really good. Maybe it's tolerable on its own, but adding in the difficult terrain and all the tripping bonuses you give...

    There's a lot in this class about tripping. Probably too much. There are other cool spiked chain things you can give. Bonuses to disarm, for example. The ability to wield a spiked chain as a double weapon. Throwing your chain. Etc.

    As it is now, the class is built around taking a slightly-cheesy strategy (back up, trip, oppotunity attack, trip, repeat ad nauseum- http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0216.html) and making it even more powerful. Not sure what that means for game balance, but it makes for an awfully limited character.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    My apologies Neo, I didn't realise this at all! Perhaps it's worth looking up the class, for reference it's Sword & Fist pg 27.

    I did still PEACH, but assumed you knew of the WotC PrC already existant. Most of what I said is essentially pointless, it's just such an iconic PrC (in my mind at least, waited years to play one!) that I just kinda assumed everyone knew it!

    As the class stands at present, I agree totally with Grod, it's limited but pretty powerful in it's niche, a common problem for any melee PrC, to be sure, but there's plenty of room for expansion and improvement on this so don't think I'm slamming your creations!
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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Neo have you thought of how to mix in or how this will work with Dancing Chains (BoVD)?
    I'd love to see a class use one of my favorite spells.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Why does it give any shield proficiency at all, much less tower/exotic? A spiked chain is a two-handed weapon.
    Oh whoops. I figured I'd give this class a fighter chassis for free, to reward any class that got in without actually being a fighter, but I guess I overdid it. Removing the shield proficiency now.

    Reflex Master has a few problems. Among them the fact that a human with a spiked chain has a base reach of 10 feet, so doubling it would only give you a 20 ft reach. Which is still really good. Maybe it's tolerable on its own, but adding in the difficult terrain and all the tripping bonuses you give...
    So what you're saying is giving melee reasonable battlefield control is "too good"?

    There's a lot in this class about tripping. Probably too much. There are other cool spiked chain things you can give. Bonuses to disarm, for example. The ability to wield a spiked chain as a double weapon. Throwing your chain. Etc.
    Yeah, I can't picture throwing a spiked chain without hurting yourself. At all. If I were wielding one of those things, I'd keep a very firm grip on it to make sure it only went where I wanted it to go.

    As for disarm, well, if I gave the class bonuses to Disarm, I'd have to make Improved Disarm a prerequisite feat, and that would just make the class not worth it at all, in my opinion. Too many prerequisite feats makes a prestige class almost impossible to get into.

    And a spiked chain isn't a double weapon. If a person was able to wield it as a double weapon at all, it'd be a double weapon already. You can't just make up a class feature that lets you use a dagger or a kurisari-gama as a double weapon.

    Yes, the spiked chain has two ends, but those ends don't work together in a combination the same way that a quarterstaff or a lynxpaw or an orc double axe do. If they did, the spiked chain would already be a double weapon.

    As it is now, the class is built around taking a slightly-cheesy strategy (back up, trip, oppotunity attack, trip, repeat ad nauseum- http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0216.html) and making it even more powerful. Not sure what that means for game balance, but it makes for an awfully limited character.
    That's true, but I prefer simple, focused characters. Most of my homebrew doesn't give many options because I don't really want to give too many options. If I wanted more options, I'd play a caster.

    Edit: Sorry, let me try to phrase that better. Your point about this class being narrow is valid, but the goal of this class is not to give broad options. I suppose what I'm saying is, if you looked at JaronK's Tier System, I'd be aiming for a Tier 4, not a Tier 3 (Reasonably good at its niche, but not particularly useful at anything else)
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-10-07 at 01:38 PM.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    If you don't have much 3.0, why does Spiked Chain Mastery mention DR/+3 (which doesn't exist in 3.5)? Did you grandfather this one rule in from the previous edition?
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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Yes, the spiked chain has two ends, but those ends don't work together in a combination the same way that a quarterstaff or a lynxpaw or an orc double axe do. If they did, the spiked chain would already be a double weapon.
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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    I agree that you focus a bit too much on tripping. Maybe just have additional effects for disarming and tripping, such as when you disarm the weapon flys further away. Deal damage on a trip. Maybe let you use the chain to grapple people or use the chain like bolas. You can do a lot thematically here more than just flat bonuses.

    Also, 10 levels seems a bit excessive to me...

    When I imagine a spiked chain master I see the chain spinning around a lot. Maybe high Ref. saves, uncanny dodge are in order. Maybe free deflect arrows ala Duelist would work too.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    So what you're saying is giving melee reasonable battlefield control is "too good"?
    On first glance, it seemed mighty powerful, but I may well be wrong. I'm not super-great at evaluating that sort of thing on paper.

    Yeah, I can't picture throwing a spiked chain without hurting yourself. At all. If I were wielding one of those things, I'd keep a very firm grip on it to make sure it only went where I wanted it to go.
    You have a point. It was a pretty random suggestion.

    As for disarm, well, if I gave the class bonuses to Disarm, I'd have to make Improved Disarm a prerequisite feat, and that would just make the class not worth it at all, in my opinion. Too many prerequisite feats makes a prestige class almost impossible to get into.
    That certainly is true, and Disarm isn't that good to begin with.

    And a spiked chain isn't a double weapon. If a person was able to wield it as a double weapon at all, it'd be a double weapon already. You can't just make up a class feature that lets you use a dagger or a kurisari-gama as a double weapon.

    Yes, the spiked chain has two ends, but those ends don't work together in a combination the same way that a quarterstaff or a lynxpaw or an orc double axe do. If they did, the spiked chain would already be a double weapon.
    Have you looked at the picture? It makes more visual sense as a double weapon than a two-handed one.

    Then again, I suppose it doesn't make too much sense for this tripping-focused class, so again, eh.

    Edit: Sorry, let me try to phrase that better. Your point about this class being narrow is valid, but the goal of this class is not to give broad options. I suppose what I'm saying is, if you looked at JaronK's Tier System, I'd be aiming for a Tier 4, not a Tier 3 (Reasonably good at its niche, but not particularly useful at anything else)
    On the other hand, you have to keep in mind that the class has to be played as well. Repeatedly using the same tactic gets boring for a lot of people-- and worse, tripping can become irrelevant quickly. Even with Improved, Superior, and Trip Master, a nice big giant, say, isn't going to be easy to trip. A dragon would be worse. And oozes, flying creatures, incorporeal creatures, and so on will just laugh at you.
    I'm not saying that focusing on one thing is bad, per se, but don't make the player just stand there while harpies pick his allies off one-by-one.

    Oh, and I just noticed that the wording for Combination Attack is kind of confusing. If you successfully trip someone, do you get a standard attack, a full attack, or both?

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    If you don't have much 3.0, why does Spiked Chain Mastery mention DR/+3 (which doesn't exist in 3.5)? Did you grandfather this one rule in from the previous edition?
    Does it not? I seem to recall reading a few demons/devils with DR/+4, etc, in the Fiend Codex or the Book of Nine Hells...

    Have you looked at the picture? It makes more visual sense as a double weapon than a two-handed one.
    I have looked at that picture. And to me, I don't see how on earth one would wield that. Those two holes on the top are too close to the first set of spikes to hold them without risking cutting yourself, especially if you attack with them one after the other, therefore letting one hand go lax while you put all your momentum into the other hand. To me, the safest, and I use that term loosely, way to wield the weapon in that picture is to hold it in the dead center with both hands and swing one edge towards your opponent.

    Regardless, I don't like breaking rules for classes just because an arguable interpretation "makes sense". I generally follow the rules set by WotC for all things, save the size limitations on combat maneuvers.

    I'm not saying that focusing on one thing is bad, per se, but don't make the player just stand there while harpies pick his allies off one-by-one.
    Er...melee always has problems with flying enemies. Always. You need to either get an item that lets you fly, or carry a bow around. Relying on a class to fix that for you isn't the answer.

    On the other hand, you have to keep in mind that the class has to be played as well. Repeatedly using the same tactic gets boring for a lot of people-- and worse, tripping can become irrelevant quickly.
    The class has equal parts Tripping and AoO support. Double range lets you attack safely from a distance as well as protecting your nearby allies if an enemy comes closer to you than to them. All areas you threaten as difficult terrain prevents 5' steps, making AoOs that much easier for you to pull off.

    If it helps though, I agree with you. That's why I asked for PEACH, to get some ideas for more options than Tripping and AoOs. Unfortunately, I haven't really agreed with any suggestions anyone's made yet. That's the problem with a spiked chain, everyone has different ideas about how one is supposed to be used, since they don't actually exist.

    Oh, and I just noticed that the wording for Combination Attack is kind of confusing. If you successfully trip someone, do you get a standard attack, a full attack, or both?
    Full attack only.

    When I imagine a spiked chain master I see the chain spinning around a lot.
    I don't. That just seems dangerous to me.

    Deal damage on a trip
    The Improved Trip feat, which is a prerequisite for the class, allows you to make follow up attacks on a successful trip, so you already deal damage on a Trip. The capstone, Combination Attack, lets you full attack on a successful Trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanuman
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    Er...no. Sorry, but that's not going to convince me, as those weapons aren't covered in dangerous spikes that could easily hurt the wielder with one wrong move.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Does it not? I seem to recall reading a few demons/devils with DR/+4, etc, in the Fiend Codex or the Book of Nine Hells...
    I think that you're thinking of the BoVD. It was a purely 3.0 thing.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2011-10-08 at 12:18 AM.
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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    I think that you're thinking of the BoVD (or maybe the MM II if you have it). It was a purely 3.0 thing.
    Hmm...you're probably right. Ah well. That makes the wording on Spiked Chain Mastery much simpler. I'll go ahead and update it. Thanks RoC.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    I have looked at that picture. And to me, I don't see how on earth one would wield that. Those two holes on the top are too close to the first set of spikes to hold them without risking cutting yourself, especially if you attack with them one after the other, therefore letting one hand go lax while you put all your momentum into the other hand. To me, the safest, and I use that term loosely, way to wield the weapon in that picture is to hold it in the dead center with both hands and swing one edge towards your opponent.
    Hehe, funny thing is I'm actually an authority on this. I spent several years and thousands of hours training TWF tether weapons

    As I see it, from that picture, there's 2 major subschools you could fit this under, first is double meteor hammer, second is puppyhammer.

    The difference between the two is primarily the ratio between the lengths.
    from palms I have 3'9" beween, and I'm a mesomorphic 5'11" male in my 20's with a pretty good build, so I'm fairly average in all respects.
    If the length between the 2 smaller loops is 3'9" and the length between the chain tips and the smaller rings is about 2'6" that'd be about perfect for a puppyhammr ratio, in which case the chain could fit on the shoulderblades and the chains could be held in the hands, allowing for a very large weapon (8'9") but having a huge amount of control. The length between the loops and the chain ends can be longer than that, but a re-angling of the swing would hit your torso if on a horizontal plane as 2'6" is about the length of your palm to your torso.

    In terms of a smaller version of a taught tether weapon it could follow a meteor hammer (being about 6-7' long maximum.

    For a lighter model, such as a mithreal weapon it could be easily wielded as 2 individual tethers attached to a central point as long as you fight in patterns of winding and unwinding, it requires more training but that's the difference between a quarterstaff (simple) and a spiked chain (exotic).

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    I don't. That just seems dangerous to me.
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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Really nice class, but Reflex Master seems really powerful, if you have a high enough bonus to hit, and a high Dexterity, you could effectively lock down several enemies, making actions on their end almost impossible. Maybe you could only apply the difficult terrain on their original spiked chain range, as opposed to the doubled reach.
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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    And a spiked chain isn't a double weapon. If a person was able to wield it as a double weapon at all, it'd be a double weapon already.
    hrrrm...
    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Regardless, I don't like breaking rules for classes just because an arguable interpretation "makes sense". I generally follow the rules set by WotC for all things, save the size limitations on combat maneuvers.
    oh dear...

    WotC published Master of Chains, and it has double chain as an ability, allowing you to weild as a double weapon without reach instead of 2 handed with reach. In essence, it's no different to treating a one handed weapon as light, or using throw anything (which would allow you to throw the chain btw, albeit at nominal damage). WotC have been doing this sort of stuff for years, the idea of the Dervish with oversized 2 weapon fighting dual wielding large sized scimitars is arguably FAR more ridiculous than using the spiked chain as a double weapon, and THAT'S in the rules already, in 3.5.

    Reflex master is still wrong, you only have a standard 10' reach with a spiked chain, so doubling it gives you 20' reach, not 30'. This is what Grod was saying, not that it's a bad idea, just the numbers are wrong.
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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    TBH I find the idea of using a spiked chain of this make an oversized TWF with derv scimitars near equal in difficulty to master. The physics of the scimitars would allow a lot of the weight from the currently non-held blade to be carried by the ground, pivoting on the blade tip like a coat-rack prop dance, ducking underneath with the dance's flow. Problem with that much metal is the amount of strength it would take to do a carry through a non-orbited movement, and isn't meant for 10 str. Mind you the effectiveness of the dervishes dance to begin with is only due to an unnatural ability to dance in combat so you can flavor it how you want.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Veklim View Post
    oh dear...

    WotC published Master of Chains, and it has double chain as an ability, allowing you to weild as a double weapon without reach instead of 2 handed with reach. In essence, it's no different to treating a one handed weapon as light, or using throw anything (which would allow you to throw the chain btw, albeit at nominal damage). WotC have been doing this sort of stuff for years, the idea of the Dervish with oversized 2 weapon fighting dual wielding large sized scimitars is arguably FAR more ridiculous than using the spiked chain as a double weapon, and THAT'S in the rules already, in 3.5.
    Okay. But why would you want to use a spiked chain as a double weapon? You lose your 1 1/2 Str bonus, and in exchange, you get to hit twice with a 2d4 weapon, but at a reduced attack penalty, and you need to take the Two-Weapon Fighting feat to make it work at all.

    Add to the fact that the Two-Weapon Fighting feat requires a minimum Dexterity score, which is not good for a fighter, and the four prerequisite feats for this class, and it's just insane!

    If this Master of Chains PrC granted double-weapon spiked chain fighting, fine. I'll buy it. Still, double weapons are terrible. And adding that ability to my class would just encourage MAD and feat taxes without really giving anything other than a stylistic approach to fighting.

    Reflex master is still wrong, you only have a standard 10' reach with a spiked chain, so doubling it gives you 20' reach, not 30'. This is what Grod was saying, not that it's a bad idea, just the numbers are wrong.
    Oh crap. I didn't even notice that I had mistyped that. Thank you. Edited.

    Really nice class, but Reflex Master seems really powerful, if you have a high enough bonus to hit, and a high Dexterity, you could effectively lock down several enemies, making actions on their end almost impossible. Maybe you could only apply the difficult terrain on their original spiked chain range, as opposed to the doubled reach.
    Considering that the frenzied berserker PrC gives you +10 Str, haste and Supreme Power Attack, the cavalry PrC gives you the ability to deal quintuple damage on a charge 5 times a day, and the Master of Nine PrC, well..yeah...I think it's justified to give melee a good battlefield control option in a PrC. Melee gets all its decent power from PrCs, and if you want to make a melee PrC, it has to compete with all the others.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-10-08 at 02:13 PM.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    and the Master of Nine PrC, well..yeah...
    What are you talking about? Master of Nine is decidedly 'meh.' The abilities are nice, but not really worth all of the prerequisite feats.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateral View Post
    What are you talking about? Master of Nine is decidedly 'meh.' The abilities are nice, but not really worth all of the prerequisite feats.
    That depends. If you're playing with flaws, and you pick unarmed swordsage as your base class, you get four feats at level 1. (Improved Unarmed Strike, Adaptive Style, Improved Iniative, Blind-Fight). Five if you're playing a human. So if you're playing with flaws, I think it's very worth it.

    Outside of flaws, I agree that you would get into the PrC later than I would like, but the ridiculous maneuver progression, the free +1 to all maneuver DCs, and the nice capstone make up for it, in my opinion.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Neo I think the point they're trying to get at is that your class really is very narrowly focused. It needs -something- else besides AoO and Tripping. Whether that's extra help on Disarming (since that's something Spiked Chains actually get but most people ignore), or making it a double weapon, or making it a throwing weapon, or whatever, it needs something more.

    Alternatively, squeezing it down to a 5 level prestige class would work as well. The class's features as they are simply aren't worth spending 10 levels on. They make you really strong in one niche area, and outside of that niche you're totally useless. It's the Fighter's quandary squared.


    Or if you really insist on keeping it 10 levels and the narrow focus, give some abilities to deal with other threats. A dimensional lock within your reach preventing creatures from teleporting away. The ability to react to an enemy taking a 5 ft step or withdrawal action. The ability to use your chain to grapple a flying opponent to the ground, or wrap it around the dragon's neck and use it to help ride the dragon.

    By the time you've finished this class, you've invested at least 15 levels and 3 feats into this weapon, you should be doing awesome things with it. Sure, tripping a tarrasque while being a pixie is pretty awesome, but there's so much more you can do there. Instead what you have is bigger numbers. That's ****ing boring. Anyone can do most of the **** you do, you just do it a little better.
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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    There. Added Thunder Strike, Iron Snake, Chain Charmer, Superior Feint, and Wild Swing. The spiked chain master now has plenty of different flavorful abilities to use.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    There. Added Thunder Strike, Iron Snake, Chain Charmer, Superior Feint, and Wild Swing. The spiked chain master now has plenty of different flavorful abilities to use.
    Much better. Though I'd personally still go with no teleporting within the chain master's reach over chain charmer (which is kind of random honestly), but either way it definitely looks better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Much better. Though I'd personally still go with no teleporting within the chain master's reach over chain charmer (which is kind of random honestly), but either way it definitely looks better.
    Well, Chain Charmer is for out of combat use. Animate rope is a nice utility spell.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Ahhah! Much better dude, suddenly this class has a choice in each round! Especially liking superior feint and iron snake, you might wanna make chain charmer effect ALL chains instead of only spiked chains though, it's a bit specific to be truly useful in all but the most random/contrived of situations. Wild swing is a great idea too, whirlwind attack is every MoC player's dream, but it's nigh impossible to reach due to feat reqs, this gives it to you with only the tiny trouble of hitting friends as well as foes, but that never bothered me much before!

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Okay. But why would you want to use a spiked chain as a double weapon? You lose your 1 1/2 Str bonus, and in exchange, you get to hit twice with a 2d4 weapon, but at a reduced attack penalty, and you need to take the Two-Weapon Fighting feat to make it work at all.
    I actually agree with this point, which is why I remodelled the MoC so that double chain granted 2wf (and later imp 2wf) for the spiked chain only, regardless of Dex score. I also know that it's kinda hard to see why you'd want to use the chain as a double weapon until you play about a bit with one, then it becomes more obvious. If you're surrounded by 5 enemies and you only have 3 attacks then things can get hairy, so you switch to 2wf and can suddenly trip all 5 enemies...or at least attempt to. It gives more options up close and personal, especially when surrounded (something I deliberately engineer to happen with my dude, because he's so effective when he's surrounded that it's kinda unfair on the enemies sometimes!). Combine that with any one of many percentile/critical weapon enhancements and you miss the 1 1/2 str far less all of a sudden as you become statistically guaranteed 1.5 criticals per round and deal the enchantments damage bonus of your weapon more times. It's only a -2/-2, that's nothing for a specialised fighter by mid levels really, I take a larger penalty every round just power attacking!

    All in all, the class looks more useful and far more interesting now, it's actually becoming more of a mundane combat control PrC, something I've always enjoyed playing.
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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Veklim View Post
    Ahhah! Much better dude, suddenly this class has a choice in each round! Especially liking superior feint and iron snake, you might wanna make chain charmer effect ALL chains instead of only spiked chains though, it's a bit specific to be truly useful in all but the most random/contrived of situations. Wild swing is a great idea too, whirlwind attack is every MoC player's dream, but it's nigh impossible to reach due to feat reqs, this gives it to you with only the tiny trouble of hitting friends as well as foes, but that never bothered me much before!
    Fixed Chain Charmer. And yeah, Whirlwind Attack is a nice feat. I have no idea why it requires Spring Attack. Personally, I think Combat Expertise and a +6 BAB would suffice.

    Out of all the new options though, Iron Snake is my favorite. I like the idea of using a spiked chain to Constrict.

    I actually agree with this point, which is why I remodelled the MoC so that double chain granted 2wf (and later imp 2wf) for the spiked chain only, regardless of Dex score. I also know that it's kinda hard to see why you'd want to use the chain as a double weapon until you play about a bit with one, then it becomes more obvious. If you're surrounded by 5 enemies and you only have 3 attacks then things can get hairy, so you switch to 2wf and can suddenly trip all 5 enemies...or at least attempt to. It gives more options up close and personal, especially when surrounded (something I deliberately engineer to happen with my dude, because he's so effective when he's surrounded that it's kinda unfair on the enemies sometimes!). Combine that with any one of many percentile/critical weapon enhancements and you miss the 1 1/2 str far less all of a sudden as you become statistically guaranteed 1.5 criticals per round and deal the enchantments damage bonus of your weapon more times. It's only a -2/-2, that's nothing for a specialised fighter by mid levels really, I take a larger penalty every round just power attacking!

    All in all, the class looks more useful and far more interesting now, it's actually becoming more of a mundane combat control PrC, something I've always enjoyed playing.
    The Spiked Chain Master PrC originally started out as an idea that I had to fix a type of combat, namely, the AoO/Trip routine with spiked chains. (I make a lot of classes that focus on fixing different types of combat that are generally considered subpar. I have a homebrewed TWF class, a homebrewed Mounted Combat class, a homebrewed evoker class, a homebrewed unarmed combat class, etc)

    Because of that fact, specifically, I was reluctant to include a TWF fix in this class too. I see the merit of your argument, but I didn't want to give free TWF in this class for the reason I explained above, and including the double weapon option without free TWF would have just been silly.

    Glad the new class is more to your liking though!

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Just from a first look, I already really like this class.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    The Spiked Chain Master

    Prerequisites:

    To become a spiked chain master, you must meet the following prerequisites:

    Base Attack Bonus: +5
    Feats: Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Spiked Chain, Improved Trip, Combat Reflexes
    Looks fine to me. Shouldn't be too hard to enter at fifth level, provided you get some of those feats through bonus feats. The most simple entry would be Fighter 5, but you'd be far better off as a Wolf Totem Barbarian or Warblade 5. My favorite entry would probably end up being Factotum 4/WT Barbarian 2, though, even if it delays entry a level- Brains over Brawn is very tasty for any sort of tripper.

    HD: d10

    Class Skills: The spiked chain master's class skills are Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Jump, Profession, Ride, and Swim

    Skill Points: 2+Int per level
    I've never been a fan of 2+Int skill points for noncasters, since it kind of limits out-of-combat uses. I might bump it up to 4+int and add a few more class skills.

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|+1|+2|+0|+0| Spiked Chain Mastery +1, Thunder Strike

    2nd|+2|+3|+0|+0| Superior Trip

    3rd|+3|+3|+1|+1| Spiked Chain Mastery +2, Iron Snake

    4th|+4|+4|+1|+1| Superior Reflexes

    5th|+5|+4|+1|+1| Spiked Chain Mastery +3, Chain Charmer

    6th|+6|+5|+2|+2| Trip Master

    7th|+7|+5|+2|+2| Spiked Chain Mastery +4, Superior Feint

    8th|+8|+6|+2|+2| Reflex Master

    9th|+9|+6|+3|+3| Spiked Chain Mastery +5, Wild Swing

    10th|+10|+7|+3|+3| Combination Attack[/table]
    Plenty of abilities, including one scaling one. Looks good, so long as Spiked Chain Mastery isn't just some paltry bonus to attack or damage.

    Class Features:

    The following are class features of the spiked chain master.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The spiked chain master is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as light, medium, and heavy armor. The spiked chain master does not gain proficiency with shields.
    The entry class would probably already grant many of those, but it's always good to spell it out for the odd build which doesn't grant them. In particular, heavy armor proficiency is nice, since Barbarian will probably be a common entry.

    Spiked Chain Mastery (Ex): The spiked chain master gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls he makes with a spiked chain. This bonus increases by +1 at 3rd level, and every two levels after that, to a maximum of +5 at 9th level. Additionally, any spiked chain the spiked chain master wields is treated as magical for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction and striking incorporeal creatures.
    ...Okay, so it's a paltry bonus to attack and damage. Better, though still not wonderful. It is untyped, though, which is cool. The 'treat as magical' part is nice, especially since the ability is EX and so applies in AMFs. I might add that scaling bonus to Trip checks, too, since you'll be making plenty of those. I know that later abilities grant bonuses, but those aren't untyped, so they'd stack.

    Thunder Strike (Ex): A spiked chain master is capable of shifting the focus of his attack away from ripping and tearing his opponent with spikes, to smashing their faces in with the ends of his chains. As a standard action, a spiked chain master may make a Thunder Strike. A Thunder Strike is a very precise attack, and requires that the spiked chain master hold his weapon steady. Because of this extra care, the spiked chain master is unable to put his full weight behind the attack, and so he only adds his Strength modifier to his damage roll if the attack hits instead of 1 1/2 times his Strength modifier, as if he was using the spiked chain as a one-handed weapon.

    The spiked chain master makes a single melee attack at his highest attack bonus. If the attack hits, the spiked chain deals bludgeoning damage, rather than piercing damage and the target must make a Fortitude save (DC 10+the spiked chain master's class level + the spiked chain master's Strength modifier) or be dazed for 1 round.
    That's kind of cool, although the save DC's kind of low. I might actually change the DC to be equal the damage dealt, like Stand Still. It'd generally end up boosting the DC, since I hope that by 15th level (when you'd finish off the class) you're capable of dealing more than 20 damage on a hit before adding your Strength modifier. Doing Bludgeoning damage is nice, too.

    Superior Trip (Ex): At 2nd level, a spiked chain master receives a +4 competence bonus on all Trip checks he makes with a spiked chain, and is able to Trip any creature, regardless of its Size.
    I might change that bonus type- Competence bonuses are ridiculously common.

    Iron Snake (Ex): At 3rd level, a spiked chain master gains the Improved Grab special attack with his spiked chain. If the spiked chain master hits a creature, he may immediately attempt to start a grapple without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. Unlike most grapples, this ability involves wrapping the chain around the creature. As such, the spiked chain master is not considered grappled, and retains his Dexterity bonus to his AC against other creatures. The spiked chain master still does not threaten any other squares while he is grappling in this way. The size limitation on this grapple check uses the spiked chain's size rather than the master's. Additionally, the spiked chain master gains a circumstance bonus to his grapple checks made with his spiked chain equal to the spiked chain's enhancement bonus.

    The spiked chain master gains a constrict attack with his spiked chain, allowing him to deal bludgeoning damage equal to his spiked chain's damage plus 1 1/2 times his Strength modifier on a successful grapple attack.

    A creature may make a Strength attempt to break the spiked chain while they are grappled. This is a full round action that provokes an attack of opportunity from the spiked chain master, who may use the AoO to make a Constrict attack against the creature's AC rather than making a grapple check. The DC for the Strength check is equal to 10+the spiked chain master's class level+the spiked chain master's Strength modifier+the spiked chain's enhancement bonus. If the creature succeeds the check, the chain is forced off of the creature, but it is not broken unless the grappled creature's natural weapons are made of adamantine.
    Very nice, although I would probably specify that you don't threaten any other squares with your spiked chain- if you're also, say, wearing armor spikes, it doesn't make much sense not to threaten with those. I also might change it so that it doesn't grant Improved Grab, but just has a similar effect- Improved Grab only affects creatures of at least one size smaller than you are. I don't think that was what you intended.

    Having a Constrict ability makes sense, too. Good, although I might make it bludgeoning and piercing damage- if you were to grab and crush someone with a spiked chain, I'd imagine that the spikes would be tearing into them as well.

    Allowing them a way out is good, but they already have a way out- opposed Grapple checks and Escape Artist checks. I might make it so that they can't escape via either of the above- that way, it makes it much harder for sneaky guys to escape, and massive monsters' size bonuses are less important since they don't directly contribute to getting out of the grapple. Also, I might make it so that you use the spiked chain's enhancement bonus or your Spiked Chain Mastery bonus, whichever is higher- that way, you can be free to put enhancements onto your spiked chains instead of higher enhancement bonuses without suffering too much for it.
    Superior Reflexes (Ex): At 4th level, a spiked chain master may add his spiked chain's enhancement bonus to the number of attacks of opportunity he may make per round with that spiked chain.
    Again, I might make it so that it's either the enhancement bonus or the Spiked Chain Mastery bonus. This is really nice, though.

    Chain Charmer (Sp): At 5th level, a spiked chain master's skill with his chains is almost supernatural. At will, the spiked chain master may manipulate any type of chain within 60 ft as if he cast the animate rope spell on it, with a caster level equal to his character level.
    Cool. Like a Kyton, only they don't grow spikes.

    Trip Master (Ex): At level 6, a spiked chain master adds his spiked chain's enhancement bonus to his Trip attempts made with that spiked chain. Additionally, a dwarf or a creature with four or more legs no longer receives a Stability bonus to resist Trip attempts made by the spiked chain master using his spiked chain.
    If you make the change that I outlined under Spiked Chain Mastery, leave this as-is. If you don't then make this either enhancement bonus or Spiked Chain Mastery.

    Superior Feint (Ex): At level 7, a spiked chain master's reflexes have sharpened so much that he is able to direct his normally instinctive attacks as if he had the time to think them through. Whenever a creature provokes an attack of opportunity from the spiked chain master, the spiked chain master may use his attack of opportunity to instead make a single melee or Trip attack against any creature he threatens (even if it is not the creature that provoked the AoO)
    This is excellent.

    Reflex Master (Ex): At level 8, a spiked chain master doubles his reach with his spiked chain. A level 8 human spiked chain master has a reach of 20' with his spiked chain, and threatens all squares within 20 feet of him. Additionally, enemies treat all squares the spiked chain master threatens as difficult terrain.
    Very nice. Like a Knight.

    Wild Swing (Ex): At 9th level, the spiked chain master's experience with his weapon is so great that he is able to execute daring attacks without risking harm to himself. As a full-round action, the spiked chain master may swing his spiked chain in a full circle. He makes a single melee attack at his highest attack bonus against every creature within his reach. (The spiked chain master is unable to control the swing well enough to guide it around allies. If an ally is within his reach, he must make an attack roll against them too.)
    This is okay, since it doesn't need a bunch of feats to get. I might add a bonus to hit or damage, like the Mithral Tornado maneuver.

    Combination Attack (Ex): A level 10, when a spiked chain master successfully Trips an opponent with an attack of opportunity, he may make a full attack against that enemy instead of a single attack (This ability augments the free attack made by the Improved Trip, it does not stack with it).
    Whoa.

    ----
    All in all, I like it. If it were an official class, it'd probably be a staple of nearly every battlefield control, AoO tank-y build ever- it's pretty damn powerful. Maybe even a smidge too powerful, but I don't really see that as a problem. Melee can use nice things.

    Edit:

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    The Spiked Chain Master PrC originally started out as an idea that I had to fix a type of combat, namely, the AoO/Trip routine with spiked chains. (I make a lot of classes that focus on fixing different types of combat that are generally considered subpar. I have a homebrewed TWF class, a homebrewed Mounted Combat class, a homebrewed evoker class, a homebrewed unarmed combat class, etc)
    You know, Spiked Chain tripping really doesn't need fixing- it's already one of the most effective and versatile melee styles out there. A really nice PrC for it is always welcome, but it's already a plenty powerful tanking build; chargers easily out-damage it, but AoO tripper builds are harder to shut down, work in smaller spaces, help defend other party members, create great battlefield control, leave you far less vulnerable, et cetera.
    Last edited by Lateral; 2011-10-08 at 05:48 PM.

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateral View Post

    Looks fine to me. Shouldn't be too hard to enter at fifth level, provided you get some of those feats through bonus feats. The most simple entry would be Fighter 5, but you'd be far better off as a Wolf Totem Barbarian or Warblade 5. My favorite entry would probably end up being Factotum 4/WT Barbarian 2, though, even if it delays entry a level- Brains over Brawn is very tasty for any sort of tripper.
    That is a good way to enter, indeed.

    I've never been a fan of 2+Int skill points for noncasters, since it kind of limits out-of-combat uses. I might bump it up to 4+int and add a few more class skills.
    The class is basically just a souped-up fighter. Fighter proficiencies (except shield), fighter HD, fighter skill points, fighter class skills, full BAB and good Fort.

    Plenty of abilities, including one scaling one. Looks good, so long as Spiked Chain Mastery isn't just some paltry bonus to attack or damage.
    Er...well...

    The entry class would probably already grant many of those, but it's always good to spell it out for the odd build which doesn't grant them. In particular, heavy armor proficiency is nice, since Barbarian will probably be a common entry.
    I've personally always thought that martial prestige classes should give martial weapon and armor training, after all, if you were a cleric who became a prestige paladin, you would have gone through the training necessary to pick up a longsword (I hope).



    That's kind of cool, although the save DC's kind of low. I might actually change the DC to be equal the damage dealt, like Stand Still. It'd generally end up boosting the DC, since I hope that by 15th level (when you'd finish off the class) you're capable of dealing more than 20 damage on a hit before adding your Strength modifier. Doing Bludgeoning damage is nice, too.
    This is the standard formula for prestige class abilities (See the assassin's death attack). Doing bludgeoning damage is also important because it allows the spiked chain to perform Sunder actions, and before you start groaning, it's not as bad as you think...you can now use your spiked chain to break down doors.

    I might change that bonus type- Competence bonuses are ridiculously common.
    Done

    Very nice, although I would probably specify that you don't threaten any other squares with your spiked chain- if you're also, say, wearing armor spikes, it doesn't make much sense not to threaten with those. I also might change it so that it doesn't grant Improved Grab, but just has a similar effect- Improved Grab only affects creatures of at least one size smaller than you are. I don't think that was what you intended.
    I disagree. Coiling the spiked chain takes a lot of concentration. I'd say that you'd still have the ability to dodge and defend yourself, but you wouldn't be able to attack or threaten while you were coiling it around someone else.

    I did change the text on the Improved Grab ability to clarify that it works on a creature regardless of Size (as long as it's no more than one Size larger than the spiked chain itself, which is the maximum size before you start automatically failing grapple checks anyway)

    Having a Constrict ability makes sense, too. Good, although I might make it bludgeoning and piercing damage- if you were to grab and crush someone with a spiked chain, I'd imagine that the spikes would be tearing into them as well.
    Changed

    Allowing them a way out is good, but they already have a way out- opposed Grapple checks and Escape Artist checks. I might make it so that they can't escape via either of the above- that way, it makes it much harder for sneaky guys to escape, and massive monsters' size bonuses are less important since they don't directly contribute to getting out of the grapple. Also, I might make it so that you use the spiked chain's enhancement bonus or your Spiked Chain Mastery bonus, whichever is higher- that way, you can be free to put enhancements onto your spiked chains instead of higher enhancement bonuses without suffering too much for it.
    Nah, I just don't see restricting either of those being realistic. The chain is still grappling, so of course a successful grapple check will break you free, and Escape Artist is also used to get out of ropes and chains, so preventing it makes even less sense than preventing it to get out of a real grapple.

    Originally, Spiked Chain Mastery did count as the spiked chain's enhancement bonus, but someone pointed out to me that I was saying something odd and outdated, so I removed that part of the description, and accidentally cut out the part about Spiked Chain Mastery counting as the enhancement bonus as well. I put it back in, thanks for your comment.

    Again, I might make it so that it's either the enhancement bonus or the Spiked Chain Mastery bonus. This is really nice, though.
    Done. Thanks.

    This is okay, since it doesn't need a bunch of feats to get. I might add a bonus to hit or damage, like the Mithral Tornado maneuver.
    I did something much better. Take a look.


    Whoa.
    Damn right.

    You know, Spiked Chain tripping really doesn't need fixing- it's already one of the most effective and versatile melee styles out there. A really nice PrC for it is always welcome, but it's already a plenty powerful tanking build; chargers easily out-damage it, but AoO tripper builds are harder to shut down, work in smaller spaces, help defend other party members, create great battlefield control, leave you far less vulnerable, et cetera.
    I disagree. Spiked Chain tripping as-is often requires plenty of feats, more than most non-fighters can spare. (Roliar's Gambit and Karmic Strike...if I'm remembering those names correctly...)

    If you want to be a barbarian/factotum who can trip with a spiked chain and do well at it, (or if you want to be a martial character who trips with a spiked chain but wants to spend his feats on something else) there's this class.

    Basically, when I say "fix", I mean "remove ridiculous feat taxes by providing flavorful and better substitutes as class features"

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    Default Re: The Spiked Chain Master (3.5 PrC PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    I did something much better. Take a look.
    Whoa.

    Again.

    I disagree. Spiked Chain tripping as-is often requires plenty of feats, more than most non-fighters can spare. (Roliar's Gambit and Karmic Strike...if I'm remembering those names correctly...)

    If you want to be a barbarian/factotum who can trip with a spiked chain and do well at it, (or if you want to be a martial character who trips with a spiked chain but wants to spend his feats on something else) there's this class.

    Basically, when I say "fix", I mean "remove ridiculous feat taxes by providing flavorful and better substitutes as class features"
    It takes less feats than you think. Improved Trip can be gotten in two levels of Barbarian, and let's be honest- at least thirty percent of all straight-up melee builds dip Barbarian 1 for Pounce. The second level's not that much investment. Knock-down is nice, and makes the build viable at higher levels, but at low levels you don't strictly need it. That makes two feats (Combat Reflexes and the EWP) and two class levels to make it good; you can be tripping by 2nd level, and battlefield controlling by 3rd. Add in Crusader levels for Thicket of Blades and/or Knight levels for Bulwark of Defense, and by 9th level your build's completely set up, with Knock-Down and everything. Robilar's Gambit isn't really as necessary as it's touted to be- the set-up is fine with just Improved Trip and Combat Reflexes, and great with those and Knock-Down.

    And the feats you need aren't really feat taxes, except Combat Expertise. (Really, Improved Trip should've needed Combat Reflexes, but whatever.)

    Not to say that this class isn't badass, because it is.

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