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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Halfling fighter dual-wielding rapiers. I like the image first and foremost (slender and elegant blades, frilly shirt, elaborate costume - he's noble and definitely postmediaeval, imagine him as the subject of the famous painting "The Halfling Cavalier" ) but it would be nice if that image could be acceptably supported in the rules.

    He actually works acceptably well at first level (two weapon fighting, weapon finesse, high dex), but seems to start to Suck Badly at level 3 upwards unless I misunderstand something. Any suggestions as to how I can keep the concept but stay not-too-weak for a few levels longer? Or am I doomed to fail? Perfect optimisation or high-level awesomeness is not required, as I doubt he will ever see a high-power game, but not being awful would be rather helpful.

    Thanks!

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    You will need oversized twf to wield two rapiers so until you get it wield a kukri on he other one. You can opt for swash 17 Rog 3, daring outlaw or a diamond mind/tigerclaw warblade.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    You will need oversized twf to wield two rapiers so until you get it wield a kukri on he other one.
    No he doesn't, he can just use Small Rapiers, they deal 1d4 damage, weigh less, and I believe cost less, but other than that, they're identical to Medium Rapiers.

    I say pick up Combat Expertise (if you've got the Int for it) or Weapon Focus: Rapier. In fact, forget Combat Expertise, get Weapon Focus so you can get Weapon Specialization at 4th level. Since it probably isn't going to be a high-level game, this should get you through the low levels pretty well.

    I think.
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    Truth

    Quote Originally Posted by Talya
    Anyone casting a ninth level spell should not be just bending the fabric of reality, but chewing up the fabric of reality and spitting it out. It represents an expenditure of raw magical force that should be momentous, and should have similar shock value as the events following Grand Moff Tarkin's "You may fire when ready."

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Cupkeyk: Do I? Oh dear. I could have sworn a rapier was light! Checking the SRD it isn't, where on earth did I get that idea? Bother. Thank you.

    Certainly not using a Kukri in the off hand as it's from a completely different culture, but I'd accept dagger until second rapier became available.

    (Giacomo di Grassi, 1590s english translation: "Here are alſo uſed now adaies... two Swordes or Rapiers... To him that would handle theſe weapons, it is neceſsary that he can aſwell manage the left hand as the right... And he which is not much practiced and exerciſed therein, ought not to make profeſsion of this Arte: for he ſhal finde himſelfe to be utterly deceived."

    And I think I've seen another commentator of the era write that you should do seven years of single rapier before even thinking about learning to fight case... wonder what level that would be?)

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkxarth View Post
    No he doesn't, he can just use Small Rapiers, they deal 1d4 damage, weigh less, and I believe cost less, but other than that, they're identical to Medium Rapiers.
    Please, do not correct people who are right. He will need Oversized Two Weapon Fighting(from complete adventurer) to wield a second one handed weapon for his off hand, regardless of creature or weapon size. A rapier appropriate to your size is a one handed weapon, but you may apply weapon finesse to it.
    My mother says: those on fire should roll.

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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    I'm fairly certain the Duelist PrC (if that is your goal) requires that you wield a one-handed light weapon (or a rapier) and have no armor to receive the majority of its benefits, if that's what you're going for.

    That being said, it's still a good PrC, especially the level 7 class feature that adds your class level to your AC when fighting defensively.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    DarkXarth - Thank you, but the fellow's a halfling, is using EVEN smaller rapiers going to work? (He'd be someone quite different if he were human). Thanks for the Focus...Specialization suggestion, I thought that looked "least bad", and as you say it doesn't have to work all the way to 20.

    DiscipleOfBob: Duelist seems characterful once I get there, I'm sure it would extend the character's useful life a bit, though he'll definitely fall behind even a not-at-all-munched party long before he runs out of Duelist levels to take (if the game's still around then). I didn't think having a second weapon invalidated the duelist bonuses (except the one that specifically says so), though this may be a failing of my addled mind.
    Last edited by raygungothic; 2007-11-06 at 11:18 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Unfortunately, the duelist prc does not accommodate twf well as precise strike requires not attacking with your off hand weapon or receiving a shield bonus from a shield if you have one.

    The Daring Outlaw with ambush feats, telling blow and improved critical is a lot of options right there. You could take Ancestral weapon and Kensai 10, from paladin or warblade and end up with two uber rapiers. LOLz.

    And uhh, using a tiny rapier will not allow you to use a rapier as a light weapon, albeit at a -4 because it is inappropriately sized and cannot deal precision damage(insightful strike, SA) because you cannot wield it properly.
    Last edited by cupkeyk; 2007-11-06 at 11:19 AM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    Please, do not correct people who are right. He will need Oversized Two Weapon Fighting(from complete adventurer) to wield a second one handed weapon for his off hand, regardless of creature or weapon size. A rapier appropriate to your size is a one handed weapon, but you may apply weapon finesse to it.
    No, he doesn't. If a character needed Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting to wield a non-light weapon in his/her off hand, then why would there even be rules about benefits for using light weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    If your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each.
    If you could only use light weapons in your off hand, why would this even be here?

    Now, that might be a useful feat to have, I don't know I've never seen it, but it isn't necessary to use two SMALL Rapiers.

    Quote Originally Posted by raygungothic
    DarkXarth - Thank you, but the fellow's a halfling, is using EVEN smaller rapiers going to work? (He'd be someone quite different if he were human). Thanks for the Focus...Specialization suggestion, I thought that looked "least bad", and as you say it doesn't have to work all the way to 20.
    In 3.5, weapons got size categories. Small creatures use Small weapons, Large creatures use Large weapons, Medium creatures use Medium weapons, etc. A Halfling could easily wield two Small Rapiers without any feats, he'd just be taking a lot of penalties. Throw in Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse, and Weapon Focus, and you've basically overcome the penalties for using a non-light weapon in your off hand anyway.
    Last edited by Darkxarth; 2007-11-06 at 11:22 AM.
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    Truth

    Quote Originally Posted by Talya
    Anyone casting a ninth level spell should not be just bending the fabric of reality, but chewing up the fabric of reality and spitting it out. It represents an expenditure of raw magical force that should be momentous, and should have similar shock value as the events following Grand Moff Tarkin's "You may fire when ready."

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    You are mostly correct except that RAPIERS ARE NOT LIGHT WEAPONS. THEY ARE ONE HANDED.

    You may now run off in humiliation.
    Last edited by cupkeyk; 2007-11-06 at 11:24 AM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    You are mostly correct except that RAPIERS ARE NOT LIGHT WEAPONS. THEY ARE ONE HANDED.
    I never said they were light, the Halfling is going to be taking penalties for using a one-handed weapon in is off hand instead of a light one. However, just because he takes an extra -2 penalty in his off hand doesn't mean he can't use two Rapiers.

    You may now run off in humiliation.
    Or, you know, I could stay here and help raygungothic make a good Halfling Duelist that wields two Rapiers.

    EDIT: Also, depending on how far you get in the campaign, get the Improved Critical feat; 15-20 critical hit range? Yessir.
    Last edited by Darkxarth; 2007-11-06 at 11:32 AM.
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    Truth

    Quote Originally Posted by Talya
    Anyone casting a ninth level spell should not be just bending the fabric of reality, but chewing up the fabric of reality and spitting it out. It represents an expenditure of raw magical force that should be momentous, and should have similar shock value as the events following Grand Moff Tarkin's "You may fire when ready."

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkxarth View Post
    I never said they were light, the Halfling is going to be taking penalties for using a one-handed weapon in is off hand instead of a light one. However, just because he takes an extra -2 penalty in his off hand doesn't mean he can't use two Rapiers.
    He's right, you know. Table of Two-Weapon Fighting penalties here.

    And here is the text for OTWF. It provides an additional implication that a non-light weapon actually is allowed in your off-hand by default.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    He's right, you know. Table of Two-Weapon Fighting penalties here.

    And here is the text for OTWF. It provides an additional implication that a non-light weapon actually is allowed in your off-hand by default.
    Thank you.

    Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting isn't bad, but you're spending a whole feat just to lose a measly -2 attack penalty to your off hand. I think you're better off going Weapon Focus/Weapon Specialization.

    On the other hand, you could pick up Combat Expertise and Two-Weapon Defense. You won't be dealing much damage, but it would buff your AC without using armor, which is good in the early levels.
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    Truth

    Quote Originally Posted by Talya
    Anyone casting a ninth level spell should not be just bending the fabric of reality, but chewing up the fabric of reality and spitting it out. It represents an expenditure of raw magical force that should be momentous, and should have similar shock value as the events following Grand Moff Tarkin's "You may fire when ready."

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Syntactically, sure, you can use two one handed weapons in twf. But optimally speaking, why? TWF is already suboptimal and you are proposing that he gimp his already gimp weapon damage capability by topping it with inaccuracy?

    The idea is preposterous. With TWF, he will get -4 to both rapiers. You can reduce these to -2's with just one feat.

    Never mind.

    You know what is effective TWF, a two-handed weapon and unarmed strikes.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    I think there's a gnome duelist PRC that has a good flavor and decent effectiveness, but I can't remember the name of it. Maybe your halfling was trained by a gnome? Maybe there's a "Must be at least this short" sign by the door of the dueling school?
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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    hat's the blade bravo from Races of Stone.
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    Syntactically, sure, you can use two one handed weapons in twf. But optimally speaking, why? TWF is already suboptimal and you are proposing that he gimp his already gimp weapon damage capability by topping it with inaccuracy?

    The idea is preposterous. With TWF, he will get -4 to both rapiers. You can reduce these to -2's with just one feat.

    Never mind.

    You know what is effective TWF, a two-handed weapon and unarmed strikes.
    Oh, I did forget that it boosted both hands to a -4 penalty. In that case, OTWF might be worth it, but it still isn't necessary.

    However, definitely start with Weapon Finesse. This is one of your better feat options. But remember to keep your Strength above 10 or you'll be taking damage penalties to your already weak attacks.
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    Truth

    Quote Originally Posted by Talya
    Anyone casting a ninth level spell should not be just bending the fabric of reality, but chewing up the fabric of reality and spitting it out. It represents an expenditure of raw magical force that should be momentous, and should have similar shock value as the events following Grand Moff Tarkin's "You may fire when ready."

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    OTWF is a better choice than weapon focus.. It's essentially a +2 to hit vs a +1.
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Quote Originally Posted by Overlard View Post
    OTWF is a better choice than weapon focus.. It's essentially a +2 to hit vs a +1.
    But Weapon Focus allows you to go into the Fighter's Weapon line...

    Ok, ok. Take OTWF before Weapon Focus.
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    Truth

    Quote Originally Posted by Talya
    Anyone casting a ninth level spell should not be just bending the fabric of reality, but chewing up the fabric of reality and spitting it out. It represents an expenditure of raw magical force that should be momentous, and should have similar shock value as the events following Grand Moff Tarkin's "You may fire when ready."

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Which was why i was suggesting he take swashbuckler levels. Free weapon Finesse, accuracy damage at level 3.

    This is the blade bravo link btw.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    I would have just gone warblade with TWF and diamond mind discipline instead. but that's just me.

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    It's a cruddy PrC. Avoid it.

    If you do use it, don't use a rapier in both hands, as it negates Precise Strike.

    If you want to wield a rapier in each hand with reasonable penalties, you must take Two Weapon Fighting and Oversized Two Weapon Fighting. It allows your Halfling to use a small sized rapier in each hand with no penalty to attack on your primary hand and a -2 on your secondary hand, as if you were wielding a light weapon in your secondary hand.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Could Driving Attack be used to trigger Dungeoncrasher? A halfling pushing a dragon into a wall would be amazing.

    1 Swash1 Weapon Finesse, Power Attack
    2 FTR1 Weapon Focus(Rapier)
    3 Swash2 Improved Bullrush
    4 FTR2 Dungeoncrasher1 (Dungeonscape)
    5 Swash3
    6 FTR3 Shocktrooper (CWar)
    7 Swash4
    8 FTR4 Daring Warrior (CSco)
    9 FTR5 Weapon Specialization(Rapier)
    10 FTR6 Dungeonrasher2 (Dungeonscape)
    11 FTR7
    12 FTR8 Melee Weapon Mastery (Piercing), Driving Attack (PH2)

    Deal massive damage, push them back and into a wall. It would work better with a medium polearm build though.
    Last edited by cupkeyk; 2007-11-06 at 01:22 PM.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    I seem to have opened up a nasty can of Confusion Worms here. I'm sorry my initial misreading seems to have caused angry disagreement - I feel a little guilty now!

    So... if I understand people (and the SRD) correctly, I can fight with a rapier in each hand, at -4 each, at first level. It is possible to get sufficient pluses to be on about a +0, especially given Weapon Finesse + very high Dx. Not great, but not unspeakably awful. Oversized Two Weapon Fighting then grants me a further +2 with each weapon (by reducing the penalties by two), which is a distinct improvement IF I can meet the strength requirement. Given the way the Halfling stat mods go, though, I might be better off going for insane Dx rather than wasting a decent stat roll on getting high Str. Being a halfling works against this character more than I thought it would, which is a shame. Still, he is physically possible, and in some obscure way that makes me happier.

    I'm still doing precious little damage, though I much appreciate DarkXarth's pointing out that I can get a very good crit range later - that seems to combine well with having a second dice to roll. Sadly, Improved Critical feels a long way off. Definitely going to need to follow DarkXarth's suggestion of going for Specialization as quickly as possible - it'll still be death by a thousand pinpricks, but the Specialization almost doubles those pins' average damage! (Halfling rapier = giantess' hatpin?)

    Cupkeyk, I'm sorry I didn't manage to express the fact that I already knew this character would have trouble and be sub-optimal. I was hoping for a "can we bring him up to low-to-normal" exercise. I did try to say that I wanted the character to suck less, not rule the world...

    Maybe now he can be acceptable in a low power game to levels 4-5, assuming there are no serious heavy hitters around to overshadow him, and have a brief burst of usefulness at 8 or 9 (just from criticals) if he ever gets there. In the middle I suppose a Combat Expertise route would have to suffice, though a lot of the fancy Improved Stuff that follows Expertise is not helped by two weapons, meh.

    (Oh my, I've just spotted something that could open SUCH a can of worms I hardly dare ask. But I have to! Under "Light Crossbow" it says "You can shoot a light crossbow with each hand, but you take a penalty on attack rolls as if attacking with two light weapons." - is this reduced by two weapon fighting? I would have thought so by the literal text, though I can easily imagine DMs declaring it wasn't in the spirit of the rule)

    (Edited to add: Cupkeyk, that description of "A halfling pushing a dragon into a wall" sounds highly entertaining, though I don't understand the mechanics without access to reference books, I'll have to look it up later. I might be tempted if all the feats feel character-appropriate. Thanks for the mental image!)
    Last edited by raygungothic; 2007-11-06 at 12:32 PM.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Yes, you can dual wield light crossbows with a -2/ -2 if you have twf. You are better off getting quickdraw and pulling out preloaded light crossbows, regardless of how absurd that is. You could get a hireling to reload the cross bows you dropped and you can fire these again. OR go master thrower.

    I edited it to include the books from where he feats and class features came from.
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    Could Driving Attack be used to trigger Dungeoncrasher? A halfling pushing a dragon into a wall would be amazing.
    Driving Attack is a Full Round Action which allows you to make a single melee attack that also gives you a free Bull Rush. So it's a highly inefficient way to use Dungeoncrasher.

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Driving Attack is a Full Round Action which allows you to make a single melee attack that also gives you a free Bull Rush. So it's a highly inefficient way to use Dungeoncrasher.
    BUT, it exchanges your strength modifier with you melee damage. This could translate to conested strength rolls near impossible to contest, a two handed weapon alone is 1.5 your strength mod, plus your dice, plus PA, in addition to bonuses from improved bull rush and maybe size. But yeah Minotaur Charge is better and available as a level 1 feat.
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    The best simple solutions:

    1--Swordsage with Shadow Blade, Assassin's stance and Desert Wind, Diamond Mind and Tiger Claw Focuses. This would be easier if you weren't so attached to two Rapier concept--short swords and daggers would work best.
    Swordsage X is the build here.

    2--Daring Outlaw (Complete Scoundrel) with the PHB2 Swashbuckler (Complete Warrior) variant--Combine good base attack, Intelligence-to-damage, slight AC boosts and Full sneak attack progression.
    Swashbuckler 3/Rogue 3/Swashbuckler X

    3--Straight Rogue. You won't hit anything until you can nab Weapon Finesse at third level.
    Rogue X

    4--Ranger to Dervish. This doesn't have a real damage source, but it does have a couple bonus feats and mobility.

    5--Talk your DM into allowing Swift Hunter (Complete Scoundrel) to stack Riposte damage in place of Skirmish; go [Urban] Ranger (Unearthed Arcana)/Scout (Complete Adventurer). This would have high skill points, bonus feats, Riposte damage/AC and a pretty good (7/8) Base Attack.
    Scout/Ranger/Scout/Ranger...

    5a--See if your DM would consider a custom Swashbuckler/Riposte Scout feat reasonable. It would make sense thematically and would stack Int. to damage with what Riposte Damage you can gather.


    ...All of these are limited by the two-Rapier concept.

    It just doesn't make much sense practically or mechanically.
    Last edited by Temp; 2007-11-06 at 08:36 PM.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Personally, I'd forget about OTWF and pick up a short sword for my offhand. I don't see spending a feat as worth the slightly better crit range.

    Your best bet is probably Rogue 3/ Swashbuckler 17, as much as I dislike Swashbuckler's class abilities, getting sneak attack at -1 full BAB and getting the full TWF tree is quite potent.

    The Duelist PrC can be handy if you want to focus on defence, but in that case, I'd probably go Swashbuckler 3, Rogue 4, Duelist 7, and after then possibly into fighter for some more feats.

    The thing that really makes Duelist hurt is the Elaborate Parry feature, after you get it, further levels are optional at best, providing an extra +1 AC when fighitng defencivly. The feat "Deadly Defense"(Compelte Scoundrel) is your friend, giving you +1d6 damage when fighting defencivly. Means you can hit undead or similar and not compeltly suck, just mostly.

    The two weapon defence feats are useful, giving you even more AC, and the amount doubles when you fight defensivly.

    And with your annoyingly high AC, you can then grab Combat Reflexes and a feat in Complete Warrior I only have half the name of. "____ Gambit". Basically, enemies who attack you get +4 to attack, but all their attacks provoke AoO after their attack. Now, your AC should be high enough that they'd still have trouble hitting you, and you get to really go to town with a multitude of attacks. Flanking makes this even better.

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    Default Re: Character build advice sought: halfling duelist

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    BUT, it exchanges your strength modifier with you melee damage. This could translate to conested strength rolls near impossible to contest, a two handed weapon alone is 1.5 your strength mod, plus your dice, plus PA, in addition to bonuses from improved bull rush and maybe size. But yeah Minotaur Charge is better and available as a level 1 feat.
    The optimized Dungeoncrasher build uses a Goliath (or something similar) on a mount. Take the Knockback feat from Races of Stone, which gives you a free Bull Rush with every attack that uses Power Attack. Charge enemy. Have mount Bull Rush enemy into wall or object. Then you attack enemy, getting a free Bull Rush with your attack(s), and 8d6+ Str*3 damage on every hit, in addition to your normal weapon damage. Works great with Pounce and touch attacks (Pyrokineticist, Flame Blade, Wraithstrike, etc). If there are no walls, have a team member make them with spells or cast Animate Objects to steer objects to where you need them.

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