A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Default Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit REDUX

    This is useful to me, but has been languishing in obscurity, brokenness, incompleteness and error. Decided to fix.

    • Recheck all sources.
    • Add missing page numbers.
    • More detailed notes.
    • Fix errors.
    • Reformat all tables.

    It's still incomplete. Could use help. For example, the debuff table never got completed. Can also add PF1e sources.

    This is the source-of-truth table.
    I have a thing that makes BBCode out of it. Comment permissions open to everyone. If you want edit permissions, ask, I'm not stingy.

    Original thread located HERE.
    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Now that WotC is done with publishing official 3.5 material, Iím doing my best to index every major combo. This thread is dedicated to optimizing a character's ability to hit.

    General Advice and Tactics:

    1) Pick one attribute and have it be the base for all of your offensive abilities. If you have class abilities that depend on one attribute (spells, psionics, binding, meldshaping, blade magic) you should use your primary attribute for that class. This may require you to take an X stat to Y bonus ability in order to get that attribute to apply to your ability to-hit. For example, it's a good idea for Psychic Warriors to take Intuitive Strike, so that he can use his Wisdom bonus to-hit instead of Strength. This will help a great deal when you allocate your attribute scores during character creation, and help you conserve resources when you buy magic items and use buffs. However, this is not always the case, especially at low level. In particular, if you just happen to roll high scores for 3 or more attributes and are playing in a low level campaign, then Multiple Attribute Dependency (MAD) isnít a big deal. If your class doesn't depend on Save DC's (Fighter, Barbarian, Rogue, etc) then the attribute you pick should be Strength for melee builds, Dexterity for ranged builds.

    2) Avoid spending resources on small static bonuses. Weapon Focus is not worth spending a feat on. Don't spend money on a +4 Glaive, when you can buy a +1 Spell Storing Wounding Glaive and have a friend cast Greater Magic Weapon on it for you. This also applies to X stat to Y bonus abilities - if you have a Strength of 14 and a Dexterity of 18, it's not worth spending a feat on Weapon Finesse to get a +2 to-hit (though it might be worth it later in your progression when your Dex gets higher). The biggest exception to this guideline is spells. A mid to high level caster can easily accumulate a ton of small bonuses, often without expending any high level spells, buffing himself to insane power levels (ie, CoDzilla).

    3) Be very aware of combat modifiers, and use them to your advantage whenever it is reasonably possible. Flank your enemy. Fight from horseback so that you count as being on higher ground. If you have Quickdraw and you're fighting a BBEG, your first attack against him should be with a Net. And so on.

    4) A debuff to your enemyís AC can sometimes be just as good as a bonus to-hit. But not always. Against a single powerful enemy itís even better, because all of your friends essentially get a bonus to-hit against that enemy as well. Against a group of enemies itís often worse, as many debuffs only effect a limited number of targets. Debuffs also often allow Saving Throws, making them inhearently weaker then bonuses to-hit, which are always on.

    5) At higher levels, your real problem is Miss Chance and other magical protections, not AC. A Pit-Fiend (highest AC in the MM, IIRC) has an AC of 40. So once you accumulate a ECL + 20ish bonus to-hit (including BAB, your primary to-hit attribute, and all the miscellanies bonuses and debuffs) you can move on to optimizing something else.

    6) Denying your enemy their Dexterity bonus and/or using touch attacks can make it much easier to hit your enemy. In fact, if you combine these two things, (which is not hard to do even in a core only game Ė Flame Blade and Greater Invisibility) you often have a 95% chance of hitting your enemy every time you make an attack. ButÖ

    7) Donít over do it. It's important for any build to be good at hitting things, especially when you expend a resource of some kind (spells, power points, daily abilities, etc). But you don't want to be so good that you hit things 95% of the time every time, because then your DM just ups the AC, hit points, miss chance, and other protections on your enemies in order to challenge you. Figure out the overall power level of the other PCs in your party, and try to be in the same ball park. Keep a couple of tricks up your sleeve for when you absolutely need them, but donít use them in every combat.
    Bonus To-Hit

    Name Type Book Page # Edition Bonus Notes
    Animal Devotion Feat Complete Champion 55 3.5 +1 to +4 Str bonus(sacred); Ape's fury
    Archivist 1 Class Heroes of Horror 83 3.5 +1 to +3 Dark Knowledge (tactics); Applies to all allies, Knowledge check
    Avenging Strike Feat Tome of Battle 28 3.5 Charisma vs evil outsiders, 1/day per cha bonus
    Battlecaster Offence Feat Complete Mage 40 3.5 +1 Tactical; Limitations
    Battledance Epic Feat Dragon #297 28 3.0 Charisma Insight bonus; also to AC and Reflex
    Barbarian Class PHB 25, 26 3.5 +2/+3/+4 Rage, Str bonus
    Blackguard 2 PrC DMG 182 3.5 Charisma Smite Good, limited use per day
    Bow of Song Equipment Magic Item Comp 48 3.5 Charisma requires Bard music
    Chameleon 3 PrC Races of Destiny 112 3.5 Charisma 1/day per 2 lvls
    Chaos Devotion Feat Complete Champion 56 3.5 random -
    Deft Opportunist Feat Miniatures Handbook 25 3.5 +4 on AoO -
    Eternal Blade 1 PrC Tome of Battle 110 3.5 Intelligence Insight bonus; Against 1 creature type
    Factotum 1 Class Dungeonscape 14 3.5 Intelligence Requires Insp. Point
    Greater Weapon Focus Feat PHB 95 3.5 +1 -
    Heart of the Beast Magic Item Magic of Faerun 160 3.5 Divine Power One use item.
    Imbued Healing Feat Complete Champion 60 3.5 +1 Req. War Domain; Secondary healing effect.
    Killoren (Destroyer Aspect) Race Races of the Wild 102 3.5 Charisma Limited Smite 1/hour
    Knight Class PHBII 25 3.5 +1 to +4 Fighting Challenge, against 1 enemy, limitations.
    Knight of the Middle Circle 1/5/10 Prestige Class Defenders of the Faith 67 3.0 +2/+4/+6 Insight bonus; Combat Sense, 1 enemy
    Knowledge Devotion Feat Complete Champion 60 3.5 +1 to +5 Requires Knowledge check
    Law Devotion Feat Complete Champion 61 3.5 +3/+5/+7 Sacred bonus, atk or AC
    Marshal Feat Miniatures Handbook 13 3.5 +1 to +4 on melee Motivate Attack Aura(major), all allies
    Marshal Feat Miniatures Handbook 13 3.5 +1 to +4 on ranged Steady Hand Aura(major), all allies
    Martial Disciple Magic Weapon Tome of Battle 148 3.5 +1/+3 Depends on Discipline use (knowledge=+1, usage=+3)
    Master of Masks PrC Complete Scoundrel 53 3.5 +1 to +4 Competence bonus; Gladiator Persona Mask
    Mineral Warrior (+1LA) Template Underdark 96 3.5 Constitution 1/day
    Paladin 1 Class PHB 42 3.5 Charisma Smite Evil, limited times per day
    Reckless Charge Feat Miniatures Handbook 27 3.5 Extra +2 on Charge Extra -2 AC
    Reckless Offense Feat Expanded Psionics Handbook 51 3.5 +2 -4 AC
    Shiba Protector 1 PrC Oriental Adventures 222 3.0 Wisdom also damage
    Smite Fiery Foe Feat Frostburn 50 3.5 Charisma Smite Fire subtype, limited uses
    Snowflake Wardance Feat Frostburn 50 3.5 Charisma requires Bard music
    Soulborn 1 Class Magic of Incarnum 25 3.5 Charisma Smite Opposition, limited times per day
    Tomb Warden 3 PrC Libris Mortis 58 3.5 Charisma 10 min/day
    Vexing Flanker Feat PHBII 85 3.5 Extra +2 on Flank -
    Warblade 3 Class Tome of Battle 22 3.5 Intelligence To confirm Criticals only
    Watery Death Domain Player's Guide to Faerun 92 3.5 Wisdom On Smite, limited use, aquatic creatures only
    Weapon Focus Feat PHB 102 3.5 +1 -

    Replaces X Attribute with Y Attribute To-Hit

    Name Type Book Page # Edition Replaces Notes
    Brutal Throw Feat Complete Adventurer 106 3.5 Str for Dex Thrown weapons
    Charming the Arrow Feat Online Link 3.5 Cha for Dex With bow/crossbow
    Companion Guard Style Feat Dragon #315 52 3.5 Str for Dex Longsword or longspear
    Control Body Power Expanded Psionics Handbook 86 3.5 Str for Int of controlled creature
    Fey-craft Equipment DMGII 275 3.5 Dex for Str limited weapons
    Intuitive Strike Feat BoED 44 3.5 Wis for Str limited weapons.
    Ordained Champion 5 PrC Complete Champion 91 3.5 Wis for Str Uses Turn attempts
    Serenity Feat Dragon Mag #306, Drag Comp 106 3.5 Wis for Cha For all Paladin Abilities, including Smite Evil.
    Slippers of Battledancing Equipment DMGII 272 3.5 Cha for Str Limitations
    Tomb Warden 3 PrC Libris Mortis 58 3.5 Charisma ? 10 min/day
    Weapon Finesse Feat PHB 102 3.5 Dex for Str limited weapons
    Whirling Blade Spell Spell Compendium 238 3.5 Int or Cha for Str Uses primary caster statistic
    Whirling Blade Spell Spell Compendium 238 3.5 Int or Cha for Str Uses primary caster statistic
    Zen Archery Feat Complete Warrior 106 3.5 Wis for Dex Ranged weapons

    Deny Enemy Dexterity Bonus

    Name Type Book Page # Edition Notes
    Acrobatic Backstab Skill Trick Complete Scoundrel 84 3.5 1 attack
    Blink Spell PHB 206 3.5 Attack as invisible creature
    Confound the Big Folk Feat Races of the Wild 153 3.5 Tactical; 1 round; Limitations
    Escape Attack Skill Trick Complete Scoundrel 86 3.5 1 attack
    Flick of the Wrist Feat Complete Warrior 99 3.5 light weapon; 1 per round, 1 per opponent
    Greater Invisibility Spell PHB 245 3.5 -
    Hidden Blade Skill Trick Complete Scoundrel 87 3.5 1 attack
    Invisibility Spell PHB 245 3.5 1 attack
    Ninja 1 Class Complete Adventurer 8 3.5 Invisibility for 1 round, 1/2 level + Wis times per day
    Ring of Blinking Item DMG 230 3.5 27k gp
    Sudden Draw Skill Trick Complete Scoundrel 89 3.5 1 attack

    Touch Attacks

    Name Type Book Page # Edition Notes
    Eldritch Glaive Invocation Dragon Magic 82 3.5 Warlock Least
    Emerald Razor Maneuver Tome of Battle 63 3.5 1 attack, Diamond Mind 2
    Flame Blade Spell PHB 231 3.5 Druid 2
    Heartseaker Amulet Item Magic Item Comp 110 3.5 1 attack, 3 times per day
    Master Thrower 5 PrC Complete Warrior 59 3.5 Weak Spot
    Pyrokineticist 1 PrC Expanded Psionics Handbook 52 3.5 Fire Lash
    Spectral Weapon Spell Spell Compendium 58 3.5 Wizard 3
    Spot the Weak Point Skill Trick Complete Scoundrel 89 3.5 1 attack
    Wraithstrike Spell Spell Compendium 242 3.5 Wizard 2

    Debuffs to AC

    This is pretty much an empty stub right now. I will fill it with:
    Dexterity Damage.
    Ways to knock your enemy Prone.
    Anything other debuff anyone posts.
    To those who have already posted a few debuffs, I have noticed, and thank you. I just haven't created a table for this section yet.
    Last edited by martixy; 2019-12-10 at 02:26 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Default Re: Person_Man's Guide to Optimizing To-Hit REDUX

    Reserved, just in case.

    Spoiler: Technical stuff

    Table regexes, for posterity
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    Last edited by martixy; 2019-12-10 at 02:12 PM.

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