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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Fighty-type books on a budget

    I just got my grubby little mitts on another 30$, which I plant to spen relatively soon on a D&D book. Only enough money for one, though. I like playing noncasters a lot, from ranger to fighter to barbarian to even monk. Now, I'm trying to weigh Tome of Battle and Complete Warrior for this purchase. Tome of Battle would allow some really good melee characters, but fewer DMs are willing to use it. Complete Warrior is a lot more likely to be allowed, but isn't quite as powerful. Or, so I'm told. I really have no clue. All in all, which would be a better buy for one with limited funds? What are your opinions on these books?
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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Get Tome of Battle. Talk to any GM who doesn't allow it; most will come around. Complete Warrior helps to make more effective warriors with the tactical feats, but Tome of Battle makes Melee fun! That's the point of the game, to have fun, and Tome of Battle gives you more options. It rebuilds melee to have actual different forms of attack, actual defensive options, multiple actions per turn and so on. It allows you to have different maneuvers versus different opponents and it's quite powerful to boot, so you can do your own job in the party even if you're not a spellcaster.

    Also, as far as playing goes, Tome of Battle has 3 base classes, all different, playable and interesting. Complete Warrior has 3 base classes, one of which is a 3-level dip at best, one of which is totally unplayable and one of which is distantly interesting for Mettle; you'd still rather play Duskblade than Hexblade. As far as Prestiges go, it's a slaughter; Complete Warrior effectively has tons of interesting ideas with horrible execution, then it has Dervish (powerful, but monotonous), Frenzied Berserker (another argument unto itself), Spellsword (in other words, one-level dip) and Exotic Weapon Master (a 3-level Prestige), which are actually playable. Tome of Battle has a bunch of Prestiges all of which are interesting, deep and well executed.

    Tome of Battle breaths life into Two-Weapon Fighting, something that's lacking in Complete Warrior, and it even gives some help to Shield & Board-style. It also makes unarmed combat more of an option and all the feats generally support different character archetypes much better instead of being all-for-chargers like much of Complete Warrior. Finally, Tome of Battle supports Standard Actions very well, making full action combat much less of a necessity and thus giving you more of a mobile, versatile combat instead of 'I hit the thing', normal melee is often prone getting to since Full Attack is so much stronger than Standard Action Attack. Tome of Battle allows warriors to fight with Standard Actions just like Wizards.


    My answer:
    Tome of Battle, Tome of Battle, Tome of Battle. It's the best purchase you can make in 3.5.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2008-04-07 at 06:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Really, complete warrior is an utter mixed bag, like most of the completes. It has some terrible options (samurai) a lot of mediocre options, several good ones (dervish, warshaper), and some pretty much broken ones (frenzied berserker, hulking hurler).

    If you don't think tome of battle will be allowed in the games you'll be playing a melee character in, it's a very solid investment.

    But tome of battle is more fun IMO.
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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Tome of Battle.

    If a DM allows Druids, Clerics, and Wizards but bans the Tome of Battle, I wish their players the best of luck with having fun in their campaigns. That's all I'm going to say about that.
    Last edited by JaxGaret; 2008-04-07 at 06:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Tome of Battle. Heck, it even plays well with the pre-existing melee classes the way the classes in Tome of Battle multiclass.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Tome of Battle makes Melee fun! That's the point of the game, to have fun, and Tome of Battle gives you more options.

    Also, as far as playing goes, Tome of Battle has 3 base classes, all different, playable and interesting.

    Tome of Battle has a bunch of Prestiges all of which are interesting, deep and well executed.

    Tome of Battle breaths life into Two-Weapon Fighting, something that's lacking in Complete Warrior, and it even gives some help to Shield & Board-style. It also makes unarmed combat more of an option and all the feats generally support different character archetypes much better instead of being all-for-chargers like much of Complete Warrior.

    My answer:
    Tome of Battle, Tome of Battle, Tome of Battle. It's the best purchase you can make in 3.5.
    Eldariel hits most (possibly all) of the points. Any rational person with experience with the system that you can talk to face to face will eventually come around to using the Tome of Battle if they aren't already doing so.

    The only reason that so many arguments over using it happen on the internet is because it's on the internet, where misguided opinions are far easier to maintain with anonymity.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Apparently I've only met one "rational person with experience," because only one out of three DMs I've played with since ToB came out has allowed it.

    The first, the accepting one, actually attempted to talk me into a melee swordsage when what I was trying to build was a ranged rogue/scout. I declined, but began to plan to use a warblade as my next character.

    The second told me my warblade and swordsage were completely broken and overpowered. I switched to a swashbuckler/rogue/daring outlaw, but since I multiclassed and almost all of my feats have been non-core, he still thinks I'm a powergamer.

    The third doesn't own any melee-focused books newer than Sword and Fist, and thinks that people who keep up with the book releases are dangerously obsessive. My two companions in a three-person party are playing core-only fighters, and he actually encouraged me to play an arcane caster. I must admit it was rather amusing last night when a single casting of Web defeated an entire encounter. He managed to get me to go a night (in-game) without replenishing my spells, and I still (as a sorcerer with wands) had enough spells left to finish out the second day's worth of encounters.

    So, yeah, there's my experience. I'd personally say to go with CompWar, since two-thirds of people are still living in 3.0 and will think it's dangerously progressive in and of itself. Asking them to go from Sword and Fist directly into ToB is just a little too much to ask.
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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    I don't know a whole lot about tome of battle, but I know a guy who works at the local geek store who claims to have used it, and his DM confirms, to make a 14th level character that hits so hard that it requires the epic level handbook to determine damage done, as he's hitting as a colossal creature.

    Different character of his took on a bronze dragon nearly single handedly, the rest of his party barely getting in a shot. This was at 9th level.

    Now, I'm not saying that anyone can make ridiculously overpowered characters like my friend, as he breaks every system he touches, but I am saying that Tome of Battle has a lot of potential for being overpowered, which may be why it is that some DMs outlaw it.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Did you try talking to them about it? I've personally found, most DMs will come around to ToB when you just have the usual 'Melee vs. Magic'-talk with them and simply give them an example of the core caster power level and point out how ToB is lower than that, and then have the 'I don't like just doing full attacks all day'-discussion and again point out how ToB gives melee types options. It's amazing what little discussion can do.

    Also, I don't know how accurate your own experiences are in the grand scale of things; I haven't met any DMs personally who still use 3.0 books for over two years. It may just be my experiences, of course; I've only played with 5 different GMs over the period. However, seeing that 3.5 is like 8 years old, I find it highly unlikely that a large percentage of D&D players wouldn't have pooled their resources to acquire 3.5.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Complete Warrior is a good book. It was one of the first splatbooks ever written, though, so the designers were rather paranoid in terms of what they wrote.
    A lot of the book is thus complete garbage. The three base classes hexblade, swashbuckler and samurai are interesting; hexblade and swashbuckler are frontloaded with very strong abilities and suck the rest of the way, making them strong dips in many builds, while the samurai is generally considered the worst base class in the game. Many of the prestige classes are also rather worthless. However, the merits are many. Many of the feats are very useful, such as Karmic Strike and Shock Trooper (this is a STAPLE in Barbarian builds). Some prestige classes, such as the Warshaper and the Kensai (would you like to throw your own hands at people and have them burrow into their flesh? I would.), can be very useful. There is a lot of good in CW, but there is also a lot of bad.

    Tome of Battle may very well be the most important book for fighters ever since the core series, however. Many DMs think that ToB is overpowered, since it does give fighters a slew of very powerful abilities. However, ToB tends to make the game come closer to balanced, as it narrows the margin between the fighting classes and the Primary Spellcasters and their kin. Anyone knowledgeable about D&D knows that the Primary Spellcasters by far have the upper hand in D&D. To discuss this further would be to digress, but if you hunted around in any major D&D forum you would find the reasoning behind this. In the end, the fighters need all the help that they can get - and ToB supplies this. Your warblade is still going to be made weak in the face of the rampaging druid or the time-stopping wizard who just turned into a Balor, but he will do much better than the sword-and-board fighter. After your TWF-er swordsage rips into them for several hundred points of damage using Inferno Blade and Raging Mongoose, the wizard might even be impressed for a second. The Tome of Battle will completely change your fighter game, and will make the game more fun for all. I would go so far to say that melee-loving players should buy ToB first thing after getting their core rulebooks next time they want to buy a book. So, if you have to pick one of them, go with ToB. Do keep CW in mind, though, next time you want to buy a book, because there's a lot of good stuff in there that can help you further.
    Last edited by ChaosDefender24; 2008-04-07 at 06:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    @ Eldariel

    Well, with the 3.0 DM I couldn't resist the temptation of power, so I just said "Sure... I'll play a sorcerer."

    He's also still checking the 3.0 spell descriptions... I'm still controllable at this level, but I'm going to have to seriously work on limiting myself at higher levels to keep from totally overshadowing everyone.

    With the DM who thinks I'm a powergamer I tried for some time, but he wouldn't yield. Apparently someone in his last campaign twinked out a swordsage, and so now he's convinced ToB's the most broken cheese ever conceived.
    Last edited by Ascension; 2008-04-07 at 06:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    With the DM who thinks I'm a powergamer I tried for some time, but he wouldn't yield. Apparently someone in his last campaign twinked out a swordsage, and so now he's convinced ToB's the most broken cheese ever conceived.
    Can't you just show him what a level 10 Druid or Wizard can do? Or even some of the online discussions on the subject? Mine was against it until I directed him to read these conversations since I was too lazy to show how cheesy Wizard, Druid, Cleric, Sorc. et co. are even without trying (the boards are full of those examples). Really, arguments about ToB cheese tend to end the moment spells start to rip reality a new one, while ToB characters continue playing what we call 'D&D'.

    I mean, I understand how some people may have poor experiences with ToB characters since they tend to be strong even if you don't try to optimize them, but I can't see how anyone could rightly claim that the whole book is broken. And even if some does, it's often possible to have them allow a probation period of sorts with it to show them the level the character plays on and how a caster could still do more.


    As far as 3.0 goes, OH MY GOD, YOU'LL BREAK THE WORLD. I mean, the only thing more broken than 3.5 caster 20 is 3.0 caster 20.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2008-04-07 at 06:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Ascension: I repeat myself, but...Just ask them to make you fight a tarrasque or balor, or... etc, a level 20 mob, Solid fog it's ass, and proceed to kick the crap out of it with a ninth level wizard. After the horror is done, go ahead and ask the DM: "So, m'old friend, you think a few hundred damage points against creatures that easily have 600 HP or more at level 20 are so much more broken than a guy who can make encounters obsolete at level 9?"

    If he insists, just throw up your arms, say "Meh, keep playing with your monks and core fighters, then", and walk out.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
    Ascension: I repeat myself, but...Just ask them to make you fight a tarrasque or balor, or... etc, a level 20 mob, Solid fog it's ass, and proceed to kick the crap out of it with a ninth level wizard. After the horror is done, go ahead and ask the DM: "So, m'old friend, you think a few hundred damage points against creatures that easily have 600 HP or more at level 20 are so much more broken than a guy who can make encounters obsolete at level 9?"

    If he insists, just throw up your arms, say "Meh, keep playing with your monks and core fighters, then", and walk out.
    I'm not sure what type of spellcaster you've been playing, but I've obviously been doing it wrong. Heh. Also, I'm pretty sure spell resistance/immunity is rather common for CR20+ monsters.

    Just looked it up, and I can't see a 9th level caster of any sort taking on Tarrasque, using your example. SR 32, Frightful presence dc 32, immune to rays, lines, cones, and magic missles...
    Last edited by Ikkorous; 2008-04-07 at 07:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis? With good planning, you use no SR spells.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    I showed him some of the options for caster optimization. The fact that I knew the tricks further convinced him I was a powergamer, and he quickly switched from arguing it was overpowered to arguing that it's too "anime." That's when I just gave up.

    Incidentally that campaign ended up folding before it really started, so I didn't even get to the point at which my rogue/swashbuckler would have matured. It's a shame. I was wondering if he was going to claim that sneak attack is overpowered.
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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
    If he insists, just throw up your arms, say "Meh, keep playing with your monks and core fighters, then", and walk out.
    I play monks and core fighters...

    But on a more serious note, I'm just going to throw this out there: Why only ToB or CW? Have you looked at other books to stave off your craving for more melee goodness? I know I've used PHB2 a number of times when it comes to making a better melee character and Complete Adventurer isn't bad either. Besides, with either of those you can also help out anyone who intends to make a caster or learn a little more about them yourself.

    If it comes down to the two though I don't find CW to be as bad as some people are saying. I know ToB is very attractive and shiny but I prefer the more classic approach to melee characters myself.

    Ooh, and I've been playing for about 3 years now and no one in my group plays casters because there underpowered. I nearly tried to show them how powerful an optimized caster can be, but then I figured that hey, I play with a lot of power gamers, do I really want to unleash that horror on my games? Because of this fact we've yet to have any problems with game balance.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Danin View Post
    I play monks and core fighters...

    But on a more serious note, I'm just going to throw this out there: Why only ToB or CW? Have you looked at other books to stave off your craving for more melee goodness? I know I've used PHB2 a number of times when it comes to making a better melee character and Complete Adventurer isn't bad either. Besides, with either of those you can also help out anyone who intends to make a caster or learn a little more about them yourself.

    If it comes down to the two though I don't find CW to be as bad as some people are saying. I know ToB is very attractive and shiny but I prefer the more classic approach to melee characters myself.

    Ooh, and I've been playing for about 3 years now and no one in my group plays casters because there underpowered. I nearly tried to show them how powerful an optimized caster can be, but then I figured that hey, I play with a lot of power gamers, do I really want to unleash that horror on my games? Because of this fact we've yet to have any problems with game balance.
    The reason I'm not considering PHBII or C.Adv is I already own those two, and find them extremely useful. The general usefulness of the complete series is what prompted me to inquire into the C.War, in fact.
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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Although not really good for a hit-things fighter, I find Complete Scoundrel to be the perfect companion to Complete Adventurer. In many ways they feel like two halves of a whole. I tend to like to play nimble melee combatants, so Scoundrel has some fun stuff.
    Last edited by Ascension; 2008-04-07 at 07:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    Although really good for a hit-things fighter, I find Complete Scoundrel to be the perfect companion to Complete Adventurer. In many ways they feel like two halves of a whole. I tend to like to play nimble melee combatants, so Scoundrel has some fun stuff.
    Also owned, though I don't actually use much of it.
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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    I personally love Complete Scoundrel, Complete Adventurer, PHBII and Complete Warrior, but I'd always choose ToB first if I had to pick which to use to make enjoyable characters simply because the whole book is basically dynamite. Complete Warrior is a book to get at some point, if only for the tactical feats et al. and Complete Scoundrel and Skill Tricks are just plain awesome, but if you want to really spice up the melee combat and get tons more options in how to build your characters and much more interactive combat system along with Warrior-classes with actual skills, ToB is just the thing you'll want.

    I know I'm being somewhat repetitive, but I wasn't sure if I really emphasised just how much I find ToB to enhance the melee experience compared to any other book.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    I'd recommend the ToB; it is the best 3.x splatbook there is, and it is oodles of fun. It is well-balanced and very enjoyable. It makes melee a ton of fun, and gives you lots of interesting options. If you're worried about the DM allowing it, talk to them about it, and talk to them about how they're still much weaker than magic users and how you want to play a melee character, but melee characters are boring. They should come around.

    Complete Warrior is okay, but the Tome of Battle is so much better, I cannot emphasize it enough. ToB classes are FUN, and maneuvers are very interesting indeed.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Tome of Battle. If you can't talk your DM into allowing it, run a batman wizard and see how quickly you change your DM's mind.
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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Tome of Battle. It cannot be said enough. It makes melee fun. You have options - you're not just a charger, or a tripper.

    Cwar is great. Nice book. But it can't hold a candle to the ToB.
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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Quote Originally Posted by lumberofdabeast View Post
    Tome of Battle. If you can't talk your DM into allowing it, run a batman wizard and see how quickly you change your DM's mind.
    Go check the recruitment forums in here. See how many of them allow wizards and Complete Warrior. Now see how many of them allow ToB.

    Trying to overpower the DM is the worst thing a player can do. You'll take out the fun of the other players, you'll piss off the DM and in the end everybody will be angry.

    ToB is a completely new system of combat. Asking a DM who never used it to sudenly incorporate it in the campaign is selfish at best and powergaming munchikinism at worst.

    Get complete warrior.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    ToB is a completely new system of combat. Asking a DM who never used it to sudenly incorporate it in the campaign is selfish at best and powergaming munchikinism at worst.
    Or an increase in the enjoyability for everyone wanting to play melee in that particular game? It's selfish, yes, but the game is all about having everyone enjoy and sometimes that calls for one of the melee-players being selfish; it'll turn out better for everyone. A DM doesn't even need to know ToB too well as long as you don't try to abuse it, just as long as the player knows what he's doing.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2008-04-08 at 08:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    ToB is a completely new system of combat. Asking a DM who never used it to sudenly incorporate it in the campaign is selfish at best and powergaming munchikinism at worst.
    If you can't introduce something because it's selfish how are you ever going to try something new?

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    Go check the recruitment forums in here. See how many of them allow wizards and Complete Warrior. Now see how many of them allow ToB.
    That's because, like you, most people have a knee jerk reaction to the book and ban it without trying it first.

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    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    ToB. If that hasn't been emphasized enough, ToB.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Falrin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Belgium
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fighty-type books on a budget

    First, amen on the ToB. A lot depends here on the general power LvL of your groups.

    Why didn't anybody suggest PHBII?

    Knight makes a decent tank.
    Duskblade a decent 'striker'

    Some nice Class variants

    Lots of good feats.



    Oke , it's not really melee specific, but that can be a +.
    And it offers no PrC's. Maybe a bad idea afther all.

    But a something with Knight/Dweep Warden/Dwarven defender sounds nice.
    Last edited by Falrin; 2008-04-09 at 05:00 AM.

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