Need some more ideas on a 3.5 wrestling/mma tag team concept

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Hey, what's up everyone! We're starting a new 3.5 game in a couple of months and my friend and I had this bizzare, but fun idea, of making a Mixed Martial Arts tag team.  And I'm just trying to get a compilement of potential ideas, feats, skills, classes that will fit the theme.

My friend is set on going the Reaping Mauler route with Earth's Embrace feat (comp warrior) and heavy on grappling and submission (so he'll be like a ji-jitsu artist). I'm leaning towards a monk whom specializes in striking and take downs (imp trip). Possibly take flying kick too.

Unfortunatly, the gm does not allow Tome of Battle, so I can't use the "Setting Sun" manuevers (Still trying hard to convince him to allow it because those maunuvers are bad-ass).

 But every other 3.5 book is ok. So if you all could list a few more ideas on how to build upon this theme that would be greatly appeciated. Good prestige class choices that enchance striking, feats I may have missed, ways to perform a cool tag team attack (like my friend grappling the enemy while I flurry it, all while he maintains his pin/chokeout). I thank you all in advance! Later!

"Every battle offers an opportunity of victory. It's up to you to summon the courage to grasp that moment!" -- Kurando (Shadowhearts: Covenant)

 

"A man doesn't think he acts!" -- Kamina (Gurren Lagann)

Advice for your friend.


Reaping mauler is aweful.


The class actively makes you worse at grappling.


It gives a bonus to getting out of grapples (The exact opposite of helpful), and you are forced to leave the class if you are ever bigger than medium. The best way to get better at grapple? Getting bigger than medium. (its prerequsite feat clever wrestling needs medium or smaller size. If you don't meet the prereq you can't be in the class).


Break down of your powers in this class.


Level 1- improved grapple in light armor. How on earth would you need this ability by the time you decide to join this prestige class. Useless. Mobility. AKA nothing.


level 2-  In light armor you get +1 to grapple checks.


Level 3- You can get out of grapples easier. Awesome. Opposite of helpful. Then you can, as a full round action knock people out. You know, instead of full attack or something. Oh also they are out for 1d3 rounds. So they are back up soon. Also, you have to win the grapple check on round 1, and then pin for full round so really this is 2 rounds to knock people out.


Level 4- +1 to grapple.


Level 5- Maintain a pin for 3 rounds (After the first to start a pin) and you can kill. With a crappy low save DC that everything will pass.


Seriously advise your friend to just dip a level in wizard, and take enlarge person spell. That gives him +4 and restricts his armor to very little. Bigger grapple bonuses and you still get to not wear armor.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

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"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

with the right feats, a reaping mauler can be wonderful.  As a solo character, I would choose something different, but in one on one gladiator stuff, a reaping mauler can be super awesome.  I have a friend who one played a reaping mauler in spiked chain and snapped her neck in just a few rounds.

but back on the topic, I cannot remember what book they are in, it might be the phb2, but there are alternative options for almost all classes.  For monks, there are several routes that offer much less flexibility, but that offer in exchange an extra feat.  They are better used as a guide for what feats will go well with the class abilities you want to exploit.  A word of warning, however, is that at low level, monks are not very useful.  At high levels, however, monks can be downright dangerous.  Because of their spell resistance and a few other class features, I would suggest that if you have ten levels of monk, keep going with being a monk.  Some other options for a monk are drunken master (alcohol actually has medicinal puroposes, as well as giving you a few other benefits), tattooed monk (tatoos give you certain class features), occult slayer (very useful against mages).  I will have to say, that a monk is by far the most useful person for taking down a mage, with the right stuff.  A monk has high saves overall, he gets SR at level 10, his speed increases with his class, so he can run over to the back of the line, and he can never be unarmed.  If you give him the combat reflexes, pursue, and mage slayer feats, then he will be a very frustrating opponent to any who cast spells.  If you make him a shifter (one that can fly), then he loses the use of his arms for anything but flying, but in return, you can fly up with a wizard who casts levitate or fly.  With Ki strike (adamantine) that you get at higher levels, take improved sunder and make the fighty McMeatshield rather useless.  The monk at high levels is very all-around.  If you want to make an illusionist really angry, pay for somoeone to cast true seeing and then permancancy on you, or get the blindfold of true darkness.  In order to become a more agile and frustrating opponent, buy the Combat Dummy of the Master, which allows you to make a ten foot adjustment instead of a five foot adjustment, as well as getting the swift trait, for which you lose one hit point per level but in return get ten feet of extra movement.  With the amount of move that you would have, your jump check would be through the roof.  I hope that this helps a bit.
you seek Yoda, you're way off again. The reaping mauler is a huge trap unless you're smaller than Large. The best grapplers are Large or larger. See the fundamental disconnect here? Add to that the remarkably low DCs on his only two useful abilities, and you have an awful execution of an interesting idea.

Similarly, you seem to think the monk is uber. It's actually reasonably gimped. It can be used reasonably effectively, but the class as a whole is six levels long at best. I've heard you make the same style of arguments over Vow of Poverty, which is in the same boat. 

(You're also using so many 3e-only things in that post that I'm surprised you're even looking at 3.5. You reference the 3e version of Drunken Master, the 3e version of the Blindfold of True Darkness, and the oh-so-broken Sparring Dummy of the Master.)

Setting that aside and going back to the main topic, though.



I worked on a combo build a while back designed to work with exactly this theme. RadicalTaoist and I put them together under the name Bumper and Flipper, the Pinball Brothers - you can guess what they did with enemies. Flipper would work as a launcher (pushing enemies into nice formations) and Bumper would act as the anchor, pummelling them back with Awesome Blow and melee AoE attacks... and if the team happened to be out of position, both of them had ways of punishing the enemy for letting them move. They even worked without using the Tome, since they pre-dated it. Sadly, the build seems to have been eaten by the WotC archive. On the upside, it was so long ago, I think I might be able to do better with newer material. Let's see how close I can get to that conceptually.

Assuming no Setting Sun (boo...), the best launcher character in the game is probably a Goliath or Half-Giant Dungeoncrasher (Dungeonscape fighter variant) with Shock Trooper (CW) and Knockback (Races of Stone). Use this person to flip enemies to wherever you want them or play racquetball with them against the walls -- or into your trip/grapple buddy (look at what happens when a bull rushed target hits something else under Dungeoncrasher). Plus, it doesn't actually take that many levels to pull off (a whole six, plus a level adjustment that you can buy off), so you can diversify after that into whatever you want. (Note that since you're getting Shock Trooper, it should be pretty easy to diversify into a charge build. Leap Attack, Combat Brute, and other Power Attack multipliers are the key here. Furthermore, if you go Goliath, you can take one level of Barbarian for Mountain Rage, and actually become Large while raging, giving you even MORE strength and Reach to boot (since I'm assuming you're not using the usual reach weapon choices, favoring unarmed strikes, this is a huge benefit). It even works with the Lion Totem Barbarian variant in Complete Champion (trade Fast Movement for Pounce), meaning you can actually combine every aspect of your friend's character into a single bum-rush attack: Jump at an enemy, hit them with every attack you've got (or, since you have large reach, splitting these attacks up among multiple foes), and have each attack push the target back, potentially slamming them into a wall multiple times for insane damage on each hit (which can be in different directions thanks to Shock Trooper, potentially even slamming foes into each other for free trips), and then you get even bigger bonuses on damage the next round thanks to Combat Brute.) Since this only takes a few levels to do, you could also diversify into War Mind for 5 levels for Sweeping Strike, which basically turns you into this on top of giving you several excellent Psychic Warrior powers on the side.

Assuming no Tome of Battle, the best grapplers are probably pure Psychic Warriors. Expansion, Grip of Iron, Strength of My Enemy... their power list is absolutely INSANE for this purpose. (They also have access to Catfall, which actually renders you immune to Trip. Yes, you read that right - the single best non-ToB melee maneuver is useless against you as long as you have an immediate action, since "you land on your feet no matter how far you fall". Note that since your buddy has Shock Trooper's Domino Rush, he can slam people into you, trip you both, and have you land on your feet if for some reason you fail the Strength check.) If you want to use Earth's Embrace, this can actually make it usable (although given your buddy this may not be effective). Psychic warriors also have access to powers that give them extra limbs which can, hypothetically, be used to grapple multiple foes, although most of these are pretty high level (for example, Form of Doom). Most of these abilities all also boost everything you could want on making a trip attempt too, so you can switch tactics as the need arises. Plus, it's tricky, but you can get access to Metamorphosis if you want some polymorph shenatigans (such as reading an action to "attack" when your launcher buddy moves the enemy into your threatened area... but since you're polymorphed into a hydra, that attack is actually twelve psionically augmented strikes, each of which drains hit points and Strength from the enemy and gives it to you). If you avoid Metamorphosis, you can still use readied actions in response to what your ally does.

Here's a quick example. He launches an enemy into you, you ready an action to trip it, and after you succeed, since you have Improved Trip, you follow it up with a melee attack, which can be a grapple attempt. (Essentially, he punches the enemy so hard he goes flying into you, whereupon you catch him, suplex him, and lock him in a submission hold.) If you have multiple limbs, and are big enough, you can catch and hold multiple enemies this way. While he's doing this, you're slowly chewing away on each one of them using Strength of My Enemy and Vampiric Weapon, so you're getting stronger and tougher while they get weaker and weaker. Once you have them all in your space, he can do his charge attack bum rush into each of them, which are suffering huge penalties due to grappling and will all be within reach. (Oddly, while effects like Bull Rush have a percentage chance of redirecting incoming attacks to you instead of your target, grappling does not appear to have any such penalty, so you're perfectly safe while he chews your victims into chunky salsa.) All the while, every round, you can leech impossibly high amounts of Strength from your foes, making your grapple checks and damage much more powerful, and when the grapple ends, you're an absolute nightmare on the field (literally, too, if you used Form of Doom for extra attacks).

And if you're fighting foes that you can't grapple (either because they're too big or because they've cast Freedom of Movement), you're still a psychic warrior - you've got natural attack powers, pounce powers, teleports, and numerous other abilities that let you trip foes and rip them to shreds even if they can't be grappled. Under this scenario, both you and your buddy transform into Pounce-charging killing machines based on dealing damage. Just make sure your buddy delays until after you - that way, you charge the enemy (and dish out serious pain), and THEN he charges the enemy (who will be Bull Rushed far enough away that you'll be able to charge it again on the following round). Alternatively, you could just manifest Immovability and be the wall your buddy needs to slam people into. (If the Concentration duration thing bothers you, spend two skill points to learn the Swift Concentration skill trick (Complete Scoundrel). This lets you act as a wall for your buddy while you're buffing yourself up with other attack powers.) 


EDIT - okay, sorry, misread your request: Your buddy is playing the grappler, you're playing the launcher.  My advice still holds, just reverse the "you" and "your buddy".

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules | Discussion: 5e Artificer

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I worked on a combo build a while back designed to work with exactly this theme. RadicalTaoist and I put them together under the name Bumper and Flipper, the Pinball Brothers - you can guess what they did with enemies. Flipper would work as a launcher (pushing enemies into nice formations) and Bumper would act as the anchor, pummelling them back with Awesome Blow and melee AoE attacks... and if the team happened to be out of position, both of them had ways of punishing the enemy for letting them move. They even worked without using the Tome, since they pre-dated it. Sadly, the build seems to have been eaten by the WotC archive. On the upside, it was so long ago, I think I might be able to do better with newer material. Let's see how close I can get to that conceptually.

Assuming no Setting Sun (boo...), the best launcher character in the game is probably a Goliath or Half-Giant Dungeoncrasher (Dungeonscape fighter variant) with Shock Trooper (CW) and Knockback (Races of Stone). Use this person to flip enemies to wherever you want them or play racquetball with them against the walls -- or into your trip/grapple buddy (look at what happens when a bull rushed target hits something else under Dungeoncrasher). Plus, it doesn't actually take that many levels to pull off (a whole six, plus a level adjustment that you can buy off), so you can diversify after that into whatever you want. (Note that since you're getting Shock Trooper, it should be pretty easy to diversify into a charge build. Leap Attack, Combat Brute, and other Power Attack multipliers are the key here. Furthermore, if you go Goliath, you can take one level of Barbarian for Mountain Rage, and actually become Large while raging, giving you even MORE strength and Reach to boot (since I'm assuming you're not using the usual reach weapon choices, favoring unarmed strikes, this is a huge benefit). It even works with the Lion Totem Barbarian variant in Complete Champion (trade Fast Movement for Pounce), meaning you can actually combine every aspect of your friend's character into a single bum-rush attack: Jump at an enemy, hit them with every attack you've got (or, since you have large reach, splitting these attacks up among multiple foes), and have each attack push the target back, potentially slamming them into a wall multiple times for insane damage on each hit (which can be in different directions thanks to Shock Trooper, potentially even slamming foes into each other for free trips), and then you get even bigger bonuses on damage the next round thanks to Combat Brute.) Since this only takes a few levels to do, you could also diversify into War Mind for 5 levels for Sweeping Strike, which basically turns you into this on top of giving you several excellent Psychic Warrior powers on the side.

Assuming no Tome of Battle, the best grapplers are probably pure Psychic Warriors. Expansion, Grip of Iron, Strength of My Enemy... their power list is absolutely INSANE for this purpose. (They also have access to Catfall, which actually renders you immune to Trip. Yes, you read that right - the single best non-ToB melee maneuver is useless against you as long as you have an immediate action, since "you land on your feet no matter how far you fall". Note that since your buddy has Shock Trooper's Domino Rush, he can slam people into you, trip you both, and have you land on your feet if for some reason you fail the Strength check.) If you want to use Earth's Embrace, this can actually make it usable (although given your buddy this may not be effective). Psychic warriors also have access to powers that give them extra limbs which can, hypothetically, be used to grapple multiple foes, although most of these are pretty high level (for example, Form of Doom). Most of these abilities all also boost everything you could want on making a trip attempt too, so you can switch tactics as the need arises. Plus, it's tricky, but you can get access to Metamorphosis if you want some polymorph shenatigans (such as reading an action to "attack" when your launcher buddy moves the enemy into your threatened area... but since you're polymorphed into a hydra, that attack is actually twelve psionically augmented strikes, each of which drains hit points and Strength from the enemy and gives it to you). If you avoid Metamorphosis, you can still use readied actions in response to what your ally does.

Here's a quick example. He launches an enemy into you, you ready an action to trip it, and after you succeed, since you have Improved Trip, you follow it up with a melee attack, which can be a grapple attempt. (Essentially, he punches the enemy so hard he goes flying into you, whereupon you catch him, suplex him, and lock him in a submission hold.) If you have multiple limbs, and are big enough, you can catch and hold multiple enemies this way. While he's doing this, you're slowly chewing away on each one of them using Strength of My Enemy and Vampiric Weapon, so you're getting stronger and tougher while they get weaker and weaker. Once you have them all in your space, he can do his charge attack bum rush into each of them, which are suffering huge penalties due to grappling and will all be within reach. (Oddly, while effects like Bull Rush have a percentage chance of redirecting incoming attacks to you instead of your target, grappling does not appear to have any such penalty, so you're perfectly safe while he chews your victims into chunky salsa.) All the while, every round, you can leech impossibly high amounts of Strength from your foes, making your grapple checks and damage much more powerful, and when the grapple ends, you're an absolute nightmare on the field (literally, too, if you used Form of Doom for extra attacks).

And if you're fighting foes that you can't grapple (either because they're too big or because they've cast Freedom of Movement), you're still a psychic warrior - you've got natural attack powers, pounce powers, teleports, and numerous other abilities that let you trip foes and rip them to shreds even if they can't be grappled. Under this scenario, both you and your buddy transform into Pounce-charging killing machines based on dealing damage. Just make sure your buddy delays until after you - that way, you charge the enemy (and dish out serious pain), and THEN he charges the enemy (who will be Bull Rushed far enough away that you'll be able to charge it again on the following round). Alternatively, you could just manifest Immovability and be the wall your buddy needs to slam people into. (If the Concentration duration thing bothers you, spend two skill points to learn the Swift Concentration skill trick (Complete Scoundrel). This lets you act as a wall for your buddy while you're buffing yourself up with other attack powers.) 


EDIT - okay, sorry, misread your request: Your buddy is playing the grappler, you're playing the launcher.  My advice still holds, just reverse the "you" and "your buddy".


 
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Yea.. What draco1119 said...

Tempest_Stormwind, that was a SICK post. Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate the input. Later!

"Every battle offers an opportunity of victory. It's up to you to summon the courage to grasp that moment!" -- Kurando (Shadowhearts: Covenant)

 

"A man doesn't think he acts!" -- Kamina (Gurren Lagann)

Here's an example build. It uses flaws for timing and for playability (i.e. extra rage is underrated on these boards, I think), but it shouldn't be too hard to adapt.

Initial ability scores pre-racial adjustments: 10/15/13/14/12/8. Boost Dexterity at every opportunity (although with this exact breakdown, one point in Constitution isn't a bad call either). Prioritize Dexterity as if you were an archer or ninja.
General equipment: Guisarme, Spiked Gauntlets. The weapon enhancements aren't too critical, actually, since most of your effectiveness comes from your class features all boostrapping each other up into full Pinball glory, so pick whatever seems fun. For other gear, Feather Token (Tree) stocks in huge reserves, since you'll frequently want a wall to make the table more interesting.

01 Goliath Barbarian: [Mountain Rage, Whirling Frenzy, Lion Totem, Illiterate]: Power Attack, Extra Rage, Improved Bull Rush (flaws: Shaky, Vulnerable; Traits: Musclebound, Quick)
02 Fighter: Knockback
03 Dungeoncrasher Fighter: Combat Reflexes (LA Buyoff Now)
04 Fighter
05 Fighter: Combat Expertise
06 Fighter: Shock Trooper
07 Dungeoncrasher Fighter
08 Psychic Warrior: Leap Attack (Catfall)
09 Psychic Warrior: Improved Sunder, Combat Brute (Adrenaline Boost)
10 War Mind: [Chain of Personal Superiority +2] (Expansion)
11 War Mind: [Chain of Defensive Posture +2] (Skate)
12 War Mind: [DR 1/-], Improved Trip
13 War Mind: (Prowess)
14 War Mind: [Sweeping Strike]
15 War Mind: [DR 2/-] Robilar's Gambit (Reach)
16 War Mind: [Chain of Personal Superiority +4]
17 Crusader: [Iron Guard's Glare, Boulder Roll, Defensive Rebuke, Mountain Avalanche, Overwhelming Mountain Strike, Elder Mountain Hammer]
18 Crusader: [Thicket of Blades], OPEN FEAT
19 War Mind: [Chain of Defensive Posture +4]
20 War Mind: [DR 3/-], (Vampiric Blade)

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The only way to qualify for War Mind easily is to have 14 Intelligence and dump every single psychic warrior skill point into Knowledge: Psionics, but that's perfectly doable, especiall since Improved Trip is included. Similarly, you need to be Neutral Good, True Neutral, or Neutral Evil to handle both Rage and War Mind.

Whirling Frenzy means from level 1, your Lion Totem actually does something for you while you're raging. The loss of a boosted Constitution is an issue bu you have a +Con race, and you rely on reach - and Large reach while in a rage thanks to Mountain Rage. Musclebound works wonderfully in your favor too, and Quick boosts your charges and jumps (and the loss of HP is countered somewhat with your reach).

One interesting observation: Sweeping Strike changes your target from an enemy to two squares. If multiple enemies are in the same square and one provokes an attack (say, if you've Domino Rushed them together and one stands up), both get hit. Similarly, you can actually get some use out of Sundering Cleave here: Improved Trip -> Followup attack vs prone target: Sunder their shield at an extra +4 -> Sundering Cleave at an extra +4 (yep, it uses Cleave mechanics and thus you can actually get some use out of Improved Sunder!), and at any of these points the attacks can be knockback strikes. Plus, if you knock them back far enough, ou can charge them over and over again for repeated full attack / Momentum Swing / Leap Attack / Heedless Charge goodies. If you don't have room for that, just stand still and use Dungeoncrasher to play raquetball with them against the nearest wall (8d6+3*Str+[whatever your weapon does] per hit adds up REAL fast - try comparing this guy's damage output to a warmage at every level.)

Regarding the powers, the two Psywar powers were chosen since they're no-augment boosters designed to bail you out (Catfall can make you immune to trip, Adrenaline Boost can boost your Dexterity by 1 and thus give you an extra AoO when you need it). Expansion is a core power later on. Skate synergizes with Jump and isn't ML dependent. Prowess gives you another AoO using a mechanic that stacks with Adrenaline Boost, if you happen to be in a situation where you could benefit from both, action-wise. Reach shows up at exactly the same point where you can augment it to a good duration. And Vampiric Blade capitalizes on the side-effect we get of having a huge weapon (normally, it's not worth it to go for a big weapon, but since we're getting that for free and it raises base damage, why not?). 

Example open feats for that last slot are Practiced Manifester (War Mind), Overchannel (combines nicely with Steely Resolve, but probably worse than PM otherwise), Extended Rage, or Extra Rage.

The timing is built so that he'll be powerful, versatile, and fun at every level, and have a more or less natural progression through his abilities. The only surges are at the high levels, when you unlock the Crusader maneuvers (chosen to make sure no one ever blocks your path, EVER, so you're always in good positions). And even then, I only picked Crusader since I was out of ideas and wanted to capitalize on Reach. (Iron Guard's Glare and Thicket of Blades both key off of your reach, which is something like 60' at that point.)

Be advised your Will save will suck like a Hoover, and that's usually the first place a smart enemy will target. Invest in defending that and you'll be fine.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules | Discussion: 5e Artificer

01 Goliath Barbarian: [Mountain Rage, Whirling Frenzy, Lion Totem, Illiterate]: Power Attack, Extra Rage, Improved Bull Rush (flaws: Shaky, Vulnerable; Traits: Musclebound, Quick)
02 Fighter: Knockback


The ONLY problem I could find with T_S's build is right here.  And T_S know more about this than I ever will, so he's probably got an explanation for "Why do it this way?"

Anyway, why not switch and make Barbarian 1 his second character level?  Granted, all it would eliminate is Illiteracy, but since one of the prereqs for Warmind is the ability to read...
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Barbarian 1st gives you 2 extra hit points (especially important given the +1 LA (which you can't buy off until 3rd level) and Quick, which is surprisingly useful here for charging and leaping given that we give up Fast Movement for Lion Totem) and 8 extra skill points, so even if you spend the 2 points for literacy, you're still ahead. Fighter 1st gives you Knockback at level 1 (with a whole +1 base attack bonus to use on Power Attack) and heavy armor (which you probably can't afford at level 1) instead of level 2. I didn't think the tradeoff was worth it, but YMMV, and there's no significant difference between the two otherwise.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules | Discussion: 5e Artificer

After reading through the links and all the input, I finally put together the build. I had to alter it a little bit though. Despite how long I've been playing 3.5, I never took the time to throughly learn psionics and don't think I would enjoy dipping into them. On another note, I have the tendacy to ALWAYS roll low, so I need to supplement my personal flaws by upping my to-hit as best I can to safely take advantage of power attacks. Here is the build I put together so far. Tome of Battle is still a no go, despite my arguments to DM. (Damn it, Ben! Why hate on it so much, it really isn't a broken book...)

Race: Goliath   Honorific: "Thunder Lasher"
Class: Fighter 15/ Barbarian 1

**I've gotten lots of aid from previous dungeon crasher builds, so i take little credit in making mine**

Starting Stats (DM allows a +9 modifier total. No stat can start higher than 18, and no stat lower than 8 (before racial bonuses))
Str:      22 +6               
Dex:    13 +1       
Con:    20 +5       
Wis:    10 +0           
Int:     10 +0       
Cha:    9   -1

Feat Progression Levels 1-16

ECL 2:       Fighter 1: Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush
ECL 3:       Fighter 2: Dungeon Crasher Class Feature Rank 1
ECL 4:       Fighter 3: Knock-back
ECL 5:       Fighter 4: Weapon Focus (Great Club)  STAT: str
ECL 6:       Fighter 5:
ECL 7:       Fighter 6: Shock Trooper, Dungeon Crasher Class Feature Rank 2
ECL 8:       Fighter 7:
ECL 9:       Fighter 8:  Leap Attack    STAT: str
ECL 10:     Fighter 9:  Endurance
ECL 11:     Fighter 10: Greater Weapon Focus
ECL 12:     Barbarian 1:     STAT: str
                                     Swap Rage for Berserker Strength (PHB2)
                                     Swap +10 ft. land speed for Pounce (Complete Champion)
ECL 13:    Fighter 11: Steadfast Determination
ECL 14:    Fighter 12: Weapon Specialization (Great Club)
ECL 15:    Fighter 13:
ECL 16:    Fighter 14: Greater Weapon Specialization (Great Club), Melee Weapon Mastery (Bludgeoning)    STAT: str

Dm is known to exploit weaknesses, so the best way to get that will save up is Steadfast Determination. Before that, I will rely on Crystal Mask of Mind Armor (Magic Item Comp). The build is going to depend on leap attacks with pounce and "wall pong" as primary damage source.

Tree tokens will aid me until I can befriend the caster to take the swift wall spell from Comp Scoundral, in case the dm is reluctant to put solid surfaces (Quick funny side note: One campaign someone learned fly and after the first use of it, every ceiling was only 10 feet high for the rest of the game lol). Some other core items to work for are armbands of might, helm of battle, the vicious weapon property,  and STR enhancements. I'm still searching for more items to aid bull rush checks.

If an item gives a bonus to strength checks, does that bonus apply to the opposed strength checks when using bull rush?

The last few problems I'm still having are as follows:

A) Ways to increase my size. Bull rushes can only be used if the target is 1 size category larger or lower.  So, I need to find some way to allow myself to bull rush attempt gargantuan and collossal targets. If I get "Enlarge Person" permanently cast on me, does that make me Huge or will it not stack with the Powerful Build trait? Any items I may have missed that could enhance my size or my bull rushes?

B) I got 4 free levels still and don't really need more fighter levels (Weapon Supremacy is good, if there really isn't a PrC out there to flesh out the build). Remember, no Tome of battle and I'd rather not do psionics, unless that really is the ONLY way I could get bigger. Besides, the gm requires a reason for every class you take. He would probay rule there was no way the character could have learned psionics randomly.

Conclusion: I really like the way the build is going to play out. Once I add a pounce leap attack to the equation and the target is up against a solid surface, the damage output is going to be ludacrous. I just gotta hope I hit with most attacks. Too bad wraithstrike is only "range: Personal" lol. But I shouldn't get too excited, because as soon as it happens once, every other enemy we fight is going to be collossal size with seventeen legs. =P

Thanks in advanced! Have a great day!

"Every battle offers an opportunity of victory. It's up to you to summon the courage to grasp that moment!" -- Kurando (Shadowhearts: Covenant)

 

"A man doesn't think he acts!" -- Kamina (Gurren Lagann)

After reading through the links and all the input, I finally put together the build. I had to alter it a little bit though.


Sure thing! Let's see if I can offer any help.
 
Despite how long I've been playing 3.5, I never took the time to throughly learn psionics and don't think I would enjoy dipping into them.


I suspect you actually already know them - they're identical to magic with two extra small rules attached to them (and several other rules pared out), and only one of them would have shown up in the build I suggested. And it's actually kind of funny you'd say this, since you go ga-ga over a psionic item later in your post.  

I suggested psionics later on entirely because of Sweeping Strike and Expansion. That's pretty small-scale as far as psionics go, and they show up late enough in the build that unless you're starting high it won't matter. The big thing is, Expansion is a one-time buff similar to Mountain Rage (so if you're comfortable using the latter, the former's fine too), while Seeping Strike plays exactly as if it were a feat.
On another note, I have the tendacy to ALWAYS roll low, so I need to supplement my personal flaws by upping my to-hit as best I can to safely take advantage of power attacks. Here is the build I put together so far. Tome of Battle is still a no go, despite my arguments to DM. (Damn it, Ben! Why hate on it so much, it really isn't a broken book...)


People hate it for a lot of reasons. You can let him know that the consensus of the CO boards - the guys who built Pun-Pun, amongst others - is that the tome's main benefits are mobility and options, not overall power. (You're getting this from the guy who basically pioneered ubercharging, aided with the Hulking Hurler, helped give Pun-Pun infinite actions, and generally refined a lot of other builds as well. I was never a huge force on the CO boards, but I did have an impact.)

Race: Goliath   Honorific: "Thunder Lasher"
Class: Fighter 15/ Barbarian 1

**I've gotten lots of aid from previous dungeon crasher builds, so i take little credit in making mine**

Starting Stats (DM allows a +9 modifier total. No stat can start higher than 18, and no stat lower than 8 (before racial bonuses))
Str:      22 +6                
Dex:    13 +1        
Con:    20 +5        
Wis:    10 +0            
Int:     10 +0        
Cha:    9   -1

Feat Progression Levels 1-16

ECL 2:       Fighter 1: Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush
ECL 3:       Fighter 2: Dungeon Crasher Class Feature Rank 1
ECL 4:       Fighter 3: Knock-back
ECL 5:       Fighter 4: Weapon Focus (Great Club)  STAT: str
ECL 6:       Fighter 5: 
ECL 7:       Fighter 6: Shock Trooper, Dungeon Crasher Class Feature Rank 2
ECL 8:       Fighter 7:
ECL 9:       Fighter 8:  Leap Attack    STAT: str
ECL 10:     Fighter 9:  Endurance
ECL 11:     Fighter 10: Greater Weapon Focus
ECL 12:     Barbarian 1:     STAT: str
                                     Swap Rage for Berserker Strength (PHB2)
                                     Swap +10 ft. land speed for Pounce (Complete Champion)
ECL 13:    Fighter 11: Steadfast Determination
ECL 14:    Fighter 12: Weapon Specialization (Great Club)
ECL 15:    Fighter 13:
ECL 16:    Fighter 14: Greater Weapon Specialization (Great Club), Melee Weapon Mastery (Bludgeoning)    STAT: str


Here are the questions I would have.

1) Why no size increase? You chose Berserker Rage, which has only ONE advantage on Rage (and even then it's not that much of an advantage, since it essentially cuts your hit points in half), and has no advantages over Mountain Rage, which gives you a size increase. The goliath is uniquely suited to those - especially since they're cheap ways of making your bull rushes and Knockback and trips that much more effective. Plus you get Reach, which is king for these things, and bonus Strength (so you can dedicate more points into Constitution or Dexterity).
2) Why Greatclub? (Even setting aside the Reach issue above, it's not a very good weapon.)
3) You lose a LOT going for Weapon Mastery... which is not all that big a benefit. You're losing out on Reach and Combat Reflexes (for extra attacks), and in the long run it nets you +4 damage per attack for all of those feats... which compares unfavorably to Dungeoncrasher (for you, that's +46 damage per attack - slightly more situational, but if you have Reach, you can make multiple attacks to shove targets around wherever you want. That gets even easier with Combat Brute.), or hell, even POWER ATTACK (which is dealing +2 damage per -1 you take, or +3 with Leap Attack, or even more if you fit in Combat Brute). You're getting more damage from your class features and charge feats than you'd ever get from Weapon Mastery, unless you go for serious multiple attacks (i.e. far more than just a single full attack).

I'm just not convinced it's worth going this route - you're hamstringing yourself one of the best advantages any melee fighter could take, and gaining something in return that really only works if you either 1) also take what you're giving up, or 2) go down an equally intensive feat tree that will actually weaken you (since TWF doesn't work well with power attack or Knockback).

Dm is known to exploit weaknesses, so the best way to get that will save up is Steadfast Determination. Before that, I will rely on Crystal Mask of Mind Armor (Magic Item Comp). The build is going to depend on leap attacks with pounce and "wall pong" as primary damage source.


Wall pong (great name for it!) vastly outmeasures what you can get with your Greater Weapon Specialization/Melee Weapon Mastery feat chain. If you're far from a wall, the ability to push them towards a wall is more valuable than the damage you're dealing - and if your buddy is doing the grapple thing, the ability to push them towards him is more worthwhile than the damage you're dealing.

Also, the Crystal Mask of Mindarmor? Yeah. Psionic item.

Tree tokens will aid me until I can befriend the caster to take the swift wall spell from Comp Scoundral, in case the dm is reluctant to put solid surfaces (Quick funny side note: One campaign someone learned fly and after the first use of it, every ceiling was only 10 feet high for the rest of the game lol). Some other core items to work for are armbands of might, helm of battle, the vicious weapon property,  and STR enhancements. I'm still searching for more items to aid bull rush checks.

If an item gives a bonus to strength checks, does that bonus apply to the opposed strength checks when using bull rush?


Yes. The only distinction between a "strength check" and an "opposed strength check" is the target number. You're still making a Strength check.

But you want the cheapest way to get a good Bull Rush bonus outside of Knockback? Size increases.

Seriously. Each one not only comes with a Strength increase (usually), but also an increase to your size modifier. I worked out my build was able to bull rush at something like +60 or so with relative ease.

The last few problems I'm still having are as follows:

A) Ways to increase my size. Bull rushes can only be used if the target is 1 size category larger or lower.  So, I need to find some way to allow myself to bull rush attempt gargantuan and collossal targets. If I get "Enlarge Person" permanently cast on me, does that make me Huge or will it not stack with the Powerful Build trait? Any items I may have missed that could enhance my size or my bull rushes?


Enlarge Person won't work with goliaths, since they're Monstrous Humanoids (wrong target type). Expansion, the suggestion I gave, WILL work, as will Mountain Rage. Expansion can even be augmented to give you two size increases, which raises you to (effectively) Gargantuan, but you need to have a manifester level of 7 to do that. (That's why I took 7 levels of War Mind before branching out.)

All size increases EXCEPT Mountain Rage stack with powerful build. Mountain Rage "sort-of-stacks" - it basically changes Powerful Build to give you the effective size, space, and reach of a creature one size larger than you as well as its usual benefit.

B) I got 4 free levels still and don't really need more fighter levels (Weapon Supremacy is good, if there really isn't a PrC out there to flesh out the build). Remember, no Tome of battle and I'd rather not do psionics, unless that really is the ONLY way I could get bigger. Besides, the gm requires a reason for every class you take. He would probay rule there was no way the character could have learned psionics randomly.


It wouldn't have been random, though. All beings have some measure of inner strength, and you're learning to harness yours as you study the Talaaric texts as a psychic warrior. It's actually a lot more natural than taking a level of sorcerer, since that, by default fluff, makes some assertion as to your parentage, while psionics do not. (Plus, trust me, a first-level psywar plays very much like a first-level fighter with a lower attack bonus and a different skill set.) Under the build I suggested, you'd have a HUGE number of levels to build up to it anyway, so it wouldn't be "sudden," and the powers are all extremely subtle except for Expansion (and by that point you'd already been Mountain Raging into Large from the get-go). In my mind, I viewed this guy as starting off more Chaotic, and slowly shifting more Lawful as he grew used to fighting as part of a regiment, and the natural extension of that kind of discipline and focus would lead him to develop into the nonchaotic War Mind. (Which is actually a great introduction to psionics in general, I might add. It's not the greatest, but it has its strengths - and its key strength plays STRAIGHT into your biggest advantage.)

That said, REACH. It goes hand-in-hand with size increases, lengthens the shadow you cast on the field (and thus your impact on the game), and gives you better options (charge one guy and full attack split between him and the next). You'll have to raise your Dexterity and take Combat Reflexes to get the most out of it, but you're completely capable of locking down the enemy like you wouldn't believe. (Another alternative is Stand Still - they try to move through your huge threatened area, you hit them and get them to stop. You don't deal any damage, but since you scored a hit while using Power Attack, you trigger Knockback - so not only do they not move where they want, they move where YOU want, and that could involve 8d6+18 damage or an appointment with your buddy at the end of it! This is a bit feat-costly, but trust me, you won't need Weapon Mastery if you do this (it does help a bit with Stand Still to raise the DC, but not at the cost of that many feats.)

You really are going to be able to deal a lot of damage with this fellow already.

Conclusion: I really like the way the build is going to play out. Once I add a pounce leap attack to the equation and the target is up against a solid surface, the damage output is going to be ludacrous. I just gotta hope I hit with most attacks. Too bad wraithstrike is only "range: Personal" lol. But I shouldn't get too excited, because as soon as it happens once, every other enemy we fight is going to be collossal size with seventeen legs. =P


Sounds like your DM is a bit of a jerk. Good thing this build is capable in many different areas.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style))

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules | Discussion: 5e Artificer

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