-Level 12. This really isn't a backup character, but it's a habit of mine to make my characters at the level of my current game.
-No Mark of Storm. I love it to pieces, but I want to challenge myself to make a controller build (for such this is) without relying on it.
-Generic +3 items (no specific enchantments). My actual game is pretty free with items, but I wanted to prove to myself that I don't NEED specific enchantments to make a build. (Plus, I'm lazy.)
-All characters get the relevant Expertise for free. This is the standing rule at my table, and as with the starting level, I tend to keep the same background assumptions when I make characters just for fun.
Anyway, here's what I've got. Oh, and the order in which the feats are taken is pretty much random, since I didn't design this character with level 1 in mind. (It MIGHT be playable at level 1 if you shuffle the feats, but I've made no specific effort to make it so.)
Level 12 Hybrid Seeker|Ranger, Traveler's Harlequin
Human (bump to WIS)
Hybrid Seeker's Bond: Um, Bloodbond I guess? Not terribly relevant at this level.
Background: Training in Bluff
STR 10 + 1 = 11
DEX 16 + 3 = 19
CON 12 + 1 = 13
INT 12 + 1 = 13
WIS 16 + 5 = 21
CHA 8 + 1 = 9
Bonus: Master at Arms (+1/2/3 with all weapons, draw/stow as minor 1/rd)
Human: Bola Training (Proficient w/bolas, can immobilize instead of damage; prone on crit)
1: Archery Mastery (swap Ranger at-will for Clever Shot)
2: Vicious Advantage (CA vs. slowed/immobilized targets)
4: Grounding Shot (No penalty to hit prone targets at range; +2 dmg when doing so)
6: World Serpent's Grasp (Can knock slowed/immobilized targets prone)
8: Whatever, retrain to Controlling Advantage at 12 (Increase forced movement vs. target granting you CA by 1)
10: Whatever, retrain to Dragging Flail at level 11 (Slide enemy 1 when you knock them prone with a flail)
11: Brawling Warrior or whatever MC Fighter (MC Fighter; training in Athletics, marginal other benefits)
11 (TH Bonus): Disciplined Talent (MC Psion; training in Dungeoneering, Static Mote 1/enc)
12: Distant Shot (no penalty for long-range attacks)
A1: Grappling Spirits (Seeker 1, RBA)
A1: Biting Swarm (Seeker 1, RBA)
A1: Clever Shot (Ranger 1, uses RBAs)
E1: Mischief Spirits (Seeker 1, RBA)
D1: Swarming Bats (Seeker 1); retrain to Guardian Arrow (Ranger 1, uses RBAs) at 9
U2: Stalker's Mist (Ranger 2)
E3: Fox's Cunning (Ranger 1, uses RBAs)
D5: Spitting-Cobra Stance (Ranger 5, uses RBAs)
U6: Earthbond Gift (Seeker 6)
E7: Feyjump Shot (Seeker 7)
D9: Nature's Vengeance (Seeker 9)
U10: Hunter's Thorn Trap (Ranger 10)
E11: Traveler's Mummery (Traveler's Harlequin 11)
U12: Shape of the Traveler (Traveler's Harlequin 12)
Defenses (assuming +3 but otherwise nonspecific gear):
HP: 80 (40 bloodied, 20 surge)
Surges: 7 (eep!)
AC: 25 [10 + 6 (level) + 4 (DEX) + 2 (leather) + 3 (enhancement)]
Fort: 22 [10 + 6 (level) + 1 (CON) + 1 (race) + 1 (Ranger) + 3 (enhancement)]
Ref: 25 [10 + 6 (level) + 4 (DEX) + 1 (race) + 1 (Seeker) + 1 (MW leather) + 3 (enhancement)]
Will: 24 [10 + 6 (level) + 5 (WIS) + 1 (race) + 3 (enhancement)]
To-hit: +18 [6 (level) + 2 (prof) + 5 (WIS) + 3 (enhancement) + 2 (expertise]
All your attacks can, at your option, immobilize instead of doing damage. We'll be utilizing this effect quite often.
Any RBAs you make on your turn will be through Clever Shot, thereby either sliding 2 (possibly +1), knocking prone, or slowing (save ends) on a hit, in addition to their other effects.
Your at-will RBAs can either slow and prevent shifting (Grappling Spirits) or deal a –2 attack penalty in an AoE (Biting Swarm).
When you hit a slowed or immobilized target, you can knock it prone.
When you knock someone prone, you can slide them 1 square (or 2, if they're granting CA, which they probably are).
Your Ranger powers let you make more RBAs, usually off-turn.
Feyjump Shot isn't an RBA, but it's cool enough to have it anyway. If you wanted to swap in another RBA instead, I like Winter Spirit more than Wasp Sting Shot, but at least WSS gives you some minor minion-clearing power.
So, anyway, the defenses are obviously pretty poor. There are several feats which I obviously want (in no particular order, it would be nice to have Far Throw [note: this would require slightly shuffling the stats], Improved Defenses, Battle Caster Defense, and Hybrid Talent for True Seeker's Bond . . . oh, and maybe Strengthened Bond, since it's a way around the 1/day limit on the Hybrid version of Seeker's Bond), but I'm already going human and getting a bonus from my PP, so there's only so much I can do about that. There's only so many ways to pick up bonus feats, after all.
Anyway, this is an attempt to use Ranger to make Seeker a little better. I admit that I take a perverse delight in using such an amazingly low-damage option as the bolas on a character who's technically a Ranger (yes, I love the bolas, despite their flaws). It's a bit of a shame that I can't trade Hunter's Quarry out for something, because I can only use it with a single attack, and a daily at that (Guardian Arrow). Of course, if I COULD use it, I'd just take Staggering Strike and/or Hobbling Strike to trade it right back out again, but hey, those would be even more control effects! This build is very much not a striker, and it is in no way trying to be.
If I gave myself free pick of items, I'd probably focus on shoring up my defenses . . . and a Distance weapon seems like a no-brainer (cheap, common, and really helps with the range issue).
So, overall, what do you think? This build's shortcomings are pretty obvious (not the least of which being that it's unnecessarily complex . . . but that tends to happen on characters I create), but are its strengths enough to make up for those shortcomings? Could it be done better with another class combination? Is there a way to get both Clever Shot and Rapid Shot while keeping two Seeker at-wills? Is this the least damage-oriented Ranger ever? How will our heroes make it out of this one? Tune in next week for—er, wait, lost myself there. Anyway, thoughts?