level 12 Totemist, in a Planar Campaign

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Im looking mostly for advice.  I need to know how to play a Totemist at higher levels (12 plus), in the context of a completely Planar Campaign.   Im also looking for suggestions on how to build him to meet the unique level of play my group uses.  My gaming group does not optimize at all, and the last thing I want to do is draw ire and resentment for an overpowered character.   I really like the Incarnum design and would like to be able to at least be able to use the book I bought, LoL.   Last thing I want is to have the book banned, then I have to make a new character.


I have no experience with the Magic of Incarnum classes, or the magic system used with in.  I just started playing my Totemist and have only reached level 3.  I was only just beginning to get a good feel for the foundation of the system, then my DM drops a bomb.  He is going to advance the time line 5 years.  In effect hes taking us from our current level of 3 all the way up to level 12.   Which normally wouldn’t be a problem for me at all,  but as I said Im still wrapping my head around the MoI system.  It’s a bit of choir trying to combine powers and figure out which to take and when to take them.


The campaign is an all Planar; born, live, and die on the planes.   The premises is pretty simple,  all Hells broken out on the planes…  literally.   The Demons and Devils are at each others throats again, this time leading to an all out no holds bar war that’s speading across all the planes still open.   The Good planes have officially closed their doors,  washing their hands of the whole business.  No help can be summoned from any good plane, and no access for those left outside.


Its been a good 8 years or more since any of the gaming groups I play in have gone over level 8 or 9.  So Im sure I will be rusty their as well.  High level play is such a different game then lower level play.  So any advice concerning high level play in relation to Totemist builds is apprieciated.



My character:


Totemist level 3 (soon to be 12)


Race: Shifter (longtooth )


Stats:    18 str, 18 dex, 20 con, 14 int, 12 chr   (after level additons)


Feats: 


Bonus Essentia (free feat, everyone gets one)


Expanded Soulmeld Capacity


No magic items at the moment.  No real wealth at the moment.   22k to buy items… 





Things to know about my gaming group


Clerics in my group not only will use actions in combat to heal other characters, which is always considered a good use of resources.  You can catch scowls if you don’t, as its considered bad form.   (im not looking for advice on this subject, its how my group is… just except it)  Potions are worth while, as is simple down time resting and roleplaying within towns.   Using CLW every day, repeatedly… would get scowls.


Level dipping (taking just one or two levels of any class) is considered munchkin behavior at best, and newb min/maxer power gamer mentality at worst.  As is having more then say three classes (including prestige class).  We use the level penalties as written, and only ever take a single Prestige class (unless you have a hell of a back story).   (again, my group lets move on)


Book of Nine Swords is broken, as are both the Psionic books.  (again, lets just except it and move on).   I would like to keep MoI from falling in with these two books.  They aren’t banned, but the aren’t really allowed either.


Tripping builds aren’t played at our table, reducing the game to that is considered BS and would receive heavy mocking and then a table kick.   This goes double for the insane grapple builds that some people come up with.  Its just not done, its considered abusing the rules in ways they wheren’t intended for.   Not that we grapple that often anyway.


Wizards/druids/clerics are not gods.  They have limited power, and the day doesn’t stop just so they can regain spells.  When in enemy ground the group pushes on.   We also don’t use any of the many spells to “cheat” the system and bypass this… for instance rope trick every day… or jumping planes to recharge then bounce back or some such.   That kind of play would get you table kicked in a heartbeat.


Charger builds that do over a hundred damage with one hit, table kick.  The kobold builds that abuse all the dragon adds, and age modifiers…  table kick.  Getting 14 attacks a turn, table kick. Etc…..  I think you get the picture….


 


I need to be functional, and contribute…. without breaking the bank in any way.   So for me, going to have to use common sense with the number attacks I get from totem builds.  Im Not gaining attacks if there is no place for it to go.  Already getting 3 attacks with the Kuthrik (sp?) claws and shifter bite got me dirty looks…. The damage was pretty high for a level three character. 


Im also not interested in Totem rager, or barbarian levels at all.   I considering trying to stay in the totemist class for as long as possible.  Im playing a totemist so why not play a totemist.  I was I will only pick shifter feats, and MoI feats…. Unless thiers something else out their that’s a must have.thinking going as high as level 10 totemist,  not sure if double bind is worth the next level or not.  I may just say screw it and go full totemist level 12.  The only thing that might change my mind is the WereMaster prestige class and whether that would be worth 2 or 3 levels as my prestige class.  I cant take the 5 level ability though. Just looking at it its insanely broken even for wolverine which is what id consider taking, or tiger.  


For feat double chakra looks like a must, possibly taking open chakra (picking arms or shoulder).   Im thinking that im going to end up strictly sticking to shifter feats and MoI feats. Unless thiers something else out there i dont know about.   

So there ya go.... any advice welcome as long as its constructive, lol....     


 

Your group really has no idea how the game's mechanics work, do they? I bet your DM fudges the rules a lot and assumes low levels play like high levels. Anyway, setting that aside and taking it as a given.

Here's the handbook. As you noted, Double Chakra (totem) is the feat for the totemist, coupled with the Expanded Soulmeld Capacity you already have (Bonus Essentia is nice but not required for a pure totemist; it works better for multiclassers). Other than that you're probably free to pick up any shifter feat you want; the only "in-concept" class other than totemist that works for you is Eberron's Weretouched Master (as you've noted, it's good), but the best one of those can be considered cheesy in a group that considers the XPH broken (less than five levels is fine in a game like yours though). However, in all honesty, there's nothing wrong with straight-up totemist - it's pretty solidly tier 3 to most of us (maybe a lower 3 than a higher 3, but still that's a good range for it).

There's a few ways to play the totemist, and your ability scores (amazing, btw - if anything'll break it's because of ones that high) lend themselves to all of them. Generally speaking they all hinge upon "bust out the natural attacks and beat face", but how they do that is somewhat varied. Common archetypes are the chargers (usually based around Landshark Boots) and the launchers (based around the Manticore Belt - the only ranged soulmeld but a very good one). Flurriers (based around Girallon Arms and possibly also the Heart of Fire or Totem Avatar) and supernaturalists (usually using things like breath weapons or the Basilisk Mask, or occasionally working off of fear) are other good approaches. Dragon Magic almost added a fifth type (Draconic - several of the dragonblood-only melds grant natural attacks merely by being shaped, and grant more powerful draconic powers with their binds), but that's off-limits for a shifter. 

For you I'd avoid melds with bite attacks (conflicts with your shifting) and I would definitely consider the Totem Avatar's shoulders bind once it's available (don't waste feats on Open Chakras if you're a totemist; you get the shoulders eventually. The feat CAN be interpreted to give you an extra chakra bind, which is honestly a good use for the feat, but I don't think your GM would allow it if they dislike stuff like the XPH or the ToB.) Depending on what your shifter feats do, they can favor melee, ranged, or some mix between them; that choice will dictate how prominently you feature the manticore belt. (I'd personally Double Chakra the belt and another fun bind on your totem, perhaps the basilisk mask. Use Extra Shifter Trait to expand upon your shifting to get other attacks (Razorclaw, perhaps), to add more beast powers to your repertoire (Wildhunt), or improve your spiritual side (Dreamsight)). To avoid tripping this group's uber-sensitive min-maxing sensitivities (seriously, how do they even handle skills? - please read that, if you read nothing else here), sticking to generic Shifter feats for most of your build would probably work fine.

(Note: Your damage can get pretty high as a totemist, but if your team isn't ready for that, then I'm surprised they allow the fighter. A well-made warrior (anything with full base attack and Power Attack) can easily match a totemist without too much effort, and that's without bringing any specific class features into the fray. The sudden jump in level won't help, since they won't have seen the steady progression along the way.)

Hope that helps. 

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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)

 

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[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.

Dragon Magic almost added a fifth type (Draconic - several of the dragonblood-only melds grant natural attacks merely by being shaped, and grant more powerful draconic powers with their binds), but that's off-limits for a shifter.

Well, not entirely off-limits.  A shifter could always spend a feat on Dragontouched if they find the draconic soulmelds really appealing (and if the feat isn't somehow deemed unacceptable ).

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Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

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Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
I think Tempest summed it up quite nicely, so I'll just say: Man, does your group let fighters do anything other than straight up hit things? They can't trip, they can't do good charges, what can they do, exactly?

I'll be surprised if they get access to the gear they need, too.
Your group really has no idea how the game's mechanics work, do they? I bet your DM fudges the rules a lot and assumes low levels play like high levels. Anyway, setting that aside and taking it as a given. 



I take a bit of resentment to that statement.  I mean granted we dont min/max or optimize down to the last fractional number to squeeze every questionable iota out of the system, but we do have over a decade of experience with the system and our games do just fine.  

I will admit that high level play isnt something that we do often,  but I dont believe It will be that much of problem in the long run.  I highly doubt our play style is going to be a hinderance.  And the answer is no, theres no fudging of the dice, and quite frankly that remarks uncalled for.  Just because we dont play the way you do, doesnt mean we have to cheat. 

Your advice on the class though is much welcome, and reaffirms my initial thoughts on the class.  They back up my initial impressions of the class.   I dislike skipping levels in game play though,  or starting out at high levels like this.  It just doesnt give you a good feel for the classes your playing if you skip the initial levels like this.  Not to mention you skip all the time to refine your characters personality and back ground....  the experiences that make him him.    So its always nice getting a second opinion.

Ive decided to stick with straight totemist,  i really want to see what this class can do on its own.  The Weretouched Master prestige class looks nice, but Im just going to play it straight.   Perhaps in three or four levels I will change my mind.   


There's a few ways to play the totemist, and your ability scores (amazing, btw - if anything'll break it's because of ones that high) lend themselves to all of them.



We stick with a traditional method of stat generation that we've used since the days of second edition, simply 4d6 dice and drop the lowest.  Its very random, which I like.   Sure you get lots of average characters and you dont really know what your going to play till you role... but occasional it totally blows the doors open and you get to play characters with truelly awesome stats.   

We tried the point buy system,  but it just lacked the randomeness and flavor... led to too many cookie cutter characters. 


(Note: Your damage can get pretty high as a totemist, but if your team isn't ready for that, then I'm surprised they allow the fighter. A well-made warrior (anything with full base attack and Power Attack) can easily match a totemist without too much effort, and that's without bringing any specific class features into the fray. The sudden jump in level won't help, since they won't have seen the steady progression along the way.)

Hope that helps. 



I dont see this as an issue,  as long as I dont out shine the fighters in the group... and everyone has a place in combat. Then I dont see anyone complaining,  besides my play style tends to be more generalized for all situations and less over specializing for one small niche.  Which is my thoughts with the totemist, it can get insane if you really narrow your focus down to one aspect.   Which isnt my playstyle...  thier are several really nice melds that have huge non combat potential.   

Thanks for the advice,  it helped me decide I was indeed on the right track and that my first impressions of the class still hold mostly true....

Last question,  I didnt notice anywhere whether it says you can supress melds... for instance for when entering cities and social situations.    I think appearing like a monster would be less then productive in those cases.  Lol... 
Well, not entirely off-limits.  A shifter could always spend a feat on Dragontouched if they find the draconic soulmelds really appealing (and if the feat isn't somehow deemed unacceptable ).





Great advice, and I do indeed like the dragon melds.  The feat wouldnt be considered unacceptable, but it doesnt fit my characters background or character concept at all.   It just doesnt work with my character, so I will just have to do without those melds.   Thats no problem at all in my book.  

I think Tempest summed it up quite nicely, so I'll just say: Man, does your group let fighters do anything other than straight up hit things? They can't trip, they can't do good charges, what can they do, exactly?

I'll be surprised if they get access to the gear they need, too.




I dont understand the question.

Whats the difference between just hitting all the time.... or tripping all the time... or charging all the time.  Your still spamming the same concept over and over,  which if your playing any kind of a fighter/warrior character at all then you've already accepted this premise.

We had a player who was roleplaying an Ex Gladiator... so tripping fit his concept really well and he used it as a tactic in combat (when he was outnumbered mostly).   But he didnt optimize it too insane levels, or use it every single turn.  It was simply part of his training,  not his entire training.  

What makes a charge a "good charge",  what makes a charge "bad"?   I dont get that remark. 

Beyond the above example; you still have AoO, disarms,  defensive fighting, blocking lines of attack,  provoking,  shield bashes,  power attacks....    thiers alot more im sure.    Just because we dont make tripper builds doesnt mean that fighters cant do anything....

The only thing we dont do is sundering....  that just leads down the road to "sunder wars" and thats never a good thing at all.   Which is another reason we stay clear of one hit wonders like the "charger builds" and the "tripper" builds.  That just starts a cold war mentality that leads no wear....  I for one never want to play a character that has to fight a tripper build after tripper build.... thats just lame.....

As for the equipement remark....  I dont think thiers a such thing as must have equipement that you have to have.   And my groups of the same opinion.  Theres always a way around everything, and sometimes you just have to take the bad while you deal with the encounter.   Granted Damage Resistance at very high levels will be a serious consideration....  
Your group really has no idea how the game's mechanics work, do they? I bet your DM fudges the rules a lot and assumes low levels play like high levels. Anyway, setting that aside and taking it as a given. 



I take a bit of resentment to that statement.  I mean granted we dont min/max or optimize down to the last fractional number to squeeze every questionable iota out of the system, but we do have over a decade of experience with the system and our games do just fine.  



Sorry, I didn't mean to sound confrontational. But realistically, if the game makes particular assumptions in the system - for instance, after level five or so, skill checks begin to produce results that far exceed real-world expectations and cross into the superheroic - then acting as if those assumptions don't exist (in the skill example, claiming that no one, not even a level 20 character, should be able to jump that far or build something that fast) is fudging the system. That's why I linked to Calibrating Your Expectations, one of the best articles ever written on 3.5. 

Simply as a consequence of the math, the proper response damage in the ballpark of 10-15% of your opponent's HP in one round on average is NOT  "the system is broken". Likewise, if you see numbers bigger than that but in the same ballpark (say, 20% of the average monster HP in one round), the response is not "your characters are too powerful" but rather something more along the lines of "that's pretty close to what the system expects, but just a touch ahead of the curve" (which is a pretty decent reward for knowing how to optimize, isn't it? I mean, why put any effort into character creation if you can't beat the most basic benchmark ever?).

Interestingly, the resource where that information on monster statistics came from - an effort to measure how optimal a party is - actually uses the 20% number as a benchmark for "optimal". Optimization doesn't mean overkill. As Tsuyoshikentsu put it, "having 300 when you need 100 once isn't optimal. Having 100 every time you need 100 is."

A side digression on the Tome of Battle:
Melee characters from the PHB and most other books up to the PHB2 or so tend to seriously drop off in damage if they can't full attack. This includes the totemist, actually. Full attacks require you to remain nailed to the floor and render the game less dynamic - you're stationary and largely just sitting there chugging dice on your turn, and since your damage depends on you sitting there chugging dice on your turn, you're discouraged from taking other options and you seek out this passable but repetitive strategy.

The change in damage between the single attack and the full attack for most characters is actually far greater (at almost every level) than the increase in damage from a Tome of Battle strike. At one point I had a huge proof for this, running the benchmark DMG barbarian against a similarly-equipped benchmark warblade (to keep variability down and minimize the impact of player optimization (to better measure the raw power of the classes alone), I gave them both only one feat: Power Attack); with only a handful of exceptions, the barbarian remains the king of damage, even over a warblade using his best maneuvers at every level. (Incidentally, no single warblade build would ever be able to have the "best" maneuver at every level, so this comparison biased things in favor of the ToB, and the barbarian still won.)

However, the increase in the full attack damage for PHB-style classes is hidden and spread out over a few extra hits (probabilistically), rather than being listed in a big, fat "+4d6" font of some sort right there in the strike description. This means that psychologically, the Tome looks very strong, but realistically it's not adding any real damage that the system didn't already account for.

Rather, what it provides are options and mobility, as well as a touch of streamlining the game (rolling a single strike will take less time at the table than full attacking for nearly every strike in the book). But, since it tends to cluster its increases and make them more explicit, there are a disturbing number of DMs who just see the +4d6 and go "Fighters can't get nice things! BANHAMMER!" out of a knee-jerk reaction.

Again, this isn't a matter of optimization - it's a matter of understanding the mathematics of the system. The latter is a requirement of the former, but does not imply the former.


Last question,  I didnt notice anywhere whether it says you can supress melds... for instance for when entering cities and social situations.    I think appearing like a monster would be less then productive in those cases.  Lol... 


You can't suppress a meld; a shaped meld tends to look obviously magical and rather silly (see any of the incarnate art in the book!), while a bound totemist meld tends to make you look even more beastlike than shifters usually do.

You're also an illiterate person who seeks to emulate and embody the magical beasts of the world rather than the trappings of civilization, and you can talk to animals. Looking a little primal when you're in a city is one of the consequences of that. Be prepared to act uncomfortable whenever you're in a city.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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.

I dont understand the question.

Whats the difference between just hitting all the time.... or tripping all the time... or charging all the time.  Your still spamming the same concept over and over,  which if your playing any kind of a fighter/warrior character at all then you've already accepted this premise.


No, not necessarily. For one thing, if you're just a tripper, you're worthless against flying targets unless you've grabbed Stand Still or have diversified into a secondary option. Likewise, if you're a charger, you have to have something to do when you can't charge (like when terrain doesn't allow it or when line of sight is blocked). It always pays to have options. (This is why most good fighter-type builds tend to specialize in one or two areas as well as keeping their damage up - beating face and lowering HP becomes a side effect of trying to apply their normal technique, and if they can't apply their normal technique, they still have effective damage.)

Similarly, the game has always tried to be dynamic. Crack open Sword and Fist, the earliest expansion to D&D 3e. (It's so early it makes some elementary errors - acting as if skills operated like nonweapon proficiencies, and listing a character's base attack bonus when looking at a damage roll, for instance.) The book includes a huge chapter on realizing character concepts and being all you can be within the then-new system, which includes two very long descriptions of duels between mid-level warrior characters. What are they doing? Using secondary weapons, jumping on tables, tackling their opponents into the fire, attempting disarms... The game should be that dynamic. Sadly, it wasn't, especially back in those days. (The rules text describing how those scenes play out involve a lot of extra rolling for what amount to a minor +1 on a few attack rolls, slowing the game to a halt in the middle of a dynamic action sequence, and the system just doesn't reward that to the same level that it rewards a tripper, say.)

That's the big thing that changed with classes like the duskblade, or even pure warriors like the Tome of Battle classes. It wasn't power creep so much as realizing their system didn't behave the way they thought (most importantly, hit points are less important than available actions), and desinging classes with that action economy in mind. It challenged the assumption that "you're playing a fighter, therefore you have to do just one stunt over and over again from level 1 to level 20". And, quite frankly, that assumption was always challenged (see Sword and Fist), although it took a while for them to implement it properly.

What makes a charge a "good charge",  what makes a charge "bad"?   I dont get that remark.  


A "good" charge is one that is likely to hit (which means it usually needs ways to get around anti-charging scenarios) and one that dishes out appropriate damage for a risky move. A stock charge subtly increases your effective damage (because the attack is slightly more accurate); this effect is more pronounced among warrior classes (who, if they have been keeping up with their equipment, are likely to hit their target on the first attack even without a charge - and therefore can Power Attack for a greater number, resulting in bigger damage). It's most pronounced in the core-only environment with cavalry (who attack from high ground (bigger attack bonus) and get lances and Spirited Charge - i.e. ways to multiply that already-increased damage) and with druids (wild shaping into tigers or similar forms with Pounce, and thus able to attack multiple times on a charge and bring an inflated Strength score into the fray - note that multiple attacks are also a form of multiplication). In a non-core environment chargers tend to put both of those together (multiplication and Pounce) and combine it with an understanding of the action economy - namely, a dead opponent gets no actions to fight back - and tends to employ those charges only when they will end a target completely. (The  best chargers are built to destroy targets in single charges, but it's very hard to build these characters without hitting "overkill" territory - and if you hit "overkill" territory you also tend to have other weaknesses, most dramatically your Will save. The VERY best chargers are tweaked to remain in the "kill, but not quite overkill" range and use the leftover resources to shore up their defenses.)

Beyond the above example;you still have


Assuming the "above example" meant a tripping (but not necessarily trip-focused) PHB-style fighter (i.e. your ex-gladiator), let's take a look at how those options stack up. I think you'll see the same pattern I pointed out re: the Sword and Fist example showing through quite strongly.
AoO,


Requires at least one other feat (Combat Reflexes), a specific weapon choice (only the guisarme, the spiked chain, and the kusari-gama allow both tripping and the reach that AoOs demand; if you don't use these weapons you're either not able to trip at all (wasting any trip investment) or not getting chances to AoO multiple times. The best weapons from among here are also exotic, so that's another feat.), and a completely different ability score loadout (rewards Dexterity while tripping, charging, damage dealing, etc. reward Strength). Very few things that improve tripping also improve AoOs. Finally, in order to make sure you actually get those AoOs, you have to make sure that targets are provoking them, which tends to rely on other feats as well (Hold the Line, Mage Slayer, Defensive Sweep, and Martial Stance: Thicket of Blades are the usual choices).

(Edited: Slagger rightly points out that I forgot the kusari-gama.)
disarms,


Requires a different feat (Improved Disarm) or the Disarming Strike maneuver to have any reasonable chance of working, won't work against monsters who don't use weapons (i.e. campaign-dependent), requires a different weapon choice (only the spiked chain can both disarm and trip, unless you're using a whip, which denies you AoOs - using other weapons means you'll have to keep two competitive weapons and switch between them whenever you want to disarm or trip), and if it doesn't work, you've wasted your action (the single most important resource in the game) and given your opponent an opportunity to disarm you. Unless you drop the weapon, which is as good as letting him succeed.
defensive fighting,


A full attack by any other name. This isn't so much an option as a way of adjusting your numbers on the fly. Furthermore, it feels passive - you hit less often and since your AC doesn't involve you doing anything (rather, it increases the odds of your DM's turn doing nothing), it doesn't actually give you any real options or choices. Unless you spend more feats powering it up (Deadly Defense, Dancing with Shadows, etc.). And even then, the numeric advantage is trivial unless you spend another feat (Combat Expertise), which has a prerequisite not every fighter can get. (Although I assume your gladiator may have Improved Trip, so that isn't actually a marginal cost since he already has Combat Expertise. Unless you consider spending a feat on something you use to be cheesy.)
blocking lines of attack,


Passive. A commoner can do this. Furthermore, it doesn't actually block line of attack, it just imposes soft cover. I don't remember if there's a way to actually block line of effect in the game (I could have sworn a feat in the PHB2 did it, but my memory was faulty); if there is, it almost certainly involves a shield. See below for that.
provoking,


Something anyone can do, denies you a full attack if you're using it, and unless you're using it to cover for another ally, you're basically just giving the opponent a free swing at you instead of costing them anything. Furthermore, an opponent with any tactical sense (i.e. any intelligent target above level 1 or so) will recognize that your (probable) high AC and (likely) high HP mean that blindly swinging at you is a poor proposition; they'll either save their AoO for a squishier target (like the rogue you may have been trying to cover for) or use that AoO for an action-denying effect (like, say, trying to trip, disarm, or sunder you). They may not be all that effective at it for all the same reasons I listed above, though, so if they try, they're also likely to just waste time at the table chugging dice.
shield bashes,


On a trip-user?, A shield prevents you from using any effective tripping weapon and making effective use of Power Attack without switching weapons. (It also interferes with the other options you've raised here - note that basically every weapon I've listed so far except the whip and the kusari-gama is also a two-hander?) Furthermore, employing a shield bash at all denies you your AC from the shield (the main reason to go with a shield at all) unless you have yet another feat (Improved Shield Bash), using a shield as a weapon involves enhancing two weapons (your main weapon and your shield), which gets costly, and if you want to employ that main weapon at all so as to not waste its investment, you're taking massive two-weapon fighting penalties unless you have another feat which relies on a high Dexterity (Two-Weapon Fighting).

(You CAN keep the cost down somewhat by enhancing your shield's spikes as Defending weapons rather than (or in addition to) enhancing the shield's AC directly, which can produce very impressive defensive numbers, but I suspect you think this is cheesy.)
power attacks


Yes, this is an effective option. It's even better than fighting defensively since it empowers the player's actions rather than being purely passive. However, it's also something most warriors are likely to be doing every round anyway (except against the highest ACs), particularly if they have Improved Trip. (The initial attack is a touch attack, which is against a lower AC and as a warrior they're likely to have a high enough AB to auto-hit that anyway, and the followup attack is made at +4 for a prone target, so that gives you a lot of leeway for Power Attack on a trip.) Something you use all the time isn't an option - you wouldn't say Weapon Focus is a tactical choice in battle, would you?
....    thiers alot more im sure.    Just because we dont make tripper builds doesnt mean that fighters cant do anything....


True, but the system was designed to prevent them from doing anything well unless they seriously invest in it. People just invest in three things - charging, full attacking, and tripping - because those are the most tactically-effective of any of the above options except Power Attack (which is, as I mentioned, a complement to all three of those rather than a separate option in and of itself).

It's possible to make a character that does all of these and does them well (well, it sunders instead of disarms, and while it doesn't use a shield it does employ armor spikes; this is a pretty close facsimile of what you describe), but I don't think you're going to like it.

By the way, let's consider that list of other options (which fighters need to invest oodles of options in to make use of) in the context of the oh-so-broken Tome of Battle.
-AoOs: Rapid Counter allows warblades and swordsages to take advantage of openings without Combat Reflexes (although that feat is a warblade bonus feat and swordsages can easily be both Dex-dependent and trippers.) Crusaders get Thicket of Blades, Defensive Rebuke, and similar.
-Disarms: Disarming Strike triggers a disarm attack after you do a normal attack (i.e. no wasted action even if you fail the disarm) and the disarm attack gets the same bonus as Improved Disarm. It's only once per encounter (recoverable), but then again if you're trying for "options" how many times are you going to repeat a disarm (already usable only on a limited subset of opponents)?
-Defensive fighting: Wall of Blades, Manticore Parry, Baffling Defense, Scorpion Parry, Fool's Strike, Feigned Opening... the ToB is not wanting for means of defending yourself. These are also all active as opposed to defensive fighting's passivity. If you want defensive fighting, it has support for that as well via Stormguard Warrior, which is a great feat to begin with even if you aren't into defensive fighting.-Blocking lines of attack: Crusaders get Devoted Spirit maneuvers, which have several options for intercepting attacks aimed at allies as well as encouraging opponents to target the crusader over his allies. Iron Guard's Glare is one of the most basic of these.
-Provoking: If used to deny the opponents AoOs, you have Vanguard Strike, Douse the Flames, and Covering Strike. If used to draw enemy fire, see everything listed under both Defensive Fighting and Blocking Line of Attack. (Seriously, the crusader is amazing at this.)
-Shield bashes: A shield bash can deliver any strike, and since strikes are largely weapon-independent (apart from needing to hit the target), this can actually be useful. Furthermore, since strikes tend to provide equal damage if you're fighting one-handed or two-handed, it's quite possible to build a sword-and-board fighter that deals damage which actually keeps up with monster HP. Finally, Shield Counter is a shield bash, but with the possibility of interrupting the enemy who provoked it.
-Power attacks: Many, many maneuvers work this way, and Power Attack continues to work with them.

Gee, it looks exactly like all of the options you say are open to fighters are open to martial adepts as well. However, fighters are free to suck at them unless they invest a lot, while martial adepts are free to dabble in these without seriously compromising their effectiveness elsewhere. (Fighters remain the kings of highly technical abilities, though these tend to mature rather late since they need a lot of feat synergies to "kick in".)

The only thing we dont do is sundering....  that just leads down the road to "sunder wars" and thats never a good thing at all.   Which is another reason we stay clear of one hit wonders like the "charger builds" and the "tripper" builds.  That just starts a cold war mentality that leads no wear....  I for one never want to play a character that has to fight a tripper build after tripper build.... thats just lame.....


So you think that the players are fighting against the DM (hence the need for the arms race, which is purely metagame) rather than fighting against the world? I prefer to think of the DM as the gateway to the world, not a player character but still a person at the table, a friend and storyteller rather than an opponent.

Furthermore, even if the DM pulled this on you, I would have a bit more faith in him. No matter what side of the screen I'm on in my group, we take pains to make sure that the effective remains memorable. For instance, yes, it's extremely effective to build an archer with a quiver-ful of Spell Storing arrows (which are quite cheap and able to be fully customized for whatever threat you're preparing for, able to unleash spells as fast as an archer can unleash arrows). Does this mean every opponent will use this? Far from it - rather, you'll fight a named NPC, a bounty hunter (with appropriate backing from the party's enemies, who supply the spells for the arrows) with a particular personality and a realistic survival instinct. If the fight's going badly for him, he'll escape - and become a recurring foe (a staple of good fantasy) whenever the DM feels the need for that specific tactic again. He's done his job - the players will always be on their guard for this trick, and that fear of another spell-storing archer has all the benefits of a cold war without actually leading to an escalation in power. (For one, if you place the NPC in the right place socially, the players will prefer to capture him rather than kill him even if they do defeat him.)

I'm speaking from experience there, by the way. It's been nearly five years since that bastard first showed up in our current game, and he's still at large thanks to spectacular work by our DM. Our characters don't like him (but killing him would make things worse for the team), while the players still remember him, and those encounters, fondly. 

As for the equipement remark....  I dont think thiers a such thing as must have equipement that you have to have.


Table 5-1 in the DMG begs to differ. This is made explicit in the DMG, the Rules Compendium, the Magic Item Compendium, and so on. A 20th level fighter is just not going to be winning against CR 20 opponents with a nonmagical steel longsword.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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.

AoO,

Requires at least one other feat (Combat Reflexes), a specific weapon choice (only the guisarme and the spiked chain allow both tripping and the reach that AoOs demand; if you don't use these weapons you're either not able to trip at all (wasting any trip investment) or not getting chances to AoO multiple times), and a completely different ability score loadout (rewards Dexterity while tripping, charging, damage dealing, etc. reward Strength).

The kusari-gama also allows you to trip with reach and, for once, doesn't suffer for being a light weapon since tripping doesn't improve based on the hand-use of a weapon (unlike disarm, sunder, or Power Attack, which reward two-handed use).

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
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