Weekly Optimization Showcase: "A"-Game Paladin

28 posts / 0 new
Last post
So, my gaming group has been building characters for several months right now, in the spirit of the old CO boards. There isn't much activity here, but in an effort to spur some extra discussion, I'll be sharing some of my work here on a weekly basis, aiming for a Friday posting. I welcome discussion of all sorts, so feel free to rip this to shreds, suggest improvements, or just *yoink* it wholesale for your games. (If you do, I'd love to hear about it.)

 My group consists of two familiar names from the old CO board (Radical Taoist and DisposableHero_) along with three others (Andarious, Sionnis, and Seishi); whenever I showcase a build, I’ll identify its lead author in the immediate preamble (just before the build’s title). By no means should you assume I did all of these on my own – in fact, on some, my only contribution was to write up this post!


 All of these builds, unless noted otherwise, assume 28 point buy and fractional base attack / saves (Unearthed Arcana; this dramatically simplifies the math and usually doesn't impact things much otherwise. If a build relies on fractional to work, I'll list a non-fractional variant as well); any expansion books and variant rules involved will be clearly identified, along with variants we've considered. I tend to do snapshots at significant levels, showing the rationale being specific choices and highlighting capabilities at key levels, rather than just presenting a giant table and summary and leaving it to you to figure out how to play them.


With that out of the way, let's get started. This week’s build (a little early since I won't be around for most of tomorrow) is primarily from Andarious – I only suggested two feats and a few substitutions early on, and he pulled out this jewel.




“A”-GAME PALADIN
Play that funky music, knight boy!



Required Books: Champions of Valor, Complete Champion, Races of Destiny, Dungeonscape, Eberron Campaign Setting (one feat), Book of Exalted Deeds (one feat), DMG2 (one item), MIC.
Unearthed Arcana used: None!


 Background: Let’s not mince words: the paladin isn’t very good. It’s a solid Tier Five class, which – if you’re like most people I’ve met – is a bit below par. (In my experience, most people seem to think Tier Three is the sweet spot.) But bollocks to that, I say – let’s see if we can take a single-classed Paladin 20 and bring out his “A”-game through clever use of substitutions, but without stepping outside what we view the paladin as – a holy knight, a champion of good, a leader of men.


Turns out it’s actually pretty badass. In fact, this Paladin-20 build comes out pretty comparable to a Song of the White Raven Crusader (slightly less tough and moderately lower stamina, but significantly more magical with all the oomph that can provide), which is not a bad benchmark to hit at all, since the two are basically the same thing fluffwise and the latter's known to be very effective at its job (and in the Tier Three sweet spot to boot). And all it takes for the paladin to do this is throwing away Remove Disease (meh), the Special Mount (…okay) and Turn Undead (wtf?). Yes, it does it without divine feats.

Let's get rolling.

The Basics



  • Race: Illumian. Paladins are notoriously MAD, and this is the easiest way to reduce that. You even get a halo of sorts.

  • Ability Scores:  14/10/14/14/10/14. Put a point into Intelligence and Charisma at 4 and 8, then put the rest into Strength.


 Skill Notes: You’re going to want some (at least 6) ranks in a vocal Perform skill, oddly enough. (3 of those ranks will be cross-class before level 3.) Other than that you’re pretty open, although you might find Concentration to be more worthwhile here than usual for a paladin, and you have reason to max out at least one Knowledge skill (probably Religion; you get Arcana as a class skill, but would have to buy it at cross-class rates most of the time). And while technically you could go all Return of the King with Perform (Oratory) and the build will work without any changes, we’re aiming for a different King (or Queen) for our knight's imagery and using Perform (Singing) in our example. Just trust me here – he will rock you.



Basic Equipment: No specific demands beyond what you’d expect for a warrior, or a paladin for that matter. However, you ditch the Special Mount, so you can more or less ignore mounted gear. Since you have Power Attack, you'll probably want a martial two-hander (and can pretty much freely pick for style), especially at the lower levels; at the higher levels, you'll probably switch to a one-hander and a shield (you will rely less on Power Attack for melee damage, your reasons to hold back grow, and the shield gives you a second slot for a wand chamber plus enough AC to survive being a high-priority target.)
Magical Gear Goals: You’ll want a Badge of Valor (MIC, it's part of the Regalia of the Hero set) as soon as possible (around level 4 or 5 ideally) and a Vest of Legends (DMG2, on your own you can probably afford it at or around level 14, but it can pay off for a party if they pool their money to buy it earlier: you're a party support machine, so investing in your inspiration ability is an investment in themselves. Compare the price of a vest to the price of upgrading everyone's weapons by an extra +1 and you'll see), and you don’t need a Wisdom booster at all. Other than that, just your standard warrior-paladin gear - +Strength, +Constitution, +Charisma, good weapon, good armor, and so on. As usual for most meleeist builds, I also suggest an Eternal Wand of Heroics or two - you've got Power Attack, but not a lot else on the melee front, so this opens up some nice flexibility. Unlike most of the builds showcased to this point, you can actually use Heroics without the wand, so keep that in mind. Finally, consider the Harmonizing enhancement if you're in a high-magic game: this can allow your sword to act as the Melodic Casting or Lingering Song feat depending on how you use it.




The Build.


Build Stub: Paladin 20.
Note: This does involve a bit of relaxation on the RP-specific components – it uses two different paladin orders (Mystra’s Order of the Mystic Fire and Melil’s Harmonious Knights). The result isn’t as crazy as that sounds: put them together and you basically transform parts of Paladin into parts of Bard, which would be almost indistinguishable in-world from multiclassing (and you're an illumian, who may as well have "multiclass" as their favored class). Plus it's a logical pairing, even if the actual multiclass is illegal: paladins are supposed to be inspirational, and in D&D, all to often that means bard.


1- Paladin – (Aura of Good, Detect Evil, Smite Evil 1) (Power Attack) (Aesh sigil)

2 – Paladin – (Divine Grace, Lay on Hands) (Krau sigil, Aeshkrau power word)

*
Voila, Wisdom no longer matters for you. Paladin spells generally act as buffs, and those don’t care about DCs, so Strength becomes your casting stat as well as your combat stat.

3 – Paladin – (Aura of Courage, Divine Health) (From Smite To Song) (Inspire Courage +1)
*
From Smite to Song does exactly what it says on the tin: you can trigger Inspire Courage with smite attempts. Oh, look at that, the paladin just went up a tier. Inspire Courage just fits with the paladin-as-leader, doesn’t it?

Note that the build does employ Harmonious Knight, but does not employ first substitution level (which, confusingly, also grants Inspire Courage - more frequently, but locked to a mere +1 bonus - in place of Detect Evil). Smite to Song is the better effect, and keeping Detect Evil helps remind you that you're still a paladin first and foremost.

There is an argument that, since From Smite To Song isn't actually "Bardic Music", your Inspire Courage won't work with bardic-music-enhancing effects, of which there are several in this build. The counterargument is that none of the boosts in this build (except for Song of the Heart) actually require "Bardic Music". They don't alter Bardic Music so much as explicitly alter the effects of the Inspire Courage bardic music ability, which is the exact ability you're using, except you're using it through From Smite to Song rather than through Bardic Music. The same logic applies to Inspire Greatness from the Harmonious Knight, for exactly the same reason. If you're in an environment where this distinction matters and you can't learn Song of the Heart at 9th level, exchange it for Extra Smiting or another combat feat, or for Leadership if it's available.

4 – Mystic Fire Knight (Paladin) – (Improved Spellcasting, Bonus Spells) (1st level spells)
*
If you haven't read Champions of Valor, the quick summary here is that you dump Turn Undead for one extra spell slot per spell level, and +2 caster level. It has other interactions if you actually multiclass, but here, we aren't.

5 – Paladin – (Smite Evil 2, Divine Spirit – Healing)
*
The Dungeonscape variant replaces your mount – bear with me here. Normally, the mount is nothing more than a gimmick, and Wizards openly admitted that no matter how much you want to ride it where you like, the battlefield doesn’t always let you. This variant lets you summon spirits to support your team instead. The Healing spirit comes with twice your Lay on Hands capacity and basically lets your allies heal themselves with standard actions (think of it as a location-dependent but much higher capacity potion), so it’s best used out of combat, but since you have 20 Paladin levels in this build, the Lay on Hands capacity will be substantial.

Note that if you'd like, you can grab the second Mystic Fire Knight substitution level here - it has no drawback. However, since it augments a smite attack (and the effect only lasts for a single round!), and you're spending your smites on Bardic Music, its only real advantage to you most of the time is the slightly expanded list of class skills.

6 – Harmonious Knight (Paladin) – (Inspire Competence) (Sword of the Arcane Order)
*
At this point, you’re a paladin splashing roughly equal parts of bard and wizard on the side, but without any mechanical multiclassing or alignment concerns. (Somehow, this is rather appropriate for an illumian.) Let me explain.

Thanks to Mystic Fire Knight and Aeshkrau, you have plenty of spell slots for a non-primary caster (slightly behind the bard), and you’ll only get more as you continue to improve your Strength (which you'd do anyway as a warrior). Thanks to Sword of the Arcane Order, those slots can hold wizard spells, such as Enlarge Person (or, later on, Polymorph), and you have a higher-than-usual paladin caster level (6th, at this point) to boot. Put the three together and you’re clearly using a kind of magic that normal paladins wouldn’t even think possible. You also just hit every warrior’s first major breakpoint, base attack +6, so cheer for multiple attacks.


There’s some ambiguity in the Sword of the Arcane Order feat though. It’s not entirely clear if those spells are “paladin” spells or “wizard” spells, even though they clearly use the former’s caster level and, apart from ability scores, appear to use the same overall mechanics. As a result, we assume here that they’re cast as paladin spells. Among other things, this means they avoid arcane spell failure – bring on the heavy metal.

Oh, and why the lame Inspire Competence? First, Remove Disease is even lamer than Inspire Competence, so you're not losing anything by taking it. Second, it's a prerequisite for your next feat.


7 – Paladin – N/A

8 – Paladin – (2nd level spells) (Inspire Courage +2)

9 – Harmonious Knight (Paladin) – (Inspire Greatness 1) (Song of the Heart)
*
THIS feat is why we picked up Inspire Competence earlier. It adds to the effect of all your bardic music effects. This includes the bonus HD and attack bonus from your new Inspire Greatness ability, which is enough to turn most people into Instant Heroes (just add music). Oddly, it doesn't seem to apply to the Fortitude save bonus for some reason.

Regarding your main Inspiration, you’re now Inspiring at +3, or +4 if you picked up the Badge of Valor (you really should have by now). Your team also has enough collective funds at this point to pool to cover a Vest of Legends without seriously denting their equipment budgets. This vest can raise that Inspire Courage by another point at almost every level (and, as I noted above, depending on your party size, this is probably cheaper than enhancing everyone's weapons by another +1, so you're usually coming out ahead unless you actually need the enhancement bonus for an augment gem or something). That’s pretty badass. And you do this while keeping up your magical talents (though not quite to the bard’s level; your CL at this point is 8 (Improved Spellcasting + Krau), but you have fewer spell slots) and your full warrior prowess.
 
Btw, if it wasn’t obvious, you’re taking the Harmonious Knight’s option to replace every weekly use of Remove Disease henceforth with a daily use of Inspire Greatness. (You already swapped the first one for Inspire Competence.) That much should go without saying. I mean, honestly, have you ever seen that Remove Disease at the table?

If, as noted above, your DM decides to block Song of the Heart, it hurts, but it isn't insurmountable. The best alternatives are Leadership (you're a natural at it) or Extra Smiting (so you can inspire more frequently).

10 – Paladin – (Smite Evil 3)

11 – Paladin – (Divine Spirit –Combat) (3rd level spells)

*
The combat spirit provides sacred bonuses to attack and damage, which stack with your Inspire Courage abilities. And both the duration and the size of the bonus scales by paladin level – good thing we’re going the full 20 here. Adding in the third-level wizard spells certainly doesn’t hurt either – Haste alone will make a supersonic man out of you.

12 – Paladin – (Inspire Greatness 2) (Battle Blessing) (Inspire Courage +3)
*
This feat is perfectly fine for paladin casting: it lets you cast most of your spells as swift actions. In a build like THIS, with wizard spells that you cast as paladin spells, and enough slots to have passable magic stamina? This is positively amazing. Your CL is 10, not too far behind the full casters and high enough to hit most caps or breakpoints in 3rd level spells, so they'll  be effective, too.

Oh, and due to the way Inspire Greatness is worded, you don't just use it twice per day - each use now applies to two targets.


13 – Paladin – N/A

14 – Paladin – (4th level spells) (Inspire Courage +4)

15 – Paladin – (Inspire Greatness 3, Smite Evil 4) (Words of Creation)
*
Aww hells yeah! Setting aside the mechanical awesomeness that is this feat, you also have a great thematic tie-in between it and your Illumian (you know, the "Words Made Flesh") heritage, and everyone expects the paladin to be an exemplar for Good. All things considered, a perfect match.

Mechanically, your Inspire Courage hit +4 last level, and here it hits an impossibly good +8 once you use the Words. (If you use the Badge of Valor, you’re Inspiring at +10. The Vest of Legends gets that up to +12, and you can afford that by yourself now, but it'll only be effective until level 19.) And your Inspire Greatness' bonus HD (which now hits three targets per use) is also doubled courtesy of the Words, all at the low price of a tiny bit of nonlethal damage on a d10 HD class with healing powers. Interestingly, if you look at Optimization By The Numbers' HP curves, the conclusion is that you need a linear progression of damage with a huge boost around CR 14. Look at what level we get Words.

Also, it's easy to forget this (since no one takes Words for any other reason), but the Words of Creation have more uses than simply boosting Bardic Music. You can use them to Extend any Conjuration (Creation) effect (and you have access to wizard spells, so you've got plenty - interestingly, these are also the same spells Shadow Conjuration can copy (although Shadow Conjuration itself can't get Extended this way), and illumians have a connection to the plane of shadow), boost the caster level of [Good] spells (you have several of these as a paladin, plus many wizard spells can become [good], such as when summoning Good creatures), and perform a number of commanding/binding effects based on the creature's true name (though doing so requires Knowledge skills and two specific spells - this is one area in which you fall behind a Words of Creation bard, but you can still use it against the archetypal lich via Knowledge (Religion). You can have an ally provide one of the spells, but for the one you must cast yourself, courtesy of Sword of the Arcane Order, you can use a scroll - you have enough Intelligence and a high enough CL to pass the check on a natural 1.).

For a high-level illumian paladin, that's a good complement of abilities (adding some much-needed options to the standard paladin), and a surprisingly good match thematically.


16 – Paladin – (Divine Spirit – Heroism)

*
The divine spirit is no Immortal Fortitude, but it's still a damn fine ability (DR 10/-, Diehard, and speeding up your Lay on Hands) which makes you appropriately tough for a hero at this level. Amusingly, you'll probably finish the battle with more HP remaining than your Immortal Fortitude buddies, since they won't be using Immortal Fortitude at all unless their HP is dangerously low. You just block the damage (possibly absorbing some of what gets through via temporary HP effects like False Life) and heal it up. (And you still have your healing spirit to patch the crusader up too.)

17 – Paladin – N/A

18 – Paladin – (Inspire Greatness 4) (Practiced Spellcaster - Paladin)

*
Although it doesn't look it, this level has two surprisingly good points falling out of the progression.

First, you’re now hitting your entire team with a single use of Inspire Greatness. Thanks to Song of the Heart and Words of Creation, it’s now providing 6d10 HD, +6 attack, and +4 Fortitude (the Fort save is the one area that Song of the Heart doesn't boost but Words does), in a bonus form that stacks with Inspire Courage AND your Spirit of Combat. You can also use both of your major Inspire abilities in every encounter you're assumed to have in a single day, which is a very nice improvement in stamina.

Second, Practiced Spellcaster has now raised your CL all the way to 17 (18/2=9 +2 Krau +2 Mystic Fire Knight +4 Practiced Spellcaster), and you can cast wizard spells. If, say, you pick up a 9th level wizard spell on a scroll, you need a caster level check to trigger it, but the DC is only 18, which you'll get on a natural 1. A paladin casting 9th level wizard spells with ease? Inconceivable! 

Sure, the CL and DC will be minimized (CL 17 and DC 23, like all 9th-level wizard scrolls), but this lets you double-up on (or spam) effects that just need to be cast, as opposed to need to be cast effectively. (Think UMD rogue here but with a far easier time on the checks.) And it doesn't need to be limited to 9ths - you now have access to the entire library of wizard spells from scrolls without any checks involved. (These include all the spells needed for Words of Creation's True Name abilities if you so wish.)

Of course, to do this you need enough Intelligence to actually cast the spell, so without help, you've only got 1st-5th level spells open. To save money getting the 19 Intelligence needed to get the 9ths (since another ability score booster cuts pretty heavily into your arms and armor budget, particularly since you aren't likely to do this every battle), you can simply prepare Fox's Cunning in one of your second-level slots, cast that from a cheap scroll beforehand (using the same idea but a lower-level spell), or chug a (less efficiently priced) potion.

However, it’s not entirely clear if this works, due to the way that spell lists and Sword of the Arcane Order operate. The feat doesn’t say the wizard spells appear on your list, but if they don’t appear on your list you can’t cast them in the first place. Check with your DM first.


19 – Paladin – N/A

20 – Paladin – (Smite Evil 5, Divine Spirit – Fallen) (Inspire Courage +5)

*
Now THAT’S how a 20th level paladin should feel! You’re inspiring your companions to new and amazing heights (Inspire Courage +10 by default, +12 with the badge, and that’s without summoning your combat spirit or using Inspire Greatness), fighting as a mighty warrior (full base attack and Power Attack with priority on Strength, plus a Spirit of Heroism and full benefits from the inspiration), and – when all hope seems lost – you can call upon the gods with the appropriately powerful Spirit of the Fallen (grants a strong fast-healing aura and can auto-revive one ally who falls each round) and basically survive an apocalypse at point-blank range, and the whole team’ll keep on fighting ‘till the end



Snapshot: With +6 items on Strength, Con, and Charisma, and a +5 Strength tome – pricey, but certainly workable, and that’s lesser MAD than usual – you have +20 base attack (with +34 melee with Greater Magic Weapon - which you can cast, although you can only get it to +4 without CL-improving gear), Inspire Courage at +10 (which means each swing of the sword is dealing half as much damage as your smites usually would, and is as accurate as a smite made with 30 Charisma, and your equipment can raise that even higher!), a paladin caster level of 18, spells per day of 7/6/6/6 (more than most bards' 1st-4th level slots, on par with a wizard), and the ability to fill those slots with wizard spells, using your Intelligence for the DC (normally a dump, but you needed 15 Int for Words of Creation, so you’ve got no problem casting 4th level spells, or Fox's Cunning it up to 19 for the biggest scrolls). Most of those spells will be best set up as buffs if you choose to fight (Polymorph, anyone?), and, since they’re cast as paladin spells, they bypass ASF by default and inherit the amazing super-speed-casting found in Battle Blessing. (Why, yes, I do feel like casting wizard spells as swift actions and then beating face like a boss. Just be advised that you do not have Melodic Casting, so cast first, then sing). As you’d expect for a paladin, you have a lot of hit points (214 on average, with 100 points of Lay on Hands and effects that grant an expanded LoH pool, temporary HP, or damage reduction) and good saves (+22/+11/+11) – the saves could be higher, I admit, but unlike most paladins this is a Strength character, not a Charisma character, and this snapshot doesn’t include Cloaks of Resistance or similar defensive gear.


Oh, for those keeping track at home? With Inspire Courage (using the Badge of Valor; the Vest of Legends isn’t useful at 20th but helps you reach this point sooner), Inspire Greatness (4 targets at once), Words of Creation, and the Spirit of Combat all active, your entire team is looking at +6d10 HD, +23 attack, +17 damage per attack, +4 Fortitude, and +12 on saves vs Fear (not counting your Aura of Courage if the spirit and your team happen to be near you) for 5 rounds (before either the Greatness or the Courage or both wears off; the spirit lasts 2 minutes). And instead of a (somewhat fragile) bard on the other end of that inspirational anthem, you find a fully armed and armored paladin, capable of power attacking for a full -20 and still coming out ahead on the attack rolls with this, and backing it up with amazing wizard support spells at almost full CL; he can freely cast those on the first and final round as swift actions without interrupting his song. (If one of them’s pyrotechnics, the crowd will go wild.) As I said at the outset, he will rock you.




Overall Strengths: Hi there. I am a paladin. I also Inspire Courage like the most optimized bard, and cast wizard spells in place of paladin spells if I want, at virtually full caster level. Oh, and it looks like I can use 9th level Wizard spells via a scroll, as simple as a vestigial d20 roll with a trivial buff. And, when push comes to shove, I have revival and healing abilities that keep the whole party standing – in your face, Crusader!


On top of this, your priority in selecting wizard spells is unusual – no-save spells of up to 4th level – but there’s a surprisingly large subset of those which fit you quite well even if you step outside the obvious buff areas areas, and thanks to Battle Blessing, they're not really made at any action cost to you as a warrior, leader, scroll-user or spirit summoner (all of which rely on your standard action, not your swift action). Feel like facing off in melee? Unlike most gishes, you pack the exclusive-to-paladins Bless Weapon spell and the wizard Keen Edge spell (which does not actually add the keen ability to the weapon, so these two spells actually seem to work together even though that probably isn't the intent), along with Haste and a host of wizard gish spells that trigger on a hit or on being hit. You want a “special” mount? Cast Phantom Steed; at CL 18 those are pretty badass transportation (albeit fragile; you might want to cast (or Eternal Wand) the Heroics spell first to get Mounted Combat.). You want to use spells offensively? Touch spells (some of which allow multiple touches via base attack, of which you're unmatched) tend to allow no save, and your CL to bypass SR is 18, nearly as good as full caster (and if you’re desperate, you can prepare Assay Resistance). Think Duskblade here. Oh, and despite having low Dexterity, you’re not too shabby on ray spells either – wizards tend to have no trouble hitting touch ACs with rays, and they have low base attack and a lowish Dexterity modifier (typical ranged touch +13 or so), and even the best ray gishes tend to peak at +16 base attack. The paladin’s full base attack allows it to easily exceed this (max ranged touch +20, with the ability to have Inspire Courage linger to boost that up to +30 or more). So yes, you can in fact bring the thunderbolts and lightning via Orb of Sound or Seeking Ray if you want – why not?



 
Overall Weaknesses: Oddly for a paladin, his Will save isn’t as high as it could be (decent for a warrior, but not up to usual paladin standards). Pumping Charisma even higher would help with this, but I didn’t want to over-invest in melee character gold taxes ability score boosters; you might want to get basic Resistance items sooner rather than later. Likewise, his save DCs for his spells are kind of weak, and are keyed to an unusual ability score now (Intelligence – your paladin spells still use Wisdom for the DC, but very few of those actually rely on DCs), so you're probably going to pick support spells, buffs, or binary effects rather than most offensive or battlefield control spells. Finally, it takes a relatively high level before the investment in inspiration abilities begins to pay off (8-10 or so, slightly earlier with gear), but it really picks up steam after that. (And, realistically, any full-base-attack class with decent equipment and Power Attack can hold his own pre-8 or so depending on the level of optimization in your team mages; warriors just tend to have trouble keeping up with Quadratic Wizards as levels increase. Here, you just shift gears from warrior to warlord, in effect taking a third option. So, I suppose, this isn't that much of a weakness.) Other than this, he’s got the usual melee-strategy weaknesses, but if you’re playing melee, you were prepared for that and are budgeting for it accordingly (flight, teleports, illusions, etc). Furthermore, it’s possible to shore up these to some extent (okay, a good extent) with wizard spells.




Variants:  I’m not really sure what you’d want to exchange on this build. If you’re forced into sticking to just one paladin order, Harmonious Knight is probably the better choice – you’d need a replacement feat for Sword of the Arcane Order and perhaps Practiced Spellcaster, but that’s doable. Extra Smiting gives you more Inspire Courages (less efficient than Extra Music, but still helpful), Lingering Song (if you qualify, see the note at level 3) extends your Inspire Courage or Inspire Greatnesses (good if you need to stop singing to cast a spell – or sing the other song), and - since you dropped Mystic Fire Knight and thus retain Turn Undead - you could even consider divine feats that fit the theme (you have 21 Charisma and 8 turns/day. Since your inspiration already does the same sort of job as Divine Might, I'm not sure that's as effective a choice here as it usually is, so consider some non-typical divine feats. For instance, Divine Vigor (+speed and scaling temporary HP) mixes very well with the Heroism divine spirit (DR, Diehard, fast Lay on Hands) when you want to lead by example or hold off an impossible foe - and praying for a blessing from the gods to turn you from warrior into champion still fits the theme quite well). If you don’t want Words of Creation at your table – and it’s from the BoED, so I don’t blame you – I’d suggest working in a combat feat of your choice: it’s a pretty substantial loss, but not one you can’t go without, and if you aren't using Words, you may as well improve your personal combat prowess. 



There you have it. Andarious managed to make something single-classed with an under-used class that, I think, would be both fun to play AND a blast to fight alongside. Who knew the paladin could bring an "A"-Game that useful? 

As always, commentary is welcome. Suggestions to improve this, play experiences, or even just groaning at me for some of those link puns along the way are all fair game.

I've decided to mix things up a bit this time by presenting a selection of builds for next week; pick one and it'll go up. (This makes more sense than just soliciting archetypes in a vacuum.) However, to preserve the air of suspense, the names will be all we'll work with. Next week is going to be either RadicalTaoist's Uncanny Trapsmith, my Storm Knight, or Andarious' Wizsassin. Let me know which one seems most interesting to you and we'll have it up next week.


 


…You think that’s enough Queen references? Sorry, Andarious, Fat Bottomed Girls was just too much of a stretch. 

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
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.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

Trapsmith.  And if you'd kept the paladin's mount, I'm sure you would have been able to work in Bicycles somewhere.
"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"
User Quotes
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
I'd love to see the Uncanny Trapsmith action next.

As far as the Paladin goes, were you able to snag Divine Might at all? You're already going to meet the pre-reqs (PA and base attack I think).  With Power Attack and Bless Weapon that's a sizeable damage boost. 
Is remove disease on the paladin spell list? If so, you truly will never miss it with all the extra spells you can cast.

==Aelryinth
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
I know where I'm getting my inspiration next time I want to play something bardy or paladiny :p Also, Trapsmith, defnitely.
Fair warning: I'm fresh back from the pub, so this might be a bit rambling.

Trapsmith.  And if you'd kept the paladin's mount, I'm sure you would have been able to work in Bicycles somewhere.



Oh, I managed to work that one in there already - along with a beautiful illustration of how gimmicky the mount tends to be in non-specialist builds. Check level 5. (Still, I don't think I've quite reached critical Queen density on this one yet... needs Moar Freddie.)

Either way, it should be pretty obvious I had a good time writing this one up, so don't stop me now!

I'd love to see the Uncanny Trapsmith action next.

As far as the Paladin goes, were you able to snag Divine Might at all? You're already going to meet the pre-reqs (PA and base attack I think).  With Power Attack and Bless Weapon that's a sizeable damage boost. 



It's amazing to see how conditioned we are to the conventional when an unconventional build shows up, isn't it? I love me some Divine Might, but honestly, this approach doesn't actually need it and outperforms what it's capable of providing! (Even with that, before I remembered the Mystic Fire Knight, that was my thought as well - same conditioning: paladin = divine might - but we couldn't fit the feats in until it was really late in the build. Then I spotted the Mystic Fire Knight, and looked at the numbers from Inspire Courage at the point Divine Might would have come online, and, well, it kind of became superfluous.)

The reason it isn't in the final build is because we don't meet the prereqs: This build exchanges Turn Undead for the Mystic Fire Knight sub levels, which give dramatically improved spellcasting (which, thanks to Sword of the Arcane Order, is essentially lower-mid wizard spellcasting, just apparently using my paladin caster level and casting as divine spells. Sword of the Arcane Order has a few quirks to it that need DM rulings, but even with that the stuff it clearly lets you do is bloody awesome).

Furthermore, this is not a Charisma-centric build (it's Strength-centric; thanks to Aeshkrau, Strength governs your bonus spell slots as well as your melee prowess): the only real use CHA has is Divine Gracem since you're using up all your smites for inspirationm and Lay on Hands mostly window dressing anyway (and to the extent that it isn't window dressing, we have the healing spirit, basically tripling your normal LoH capacity). Now, Divine Grace is a good boost, don't get me wrong, so high Charisma is still worth it... but not beyond what +CHA items can do. Divine Might is out of this build's reach. As are all other divine feats.

Of course, with wizard spells at almost full CL you can easily outdo what Divine Grace normally provides. Polymorph alone is a good example of what this can provide. On the one hand, a turn attempt for +CHA damage to all attacks for 1 round. On the other, every wizard buff ever printed, several of which can easily outdo this, castable as a swift action. I don't think that's much of a tradeoff.

Mind you, if your DM forces you to stick to one paladin order in spite of the beautiful cohesion here, and you take the variant advice that drops Mystic Fire Knight, you keep Turn Undead and should be able to grab Divine Might (or some of the other Divine feats that fit the theme - Divine Vigor fits the party support theme better, for instance). I'd need to double check if you can grab Divine Might through Heroics to see if that would be worth it, though. (Still, if the DM doesn't add this restriction, you honestly won't need it. From Smite To Song with this build gives you enough badassery to get Divine Might to cry for help.)



Is remove disease on the paladin spell list? If so, you truly will never miss it with all the extra spells you can cast.

==Aelryinth



It isn't, but you have the right idea. Most of these builds assume Greater Magic Weapon in their calculations (any team is realisticaly going to use that at level 20, which is when the snapshots are taken), and if they have access to that, chances are they have access to Remove Disease on the rare occasons it shows up in-game.

Not to mention diseases take a LONG time to manifest (incubation time measured in days), so unless you're on a very long, multi-day adventure without a cleric or druid (and remember, the A-Game Paladin doesn't fill the same role as these characters, so they're probably on your team), you probably don't need Remove Disease anyway. When you do, and you're lacking a cleric/druid, there's always NPC adepts - and the AEG guidelines for retainers suggests keeping one "on call" isn't exactly expensive either.

I know where I'm getting my inspiration next time I want to play something bardy or paladiny :p Also, Trapsmith, defnitely.



Thanks. And the Uncanny Trapsmith is looking like it's next week's showing. (We have a policy of whoever builds the build, names it. Sometimes, the name is purely descriptive - things like AoE StunsplosionA-Game Ranger (yes, Andarious did something similar to this for the ranger as well!), or the Heavy Crusader - whie other times the build name is kind of cryptic. If RadicalTaoist had let me name the Uncanny Trapsmith, I probably would have named it "MacGyver Q. Branch". But a name's a name, and it looks like people really want to see the Uncanny Trapsmith. So it's up next!)

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
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.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

I had totally forgot that you were giving up Turning so yeah, you wouldn't be able to fuel Divine Might (or any divine feat really). Although everything really does fit very nicely together, I know a few DMs that probably wouldn't like the idea of going from order to order, hence the original suggestion.

I really liked the fluff of Illumian, and it just so happens that keying things off Strength make it a lot easier.  I think there's both a Serenity ACF and a Serenity-esque feat.  One of which keys your spellcasting off charisma, and the other keying everything off Wisdom (I can't recall exactly)? An interesting approach I would imagine to help reduce MAD (though making things key off strength is really a strong way to go).  

Was this built to show that a 20 straight Paladin could still be very effective and flavorful and PrCs were kind of left by the wayside? If not, there are a couple (IMO) really fit the fluff of a paladin and give them a decent boost.  The first is Divine Crusader (from C. Divine).  Accellerrated casting from a domain (Competition is nice).  The other is Divine Champion (PGtF), lay on hands progression (not fantastic, but since you're already progressing it and giving it additional use, it's not a bad idea), some  DR, a cool rage-esque ability, some bonus feats, and a smite that can be used against practically any creature (the restriction is must worship a different or no deity!).  Yours is probably better than incorporating either of those, I just feel they fit extremely well with your concept.

Overall, I love the character.  Paladins have been one of my favorites for a long time and it's nice to see them get some love.  In the games I run, I always work with the player who has decided to play one to help them get nice things (like help round out a stat or two).

Was this built to show that a 20 straight Paladin could still be very effective and flavorful and PrCs were kind of left by the wayside?


The "A"-Game Ranger came first, where Andarious was trying to get a ranger using all of its key powers being keyed off of a single stat as well. I suggested Sword of the Arcane Order to expand on what it could do (the reason why only makes sense once the Wizsassin is posted, I'm afraid), the conversation switched to paladin, then I brought up Smite to Song. PrCs kind of never entered the picture. It helps that the Divine Spirit in Dungeonscape is bloody awesome, and you don't get the Spirit of the Fallen except as a paladin capstone.

Overall, I love the character.  Paladins have been one of my favorites for a long time and it's nice to see them get some love.  In the games I run, I always work with the player who has decided to play one to help them get nice things (like help round out a stat or two).


Glad you like it! I hope it proves useful.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
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.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

I noticed a critical flaw in the build (neither Andarious nor I remembered the Paladin's poor Will save when determining when Words of Creation came online), so I've edited the build to fix that. It doesn't change anything too serious - if anything, it gives the build more sane progression, since Words is basically bardic music nitro and it makes more sense for that to appear at levels where magic allows superheroic abilities as opposed to merely wuxia abilities. The revision also brings Battle Blessing online much sooner (12th instead of 18th) so it'll see much more use, though it delays Practiced Spellcaster a bit (it isn't needed quite so early anyway).

Along the way I've also edited in a bunch of other notes along the way, addressing in particular a problem with using non-"Bardic Music" effects with effects that improve Inspire Courage. (This is discussed at level 3 - it's not as bad as it seems.) I also expanded the Variants section a bit, including mentioning Divine Might (in the version that drops Mystic Fire Knight if you don't like using two thematically-related paladin orders). There's even a few notes now about the non-musical abilities of Words of Creation: they were always appropriate (as you might have guessed for an illumian paladin), but now they're explicitly mentioned here.

Sadly, this reduces the density of Queen references, but I'll go back and add in a few more as I go. Even though no one's likely to play this build as Freddie Mercurial Greatsword ( ), the writeup just isn't the same without the music.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
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.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

I have been contemplating giving this build a spin, but not being able to cast while playing is a bit of a downer for me. I was considering getting a martial maneuver, preferably a boost (via item), and a martial stance with heroics - can anyone suggest me a good maneuver-stance combo? ToBlades is nice, but the build can't afford the AoO infrastructure to made good use of it. BitWater is another low level gem, but I guess it favors better crit range and number of attacks.
I have been contemplating giving this build a spin,

Happy to hear it!
but not being able to cast while playing is a bit of a downer for me.

We've found that if this matters, you can simply stop singing. Inspire Courage lingers for 5 rounds after you stop singing, which is probably going to be on round 2 of the battle anyway -  a battle that lasts 7 rounds is rare (and quite worth giving up Inspire Courage for spell support!).
I was considering getting a martial maneuver, preferably a boost (via item), and a martial stance with heroics - can anyone suggest me a good maneuver-stance combo? ToBlades is nice, but the build can't afford the AoO infrastructure to made good use of it. BitWater is another low level gem, but I guess it favors better crit range and number of attacks.

In your case, the best one is probably Leading the Charge - it stacks with all of your buffs. It doesn't have a prerequisite (as a stance; the Martial Stance feat still requires a maneuver though), so any White Raven maneuver that has no prerequisite will work fine for you. The best of these is easily White Raven Tactics, but that does require a maneuver to take, so it won't be usable without martial scripts. Battle Leader's Charge is a simple but effective maneuver available at a reasonably low level (6th for you, assuming you get a source for it), and it combines quite nicely with the no-nonsense Inspire Courage boosts and Power Attack that you're packing, but you might find it difficult to make it truly menacing (which involves swift-action singing and the use of charge-based skill tricks, which all seem to require skills that aren't on your list - these are areas that a Song of the White Raven crusader can do that the A-Game Paladin cannot do (easily)). 

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
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.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

Leading the charge is actually pretty sweet, after learning my party composition - not for my party I am afraid. Since the inspire courage are bow cleric, bow ranger and "hopefully with the DM's permision" a warlock - charging is of little use for any of them.
The good news is that the DM will remove the 1 maneuver requirements from Sudden Leap, so I think I will go with that (for pseudo pounce 1/encounter) and blood in the water. Probably will switch word of creation for improved critical (falchon) and call it a day... my DM is not a huge fan of BoED anyway.

p.s: Although now that I think of it 1) Casting wizard spells is really awesome. 2) I can cast keen edge myself. What would you suggest taking as a replacement for Words of Creation? Extra Smiting instead? Or there is some nice martial feat that I qualify for and just don't see it?

p.s.s: On second second thought (which is a third thought considering 3.5e stacking rules) - with 2 archers and a warlock - I seem to be the only melee character. Can the a-game paladin become enough of a tank to consider ToBlades good choice even without the reach infrastructure? Together with combat reflexes and some minor dex boosting item of course. 
Leading the charge is actually pretty sweet, after learning my party composition - not for my party I am afraid. Since the inspire courage are bow cleric, bow ranger and "hopefully with the DM's permision" a warlock - charging is of little use for any of them.
The good news is that the DM will remove the 1 maneuver requirements from Sudden Leap, so I think I will go with that (for pseudo pounce 1/encounter) and blood in the water. Probably will switch word of creation for improved critical (falchon) and call it a day... my DM is not a huge fan of BoED anyway.

With a party that big on ranged attacks, I'm assuming you're also acting as a surrogate meatshield? And if your DM is making Sudden Leap an entry point to Tiger Claw, then yes, your best bet is almost certainly going to be Blood in the Water. Be advised that you'll lack a recovery method, though, so the usual awesome that is BitW might pale a bit since you won't always be making full attacks. I'd suggest still considering Leading the Charge - if nothing else, it will enhance your own charges, and if you're acting as a frontliner in your party, then charging will get you into threat range much quicker. It will also buff any melee critters your cleric summons, or your ranger's animal companion (although I suspect he's going for Distracting Attack instead).
p.s: Although now that I think of it 1) Casting wizard spells is really awesome. 2) I can cast keen edge myself. What would you suggest taking as a replacement for Words of Creation? Extra Smiting instead? Or there is some nice martial feat that I qualify for and just don't see it?

Without Words, the usual go-to feat I suggest is Leadership, since this build was intended as an iconic paladin in a sense, emphasizing their leaderlike qualities. (Mechanically, Andarious always intended this to be paired up with the Heavy Weapons Elf, I believe.) However, that's a more problematic feat than Words. Extra Smiting is a tentative first suggestion because it'll expand your stamina for singing early on, but it's a candidate for retraining once you can smite as often as you fight. Other options might involve looking for casting feats.

p.s.s: On second second thought (which is a third thought considering 3.5e stacking rules) - with 2 archers and a warlock - I seem to be the only melee character. Can the a-game paladin become enough of a tank to consider ToBlades good choice even without the reach infrastructure? Together with combat reflexes and some minor dex boosting item of course. 


Very unlikely, given the extreme MAD already and the typical "need" for several feats of infrastructure. You'd be better off acting as a charger, I think (I once jokingly referred to our own Song of the White Raven crusader as an intercontinental ballistic missionary), aiming to eliminate targets quickly enough (while singing or casting) that enemies can't ignore you. Consider dropping Song of the Heart (it's good with archers, but you can possibly do without it) and looking into Shock Trooper, perhaps?

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
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.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

On unrelated note - I never had the chance to thank you for the whole Weekly Optimization Series initiative. It has really rekindled my love for 3.5E after a period when I was quite resentful of the system.

I have been considering my spell choices. A comment or two will be much appreciated. I am skipping lvl 4 since the campaign will hardly last that long and the choices there are quite obvious anyway.

Lvl 1: Critical Strike (for the first flanking full attack once I hava haste/bladeweave going on), True Strike, Lesser Restoration, Shield.
Lvl 2: Whirling Blade (swift weapon multiattack that can crit numerous times - yes please), Bladeweave (Even if it is low DC it is vs. Will and it is extra attack that can crit and charge Blood in the Water), Mirror Imade.
Lvl 3: Haste, Legion's Curse of Impending Blades (Greater Magic Weapon is probably better left to the sorcerer/cleric to take care of).

Is there some way to add shape spell metamagic to whirling blade with an item? There are metamagic rods, but is there a way to use them while still wielding a falchon two-handed?

 
A wand chamber (Dungeonscape, iirc) will let you put a wand (or rod) in the hilt of your weapon, letting you use it while wielding said weapon. The Casting Glove (Magic Item Compendium) will let you do the same.
"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"
User Quotes
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

I really enjoyed reading this. The first two times the Showcase was presented to me, I wasn't really able to follow it. Now that I finally can, I love that it takes my favorite class and makes it viable.

 

That being said, I thought I'd ask: in the Variants section, you discuss suggestions on what to take if you can't (or choose not to) take multiple paladin orders, including ways to take Divine Might in the build; in a previous post 

deoxhydroxinate wrote:
I think there's both a Serenity ACF and a Serenity-esque feat.  One of which keys your spellcasting off charisma...
it is suggested there are alternate means of reducing MAD. Would it be possible to use an alternate means of reducing MAD (tying more things to CHA rather than STR) and using Divine Might? If so, would it allow us to play Human rather than Illumian?

 

I'm not sure my DM will allow the Illumian race, or multiple paladin orders, so I want to see if an alternate concept can be achieved while still maintaining the spirit of the one listed here. While I know my suggestions leave the class far weaker than the version presented, I simply want to know if such a thing is possible, and, if so, how (primarily how to key my spellcasting off CHA).

 

I really wish Serenity affected Divine Might. Going Human and using the Bonus Feat on Serenity to allow for a far less MAD character would be much more possible if it did.

Without Illumian, you will suffer from traditional Paladin MAD, which makes this character very weak.

 

Without the Mystic Fire Knight / Sword of the Arcane Order, you have no reason for Int 15 apart from Words of Creation, which may not be enough to justify sapping your other scores.

 

Without Harmonious Knight, you lose out on Inspire Competence -> Song of the Heart (and lategame with Inspire Greatness), limiting your paladin-as-leader thing and are basically playing Just Another Arcane Swordsman, except you can't decide whether you favor Int, Wis, or Cha and as a result suck in all of them. 

 

It's only when all three are combined - Illumian to shift bonus slots to Strength, Harmonious Knight to get advanced team leadership while fighting, and Mystic Fire Knight to get more magical prowess from the Int that Words of Creation demands - that this build begins to look anything like what it should.

 

Also, read upthread about Divine Might. We're conditioned to think that paladins must be built with it, when really, it's possible to build it such that they don't need it.

 

 

 

There isn't a way to key spellcasting off Charisma, but there is a way to key combat and your paladin features off of Wisdom. If Serenity is on the table, I'd suggest using a spear and Intuitive Attack (BoED), but keep just enough Strength to qualify for Power Attack. I don't like this - it uses Dragon, which I have many qualms about using - but it is workable. If you have to pick just one paladin order, I'm not sure which would be superior - it depends on your ability score distribution. I'd favor Mystic Fire Knight, but this causes some conflict (since WoC requires Int and Cha, but Serenity shifts utility from Cha to Wis).

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
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.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

So Illumian (Aeshkrau power word) is the only way to reduce MAD? Hmm... I think my DM will allow it if my character hides their racial identity, pretending to be human most of the time, and only revealing their sigils before combat, when possible (doesn't really feel like a Paladin though ). Alternately, see paragraph 3.

 

I had read above about Divine Might above. However, as I didn't feel my DM would allow multiple paladin orders, I chose Harmonious Knight (preferring the Inspire abilities to spellcasting). Because of this, I was trying to see if there was a way to fill in the gaps left by taking out Mystic Fire Knight by building towards Divine Might.

 

If this isn't possible (or efficient), I can ask him to just play this build straight. I don't care for that idea though. I'd prefer to use the build as a primer, and build from it, rather than feel like I'm borrowing it wholesale. Even if it is weaker, playing within the limitations of my DM's comfort and finding a way to make it work, rather than asking him to allow me to play outside them, is fun.

Harmonious Knight is the better chice to reduce Mad, you don't NEED Words of Creation either it's just gravy. So if you drop Mystic Fire Knight and Words of Creation you'll be as low MAD as possible. You are then free to spend a feat on Subtle Sigils (in order to hide the sigils and still get use of them). And move towards stuff like Divine Might/Power Attack.

Thing is, Harmonious Knight only provides +1 Inspire Courage on its own. The scaling comes from From Smite To Song. Harmonious Knight is really only used for Inspire Competence (to qualify for Song of the Heart) and for Inspire Greatness (since it's better than Remove Disease).

 

For that reason, I'd favor Mystic Fire Knight.

 

Also, if illumian fluff doesn't appeal to you, consider that instead you're an incarnation of the celestial choir, the literal words of creation, the scripture of the ages incarnate. Where is it written that Thou Shalt Not Kill, that The Strong Have A Duty To Protect The Weak? In the same place that you were written.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
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.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

Hi

 

Sorry for necroing, I hope thats okay.

 

I'm currently planning my character(s) for a session with my old d&d buddies. We play about 2 times per year, with some ppl coming and going (babies, jobs and so on keeps us from being 100% consistent).

 

Depending on the group that shows up, the A-game Paladin really caught my attention. The perfect offtank (we got a crusader planned for the primary melee control type) with buffs to boot.

 

There is just one thing I can't get my head around (we are playing 3.5 btw), how do you get around casting spells with the A-game build? With a wisdom score of 10, you won't be able to cast anything but cantrips. As I've read Aeshkrau, it only determines bonuspells of of STR and doesn't change your key casting ability.

 

Am I missing something terribly here? (I sure hope I am)

 

Btw, your Optimization articles are awesome and really a great inspiration!

 

Bets regards

Arnt

That's a really good catch and I dunno how we all missed this (mostly me). Looks like you may want to re-alocate some points from elsewhere (further dumping Dex to 8 for starters, maybe letting Str and Cha starting scores slide to 13). Outside of that you could do the unthinkable and rely on magic items for a high enough stat to cast. This should be fine considering you only ever need a +4 Wis item to get all your spells online and don't need the +2 until at least level 4 and it won't cripple you to wait a few levels after that.

Andarious-Rosethorn wrote:

That's a really good catch and I dunno how we all missed this (mostly me). Looks like you may want to re-alocate some points from elsewhere (further dumping Dex to 8 for starters, maybe letting Str and Cha starting scores slide to 13). Outside of that you could do the unthinkable and rely on magic items for a high enough stat to cast. This should be fine considering you only ever need a +4 Wis item to get all your spells online and don't need the +2 until at least level 4 and it won't cripple you to wait a few levels after that.

 

I'm kinda the min/max guy in the group, and when we played 10 years ago, we were pretty lax about magic and stuff,blasters were king in the group. Today, we have a different "adult" aproach, and last session (6 months ago) I introduced our DM's bossfight to an antimagic filed (he knew about it, just didn't think it made us tear through his monster so fast), which means, he'll be upping the ante quite abit. 

 

In light of that, I won't be putting my pennies on an magic item to secure my spellcasting (who knows, I might get trapped in a dungeonhole with my gear on the other side of the door)...

 

Taking a DEX penalty isn't too harsh i guess. That takes care of level 2 spells. I could take my 12th level ability point in WIS as well, which gives me 3rd level spells, and worry about the rest as i progress.

 

However, it seems the not-being-MAD part about the build is busted. (If I'm correct in my finding).

The assumption I thought was always the Wis booster. If that's too much of a risk, adjust the PB to drop Dex for Wis. Honestly, though, I don't think it's too much of a risk; I have never seen the "separated from all your gear" thing in nearly fifteen years of gaming.

 

Incidentally, there's no need to PM me; I won't answer them. If I offer help, I do so in a public forum, so that others might see it and might be helped as well.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
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.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

Tempest_Stormwind wrote:

The assumption I thought was always the Wis booster. If that's too much of a risk, adjust the PB to drop Dex for Wis. Honestly, though, I don't think it's too much of a risk; I have never seen the "separated from all your gear" thing in nearly fifteen years of gaming.

 

Incidentally, there's no need to PM me; I won't answer them. If I offer help, I do so in a public forum, so that others might see it and might be helped as well.

 

Yeah, sorry about that, but this board's profile system is a little weird to me. When I checked if you were still active, your latest post were over a year old. After browsing the forum, I could see that you are indeed very active

 

Ok. I just assumed that I missed something, since in all your showcases (that I've read) you generally go to great lengths to explain exactly the gear needed to perform (optimally or at all).

 

 

Regarding the "seperated from gear", it's just a thing my DM loves to do, sometimes to annoy us, sometimes just to show our vulnerability and make sure we know, that we are not defined by our gear, but by the character in it.

 

 

The biggest thing that helps to control the MAD (it's still there, actually somewhat worse than usual in some ways) is just the fact you can put  almost all of your eggs in one basket (Str) and do well. Yes dump Dex but don't touch Str or Cha I was being silly, you can bump wis 2 points as needed (say by 16) with level ups. Gear can focus on Str>Cha>Con>Dex in that order.

Andarious-Rosethorn wrote:

The biggest thing that helps to control the MAD (it's still there, actually somewhat worse than usual in some ways) is just the fact you can put  almost all of your eggs in one basket (Str) and do well. Yes dump Dex but don't touch Str or Cha I was being silly, you can bump wis 2 points as needed (say by 16) with level ups. Gear can focus on Str>Cha>Con>Dex in that order.

 

We play by a 75 point, 1:1 buy system. So my starting stat array looks something like this: 14 8 14 14 12 13. Since we are resuming play at lvl 12 i'm putting 1 point in INT and 2 in Charisma. Then by getting a +2 WIS booster and some STR, CHA and a small CON booster, I think the dude is pretty set.

 

We are playtesting some of our characters this weekend, since we have a new member in the group, and I'll be bringing this showcase along to inspire the group as a whole to think differently about Tier 4 and 5 classes. I just need to adjust it to fit within our DM's guides, which means probably only 1 order.

arntc wrote:

 

Tempest_Stormwind wrote:

The assumption I thought was always the Wis booster. If that's too much of a risk, adjust the PB to drop Dex for Wis. Honestly, though, I don't think it's too much of a risk; I have never seen the "separated from all your gear" thing in nearly fifteen years of gaming.

Regarding the "seperated from gear", it's just a thing my DM loves to do, sometimes to annoy us, sometimes just to show our vulnerability and make sure we know, that we are not defined by our gear, but by the character in it.

I've seen it a few times, mostly because someone was defeated or imprisoned (where the alternative would be dying), though in one particular case it was because a campaign creature made its opponents physically allergic to manufactured items.  And, I suppose you could also count indiscretions with incubi/succubi, depending on the exact circumstances.

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.
Sign In to post comments