Weekly Optimization Showcase: Captain Constitution

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Once again, a Friday dawns...

As usual for the showcase, these builds are intended to spur discussion and perhaps inspire a few people in the spirit of the old CO boards. They come from members of my gaming group - me, Radical Taoist, DisposableHero_, Andarious, Sionnis, and Seishi - and I'll always identify who wrote the build at the start, so do not assume I'm the guy behind all of them (because I'm not!).

Unless otherwise noted, showcase builds use 28 point-buy, and have their snapshots evaluated using fractional base attack / saves (because it simplifies the math). None of them actually rely on fractional to be built, though. The format I use showcases their progression at key levels rather than just presenting the build and showing off a few tricks at level 20; most of these are capable of being played 1-20 if you so choose.

With that out of the way, let's get started.  This week’s build is primarily from Andarious mostly; I had several suggestions, but it was still primarily his. It was benchmarked by running it against last week's Inevitable Nightmare; it turns out the two make a pretty fun pairing (either against each other or together against the world).


CAPTAIN CONSTITUTION
The Number One Threat To America

Required Books: Tome of Battle, Complete Champion, Complete Warrior, Eberron Campaign Setting, Races of Stone, PHB2, Player’s Guide to Eberron.
Unearthed Arcana used: Whirling Frenzy rage (optional, highly recommended).

Background: So, you’ve read all the handbooks, and you’ve noticed a trend: Not a single one suggests leaving points out of Constitution. Most put it as, at least, your second most important stat, and even those are heavy, heavy SAD classes. And they have a point: Sooner or later, your Constitution – via hit points, nasty Fort-save vs death effects (Will gets a fair number of these too, but most are foiled by a simple Mind Blank), or even Constitution damage – is going to be the only thing between you and a nasty demise. So, let’s take this to its logical extreme, shall we?

The basic idea here was simple: Make a character who could legitimately say his primary ability score was Constitution. Andarious already had a chunk of this in place when I found it, and pointed out a few options he wasn’t aware of at the time, and the rest just clicked. It turned out to have enough offensive oomph “for free” that barely anything needs to be invested in it offensively!

And no, the name is not a bad pun on Captain America (it's actually closer to the Hulk), even though the build is superheroically tough. The tagline, however, is a pun on this interpretation, courtesy of one Stephen Colbert. You’ll see.

For a real stumper, as you read through this, think about it. How would you describe this warrior to others? Is he a savvy Diamond Mind warblade, or a savage raging barbarian? Is he a monk? Is there just a hint of druid? His fighting style will drive metagamers positively insane.

The Basics



  • Race: Warforged. Dwarf is an acceptable alternative outside of Eberron; I’ll leave notes throughout on how to manage this as a dwarf. You want +CON and immunities. Warforged composite plating, with no maximum Dexterity bonus by default and its existence as an extraordinary ability rather than a piece of equipment, turns out to be a pretty powerful advantage, so you probably don’t want to apply Dragonborn here.


    • EDIT: Omen of Peace points out a pretty big goof on my end that makes Warforged stop working at level 15. The dwarf version still works after that point, but I'd maintain the warforged version is better up to then. See the Variants section below for how to handle this.


  • Ability Scores:  14/12/18/10/8/8 before racial adjustments (+2 con, -2 wis, -2 cha). EVERY SPARE POINT GOES INTO CONSTITUTION. No exceptions. This build is tough. Really, really tough. No, tougher than that. Even tougher. Keep going. More. No, more. Look, you basically want your Constitution score to have its own gravity well. THAT tough.


Skill Notes: Umm…. This is kind of complex. Your later PrCs have tricky skill requirements, but it IS possible to hit them without that much cross-classing.  I’ve listed at each level where the skill points go. Read through the build carefully before employing them. (The numbers you see are skill points to invest, not skill ranks purchased; I try to call attention to cross-class points when they show up, but I might have missed a few. If you’re building along at home, you’ll spot it.)

Basic Equipment: You don’t need any. Not even a weapon – your slam is good enough until you can shapeshift, then you are your own weapon. (Level 1 is probably too deadly to bypass a weapon or shield though (particularly because warforged are half immune to healing spells) so don’t skimp it if you’re playing 1-20. You can probably go without in the lower-mids, though.)
Magical Gear Goals: +Constitution through amulet and tome is a good place to start. Adding in plating enhancements is an interesting choice – you don’t need wilding clasps or magic to keep your plating while shapeshifted. I assume +5 Ghostward below (the enhancement applies to touch AC as well as normal AC); you can add more beyond that if you have the cash or want to customize.

Speaking of, if you can afford it, Wilding Clasps let you carry over your gear when you shapeshift. These are costly but very, VERY useful. Interestingly we do not assume any of them in the snapshots below; once you include them the results get nuts.

The Build.
Build Stub: Warblade 6 / Barbarian 1 / Bear Warrior 5 / War Shaper 2 / Fist of the Forest 1 / Stoneblessed 3 / Deepwarden 2.

1 – Warblade – (Battle Clarity, Weapon Aptitude) (Power Attack) (Moment of Perfect Mind, Charging Minotaur, Wolf Fang Strike) (Punishing Stance)

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Skills:4 each in Concentration, Craft (Stonework), Jump, and Tumble.

This is a pretty basic warblade opening, but with obscene level 1 HP (comparable to a heavy horse, or nearly 50% higher than the benchmark Fighters) in exchange for next to no AC. Since you don’t have any of the warforged body feats, you start off with just “leather” armor, and warforged are a pain to heal; reserve Punishing Stance as a “rage” ability, particularly if you’re attacking with a big sword and a slam in the same Wolf Fang Strike or full attack.

2 – Warblade – (Uncanny Dodge) (Sudden Leap)
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Skills: 1 each in Concentration, Craft, Jump, Tumble.

3 – Barbarian – (Pounce, Whirling Frenzy, Still Literate) (Extra Rage)
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Skills: 4 in Survival.

Pounce and Whirling Frenzy are natural partners due to whirling frenzy’s second attack; this also couples well with Punishing Stance. It doesn’t come with a durability increase like standard Rage, but later on we’ll be replacing that anyway. Perhaps most notable (and surprising) is that Whirling Frenzy has an AC bonus, which can be used to offset Punishing Stance if you’d like.

4 – Warblade – (Battle Ardor) (Action Before Thought)
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Skills: 2 in Concentration, 2 in Climb.

5 – Warblade – (Battle Leader’s Charge swaps Wolf Fang Strike) (Leading the Charge)
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Skills: 1 in Concentration, 3 in Climb.

Voila, you’re a minor ubercharger, using the bonus damage from Battle Leader’s Charge and Leading the Charge (+15 is nothing to be shy about at this level!) in place of the usual Power Attack multipliers.

6 – Warblade – (Bonus: Endurance) (Steadfast Determination) (Insightful Strike)
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Skills: 1 in Concentration, 3 in Heal (cc).

We used warblade bonus feat to minimize the “suck window” with Endurance but no Steadfast. This level our saves are an impressive +12/+7/+12 with naught more than a +1 cloak of resistance. With Action Before Thought last level, and Iron Heart Surge next level, you’re built to resist.

Insightful Strike serves two purposes here. It lets us use that Constitution offensively (although there isn’t enough support to overcome the drawbacks enough to use it as a primary strike) and to give us a power strike against those we can’t hit with Power Attack (especially people with Elusive Target, which shuts down Power Attackers hard).

7 – Warblade – (Improved Uncanny Dodge) (Iron Heart Surge swaps Charging Minotaur)
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Skills: 1 in Concentration, 3 in Heal (cc).

8 – Bear Warrior – (Bear Form: Black)
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Skills: 4 in Handle Animal.

Your bear form is freaking lethal. Assuming your only piece of equipment is your composite plating (persists during a Bear Form rage), and the rest of your gear is absorbed, you’re looking at a snapsnot of 121 HP, Speed 40, +14 melee with black bear natural weapons, +6 Strength modifier, and +17/+12/+17 saves. And your full suite of martial maneuvers, except those relying on Concentration, are all available as well – including Battle Leader’s Charge + Leading the Charge + Pounce.

By the way, since Bear Form completely replaces the ability score modifications from rage but leaves its other modifications intact, Whirling Frenzy is now clearly superior to normal Rage, since its only normal drawback is the loss of the Constitution increase, which Bear Form provides. The AC bonus in particular is quite nice, especially once your form gets bigger later on. It isn’t 100% clear how Whirling Frenzy’s extra attack works if you only make natural attacks (it may not work at all, in which case you have to make your iterative attacks as well via unarmed strikes, which will provoke AoOs until next level). Work this out with your DM.

9 – War Shaper – (Morphic Weapons, Morphic Immunities) (Improved Unarmed Strike)
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Skills: 2 Concentration.

As if a warforged needed more immunities (and if you’re doing the dwarf version, now you rival a ‘forged for those). The action cost to use Morphic Weapons doesn’t jive well with Rage’s limited duration (and your DM may say Morphic Weapons requires concentration, despite the bear warrior explicitly qualifying for this class), so you may have to do without them. That’s not such a big deal though, given the context of your next level.

10 – War Shaper – (Morphic Body)
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Skills: 1 Concentration, 1 Heal (cc)

Oh, look, your rage modifiers got even better, adding an extra +4 Strength and +4 Con. In that context, it’s a mighty level indeed.

11 – Bear Warrior – N/A
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Skills: Heal 3 (cc), Survival 1.

12 – Bear Warrior – (Scent) (Great Fortitude)
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Skills: Speak Language (Terran), Speak Language (Dwarven). If you’re playing as a dwarf, take Terran and Goliath.

13 – Fist of the Forest – (AC Bonus, Fast Movement, Feral Trance 1, Unarmed Damage, Primal Living)
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Skills: Appraise 2

Note that the AC bonus works exactly the same way the monk’s does, except it’s keyed off of Constitution. That’s really the main reason FotF is here at all (unless the DM requires unarmed strikes to make use of Whirling Frenzy’s extra attack while in bear form), and it’s good enough to be worth spending the feats to enter. Primal Living isn’t a drawback at all (it normally interferes with how you’d play some of your characters, but for a warforged (doesn’t eat or sleep) barbarian/bear warrior (notoriously surly and more at home in the wilds), it’s basically a Cliffnotes version of your RP notes, isn’t it?), and Fast Movement is a nice boost at any point particularly for Lion Totem barbarians. Feral Trance, the hallmark ability of a FotF, is more or less reserved for when you’re out of rages, since its benefits to you while raging are minimal. Interestingly, you may be able to get around the “it destroys your gloves and boots” drawback of Feral Trance by using warforged components – they’re actually a part of your body, so it’s unlikely your body growing giant claws would actually destroy them.

Speaking of, a quick snapshot: While in bear form, with +3 Ghostward plating, we have 199 average HP, Melee +19 (with black bear natural weapons, possibly augmented with Morphic Weapons) and a Strength modifier +8, saves 25/16/25, Speed 40. Your AC is 21, FF/touch ACs of 20/17. A touch on the low side, but remember, that’s assuming NONE of your gear carries over, and you’ve got plenty of budget for Wilding Clasps.

14 – Bear Warrior – N/A
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Skills: Appraise 2 (cc), ANY ONE SKILL TRICK OF YOUR CHOICE

You qualify for a surprising number of these, mostly the movement ones that take just 5 ranks in a given skill. We worked the timing in here to get the skill tricks as early as possible, but the best of them require 5 ranks in Balance, which is hard to swing since it’s rarely a class skill.

15 – Bear Warrior – (Bear Form: Brown) (Shocking Fist OR Extra Rage)
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Skills: 2 Concentration, ANY ONE SKILL TRICK OF YOUR CHOICE

The feat choice is up to you. At this point you should be able to get a +1 tome of Con, meaning nearly 300 HP in a rage (and you heal some of that every time you rage); Shocking Fist lets you channel that into pretty powerful electrical damage, which can be helpful in bypassing DR (it’s surprisingly hard to get natural weapons to do that if you aren’t assuming wilding clasps). Extra Rage just ups your daily stamina something fierce; it’s probably the best you can hope for if you’re doing the dwarf variant.

16 – Stoneblessed – Stonebond (Dwarf or Goliath)
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Skills: 2 Dungeoneering.

If you’re warforged, pick dwarf. If you’re dwarf, pick goliath. These last few levels aren’t all that amazing, but they enhance your Constitution more and give us a very powerful ability at level 20.

17 – Stoneblessed – (Racial Battle Technique)
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Skills: 2 Dungeoneering

18 – Stoneblessed – (Stoneborn: +2 Con, and Stonecunning / Toughness) (Martial Study: Greater Insightful Strike)
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Skills: 1 Concentration, 1 Dungeoneering.

The real win here is the extra +2 Con. Although if you’re a dwarf (and Stonebonded with goliaths), plead with the DM to exchange Toughness for Improved Toughness; +3 hp is under a 1% increase for you. (We’re assuming you’re a warforged though.)

Greater Insightful Strike doubles your Concentration check result for damage. +Skill items are cheap, and you’re already maxing Constitution like a boss; this maneuver will hurt. (It's one of the few easy ways to turn Constitution into an attack.) You can’t use it while raging, but unlike all your other attacks, it also doesn’t rely on Power Attack, so it’s always made at your best attack bonus. Also, the amazing Elusive Target feat can’t be used to reduce its damage, meaning they can’t nullify you the way they could nullify, say, a Frenzied Ubercharger. Just be careful they don’t redirect it.

19 – Deepwarden – (Trap Sense +1) (Bonus: Track)
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Skills: 4 Concentration, 2 Balance.

Well, whatddya know. We managed to get into a serious ranger PRC without a single ranger-like level and with minimal cross-class skill ranking along the way. How about that?

Also, while the real payoff is next level, and it hasn’t been a primary skill for you, you do have the powerful Scent + Track combination now. It’s quite a bit late, but still appreciated, particularly because it’s hard to foil.

20 – Deepwarden – (Stone Warden)
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Skills: 3 Concentration, 3 Balance.

Stone Warden replaces your usual Dex-to-AC with Con-to-AC, with all the same limits as Dex (max dex, flat-footing, etc). Lucky for you your composite plating has no max Dex bonus, then.

Incidentally, why Balance? Because while Uncanny Dodge lets you retain your Dexterity Constitution bonus to your AC while you’re flat-footed, that isn’t the only time you lose your bonus – it’s negated if you’re balancing, which can be introduced with something as simple as a Grease spell. Don’t get schooled by a first-level spell at level 20.



Snapshot: There are two forms here, so I’ll stat them out accordingly.

The normal (humanoid warforged) form has +6 items on Strength and Constitution, and a +5 Tome of Con. His plating is enhanced +5 Ghostward. Armed with a +5 amulet of natural armor, a +5 cloak of resistance, a +5 ring of protection, two ioun stones (Pale Green and Dusty Rose), a Luckstone, and a +10 Competence bonus to Concentration – that sounds like a lot, but it leaves him with over 250,000gp left to spend on other gear, possibly enhancing his natural attacks like his slam, or wilding clasps – you get the following stats:
HP 404, Melee +24 (as weapon with +5 Strength modifier), saves of +45/+31/+43, with base AC of 56, a flat-footed AC of 56, a touch AC of 49, and a hosed (flat-footed/touch) AC of 49. (The Balance ranks at the end were designed to retain that Con-to-AC while balancing, which is the only place from which that he was still at risk of losing his Dex bonus.) You have Speed 40 and full access to your maneuvers, including those with Concentration (at a skill modifier of +45). Your final Constitution in this form is a whopping 32.
(Feral Trance doesn’t add much to this numerically – the Dex bonus is overridden by Stone Warden, for instance – but it does give you a decent fallback position offensively. Just be sure your magic gloves and boots are warforged components.)

The raging bear form loses all of his gear (and presumably can’t use Feral Trance either) given no wilding abilities. You can easily afford to add these on if you want, but we left them out for snapshotting. Only his composite plating remains (yeah yeah, insert Transformers: Beast Wars robot bear joke here), as does the effect of the tome of Con. Here, we are looking at 464 HP, Melee +30 (brown bear natural weapons with strength modifier of +12), saves of +41/+25/+41, with a base AC of 57, Flat-footed AC of 57, Touch AC of 50, and hosed AC of 50. In this form he also has speed 50 and is size Large (with the corresponding reach), and you finish with a truly mind-boggling 44 Constitution. These numbers assume NONE of your over 250,000gp in remaining wealth were spent on Wilding Clasps, which can easily push the numbers higher (why yes, I do feel like clipping one to my +6 Constitution gear, thanks!).

In both forms, he has Base Attack +18, can’t fail Fortitude saves on a natural 1 (and has a bonus high enough to basically always pass them on any other result), has two (freely chosen) skill tricks, has a huge immunity list (warforged+war shaper+Improved Uncanny Dodge (Rogue 10 needed to flank)), and is capable of initiating a suite of martial maneuvers. A few, most notably Greater Insightful Strike and the Diamond Mind counters, can’t be used while raging, but can continue to dish out serious damage output even against targets who use Elusive Target to negate power attacks. Those that can be used while raging include Iron Heart Surge (anything that gets past your immunities won’t stay long) and Battle Leader’s Charge (mostly used to avoid AoOs while charging), along with the +13 charge damage to yourself and allies from Leading the Charge. (How can he use Leading the Charge in a form that can’t speak? BECAUSE HE’S A BEAR AND HE DOESN’T NEED REASONS THAT’S WHY.)


Overall Strengths: This is one tough cookie. Most dramatically, he gets Con to AC twice, along with Improved Uncanny Dodge and a host of other goodies. It’s hard to negate all of his defenses, and all of them came with immense boosts to Strength or damage in other ways (insightful strikes with +45 Concentration modifiers). Once he rages, he’s a juggernaut – seriously, just try to stop him. Great saves and Steadfast Determination will throw you for a loop, to say nothing about his huge immunity list and Iron Heart Surge. Even if you do manage to break through, you’re looking at over 450 HP between you winning and him killing you.

Overall Weaknesses: Reliance on melee tactics is just about it, really. This is exaggerated a bit since gear is absorbed during a rage; you’ll need Wilding Clasps on mobility gear. None of the usual melee weak spots here, including the Will save, are actually weak. This build does, however, mature VERY late, although it remains competitive until then. Similarly, without the right magical gear, heavy damage reduction will slow him down (hard to get natural weapons to bypass that without gear), but given how he was really built for defense first, that’s not all that surprising. (That’s also why Shocking Fist is there.)

Variants:  I gave details along the way of handling this with Dwarf instead of Warforged. I prefer warforged myself, but still…Should work with any +Con race. At a higher point-buy (say, the high-power 32 pb), the quintessential CON race, Mongrelfolk, becomes an option. Mongrelfolk come with an Intelligence penalty, and this build literally cannot function with less than 10 Int, so you either need a higher PB or some painful guttings (8 Dexterity or 6 Wisdom. And I'm not sure how fun a character with 10 Int, 6 Wisdom, and 4 Charisma would be to act as.) I still prefer warforged for the immunities (even more “can’t stop me” effects), but if you want raw numbers, in 32pb, it’ll be hard to beat mongrelfolk. And, as I noted above, Dragonborn remains an option almost regardless of race for even more Constitution (although here, it costs you access to your composite plating, which is a pretty powerful bonus!).

Omen of Peace points out that Warforged do not meet the type requirement for Stoneblessed (and, by proxy, for Deepwarden) - a big goof on my part. If you're following the build as originally presented and you like the 'Forged, finish the last five levels off with something like the last three levels of Bear Warrior and two extra levels of War Shaper for simplicity. Alternatively, five levels of a Tome of Battle class would be interesting. If you're fixing this goof by playing a dwarf (or mongrelfolk), and thus lack the 'Forged's immunities and composite plating, you should definitely go for broke with Dragonborn and budget for Wild armor or wilding clasps.



There you have it. I'm very pleased to showcase this one; it's one of my favorites, and Andarious deserves serious credit for making it work. It's obscenely tough and, through that toughness, gets a pretty impressive melee presence.

Next up is another choice: From two weeks ago, we still have the Heavy Crusader or (the fun but largely theoretical!) Gun Fu to showcase. From earlier, we have the Nuker (it's back), along with one I haven't offered before, intended for DM use only (i.e. a high-power villain build), the Dread Lord of the Dead. You know the drill: just let me know which'll show up next week in the replies.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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)

 

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.

Pretty interesting.
Deepwarden + Fotf has been done, but the exclusive focus on Con is fun.

A few remarks:
- it's a shame Deepwarden 2 comes so late. What are the entry skills that cause trouble?
edit: ok, opening up all sblocks at once gives a view of the skill progression. It's the dearth of skill points that is the fundamental problem. Dipping ranger would speed things up but otherwise brings little to the build. Totemist could be interesting (to replace Stoneblessed, maybe?).

- You assume you can keep Compostite Plating because Bear Form does not explicitly call for the loss of the original form's extraordinary abilities, correct? It does say it's based on Polymorph (well, "similar to" - I guess there's wiggle room there) which would nix that.
Or am I missing something?
Either way it's not a big deal since bracers of armor (or enchanted clothes) can get you almost the same deal.

- The interaction of Bear Form and Whirling Frenzy is not very clear. "the ability bonuses [...] are replaced by Str, Dex, Con bonuses..." but you have only one bonus, so what happens?
(I think it would be fairer to assume you lose the extra attack and the bonus to AC, while you keep the Ref bonus, but that's obviously not RAW so everyone will have a different opinion.)

- how do you get into Stoneblessed as a living construct?
The requirement says: "Creature Type: Giant, humanoid, or monstrous humanoid".
Dwarf or Mongrelfolk works fine here, obviously.

OoP's characters
My current character in Real Adventures Play-by-Post games:

 

  • Maeve in The Lost History of Istar


 
Totemist could be interesting (to replace Stoneblessed, maybe?).

I don't think that would work on anything but the natural dwarf.  IIRC, Deepwarden has a racial requirement of Dwarf; Stoneblessed lets you become a dwarf.

@Tempest: Crusader as 1st choice; Nuker as 2nd.
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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
A few remarks:
- it's a shame Deepwarden 2 comes so late. What are the entry skills that cause trouble?
edit: ok, opening up all sblocks at once gives a view of the skill progression. It's the dearth of skill points that is the fundamental problem. Dipping ranger would speed things up but otherwise brings little to the build. Totemist could be interesting (to replace Stoneblessed, maybe?).


Stoneblessed is kind of required for a non-dwarf to get into Deepwarden, and it's desirable on its own for a +2 boost to Constitution. Basically, consider the build pre-Stoneblessed and you'll see that it's actually pretty tightly focused around Bear Warrior to start - we get a strong, tough opening into Bear Warrior, divert quickly into War Shaper (which for a bear warrior translates into dramatically improved rages), and then keep going until we qualify for Fist of the Forest (which is delayed because none of its entry feats are any good, so we get the really nice/required stuff - Power Attack, Extra Rage, and Steadfast Determination - first). We went for FotF first because it's easier to qualify for than Deepwarden if you aren't a dwarf and it provides a bigger benefit (since Deepwarden replaces Dexterity while FotF adds to it, along with FotF improving your unarmed strikes if your DM rules that way on Whirling Frenzy.)

You're right about the skills, but there's more to it than that. I hope this makes sense.

- You assume you can keep Compostite Plating because Bear Form does not explicitly call for the loss of the original form's extraordinary abilities, correct? It does say it's based on Polymorph (well, "similar to" - I guess there's wiggle room there) which would nix that.
Or am I missing something?
Either way it's not a big deal since bracers of armor (or enchanted clothes) can get you almost the same deal.


Bear Form and polymorph effects do not override your extraordinary abilities (most dramatically with Bear Form, since Rage itself is extraordinary). Composite Plating is (Ex).

The problem isn't that you're not wearing armor as a bear; it's that Rage isn't Wild Shape (it doesn't last that long, even with insane Constitution - you're not likely to pre-buff with it) and that Bear Form, as a polymorph effect, absorbs all your gear. It isn't bracers of armor you'd need, it's the Wild enhancement or a set of Wilding Clasps to overcome that last part.

- The interaction of Bear Form and Whirling Frenzy is not very clear. "the ability bonuses [...] are replaced by Str, Dex, Con bonuses..." but you have only one bonus, so what happens?
(I think it would be fairer to assume you lose the extra attack and the bonus to AC, while you keep the Ref bonus, but that's obviously not RAW so everyone will have a different opinion.)


I think the interaction is quite clear: Rage and Whirling Frenzy both have ability bonuses and non-ability bonuses. Rage has more of the former and fewer of the latter, Whirling Frenzy is the other way around. You replace the former with Bear Form, while the latter remain.

Still, you don't need it - this was one of my suggestions. If you look through the showcase so far, none of Andarious' builds require Unearthed Arcana material; I'm usually the one suggesting it. You don't lose much with standard rage - mostly just a few points of AC, and you have that in spades.

- how do you get into Stoneblessed as a living construct?
The requirement says: "Creature Type: Giant, humanoid, or monstrous humanoid".
Dwarf or Mongrelfolk works fine here, obviously.


...*facepalm*

I honestly can't believe I didn't notice that. You're absolutely right, and it basically torpedoes the warforged as written.

Dwarf works as written; you just budget for wild armor and account for far fewer immunities in your humanoid form. Mongrelfolk requires a few ability score shifts due to an Intelligence penalty, but still works. I don't see a drawback for going Dragonborn this way either, since you aren't really relying on any of the racial characteristics that would be overwritten.

Warforged might still work; the last five levels were chosen entirely to get a second round of Constitution to AC. Warforged now have free level choices at the tail end: like you, I'd default to totemist when looking for alternatives, but finishing off Bear Warrior and going for Morphic Reach on War Shaper wouldn't be a bad call, nor would advancing warblade.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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.

Stoneblessed is kind of required for a non-dwarf to get into Deepwarden, and it's desirable on its own for a +2 boost to Constitution. Basically, consider the build pre-Stoneblessed and you'll see that it's actually pretty tightly focused around Bear Warrior to start - we get a strong, tough opening into Bear Warrior, divert quickly into War Shaper (which for a bear warrior translates into dramatically improved rages), and then keep going until we qualify for Fist of the Forest (which is delayed because none of its entry feats are any good, so we get the really nice/required stuff - Power Attack, Extra Rage, and Steadfast Determination - first). We went for FotF first because it's easier to qualify for than Deepwarden if you aren't a dwarf and it provides a bigger benefit (since Deepwarden replaces Dexterity while FotF adds to it, along with FotF improving your unarmed strikes if your DM rules that way on Whirling Frenzy.)

You're right about the skills, but there's more to it than that. I hope this makes sense.


It does make sense, thanks. I like knowing the "flow" of a build (the why's, the "how much adaptation room do I get", ...), which is hard if you don't work on it yourself.

Bear Form and polymorph effects do not override your extraordinary abilities (most dramatically with Bear Form, since Rage itself is extraordinary). Composite Plating is (Ex).


Polymorph inherits Alter Self which says "You keep all extraordinary special attacks and qualities derived from class levels, but you lose any from your normal form that are not derived from class levels."
But I'm rusty about all this polymorph stuff and it's not very interesting anyway, so let's move on.

The problem isn't that you're not wearing armor as a bear; it's that Rage isn't Wild Shape (it doesn't last that long, even with insane Constitution - you're not likely to pre-buff with it) and that Bear Form, as a polymorph effect, absorbs all your gear. It isn't bracers of armor you'd need, it's the Wild enhancement or a set of Wilding Clasps to overcome that last part.


Duh, yeah, the Bracers would meld.
The Wild enchantment and the Clasps unfortunately only target Wildshape, so they won't work with Bear Rage (barring a lenient DM).

I honestly can't believe I didn't notice that. You're absolutely right, and it basically torpedoes the warforged as written.


As you point out, it still mostly works, so it's fine.

OoP's characters
My current character in Real Adventures Play-by-Post games:

 

  • Maeve in The Lost History of Istar


 
I honestly can't believe I didn't notice that. You're absolutely right, and it basically torpedoes the warforged as written.

As you point out, it still mostly works, so it's fine.

And I could use it in my campaign (where warforged are made out of humanoids) by finding somewhere to fit in Human Heritage.

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

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass 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.
I pity the villians that have to deal with this guy.  I can actually hear the screams of "WHY WON'T YOU DIE?!!!" from those that are on the wrong end of his weapons.

My vote goes to Nuker, though I wouldn't mind seeing Gun Fu after that.  Dread Lord of the Dead has caught my curiosity, but again, my vote is for Nuker.  Nuker is the one that is a "Warmage that doesn't suck" to quote you, right?  As you have probably guessed, I really want to see Nuker, but I didn't realize that this whole paragraph makes me sound like an over-sugared little kid until just now. Smile
So if I were dming a game and someone put this character into motion, how exactly would you reccomend stoping him? I know you mention decent DR, is there anything that actually has really good DR that he couldn't get pass?

Anyway, my vote is for nuker. 
So if I were dming a game and someone put this character into motion, how exactly would you reccomend stoping him? I know you mention decent DR, is there anything that actually has really good DR that he couldn't get pass?

Anyway, my vote is for nuker. 

Gate him to the Elemental Plane of Water.  Or better yet, Air.

"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
Tempest, you may have missed Omen's post, above.

The warforged doesn't get to keep his composite plate while wildshaped. It's an extraordinary ability derived from race, not class levels.

I thought there was something fishy about him keeping his armor wildshaped. He can't even use wilding clasps to keep it around, because it's part of him, and not a suit of armor.

That takes a big chunk off his AC.

==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
Tempest, you may have missed Omen's post, above.

The warforged doesn't get to keep his composite plate while wildshaped. It's an extraordinary ability derived from race, not class levels.

I thought there was something fishy about him keeping his armor wildshaped. He can't even use wilding clasps to keep it around, because it's part of him, and not a suit of armor.

That takes a big chunk off his AC.

==Aelryinth


I acknowledged that; I just haven't edited the post yet. I hate polymorphing with a passion, so I never use it and tend to get caught up in the spaghetti-ball of rules that come attached to it.

It also doesn't knock off as much as you'd think - you lose a grand total of 7 regular AC, 7 flat-footed AC, and 5 touch AC (assuming you keep Ghostward). AC 50 is still nothing to sneeze at, particularly considering how every piece of equipment is absorbed during polymorph. If anything, this frees up more gold for other gear.

(There's also the possibility that you go without armor altogether once deepwarden kicks in: Stone Warden is limited by maximum Dexterity bonuses after all.) 

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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)

 

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.

You're using the light plating? Thought you were using the heavy.


But yeah, with Con that high, you're probably better off with bracers. I don't think there's any armor you can wear that would allow the max benefit...but does the Deepwarden ability work if you're not actually wearing armor?


==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

You're using the light plating? Thought you were using the heavy.


But yeah, with Con that high, you're probably better off with bracers. I don't think there's any armor you can wear that would allow the max benefit...but does the Deepwarden ability work if you're not actually wearing armor?


==Aelryinth



Check the feats - this one doesn't use Adamantine Body. And unlike druids, we can't shapeshift before battle, so simply saying "just use bracers" is counterproductive. 

The deepwarden ability doesn't rely on armor. It's a flat swap: you use Con instead of Dex. 

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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)

 

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.

Main post updated to account for some of this discussion. Interestingly, although the race changed, the 20th level snapshot doesn't need any tweaking. Stoneblessed is still worth it for the dwarf build due to the +2 Constitution. (I left Mongrelfolk as a variant, even though it maxes Constitution, due to the difficulty in juggling the other stats to account for its Intelligence penalty and the steep skill requirements on Deepwarden.)

Looks like it's the Nuker (the one build of the four for which I didn't already have a writeup prepared...) next week, unless people have last-minute votes.

If I don't get the Nuker writeup finished in time, I apologize in advance, and will put up one of the others with the Nuker following next week. This probably won't happen, but just in case, I'm giving folks a heads-up.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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)

 

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.

The warforged doesn't get to keep his composite plate while wildshaped. It's an extraordinary ability derived from race, not class levels.

==Aelryinth

According to page 29 of Races of Eberron, it does.  I don't know if the Polymorph rules were updated later, but in the description of warforged druids, it specifically states that warforged "keep their armor bonus as weall as immunitites" when wildshaped.
If I don't get the Nuker writeup finished in time, I apologize in advance, and will put up one of the others with the Nuker following next week. This probably won't happen, but just in case, I'm giving folks a heads-up.

Can I repeat my vote for the Heavy Crusader if this is the case?  
"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
According to page 29 of Races of Eberron, it does.  I don't know if the Polymorph rules were updated later, but in the description of warforged druids, it specifically states that warforged "keep their armor bonus as weall as immunitites" when wildshaped.


Bear Form isn't wildshape, though that's a nice exception to keep note of. As I said above, it doesn't take a lot off if you drop it, and thanks to Omen catching my mistake, you'll need to use a non-warforged race for 15-20 to work as written (WF would be better off with finishing off Warshaper and Bear Warrior - you don't gain that much else in the way of Constitution but your offense gets up there.)

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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)

 

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

 

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

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

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

I just have to say, I've had a busy week and I'm glad to see this build got so much conversation. Even if a lot of it was controversy over Warforged stuff (I liked the dwarf variant better as it's simpler anyway). And I love the Colbert nod there... great shot.

Looking forward to seeing reactions to nuker next. I'm getting a lot of camera time here.
As I come back to an old stomping grounds for the first time in years, as I get ready to play for the first time in years, I see familiar faces doing badass things.

This is good stuff. Look forward to next week.
The warforged doesn't get to keep his composite plate while wildshaped. It's an extraordinary ability derived from race, not class levels.

==Aelryinth

According to page 29 of Races of Eberron, it does.  I don't know if the Polymorph rules were updated later, but in the description of warforged druids, it specifically states that warforged "keep their armor bonus as weall as immunitites" when wildshaped.

I just wanted to point out that I got the page number wrong.  It's page 23 in Races of Eberron.
"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
But yeah, with Con that high, you're probably better off with bracers. I don't think there's any armor you can wear that would allow the max benefit...but does the Deepwarden ability work if you're not actually wearing armor?



There are a couple of oddball armors without any maxmum dexterity-- the main one I'm thinking of is bondleaf.  It's only +1 AC for 1000 gold, but that leaves it cheaper than +2 or higher bracers (albeit more limited once you get to the point where you can afford +7 or +8.)

Admittedly, if you're a dwarf prancing around in nothing more than an overlarge leaf, your stout comrades are probably going to laugh themselves to death and then you're stuck facing an entire horde all by yourself.  Eventually, even 400 hit points are going to run out on the natural 20s... ;)
Main post updated to account for some of this discussion. Interestingly, although the race changed, the 20th level snapshot doesn't need any tweaking. Stoneblessed is still worth it for the dwarf build due to the +2 Constitution. (I left Mongrelfolk as a variant, even though it maxes Constitution, due to the difficulty in juggling the other stats to account for its Intelligence penalty and the steep skill requirements on Deepwarden.)



For a dwarf, the dwarven paragon class would probably be a better choice than Stoneblessed.  No loss of BAB, no prerequisites (saves you 7-11 skill points depending on languages known and some backstory finagling), and the special abilities are a bit better.
Good catch on the Dwarf Paragon. I'd originally built this without any UA. Like I usually do. Some changes happened later and one that didn't happen was Dwarf Paragon. Which like you say is pretty generically better.
Just a thought I had today about this build and it might have been mentioned and I missed it is an necklace from dragon magazine 326 (I think) called torc of lucid raging which let's you do concentration checks while raging. I'm aware DM stuff is generally not koshar but thought it should be mentioned for completeness
Kosher or not, it's a nice find.