Hattori Hanzo - A Different Kind of Paragon

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Tempest's Build-of the-week got me looking at Magic of Incarnum again, and I noticed a "cheat code" - I can make a non-casting, self-sufficient Magic Arms & Armor creator of (almost) epic proportions... as long as it's a dwarf.  So, without further ado, I offer Hattori Hanzo - The Kill Bill version.

Books required: PHB, DMG2, Eberron Campaign Setting, Magic of Incarnum, Races of Stone, Unearthed Arcana, Epic Level Handbook (yes, seriously)

Race: Dwarf
Alignment: Any non-evil (this version uses LN)
Stats, after racial adjustments (32-point-buy): 10/10/14/16/12/14  Pump Int at every level

Skill notes:  Spellcraft and Knowledge (Arcana) need to be through the roof, while Craft skills (Armorsmithing and Weaponsmithing especially, though SOME Alchemy wouldn't hurt) and Use Magic Device are your actual bread and butter.  Keep Spellcraft, Knowledge (Arcana), and UMD maxed.  Make sure your smithing skills are maxed at level 5, you can ease off a bit after that.  Sadly, this is a skill-intensive build with only one level that gives more than (2+Int).

Magic Equipment: You'll make your own weapon and armor, but you need Tomes for Int and Cha and a Belt of Magnificence because EVERY ability is used in this build (though Dex and Str are used in combat only)

Build Stub: Artificer1/Incarnate1/Dwarf Paragon3/Ironsoul Forgemaster10/Battlesmith5/Major Bloodline (Silver Dragon)

1 -Artificer (Artificer Knowledge, Artisan Bonus, Disable Trap, Item Creation) (Apprentice (Spellcaster), Scribe Scroll) [Sense Motive +2]
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As near as I can tell, an artificer would get Knowledge (Arcana) as well as UMD from the Apprentice feat, mostly because artificers are listed as Arcanists in the Guilds section of DMG2.  This will be exceptionally useful later.  You'll want to pour your 30 skill points this level into Craft (armor and weapon), UMD, Knowledge (Arcana), Spellcraft, and anything else you might want.  Personally I would choose Appraise and Craft (Alchemy).


2 - Incarnate (Aura, Detect Opposition) [Alertness]

3a - Silver Dragon Bloodline  
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This "level" has no class skills, no skill points, no BAB, nothing... except that it increases all level-based effects (like Aura, Item Creation, and Artificer Knowledge) and max skill ranks.  And that's just on the stuff that's already shown up.

3b - Dwarf Paragon 1 (Craft Expertise, Improved stonecunning) (Weapon Focus (Warhammer)) [Str +1]
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Now that we finally have a +1 BAB, we can pick up WF.  Which we're only getting because it's a prereq.  


4 - DP2 (Improved Darkvision (+30'), save bonus) [Cold resistance 5 (Ex)]

5 - DP3 (Con +2) [Silver dragon affinity +2]

6a - Silver Dragon Bloodline
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Same deal as last time, except now there's an extra class level based ability, Craft Expertise.

6b - Ironsoul Forgemaster 1 (Shield Bond) (Endurance) [Natural Armor +1] 
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Sadly, Endurance is a prereq.  


7 - IF2 (Secrets of the Forge) [Perform +2]

8 - IF3 (Forge Lore) (Craft Magic Arms & Armor) [Resist Cold 10 (Ex)]
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This is the beginning of double bonuses.  Forge Lore grants a class level based insight bonus to Craft (armor and weaponsmith) while the DP's Craft Expertise grants a racial bonus to crafting with stone and metal.  Adding in the Silver Dragon bloodline levels - twice, because the abilities are from different classes - makes your crafting become a whole lot easier...


9 - IF4 (Chakra Bond (Arms)) (Exceptional Artisan) [Con +1]
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What's the only resource that a crafter can't get back?  This level's feat cuts the time required for crafting by a significant margin.


10 - IF5 (Armor Bond) [Alter Self 1/day (Sp)]
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So far, you should be wileding a 1h weapon (preferably a warhammer) along with a shield.  Now that you have the Shield and Armor bonds, you can get energy resistance AND DR.


11 - IF6 (Chakra Bind (Waist)) [Silver Dragon Affinity +4]

12a - Silver Dragon Bloodline
12b - IF7 (Bonus Essentia) [Natural Armor +1]
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The only dead level of the build, but it's got Spellcraft as a class skill so we keep going with it...


13 - IF8 (Chakra Bind (Shoulders)) [Bluff +2]

14 - IF9 (Weapon Bond) [Power Attack]

15 - IF10 (Chakra Bind (Heart)) (Extraordinary Artisan) [Cha +1]

16 - Battlesmith 1 (One with the Hammer, Secrets of the Forge) [Breath Weapon (Ex)]
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Now you're adding Wis to damage, plus it's another crafting class.  Spellcraft isn't a class skill, so you'll have to spend 2 points on that while keeping Knowledge (arcana) and UMD maxed.  You'll only need 1 point for each of those, thanks to the Apprentice feat.


17 - Bs2 (Flesh of My Flesh +1) [Silver Dragon Affinity +6]

18 - Bs3 (Forged in Fire) (Efficient Item Creation [Epic]) [Natural Armor +1]
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Yup, that's an Epic feat at level 18, and it cuts the time required for crafting by 90%.  Thanks to those 3 bloodline levels, your max ranks allowed in class skills at this level is 24, and the prereqs for this feat are Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft at 24 ranks along with a craft feat.


19 - Bs4 (Flesh of My Flesh +2) [Jump +2]

20 - Bs5 (Tempered in Blood) [Immunity to Cold (Ex)]

Obviously, this character is built for one purpose, and one purpose only.  Making magical arms and armor, and using the ones he keeps for himself to beat the stuffing out of the enemy. Thanks to the bloodline levels, you've got a caster level of 69 for working on magical weapons and armor.  You also have a +19 to craft checks made for metal arms and armor before any ranks or Int bonus. And you can do it in about 7.5% of the time it would take a lesser craftsman.  Also, you've got the soulmelds and Essentia of a 10th level Incarnate, which, while not phenomenal, isn't too shabby.

EDIT: Or would it be a 13th level Incarnate?

Any comments?
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
ironically iirc - it was one of Tempest's
crew that discovered the Battlesmith +
Ironsoul Forgemaster combo, back in
the day ... (grizzled graybeard mem'ry).

Yep.  Midgard Dwarf can help, say via
a friendly PAO.  Legacy Champion PrC
also fits ; Uncanny Trickster PrC pumps
the numbers too.
 
The Bloodline levels are actual levels. 
There was/is some debate about the
Bloodline mechanics in general over
at BG/minmaxboards.  Bastian + PLZ
have a super item discount thread there
too, that makes everything cheap.
Anyway, your build goes epic, and the
epic feat happens at the right time.

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

ironically iirc - it was one of Tempest's
crew that discovered the Battlesmith +
Ironsoul Forgemaster combo, back in
the day ... (grizzled graybeard mem'ry).

Dammit!  Shoulda known I hadn't figured out something new.  
Yep.  Midgard Dwarf can help, say via
a friendly PAO.  Legacy Champion PrC
also fits ; Uncanny Trickster PrC pumps
the numbers too.

I chose the bloodline over UT because it boosts ALL the levels, not just one.
"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
@draco:  Nice build man, it definately excells at what it does.  My one question is whether or not your build qualifies for the Epic feat at 18.

@awaken_D_M_golem:  Why do Bloodline levels make you count towards epic?  I know it says in the book that they are like levels that don't count towards anything but max skill ranks, but if they are just L.A.-esqe levels, why do they show charts going to level 20?
I don't remember specifically who discovered it - it wasn't me, but if it was anyone in our group, it was probably DisposableHero_ (who also discovered the metapsycarnum trick - using Psycarnum Infusion to get around the 1/day limitation on Midnight Metamagic, since you aren't actually investing essentia in the feat). 

This is a very interesting build, and it's a crying shame that the Craft Epic Arms/Armor feat has such a high skill prerequisite. (Although, I'd need to check - don't [epic] feats require CL 21+ implicitly, similar to how you can't take [psionic] feats without the subtype, even if the feat doesn't expressly require it? I.e. Human Monk 6 meets the requirements for Psionic Meditation, but doesn't have the (Psionic) subtype).
EDIT: Upon closer reading, it seems that the [Epic] feats do not have such rules attached to them in the SRD, so if you qualify - which you do here, since that feat has no separate character level requirement - you can take them pre-epic. Iiiiinteresting.

My first thought was to find a way to cram in Uncanny Trickster here as well, but I'll have to check the wording on battlesmith to see if that's even close to worthwhile (probably not). My second thought was to consider a different bloodline, but that's more fluffy than anything else (as Awaken DM Golem suggests, there's a great Norse myth theme here, even without Midgard dwarf - hooking up a dwarf to a giant bloodline makes a particularly fun scenario for those familiar with the sagas.)

There is one other way I know of to boost a maximum skill rank - but it only gives you one extra pump, it only applies to a single skill (so it won't help with Craft Epic Arms/Armor), and it takes two feats to get. It's the Primary Contact feat in Cityscape, in case it helps.



(As an aside, I really like how you worked in bloodlines into the format we use for build showcases. I don't have any other bloodline builds on the docket (though there are a few that'd hilariously benefit from them - but they suffer from other problems that need fixing first)... but if any others get shown off, I'll use that format to make it clear where they work. I may go back and reformat the two bloodline builds to use this - although realistically only Ashardalon Reborn will benefit from this style of discussion, as the bloodlines only really matter there.)




Awaken DM Golem:
The Bloodline levels are actual levels.  
There was/is some debate about the
Bloodline mechanics in general over 
at BG/minmaxboards.


I read the BG thread while it was happening (I didn't sign up at either forum because I think Josh hates me), but I did not find their argument convincing. Nothing they've said ever seemed to circumevent the clause from the rules: "Class levels of "bloodline" do not increase a character's character level the way a normal class level does, but they do provide certain benefits (see below)." This means they do not count towards epic, nor do they count towards the XP required to gain a level. The only contentious point is if you can buy bloodline levels early (i.e. at ECL 1, can you "buy" three bloodline levels, each for just 1000xp, ending up as an ECL 1 character with three bloodline levels) or if you're forced to take them right before the limits, as in this build.

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.

I think his point is that this is an 18th level character that took 3 extra levels that 'don't count'. Any other character would be 21st and Epic.

You do have to pay for those lower levels. Now, maybe he got off 'cheap' xp wise...but levels are just encounters, so he might qualify for Epic a few encounters before his friends, and that's about it.

Regardless, taking bloodline levels and falling behind his friends because he did so should be NO reason to earn extra xp to catch back up. It's akin to letting someone earn extra xp to catch up to the rest of the party because he burned it on perma-buffs or magic items...so he gets to be the same level as everyone else, only he has more stuff then they do.


==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
This is a very interesting build, and it's a crying shame that the Craft Epic Arms/Armor feat has such a high skill prerequisite.

I was pretty bummed by that, too; it was my first choice for an Epic crafting feat.
My first thought was to find a way to cram in Uncanny Trickster here as well, but I'll have to check the wording on battlesmith to see if that's even close to worthwhile (probably not).

Not on Battlesmith, it's not.  The only thing that's level-based in Bs in Secrets of the Forge.  Ironsoul Forgemaster at least gets that AND a crafting bonus.
My second thought was to consider a different bloodline, but that's more fluffy than anything else (as Awaken DM Golem suggests, there's a great Norse myth theme here, even without Midgard dwarf - hooking up a dwarf to a giant bloodline makes a particularly fun scenario for those familiar with the sagas.)

Where would I find Midgard dwarf?
Also, I chose the Silver Dragon because it's (typically) LG, it granted a Major bloodline, it gave a boost to Cha (my other thought was Gold for Int), and it fit thematically.  Only Storm Giants (or was it Cloud?) grant a Major bloodline, and it didn't seem to fit thematically.  If I was going solely by the ability bonus, though, my first choice would be an Intermediate Yuan-ti bloodline for +1 Int and +1 Cha.  It's the only bloodline that grants both, but the Yuan-ti aren't powerful enough to have a major bloodline.
There is one other way I know of to boost a maximum skill rank - but it only gives you one extra pump, it only applies to a single skill (so it won't help with Craft Epic Arms/Armor), and it takes two feats to get. It's the Primary Contact feat in Cityscape, in case it helps.

I don't have Cityscape.  
(As an aside, I really like how you worked in bloodlines into the format we use for build showcases. I don't have any other bloodline builds on the docket (though there are a few that'd hilariously benefit from them - but they suffer from other problems that need fixing first)... but if any others get shown off, I'll use that format to make it clear where they work. I may go back and reformat the two bloodline builds to use this - although realistically only Ashardalon Reborn will benefit from this style of discussion, as the bloodlines only really matter there.)

Thank you.  
The main reason I put it in that way is that I originally had something that needed Power Attack as a prereq and I wanted to show how I qualified.
The only contentious point is if you can buy bloodline levels early (i.e. at ECL 1, can you "buy" three bloodline levels, each for just 1000xp, ending up as an ECL 1 character with three bloodline levels) or if you're forced to take them right before the limits, as in this build.

After reading, re-reading, and then reading that section some more, I would have to say... "The rules don't say I can't".  It's definitely more XP effective here, and this guy's going to be swimming upstream in that river for the entire campaign, so it would be worth it.

I realize that I didn't go as far as Tempest usually does and post total skill points (I didn't even want to try to figure that out, TBH), ending BAB, saves, etc.  I would like to point out, though, that fractional BAB would actually be quite helpful to this build.  The BAB would jump from +15 to +17, gving an additional attack.

"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
Where would I find Midgard dwarf?


Frostburn, oddly enough, but it's based off of the Norse version of dwarves (for starters, it's an outsider). Although Tolkein-style 'dwarves' are sourced more or less to the Norse, there's been some pretty strong memetic drift. The big thing with them is that they get a number of craft feats as racial bonus feats, and have a racial ability that lets them meet any magic item prerequisite other than the feats (i.e. a Midgard dwarf fighter could craft his own magic arms and armor). It's worded loosely enough to even extend to caster level prerequisites (so an out-of-the-box Midgard dwarf could craft any non-epic weapon or armor, given enough time and money), but they've got a relatively huge starting level (8 HD + 4 LA).

I don't have Cityscape.  


You can find it in a few places online (of questionable legality), but the main thrust here is that it's a two-feat chain based on how strongly tied you are to an organization. There's not a really good description as to why it works, but the big thing is that it takes one of your organization's main skills and raises your maximum rank in that skill by one. It's rarely useful, due to the feat cost, but I think an early-entry trick or two used it in cases where bloodlines aren't available.

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 closest the book comes to saying you have to be epic to take an epic feat is on page 25.


In any other place in this book where “character level” is indicated, you can use effective character level instead. For example, a creature with a level adjustment of +5 who is also a 13th-level fighter/3rd-level blackguard is ECL 21 and eligible to select an epic feat provided he meets the prerequisites.

So a Bloodline level is an LA ?  That's what
I thought, but didn't think out loud ... oops.
(may have been playing Everyone Is John)
Or it's just a "level" not a level ??


OA Samurai 1 ... gets the equivalent of
Craft Arm(s) and Armor(singular).
The OA book uses lots of: this = that
for purposes of qualifying blahblah.
And the abilty keys to Character Level
instead of Class Level.  It could work.

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

So a Bloodline level is an LA ?  That's what
I thought, but didn't think out loud ... oops.
(may have been playing Everyone Is John)
Or it's just a "level" not a level ??


It isn't actually a "level", nor is it actually an LA. I explain it here - basically, you "buy" them like levels, but they don't increase the "cost" of later levels the way a character level would. The only part that isn't clear is if you can "buy in advance" while the price is low, in exchange for not really getting much benefit at the time - I would argue that the rules support this, but it probably isn't a good idea gameplay-wise (due to the XP River trick leading to an easy catch-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.

Wow ... so a whole lot of "us"
get a Yur Doin It Rong award.

Personally, I like the custom bloodline:  Two Dead Fighters.
(wink)

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

After a while, you start to wonder whether it would be easier to just make a "Human" bloodline and give it to a bunch of monsters.

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.