Weekly Optimization Showcase: Always On Edge

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There was another tie last week, so I'll cast the tiebreaker.

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, we get RadicalTaoist’s take on an under-used stunt.

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ALWAYS ON EDGE
The Mortal Draw deals death.

Required Books: Races of Destiny, Expanded Psionics Handbook, Tome of Battle, Magic Item Compendium, Complete Adventurer (1 feat), Races of Eberron / Complete Psionic (1 power), Oriental Adventures (1 skill).
Unearthed Arcana used: Racial paragons. However, as written, it requires a sidebar in RoD that isn’t universal – to get around that, you may also need flaws.

Background: Okay, so, ages ago, pre-ToB, one of the hottest ways of getting melee damage up there was iaijutsu, from Oriental Adventures. This ability largely fell by the wayside due to the situational nature of its triggers (flat-footed targets only, and only for the first attack after drawing your weapon) – and, frankly, once the Tome of Battle came out, the damage wasn’t all that impressive either (being equaled by mid-level strikes that were far more reliable and not as contingent on an obscure skill).

However, oddly, the Tome also had a way of making iaijutsu trigger more or less at will. I say “oddly” because this was hardly common practice – when I pointed it out to RT, he hadn’t heard of it at all, for instance. After I hammered out a concept build, he took the idea and ran with it, making an interesting and unconventional take on melee-centric gishing along the way. It’s a deceptively good dungoneer, and has some decent mobility and sensory options as well, acting somewhere between a ranger and a technical fighter with a splash of telepathy on the side.

I’ll be frank: This isn’t as powerful as a lot of Tome builds usually are. Iaijutsu simply doesn’t scale all that well. However, that wasn’t the point: RT was trying to make the most of the iaijutsu stunt (“Sapphire Nightmare Iaijutsu” ), rather than making the biggest damage dealer. As a side effect, this build “matures” extremely early, having most of its key elements online at level three, and a steady progression up until that point.

The Basics 



  • Race: Half-Elf. According to the Races of Destiny sidebar, these guys have both the Human and Elf subtypes, which makes this build work the way it does. If that sidebar is not in use, the build still works (due to its very early maturation!), but requires you to go Human and replace the last levels with warblade.

  •  Ability Scores: 15/10/13/14/8/12 to start. You can take this in a number of different directions, but one pump to Constitution and four to Strength is a good basis (and used in the snapshot). 


Skill Notes: You need to max out Concentration, Iaijutsu Focus, and Spot, and you have a handful of Knowledge ranks needed as prerequisites. Other than that, it’s up to you – Survival is an interesting choice (since you need Track), and you have Trapfinding if you wish to splash a bit into those skills (though they won’t be your primary focus). Cerebral Blind is so powerful that it blocks a huge range of anti-stealth effects, so you might even be passable as a sneak. You even have a class which lets you pick a custom number of class skills, so it’s pretty flexible. You’re not an expert-type, but you’re not bad in this area either, particularly in a dungeon setting.

Basic Equipment:
Pick a two-handed martial melee weapon to taste (we use a greatsword here, but most of the damage comes from other sources and doesn’t multiply, so the choice is largely stylistic. Arguably, the ideal weapon is a scythe or a guisarme, but their advantage only comes online at the high levels) and the toughest armor you can find (full plate is a good baseline, but be cautious about the speed drop; note that you aren’t proficient with heavy armor until level 6!). Any other basic equipment is based on your skills. Your weapon should be masterwork as soon as possible to accommodate the augment gem, but warriors typically get these around level 2.

Magical Gear Goals: The build’s written with a cheap Least Augment Crystal of Return in mind. This only costs 300gp and basically ‘buys’ you the Quick Draw feat for any weapon of masterwork or greater quality. Crystals of Return of higher grade work as well with a couple other benefits, but it probably isn’t worth going beyond Lessers. Since you’re using medium or heavy armor, another good, inexpensive choice is the Crystal of Alacrity (it’s in the Five Virtues set; no one ever notices it), since it provides a speed bonus to those types of armor, and the bonus type is morale (which stacks with just about every speed increase out there). Other than that, you’re basically a standard warrior with very good Intelligence synergy (due to a bit of telepath manifesting), with nothing particularly out of the ordinary on your shopping list. However, it’s worth noting that you aren’t very conductive to multiplicative damage, and at the high levels anything that adds bonus damage dice tends to pay off quite well.


 
The Build.
Build Stub: Human Paragon 1 / Warblade 2 / Telepath 1 / Rogue 1 / Slayer 7 / Eternal Blade 8

1 – Human Paragon – (Adaptive Learning: Iaijutsu Focus) (Track)

*
Once again, you’re qualifying for Human Paragon through the Human subtype, which treats you as a human for all effects relating to race – the RoD sidebar that gives half-elves this subtype makes it clear that they can use it to qualify for classes. The main reason you want Human Paragon at all is Adaptive Learning, since so few classes have iaijutsu focus as a class skill. (If you’re blocked from taking Human Paragon, find another way to do this: Factotum or OA Samurai + Able Learner is less contentious (either as a half-elf with a flaw if the sidebar's still in use, or as a human with the later levels changed around if the sidebar's not in use), but feels quite different at lower levels. They'll still work.)

At this level, you take a support/expert role with whichever class skills you pick. It isn’t exceptional, but it isn’t bad either. You can use Iaijutsu Focus in a very narrow range of circumstances, and only have a 75% chance of triggering it, so it’s pretty awkward, but you can try.

2 – Warblade – (Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Moment of Perfect Mind, Douse the Flames) (Leading the Charge)
*
Here’s where the Tome’s stunt comes online. Although it lacks the dramatic multiplication effects found on its brothers, and instead just has a mere +1d6, Sapphire Nightmare Blade still has a unique effect – it actually catches its victims flat-footed. In other words, any time you draw your weapon and successfully strike with Sapphire Nightmare Blade, you can trigger Iaijutsu Focus – this is practically at-will, subject to warblade recovery and enemy positions.

At the moment, though, you probably still need a move action to draw your weapon and a standard for Sapphire Nightmare Blade, so this is mostly limited to riposte-style actions on your turn after someone moves in to strike. After delivering this strike, you need a move action to sheathe your weapon, but you can still do this as part of your recovery: Swift to start recovery, standard to either strike your target again or deliver a flashy but harmless weapon flourish, then move to sheathe. (For style points, the “weapon flourish” method can easily resemble the traditional samurai “shake the blood from the blade before sheathing it” form.)

Leading the Charge is there for lack of a better option, really – you don’t charge all that often (action restrictions), but your allies might. Once you buy the quick-draw gems, it becomes more useful (since you can draw your weapon and charge a flat-footed target in the same round to get an iaijutsu bonus and a Leading the Charge bonus on the same attack). Naturally, this has the most use on a surprise round or during the first round of combat, so you’re your senses high!

3 – Rogue – (Trapfinding, Sneak Attack +1d6) (Power Attack)
*
This is around the level you can afford a least crystal of return and a masterwork weapon without putting a dent in your other resources. (Since the total cost for this is only around 600gp, you could probably do it earlier if you want, especially because you’re still not quite proficient with expensive full plate.) Connect them, and you can now draw your weapon as a free action, which means you no longer need to start your turn next to your target – you can jog up, draw, and Sapphire Nightmare Iaijutsu your target in the same turn. You still need a move action to sheathe, which is annoying, but remember that RAW, even Quick Draw doesn’t allow a Quick Sheathe.

A rogue level here gives you a slight nudge to your damage (as SNB attacks a flat-footed target, Sneak Attack applies), but later on will give you a prerequisite. Power Attack is of course the mainstay of melee damage-dealing, made slightly better than usual because you bypass dodge and Dexterity bonuses with your primary attack.

4 – Telepath – (Psionic Meditation) (Detect Psionics, Psionic Grease, Skate)
*
Ever notice how Psionic Meditation requires an odd number of skill ranks, which doesn’t line it up with normal feat timing? That forces us to delay telepath manifesting until level 4, when we can get the required ranks of Concentration for this feat.

Why is this here? So we can “Take 15” on the Concentration check to trigger Sapphire Nightmare Blade against well-armored targets. You won’t be using this all the time due to the inability to recover maneuvers and refocus at the same time, but having Psionic Meditation at all allows you to consider this during combat.

(Later on, competition with your swift action makes Psionic Meditation a better choice than Instant Clarity, but Instant Clarity is a good choice at lower levels. With PHB2 retraining you can switch between them as you like; they have identical prerequisites.)

As for your powers, Skate helps cover for speed reduction from armor, and Grease helps counter foe mobility (giving you an increased chance to be in the right position). Similarly, Grease has an interesting side effect: Foes without 5 ranks in Balance are considered flat-footed while balancing in the area, so you can now trigger Iaijutsu Focus without expending maneuvers. I’d keep a secondary weapon around for this – even a dagger with another augment crystal can deal respectable damage this way. (Notice that higher-grade augment crystals of return retain the quickdraw feature and also interact well with dropping your weapon, in case you want to try that as well.) Detect Psionics can be swapped out if you want, but it helps with your tracking and general utility; there are better powers to pick, but few will be useful with a low ML. (The only one that I’d suggest is Synesthete, but some of your other powers compete with that.)

5 – Warblade – (Uncanny Dodge) (Action Before Thought)
*
You’ve now got both of your bad saves covered with Concentration, and the warblade’s higher HD helps compensate for the hit we took last level as a telepath.

6 – Slayer – (Favored Enemy +2, Enemy Sense) (Combat Expertise)
*
This is a semi-dead level: Slayer gives you ranged martial weapon proficiency, heavy armor proficiency, and a decent Favored Enemy progression (though it’s limited to psionic enemy types, and may be locked to illthids if you use the XPH version), and Combat Expertise can help your defenses, but nothing too dramatic happens here otherwise.

7 – Slayer – (Brain Nausea) (Primal Fear, Mindlink)
*
Although Complete Psionic’s more infamous for introducing a needless nerf to Astral Construct, it also hit Primal Fear, giving the power a Will save. If you can, use the Races of Eberron version of this power, which is no-save. (Honestly, a first-level spell that made a foe shaken for just 1 round and didn’t stack with other fear effects would probably be fine without a save, so why not the power? Particularly because it’s still Mind-Affecting and Fear.)

The main reason you want Primal Fear is to drop opponent saving throws as a swift action. If a foe is vulnerable to mind-affecting fear effects, a quick blast basically augments your save DCs by 2, which also helps your allies when they’re dogpiling your target. You want Mindlink as one of the defining telepath powers, and a very, very good party support effect at that. It’s online late, but it helps.

8 – Slayer – (Lucid Buffer) (Biofeedback, Levitate)
*
Lucid Buffer is a very good bonus: the majority of effects aimed at your Will save have descriptors that Lucid Buffer blocks.

Biofeedback is optional but scales reasonably well, and DR is always appreciated. Levitate helps alleviate some of your mobility weaknesses, especially out of combat.

9 – Slayer – (Favored Enemy +4) (Weapon Focus) (Psionic Lock, Psionic Knock)
*
These powers allow you to wreak havoc in a dungeoneering setting. You’re not a primary manifester and can afford to pick up niche powers like this – since you have a melee character’s shopping list but a psion’s powers-known, you actually have greater leeway with your chosen powers than with your item selection (i.e. a dorje of Psionic Lock is a bigger hit to you than picking the power as a known power).

10 – Slayer – (Time Hop, Touchsight)
*
More dungeoneering utility – remember that Time Hop can affect objects, and it scales better against objects than it does against creatures (since it doesn’t have a DC augment apart from Primal Fear, and you have a lowish Intelligence). Touchsight really helps against ambushes or when locating sneaky targets (the sort you’re uncommonly good at taking down, due to Sapphire Nightmare Iaijutsu bypassing their dodge bonuses).

11 – Slayer – (Cerebral Blind) (Psionic Darkvision, Telekinetic Thrust)
*
Cerebral Blind is downright amazing – it even foils Wish effects! Meanwhile, you get better senses yourself (again, in a dungeon setting) and TK Thrust, which has obvious applications with your environment. Against opponents, TK Thrust combines quite well with Primal Fear, and also lets you play with enemy position. Remember that you don’t need to PUSH an enemy – you can use this to draw them closer to you.

12 – Slayer – (Favored Enemy +6) (Deft Strike) (Psionic Dimension Door, Schism)
*
Around this point, it’s time to consider serious ways to boost your damage and usefulness. That’s where this trick comes in – Schism gives you an extra mental standard action each round, and Deft Strike requires a mental standard action to trigger, so they’re natural complements. Put them together, and you can basically ignore your target’s armor and natural armor. Put that together with Sapphire Nightmare Iaijutsu, and you’re targeting hosed AC from now on, which combines devastatingly well with Power Attack. (Deft Strike may or may not also lower the DC of the Concentration check for your SNB maneuver, if that matters.) This is worth delaying Eternal Blade.

Oh, and on the side, you also get Dimension Door, which is downright amazing out of combat. This is one of the few powers that Complete Psionic actually boosted: it has negative augments which let you conserve power points if you’re using it out of combat or using it over short ranges.

13 – Eternal Blade – (Blade Guide, Eternal Training 1) (Crusader’s Strike)
*
By now, I’ve showcased enough Eternal Blade builds that I don’t really need to emphasize how awesome this ability can be. Here, it’s probably best used to grab Moment of Alacrity or Quicksilver Motion – basically anything to give you an action advantage – once you meet their IL requirements. At the moment you’re IL 8 – the IL timing in this build isn’t all that hot since you tend to have an even IL at the points where you get maneuvers. Eternal Training is how you compensate for that.

You could pick up Vanguard Strike instead, but since your primary attack is Sapphire Nightmare Blade anyway, this isn’t all that critical except as a prerequisite.

14 – Eternal Blade – (Guided Strike)
*
Oh, look, another thing you can flat-out bypass: Damage reduction. The competition with your swift action can be intense depending on what you’re trying to do, but at this point you can still move, Deft Strike (via Schism), Guided Strike, quickdraw, and Sapphire Nightmare Iaijutsu all in the same round (bypassing armor, natural armor, dodge/Dexterity, and DR, all on the same attack, which benefits from Power Attack and pretty serious +d6 bonus damage).

15 – Eternal Blade – (Uncanny Dodge, Eternal Training 2) (Staggering Strike) (Daunting Strike)
*
The long duration on Daunting Strike makes it worth using, particularly because, interestingly, it does not have the mind-affecting descriptor nor the fear descriptor. While, technically, Shaken is a fear effect and thus is blocked by fear-immunity, it is not necessarily a mind-affecting effect – they need specific immunity to fear to resist this effect. Particularly because the DC is based on your damage, and you’ve got Power Attack + Deft Strike. (Not to mention iaijutsu, but it’s tricky to perform that without Sapphire Nightmare Blade: you’ll have to rely on Psionic Grease or stealth to catch your target flat-footed.)

Your feat is another amazing choice, and one that essentially completes the build. Now those high-damage Sapphire Nightmare Blades – which have been dealing Sneak Attack damage since level 3, remember – also render a target Staggered (unable to take both a move and a standard action). The DC is based on the damage you deal, and you’ve got several good ways of boosting that.

Staggering Strike also triggers whenever you flank a target, and you do not need Sapphire Nightmare Iaijutsu to keep the DC respectable (though it certainly helps if you have it ready). Keep that in mind and it’s hard to go wrong at this point.

16 – Eternal Blade – (Eternal Knowledge)

17 – Eternal Blade – (Eternal Training 3) (White Raven Tactics) (Aura of Chaos)
*
WRT has had volumes written on it; I won’t dwell on it here except to say your party will love you.

Aura of Chaos gives us a better alternative over Leading the Charge. It works best if you’re rolling a lot of damage dice – and here, you’ve got around +11d6 from Sneak Attack, SNB, and Iaijutsu Focus, on top of whatever your weapon is dealing (which is probably using bonus dice effects as well)). It’s not the 1d2 Crusader or anything, but it’s better than several other builds that can squeeze in Aura of Chaos.

18 – Eternal Blade – (Defensive Insight) (Adaptive Style)
*
Another conventional feat that doesn’t need much explanation at this point.

Furthermore, Defensive Insight + Combat Expertise can give you a pretty substantial AC boost if you’re in over your head melee-wise.

19 – Eternal Blade – (Eternal Training 4) (Clarion Call)
*
Oh, look, MORE action advantage. Although enemy HP at this point are high enough that you aren’t one-shotting anything with Sapphire Nightmare Iaijutsu, you still deal enough damage reliably that you can have a decent shot at triggering this effect, which can make or break entire encounters if it’s timed well.

20 – Eternal Blade – (Tactical Insight)
*
This has some pretty fierce competition for your swift action, but it doesn’t hurt to remember you have it, particularly if you’re fighting tough foes in a combat-centric party. Really, the main reason we’re taking this level is to get your IL up to 15, so you can use Eternal Training to reach 8th level maneuvers. Most dramatically this includes Diamond Nightmare Blade.

While Diamond Nightmare Blade won't work with your iaijutsu (either way: not only will it not multiply the damage dice, but unlike Sapphire, Diamond won't catch the target flat-footed), you're still using two-handed Power Attack - and you have Schism+Deft Strike, which means that you're basically always able to use that feat to the fullest. This isn't quite the same degree of insanity that we found with the Inevitable Nightmare (only due to reliability: Always On Edge has higher Strength!), but it's still a great move nonetheless.



Snapshot: Pick up the +6 items on Strength and Constitution, a +4 item on Intelligence, and the +5 tome of Strength (this is slightly less than we usually use for snapshotting). This results in a character with 202 HP, 124 skill points (although you lose a few to cross-classing Spot on Eternal Blade levels), +19 base attack (Melee +34 with Greater Magic Weapon, and you have Power Attack), saves of +19/+6/+10 (with Lucid Buffer raising the Will save to +14 against mind-affecting effects, Cerebral Blind flat-out blocking every detection effect except Metafaculty, and maneuvers to use your Concentration check for Will or Reflex as needed). You have a telepath ML of 7 with 60 power points; the majority of your powers are out-of-combat support or reasonably long-duration buff effects. The few powers that you wish to use in combat generally only need to be manifested once per battle. You have a final IL of 15, although it’s kind of oddly timed. Your maneuver selection emphasizes party support and action advantage. You also have a psionic favored enemy bonus at +6; depending on your campaign this can be downright mean.

Skill-wise, assuming just +5 items on the three key skills (total cost: 7500gp), you’re looking at Spot +27, Concentration +33 (with the ability to Take 15 if you want), and Iaijutsu Focus +29. The first two oppose enemy ACs; the latter gives a minimum of +5d6 bonus damage on your strikes as described above. (You probably want to upgrade these above the +5 item; this is just for baseline.) Maxing these skills and picking up prerequisites leaves you with 36 skill points left over for whatever else you wish; your emphasis on Spot also unlocks some pretty cool skill tricks.

A typical damage roll with a greatsword + Greater Magic Weapon and nothing else will deal, on average, over 70 damage with a minimum result on Iaijutsu Focus. (It goes up a bit faster than usual with higher IF checks, due to Aura of Chaos.) This isn’t amazing, but for a non-charger it isn’t bad by a longshot (~18% of average CR 20 HP without any real effort, when 20% is considered a decent baseline), particularly given the amount of choices made in this build to generalize it for dungeoneering rather than focusing entirely on damage output. This damage roll becomes the DC on Staggering Strike (it’s worth noting that the earliest anything with a save bonus high enough to make this on less than a natural 20 is the maximum Fortitude save at CR 36). And, if you make it all the way to 20, you can easily surpass this - Deft Strike + Schism + Eternal Training (Diamond Nightmare Blade) gives you a move that, with the same weapon, will average 260 damage with a good chance of hitting. (It doesn't use the same mechanics as your basic strike (so you won't be enhancing your weapon the same way) and it doesn't show up until 20 (while the basics of the Sapphire Nightmare Iaijutsu stunt show up at level 3), but Diamond Nightmare Blade fits right in the build like a charm.)

Overall Strengths: A very well-rounded build, Always On Edge can fit in just about any party even before you customize the skill list at level 1. It matures very early (how many other builds can say they’re basically “established” by level three?) and gathers steam steadily, making use of a variety of “bypass” effects as levels progress to simply evade most enemy defenses. Since the majority of your damage comes from a very simple maneuver, there’s room for other maneuvers that might not necessarily show up in warblade builds – which also eases up the strain on your readied maneuvers. Along the way you pick up a lot of dungeoneering abilities and party support effects, culminating in generating extra actions for your team on a reasonably regular basis. You also make a pretty decent sentry or scout, given your array of perception abilities.

Interestingly, despite the reliance on flat-footing, you can still trigger Sapphire Nightmare Iaijutsu against targets with Uncanny Dodge. That ability just prevents your attack from denying your target their dodge bonuses: targets with Uncanny Dodge are still flat-footed. You lose Sneak Attack (and thus Staggering Strike) in this circumstance, but you retain Power Attack and Deft Strike.

Finally, at the higher levels, the action-economy effects are virtually irresistible. Pretty much nothing can stop a White Raven Tactics or Clarion Call effect, and you will be hard pressed to find anything with more than a 5% chance of avoiding a DC 70+ Staggering Strike (deliverable pretty much on command, even without a flanking partner). (Of course, Fortification and Uncanny Dodge can make a target immune to this, so pick your targets carefully.)

Overall Weaknesses: There’s quite a lot of competition for your actions in this build, especially if you want to use the Schism + Deft Strike combination (Schism doesn’t activate until the round after it’s manifest); the need for Telepath manifesting prevents easy access to the usual way around this (Hustle is an Egoist/Psychic Warrior power). The build’s lack of emphasis on any one aspect means that it won’t excel in any one area, although the areas it does work in tend to be pretty desirable (especially at the later levels, as it starts generating actions and denying the enemy theirs). Your reliance on a particular augment crystal prevents you from using effects like Demolition crystals to expand what your Staggering Strike can hit, but I’d argue the ability to trigger it in a wider range of situations makes up for that.

Finally, once again, iaijutsu is not all that potent in its own regard (compared to a stock Martial Adept or Sneak Attacker). This build was designed around an iaijutsu stunt, and quite honestly, that shows through in the results.

Variants: The easiest way to customize this build (well, apart from the massive flexibility in skills) is to ditch Adaptive Style. Late-game, you'll have more or less settled into a small set of maneuvers anyway, so it's more for options than anything else. Expanded Knowledge can help out a lot here - for one, it can grab you Hustle.

A more in-depth variation involves switching to Human rather than relying on the (Human) subtype sidebar. This way, you can retain Human Paragon at level 1 (and pick up an extra feat), or switch out to OA Samurai or Factotum with Able Learner at the same level for related effects. (They play very differently: the factotum isn't too different from the Human Paragon in this context, but the samurai gives you a good combat niche at level 1, along with free masterwork weapons and the Ancestral Daisho ability, which is based on your character level instead of your class level. Plus the samurai is the original iaijutsu user, so people won't think it's unusual.) You'll need to drop Eternal Blade, which hurts (bye-bye, Diamond Nightmare Blade), but plugging in more warblade isn't all that bad. You retain the Intelligence synergy and can learn more maneuvers (via maneuver swapping); the maneuver choices will be slightly different since warblades don't have Devoted Spirit, but this lets you better emphasize the action-advantage aspect by taking more White Raven.

The basic premise behind Sapphire Nightmare Iaijutsu can be bolted on to other builds without too much of a hassle - and a lot of the components are already present on numerous builds, particularly those that employ psionics + Diamond Mind. Toss it on a War Mind build and look at what happens with Sweeping Strike, for instance. 

There's a very small list of other ways of flat-footing your target on demand, but these tend to be high level and potent enough on their own so they don't benefit much from Iaijutsu Focus. Still, if you feel like adding insult to (grievous) injury with Feral Death Blow, be my guest.

I still want to see what this build could do with Psychic Renewal – multiple iaijutsu strikes without the need to do warblade recovery might be interesting. Technically speaking, you might be able to do something similar with Supernal Clarity (Diamond Mind’s legacy weapon), since it lets you use Sapphire Nightmare Blade… but it isn’t clear if doing so uses maneuver recovery mechanics, or if you can simply spam the maneuver.

 
 


There you have it. Always On Edge isn't as obscene as some of the other builds showcased, but it'll surprise you at how effective it can be in an array of circumstances. And besides, who thought iaijutsu would see any use at all nowadays?



Since I've been kind of rushed this month - and will continue to be rushed for the forseeable future, at least until the end of September - I haven't themed next week's selections. However, they are ones I haven't offered before: [AR] Feral Druid, [RT] The T3, and [AR] Evasion Tank. As usual, vote in the thread for which build you want to see! (I will warn you: Two of them have slightly misleading names.)

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 like it. It doesn't work as written, but I like it.
The reason I say it doesn't work is that UA specifically states that half-elves & half-orcs can take Human Paragon levels, but only after taking at least 1 level in half-elf or half-Orc Paragon.
And my vote is for the Feral Druid.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
I like it. It doesn't work as written, but I like it. The reason I say it doesn't work is that UA specifically states that half-elves & half-orcs can take Human Paragon levels, but only after taking at least 1 level in half-elf or half-Orc Paragon. And my vote is for the Feral Druid.


Divided Ancestry allows for Human Paragon following Half-Elf Paragon without the (human) subtype. (Unearthed Arcana came out in February 2004, while Races of Destiny came out in December 2004.) Originally, 3e and 3.5 used things like the Elven Blood ability to reflect racial identity, but this was later changed to subtypes - and if you have more than one subtype, you count as both races for all effects. This includes qualification for classes.

The sidebar that gives half-elves the (human) subtype says the following:
Typically, the result is that such races enjoy all the benefits (and suffer all the drawbacks) provided by both subtypes. For example, half-elves could use human-only magic items while still qualifying for elf-only prestige classes.

Since this wasn't around in February, and the paragon classes otherwise precluded each other, it was necessary to use Divided Ancestry on the paragon classes to allow for the split.

That said, the build works just fine by juggling a couple feats around - the issue is getting Iaijutsu Focus as a class skill without spending too many levels on it. We did it here using the subtype to get into Human Paragon, and the variants section lists how you can pull this off as a human (you lose Eternal Blade, which hurts, but isn't insurmountable, particularly if you already have another damage-dealer in the party).

...Although if you do manage to stick with the pointy-eared half-elf, you also walk the line between ranger and warrior, with an intangible companion that guides you in aiming your attacks. This may explain the source of the tagline.

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.

This build I find interesting, I always thought Schism could only be used for manifesting, this broke that idea wide open. Definitely a fan, also this seems like you could play it without a DM smacking you over the head with a book or four.

 My one question is actually how would a bloodline affect this build? Would the increased IL help at all for maneouvres and skill ranks?

 When i first read Iaijutsu I assumed Iaijutsu master would be in here, surprised to see it isn't though.


My vote is for... I can't decide. I'll go Feral Druid 
I love seeing less optimal ideas being optimized, they really shine a light on the fact that nearly everything can be played in a campaign effectively, though not as much so as others. Or maybe it just shows that ToB enables martial characters to shine. One of those things. Keep up the good work :D.

As for my vote, i'll go with The T3. 
Decent and not too abusive, and it doesn't use Bag of Swords fast-draw tricks to kill with Iajitsu. Not bad.

I submit t3. Do I sense a Construct build?

==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
Looking at your variants, maybe:

Feat Rogue 1 ... retrain (or rebuild) into Rogue 1 for sneak later
Ardent 1+ to go Slayer ... getting those 4s on time, if possible
OA Sam 1
Warblade X

(not sure how this plays out)

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

 

This is interesting. Iaijustu is cool, but constantly re-sheathing my weapon so that I can draw it again to catch people unawares ("Ha! I bet you didn't realise I was going to draw my weapon and stab you really quickly, just like I did in the last three rounds!") smacks far more strongly of "abusive" and "getting hit over the head by the DM" than most things so I never really looked at it (also because OA, whilst cool, is 3.0 and also a little bit dodgy in some respects).

You mention Psychic Renewal - as soon as I read this I wanted to pair it with Psychic Meditation to be able to use a single manoeuvre effectively at-will, but it really eats your actions (move to regain focus, swift to regain manouevre, standard to attack, no time to move) and re-reading it, it burns up PP too (though for a L1 manouevre like SNB it's not so bad).

The other issue is that regaining one's focus provokes AoOs, which makes it incredibly annoying. In terms of using your focus to fuel SNB, it also seems like spending actions to hit a DC 20 so that you can take 15 is going to be a waste of time (and a feat) when you could just hit DC 15+ in the first place, though so many other things in ToB are linked to Concentration that being able to use your focus on them does seem generally very useful.
The other issue is that regaining one's focus provokes AoOs, which makes it incredibly annoying. In terms of using your focus to fuel SNB, it also seems like spending actions to hit a DC 20 so that you can take 15 is going to be a waste of time (and a feat) when you could just hit DC 15+ in the first place, though so many other things in ToB are linked to Concentration that being able to use your focus on them does seem generally very useful.



I used this trick in another build myself, after Always on Edge. And after seeing the Innevitable Nightmare. The build I made is... SIMPLE and like this build, comes online REALLY early.

A Kalashtar Warblade that deals 6d6 damage using a greatsword at level 1 as an opening attack via Psionic Weapon, Punishing Stance and Sapphire Nightmare Blade +4 for 16 Str and a 2h weapon averages 25. It round 2's a simple 3d6 greatsword attack and then alternates back and forth between that and 4d6 Sapphire Nightmare Blade round by round. Couple that with the full slew of Concentration Check to replace a save counters and add in the Insightful Strikes for good measure and there's a lot of bang for your buck coming out of Psionic Meditation later on (this is however an entirely different build I won't go into right now).
This is interesting. Iaijustu is cool, but constantly re-sheathing my weapon so that I can draw it again to catch people unawares ("Ha! I bet you didn't realise I was going to draw my weapon and stab you really quickly, just like I did in the last three rounds!") smacks far more strongly of "abusive" and "getting hit over the head by the DM" than most things so I never really looked at it (also because OA, whilst cool, is 3.0 and also a little bit dodgy in some respects).

It's not that the opponent doesn't know you're going to attack them (one of the primary uses for the skill in OA is conducting duels, and it's safe to say that the duelists know how it works), but rather that you focus your ki and then deliver that power through a special kind of draw style.

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

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

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


Not an awful lot is based off of "class levels" really, and the interaction between bloodlines and IL is hazy. Even under the most likely "sane DM" interpretation (it boosts your IL by 1 - ignore the increase to effective level on other classes), though, it'd help smooth out the maneuver progression.
When i first read Iaijutsu I assumed Iaijutsu master would be in here, surprised to see it isn't though.


Everyone does, really, but if you think about it, a fully-charged iaijutsu strike does +9d6 damage (average 31.5). If you sink the three worthless feats in prereqs to get Iaijutsu Master and get 5 levels in that (the most you'd ever want), you can seriously pimp out your Charisma up to a whopping 20 and get that up to 76.5. This is barely better than +20d6, which you can easily get from effects like Feral Death Blow.

Generally speaking, Iaijutsu Master isn't worth it if the tome's around. Iaijutsu can be, but it won't be your mainstay. Here, it just makes Sapphire uncommonly good, particularly during levels where you can't swap it out for stronger attacks.

Decent and not too abusive, and it doesn't use Bag of Swords fast-draw tricks to kill with Iajitsu. Not bad.


Well, it could. I just don't like that stunt much either myself.
I submit t3. Do I sense a Construct build?


You would, but your senses might need recalibrating. :p
This is interesting. Iaijustu is cool, but constantly re-sheathing my weapon so that I can draw it again to catch people unawares ("Ha! I bet you didn't realise I was going to draw my weapon and stab you really quickly, just like I did in the last three rounds!") smacks far more strongly of "abusive" and "getting hit over the head by the DM" than most things so I never really looked at it (also because OA, whilst cool, is 3.0 and also a little bit dodgy in some respects).


Iaijutsu isn't about surprise - it's about speed. That's why it only works on flat-footing (largely a function of initiative), rather than on denial-of-dexterity (which reflects surprise or misdirection). 

You mention Psychic Renewal - as soon as I read this I wanted to pair it with Psychic Meditation to be able to use a single manoeuvre effectively at-will, but it really eats your actions (move to regain focus, swift to regain manouevre, standard to attack, no time to move) and re-reading it, it burns up PP too (though for a L1 manouevre like SNB it's not so bad).

The other issue is that regaining one's focus provokes AoOs, which makes it incredibly annoying. In terms of using your focus to fuel SNB, it also seems like spending actions to hit a DC 20 so that you can take 15 is going to be a waste of time (and a feat) when you could just hit DC 15+ in the first place, though so many other things in ToB are linked to Concentration that being able to use your focus on them does seem generally very useful.


You stop "taking 15" once you can refocus in combat - honestly, it's just there so you can "take 20" out of combat and carry that 15 into combat if you fight a high AC foe at low levels. At later levels, your focus is much better spent maintained for things like Cerebral Blind.

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.

For the sake of completeness, I'll inform people that LONG before the to9S came out, L5R issued a clarification to the Iajitsu rules that basically limited it to formal iajitsu duels...It became pretty much worthless as an in-combat skill.

If you ignore the source material, this is still a nice trick build. You're just being selective about which rules to follow.

==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
For the sake of completeness, I'll inform people that LONG before the to9S came out, L5R issued a clarification to the Iajitsu rules that basically limited it to formal iajitsu duels...It became pretty much worthless as an in-combat skill.

If you ignore the source material, this is still a nice trick build. You're just being selective about which rules to follow.

==Aelryinth


I'm not "ignoring" it - I'm simply working with WotC material. If I was to include non-WotC L5R material, I could easily turn your PC into an NPC with a simple Diplomacy check, produce infinite attack sequences without even trying, Immortal Fortitude effects at level 7ish, and so on.

Looking through OA, its faq/errata, and even its "official" 3.5 update (from the author, published in Dragon Magazine though) points out no such ruling.

And setting all THAT aside, even as written, iaijutsu is still nearly useless since it's less than half as efficient as the rogue's sneak attack and usable in far fewer situations to begin with. Here, we just happened to find a way that makes it useful and it still falls almost to the point of worthlessness, so RT spread out into dungeoneering and the Deft Strike + Schism + Power Attack trick.

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.

There's a bit of a difference between 3rd party material and material made by the company which made the original OA stuff modifying their own material, Tempest! Especially since it actually lowers the power of the skill, instead of increasing it!

and, of course, L5R is actually run by a bunch of ex-WoTC types.

Now, it IS sad that Way of the Lion isn't Core, but L5R issuing a revision to their own material from OA, isn't quite the same as willy-nilly dropping in broken 3rd party stuff.

==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
It's all AEG. I'm not against 3rd party as a rule in my games but I definately look over all 3rd party material coming in a bit more closely than I do official material. That said Pun-Pun requires no 3rd party, so at the end of the day the most important thing to remember, regardless of material source is "We are all here to enjoy the game, if it ceases to be fun because you broke it, everyone hits you with the book, not just the GM". 

Now, all that aside, a third party fix is purely optional to any game. I doubt many GM's would go so far as to say Iajutsu needs a fix and "you can't use it in combat". 
Just a heads-up: Due to a host of issues (thesis, medical, travelling out of province, etc.) I'm a bit behind. The next Showcase might be a little delayed.

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.

well, the problem is that iajitsu was initially put in there to replicate the power of a single focused strike, NOT to replace Sneak Attack. If you have PF, you could say Iajitsu is the forerunner of the Vital Strike line of feats...they are meant to do about the same thing.

Unfortunately, with the multitude of ways to make someone flat-footed, combined with no language against using it in a full attack sequence, it became very quickly not a dueling feat, but a suprise attack skill.

Tempest is absolutely correct that it's hardly broken...unless maybe you start combining it with a full Sneak Attack build with drawing weapons in series (daggers work fine).

They made it a dueling skill by making it a full round action to use. But even making it a standard action would have returned it to some semblance of control.

Meh! It is what it is.

==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
Another good one is Death From Above, from the Tiger Claw style. It too strikes flat-footed, and only needs a DC 20 Jump check (which can be made impossible to lose, barring check-lowering effects). Plus, it does +4d6 damage (and arguably gets a +1 AB from higher ground, since you strike in mid-air) and lets you move, though I think this may provoke AoOs. The problem is that it's a L4 manouevre (and requires one other Tiger Claw manoeuvre), but could be something worth picking up if any kind of character like this gets to that level.

I wonder about a Swordsage with Assassin's stance using SNB and/or DfA to hit flat-footed and get extra sneak attack (a Swordsage/Ninja would be thematically nice too, though maybe not so strong).
I have a quick question - Looking around for info on the Telepath, what I found on the 3.5e Telepath showed that it got 3-4 skills at lvl 1, such as Invisible Aura, Read Thoughts, Sneak Attack (1d6), Telepathy (50 ft.) etc.  Is this the correct info?? This is from the http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Skate  site. The reason I ask is because some psionic powers like Psionic Grease or Skate, show that they are useable by Wilder, or Psion, or Psionic Warrior, but I don't see any mention of Telepath. Are they useable by Telepaths as well and I'm just a noob missing things??? Thanks!!  =)
Anything that's listed on the Psion/wilder list is allowed for a telepath, because it's a type of Psion.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
I have a quick question - Looking around for info on the Telepath, what I found on the 3.5e Telepath showed that it got 3-4 skills at lvl 1, such as Invisible Aura, Read Thoughts, Sneak Attack (1d6), Telepathy (50 ft.) etc.  Is this the correct info?? This is from the http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Skate  site. The reason I ask is because some psionic powers like Psionic Grease or Skate, show that they are useable by Wilder, or Psion, or Psionic Warrior, but I don't see any mention of Telepath. Are they useable by Telepaths as well and I'm just a noob missing things??? Thanks!!  =)

That dandwiki entry seems to be for a custom/homebrew telepath class based on spellcasting, rather than the telepath which is one of the types of psion (a full-manifesting psionic class).

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

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

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
I have a quick question - Looking around for info on the Telepath, what I found on the 3.5e Telepath showed that it got 3-4 skills at lvl 1, such as Invisible Aura, Read Thoughts, Sneak Attack (1d6), Telepathy (50 ft.) etc.  Is this the correct info?? This is from the http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Skate  site. The reason I ask is because some psionic powers like Psionic Grease or Skate, show that they are useable by Wilder, or Psion, or Psionic Warrior, but I don't see any mention of Telepath. Are they useable by Telepaths as well and I'm just a noob missing things??? Thanks!!  =)


Yes, you are missing something - you're looking at a fan wiki. That's a homebrew class.

The defining characteristic of wikis is that anyone can edit them. This makes them singularly unsuitable for game rule development, because anyone who learns templating (writing in the same format as existing rules) can go ahead and write something on a wiki, without any clue how to design a rule, develop its interactions, and test it during play. Then this waste of bandwidth ends up right next to official material on a wiki, and there's no way to distinguish between them. DanDwiki is notoriously bad at this sort of thing.

The "Telepath" here is the 3.5 Psion (Telepathy specialization) from the Expanded Psionics Handbook. Those rules are available for free in the SRD, which is mirrored in an easy-to-read form here.

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.

Thanks so much guys, appreciate the info  =)

Just a question: how would a similar build fare using Apprentice to gain Iaijutsu Focus?

Would work fine DM permitting (of course the whole trick is sort of that way isn't it?)

Doesn't Slayer require a BAB of +4 making the build illegal? I intend to go with the apprentice route, taking a level of ranger instead a human paragon since the flavor of human paragon does not sit well with my character.

Also, since I intend to go with one level of minor bloodline - can you recommend some significant change in the maneuver choices that this extra initiator level will allow. Also is there a reason why WRT comes online so late? Isn't it better than deft strike?

Huh. I could have sworn that was solved here, but I guess it wasn't. Using Ranger+Appentice should work fine (assuming there's a way to just "choose" an apprentice skill; I was under the impression it gave you a specific one) then, and it frees up a feat choice since you're getting Track as a bonus feat. (This is actually much better, since it avoids the arguments about (Human) subtypes qualifying for paragons, and it also gets us much closer to the inspiration for the name.)

 

WRT is late because we didn't have a feat spare for Martial Study, and qualifying for Eternal Blade is a pain. Deft Strike + Schism basically gives you consistent touch attacks with any weapon, which combines wonderfully with Sapphire Nightmare's auto-flat-footing, so it came online earlier. 

 

I'll write more on what the bloodline will do later, but you're already off a bit - it won't give just one IL. It'll raise all your class levels by 1, which increases your IL by your current (warblade + eternal blade + (half of everything else)). 

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.

Yeah, I agree that technically speaking it will give me 4 ILs, but that is a bit pushing it if I want to buy it off for 3000 exp. So 1IL is a nice middle ground between getting IL from the increase and getting smacked with a rule book in the face by the DM.

As for the apprentice feat has the The DM can create new mentor types using the listed mentors as guidelines. text included. I have the following mentor:

Iaido Master: A iaido master mentor has perfected a particular style of fighting of drawing the sword from its scabbard with smooth, controlled movements, cutting an opponent, and removing blood from the blade. A martial artist grants his apprentice a +1 competence bonus on Initiative checks and a +2 bonus on Will saving throws.

Associated Skills: Diplomacy, Iaijutsu Focus.

On the WRT question - I was speaking about getting it at lvl 13 instead of crusader strike and delaying daunting strike access until lvl 17 when it's needed for Aura of Chaos.

Also what skill tricks would you reckomend. I fancy Acrobatic Backstab and Back on Your Feet quite a bit, Clarity of Vision is also nice and Nimble Charge is probably ok. Mosquito's Bite has awesome flavor, but the skill rank cost is too steep. Anything that I am missing?

Is there a way to modify the build to work with Death From Above instead of Saphire Nightmare Blade? Or it messes up the prerequisite maneuvers too much?

RPGBG wrote:

Is there a way to modify the build to work with Death From Above instead of Saphire Nightmare Blade? Or it messes up the prerequisite maneuvers too much?

This build? Not so much, unless you want to replace Eternal Blade with Warblade (a viable option if you don't want to play an elf, I must stress!), at which point it becomes trivial.

 

I do, however, have a build showcase ready to go that actually uses this very trick... lemme see if I can clean it up for posting.

 

EDIT Oh hey look I did a thing

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.