Magic item suggestions for a newbie in 3.5e?

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Hi all,

Last Friday I joined in a new 3.5e campaign with my gaming group, with whom I had mostly just played MTG until now. I'm not completely fresh to the game; I've played a few short-lived adventures before, but the difference between then and now is that I started my prior games off with a level 1 character, while this time I started off at level 7. As such, my group suggested I equip myself with a number of magic items before starting. Here's the problem: I don't know jack about magic items. Pretty much nothing. This wasn't a problem earlier but it definitely is now. I was able to get by on my first day with generic items but I was highly advised to revise my inventory so I can catch up with my other party members. So, I need your help. I've been given a budget of 19k gold, and I'm overwhelmed by what I can spend it on. What are good choices of magic items for a starting character, and how much do they cost? I should note that my character is a human barbarian, and I want to use large weapons like greatswords with medium armor. Also, I don't think there are many restrictions as to what I can get, as long as its within my budget. (I'm guessing that means no artifacts.) Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
I'd get a +1 greatsword, +1 Armor, and then look at + Str and + Con items. 

+X items are some of the most important items in 3.5. Other random stuff is generally less important. Mechanically speaking anyway.   

A +1 sword should be plenty and run 2300ish. 
A +1 armor should be 1150ish.
Item of Str +2 - about 4k 
Item of Con +2 - about 4k (Amulet of Health in the DMG, but these can be reslotted if you have a lenient DM. Slip them into slots you don't use often, like boots or gloves or something)
Cloak of resistance +1 - 1k
Then look into 
Amulet of Natural Armor +1 is 2k
Ring of protection +1 is another 2k
Grand total is ~ 17K, then spend the remainder on stuff that looks "cool". 

Look into Mithril Full plate asap, it counts as medium armor and is very nice. Its probably too expensive for now though. 10650 

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"Your advice is the worst"

To tell you what to get we really need to know your character's stats to do the most good.  It could also be helpful to know what the rest of your party is contributing because there may be items you want if your group has holes in it.

I don't know where you're supposed to go "shopping" at but the SRD indexes of magic Items is where you can find out a number of things.  With a 7th-level character's 19k gp worth of equipment you may need to know if you're going to specialize or go for a big set of items that work well together.  A few items you may want to consider:

+1 Greatsword (2320 gp) or +2* Greatsword (8320 gp)
+1 Breastplate (1350 gp) or +2 Breatplate (4350 gp)
Note that for either of these the +2 could be a +1 item with another +1 value enhancement)

+1 Ring of Protection (2000 gp)
+1 Amulet of Natural Armor (2000 gp)
+1 Cloak of Protection (1000 gp)
+2 ability score item (4000 gp)

This basic load out will take you over 12k gp (not including a +2 weapon or armor) with the idea being to get you a set of things that can help your attack and AC.
 
My stats:
STR 17
DEX 15
CON 15
INT 10
WIS 12
CHR 12

My DEX and CON are a little too low for my liking, I think. Other party members include a sorcerer, a rogue, a fighter, and a bard/paladin (not sure how that works). The little deficit in magic use isn't a big deal, since our campaign is using a fast magic rule that allows a lot more casting. I want to design my character as someone who hits hard and fast, since our fighter and paladin are splitting the tanking role. I eventually want to add feats and equipment that gives him very high speed and mobility.
My stats:
STR 17
DEX 15
CON 15
INT 10
WIS 12
CHR 12

My DEX and CON are a little too low for my liking, I think. Other party members include a sorcerer, a rogue, a fighter, and a bard/paladin (not sure how that works). The little deficit in magic use isn't a big deal, since our campaign is using a fast magic rule that allows a lot more casting. I want to design my character as someone who hits hard and fast, since our fighter and paladin are splitting the tanking role. I eventually want to add feats and equipment that gives him very high speed and mobility.

Your Dex is just fine for an armored character, that isn't planning to be a an AoO tank.  If you are planning to be an AoO tank, then you're doing it wrong.

I know you only asked about items, but there are other ways to make your character better, and we can help you with that, too.  If you'd like us to, of course.  If you do want us to, then we'll need to know what books are available to you, feats you've chosen, whether you have any plans for Prestige Classes, any multi-classing restrictions, etc.

My personal suggestions:
+1 Mithril Breastplate w/Blueshine (it's medium armor that counts as light - that's important if you plan to be mobile)
+1 Greatsword (if you plan to be an AoO tank, use a guisarme instead)
Belt of Giant Strength/Gauntlets of Ogre Power +2 (one or the other, not both)
Cloak of Resistance +1
Amulet of Natural Armor +1
Greatreach Bracers 
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
If I'm understanding my rules correctly, then no, I won't be an AoO tank. I mostly just plan on moving in quickly to smash whatever's in front of me, and I'll strategize with my party members on how to move to minimize AoOs. I think I've had plenty of help on setting up the rest of my character, but for the curious, I chose for my feats: Improved initiate, Run, Power attack, and Cleave. I think those work pretty well with how I want to play. And as for resources, we primarily use online SRDs, so books aren't a problem, though we are staying away from 3rd party sources. Finally, due to the build of my character, I am considering multiclassing as Rogue or perhaps Ranger, though it will depend on how the adventure progresses.
Can I recomend ditching run and cleave for generally anything else if possible? Neither are particulalry amazing. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

My stats:
STR 17
DEX 15
CON 15
INT 10
WIS 12
CHR 12

My DEX and CON are a little too low for my liking, I think. Other party members include a sorcerer, a rogue, a fighter, and a bard/paladin (not sure how that works). The little deficit in magic use isn't a big deal, since our campaign is using a fast magic rule that allows a lot more casting. I want to design my character as someone who hits hard and fast, since our fighter and paladin are splitting the tanking role. I eventually want to add feats and equipment that gives him very high speed and mobility.


THOSE ARE AMAZING ABILITY SCORES!!  IF your DEX and CON are too low for your liking that is because you've really been spoiled with GOD stats in the past.  That's equivalent to PB  36 which I'd tell you equates to +1 LA in my eyes.  They aren't truely outrageous like many that get posted here but they are still plenty high.  Now despite all of this talk about your ability scores those are NOT the stats I was talking about; I was hoping to see your character's class(es), feats, and skill point distributions if you know what they are.

I see you did post your feats later.  I'm really curious why you've chosen Run because while it may help your top speed but really isn't much use in most combat situations.  Although this is hard for me to admit Cleave is not the greatest of feats either; it can be great at low levels when you might face multiple opponents that will all be within reach and which can be killed quickly but it is something that a DM must allow you to use by how he sets up the opposition.  A lot of what I'm reading seems to be pointing you towards a power charger and I think there have been several suggestions on those on the Char-Op board.

PS.  I see Krusk posted while I was typing agreeing with the issues on Run and Cleave.
 
I chose Run based on an early game we ran into, but now that I've reorganized my inventory I actually ended up with a lighter load, so it's probably not necessary anymore. I think I'll replace it with Combat Fury, or perhaps Heart of Defiance, since we are running a horror-style adventure. I'm keeping Cleave though, since the DM likes to cluster mobs in hallways and I have gotten some good use out of it.
If you REALLY want something that "hits hard, with good mobility" then you need to check out the Swift Hunter.  This isn't intended to be offensive, because I know you're new at this, but it seems that what you ARE (lvl 7 barbarian) doesn't seem to be a very good way to reach your ultimate goal (hard hitter with mobility).  Now, if you're essentially happy with what you have, I won't try to change your mind, other than Cleave and Run (seriously, they're terrible).  Personally, I would advise you to change them to Improved Bull Rush and Shock Trooper (Complete Warrior), and take Leap Attack (Complete Adventurer) at level 9.  Oh, and put your level 8 ability score point into Con, and the rest into Str.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
I'm keeping Cleave though, since the DM likes to cluster mobs in hallways and I have gotten some good use out of it.

Sorry for the double post, but light armor + Liont Totem Babrarian (just the first level ACF) from Complete Cheatyface is a much, MUCH better option than blowing a feat for Cleave.  Unless you plan to go Frenzied Berserker, which opens up a whole new can of whoopass... and complexity.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Hmm. I'm not familiar with class variants, but the DM obviously doesn't mind them since we have a CG paladin with us. What makes the Lion Totem better than other choices?

Wow, this topic has spread far beyond simply my equipment! As long as the DM doesn't mind I think I actually switch Cleave out for Improved Bull Rush.
Hmm. I'm not familiar with class variants, but the DM obviously doesn't mind them since we have a CG paladin with us. What makes the Lion Totem better than other choices?


Lion Totem barbarians give up their fast movement ability in exchange for Pounce. Fast Movement is a nice ability, but one that's trivially easy to take up with equipment over time, and it doesn't really help barbarians much - if you move more than 5' (i.e. if you take advantage of Fast Movement), you can only make one attack this round, and barbarians really benefit from having access to multiple attacks. Meanwhile, Pounce is "you can take a full attack at the end of a charge" - so if you're level 7, you can swing twice at the end of a charge attack, which involves moving double your speed anyway. And I did just mention that barbarians really benefit from having access to multiple attacks, didn't I?

What makes it better than the other totems? Pounce is one of the single best melee abilities in the game, and it's traditionally quite hard to get ahold of, and here Complete Cheeseball hands it out at level 1 to the class which probably benefits the most from it.

In order to make sure that the limits on charge mobility don't hinder you, you might consider the charge-related skill tricks in Complete Scoundrel as well (Twisted Charge and Nimble Charge). They're cheap, and barbarians get skill points to spare.




As a minor aside, the reason why Draco is, quite correctly I think, pointing out that barbarian isn't really conductive to a mobile heavy hitter is the same reason why we're recommending Pounce. Normally, you can't move and full attack, and it's full attacks (and the ability to hit multiple times) that normal melee characters really rely on in order to dish out damage. There are, broadly speaking, three ways around this: Extra actions (hard to get on a melee character, but the swift hunter handbook goes into this a lot), Pounce (discussed here), and switching away from full attacks. To switch away from full attacks but keep your damage up, one usually switches roles altogether, moving into what we call "AoO Tanking" (basically, responding to everything your opponents do with an Attack of Opportunity), but you can also just pick up a martial adept. The strike abilities available to a warblade, for instance, can still feel very barbarian-esque without costing you much in the way of damage. (Warblades work amazingly well as many different warrior archetypes, from the savage but cunning barbarian to the clever and swift swashbuckler to the noble leadership of the samurai.) The strikes are more mobile than charge attacks because most strikes take only a standard action to use, so you can still move before or after the strike - and this movement isn't subject to the same restrictions that charge attacks are.

The warblade - and martial adepts in general - solved a lot of problems with D&D melee which had formerly required a lot of finesse and familiarity with the rules to get around. (For instance, until the book came out, you'd have to be an absolute master of the attack of opportunity rules and/or extremely comfortable playing with Power Attack numbers just to keep up with monster HP.) If you need free online material only, there's quite a bit of the basics of the warblade and the book it's from available here and here.

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I'm reading that Lion Totems get Run instead of Pounce, but yeah I can definitely see the advantage...
I'm reading that Lion Totems get Run instead of Pounce, but yeah I can definitely see the advantage...

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