Gish optimization 3.5 ed

23 posts / 0 new
Last post
Hi there,

Looking for some character planning in a new campaign we started recently.

About the campaign: A world where the devils conquered all and the gods stayed silent. World is split in 9 zones, each one commanded by one of the arch devils. We worship the Prime devils, they give the divine casters their power. Women are forced to have at least 2 children before they can go and seek adventure. Laws are upheld strongly and severely, corruption makes the world spin (devils, dough). All citizens are branded with the mark of the prime devil's area they live in. We are evil by alignment. All of us are level 2 - a human bard, a human homebrew inquisitor, human cleric, dwarf barbarian charger (codename: BLOB) and myself.

Books - All except Ebberon and obviously shattered PrC or combinations that make people die from the stench of cheese coming out of your "hero". DM is willing to make compromises for the sake and fun of the game.

So, behold the mighty Gregor:

Human Fighter 1/Martial wizard 1 (UA variant that gets fighter feats instead of wizard ones)
Sole friend and companion: Horatio (Rat familiar)

Str 16
Dex14
Con 14
Int 16
Wis 11
Cha 10 

HP 16, AC 12 (unbuffed)

Weapon of choice: Scythe

Feats:

Improved Initiative,
Power Attack
Skill focus: Concentration (qualifies me instead of Combat casting for Eldritch Disciple)
Weapon Focus (Scythe)
Brand of the Nine Hells: Avernus (given at lvl 1 by DM) 

Build at lvl 20: Fighter 1/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 1/ Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 5/Eldritch Knight 7

The goal is to make this champion of evil a formidable fighting opponent with big AC and saves, backed up by spellcasting. Since we are going to be fighting demons and things that are SR and Resistances heavy I need suggestions about feats, spells and equipment which will make my character better at what he does.

Thanks.
Wiuld swiftblade be allowed in your campaign its a gish class focused on haste effects which are a key buff for gishes. The you already have seen abjurant champion which is an excellent class. Finally spellsword and eldritchknight 1 I don't understand your losing caster levels for that. One of the keys to gIshes is getting 16 bab and 18 spell casting levels this gives you 4 attacks and 9th level spells to have essentially the best of both worlds. Also since your going to need some metamagic look into rods of extend and look into anything to reduce the cost of quickening buff spells (such as arcane thesis in the ph2). Finally the fact that you got the fighter variant for wizard is awesome, and I like your campain idea. When I'm back at my books I can assisst you more if its needed
Spellsword 1 doesn't lose a caster level, so you're good there, but I agree with ff's stance on Eldritch Knight. If it's only a 1-level dip, it's not worth it. And how are you getting into Eldritch Disciple?! You have no divine casting, nor do you have invocations.
I'd recommend something simple like Ftr 1/Martial wizard or Battle Sorcerer 4/Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 5/Eldritch Knight 9. That gives you a BAB of 17 or 18, with 18 casting levels.
"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
Perhaps the most basic "gish" build is Fighter2/Wizard4/Spellsword1/AbC5/EK8 which ends up with a +18 BAB and 17th-level spellcasting.  You can use other full BAB base classes in place of Fighter (although you still need heavy armor for Spellsword) and arcane classes in place of Wiz4.  You may also want to trade out EK8 for something that doesn't cost any levels of spellcasting but which hopefully has a 3/4 BAB progression (Sacred Exorcist can be a bomb for that but it is a LG class).

I will point out that Abjurant Champion 5 will set your caster level for any spellcasting advanced by the class to your BAB.  This can help them get through SR although you probably don't get a lot of bang for your buck.
 
Thank you for the replies.

I planned to finish the build with Eldritch Knight, not Disciple. It's a typing error on my part, now fixed.
We don't have access to Swiftblade and personally I kinda dislike it. Loses too much caster levels. Was it "Though shall not lose caster levels"?

Arcane thesis is for a single spell only, is it worth the feat? And for which spell should I take it? What's your opinion on Arcane strike? Personally I find it more fitting for the sorcadin gish because he has more spell slots to burn.

And how do you deal with flying imps at level 2? GOD DAMNED CREATURES CIRCLED FOR HOURS ABOVE US AND INSULTED US (note: they had 23 AC and we didn't manage to hit them even once with our short bows)
And how do you deal with flying imps at level 2? GOD DAMNED CREATURES CIRCLED FOR HOURS ABOVE US AND INSULTED US (note: they had 23 AC and we didn't manage to hit them even once with our short bows)

If you need the very simplest option available to almost anyone, you can simply ready to grapple them when they come down to attack (ready at least two people since they may disrupt a single grappler with an attack of opportunity) or just use your own attacks of opportunity, since they need to enter your space to attack, and will provoke an attack of opportunity when leaving.  They can't usually do anything from on the wing, and even if they go invisible, they'll appear when they try to attack.

Since they're Tiny and don't have anything that can help them get away (they don't have ranks in Escape Artist), their size penalty puts them at a substantial disadvantage even against a 1st-level commoner, and it only takes a single person to grapple and pin an imp so that everyone else can beat it into a pulp.  The equipment Tempest suggests is excellent if you've got it, and can help to disable the imps without suffering too many stings.

If they're just hanging around above you as a threat, getting under cover where they can't easily make a surprise attack may help until you can get something more effective to use against them.  A lot really depends on the exact circumstances and whether or not you can afford to simply ignore them.

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

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

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Magic Missile? I'm a big fan of Abjurant Champion, Ruathar (as an entry step), Dragon Slayer, and Spellsword as single level dips, Swiftblade is fantastic but specialized (pretty defensive/Martial bent), Jade Phoenix Mage (Martial/Arcane gish), and Ruby Knight Vindicator (Divine/Martial gish). Gishing has so many better options than Eldritch Knight, it also has a lot of worse options.
Magic Missile? I'm a big fan of Abjurant Champion, Ruathar (as an entry step), Dragon Slayer, and Spellsword as single level dips, Swiftblade is fantastic but specialized (pretty defensive/Martial bent), Jade Phoenix Mage (Martial/Arcane gish), and Ruby Knight Vindicator (Divine/Martial gish). Gishing has so many better options than Eldritch Knight, it also has a lot of worse options.

The main advantage with the Eldritch Knight is that it doesn't really have any additional prerequisites for a gish; most of the rest ask you to burn up some skill points or feats you might otherwise have spent elsewhere on a gish.

Except ruathar, of course, it being basically the best dip class available.


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

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

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Those Imps had leather or studded leather armors and I think they were from Fiendish Codex - one had some kind of a possession ability and i am pretty sure they did not have DR. The imps were flying 50 ft above us. We failed to make use of the arrows we had since we were only able to hit them on natural 20's and they resisted both mine and the bard's sleep. They used some abilities on us but we didn't fail any saves, threw some Styx water on us (a very very minor variant of it) and insult us, basically adding insult to injury. But we had completed our quest and ignored them, going home and collecting our reward. Shame we didn't manage to drag their corpses with us, they were responsible for the whole mess.

@ Andarious: I am quite experienced wizard player but being 1st level I have 2 spells I know and 2 that I can cast (including the bonus one). I placed my bet on Mage Armor and Sleep. Mage Armor because I planned going balls deep into the fight and sleep because it's awesome on low levels. I took it over Color Spray (in my opinion and experience the second most broken first level spell in the game, first being entangle) because we don't have the potential of dealing with ranged enemies. Magic Missile is one of the worst spells for a 1st level wizard to take. But no matter how brilliant or experienced player you are, there are still those 5 %.

There is no way I can find a good way to explain to my DM why I should be Ruathar. This is out of the fluff and personality of my character by miles.
Can you provide suggestions for feats, spells and items I should pick - up during my travels.

Thanks
which 5%? MM doesnt has an atkroll so there is no natural 1 fail
I was talking in general about those 5 %, not about Magic Missile. You can always fail a Finger of Death spell, no matter the level.
Fine, no magic missile, or better yet ray gun (Read: Wand of Magic Missile), then just use a crossbow and shoot, eventually someone in the party will roll a 20, everyone should have at least a crossbow as a ranged weapon.

We’ve removed content from this thread because of a violation of the Code of Conduct.


You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_...


Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks.You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively.


Remember, a community is a joint effort of all those involved, and while we want intellegent meaningful and productive banter to ensue we also need it to be polite and considerate of others. Believe us when we say it is possible.


Thank you for your time and support as we continue to try and make a great community for everyone.

@Andarious: Well, eventually, we did not roll any 20s

What enchants and equipment do you suggest ? And what abjuration spells should I use when I  get Abjurant Champion?
the best spells for an AbC ar normally luminius armor. but you have to be good to use them. so the normal shield wold be fine. wgentually protection fom X
When it comes to spells for the Abjurant Champion the spell that sees the most benefit from the class is the simple Shield Spell.  As a 1st-level spell you quickly benefit from the AbC's abilities that will let you cast it as a Quickened and Extented spell for free.  On top of that it is one of a very few spells that can take advantage of the AbC's Abjurant Armor ability that will boost the armor or shield AC bonus provided by ABJURATION spells.  With AbC 5 you can use a 1st-level spell slot to drop a Quickened, Extended Shield Spell that will provide you with a +9 Shield bonus to AC (and stop magic missiles) which isn't too horrible if your using your hands for other things.

Besides its base stats the nice thing about AbC is that it will let you cast your Abjuration spells that are half your ABC level (rounded UP) and lower with Quicken for free (Swift Abjuration abiilty) and any Abjuration spell get Extended.  Being able to hand out a Protection from XXX as a swift action can definitely be a lifesaver at times.  When you get to AbC 5 you could also throw out Dispel Magic without slowing you down and while it may not hit some big things it can take out those little, but sometimes highly annoying, buff spells that come from lower level spell slots.
Dispels issue isn't the level of the spell, it's the level of the original caster. Still, there are plenty of creatures with CL lower than 10 that will have buffs which you'd rather they didn't. There are also wands, which a lot of people use to cast buffs, that seldome have higher than 7 CL.
You're right about it not being "the level of the spell" when Dispel looks at caster leve and the Dispel check is capped at d20+10 (level @ max) vs. 11+spell's CL.  I guess I'm thinking "higher level spells means higher level caster."  It can still hit a bunch of little things and can also ruin various buffs provided my low level casters which really don't care about the CL.  Hitting buffing wand and scrolls along with some potions/oils are definitely prime targets for Dispel Magic.
I've removed content from this thread. Discussion of moderation is in violation of the Code of Conduct

You can review the Code of Conduct here: company.wizards.com/conduct
Oops.  I guess there is no more asking what happened to good, respectful, and most importantly useful information that goes missing.

 
Not exactly. Through painful experience, I've learned what will get you in trouble if the ORCs are in a bad mood.
1) Don't say that you reported someone.
2) The ORCs are infallible (just ask 'em!), so don't question their ham-fistedness. Or, to paraphrase: "First rule of moderation: You don't talk about moderation."
"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
here we have another example of "**** i have to explain myself, better delete the question."
LOL Security win?