Looking for Build Help: Lockdown Eternal Blade using only Core + Tome of Battle

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Hello,

I'm looking for some build help. I've been reading through the Tome of Battle thread and I want to try out a Warblade/Eternal Blade that uses the Lockdown build and theme. The trouble is, I have a few odd design constraints.



  • My DM is only allowing the Core books (PHB1, DMG1, MM1) and ONE other book of my choosing (ToB, obviously). That means I lose access to Rolibar's Gambit (PHB2) and Stand Still (XPH), and I don't really understand the build well enough to know if that completely destroys it.

  • We're starting at CL3, and expect to get into the epics. As such, I have a partial build that goes through CL23. I want to be useful at the lower levels, but it sound like we might be power-leveling (leveling up every few sessions).

  • In this partial build, I'm going mostly Warblade, with Crusader 1 to pick up a few always-good-to-have maneuvers and qualify me for Thicket of Blades, which I think is still necessary. I intersperse Warblade into the PrC because I'm more concerned with getting the maneuvers I want, and consider Eternal Blade more as some extra goodies I get along the way.

  • I don't have the stats yet ... we're going to roll 3d6 for stats, with one automatic 18. I intend to prioritize STR > CON/DEX > INT > WIS/CHA



I'd appreciate input on:


  • Whether this is even a viable build without Rolibar's Gambit, Stand Still, etc.

  • If there's some better way to get these maneuvers "on schedule" (as in, not several levels later than expected)

  • If it would be better to just ditch Eternal Blade altogether, or only dabble for a couple levels?

  • If there are better feat options; Stormguard Warrior/Shards of Granite seems rather insane with all of the "extra attack" maneuvers.

  • What the best combos of maneuvers to keep readied would be. For Warblade Maneuvers, I should have 4@CL4, 5@CL10, 6@CL14, 7@CL19, 9@CL26 (if I do Warblade for CL24+)



Race: Wood Elf (+2 Str, -2 Int) 
Stats: Unknown precisely, STR > CON/DEX > INT > WIS/CHA 


  1. Warblade 1: Battle Clarity, Weapon Aptitude; Weapon Focus (TBD)[CL1 Feat]; Punishing Stance [Stance]Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden LeapStone Bones

  2. War2: Uncanny DodgeSteel Wind

  3. War3: Battle Ardor; Combat Reflexes [CL3 Feat]; Wall of Blades

  4. War4: Hunter's Sense [Stance]; Tiger Claw => Emerald Razor Strike

  5. War5: Iron Heart Aura [War5 Feat]; Iron Heart Surge

  6. War6: Improved Uncanny Dodge; Stormguard Warrior [CL6 Feat] Stone Bones => Insightful Strike

  7. War7: Battle CunningBounding Assault

  8. War8: Emerald Razor Strike => Lightning Recovery

  9. Crusader 1: Furious Counterstrike, Steely Resolve 5Bolstering voice [Stance]; White Raven TacticsRevitalizing StrikeDefensive RebukeStone ViseBone Crusher; Martial Stance (Thicket of Blades)[CL9 Feat]

  10. War9: Stone Power [War9 Feat]Rapid Counter

  11. War10: Hearing the Air [Stance]; Insightful Strike => Dancing Mongoose

  12. Eternal Blade 1: Blade Guide, Eternal Training 1/day; Shards of Granite [CL12 Feat]; Moment of Alacrity

  13. EB2: Guided Strike

  14. EB3: Armored Uncanny Dodge, Eternal Training 2/dayAvalanche of Blades

  15. EB4: Eternal Knowledge; Extra Granted Maneuver [CL15 Feat]

  16. War11: Battle SkillGirallon Windmill Flesh Ripper

  17. War12: Steel Wind => Adamantine Hurricane

  18. EB5: Eternal Training 3/day; Adaptive Style [CL18 Feat]; Supreme Blade Parry [Stance]Time Stands Still

  19. EB6: Defensive Training

  20. EB7: Eternal Training 4/dayMountain Tombstone Strike

  21. EB8: Tactical Insight; TBD [CL21 Feat]

  22. EB9 Eternal Training 5/dayQuicksilver Motion

  23. EB10: Island in Time


Thanks in advance for your help!
I'd appreciate input on:
Whether this is even a viable build without Rolibar's Gambit, Stand Still, etc.
Doable, but problematic.  The Lockdown premise is predicated on being able to make an AoO no matter what the opponent does.  They attack you? AoO (Robillar's or Karmic Strike)  They try to move? AoO (Thicket of Blades [even nastier with Stand Still]) They don't move? AoO (Defensive Sweep only works on adjacent targets, sadly)
If there's some better way to get these maneuvers "on schedule" (as in, not several levels later than expected)

Dip into Crusader at levels 5 and 8.  Level 5 gives you access to 2nd level maneuvers, level 8 gives you access to 3rd level stances.
If it would be better to just ditch Eternal Blade altogether, or only dabble for a couple levels?

Eternal Blade is actually pretty nice.  Devoted Spirit, Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, and White Raven are all great disciplines.
If there are better feat options; Stormguard Warrior/Shards of Granite seems rather insane with all of the "extra attack" maneuvers.

Stormguard Warrior works quite well with an AoO engine, the only problem is that you're not getting as many AoO as you otherwise might be.
What the best combos of maneuvers to keep readied would be. For Warblade Maneuvers, I should have 4@CL4, 5@CL10, 6@CL14, 7@CL19, 9@CL26 (if I do Warblade for CL24+)  
Show
Race: Wood Elf (+2 Str, -2 Int) 
Stats: Unknown precisely, STR > CON/DEX > INT > WIS/CHA 


  1. Warblade 1: Battle Clarity, Weapon Aptitude; Weapon Focus (TBD)[CL1 Feat]; Punishing Stance [Stance]Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden LeapStone Bones

  2. War2: Uncanny DodgeSteel Wind

  3. War3: Battle Ardor; Combat Reflexes [CL3 Feat]; Wall of Blades

  4. War4: Hunter's Sense [Stance]; Tiger Claw => Emerald Razor Strike

  5. War5: Iron Heart Aura [War5 Feat]; Iron Heart Surge

  6. War6: Improved Uncanny Dodge; Stormguard Warrior [CL6 Feat] Stone Bones => Insightful Strike

  7. War7: Battle CunningBounding Assault

  8. War8: Emerald Razor Strike => Lightning Recovery

  9. Crusader 1: Furious Counterstrike, Steely Resolve 5Bolstering voice [Stance]; White Raven TacticsRevitalizing StrikeDefensive RebukeStone ViseBone Crusher; Martial Stance (Thicket of Blades)[CL9 Feat]

  10. War9: Stone Power [War9 Feat]Rapid Counter

  11. War10: Hearing the Air [Stance]; Insightful Strike => Dancing Mongoose

  12. Eternal Blade 1: Blade Guide, Eternal Training 1/day; Shards of Granite [CL12 Feat]; Moment of Alacrity

  13. EB2: Guided Strike

  14. EB3: Armored Uncanny Dodge, Eternal Training 2/dayAvalanche of Blades

  15. EB4: Eternal Knowledge; Extra Granted Maneuver [CL15 Feat]

  16. War11: Battle SkillGirallon Windmill Flesh Ripper

  17. War12: Steel Wind => Adamantine Hurricane

  18. EB5: Eternal Training 3/day; Adaptive Style [CL18 Feat]; Supreme Blade Parry [Stance]Time Stands Still

  19. EB6: Defensive Training

  20. EB7: Eternal Training 4/dayMountain Tombstone Strike

  21. EB8: Tactical Insight; TBD [CL21 Feat]

  22. EB9 Eternal Training 5/dayQuicksilver Motion

  23. EB10: Island in Time
Thanks in advance for your help!

There are others who are better able to critique your maneuver selection than I.
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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'd drop Girallon Windmill in place of Swooping Dragon Strike, unless you are going heavy into TWF its not a great boost. I would also recommend picking up White Raven Hammer, and to meet its prerequisite grab another WR maneuver such as Flanking Maneuver. This gives you two stuns on demand which will go a long way towards keeping enemies where you want them without some of the AoO goodies you don't have access to.
This is kind of involved, so I can't answer right now, but I'm posting to acknowledge that I HAVE seen it and I DO intend to help.

The spoiler block here should be a better primer to AoO tactics though. If you're limited to just Core+ToB, you can also look through the builds in my signature for ideas; several make use of just that book (the Dreamblade build uses nothing but those books and is an Eternal Blade build too!), and there are a few which also dabble into AoO tactics. If you've got the ToB but do not have the PHB2, you can possibly switch from AoO lockdowns to, of all things, flash-stepping (see my signature); it won't be amazing without Robilar's, but it'll certainly be original. With a reach weapon, Evasive Reflexes / Thicket of Blades, and possibly Dancing Blade Form, you can float around the battlefield striking targets from a distance and never making it clear which person in particular you're threatening.

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.

Draco, thank you for breaking down what exactly all of the parts I'd need for a normal Lockdown are. I feel like there's going be a lot that I'm missing: I do have access to Combat ReflexesEvasive Reflexes, and Thicket of Blades .... but I don't have Rolibar's GambitDecisive StrikeDefensive Sweep, or Stand Still. Thus, I end up with pretty much the basic options for generating AoOs whenever my opponents move, and with that I only get one AoO per movement, so that's pretty suboptimal.

I do like the moveset I've chosen overall, although WizardDidIt does make a good point; re-reading Girallon I'm not sure it works as well for what I'd envisioned and I'm not going to pick up TWF. I'm not quite sure how Swooping Dragon Strike's leap check is supposed to work though ... is it necessarily lacking a running start, since you have to start within melee range of your opponent? That seems pretty rough, as a Medium-sized opponent will be about 5 feet tall requiring a jump DC of 40, and the basic jump check at the point where I could get SDS (CL15, assuming two levels in Crusader, full ranks in Jump, and Str 24) is only +26, which means I only succeed on a natural 14 or higher.

I forgot to mention that it's going to be hard to get magic items other than stat-enhancing ones, which might be relevant to the build suggestions. Roughly, we can have a wish list, but to get the sweet stuff we need to find it in the ruins.

Tempest_Stormwind, I read through your suggested links and it really sounds like your suggestions for Lockdown and Flashstep really want the PHB2 feats as well. (Theoretically, I could go with the PHB2 as my book and throw out ToB, but then I lose Evasive Reflexes AND the cool/powerful initiator tools.) The Dreamblade doesn't work with Core+ToB ... did you mean your Heavy Crusader?

I like the Heavy Crusader Build, except for a few minor things: As stated, it lacks a lot of mobility and I feel like it would really benefit from some Diamond Mind and Tiger Claw Maneuvers (Quicksilver Motion, Sudden Leap). Sudden Leap is effectively out of the question without taking levels in Swordsage (losing 1 BAB hurts on the timing for EB @CL11, if we want to prioritize that). If the 2 Martial Studies went into Diamond Mind maneuevers we could get some of the nicer ones for the Crusader later on ... how important are the ones you selected? I feel like there must be some good reason you didn't splash another initator to get at Tiger Claw and Diamond Mind, and similiarly why you didn't try to pick up Diamond Mind with Martial Studies.
Since you dont have access to PHB2 and the Leap of the Heavens feat, you can take Leaping Dragon Stance from the TC discipline to gain a bonus to jump checks (as written its a 10 foot enhancement) and always be considered to have a running start. If you want to replace Girallon with another boost you can always swap in Raging Mongoose, nothing wrong with having both Dancing and Raging.
Tempest_Stormwind, I read through your suggested links and it really sounds like your suggestions for Lockdown and Flashstep really want the PHB2 feats as well. (Theoretically, I could go with the PHB2 as my book and throw out ToB, but then I lose Evasive Reflexes AND the cool/powerful initiator tools.) The Dreamblade doesn't work with Core+ToB ... did you mean your Heavy Crusader?


Yes, sorry; I just had both open in different tabs to remember which was pure ToB and which wasn't. (Should have been obvious; I index the Dreamblade with Combat Brute.) And while the PHB2 is a flat power increase, the ToB is not - it is largely about options. Particularly mobility and tactical options. For that reason alone it makes the game more dynamic.

I like the Heavy Crusader Build, except for a few minor things: As stated, it lacks a lot of mobility and I feel like it would really benefit from some Diamond Mind and Tiger Claw Maneuvers (Quicksilver Motion, Sudden Leap). Sudden Leap is effectively out of the question without taking levels in Swordsage (losing 1 BAB hurts on the timing for EB @CL11, if we want to prioritize that). If the 2 Martial Studies went into Diamond Mind maneuevers we could get some of the nicer ones for the Crusader later on ... how important are the ones you selected? I feel like there must be some good reason you didn't splash another initator to get at Tiger Claw and Diamond Mind, and similiarly why you didn't try to pick up Diamond Mind with Martial Studies.


1) Warblades get Tiger Claw too. (The swordsage exclusives are Desert Wind, Setting Sun, and Shadow Hand.)
2) You can get plenty of swift action movement from equipment (even at bargain-bin prices). Similarly, you can get Sudden Leap through gear if you know what you're doing (some combination of the Eternal Wand of Heroics for Martial Study, the Martial Study feat itself, and the Tiger Claw bracers at the back of the Tome.) This won't work perfectly for the Heavy since he hits the three-times cap on Martial Study, but the idea is sound.
3) Andarious' builds have simplicity as a virtue; I think he was single-classing wherever possible. That also dictates the maneuvers he picked, focusing on zero warm-up time between "roll initiative" and "wow, that's a lot of damage". The particular Martial Studies in this build, though, were to grab some of the most badass non-crusader moves in the Tome (seriously, I know a lot of warrior-builds that could be improved dramatically with a warblade dip just for Wall of Blades and Iron Heart Surge), with the third being used once Diamond Defense is available (as that saves you a lot of readied actions). 
4) This is the last one, but thinking late-game, carefully look at Eternal Traning again. Here's the two Eternal Traning disciplines, sorted by the number of prerequisites.
Show
Zero Prerequisites (the "idiot list"):
Crusader’s Strike
Vanguard Strike
Foehammer
Shield Block
Moment of Perfect Mind
Sapphire Nightmare Blade
Action Before Thought
Insightful Strike
Mind Over Body
Rapid Counter
Diamond Defense

One prerequisite:
Defensive Rebuke
Revitalizing Strike
Divine Surge
Entangling Blade
Daunting Strike
Doom Charge
Law Bearer
Radiant Charge
Tide of Chaos
Emerald Razor

Two prerequisites:
Rallying Strike
Castigating Strike
Shield Counter
Divine Surge, Greater
Bounding Assault
Mind Strike
Ruby Nightmare Blade
Disrupting Blow
Insightful Strike, Greater
Moment of Alacrity

Three prerequisites:
Strike of Righteous Vitality
Avalanche of Blades
Quicksilver Motion
Diamond Nightmare Blade 

Four prerequisites:
Time Stands Still

Remember that Diamond Mind rings are unique in that you can actually wear two (even though the Heavy can't make use of Eternal Wands of Heroics for Martial Study, since he's capped out on that feat). Two rings, Diamond Defense, and Eternal Training can grab you any maneuver on that list except for Time Stands Still.

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 those of you just joining us, the Heavy Crusader build we're talking about can be found here.

So you would say that ToB would probably be better than PHB2 for the constraints? I definitely find ToB to be more interesting of the two. (I really love Duskblade, but they're not so hot without access to Knowledge Devotion, the Spellstoring Weapon enchantment, and the Bloodstone Weapon enchantment.)

1) I have no idea why I suggested Swordsage over Warblade there. Perhaps I would thinking that I could just use Swordsage as a throw-away level to pick up a bunch of maneuvers? I don't even remember anymore :P

2) There's a caveat that I failed to mention in the original post, which is that I'm going to be somewhat limited in what I can get for gear. The DM has ruled that in this setting that we can get +STAT items, but getting other items is going to be much harder and random (i.e. DM choice) for what we're able to loot from the ruins of the land. Thus, I can't reliably get any of the maneuver items, sadly.

3) That makes sense. Not having a lot of experience playing beyond CL12, how much of a power hit would I take if I delayed entry into the PrC and did Crusader 10/Warblade 1/EB 10 or Cru9/War2/EB10 ... or some other variation that changes the number of Crusader/Warblade levels? The campaign will theoretically go into the epic levels, so I'm not too concerned about holding back Eternal Blade by 1 level ... but maybe I should be? 

Going Crusader 8 -> Warblade (1 or 2) -> Crusader (1 or 2) would let me pick up Iron Heart Surge and Wall of Blades later without using two feats. What actually might be most feat-efficient would be to take Martial Study (Wall of Blades) at CL3, then save Iron Heart Surge for Warblade 1 at CL9. The other two maneuvers at Warblade 1 would be {Wolf Fang and Sudden Leap} or {two Diamond Mind maneuvers}. Crusader 9/Warblade 1/Eternal Blade seems good without further analysis, except I know darn well that would throw of IL for picking up all of the manuevers, which would be why I'd take Cru10 or War2. No idea which would be better.

4) With the item caveat from #2, this sadly won't be a reliable option. That would be a lot better if it were an option, but the DM is limiting things a  bit for their first campaign. 


3) That makes sense. Not having a lot of experience playing beyond CL12, how much of a power hit would I take if I delayed entry into the PrC and did Crusader 10/Warblade 1/EB 10 or Cru9/War2/EB10 ... or some other variation that changes the number of Crusader/Warblade levels? The campaign will theoretically go into the epic levels, so I'm not too concerned about holding back Eternal Blade by 1 level ... but maybe I should be? 

Going Crusader 8 -> Warblade (1 or 2) -> Crusader (1 or 2) would let me pick up Iron Heart Surge and Wall of Blades later without using two feats. What actually might be most feat-efficient would be to take Martial Study (Wall of Blades) at CL3, then save Iron Heart Surge for Warblade 1 at CL9. The other two maneuvers at Warblade 1 would be {Wolf Fang and Sudden Leap} or {two Diamond Mind maneuvers}. Crusader 9/Warblade 1/Eternal Blade seems good without further analysis, except I know darn well that would throw of IL for picking up all of the manuevers, which would be why I'd take Cru10 or War2. No idea which would be better.

The problem with this is that, as RadicalTaoist put it, the Crusader's stance progression would make the baby Jesus cry.  Going full Warblade with a Crusader dip at levels 5 and 8 is a better option.
"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
So you would say that ToB would probably be better than PHB2 for the constraints? I definitely find ToB to be more interesting of the two.


If you're looking to always have something fun and useful to do, take the ToB. 
The PHB2's melee feats in this case largely are just Robilar's Gambit, which, while good, is probably not worth the entire book, particularly if the game's under level 12.

Also, martial adepts are much, much less equipment-dependent than other warriors. I just noticed your remark on equipment availability. The DM may consider them overpowered if he's expecting 8th level characters with mere masterwork swords, though.

1) I have no idea why I suggested Swordsage over Warblade there. Perhaps I would thinking that I could just use Swordsage as a throw-away level to pick up a bunch of maneuvers? I don't even remember anymore :P


It is a good dip, as is Swordsage 2, for many reasons. None of them are appropriate for this build, that's all.

2) There's a caveat that I failed to mention in the original post, which is that I'm going to be somewhat limited in what I can get for gear. The DM has ruled that in this setting that we can get +STAT items, but getting other items is going to be much harder and random (i.e. DM choice) for what we're able to loot from the ruins of the land. Thus, I can't reliably get any of the maneuver items, sadly.


Sold, then: ToB it is. Although again, you may outshine other warriors who depend on level-appropriate enhancement bonuses to matter.

I did crunch the numbers on this a long time ago, and a warblade spamming his strongest maneuvers actually does slightly less damage than a raging barbarian in melee, using no feats on either character except Power Attack - if and only if both characters have a level-appropriate weapon. Most of the barbarian's bonus damage came from his extra attacks relative to the warblade, with Rage putting it over the top; the maneuvers basically took up the slack from giving up the extra hits on a full attack. If your entire party is just geared up nonmagically, though, your maneuvers will look much stronger by comparison.

3) That makes sense. Not having a lot of experience playing beyond CL12, how much of a power hit would I take if I delayed entry into the PrC and did Crusader 10/Warblade 1/EB 10 or Cru9/War2/EB10 ... or some other variation that changes the number of Crusader/Warblade levels? The campaign will theoretically go into the epic levels, so I'm not too concerned about holding back Eternal Blade by 1 level ... but maybe I should be?


I would max out EB as soon as possible. It's an amazing class. You might not want to splash in warblade at all, or you might want to go pure warblade/EB. There is an art to making a multiclass martial adept, but the thread discussing that appears to have been eaten.

Two things to note: First, there are no published epic progressions for martial adepts, either for the classes or the maneuvers, so you're on your own there. Second, martial PrCs do not get the opportunity to replace maneuvers known, while the base classes do. (Contrariwise, PrCs tend to get readied maneuvers slightly faster, which matters more for the crusader as each new ready is an extra maneuver granted.)

I'm honestly not convinced splashing in warblade is a good idea; I would either concentrate on just one or the other, or look into what you can get leap-frogging the two together (although this might only be impressive for their shared disciplines).

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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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.

@Draco: I'm willing to spec this out and see how I like Crusader at CL5 and CL8. Would you recommend doing War8/Cru2/EB10 for the base, or War10/Cru2/EB10 ... or doing something pretty similar to what I have already? One of the reasons I'd been considering Crusader>Warblade is that the Crusader recharge mechanic works a lot nicely mixed in with all the swift-action class features that Eternal Blade has available; for the Warblade, the recharge mechanic AND a lot of its nice boosts have to fight for the swift action slot. Overall I like the Warblade discipline list better. :/

@Tempest:
 
Also, martial adepts are much, much less equipment-dependent than other warriors. I just noticed your remark on equipment availability. The DM may consider them overpowered if he's expecting 8th level characters with mere masterwork swords, though.


I'll be sure to run that by the DM then. I don't know how many fighter types we'll have in the party, so it may be less relevant. So far, the classes called have been Wizard/Complete Arcane, Factotum/Dungeonscape, Sorceror/TBD, Spirit Shaman/Complete Divine. We have one other possible player, if the game's schedule can coincide with his work/school schedule.
Tempest is better than I am at the best uses of action utility, so I would defer to his judgment on which route is better to go. I'm just WAY more familiar with crusaders than I am warblades, and know that their stance progression is complete poo.
If you're allowed to recommend books for the other players, you should suggest the Spell Compendium for the sorcerer.
"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
The DM wisely banned Spell Compendium and Dragon sources. :D
Wise, my ass. The Spell Compendium just lists and updates spells from all the books that aren't core. Complete Mage, Divine, Warrior... *sigh*
Your DM seems a bit like a tool. Play a cleric or Druid with Complete Divine.
"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
Spell Compendium adds in quite a few new spells which are quite a bit more powerful than other ones that had been published. I'm playing a druid right now who is using several spells from the compendium, including:


  • Bite of the Weretiger (Drd5, Sor/Wiz6) a lot of Str, some Dex, con, natural armor; two claw attacks and bite attack; Multiattack, Blind-Fight, Power Attack

  • Aspect of the Earth Hunter (Drd6, Rng4) You turn into a bulette (ridiculously high stats), a ton of senses, a ton of natural armor, 2 claw attacks and a leap form (which instead gives you 4 claw attacks)

  • Master Earth (Drd7) Teleport self anywhere on the same planet in the material plane, no miss chance, no teleportation keyword (so it's unaffected by dimensional anchor)


Oh, and these are all things you can share with your animal companion. The DM for this campaign had to nerf things, because I combined BotW and AotEH and then my animal companion and I mauled a bunch of dinosaurs. We were both STR 39, DEX 19, CON 26, with four attacks at 2d8+14 each (not counting power attack). I'm multiclassed a little bit so this was at CL 14 for me, but it's doable single-class at CL11.

EDIT: Removed specific game information from spells ... not sure how picky Wizards is about it, so I just took it out.
Your dm needs to learn not to use stock monsters then they get destroyed by tactics like that but if he were to use similiar tactics he wouldn't see them as over powered. With dms like the ones I have seen posted I don't see why one would come to char op its clearly way too strong for their plans. Dms need to understand that every single tactic available to you as a player is doubly available to them. If they stop pulling out stock monsters and npcs and apply the same optimization you do to your character they will make the whole game more fun for everyone by offering bigger challenges affecting more people.
@Frostfire: I don't know if you read, but the character I'm making is for this DM's FIRST EVER RUN DM'ing. All of the other players and I felt that this was a reasonable constraint to make a lower-power game, and it was an interesting build challenge. I'm posting to the optimization board because (1) I thought you guys might think it was an interesting challenge, (2) I correctly assumed the people here understood the Lockdown build I was considering and could explain to me how effective it could be without a bunch of the feats, and (3) I could probably figure out a lot of the issues along the way, but playing with a horrendously suboptimal build just annoys me.

For the example I had in my previous post regarding Spell Compendium, that was from a completely different campaign with a different DM.

Unrelated: For gendered pronouns, both DMs I've mentioned here are female. I don't know why there's the assumption they were guys. (And if you say it's based on number, maybe I'm in a weird town where 40% of the gamers are female. I dunno.)
may seem idiotic, but you dont go for imp trip ?
may seem idiotic, but you dont go for imp trip ?
may seem idiotic, but you dont go for imp trip ?



I had considered it, but the main problem is that it requires Combat Expertise, which just eats up another feat slot. While I really like CE on some characters, I feel like it's just kinda wasted on this one.
Stand Still usually covers for Improved Trip if you can't afford it, but this isn't available. You might want to consider Stone Dragon during your base class levels; it has several "just stop" moves and is in an allowed book, plus it's open to both classes. Since they muck with actions, they'll remain useful later too. White Raven has similar advqntages with different mechanics but is open to all three classes. (I'm on my phone and can't play with different class balances easy here, but you seem to be trying that already on your own. A single class will be simpler, though. Warblade has better discipline access and stance timing, crusader with Extra Granted Maneuver has much better recovery, partial lockdown support through Thicket, and is much more durable. If you're the only melee, crusader might be wisest.)

As for pronouns, English lacks a good third person singular gender-neutral pronoun (since we also use "they" and "them" for plural), among other pronoun problems (I.e. "you" as both singular and plural second-person; technically "y'all" is plural, but its use is regional). As a substitute its common, albeit patriarchal, to use masculine pronouns as neutral ones. I don't think it was necessarily an assumption so much as a linguistic convention.

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.

Stand Still usually covers for Improved Trip if you can't afford it, but this isn't available. You might want to consider Stone Dragon during your base class levels; it has several "just stop" moves and is in an allowed book, plus it's open to both classes. Since they muck with actions, they'll remain useful later too. White Raven has similar advqntages with different mechanics but is open to all three classes.

Tempest got it backwards - White Raven is open to crusaders and warblades; Stone Dragon is open to all three.  The SD maneuvers he mentions are good, but they only work for earthbound opponents.  There is a mid-level Devoted Spirit maneuver that will drop any creature's speed by 20', including fliers.
"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
No, I didn't. The three classes in question here are warblade, crusader, and eternal blade.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

I don't know if you read, but the character I'm making is for this DM's FIRST EVER RUN DM'ing. All of the other players and I felt that this was a reasonable constraint to make a lower-power game, and it was an interesting build challenge. I'm posting to the optimization board because (1) I thought you guys might think it was an interesting challenge, (2) I correctly assumed the people here understood the Lockdown build I was considering and could explain to me how effective it could be without a bunch of the feats, and (3) I could probably figure out a lot of the issues along the way, but playing with a horrendously suboptimal build just annoys me.
...
Unrelated: For gendered pronouns, both DMs I've mentioned here are female. I don't know why there's the assumption they were guys. (And if you say it's based on number, maybe I'm in a weird town where 40% of the gamers are female. I dunno.)



As for pronouns, English lacks a good third person singular gender-neutral pronoun (since we also use "they" and "them" for plural), among other pronoun problems (I.e. "you" as both singular and plural second-person; technically "y'all" is plural, but its use is regional). As a substitute its common, albeit patriarchal, to use masculine pronouns as neutral ones. I don't think it was necessarily an assumption so much as a linguistic convention.


@ onyx7:  Here I fear a problem may be what you would describe as a "horrendously suboptimal build" will be perfectly acceptable and perhaps even logical to many other people.  A problem with "optimizing" is that there are so many different levels to it.  I mean if you have a character and his abilities don't work against each other then you probably have an "optimized" character; this doesn't mean he has the maximum possible level of optimization where ever single thing must be thought out in great detail but it would mean that he can avoid things that don't aways work so well or work as one thinks they might.

As for the pronoun thing Tempest hits the nail on the head.  As a matter of convenience the masculine versions are usually used because of "tradition" but also because they are shorter to type.  There is also that assumption that most gamers will be male and even if 40% of the gamers you know are female that means the male pronoun will be right far more often then not.  I guess the alternative, gender neutral, way to identify a 3rd-person subject is to simply call it "it".  The problem with "it" is that it isn't seen as being very polite but saying "he or she, his or hers, him or her" is a lot more work then saying it or its.

On the topic of banned books I'm not sure I'd say that banning SC is "wise" if everything that is in it could still be accessed from the original sources.  The book does update a few spells and I've had big problems with that in the past (namely Plague of Undead in a True Necro tread; I look at the spell in the same book the TN is in and someone else looks at the SC version) but if the spell is actually an update it is technically what should be used.  I will whole heartedly agree that bannng Dragon Magazine sources is a very good idea; I believe the threshold to get something printed there is a lot lower then getting it into a book and we all know there are some bad things in the books so Dragon will almost certainly have more.
 
@Tempest: Derp.
I was assuming you meant the base classes. I just figured you had momentary brainfart.
"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
Just because there are some overpowered spells (his opinion), there are also many more exceedingly useful spells.  By cutting that book, he's removing kelpstrand*, snake's swiftness, crabwalk, healing sting, and splinterbolt (these are ones I made use of during one campaign as a Druid).


* I was always partial to this one...depending on your DM, you could end up whacking your opponent to death with his own weapon (since, in a grapple, you can use your opponent's weapon against him) or making it easier for your stronger members to squash the enemy into a paste (being pinned imposes a -4 to AC, in addition to the normal penalties for grappling [no Dex bonus and no movement]).  The other ones make your party absolutely love you (especially the snake's swiftness and its upgrade...granting an extra attack to every ally in a 20-foot radius could turn the tide) or throw out some huge damage at range (4d6/18-20 that can bypass DR magic or DR piercing at level 3).
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