Trip/Charge Warblade

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Edit: Final build: i.imgur.com/0fCTBLf.png

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Hi, I've returned to D&D after more than 10 years, and I've decided to build a Warblade. We started on level 1 and got to level 2 last game. 

Campaign setting:

- Home brew steam punk with guns

- No magic casters

- Some magical elements justified through steam punk tech (I. E boots of striding and springing would be steam powered boots)

- No/few monsters,lots of humans and animals 


Party:

- Rogue, archer Ranger, Fighter, monk and me, the Warblade. 


Now, in the land of the blind, the Warblade becomes king. To keep the team somewhat balanced, I've decided to not dip any levels (Pounce would be nice but hey). I've therefore decided to prioritize:

- Maneuverability (Because melee in a land of guns) 

- Trip/Spiked Chain (Because few monsters is larger than medium) 

- Must be good at all levels.


With that,here's what I have so far. Can you guys please judge it some? I'm especially uncertain with the feat progression. 



Race; Human

Stats: 17/16/17/15/13/14


Well, at a glance your feat selection seems to have an error. You need combat expertise in order to take improved trip which you seem to be lacking. shock trooper is also coming on line pretty late so your accuracy will be suffering for a wile unless you can rearrange things in order to get it up sooner. I'm also not sure why you're taking a crusader maneuver via a feat if you aren't going to follow it up with thicket of blades later, which suites the tripping role very well. If you aren't going for thicket of blades, simply drop the crusader maneuver for combat expertise and you should be a bit more on track, but personally I would try and find a way to get shock trooper up at level 6 as easily as you can. I know you said you're not keen on the idea, but I would highly suggest taking two levels of fighter.

Generally you would want to take any non martial adept classes before martial adept classes in order to get a higher initiator level for higher level maneuvers. See if your DM will let you restructure your character to have the two fighter levels first at start into warblade at 3rd level if you want to take that option, if he says no, you'll have to bite the bullet and just take your second and third levels as fighter if you want to alleviate stress on your feats.
Thanks for your thoughts. So I started all over again, this time with one class in Crusader and 2 in Fighter. I lose a couple of mid-level maneuvers and win some low-level ones, I might switch a bit on later levels. Anyway, the general idea would be:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/PF5DMU6.png)
Larger version: i.imgur.com/PF5DMU6.png

I can't switch around on the first level because we've already played, and I don't want to be a douche. Note that I haven't placed any bonus except Combat Reflexes, seeing as the rest is pretty crap. Lightning Reflexes and Improved Intiative I guess...

Some thoughts:
- Cleave is so random... prolly be better to have another Martial Study
- Better and faster feats - build is stronger on earlier levels, get an even greater Fortitude-save.
- Still gets 4 level 9 maneuvers! ^_^
- Lost around 3 hit points and one reflex-point (Will doesn't matter too much because of Diamond Mind throughout the build)

What do you think about this build?

edit: I get Stance of Alacrity before level 19, not 16.
You should look into taking advantage of attack of oppertunities. The reason combat reflexes and other feats such as robilars gambit (ph2) and karmic strike (complete warrior) make you provoke attacks when your attacked. Then you can look into defensive sweep and thicket of blades. This combonattion of feats allows you to always attack off your turn (fueling more attacks and action advantage if you trip a lot) just a point for you to consider.
Cool idea, and fits great with the building and my 16 dex. My feats will be:
1: Exotic Weapon, Power Attack
3: Combat Expertise
4: Improved Trip
5: Improved Bull Rush
6: Shock Trooper
8: Combat Reflexes
9: Dodge
12: Karmic Strike, Improved Initiative
15: Defensive Sweep, Lightning Reflexes
18: Martial Study (Strike of Righteous Vitality)
20: Blind Fight
I can't see your whole character sheet from my phone, but I can see enough to recommend switching your class levels around a bit. I recommend taking 2 levels of crusader instead of one; it won't hurt your warblade initiator level at all & saves you a feat. The best levels to take crusader are 5 (2nd-level maneuvers) & 8 (3rd-level stance). I'd make your first 8 levels go Warblade 1/Fighter 2/Warblade +1/Crusader 1/Warblade +2/Crusader +1.
"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
You're doing the math wrong, dood. Just because crusader is an initiator class doesn't mean it adds its full amount to WARBLADE initiator 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"
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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
Yeah,seems I misunderstood. Ok, so another restart. I figured it would be better to throw in a Swordsage-level rather than 2 Crusader-levels, even with the reduced BAB, gives me some handy maneuvers and Step of the Wind is a great stance for chargers

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/NwGjnEI.gif) 


You can't take Thicket of Blades at Crusader 1. Read the Stance rules in the class abilities section again; at level 1, you get a 1st-level stance.
"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
Okey... Multiclassing martial classes really is complicated ^_^

One option could be switching Dodge with Martial Stance and going Robliars Gambit instead of Karmic Strike. The other is dropping Swordsage for Crusader2:
- Lose White Raven Tactics cycling and Defensive Rebuke because Crusader-Maneuvers hits on level 2
- Lose Swordsage maneuvers and 1 stance
+ Gain 1 AC (Dodge) and 1 BAB
+ Karmic Strike is slightly better than Robliars Gambit
+ Gain 1 HP

Would you say that's a good trade?
I already listed when you should take each level. And Dodge you don't need at all. Feat selection I would use something like this:
1) Warblade 1 (EWP (Spiked Chain), Power Attack*)
2) Fighter 1 (Improved Bull Rush*, retrain EWP to Combat Reflexes) There's no reason to be using a spiked chain instead of guisarme + spiked gauntlet right now. Seriously.
3) Fighter 2 (Combat Expertise, Improved Trip*)
4) Warblade 2 (+1 STR)
5) Crusader 1 (gives you access to 1st & 2nd level maneuvers, 1st level stance)
6) Warblade 3 (Shock Trooper)
7) Warblade 4
8) Crusader 2 (+1 CON) This is when you take Thicket of Blades.
9) Warblade 5 (Improved Initiative*, Stand Still) If you really want a spiked chain, what you do here is retrain you Combat Reflexes to EWP, then take CR as your bonus feat instead of Imp Init. I don't recommend that, though.
10) Warblade 6
11) Warblade 7
12) Warblade 8 (+1 STR) (Robillar's Gambit)

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

I think the Problem you’re having here is timing. From what it looks like to me, you’re going for someone who can charge in and ground himself well knocking people on their butts. I would suggest taking your second and third levels as fighter. At second level you take Improved Bull rush, and at third level you take Combat Expertise and Improved Trip. With that progression you have bull rushing on by second level, and you have tripping on by third level. Take another level of Warblade at fourth level and reap the benefits of having an initiator level of 3 which lets you take second level maneuvers. At fifth level instead of Sword Sage take a level of Crusader, which coincidently will give you an initiator level of 3 as well, so feel free to grab any second level maneuvers you want.


Continue on to level eight with Warblade levels and stick with combat reflexes as your Warblade bonus feat, and don’t forget to grab shock trooper at sixth level. At level nine, take one more level of crusader. Taking crusader at level nine will mean your crusader initiator level would be 5, just the right level to pick up thicket of blades as a stance, which you get as a second level crusader. For your ninth level feat I would go with leap attack so you can do more damage when you rush in on a charge.


From here on out just stick with levels of Warblade, and make sure that you pick up the maneuvers Pouncing Charge and Raging Mongoose. These will let you unload a full attack on a charge, with two extra attacks tacked on. For your twelfth level feat, take Robilars Gambit, and for your fifth-teenth level take Defensive Sweep. Your last feat is pretty much free, but I would suggest going with a martial study for Warblade.


Overall your attack regimen by level 20 should look something like a charging full power leap attack with diverting your negative to your AC and using Pouncing Charge and Raging Mongoose (also don’t forget to use Robilars Gambit, your AC will sink like a stone on the first round, but think of it as an investment in future action potential). Trip everyone in range and then smack them with the follow up attack from Improved Trip to spread the damage out a little. At this point, ground yourself with Thicket of Blades and stand where you are. If anyone moves, you get to attack them, if any one attacks you, you get to attack them, and if no one attacks you (surprise) you get to attack them.


Over all this sets you up as a low grade uber charger and a trip/lock down specialist. Crowd control and damage are your specialties in this regard, so pick maneuvers that either aid in this, or that offset weaknesses such as your poor will/reflex saves.

Thank you everyone for all your help, I think I've finally nailed it - and actually followed the rules! (as I said, returning to D&D after 12 years)

I made a slight modification, I don't really see the hurry with picking up Crusader-levels, I think it's much stronger to get them on level 8/9 so you access 3rd level Crusarder spells - and once you swap out some maneuvers you can use White Raven Tactics every single round! 

Final build: i.imgur.com/0fCTBLf.png

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/0fCTBLf.png)

 I'm so happy we actually could make a character that fit every goal.
I'm doing a PBP with a character much like this right now.

Vidar is his name.

Human Barbarian 2/Warblade 4/Fighter 2/Crusader 2 (ECL 10)

1 -Power Attack
1R -Evasive Reflexes
2ACF - Improved Trip (Wolf Totem Barbarian ACF, From Unearthed Arcana)
3 - Stand Still
5F - Improved Bull Rush
6 - Leap Attack
6F - Shock Trooper
9 - Hold the Line