my first attempt at a LA meat shield.

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Hi guys I'm a 3.5er just getting back into the swing of things in 4th so here is my attempt at a meat shield for our LA 3 man group.

 

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
gabe scenario, level 7
Shield Dwarf, Fighter/Runepriest
Runic Artistry Option: Wrathful Hammer

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 18, CON 20, DEX 15, INT 11, WIS 18, CHA 12

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 17, CON 17, DEX 15, INT 11, WIS 16, CHA 12


AC: 26 Fort: 21 Ref: 19 Will: 20
HP: 63 Surges: 13 Surge Value: 15

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +8, Endurance +13, Heal +12

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +1, Arcana +3, Bluff +4, Diplomacy +4, Dungeoneering +9, History +3, Insight +7, Intimidate +4, Nature +7, Perception +7, Religion +3, Stealth +1, Streetwise +4, Thievery +1

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Dwarf Racial Power: Dwarven Resilience
Fighter Attack: Combat Challenge
Runepriest Feature: Rune of Mending
Runepriest Attack 1: Word of Shielding
Fighter Attack 1: Resolute Shield
Runepriest Attack 1: Executioner's Call
Fighter Attack 1: Villain's Menace
Fighter Utility 2: Unstoppable
Fighter Attack 3: Shield Edge Block
Runepriest Attack 5: Rune of the Final Act
Runepriest Utility 6: Words of Compassion
Fighter Attack 7: Iron Bulwark

FEATS
Level 1: Armor Proficiency: Plate
Level 2: Resilient Focus
Level 4: Shield Proficiency: Heavy
Level 6: Weapon Expertise (Hammer)

ITEMS
Shield of Defiance Heavy Shield (heroic tier) x1
Dwarven Layered Plate Armor +2 x1
Amulet of Protection +2 x1
Adventurer's Kit
Flesh Seeker Warhammer +2 x1
====== End ======


yes it is a loose rules LA our rolls were approved because of the three man team and the armor was a quest reward from an adventure. 

So, a few things that I can see.

First, you don't need plate armor. It's a wast of a feat, IMO.

Second, you want the feat Dwarven Weapon Training. It'll give you proficiency with hammers (no qualification, just hammers, meaning all of them), and a +2 feat bous to damage. That means you want a craghammer or a mordenkrad.

You want your highest ability score to be in strength and second highest in wisdom. You can leave constitution alone.

You want to take the background Auspicious Birth or Born Under A Bad Sign. Then you can use your strength score for your HP.

Don't bother with a magic shield. You want Iron Armbands of Power.

Resilient Focus isn't necessary. You want Superior Will.

I would say wait for heavy shield proficiency until you're sure you have the room for it.

Also, read the handbooks to get an idea of what powers you should take (Hint: Rain of Blows).      
If he's using a hammer and doesn't have DEX, why would he take rain of blows? It's for high-DEX spear (or flail, or light blade) users.

Anyway, you're putting way too much into defense here. Focusing on defenses to this extent is a trap, because it encourages enemies to ignore you. At the very least, trade plate proficiency for Dwarven Weapon Training, as babcock suggested, and trade Unstoppable for Glowering Threat. Superior Will is also a must on all defenders in high heroic. Further, since you're going heavy on the defender side of things here, you want Come And Get It for your level 7 fighter attack.

More generally, the big question is what you hope to gain by hybridizing runepriest rather than being a pure-classed fighter? Answer that and we can give more specific tips.
Also some more info about the rest of the party and LA( Lair Assault?).
Meatshield? Dwarf Battlerager Fighter or Earthstrength Warden. Done.
RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
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58115148 wrote:
"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
147742801 wrote:
57457938 wrote:
My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat. What do you think I said?
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63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
Both of which are horribly subpar.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Switch out Wrathfull Hammer for Defiant Word. Though I do want to state that the idea of soaking damage is not a very good idea in 4e in general, and you may hog party healing resources in a Lair Assault style setting, since as I understand it, runs basically as one long encounter.


I would recommend starting starts of 17/10/13/8/15/10, ending you at level 7 for 20/12/13/8/16/10.
EDIT: upon rereading, I am assuming your stats were the result of some really lucky rolls? Not sure if Lair Assault allows anything that is not a standard array, based on 8/10/10/10/10/10 and 22 point buy.

Pick Wisdom based powers for the runepriest, for example as at-will Word of Exchange.
If you want to draw / keep your enemies attention, you should give them a reason to. For that, I would suggest at-will Threatening Rush, and level 2 utility Glowering Threat.

For U6, because of the special nature of Lair Assault, please read Rune of Meritorious Alacrity.

Further I want to echo much of the advice already given. Armbands of Iron Power, Dwarven Weapon Training, don't take plate proficiency, don't spend a feat on heavy shield.

As one of the feat slots that now opened up, I would take hybrid talent. Either for combat superiority, so that enemies adjacent are guaranteed not to go anywhere, or for Fighter Combat Talent, for a +1 to hit.

Total result is that you seem a lot less like a meatshield, and enemies have more of a reason to attack you. If you have impenetrable defenses, and no mark punishment, enemies will just leave you well alone, and target the rest of the party.
Both of which are horribly subpar.



Since when? I've played both, and even a standard Dwarf Fighter as perfectly fine meatshields several times.
RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
Funny Forum Quotes
[quote author=82733368 post=532127449]
58115148 wrote:
"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
147742801 wrote:
57457938 wrote:
My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat. What do you think I said?
Wife: Do these pants make me look fat? RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.
63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
Both of which are horribly subpar.



Since when? I've played both, and even a standard Dwarf Fighter as perfectly fine meatshields several times.



I think what he is saying is sub-par as a defender in general not as a damage soaker.  If your definition of "meatshield" is someone who takes a ton of damage and is still standing those are two of the better combinations.  But I think the step of "Don't be a meatshield, but a useful defender instead" was automatically skipped in this instance.
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Both of which are horribly subpar.



Since when? I've played both, and even a standard Dwarf Fighter as perfectly fine meatshields several times.


Your anecdote is as meaningless as it was short.

Battlerager? Nerfed once and then Monsters getting buffed with MM3 basically killed that build's long-term viability. "Oh, you have 8 THP? That's half the damage a Brute deals per hit, and then another creature goes and pounds your low AC into the dirt"

Earthstrength Warden? Always sub-par, your prime feature makes enemies want to ignore you more than they already do, I guess it does fit "meat shield" but you're an ignorable meat shield.

Survivability is based on Damage taken per round which is based on times Hit per round which is based on incoming attacks per round and it all boils down to the Action Economy and the role you're trying to fill in the equation of "Damage+Control+Defenses". Defenders are reasonably high damage dealers that attempt to prevent enemies from attacking their allies, thus forcing enemies to contend with their higher defenses or waste their turn.
In Heroic: Swordmage (+Hybrids), standard Fighters (seriously, don't mess with flail and shield, it's just better), wildblood wardens (dwarf of course, still kinda weak), I'll even put Dragonborn Paladins here for their silly HP/Surges and Mass Marking with potentially relevant damage (13 autodamage with the right item/feat)
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.

Earthstrength Warden? Always sub-par, your prime feature makes enemies want to ignore you more than they already do, I guess it does fit "meat shield" but you're an ignorable meat shield.



Isn't the point of Warden powers to make it so that your enemies can't ignore you, by making it impossible for them to get away?
That would be the intent of the class, it's a goal not achieved in mid heroic.
That would be the intent of the class, it's a goal not achieved in mid heroic.



Since you specify "mid heroic", it presumably gets better at later levels (I haven't seen wardens in epic yet)? Just being curious.
That would be the intent of the class, it's a goal not achieved in mid heroic.



Since you specify "mid heroic", it presumably gets better at later levels (I haven't seen wardens in epic yet)? Just being curious.



It actually gets worse.

I'm having to houserule some stuff to make our paragon-level warden stickier.  The problem is they are form-dependant and then not great.  So you have something like "makes burst 2 difficult terrain and slow/prones on OAs" which is great unless the monster can shift several squares, teleport, has ways to ignore you and walks off. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
I specified mid-heroic since this thread was started by someone looking for a level 7 defender. As a whole, wardens are fairly disappointing as soon as monsters have the ability to ignore burst 1 or burst 2 difficult terrain.
Switch out Wrathfull Hammer for Defiant Word. Though I do want to state that the idea of soaking damage is not a very good idea in 4e in general, and you may hog party healing resources in a Lair Assault style setting, since as I understand it, runs basically as one long encounter.


I would recommend starting starts of 17/10/13/8/15/10, ending you at level 7 for 20/12/13/8/16/10.
EDIT: upon rereading, I am assuming your stats were the result of some really lucky rolls? Not sure if Lair Assault allows anything that is not a standard array, based on 8/10/10/10/10/10 and 22 point buy.

Pick Wisdom based powers for the runepriest, for example as at-will Word of Exchange.
If you want to draw / keep your enemies attention, you should give them a reason to. For that, I would suggest at-will Threatening Rush, and level 2 utility Glowering Threat.

For U6, because of the special nature of Lair Assault, please read Rune of Meritorious Alacrity.

Further I want to echo much of the advice already given. Armbands of Iron Power, Dwarven Weapon Training, don't take plate proficiency, don't spend a feat on heavy shield.

As one of the feat slots that now opened up, I would take hybrid talent. Either for combat superiority, so that enemies adjacent are guaranteed not to go anywhere, or for Fighter Combat Talent, for a +1 to hit.

Total result is that you seem a lot less like a meatshield, and enemies have more of a reason to attack you. If you have impenetrable defenses, and no mark punishment, enemies will just leave you well alone, and target the rest of the party.


+1
I really can't help much more on this except to echo what Bald says. I don't know too much about Runepriests.

I don't know what themes are allowed but Ironwrought can offer up some durability. Earthforger is also nice to couple with a Dwarf Fighter. Move into position, away from allies, Standard= Come and Get it to group enemies around you, Minor= Rain of Steel for some added damage against adjacent, Action Point= Stone Panopy: Close Burst one vs. creatures(thus away from allies) grants some resistance and @5 creates a zone of difficult terrain UeoE.

I don't completely agree with the sentiments on the shield and Iron Armbands. You will be doing a decent enough ammount of damage that a small sacrifice to your per attack damage won't be missed but having a good get of trouble enchant on the shield could be a good idea. For long running campaigns IaoP will win but for a one-shot, i don't know. Don't know if i would spend a feat on heavy shield though and definitely not plate.
Err.. ezrider, that is one too many encounter powers from the fighter side.

And as there is a proclaimed preference for meat shields, Guardian may well be his theme of choice. 
Err.. ezrider, that is one too many encounter powers from the fighter side.

And as there is a proclaimed preference for meat shields, Guardian may well be his theme of choice. 


I should have been clearer. Mine was more for a suggestion for Pure fighter.
Guardian is good but eats an immediate whereas Earthforger offers the resist while drawing aggro from grouped enemies. Could just be a waste if playing the current LA because, IIRC, its all mounted flying combat so EF would be useless.
My prefs for Themes
1. Ironwrought
2. Earthforger
3. Guardian
Upon further review it would still work for the hybrid.
CaGI= LvL. 7 Encounter(fighter)
RoS= LvL. 5 Daily(Fighter)
SP=  Theme Attack Power
This should be legal in a hybrid. 
I do not play lair assault, but the OP apparent has not yet, but is intending to. So great work on the spoiler alert.


While Come and Get it certainly has a draw, and you do have a point about his use of immediates, particularly if the OP does go for hybrid talent (combat superiority), are you seriously suggesting that Rain of Steel is a good daily, for a build that does not have damage as a primary concern, and better than Villains Menace? 
In my opinion Rain of Steel just does more of the same, and Villains Menace gives this build one single target focus if needed. 
I do not play lair assault, but the OP apparent has not yet, but is intending to. So great work on the spoiler alert.


While Come and Get it certainly has a draw, and you do have a point about his use of immediates, particularly if the OP does go for hybrid talent (combat superiority), are you seriously suggesting that Rain of Steel is a good daily, for a build that does not have damage as a primary concern, and better than Villains Menace? 
In my opinion Rain of Steel just does more of the same, and Villains Menace gives this build one single target focus if needed. 


I don't know if that's sarcasm on the spoiler alert but i would assume that the OP knows what LAIR he'll be playing to build accordingly.

Rain of steel even with out a damage focus is always a good option for a class that likes to be around/near multiple targets. It is always on constant free damage. Villians menace is great for the single target of your choice BBEG beat down. Would i make that type of sacrifice for a hybrid, IDK. I would really need to see what i could combo that with as far as party members and my hybrid encounters and daily.
If you're 3-manning lair assaults, you can expect the combat to run for 10+ rounds without short rest and raw survival does matter a lot more than it does for a normal group. I wouldn't waste many resources on a +1 AC, though, and would focus on making sure to have encounter long buffs, emergency healing triggers, and very very good at-wills. Multiclassing healer's lore for battle cleric's lore. Swapping from Con/Wis to Str/Con if that's your thing, cause I hear hitting is good. Gives you 3 heals before your items, which includes at least one I see.

So, I mean, it's probably possible to have rune of endless fire (L1 runepriest daily) and rain of steel chugging on a hybrid battlerager/runepriest who is generating 14 temp per round while autodealing damage about, if that's your thing. For a last man standing grindfest it may even be a decent option. 

I think most of the usual CO lore won't necessarily apply to a 3-man lair assault. Who cares if a dimensional vortex is better for protecting your allies if it's just one attack of 80 made. You can't mark everything, because there are waves of enemies and too many and they're spread out. Speaking of spread out, the party is probably all in different places, so it sucks to be a defender anyways. Etc.

I will say, going from 3.5 into a 3-person lair assault sounds a bit crazy to me. Harsh way to learn the rules. 
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Sorry worked over last night didn't get time to read till just now. Yeah hopping into a LA was not my first choice to be sure and we are in the current one with nothing but mounted combat and all one constant drawn out encounter. I'll take a look at the suggestions the first responder had put up tomorrow hopefully. It's Mardi Gras down here and I'm a dealer at a casino so you can imagine how swamped we are right now.

Thank you guys so much for the helpful advice in advance.

Runepriest just looked to have some healing in it. the other two guys rolled up warlock and wizard so I was kinda left to wolves to tank/ self healer. I did a decent enough job last time with the two initial dragons beating on me. I just couldn't keep up. Really the only thing that saved me was the tremendous AC so thats why I charged headlong for it this build.

The ability rolls were 3 tier 7 drop low and I (for once) had some great rolls in the past I have played with a 3 int barbarian much to hilarity of the group basically a giant lapdog a very very stupid one. 
If you are perhaps in the market for swapping out this build for something different i would like to point out this build collection. Perhaps you could find some ideas here. Otherwise good luck and we're glad to help.

Elysian_Fields
after an amazing amount of reading I came up with this character largely revolving around beowulf and thanatos from the elysian fields link above:


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
gabe scenario 2, level 7
Human, Fighter (Weaponmaster)
Build: Brawling Fighter
Fighter Option: Combat Superiority
Fighter Talents Option: Brawler Style
Human Power Selection Option: Heroic Effort
Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 20, CON 16, DEX 16, INT 11, WIS 17, CHA 12

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 17, CON 15, DEX 16, INT 11, WIS 17, CHA 12


AC: 25 Fort: 25 Ref: 20 Will: 21
HP: 71 Surges: 12 Surge Value: 17

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +13, Endurance +13, Heal +11, Intimidate +9

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +6, Arcana +3, Bluff +4, Diplomacy +4, Dungeoneering +6, History +3, Insight +6, Nature +6, Perception +6, Religion +3, Stealth +6, Streetwise +4, Thievery +6

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Human Racial Power: Heroic Effort
Fighter Attack: Combat Challenge
Fighter Attack 1: Grappling Strike
Fighter Attack 1: Slash and Pummel
Fighter Attack 1: Bash and Pinion
Fighter Attack 1: Seize and Stab
Fighter Utility 2: Forceful Drag
Fighter Attack 3: Bull Charge
Fighter Attack 5: Rain of Steel
Fighter Utility 6: Settling the Score
Fighter Attack 7: Come and Get It

FEATS
Level 1: Pin Down
Level 1: Brawler Guard
Level 2: Superior Will
Level 4: World Serpent's Grasp
Level 6: Inescapable Hold

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit
Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier) x1
Steadfast Amulet +2 x1
Dwarven Drakescale Armor +2 x1
Grasping Trident +2 x1
====== End ======

Well, those ability scores make me jealous.


At U6 I would pick the saving throw boost, I think its Clearheaded? (or is that the U10 one? There is one at level 6, I know that much)


As far as feats go, I would definitely grab an expertise feat, and while you're at it, why not a flail and footwork lure for an at-will ?

(Do you have the cash for Drakescale?)     


     
I think he mentioned the armor was a quest reward.

Spending the entire 1800g on Iron Armbands in a Lair Assault is a bold choice.  Unless you are getting a power bonus to damage somewhere else, Gauntlets of Ogre Power basically do the same thing but net you 800g for consumables or more utilitarian items.  They would cost you your single Rare item pick and a minor action, though.

Not saying there's a ton of must-have stuff, but the Gauntlets and even just 2 healing potions sounds better than just the armbands =) 

INSIDE SCOOP, GAMERS: In the new version of D&D, it will no longer be "Edition Wars." It will be "Edition Lair Assault." - dungeonbastard

The old plate was a quest reward.  I don't know how much he'll let me sell it for, but I figured it would be enough to buy some pots. I've been playing around with this guy alot at home trying to get the hang of him and I really think he'll work out. I just wish our party were a little larger and I had some melee help. I think a Cleric/Warlord with this fella would be terrific and I may see if he'll let me run two guys.

@baldhermit yeah I was thinking of picking up Master at arms next level I just wanted superior will now to try and boost my saves for this week that stun while trying to break the seals is going to suck.
to borrow a line from Mythbusters, Failure is always an option.  And the 2nd most fun part of Lair Assault is failing, especially if you can do it spectacularly (there's usually glory points in it!)

if you do TPK, you can always change your character around for the next attempt.  I have played and run a couple LA's where the party went in with completely different expectations of what they would be facing, but after a brutal and bloody wipe they changed a utility power and an item or 2 and proceeded to roll up the place like an old rug on the second attempt.  

Good Luck! 

INSIDE SCOOP, GAMERS: In the new version of D&D, it will no longer be "Edition Wars." It will be "Edition Lair Assault." - dungeonbastard

You also say you are looking for players, what area are you in?  There are a lot of different resources for finding new players (Meetup, forums, penandpapergames etc).
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
 Central Louisiana US more specifically Dragon's nest gaming in PIneville LA thursdays at 18:00 central. yeah if anyone can come by all means hell msg me here I'll give ya a ride.
Might be a bit hard from Kentucky...
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
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