Weekly Optimization Showcase: Robo Tackle

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There have been schedule slips, yes, so "weekly" may be a misnomer at the moment, but we're still ticking!


As usual for the showcase, these builds are intended to spur discussion and perhaps inspire a few people in the spirit of the old CO boards. They come from members of my gaming group - me, Radical Taoist, DisposableHero_, Andarious, Sionnis, and Seishi - and I'll always identify who wrote the build at the start, so do not assume I'm the guy behind all of them (because I'm not!).

Unless otherwise noted, showcase builds use 28 point-buy, and have their snapshots evaluated using fractional base attack / saves (because it simplifies the math). None of them actually rely on fractional to be built, though. The format I use showcases their progression at key levels rather than just presenting the build and showing off a few tricks at level 20; most of these are capable of being played 1-20 if you so choose.

With that out of the way, let's get started. This week, I’m getting my Chrono Trigger on.
------------------
ROBO TACKLE
I Am Iron Man.

Required Books: Eberron Campaign Setting, PHB2, Complete Warrior, Complete Adventurer (one feat), Dungeonscape (one swap), Tome of Battle (optional), Miniatures Handbook (one feat), Complete Champion (one swap), Cityscape web enhancement (one swap, optional).
Unearthed Arcana used: None.
 
Background: This didn’t start out as a theme build – rather, I was toying around with Blood-Spiked Charger on something else and this just sort of happened. It’s an interesting blend of the unconventional and the archetypal – it makes use of weapons no one in their right mind has wielding, and yet operates almost exactly like a stock racial role (that of the warforged juggernaut) while mixing in some action/position control and unusual multipliers. The name comes from my unabashed love for Chrono Trigger, and that largely the build will be trying to tackle targets as a primary means of assault.

The Basics 



  • Race: Warforged. This is a very racially-motivated build.

  •  Ability Scores: 18/8/14/10/12/8 before ability score adjustments (+2 Con, -2 Wis, -2 Cha). Pump Strength all the time; you get quite a bit of mileage out of it.

  • Alignment: As a crusader, you can’t be True Neutral, and you can’t be Lawful here either. We went with Neutral Good. (The good/evil or chaotic/not choice loosely affects your late-game crusader maneuvers.)


Skill Notes: Nope. You’re a stock fighter in heavy armor. Beyond the Jump prerequisite, you have only 40 skill points to spend and not a lot of diversity on your ability scores.

Basic Equipment:
You are your basic equipment. You’ll need a spiked shield and that’s about it. You’ll get the matching armor spikes at level 7 (possibly sooner if you enhance your plating with Fearsome; you’re not a primary Intimidate build, but after Jump, what else are you going to spend your points on?).

Magical Gear Goals: Enhancement bonuses on your armor spikes, shield spikes, armor plating, and shield are a good (if expensive) place to start; I also throw in a battlefist there (helps more than you’d think). In terms of magic enhancements, you can’t do better than Brutal Surge (MIC) on your spikes (ideally both sets); Defending and Ghostward (MIC) on the spikes and plates can help with your durability (both boost your touch AC, and since all of your weapons are always being wielded Defending can get a lot more bang than usual). You’re carrying far more immunities than even your typical warforged; this translates into savings at the bank for other areas (permanent mind blank effects aren’t cheap).  Your Strength score does a lot of heavy lifting and is multiplied in several places, so a higher-than-usual priority on getting that up there counts. (I’m ignoring Strength of My Enemy here, but an item that triggers an augmented form of that can get positively nasty here.

Early on – and for however long you intend to consider a normal charging bull rush tactically – you can get a bit of an extra boost from a Stone Dragon belt linked to Charging Minotaur. Eventually (especially after Brutal Surge) you’ll be triggering bull rushes off of normal attacks (a bull rush can’t substitute for a normal attack the way a trip can, so you can’t combine them), and can give up the belt or switch it over to Mountain Hammer or something. But before then, it’s a lot of bang for cheap. Similarly, you can bring both of your weapons to bear after level 9 with the ever-popular Gloves of the Balanced Hands, but these are quite optional.

If you’re willing to go out on a limb pricewise, attaching Wounding to your armor spikes will be very evil (as you’ll frequently be dealing damage with your armor spikes many, many times over the course of the round). Additionally, you’ll want to look for a warforged-compatible size-enhancer (being constructs, Enlarge Person won’t work), which has a lot of synergy here; the best one printed is the Tauric Belt, but as a minor artifact you might need to quest around for that one. (If you manage to score one, retrain Pushback out for Knockback.) One replacement worth mentioning is a set of Spell Sharing Bracelets (DMG2), which would allow him to borrow a teammate’s Giant Size or Expansion.





The Build.
Build Stub: Fighter 12 / Warforged Juggernaut 5 / Barbarian 1 / Crusader 2.

NOTE: The order in which the feats come online after level 11 is pretty flexible; shift around to taste.
NOTE: There are two ways to allocate a few of the feats, one emphasizing armor spikes, damage, and push distance, and the other emphasizing your shield, tactical pressure, and action control. They play similarly so this is also a matter of taste.

1 – Fighter – (Adamantine Body, Power Attack)

2 – Fighter – (Dungeon Crasher)

*
The first of your real multipliers. A bull rush doesn’t require an attack roll to connect, and with your immense Strength (and possible charge bonuses) you’ll be able to slam people around like a boss. 22 average damage at this level doesn’t tickle.

3 – Fighter – (Improved Bull Rush)

4 – Fighter – (Weapon Focus: Spiked Shield)

5 – Fighter – N/A

6 – Fighter – (Dungeon Crasher II) (Weapon Focus: Armor Spikes)

7 – Warforged Juggernaut – (Armor Spikes 1d6, Expert Bull Rush, Reserved) (Powerful Charge)
*
Beyond the straightforward things here (which should be obvious if you read the class description)? Expert Bull Rush stacks with Dungeon Crasher’s often-unnoticed bonus to break things. You’re already at the point where you can effortlessly break through anything short of an iron door with one standard action (the usual Swiss army chainsaw of Mountain Hammer still needs to chew through its hit points, and it doesn’t recover that fast out of combat), and even an iron door only takes a slightly-above-average roll.

8 – Warforged Juggernaut – (Charge Bonus +1, Construct Perfection I, Extended Charge)

9 – Warforged Juggernaut – (Superior Bull Rush, Construct Perfection II, Healing Immunity) (Blood-Spiked Charger)
*
And here’s where it all comes together.

Blood-Spiked Charger has two maneuvers that you will want to use over and over – Spiked Avalanche and Spike Slam. Both of them take full-round actions to do (though the former can be done as part of a charge), and result in multipliers on your Strength modifier being added as bonus damage to your attacks. Spike Slam is the more straightforward of the two, in that it’s nothing more than a simple, slow attack that does a lot of damage and doesn’t require movement (though you can make it much more tactically interesting if you already have Brutal Surge on your spikes).

The more interesting component here is how both techniques interact with Superior Bull Rush. That ability adds your armor spike damage as automatic damage whenever you make a bull rush. This means you can charge an opponent with a bull rush and trigger Spiked Avalanche, which adds double your Strength modifier as bonus damage to your armor spikes. This means a bull rush (automatic hit, +15 or so on the Strength check at this point without a size enhancer) can automatically deal 1d6+(triple your Strength modifier, probably 3*6 at this point)+(whatever magic is on your spikes)+1d8 (Powerful Charge) damage, plus 8d6+(triple your Strength modifier) if the bull rush pushes a target into a wall. Alternatively you could do a normal spike attack (either through a Spiked Avalanche charge or through Spike Slam, both of which multiply your Strength), and trigger Brutal Surge to get the bull rush (and thus the automatic bonus damage (with boosted Strength on a charge) and possibly the Dungeon Crasher effect). Sure, you don’t get the two-handed Power Attack bonus with armor spikes (and it’s debatable if Power Attack would transfer through Superior Bull Rush anyway), but your Strength does a lot of heavy lifting here without any cost of accuracy instead. That’s something like 5x or 6x your Strength modifier in a single attack (which may or may not automatically hit, and probably repositions your target as well).

Finally, Blood-Spiked Charger has a side benefit. It includes a Pounce-like ability, provided you’re only attacking with armor spikes and a spiked shield (note that you normally can’t combine armor spikes with any other weapon during the same attack routine, but this lets you do so). Furthermore, even the off-hand attack gets the full +2*Strength bonus damage. While this probably isn't anything to write home about, it's unusual enough to draw your attention to it. If you plan on making use of this, buy Gloves of the Balanced Hands to offset the penalties.

10 – Warforged Juggernaut – (Armor Spikes 1d8, Construct Perfection III, Charge Bonus +2)

11 – Warforged Juggernaut – (Construct Perfection V) (Greater Powerful Charge)

12 – Barbarian – (Pounce, Ferocity) (Shock Trooper)
*
Why not expand it out to practically a full Ubercharge? (Full attack with armor spikes, off-hand (via BSC+gloves) spiked shield, secondary slam.) And along the way, we’re getting some extra bull rush versatility from Shock Trooper’s lesser-known maneuvers (which will continue to deal damage thanks to Superior Bull Rush). Domino Rush doesn’t even need a charge to work, so it will trigger off of a Brutal Surge (read: nearly any attack you make, under any circumstances that still allow a swift action, can also bull rush (adding in spike damage) and trip multiple targets).

(Quick aside: The CR at which you need a big boost to damage output is 14. Before this, standard damage output with PA (or, here, serious Strength multiplication) can suffice. Turning on the ubercharging changes the game, and getting it online too early makes the game a bit too monotonous, even for melee, I find.)

Ferocity was picked over standard Rage because it can be used to cover for Initiative - you're still immune to the end-of-rage condition here (sickened), so trigger it as needed. Standard Rage is fine (and can help eke out just a tiny bit of extra juice from your Brutal Surge spikes). Better still is Whirling Frenzy, but I was trying to keep the Unearthed Arcana to a minimum.

13 – Fighter

14 – Fighter – (STYLE FEAT 1 - see below)

15 – Fighter – (STYLE FEAT 2 - see below)

16 – Fighter – (STYLE FEAT 3 - see below)

17 – Fighter

18 – Fighter – (Pushback, Leap Attack)
*
Pushback is a little-known MiniHB feat that’s Knockback’s little brother. You don’t need to be Large to get Pushback, but it only works once per round and only on creatures of your size or smaller. You’re also limited in scope: a successful bull rush only moves the target 5 feet, and it flat-out won’t work if doing so would slam a target into a wall or creature (meaning it won’t work with Dungeon Crasher or Shock Trooper: Domino Rush). We’re looking at it for three other reasons: First, it allows you to move into your enemy’s space after you push them (timing this right on a pounce can let you switch targets more easily, similar to Supreme Cleave), second, it allows you to do directional bull rushes without charging, and finally (more important), it’s a free action to trigger and despite the limitations it’s still a bull rush. This means that no matter what else you’re doing, if you hit anyone at any time with any weapon, even on an attack of opportunity, you can trigger Pushback and add on your armor spike damage for free. If you want further distance (or Dungeon Crasher / Domino Rush) and can spend a swift action, follow it up with a Brutal Surge (meaning in addition to whatever normal attack(s) you make, you can Superior Bull Rush someone twice).

Of course, this isn’t all that impressive, but it’s still something that synergizes with the rest of your build. And it says a lot that there’s more to say on it than there is to say on Leap Attack (largely because you usually aren’t normally getting the 2-handed Power Attack unless you can shield-bash two-handed), even though you’re still making five or six attacks per Ubercharge/Pounce (and that’s without Haste effects).

19 – Crusader – (Steely Resolve 5, Furious Counterstrike) (Shield Block, Revitalizing Strike, Radiant Charge, White Raven Tactics, Lion’s Roar) (Leading the Charge)
*
The crusader levels are largely optional, but at this point there's little if any reason to not look at the tome.

Most of these are to give you better use of your swift actions (they conflict with Brutal Surge, but you won’t always be in a position to use that and you may wish to conserve its charges per day). Sadly, your IL isn’t high enough for Shield Counter, which’d be a godsend here. Radiant Charge / Leading the Charge are there as a way of augmenting your standard charges for Blood-Spiked Charger / ubercharging, and Revitalizing Strike is there as a stand-in for Cure Beam. Devoted Spirit healing isn’t Conjuration (Healing) nor is it supernatural, so it actually bypasses both Healing Immunity and the warforged’s natural resistance to healing magic, giving you full-strength healing if you target yourself.

20 – Crusader – (Indomitable Soul) (Aura of Triumph)
*
Again, DS healing bypasses your healing resistance.


Your style feats
There are three feat slots late in the build that are “open” and can be used to add in synergies and kill moves to your repertoire without resorting to the Tome of Battle (generally you’re using the Tome to augment your swifts). Here are the two styles I mentioned above.



Armor Style:



  1. Weapon Specialization (Armor Spikes) – you’re dealing damage with these pretty frequently, particularly if they’re Brutal Surge, so the prereq isn’t quite as bad as it seems. Still bad, but you'll at least get a lot of mileage out of it.

  2. Melee Weapon Mastery (Piercing) – This prerequisite actually boosts all of your weapons – armor spikes, shield spikes, and even your natural slam (if you’re using a battlefist, it’s piercing).

  3. Driving Attack – This largely replaces Spike Slam as your non-charge kill move (Spike Slam will do more damage on its own, but Driving Attack will do more overall if you’re positioned right.). It gives you a positively beastly bull rush / knockdown add-on effect to your piercing weapon (including adding the +4 bonus from the prerequisite feats and to your bull rush check; flat damage bonuses on your weapon, from enhancement to Power Attack to Collision, also transfer). This means you can attack with your armor spikes as a FRA, trigger Driving Attack, and then get Superior Bull Rush (dealing your armor spike damage again), and possibly either Dungeon Crasher (dealing triple Strength as well as respectable bonus dice of its own) or Shock Trooper: Domino Rush; if you’re close to a wall you finish this off with an automatic knockdown from Driving Attack. (If you’ve already got them right next to the wall, or you reduce the Driving Attack distance enough to still threaten them after they fall down, you can follow this up with Pushback or Brutal Surge, delivering more armor spike damage and possibly another Dungeon Crasher / Superior Bull Rush result.) “Multiplying” your Strength this many times over on a single attack while adding in effective melee position control is the name of the game.


Shield Style:



  1. Improved Shield Bash – This is largely a prerequisite, but if you’re going this route, the increased effective AC means you don’t need to invest quite so expensively in your other gear to protect yourself, and can consider your shield more for its offensive capacities.

  2. Shield Charge – Any time you hit with a shield bash during a charge attack (including Blood-Spiked Charger’s Spiked Avalanche), you can get a free trip attempt. Combine this with multi-targeted Pounce attacks (bash multiple nearby foes), the Pushback feat (shift position after a charge, in between Pounce attacks, as well as adding in armor spike damage), and Brutal Surge shield spikes (send one critical target flying, perhaps into a wall for Dungeon Crasher or into an ally for Shock Trooper: Domino Rush, dealing armor spike damage in the process) to break through defensive lines.

  3. Shield Slam – This becomes an alternative to Spike Slam as your non-charge kill move. While the armor style focused on raw damage and position control, Shield Slam works on the action economy. It takes a full-round action of its own to perform (although unlike Spike Slam, you can combine it with a normal shield-bash charge – including Blood Spiked Charger’s Spiked Avalanche / Shield Charge / Pounce / Pushback), and dazes its target on a hit (the Fortitude DC is based on your maxed-out Strength, or in the neighborhood of 32 as snapshotted here). A Dazed target can take no actions on its next turn, and unlike many other effects it’s rather hard to become immune to Daze (I can only think of one obscure feat offhand that does this – unlike, say, stunning, no creature type gives blanket immunity to daze. Most of the small number of magic items that can block it are limited in uses per day as well). Combine with Brutal Surge + (Dungeon Crasher and/or any of Shock Trooper’s maneuvers), Superior Bull Rush, and the multi-targeted Pounce attacks (including a Pushback reposition (and an instance of your armor spike damage) if need be) and you can really ruin several people’s days.




Snapshot: Get the usual +6 items on Strength and Constitution, and tome up Strength by 5. (Ideally you’d also tome Con by 4, but with several weapons to enhance we’ll leave this out of your snapshot). You’re finishing off with 240 expected HP (DR 2/adamantine before any other gear or maneuvers), a base attack of +18 (melee +36 with Greater Magic Weapon; you have a +12 Strength modifier (before any size increasers and assuming you’re not Ferocious) and most of your abilities have ways of tripling that on damage), and the most hilariously out-of-balanced saves ever seen on the showcase, +23/+4/+5. However, you basically have the full set of Construct immunities (including mind-affecting, necromancy, ability damage, ability drain, and critical hits), and a few Devoted Spirit healing abilities.

More to the point, you’ve got two interacting tactical feats and lots of charge / bull rush synergy, often with trigger effects added on top of those (such as Superior Bull Rush and Dungeon Crasher). Between Dungeon Crasher and Blood-Spiked Charger, you have plenty of options for multiplying your Strength score on damage rolls without using the usual ubercharge tricks (although you have those too), and a nontraditional tactical kill move (either Driving Attack or Shield Slam depending on your choices above).

You also pack on a few extra benefits on charges beyond the typical ubercharge options (such as Leading the Charge and the ability to shuffle around during a pounce with Pushback), and have a hidden bonus on breaking through objects (+27 before any other modifiers such as size – that’s enough to effortlessly rip through just about anything in the DMG with a Strength check alone). As a warforged with increased emphasis on Fighter-style passive boosts, you really can do this all day.

Overall Strengths: Ridiculous triggering, almost like the Pinball Brothers in this regard (except Robo’s almost more like the ball). Makes use of unconventional weapons, including expert use of a shield (something that’s contentious around here) – and except for the shield, all of his important gear is part of him (and you can easily shatter restraints and walls given a mere standard action), so the stereotypical “you’re stripped and thrown in jail” scenario won’t slow you down. Sustained damage even if you’re concentrating on his prodigious positioning-control effects, and impressive baseline durability (both numerically and in terms of pre-equipment immunities) to make sure he can sustain that pressure.

There’s also the side benefit that the concept and mechanical execution is pretty close to established fluff on the Warforged (they favor Fighter, Juggernaut is an iconic PrC, and warforged juggernauts are expected to charge and push things around; all the non-Fighter classes are very fighter-like and built to avoid an XP penalty). This means that even with the unconventional weaponry, you’re not very likely to trip conservative DMs’ itchy ban-hammer triggers.

Overall Weaknesses: Did you see his saving throws? Even with mind-affecting immunity and the slight trap sense from Dungeon Crasher, you’ll probably want to invest there. He’s also very focused on a single damage type (piercing, although I think you can still do a normal bludgeoning shield bash using the side of a spiked shield, Spartan-style), and his weapons tend to not be compatible with the cheapest damage multiplier (2H power attack – although I think you can do this with the shield, I’m not certain; they compensate by dealing their damage many, many times over instead of in one lump sum).

Variants:  I included two options for the free feats above (one putting emphasis on pushing targets around and dealing damage, and another focused on making a shield a deadly tool that monkeys with action economies). Other feat selections are possible. You can also try more dramatic shifts – I have a mostly-finished build that makes use of Blood-Spiked Charger and Warforged Juggernaut, but employs the MM3’s Warforged Charger as the base race (they’re pricey (4HD, +4LA), but they have ridiculous ability score modifications and can qualify for Knockback and possibly even War Hulk if you want to get that multiplicative Strength score as high as possible). If there's interest, I'll post it as an addendum to this thread.


There you have it. Despite the delays, I'm quite tickled with how this build plays - weapons and mechanics that aren't frequently used, implementing tactics that are pretty iconic, and with plenty of style along the way.

Next up: I'm putting together an index thread for all of this, and there'll be a change to how voting works when that's finished. The delay will be worth it, as there's about a dozen new showcases in progress and you'll see most (or all) of them shortly. There's also some news in the works for the showcase, and I'll fill you in on that as soon as I can. 

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)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

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.

Hey Tempest. I just wanted to thank you, Radical Taoist, DisposableHero_, Andarious, Sionnis, and Seishi for all the work you put into these showcases. They've helped brainstorm quite a few ideas for myself and I am vastly intrigued on the thought process behind the variety of builds. 

Your group has made me aware to a side of D&D that I have not had the privilege to experience. The mix of optimization, roleplaying, and awareness of group dynamics is refreshing and something I only wish I could get close to with my current group. (You have also started me seriously looking into openRPG and other online gaming programs...)

Anyway. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

*Edit Spelling 
You're welcome.
Alignment: As a crusader, you can’t be neutral, and you can’t be Lawful here either. We went with Neutral Good. (The good/evil or chaotic/not choice loosely affects your late-game crusader maneuvers.)


Hum, ok, how are you doing that? And about the shield slam (from complete warrior p 105):

Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be dazed.

It would have been too good to be true. Apart from that, nice build idea.
He means can't be True Neutral, it's a Crusader thing. This build can basically run CE, NE, CG, or CN as well as NG. Crusader implies that NE, CN, and NG are the most acceptable of the available alignments but doesn't explicitly say you can't be CE or CG.
Alignment: As a crusader, you can’t be neutral, and you can’t be Lawful here either. We went with Neutral Good. (The good/evil or chaotic/not choice loosely affects your late-game crusader maneuvers.)


Hum, ok, how are you doing that?


"True" Neutral, as Andarious suggested. Edited that in.

And about the shield slam (from complete warrior p 105):

Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be dazed.

It would have been too good to be true. Apart from that, nice build idea.


That's not a property of the types so much as a property of Shield Slam that I missed. The type index lists things like immunity to critical hits but does not say anything is blanket-immune to daze. The Daze description works similarly (compare to how Paralyzed references Helpless?). Still a good point and I'll find a way to edit that in soon.

In the meantime, the Driving Attack route still works as advertised, and both of these options are high-level.

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)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

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.

Would you mind posting that Warforged Charger variant? It's very rare that I ever see builds using races with an LA above 2.
Would you mind posting that Warforged Charger variant? It's very rare that I ever see builds using races with an LA above 2.


I haven't had time to put this together in a super-nice format, but here's the skinny and the snapshot.
Bearcupine
Race: Warforged Charger (MM3).

Level __ Class __ Feature __ Feat __ Ability Mods
1 Racial HD __ Adamantine Fists, 75% Fortification, 2 slam attacks __ Adamantine Body*, Powerful Charge*, Improved Bull Rush __ Str+10, Con+10, Int-6, Wis-4, Cha-8, AC+8, DR2/Adm
2 Racial HD
3 Racial HD __ Power Attack
4 Racial HD __ Str+1
5 Barbarian __ Lion Totem, Whirling Frenzy __ {Rage: Str+4, AC+2, Reflex+2, Flurry}
6 Fighter __ Weapon Focus x2 (Armor Spikes, Spiked Shield)
7 Warforged Juggernaut __ Armor Spikes, Expert Bull Rush, Reserved
8 Warforged Juggernaut __ Construct Perfection 1, Extended Charge __ Str+1
9 Warforged Juggernaut Construct Perfection 2, Superior Bull Rush, Healing Immunity __ Blood-Spiked Charger
10 Bear Warrior __ Bear Form (Black) __ {Rage now: Str,+8 Dex+2, Con+4, AC+2, Reflex+2, Flurry}
11 Fighter __ Cleave
12 War Hulk __ No Time To Think __ Extra Rage __ Str+3
13 War Hulk __ Great Swing __ Str+2
14 War Hulk __ Mighty Rock Throwing __ Str+2
15 War Hulk __ Mighty Swing __ Knockback __ Str+2
16 War Hulk __ Str+3
Levels 17-20 unavailable due to level adjustment. 

Snapshot: +6 to Str/Con, Tomed for 5 and 4 respectively. WITHOUT a rage, 46/12/30/3/4/1. (You are super genius!). Rage changes that to 54/14/34 on the first three, but I'll assume no rage for the rest of the snapshot: 310 expected HP, 19 grand total skill points, base attack +9 (stupid war hulk - but we're getting extra attacks in through the bear warrior's natural attacks and Blood Spiked Charger's effects, as in Robo Tackle), saves of +28/+4/+0 (with mind-affecting immunity on top of a bunch of others). 


 


Notes from the build doc:

Got a rather comical approach here resulting in a robot bear/gorilla/porcupine that menaces with spikes.

LA shaving techniques (buyoff) can squeeze in +2 Juggernaut (for immunity to ability damage - the mental scores suck) or moar War Hulk or Bear Warrior, plus feat slots for Endurance + Steadfast Determination, or any of the insane +Str/+Size templates.

It might also be worth checking with a DM how Bear Form interacts with the PHB2 Berserker Strength option (possibly saves an Extra Rage feat), or if you can refluff the bear warrior into the *boar* warrior (entirely because "boarcupine" is a more painful pun).

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)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

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.

In the build you say "Levels 17-20 absorb the level adustment". Is that legal? I was under the impression that you had to take the LA before taking your racial HD/class levels.  
In the build you say "Levels 17-20 absorb the level adustment". Is that legal? I was under the impression that you had to take the LA before taking your racial HD/class levels.  


Shorthand. Realistically (level by level) you'd have them at the beginning, but people are used to seeing feats, say, at 1, 3, 6... instead of at 5, 7, 10.... It's not really absorbing the LA so much as not being able to be taken without dropping the LA. 

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)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

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.

In the build you say "Levels 17-20 absorb the level adustment". Is that legal? I was under the impression that you had to take the LA before taking your racial HD/class levels.  


Shorthand. Realistically (level by level) you'd have them at the beginning, but people are used to seeing feats, say, at 1, 3, 6... instead of at 5, 7, 10.... It's not really absorbing the LA so much as not being able to be taken without dropping the LA



I'm having a brainfart right now. Could you rephrase the bolded part? Does it mean that the character can't be played without houseruling the LA away?


Also, I made posts in the Uncanny Trapsmith and Storm Knight threads. You may want to check them out.  
Would it be easier to follow if I just said that levels 17 to 20 cannot be taken because of the level adjustment?

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)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

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.

Would it be easier to follow if I just said that levels 17 to 20 cannot be taken because of the level adjustment?




Oooh..okay, I see what you're saying now. Yes that would probably be easier to follow.  
Well... 17 could, if you use UA buyoff.
"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
Well... 17 could, if you use UA buyoff.


...which I do mention, you know.

It's almost like no one reads what's in that sblock anyway... 

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)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

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... I just missed it, man. I'm sorry.
"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
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