How can I improve my AC?

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So, I'm putting together my first 3.5/Pathfinder character (Human Fighter, level 20) just to get a handle on the system, and my AC seems really low. I've got a 22 in Dexterity (Belt of Physical Perfection) and Armor Training 4 with +5 Scale Mail and the Dodge feat. Totted up, my AC is only 28. It seems low to me 'cause I'm a 4e player, but I have no basis for comparison. Is that average? Low? Just right? If it is low, how do I make it higher? Oh, I'm not using a shield because I have a greatsword (is that also not a good idea?)
Check this X stats gives Y bonus thread (second post) to see how to boost your AC. There are other options like +5 defending spikes on your armor, but the thred I linked will be a good start.
Make sure you staack bonuses of different kinds. For example try to get an animated sheild (shield bonus) a ring of deflection (deflection bonus) an amulet of natural armor (natural armour bonus) your scalemail is giving you an armour ac, but if you can make it mythril it will add all of your dex which will give you another 2 points of ac. Stacking these multiple modifiers will give you a good overall AC but also will give you a passable flatfooted and touch armour class. There are probably otherways I missed off the top of my head and scythal is right for finding ways to add more stats. Hope this helps
So, I'm putting together my first 3.5/Pathfinder character (Human Fighter, level 20) just to get a handle on the system, and my AC seems really low. I've got a 22 in Dexterity (Belt of Physical Perfection) and Armor Training 4 with +5 Scale Mail and the Dodge feat. Totted up, my AC is only 28. It seems low to me 'cause I'm a 4e player, but I have no basis for comparison. Is that average? Low? Just right? If it is low, how do I make it higher? Oh, I'm not using a shield because I have a greatsword (is that also not a good idea?)


Okay, several things.

First, welcome to the game.

Second, I'm not intimately familiar with Pathfinder's rules, so all the advice I give here will be standard 3.5. At a broad level they're interchangeable, but there may be a few (and possibly significant) differences in the details.

Third, why is your first character starting out at 20th level? High-level play, regardless of class, is a complicated beast of a game in terms of all the circumstances, options, and numbers you need to juggle in order to just stay alive.

Fourth, your experience with 4e is showing in that you're looking at a single-classed character with minimalistic gear and expecting a competent result. That's realistically only possible with four of the Big Five classes (Wizard, Druid, Cleric, and Archivist; the fifth, Artificer, is kind of mutually exclusive with minimalist gear). Optimization in 3.5 is a bit more complex than in 4e because it involves looking at interaction between multiple classes, interaction between myriad pieces of equipment, and interaction between your classes and your equipment (in addition to the feats and magic). All of these get MUCH more complicated to do at higher levels - not only is the game putting harder challenges against you, but you have more potential choices to make and more interactions to consider between each choice.

Fifth, let's look directly at your AC. I note you're using scale mail. In 3.5, virtually everyone who cares about armor will wear light armor of some sort (the core example is a mithral breastplate) because it doesn't lower your speed. A few will use heavy armor, but these usually have some specific interaction with heavy armor that won't work with light. I can count the number of cases where you might want to consider medium armor on one hand and still have fingers to spare.

Sixth, Frost Fire's entirely right about bonus stacking (although the animated shield is perhaps a bit much). At the barest minimum (i.e. the NPC equipment), high-level characters usually have armor, shield, dexterity, deflection, natural armor, and at least one other bonus type (usually luck or insight through some odd wondrous item), and several of these are separately enhanced through equipment. That's without looking at other gear or buff effects (i.e. I'm only thinking about permanent magic items, not items that cast a buff spell on you), or at non-AC defensive measures (miss chances, damage reduction, immunities, etc). You have a lot to consider.

Seventh, a huge part of your gameplay as a warrior in 3.5 comes from your feats. I can't really emphasize this enough, and I don't really know what you took or why.

Finally, don't worry about skipping out on a shield. The way that melee deals damage in 3.5 is through the Power Attack feat, and that's most effective by far if you're using a two-handed weapon. The greatsword is almost always the best choice in the core books among the martial two-handers. (A few builds will use the falchion, guisarme, or (much rarer) heavy flail or scythe; if you have space for an Exotic Weapon feat, the usual choice is the spiked chain.) I'd be happy to explain what I mean with all of this at a later time; getting to know the intricacies of Power Attack can be a bit overwhelming if you're new to the system and starting at a high level.


Personally, I would suggest switching to a Warblade (Tome of Battle) if possible. Fluffwise they're identical to the fighter, but the class is much better designed - and it's closer to the 4e mentality both in how it plays and in how it works with its gear. (I.e. it has "maneuvers" that are similar to encounter powers, and unlike Fighters, warblades generally need very little gear to remain reasonably competitive. They're also much more forgiving for new players - it's hard to build a bad warblade, and easy to correct if you make a choice you don't like.)

Look through my signature (or this thread) for examples of what I mean. There's quite a few melee builds to show you what the game's like there, and they're all annotated to explain the thought processes at most levels.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[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.

Just to breifly build off of tempest each of his build offer insight on to choices and as to why they are good choices. This is important to know because finding knowledge on 3.5 can be a pain but throughout his showcases tempest (and his group as a whole) are good at explaining choices and how they can affect a character and their overall development. Finally is this a real character for a game or is it just to familiarize yourself to the system?
Chahar aina and dastana on top of a chain shirt. Amusingly enough, they get better if you aren't allowed Dragon, as there's a totally-against-the-book nerf in a dragon. Otherwise, you can get +X chahar aina, +Y dastana, and +Z chain shirt, andwind up with a 6+X+Y+Z bonus. Combined with an animated shield, it's decent.

This is ignoring a problem, though: AC is expensive. The bare minimum for efficiency is something like level+25. Anything lower than that, and you'll be hit anyways, so it's not worth it. In reality, you want much closer to level+30.

Also? Dodge sucks. Get rid of it. Power attack is where it's at. Also, fighter sucks, and pathfinder sucks worse. Makes everything wrong with 3.5 worse. Just go plain 3.5, it's easier and better. Warblade, as Tempest said, is probably your best bet. And by that I mean it's actually decent.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Hey guys, thanks for the advice. I made this character in order to get familiar with the game. I started at level 1 and went through the process of leveling up to 20.

Sorry to say, but the only source I've got right now is the core rulebook, so I can't use a Warblade. Am I right in assuming that my enhancement bonuses should go up every 4 levels? So at level 4 it's +1, level 8 is +2, level 12 is +3, etc.

In terms of magic items, is it a case of 'buy everything you can afford' or is there some way of determining, 'at level X you need N items'? On that note, are the values on the Wealth by Level table cumulative, or do I only have the amount that it shows for the level?

With Power Attack, I'm assuming a -6 penalty/+18 damage (with a two-handed weapon) at level 20. Is that how the feat works?

Okay, last question (for now): my static damage modifier is at +20 (+10 Strength+5 Enhancement+4 Weapon Spec./Improved Weapon Spec. and a +1 I can't remember right now). I'm guessing this is also very low. What is the standard target number?

Thanks again!     
Wealth is limited. Being good at something is expensive. Specialize.

Also, +20 is crap.  One should easily be able to have over a +60 damage bonus without even trying, without any exotic items or multipliers. The "standard" at level 20 should be enough to one-shot an enemy every round. 'Cuz, you know, an enemy with 1HP can kill you just as easily as an enemy with full. Your minimum target damage a round at  level 20 is 410.

Also, level up bonus isn't enhancement. It's an actual increase in the stat.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
With Power Attack, I'm assuming a -6 penalty/+18 damage (with a two-handed weapon) at level 20. Is that how the feat works?


That's how the Pathfinder version works.  The 3.5 version is very different.
Don't pay much attention to Erudite Ape, he plays a different game then everyone else.


First, you're a PF fighter, you want Mithral Full Plate +5, Soulfire. You are auto proficient and your speed is not reduced in full armor. That's AC 24.

You want an Animated Large Shield +5.  That's now AC 31.
You want a Ring of Protection +5 and an Amulet of Natural Armor +5. that's AC 41.
Your 22 Dex is +6. That's AC 47. 
You want Bracers +1 of Heavy Fortification to stop crits. 
+5 Defending Armor Spikes is cheese, but see if it's allowed. That'll get you to AC 52, which is extremely high even at level 20 if you are not resorting to polymorph cheese for massive AC bonuses.

Your Dex is fine, your Armor Training will get you most of the bonus.  However, you need to see if you can buy inherent bonuses and get your stats up more.

You want the Two Handed PF Fighter archetype, if you are allowed it.

In PF, you have to BUY all this stuff. You should have a GP figure given to you by your DM telling you how much you can buy.  

You want an Helm that can give you Mind Blank all day, or, failing that, protection from evil, to stop you from being dominated by the enemy.    

Check the Lockdown link in my sig for some ideas on what a high level fighter needs to function. It's a very different game then 4e.

==Aelryinth       
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
Right now, including the Belt of Physical Perfection, my STR is 30. Can I boost it higher than that? Would Defending Armor Spikes be an armor or weapon enchantment? I`m guessing armor, but it seems like the only enchantments you can put on the spikes are weapon. Also, is it possible to have three Ioun stones of the same color?

@Erudite: What are some good ways to raise my static damage modifier?

These answers have been really helpful so far. Thanks a lot!
You have no business having lower than 34 (18+5+5+6) strength.

Multipliers are cool.

Also, seriously, Pathfinder sucks. 
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
You cant to my knowledge stack the same colour modifiers.
@frost.fire: Okay, got it. Thanks!

@EruditeApe: Where is the extra 5 coming from in your example? I see 18 (ability score) and 6 (Belt of Physical Perfection?) and 5 from leveling up. Is the extra 5 from the Wish spell? I guess 1 could come from another Ioun stone, but how else can an ability score be raised?

Also, would you elaborate on your 'Pathfinder sucks' statement? (Not arguing, just want to know why/how.)
@EruditeApe: Where is the extra 5 coming from in your example? I see 18 (ability score) and 6 (Belt of Physical Perfection?) and 5 from leveling up. Is the extra 5 from the Wish spell? I guess 1 could come from another Ioun stone, but how else can an ability score be raised?

Stat tome.
Also, would you elaborate on your 'Pathfinder sucks' statement? (Not arguing, just want to know why/how.)

Pathfinder nerfs melee and buffs casters even more. lolcasterwin is one of the core problems with 3.5 anyways. Power Attack is weaker. Every melee option is weaker. It's really generally a bad deal.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
I'm on my phone and won't have a keyboard until tomorrow, but I'll see what I can do to write a primer for this them (and, EA, I think I've understood your point and why we were arguing past each other earlier. I've revised my advice accordingly.)


While I'm here, EA, I'll also see about compiling a list of questions we've raised about WBL for that guide. Questions that we've asked that you said were easy would be a good place to start, I think, ans I don't mind helping where I can.

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.

Pathfinder nerfs melee and buffs casters even more. lolcasterwin is one of the core problems with 3.5 anyways. Power Attack is weaker. Every melee option is weaker. It's really generally a bad deal.

I'd have to check over the spell details to offer a real opinion on Pathfinder spellcasters, though from what I've browsed occasionally, they seem to have worked on some problematic spells while overlooking others.

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

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

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
If I recall correctly they fixed a lot of the weak core classes (total monk overhaul for example) but didn't address a lot of the diversitty between casters and melee. Sure helping some of the weaker melee out is nice, but it isn't closing that main power gap between caster and melee
Does the errata of 3.5 address any of these issues? I just ordered the books, so, here's hoping!
Pathfinder nerfs melee and buffs casters even more. lolcasterwin is one of the core problems with 3.5 anyways. Power Attack is weaker. Every melee option is weaker. It's really generally a bad deal.

I'd have to check over the spell details to offer a real opinion on Pathfinder spellcasters, though from what I've browsed occasionally, they seem to have worked on some problematic spells while overlooking others.

Except they really didn't at all. The books are pretty much trahs except for the fact that they give wizards some fancy new toys. I'm especially looking at all that extra abilitiy to wreck the action economy.
If I recall correctly they fixed a lot of the weak core classes (total monk overhaul for example) but didn't address a lot of the diversitty between casters and melee. Sure helping some of the weaker melee out is nice, but it isn't closing that main power gap between caster and melee

Except they really didn't. PF Monk is still trash.
Does the errata of 3.5 address any of these issues? I just ordered the books, so, here's hoping!

Well, it's not Pathfinder, so yes. 
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
PF Fighter is better than 3.5 fighter, hands down, as a chasis anyway. The big nerf happened to Power Attack, and inherantly got even worse because of all the intellectual property feats that you can't get in PF (Leap Attack, Shock Trooper, etc...) 

If you want to be effective as a "melee" don't even worry about Fighter or Warblade single class. I LOVE a good single class build, don't get me wrong. You'll see in Tempest's sig that most of my builds are inf act single class. I do it for the challenge, more than anything, and sometimes to optimize a big juicy looking class feature that needs some love.

One of your best otpions is to use Barbarian, even if you can't get Complete Champion. The gigantic Str bonus (capping you at a minimum of 42 instead of EA's 34 requirement) will bring you to the forefront of to hit and damage. You're more limited in feat selection than a fighter, but if you don't have a LOT of books that means squat really, your attack bonus is 3 higher, at 20, than a fighter  who has Greater Weapon Focus (which you can't take). That 3 AB turns into 6 damage, which beats the 4 damage they get out of specialization. You have more HP/level, you have Damage Reduction /-.

You can trip better than they can because your Str is +4 bonus higher, meaning that even if they go MAD to get Combat Expertise and Improved Trip you're probably still winning the trip off because you didn't have to dump points into Int. If you have a really high point buy and can get Int up to squeeze in Improved Trip as well as using a Spike chain you're doing pretty well.

PF Barbarian has something neat working for it though, Intimidate. It won't work on a lot of creatures, sadly, but the cost to gain serious intimidate ability is basically 1-3 feats, 1-2 Rage powers, over your first 8 levels. If you get all these things online, you can in one turn render all opponents in 30' shaken, and the next render them panicked. OR if fighting fewer opponents than that action cost would be worth it to use, simply make a full attack and go with a free action intimidate, and in the following round, if it looks like a good idea cause the poor sap to become panicked.

Intimdating Glare, Terrifying Howl are your rage powers. Intimidating Prowess, Weapon Focus, and Dazzling Display are the key feats. You can also get Bullying Blow or Cornugon Smash in order to cause single target intimidation without using actions other than attacking.

Damage is neat, and AC is comforting. At the end of the day though, not getting attacked beats getting missed every time. Tripping and panicking oppents works well for melee. 
If you're playing a 3.5 barbarian, you can get Improved Trip for free, and without Combat Expertise or a high Int. just use the Wolf Totem Barbarian in the SRD.
"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
Except they really didn't at all. The books are pretty much trahs except for the fact that they give wizards some fancy new toys. I'm especially looking at all that extra abilitiy to wreck the action economy.

It's been a while since I looked, and shapechange is the only spell I remember offhand.
 Except they really didn't. PF Monk is still trash.

Hmm, they really don't seem to have done much.  It's on the sort of level I had for my Spirit Monk upgrade, but I was deliberately building on the original structure to retain compatability.

Where I favoured seeing invisible/ethereal, flash-stepping, Wis to attacks, and a move-attack halfbreed with mobile flurry, they appear to have preferred jumping, small ki boosts, the combat maneuver bonus, and Stunning Fist options.

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

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

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Are things like Trip, Stagger, Blind, etc. worth putting resources into? I guess it depends on the purpose of the build, but in general, how powerful are these added effects?
Are things like Trip, Stagger, Blind, etc. worth putting resources into? I guess it depends on the purpose of the build, but in general, how powerful are these added effects?

Not at all. They're weak. Especially so if you don't know what you're doing.

As I've said, specialize. It's the only way to be good at anything.
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
Okay, got it. Thanks! 
It depends on the application; trip is mainly for preventing people from moving around freely, and there are easy ways to get it.  Blind is good if you can pull it off, and staggered is a slow-type effect against which there aren't many defenses.

But you shouldn't think of any one of them as more than a means to an end, and they're all about controlling and limiting your opponents.  They're tools that you might use to handle your enemies, but don't spend more effort on getting them than the return merits.

For example, if you've got tripping set up as a defense against uberchargers (depending on exact rulings and application), that's fine, as long as you didn't devote too much of your character build to it.

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

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

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
If you're playing a PF fighter, higher level feats go to Dazing Strike, which is silly good, and the Critical Feat lines (esp the feat which lets humans change their critical hit feats).


Seriously, however, you probably want to play a barbarian if you can.

The option of getting SUperstition to boost all your saves, Pounce, Strength Surge to help with special manuvers, scaling DR, Str/con bonus from rage, the ability to sunder any spell, and Robilar's Gambit in the Come and Get Me ability, as well as auto scaling dodge or nat AC bonuses if you like, means the barbarian tends to totally outclass the fighter in terms of versatility, and is comparable on normal power.

And unless you're playing a game where you can buy off the TH penalty of Power attack (i.e. with Shock Trooper), or arrange massive unrealistic To Hit bonuses, the PF Power attack is actually better then 3.5, because you get more damage for less of a penalty. The only way 3.5 is better is if you can basically buy off the miss penalty with every blow.

The whole polymorph chain was nerfed, and a lot of other problem spells were addressed, especially a lot of save or dies. Too, many of the most abused spells in 3.5 don't exist in PF, which is also a big help...and things like the stacking cleric spells that made clerics fight better then fighters don't stack any more, either.

==Aelryinth  
              
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
When you say 'buy off' the TH penalty, are you talking about raising my ability score so high that losing my BAB is negligible? (Assuming the 3.5 version of Power Attack)
No. Shock Trooper (as a specific example) allows you to assign those points taken off as a penalty to AC, instead of to-hit, on a charge. So, for example, a 10th-level fighter with Shock Trooper could charge with a greatsword & get +20 damage at the expense of -10 AC, plus the charging penalty to AC. And there are ways of upping the damage multipliers, too.
"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
Ah, OK. I'm assuming then that whatever you hit is dead, so you don't have to worry about getting hit back?
That, and AC can be made secondary to another defense like Invisibility, or Huge DR, why not both? Another fun example of a build that does this is a Psychic Warrior build using Shock Trooper, Robilar's Gambit and Vampyric Blade. Wherein he will be hit easily due to low AC(still missed due to Concealing Amorpha power), for less (Due to Biofeedback power), and then hit back and heal himself.

There's a lot of neat ways to work around the small downside to Shock Trooper, even if you don't get to kill your opponent before they can hit you. 
Wait, I'm confused. How do you not kill your opponent with Shock Trooper?
Customer Disservice of the House of Trolls Resident Secretly Ron Paul God of Spite and Sloth
propably no oriental for valorous(always wrire this one wrong) and leapattack without errata
There's enough ways, although their frequency isn't all that high. Immediate-action teleports, attack negations, proper defensive buffs (less of a factor as the battle's duration grows, due to dispels) and, at the risk of starting another flamefest, Elusive Target's Negate Power Attack. And all of that assumes you've met the conditions to charge, which can prevent Shock Trooper before it even begins.

It's a powerful rocket. But it can be blocked or misdirected. Not easily, and not all that commonly, but it can.

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.

So, I got my 3.5 books and just thumbing through I can see that, yes, the fighter sucks. It seems like it would be quite easy to bring the PF version into a 3.5 game (ignoring CMB/CMD). Setting aside that playing a straight fighter is a less than optimal choice, what other kinds of issues would that present? From what I can see, it'd be a straight upgrade as both a single class and a base for multiclassing.
The problems with fighters specifically are:

Feats are less powerful then class features. Thus, feats as class features suckeths.
In 3.5, tons of dead levels. In Pathfinder, Bravery is useless, and Armor Training is only maybe good. 
Fighters have a poor will save. Without something to overcome this, they get preyed on in 3.5 with this.
Fighters have low skill point totals. For a completely non-magical class devoted to training, training and more training, this is deplorable. Their skill list is also poor.

Melee in 3.5 has the general problem of not getting a full attack, or multiple attacks, when they move. This is why archers are so powerful...they don't have to move, and can get tons of full attacks and really shine. This is why Pounce is so powerful, or the ability to make swift/immediate action teleports...you can move and make full attacks. At higher levels it's almost impossible to stop a charge or full attack...the combo of flying, true sight and/or porting is really hard to withstand.

Valorous is from complete champion, not Oriental Adventures. Doubles your damage on a charge attack (stacking normally).

And yes, you got Shock Trooper exactly. At 6th level where it kicks in, if you've got a Valorous Weapon with Leap Attack, you're going to be doing a minimum of 50-60 points when you attack, per attack, which will wipe anything CR5 or less right off the bat. Two attacks will kill anything under CR7, if they both hit. Kinda don't have to worry about AC from something twitching in two parts on the ground.

==Aelryinth      


        
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
At level 6, if you fight an EL 9 that's okay, if it's your only required encounter for the day basically. Which could mean 2 CR 6's and a CR 5, for example. You won't kill them all in a single charge EA, I don't care how cool you are. Having options that help keep you alive, by avoiding some or all of your opponents retaliating is a good idea. Specialization is good, leaving available options on the table to take something weak that adds to what you specialize in rather than something really strong that doesn't is just dumb.
Andarious, would you be so kind as to explain what you meant by that last part?
"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
The problems with fighters specifically are:

Feats are less powerful then class features. Thus, feats as class features suckeths.
In 3.5, tons of dead levels. In Pathfinder, Bravery is useless, and Armor Training is only maybe good. 
Fighters have a poor will save. Without something to overcome this, they get preyed on in 3.5 with this.
Fighters have low skill point totals. For a completely non-magical class devoted to training, training and more training, this is deplorable. Their skill list is also poor.

While I don't disagree, the thing I'd say with feats isn't so much that they're less powerful than class features (feats like Leadership can even be more powerful than entire characters), but that the fighter class goes to 20th level, while feats rarely get anywhere near it.

The fighter gets bonus feats as his primary high-level class feature, but there are almost no feats designed for high level (Weapon Supremacy is the highest one I remember offhand, and it's pretty much alone up there).

Pathfinder has a few more, I think, but you're generally relying on specific synergies from lower-level feats, instead of having the flexibility of combining higher-level effects in interesting ways (as you might with spells).

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

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

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Again, thanks for all the advice/discussion. It's really helpful. I've seen mentioned several times the importance of a multiplier. What is that, exactly? I'm guessing it's an enchantment/feat/alternate class feature that lets you roll damage over and over again. Can you give me some specific examples? And are any available in the PHB1?
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