Optimize damage (Bear warrior)

23 posts / 0 new
Last post

Hi every fellow optimizers. I need your help with my Bear warrior build!

The main purpose is to optimize damage output. Right now I am level 9 (build is presented further down), and I am not quite sure where to go after my five levels of bear warrior. My idea is to pick either “figher 2” or “fist of the forest 3” at level 12, but I can’t decide. At level 13 I had planned to progress as Warblade and picking “Crushing weight of the mountain” stance to complement my improved grab from brown bear form, and then picking Pouncing strike maneuver at level 15. I would then be able to use full iterative with my unarmed strikes and my three natural weapons as secondaries, finishing with a grapple on one or two of the claw attacks, with constricting damage from my stance.

However there is a long way to level 15 and right now I am lacking damage when moving. What can I do to somewhat overcome this? My GM won’t let me pick up pounce (lion totem variant or “snow tiger berserker” feat), so the only pounce option is “pouncing strike” at level 15.

I was considering going fighter at level 12 and spend my fighter feat on improved bulrush so I qualify to “Shock trooper” feat at level 15 (the same level I get pouncing charge), but it seems that the headless charges only works with the first attack of the pounce, and therefore I am not sure it’s worth it. I also consider “snap kick” feat at level 12, but which feats should I then pick at level 15 and 18 (leap attack with 1:1 power attack?)? And if I pick snap kick at level 12, what class should I get at that level? And if I should pick fighter, what feat can you recommend? I can’t seem to find any useful fighter feats besides improved bulrush for qualifying for shock trooper. Am I missing something?

So TL;DR: I need inputs to improve my build. All kind inputs are appreciated; including comments regarding the build in general (for an instance regarding my earlier levels), so next time I want to play a bear warrior, it will be even better built.

This is the build so far (I am level 9 at the moment):
Human














































































































LevelClassFeats
Level 1Monk 1Endurance, Great fortitude, Improved grapple (monk), Impr. Unarmed Strike (Monk), Steadfast determination (flaw)

Level 2

Monk 2

Combat reflexes (Monk)
Level 3Barbarian 1Extra rage
Level 4Figher 1Power attack (fighter)
Level 5Fist of the forest 1
Level 6Fist of the forest 2Extra rage
Level 7Bear Warrior 1
Level 8Bear Warrior 2
Level 9Bear Warrior 3Multiattack
Level 10Bear Warrior 4
Level 11Bear Warrior 5
Level 12Fighter 2 / Fist of the forest 3? / ?
Level 13Warblade 1
Level 14Warblade 2
Level 15Warblade 3?
Level 16Warblade 4
Level 17Warblade 5
Level 18Warblade 6?
Level 19Warblade 7
Level 20Warblade 8

 


 Edit: I am allowed to use Head, face, shoulders, waist, arms and throat slots when in bear form.

That's all terrible. What are you even trying to do?

Look at this for a start. Go Water Orc and pick up the Headlong Rush feat, too.



Many of the exotic races are banned for us. Every water class is a no-go. Thanks for the link though!
Check out the Feral Druid build in Tempest's signature. Hint: it's not a Druid.
"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
Many of the exotic races are banned for us. Every water class is a no-go. Thanks for the link though!

Then go regular Orc. +4 strength is all that you really need.

Seriously, though, what made you think going Monk was a good idea?



I haven't played DnD for very long. I don't have a lot of experince with neither the game it self, or the many races/classes within. Anyways I thought monk was a solid start due to flurry, unarmed strike, the extra feats (and evasion). It seemed better than anything eles I knew about, especially because it helped me enter fist of the forest, which is a great AC boost with my high CON. Also I am human because I want to being able to rage in every combat, and 3 rages won't be enough for many of the days.

I was struggling with the human VS. orc for some time, but basically it came down to that I would rather alyways rage, than get a static +4 STR and sometimes fight  without rage. Trust me, I wanted to be orc!

Edit: And by the way, I'm not allowed to pick Headlong Rush.
Check out the Feral Druid build in Tempest's signature. Hint: it's not a Druid.

Look at this for a start.

...

Shut up. Why are you always picking on me!?  
Show
Just kidding. I often don't follow links from my phone unless specifically told what it is.  ;-P


"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
**** Onesite! **** it right in its mother****ing ear! **** **** goddammit BARBARA STREISAND!!!
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
No. FotF is crap, only thing I've ever seen it used with was a Dwarf Deepwarden who managed to put Con to just about anything. Monk is even more crap. 




You seem so enlightened. Maybe you could state your reasons to say as you do? "Monk is crap", "FotF is crap" doesn't help me much. Why are they "crap", and what would you recommend instead?

My original idea was being able to deal damage with full iterative attacks and end with constrict-damage. I don't want to focus too much on grapple, but I plan on using it relatively often.
You seem so enlightened. Maybe you could state your reasons to say as you do? "Monk is crap", "FotF is crap" doesn't help me much. Why are they "crap", and what would you recommend instead?

They're crap because they don't function. They don't do anything at all. What they try to do isn't good anyways, and they manage to fail to make it better in a trully spectuacular fail. They are simply crap.

Look at all of Monk's abilities. Do you notice anything? They're all mediocre at best and completly unrelated. ForF has the same problem. Monk as a class manages to be worse than Truenamer and Samurai, and Truenamer is known for being the class that gets weaker as it levels.
My original idea was being able to deal damage with full iterative attacks and end with constrict-damage. I don't want to focus too much on grapple, but I plan on using it relatively often.

Don't Grapple is barely functional and awful. It's 



I still don't see the problem in a single FotF level. It's one of my only sources for AC. How would you get AC instead? The natural armor from bearform is hardly enough to block anything. With monk levels I get more attacks and I don't see why thats bad either. Sure I could go all warblade as in the build in Tempest's topic, but still it doesn't seem that awful to me since my damage would lack with my natural attacks alone. Maybe I am underestimating the power of the maneuvers.
The point of the feral druid build is to take the massive strength modifiers you get and make those the saves for various manuevers. Feral Death Blow for example would have a fort save in the 40s when you go all out in bear form. It instantly kills them if they fail the save. The mongoose boosts give you more attacks, stances give you bonuses on charge damage, and the ever important diamond mind/iron heart defensive manuevers. If you wanted, you could try and combine the feral druid with the Captain Constitution build, also by the same crew.
Both builds have the same root, it's just really down to if you want to be deadly strong or unstoppably tough.

Monks biggest fail, to back up CJ in a polite way is that it tries to be a mobile attacker and just basically paws at a cement wall while doing so. It doesn't get access to large amounts of static damage like a two handed power attacker. It's not a strong attacker, as a result of this lack of big damage. Monk also doesn't get any special attack options when moving and the movement boost it gets is Enhancement, the most common boost in the game. As a result Monk even fails at being mobile in many ways, let alone being a mobile attacker.

Flurry's neat, but a badly designed mechanic for a class that should be performing bicycle kicks and other acrobatic attacks. Instead you're left charging with single hits and then following through on subsequent rounds with full attacks which puts you behind classes like Barbarian and Fighter, let alone Warblade or Swordsage.
Elaboration on CJ: FotF is expensive to get in, and unless you're really building around Constitution - as Andarious was with Captain Constitution - you really won't get much out of it at all. Supporting his monk line, there's this, which is a great basic summary of why the monk flat-out sucks.

Also "Tash Psywar" means a Psychic Warrior with the Tashalatora feat (Secrets of Sarlona). It's the multiclass feat to end all multiclass feats, moving virtually everything about monk that might actually matter over to any single psionic class of your choice. Psychic Warrior is the usual choice, since Psywar 20 is a great character on its own (good combat ability, plentiful bonus feats, amazing power list, and Wisdom-based manifesting - it's not perfect, as it takes a bit of skill to overcome its stamina issues, but the class alone gives you pretty much all the tools you need to do that and still have plenty of room left over for customization), and going Monk 2 / Psywar 18 transfers over full monk unarmed strike, flurry, and monk AC (all +5 of it...) over to that better chassis.

Bascially, there's a few places which can progress your monk abilities without actually requiring you to level in Monk, and those other places often come with strengths of their own that allow the monk bits to either bring more bang to the table, or to play nicer with each other. (For instance, tash psywar abilities can give you Pounce or teleportation, plus extra size increases, natural attacks, and Strength drain / HP leech on each hit, meaning you can appear next to targets and make that Flurry and high base damage die actually count for something). Alternatively, you can look at something like the Unarmed Swordsage, which gives advanced maneuvers to shore up your options beyond full attacking. It doesn't get Flurry, but it gets maneuvers that act like Flurry (Flashing Sun, Dancing Mongoose, Raging Mongoose), as well as maneuvers that shore up your mobility (Sudden Leap, Shadow Hand teleports (which, incidentally, make the Sun School tactical feat in Complete Warrior much more appealing), charge attacks) and maneuvers that enable the "soft" martial arts that monks have never been able to do except in description (mostly throws - which are based off of TRIP attacks, not grapples, so a character based on throws isn't completely shut down by a single common hours/level 4th level spell.). If you're banned from the unarmed swordsage (it's a variant), an honorable mention goes to the Shadow Sun Ninja, which advances monk abilities (including, unusually, monk speed and Stunning Fist) and Shadow Hand/Setting Sun maneuvers. (It also picks up nifty (if slightly gimmicky) class features of its own, including a first-level one that actually synergizes with the high base damage dice that monks tend to roll.) It's less versatile than the swordsage itself, hence why it's "honorable mention" rather than a top-tier category.



As for "underestimating the power of maneuvers", their biggest strength isn't actually in their text most of the time. It's in their initiation speed. Most of them are standard actions - meaning you can move freely and still deliver competitive results. (In the case of the Feral Druid, the maneuvers were selected to get the biggest bang out of Strength, typically by making certain risky maneuvers risk-free (i.e. a maneuver might require a Jump check, but with max Jump and an astronomical Strength, that check's largely a formality) or by setting the DC for a save-or-suck effect (Feral Death Blow's auto-kill is the most dramatic, but there's a few others along the way).)

Compare to a natural attacker, who needs to stay rooted in place to try to hit with all those natural weapons. There are very few ways to get swift-action movement from your character's traits alone (and one of the better ones is actually another Tiger Claw maneuver - Sudden Leap. The best is probably Travel Devotion, but that's once per day unless you also dip Cleric (or, more likely, Cloistered Cleric - because of course everyone pictures a Gregorian scribe when they imagine a badass warrior)) - and since you shapeshift and absorb all your gear, you probably can't rely on equipment to get that extra movement. Therefore, you'll probably be making only one attack a round anyway - the same attack that most maneuvers would ask of you anyway, except without the maneuver's rider effects.

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 Bleed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

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

 

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

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

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

Is Bear Warrior the paramount of optimization?  No.  But it is kinda fun, and if thats what the OP wants to play, then you guys should give advice to him on how to play it and how to make it better.  Otherwise, all of your advice comes down to "everything is trash, play a Wizard instead".  I like playing wizards, but sometimes I want to be a bear warrior.

I do agree with dropping the Monk levels.  I'd go with either Barb4/FotF3/BearX or Barb2/Fighter2/FotF3/BearX, where X is either 1, 5, or 10 (I think?), depending on which bear form you want (Brown is the best for its investment because it's Large but doesn't require as many levels as Dire).  Other levels to consider are Warshaper levels (generally seen as VERY beastly due to 100% fortification, Fast Healing, extra reach, and some other shanananananananananananigans), a level in Nature's Warrior (which grants Constrict as well), or the Frozen Berzerker class from Frostburn which turns you into a pseudo-polar bear.

Use a 2handed Greatsword until you hit level 8 when Bear form opens up, or at least until level 5.  Your UAS won't be very good without it.  Whirling Frenzy interacts in a funny way with Bear Warrior, so take that if you can.  Bear Warrior REPLACES the stats you get from Rage, but it doesn't get rid if the extra attack.  That gives you your Con back (which increases your AC with FotF) and boosts your Str and is in all ways superior to normal Rage + Bear.

You aren't gonna be an Ubercharger and you aren't gonna be a God, but you'll be pretty tanky, you'll have some decent damage output, and you'll have fun with it.

The point of the feral druid build is to take the massive strength modifiers you get and make those the saves for various manuevers. Feral Death Blow for example would have a fort save in the 40s when you go all out in bear form. It instantly kills them if they fail the save. The mongoose boosts give you more attacks, stances give you bonuses on charge damage, and the ever important diamond mind/iron heart defensive manuevers. If you wanted, you could try and combine the feral druid with the Captain Constitution build, also by the same crew.



Yeah I understood that, but thanks for the Captain link. I'll give it a look.

Elaboration on CJ: FotF is expensive to get in, and unless you're really building around Constitution - as Andarious was with Captain Constitution - you really won't get much out of it at all. Supporting his monk line, there's this, which is a great basic summary of why the monk flat-out sucks.


Bascially, there's a few places which can progress your monk abilities without actually requiring you to level in Monk, and those other places often come with strengths of their own that allow the monk bits to either bring more bang to the table, or to play nicer with each other. (For instance, tash psywar abilities can give you Pounce or teleportation, plus extra size increases, natural attacks, and Strength drain / HP leech on each hit, meaning you can appear next to targets and make that Flurry and high base damage die actually count for something). Alternatively, you can look at something like the Unarmed Swordsage, which gives advanced maneuvers to shore up your options beyond full attacking. It doesn't get Flurry, but it gets maneuvers that act like Flurry (Flashing Sun, Dancing Mongoose, Raging Mongoose), as well as maneuvers that shore up your mobility (Sudden Leap, Shadow Hand teleports (which, incidentally, make the Sun School tactical feat in Complete Warrior much more appealing), charge attacks) and maneuvers that enable the "soft" martial arts that monks have never been able to do except in description (mostly throws - which are based off of TRIP attacks, not grapples, so a character based on throws isn't completely shut down by a single common hours/level 4th level spell.). If you're banned from the unarmed swordsage (it's a variant), an honorable mention goes to the Shadow Sun Ninja, which advances monk abilities (including, unusually, monk speed and Stunning Fist) and Shadow Hand/Setting Sun maneuvers. (It also picks up nifty (if slightly gimmicky) class features of its own, including a first-level one that actually synergizes with the high base damage dice that monks tend to roll.) It's less versatile than the swordsage itself, hence why it's "honorable mention" rather than a top-tier category.



As for "underestimating the power of maneuvers", their biggest strength isn't actually in their text most of the time. It's in their initiation speed. Most of them are standard actions - meaning you can move freely and still deliver competitive results. (In the case of the Feral Druid, the maneuvers were selected to get the biggest bang out of Strength, typically by making certain risky maneuvers risk-free (i.e. a maneuver might require a Jump check, but with max Jump and an astronomical Strength, that check's largely a formality) or by setting the DC for a save-or-suck effect (Feral Death Blow's auto-kill is the most dramatic, but there's a few others along the way).) 

Compare to a natural attacker, who needs to stay rooted in place to try to hit with all those natural weapons. There are very few ways to get swift-action movement from your character's traits alone (and one of the better ones is actually another Tiger Claw maneuver - Sudden Leap. The best is probably Travel Devotion, but that's once per day unless you also dip Cleric (or, more likely, Cloistered Cleric - because of course everyone pictures a Gregorian scribe when they imagine a badass warrior)) - and since you shapeshift and absorb all your gear, you probably can't rely on equipment to get that extra movement. Therefore, you'll probably be making only one attack a round anyway - the same attack that most maneuvers would ask of you anyway, except without the maneuver's rider effects.



As always thank you for your high quality answers. The part about the maneuvers was an eye-opener.

Is Bear Warrior the paramount of optimization?  No.  But it is kinda fun, and if thats what the OP wants to play, then you guys should give advice to him on how to play it and how to make it better.  Otherwise, all of your advice comes down to "everything is trash, play a Wizard instead".  I like playing wizards, but sometimes I want to be a bear warrior.


I do agree with dropping the Monk levels.  I'd go with either Barb4/FotF3/BearX or Barb2/Fighter2/FotF3/BearX, where X is either 1, 5, or 10 (I think?), depending on which bear form you want (Brown is the best for its investment because it's Large but doesn't require as many levels as Dire).  Other levels to consider are Warshaper levels (generally seen as VERY beastly due to 100% fortification, Fast Healing, extra reach, and some other shanananananananananananigans), a level in Nature's Warrior (which grants Constrict as well), or the Frozen Berzerker class from Frostburn which turns you into a pseudo-polar bear.

Use a 2handed Greatsword until you hit level 8 when Bear form opens up, or at least until level 5.  Your UAS won't be very good without it.  Whirling Frenzy interacts in a funny way with Bear Warrior, so take that if you can.  Bear Warrior REPLACES the stats you get from Rage, but it doesn't get rid if the extra attack.  That gives you your Con back (which increases your AC with FotF) and boosts your Str and is in all ways superior to normal Rage + Bear.

You aren't gonna be an Ubercharger and you aren't gonna be a God, but you'll be pretty tanky, you'll have some decent damage output, and you'll have fun with it.



Another very usefull and well described reply. Thank you. Regarding the Whirling frenzy I already have it. My DM allowed me to pick it when I made the character, but without the +2 AC (which still is better than -2, since I still get STR/CON from the bear). And yeah, I knew that the bear it self wasn't the best option for optimization, but as you said, I just wanted to play it (and tried to make it not-suck, which it seems I failed at :D).
Why do I get a silly PG-13 man giggle
going everytime I see Fist Of The Forest ?


bad aDMg bad

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

Why do I get a silly PG-13 man giggle
going everytime I see Fist Of The Forest ?





Sig'd!

"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
I've removed content from this thread. Trolling/baiting is a violation of the Code of Conduct

You can review the Code of Conduct here: company.wizards.com/conduct

Please remember to keep your posts polite, on topic and refrain from personal attacks. You are free to disagree with one another as long as it is done in a respectful manner.