[CHALLENGE] Finish What You Started, 3.5

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I know that the majority of the optimized builds on these threads take advantage of cherry-picking the best abilities, dipping into a prestige class for a level or three, then moving on to another prestige class to gain more power. On the other hand, I see quite a few threads where the OP lists one of the DM's house-rules as 'must finish any prestige class taken'. I thought it might be an amusing exercise to try to make the most optimized builds possible, without leaving a prestige class before it's finished. Therefore, the rules of this contest are:

1. 28 point buy – most DM's with this house-rule are fairly conservative in stat generation. No level-adjusted races or races with monster HD.

2.Any 3.5 WotC sourcebook or 3.0 WotC material that was not updated to 3.5. No web enhancements, and no Dragon magazine material allowed. Exceptions: Flaws, Traits, Item Familiars and Domain Wizards are not allowed.

3.You must use a minimum of three (3) prestige classes in your build, and finish each of them. This should make a 10 level prestige class extremely difficult to use.

4.No infinite loop cheese, please. Characters should be playable from level 1 on, without ever being able to smack Ao on the fanny.

5.Let me know if there need to be additional parameters to prevent ludicrous levels of pwnage.

My build
Duskblade 6/Abjurant Champion 5/Sword of Righteousness 3/Wonderworker 3/Ruathar 3

archerpwr
Gnome Wizard 5/Ruathar 3/Shadowcraft Mage 5/Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7

Tytalus
Wizard 5/WarMage 5/Force Missile Mage 5/Argent Savant 5 (Dragonlance Specific)

Xoraxx
Half-Drow Swashbuckler 3/Fighter 2/Jaunter 4/Teflammar Shadowlord 6/Dread Commando 5

ikildkenny
Marshall 1/Warlock 8/Hellfire Warlock 3/Uncanny Trickster 3/Fortune's Friend 5
Grey Elf Evoker 7/Magical Trickster 3/Force Missile Mage 5/Argent Savant 5
Illumian Marshall 1/Sorcerer 6/Magical Trickster 3/Force Missile Mage 5/Argent Savant 5

Doggieboy
Shifter Scout 4/Wolf Totem Barbarian 3/Weretouched Master 5/Reachrunner 5/Uncanny Trickster 3

ninjarabbit
Warforged Fighter 2/Duskblade 4/Abjurant Champion 5/Spellcarved Soldier 5/Duskblade +1/Exotic Weapon Master 3

hogarth
Ranger 5/Dragonmark Heir (Deneith) 5/Eldeen Ranger (Ashbound) 5/Occult Slayer 5
Cleric 4/Church Inquisitor 10/Ruathar 3/Wonderworker 3
Elven Ranger 4/Binder 3/Knight of the Sacred Seal 5/Revenant Blade 5/Exotic Weapon Master 3

obtusehobbit
Longtooth Shifter Ranger 1/Warblade 4/Warshaper 5/Weretouched Master 5/Bloodclaw Master 5

playswithfire
Half-Orc Monk (Invisible Eye) 2/Fighter 2/Stoneblessed 3/Forsaker (3.0) 10/Fist of the Forest 3

[sblock=jameswilliamogle]Binder 5 / Tenebrous Apostate 5 / KoSS 5 / Scion of Dantalion 5
[sblock=Surreal]Gnome Wizard 5/Nightmare Spinner 5/Dread Witch 5/Shadowcraft Mage 5
Let me pull out one of my babies.

Frozen Brawler

Frostblood Half-Orc
Monk 1/ Half-Orc Paragon 3/ Stoneblessed 3/ Fist of the Forest 3/ Deepwarden 5/ Frostrager 5
Alignment: Any Lawful
Variants: Overwhelming Attack school

1 Monk - Great Fortitude, Improved Unarmed Strike(b), Power Attack(b), Endurance(b)
2 Half-Orc Paragon
3 Half-Orc Paragon - Extra Rage
4 Stoneblessed (Dwarf)
5 Stoneblessed (Dwarf)
6 Stoneblessed (Dwarf) - Superior Unarmed Strike
7 Fist of the Forest
8 Fist of the Forest
9 Fist of the Forest - Frozen Berserker
10 Frostrager - Track(b)
11 Deepwarden
12 Deepwarden - Hammer Fist
13 Frostrager
14 Frostrager
15 Frostrager - Improved Natural Attack (Unarmed Strike)
16 Frostrager
17 Half-Orc Paragon
18 Deepwarden - Extra Rage
19 Deepwarden
20 Deepwarden

Other feats of interest: Steadfast Determination, Reckless Rage


True, I don't finish all of my PrC's, but that's because there's four in the build and not enough room. Just move the Deepwarden levels after the Frostrager levels and I don't see any problems at all.
Nice build, but, as you pointed out, it doesn't finish the Deepwarden PrC. Kudos for using it as more than a 2 level dip, though.
Nice build, but, as you pointed out, it doesn't finish the Deepwarden PrC. Kudos for using it as more than a 2 level dip, though.

Well I am incapable of finishing it as there are only twenty levels in the build. :P Anyways, I finished three, heh.
Wizard 5/ Shadowcraft Mage 5/ Ruathar 3/ Initate of the Sevenfold Viel 7
Lil feat tight (more like a lot), but it has two of the most powerful arcane PrCs in print. Order will vary based on goals. Feats arent't that big of a deal.

Casters own.
Human

01 Druid 1
02 Human Paragon 1
03 Human Paragon 2
04 Human Paragon 3
05 Druid 2
06 Druid 3
07 Uncanny Trickster 1
08 Uncanny Trickster 2
09 Uncanny Trickster 3 :: Natural Spell
10 Planar Shepherd 1
11 Planar Shepherd 2
12 Planar Shepherd 3
13 Planar Shepherd 4
14 Planar Shepherd 5
15 Planar Shepherd 6
16 Planar Shepherd 7
17 Planar Shepherd 8
18 Planar Shepherd 9
19 Planar Shepherd 10
20 Druid 4

Caster level: 18
Wildshape level: 16
A classic Hellfire Warlock build (noteworthy feats listed)

Human

STR 8
DEX 14
CON 14
INT 14
WIS 8
CHA 16

01 Marshall [Skillfocus(Diplomacy)(bonus), Nymph's Kiss, Able Learner (human bonus)]
02 Warlock
03 Warlock [Shape Soulmeld(Strongheart Vest)]
04 Warlock
05 Warlock
06 Warlock [Knowledege Devotion]
07 Warlock
08 Warlock
09 Warlock [Improved toughness]
10 Hellfire Warlock
11 Hellfire Warlock
12 Hellfire Warlock
13 Uncanny Trickster (adds to Hellfire Warlock)
14 Uncanny Trickster
15 Uncanny Trickster
16 Fortune Friend
17 Fortune Friend (adds to Warlock)
18 Fortune Friend
19 Fortune Friend (adds to Warlock)
20 Fortune Friend

nothing too exciting - Eldrich Blast and Evocations like a lvl 14 warlock + 10d6 Hellfire Damage (=17d6)... noteworthy Invocation: Eldrich chain .. other gimmics: Maxed UMD, adds CHA to Casterlevel checs vs SR (Determined Caster Aura), lots of skilltricks (thus the INT is required to get lots of them)..

Pros: the usual all-day-buff-goodness the warlock does, allways high damage, pushable by Items
Drawbacks: few HP, Bad BAB, blasting only

Notable Items: anything that increases (in Priority Order):
CHA
DEX
AC
CON
Eldrich Blast
Stuff like A wand of Truecasting or Assay Spellresistance
Skillchecks (preferebly UMD and Knowledge Skills)
Well well... this looks like a lot of fun. All said and done I should probably explain my train of thought on this otherwise the build might not seem like it was optimized for any purpose. Excuse the tl:dr. It makes this more fun if the reasons and implications of the build are put up to see.

The logic
Right off the bat, the racial paragons are technically prestige classes (any class which specifically references a class previously taken cannot be considered a base class as its features are only improvements upon existing classes as evidenced by adding spells per level to an existing class), however there is no requirement outside of being that specific race. This grants access to only a three level prestige class even after only first or second level thus bypassing a lot of the difficulty without sacrificing the ability to take other prestige classes if concentrating on non-class specific prestiges.

With this in mind, I would choose a spellcasting class as that is the easiest premise for treating a racial paragon as a prestige class as the casting stacks in the same manner as what is undeniably a prestige class. With that in mind, the easiest way to optimize a character is to specialize and the easiest way to specialize with an Arcane caster is probably a Wizard for options. So, the three things I like to do with casters are damage, body generation, and battlefield control. Damage assumes a blaster caster which is more efficiently derived elsewhere and battlefield control is better with being able to take dips which leaves body generation.

Now I want a gimmick. This serves no real purpose, I just like to have it. Obviously the focus is Wizard, specialize in Conjuration for summoning, ditch Scribe Scroll for Augment Summoning via the Enhanced Summoning variant from Unearthed Arcana, and finally ditch the familiar for the Rapid Summoning variant also from Unearthed Arcana. This nets some nice bonuses, but I rather specifically want a more permanent minion as a body guard at higher levels for the sake of self-sufficiency, and as I no longer can trade my familiar for it, I get to use a class I've been wanting to get at since I read about it: the Effigy Master. There's a feat requirement, blah blah blah, some craft skills I'd be using, and I can't make illusion one of my forbidden schools. Set that on the back burner and here we go with the meat of the build.

Now, only four paragons have spellcasting levels that can apply to wizard, three of them have two levels of casting, drow has a level adjustment meaning it's not permitted, which leaves either elf or human if we want the paragon and I'll take a feat over weapon proficiency and an untyped feat against Weapon Focus so I'm going to take Human.

It's a wizard, I'm not an equipment *****, so I'm also going to make him old. Now with a 28 Point Buy I nab 18, 13, 13, 9, 9, 8. The 18 is definitely Int, 13 goes to Dex, 13 goes to Con, leaving a 9 Wis, 9 Cha, and 8 Str. Being old gives us the following:

Str 5
Dex 10
Con 10
Int 20
Wis 11
Cha 11

Since I've got Human, the first level is your standard Conjurer there isn't anything lost. Second level, all you lose is a single level of spellcasting at the moment which you immediately get back on track with the next two levels of the paragon. During this, you have a grand total of four untyped feats one of which is Spell Focus (Conjuration) and another is Craft Wondrous Item. This gives two feats while making prereqs and giving an additional +2 to Int.

So let's check on our status at level 4. We have an effective 3rd level Arcane caster with a +6 bonus to his casting stat which basically makes him casting at the level of the average 4th level Conjurer. All said and done, a very usable 4th level character that only slacked off a little at 3rd level. Now, we don't qualify for Effigy Master just yet, so let's get into the Master Conjurer thus improving upon our Focused Augmented Rapid Summons. That's an immediate three levels without a doubt which gets us another feat. At this point we can immediately go into Effigy Master, but being on the cusp of 4th level spells makes it more beneficial to take another Master Conjurer level before going into getting our Effigy.

So at the second benchmark of level 8, we have a +7 casting stat without an enhancement bonus, three undeclared feats, and Greater Focused Augmented Rapid Summons boosted by an additional 7 hit points who can craft his own stuff. Now we can go into Effigy Master.

We run Effigy Master all the way through, losing our second caster level, in order to ensure that the Expanded Spellbook from Master Specialist is put to the best use possible. Since we now hopefully have a big meaty shield we made ourselves, this makes the Effigy Master a good background character for directing combat rather effectively. Previously limited by summon duration, the build was a little too fragile to be of use to the party in more than two encounters a day.

From here it's pretty cut and dry, we finish out Master Specialist and take our final level in Wizard. But... here's the interesting digest for what we have...

A Wizard with a caster level of 20, a spell progression of level 18, a casting stat of +8 without enhancement, the ability to use Summon Monster as a Swift Action via Major School Esoterica and Rapid Summoning bringing in Augmented monsters at virtually no cost character wise, basically what amounts to a mechanical Thrall which is immune to most forms of will/fort saves, and all without taking a single one of the regular character level feats. Huge con with this build is that all but three of the levels had a d4 hit die and Old means our Con sucked. All of that is on top of the Arcane armor failure without a Dex modifier, but there are seven unassigned feats to either offset that debilitation or further maximize the summoning potential of the caster.


Here's the short version.

01 Wizard
02 Human Paragon
03 Human Paragon
04 Human Paragon
05 Master Specialist
06 Master Specialist
07 Master Specialist
08 Master Specialist
09 Effigy Master
10 Effigy Master
11 Effigy Master
12 Effigy Master
13 Effigy Master
14 Master Specialist
15 Master Specialist
16 Master Specialist
17 Master Specialist
18 Master Specialist
19 Master Specialist
20 Wizard

For the record... Effigy Master is probably not the best five level PrC, but it went well with the Conjuration focus (see description).
hmm.. this is a build I like, has some battlefield control (Jaunter class features witch allow enemies and allies to switch places), a little spellcasting from a great list, great support to allies (+5 initiative/haste), and dish out alot of damage when needed.

Dread Shadowlord:
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Half-Drow
STR 12
DEX 16
CON 14
INT 14
WIS 10
CHA 8
Swashbuckler 3/ Fighter 2/ Jaunter 4/ Teflammar Shadowlord 6/ Dread Commando 5
Hit-and-Run ACF
1 Dodge, Weapon Finesse (Dualist Bonus)
3 Mobility
4 Spring Attack
5 Blind-Fight
6 Martial Studie (Shadow Jaunt)
9 Martial Stance (Assassin’s stance)
12 Shadowblade
15 Two Weapon Fighting
18 Craven
*Dual wield Manyfang Daggers.

In the end you get DEX to damage twice and INT to damage once, +2d6+20 Sneak Attack, 3d6 Sudden Strike, BAB 17. (all of wich except 5d6 is multiplied by 4) You also have four ways to activate Shadowpounce.
@ archrpwr:
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Wizard 5/ Shadowcraft Mage 5/ Ruathar 3/ Initate of the Sevenfold Viel 7

Bravo! This is a very strong build indeed, losing no caster levels at all. I've tried combinations, and the only one I could make work based on the strictest reading of 'finish what you started' is Wizard 5/Ruathar 3/Shadowcraft Mage 5/Initiate of the 7fold Veil 7; others are probably possible if you leave a class temporarily.

@ikildkenny:
Show
Human

STR 8
DEX 14
CON 14
INT 14
WIS 8
CHA 16

01 Marshall [Skillfocus(Diplomacy)(bonus), Nymph's Kiss, Able Learner (human bonus)]
02 Warlock
03 Warlock [Shape Soulmeld(Strongheart Vest)]
04 Warlock
05 Warlock
06 Warlock [Knowledege Devotion]
07 Warlock
08 Warlock
09 Warlock [Improved toughness]
10 Hellfire Warlock
11 Hellfire Warlock
12 Hellfire Warlock
13 Uncanny Trickster (adds to Hellfire Warlock)
14 Uncanny Trickster
15 Uncanny Trickster
16 Fortune Friend
17 Fortune Friend (adds to Warlock)
18 Fortune Friend
19 Fortune Friend (adds to Warlock)
20 Fortune Friend

I like it! A 'devil's own luck' build with serious damage potential and out of combat usefulness. Well done.

@ Doggieboy, & EpiqC:
Those are all great builds. I'm not sure I'm sold on the logic of 'Paragon Class = Prestige Class', though, given that one can take a Paragon Class at 1st level. I didn't specify one way or the other in the parameters, of course - silly me. Opinions on this?

@ Xoraxx:
What source material is Duelist? The one I'm familiar with is a PrC in the DMG, not available at 1st level.
Human
Beguiler 1/Wizard 1 (Diviner)/Human Paragon 3/Ultimate Magus 10/Archmage 5

It's cheezy, but I'm counting Human Paragon as a PrC, rather than a 'base-class' both because it has limited levels and a requirement (and it doesn't count for XP penalties).

Max Int at startup (18-16 points), Put Con at 12 (4 points) and leave everything else at 10. (I think that's 28 points, If I'm wrong, dump strength). Take a Metamagic Feat at 1, Practiced Spellcaster-Beguiler at 3, and the skill focus/spell focuses required for archmage at any point you have the feats and don't mind spending them. The spell focuses should probably be on Illusion and Conjuration. Spend any left on what you want, I personally like Insightful Divination (Greater Prying Eyes gives you True Seeing 'guards' AND a +9 insight bonus to 1 Init and Save for 24hrs) and Minor Shapeshift (20 hp of 'healing' as swift action every round). For stats, bump the Int by 2 (HP 3) and spend every point from stats increases on Int, buying a +5 tome and a +6 headband. That should put you at a total Int of 36 which is boosting both your arcane classes. You're going to drop Enchantment for Diviner, since you won't really be using it at high levels, and you'll get plenty of the lower stuff from beguiler anyway.

@20, you're looking at 18th level Wizard casting (CL 22 or 23 if you take that Arcana) and 9th level Beguiler casting (CL 17) with no MAD before Items/buffs. In addition, all your wizard spells (that qualify) may already be Shaped, Reach, and/or Energy Substituted for free (if you take the appropriate Arcana), and you can blow Beguiler spell slots to additionally add any of the 3 (minimum) other metamagic feats you know to any spell up to 5th level. I personally am a fan of Extend (for all those lower hr/level spells), Persistant (Bite of the WereTiger will help your poor physical stats immensely), and Chain (chain Spelltheft is my favorite), but you can take your pick based on how you play wizards. The last Arcana I'd take is the 'Spell-Like Ability' one on a 9th level spell. A Ring of Wizardry III will give you 30 extra spell levels to blow on free metamagic.

Going from 1 to 20 should be almost no different than any other wizard/sorceror. Your spell progression is one level behind sorceror (as far as when you get new spell levels) so that sucks a bit, but at 1-3 the versatility from Beguiler and the ability to (somewhat) cast in armor (you still have ASF in wizard, but you can work with that if you are careful) can help you survive the early times well enough, though, this early your BAB is going to suck to poorly to use any kind of normal attacks. When you join UlM, you have the same BAB as a wiz/sor of your level, but an extra feat, many more skills, and a higher Int than the typical Human, and roughly the same CL as any other UlM build. For the next 10 levels, you'll be playing like any other wizard or sorceror, though you'll have to be a bit more selective on spells, seeing as that your a level behind sorcerors and two behind wizards. By 8 or 9, I think the added versatility/caster level adjustment and the free metamagic from UlM, along with the extra spells from Diviner will more than make up for the lack of higher level spells, assuming your creative. As you progress from 10 to 20, you'll more than close the gap and pass your single caster compatriots.

EDIT:
Those are all great builds. I'm not sure I'm sold on the logic of 'Paragon Class = Prestige Class', though, given that one can take a Paragon Class at 1st level. I didn't specify one way or the other in the parameters, of course - silly me. Opinions on this?

I saw this after I wrote out the above. I am of the opinion that a paragon class counts as a PrC for the reasons stated above. It's just a PrC you can take at 1st level. It has requirements (race), it doesn't count toward XP penalties for multi-classing, and it doesn't have a full 20 levels. It's certainly, in that way, more like a PrC than a base class.

I'll think a bit and try and come up with one that doesn't use a Pargon class.
--bleh
@ Xoraxx, Doggieboy, & EpiqC:
Those are all great builds. I'm not sure I'm sold on the logic of 'Paragon Class = Prestige Class', though, given that one can take a Paragon Class at 1st level. I didn't specify one way or the other in the parameters, of course - silly me. Opinions on this?

Fair enough. I see no reason why they wouldn't be called prestige classes given their nature, but I have another one that's less spectacular. Ironically, rather than having a Racial Paragon it just flatly enhances the race's traits. So here's a Wolf Shifter with a gimmick I find rather hysterical.

Wolf Shifter


Race: Shifter
Classes: Barbarian, Scout, Weretouched Master, Reachrunner, Uncanny Trickster
Level 1 Ability Scores: Str 16 Dex 14 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 8 Cha 8
Post Racial Scores: Str 16 Dex 16 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 6 Cha 6
Shifting Racial Scores: Str 16 Dex 18 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 6 Cha 6
Level 20 Ability Scores: Str 20 Dex 17 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 6 Cha 6
Shifting Racial Scores: Str 22 Dex 23 Con 18 Int 10 Wis 6 Cha 6
Shifting Raging Score: Str 26 Dex 23 Con 22 Int 10 Wis 6 Cha 6

Progression

01 Scout ~ Endurance
02 Wolf Totem Barbarian
03 Wolf Totem Barbarian ~ Improved Trip, Dodge
04 Scout
05 Scout
06 Wolf Totem Barbarian ~ Mobility
07 Scout ~ Spring Attack
08 Weretouched Master (Wolf)
09 Weretouched Master ~ Track, Longstride Elite
10 Weretouched Master
11 Reachrunner ~ Atheletics
12 Reachrunner ~ Shifter Savagery
13 Reachrunner
14 Reachrunner ~ Run
15 Weretouched Master ~ Shifter Instincts, Bounding Assault
16 Uncanny Trickster
17 Uncanny Trickster (Scout)
18 Uncanny Trickster (Wolf Totem Barbarian) ~ Improved Skirmish
19 Reachrunner
20 Weretouched Master


The concept is rather simple, concentrate on the shifter aspect of the character. Even more specifically, concentrate on it from the angle of putting up as much of the wolf as possible without compromising martial effectiveness. With this in mind, we're going to dip into Unearthed Arcana again in order to trade Uncanny Dodge for Improved Trip at level 2. You could potentially get Track through the Barbarian, but we don't have enough class levels to permit that and still make the most of the Scout levels.

Now, the idea is simple. The Trip (ex) ability of a Wolf (gained while shifting at Weretouched Master 3) allows a free Trip attempt against any opponent whom you have bitten with no chance of an Attack of Opportunity at the bonus you hit them with. Improved Trip increases the trip attempt by 4 and allows another free attack at the attack bonus without expense netting a second attack for a successful trip. Spring Attack allows you to move then attack with any standard action attack which would then lead into Free actions. Skirmish adds damage to all attacks made after moving at least 10 ft while Improved Skirmish adds an additional 2d6 to that for moving 20 or more. Finally, Fast Movement bonuses are untyped for Barbarian, Reachrunner, and the Longstride Trait allowing them to stack with the Scout Fast Movement without a drawback.

So, rather than give the interim I'll go ahead and give you the end results.

At level 20, the Base Movement Speed while wearing light armor of the Shifter is 60 ft. While Shifting, this increases to 80 ft meaning that a Spring Attack may start outside of a single Move Action of most opponents. Bounding Assault allows us to take advantage of one additional attack increment provided we have a high enough BAB (which is 16 at the end of the build). The second attack, providing the first trip attempt succeeded, will be against an opponent with -4 AC which means that it's a net -1 on the second attack attempt which still has Skirmish damage. While Raging and Shifting, the Bite attack is treated to be two sizes larger than it is.

Bite Damage: 2d6
Improved Skirmish: 4d6
Strength Modifier: +8
Attack, Trip, Improve Trip Attack, Second Attack: 6d6 + 8 + 6d6 + 8 + 6d6 + 8 = 18d6 + 24 per Round

So, we have a potential 18d6 + 24 per Round leaving an opponent prone in the process which means that we can't be charged by the same opponent. If there is a second opponent within reach, we can attack them instead along with a free trip if it hits followed by another free attack if the trip is successful. This yields 12d6 + 16 for each opponent.
So here's a Wolf Shifter with a gimmick I find rather hysterical.

That's awesome. Well done.
Since HP was debatable, I also considered the following...
Human
Wizard 5/Ruathar 3/Magical Trickster 3/Uncanny Trickster 1/Incantatrix 1/Uncanny Trickster +2/Archmage 5

You don't finish Incantatrix, but you do finish Four PrC's. I only took it to give something for Uncanny Trickster's 2nd/3rd abilities to apply to other than Wizard.

Stat's work like any other Wiz with the 28 point buy, boost Int to max, dump Str, boost Con a bit, everything else a 10.

Playing this would work just like any other wizard from 1-20. Though, you do lose 2 caster progressions, at 9 and 12, putting you behind your fellows from thereafter. I think the bonus skill tricks and tricky metamagic make up for that loss, and then some, but I know most people around here will react otherwise.
--bleh
@ Xoraxx:
What source material is Duelist? The one I'm familiar with is a PrC in the DMG, not available at 1st level.

I'm sorry, I meant the Swashbuckler from Complete warrior (always call that one dualist :S), I'll edit the build.
I'm sorry, I meant the Swashbuckler from Complete warrior (always call that one dualist :S), I'll edit the build.

I thought you probably meant Swashbuckler, but couldn't be certain. I like the build - reminiscent of a couple other Multipouncer concepts without quite as much cheese dip. Jaunter is from which book, again?
The Jaunter is from Expedition to the Demonweb Pits
Mister Resister, Human Ranger 5/Dragonmark Heir (House Deneith) 5/Eldeen Ranger (Ashbound) 5/Occult Slayer 5

Required Feats:
Weapon Focus, Track, Favored in House, Least Dragonmark, Improved Initiative

Abilities: SR 20, spell turning, Lesser Globe of Invulnerability, Globe of Invulnerability, bonus to saves vs. arcane spells
The Missile Specialist:

Wizard5/WarMage5/ForceMissileMage5/ArgentSavant5

A single casting of Magic Missile is stilled (no somatic components), creates 7 missiles, each doing 1D4+5 damage (total 7D4+35, average 52.5), automatically breaching Shield spells (and equivalents), with a +2 to overcome enemy SR and the possibility to get an energy descriptor of your choice (except sonic).

Add Arcane Thesis (Magic Missile) and your favorite array of metamagic effects (split/chain/empower/etc.), and you are surprisingly effective.

The PrCs (especially War Mage) add a whole slew of other abilities that are useful, too.

Notes

Sorcerer6/WarMage5/ForceMissileMage5/ArgentSavant4 is considerably better than the wizard build, but doesn't finish all three PrCs by level 20. With the White Dragonspawn template and LA buyoff,
Sorcerer5/WarMage5/ForceMissileMage5/ArgentSavant5 is superior still))

Sources:
  • War Mage: Age of Immortals, Dragonlance
  • Force Missile Mage: Dragon Compendium
  • Argent Savant: Complete Arcane
  • White Dragonspawn: Dragonlance Campaign Setting

got another one based on the general idea by Tytalus:

GrayElf (abilities @ lvl 1 incl. mods):

STR 6
CON 13 (the lvl 4 Point goes in here, any following in INT)
DEX 18
WIS 8
CHA 8
INT 18

vorbidden Schools: Enchantment, Necromancy
01 Evoker
02 Evoker
03 Evoker
04 Evoker
05 Evoker
06 Evoker
07 Evoker
08 Magical Trickster
09 Magical Trickster
10 Magical Trickster
11 Force Missle Mage
12 Force Missle Mage
13 Force Missle Mage
14 Force Missle Mage
15 Force Missle Mage
16 Argent Savant
17 Argent Savant
18 Argent Savant
19 Argent Savant
20 Argent Savant

Noteworthy Feats: Improved Toughness (youll need those Hitpoints), Metamagic Feats, Arcane Thesis (Magic Missle), Practised Spellcaster (you lose 3 CL in total)

good thing is, you still get 9th level spells ... and you MM alot of stuff+great bonuses on force spells in general - the spec. on evocation is because of the extra spellslot(s) - a focused conjurer could work also, but its hard to find a 3rd school to ban

alternativly one could consider A build like this one:

Human (or Illumian)

STR 8
CON 14
DEX 16
WIS 8
CHA 16
INT 10

01 Marshall (determind Caster)
02 Stallwart Battle Sorcerer (you focus on Magic missle - you do not need that many different Spells)
03 Sorcerer
04 Sorcerer
05 Sorcerer
06 Sorcerer
07 Sorcerer
08 Magical Trickster
09 Magical Trickster
10 Magical Trickster
11 Force Missle Mage
12 Force Missle Mage
13 Force Missle Mage
14 Force Missle Mage
15 Force Missle Mage
16 Argent Savant
17 Argent Savant
18 Argent Savant
19 Argent Savant
20 Argent Savant

in general the Same build - since you do not gain 9th level spells anyways, you can go for the bonus agains spellresistance (and the Hitdie and the skillpoints) - nymph's Kiss is allmost the most important feat here + the one whose name I forgot that lets you Metamagic as sorc without a fullround action + versityle spellcaster
Wizard 5 / Incantrix 10 / Archmage 5. It finishes everything, and if you cheese your spellcraft sufficiently (I've gotten it over +100 easy) you can metamagic the equivilent of lvl 20 spells. Even Planar Shepard can't compare to the beauty of Persistant Timestop cheese. (Celerity + Persistant Timestop + Delay Spell = spend a couple minutes / day battling, then go take a nap in Timestop) :D
Human Wizard 1 / Human Paragon 3 / Metaphysical Spellshaper 3 / Incantatrix 10 / Ruathar 3

Needs Sanctum Spell to qualify Spellshaper. Reduces level adjustments of all metamagic feats by 2 and is capable of taking ability damage to apply metamagic effects to spells cast spontantenously. Only loses 1 CL. Gets +2 Int and all incantatrix goodies.. Ruathar is in there just for kicks. And should be replaced with Magical Trickster for power.

In addition, it finishes 4 PrCs. AND uses 10-level PrC. :P

@Naldor: Errata > your timestop cheese.
Amadi: I thought CustServ never made that timestop errata official?

In any case, persistant Greater Blink, Lightning Ring, Forsight, Absorption, etc. truly make the Incantrix shine. And I'm quite sure that Ice Assassin never got errata'd....

If not for finishing classes, I'd throw in a level of Cleric & 4 of Dweomerkeeper for 1/day free Wish.
Just because I'm tired of seeing wizards......

Warforged fighter2/duskblade5/abjurantchampion5/spellcarvedsoldier5/exoticweaponmaster3

Str 14
dex 12
con 16 (14 +2)
int 14
wis 6 (8 -2)
cha 6 (8 -2)

1-fighter1- adamatiate body, combat expertise
2-fighter2- improved trip
3-duskblade1- EWP spiked chain
4-duskblade2-combat casting
5-duskblade3
6-duskblade4-battle caster
7-abjurant champion1
8-abjurant champion2
9-abjurant champion3- silver tracery
10-abjurant champion4
11-abjurant champion5
12-spellcarved soldier1-power attack
13-spellcarved soldier2
14-spellcarved soldier3
15-spellcarved soldier4- WF spiked chain
16-spellcarved soldier5
17-duskblade5
18-EWM1-flurry stunt- arcane strike
19-EWM2- trip stunt
20-EWM3- whatever stunt
Cleric 4/Church Inquisitor 10/Ruathar 3/Wonderworker 3
Wizard 5 / Incantrix 10 / Archmage 5. It finishes everything, and if you cheese your spellcraft sufficiently (I've gotten it over +100 easy) you can metamagic the equivilent of lvl 20 spells. Even Planar Shepard can't compare to the beauty of Persistant Timestop cheese. (Celerity + Persistant Timestop + Delay Spell = spend a couple minutes / day battling, then go take a nap in Timestop) :D

One of the all-around best Epic-ready builds, and a classic, but doesn't qualify for this contest because it lacks a 3rd prestige class.

Duskblade 6/Abjurant Champion 5/Sword of Righteousness 3/Wonderworker 3/Ruathar 3.
With Arcane Strike and Arcane Channeling (and the parameters of the contest), the Wonderworker levels don't actually screw this up, giving the small boost to expendable spells. 4 prestige classes finished.
Human Wizard 1 / Human Paragon 3 / Metaphysical Spellshaper 3 / Incantatrix 10 / Ruathar 3

Needs Sanctum Spell to qualify Spellshaper. Reduces level adjustments of all metamagic feats by 2 and is capable of taking ability damage to apply metamagic effects to spells cast spontantenously. Only loses 1 CL. Gets +2 Int and all incantatrix goodies.. Ruathar is in there just for kicks. And should be replaced with Magical Trickster for power.

In addition, it finishes 4 PrCs. AND uses 10-level PrC. :P

@Naldor: Errata > your timestop cheese.

What's Metaphysical Spellshaper from? I'm not seeing it on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prestige_classes

Oh google tells me it's BoEF. That's not 3.5, sorry. A friend of mine told me about that metamagic specialist class (which has a power level of MAXIMUM) but we refer to it colloquially as the '*****mancer' because of its source. I didn't remember the class's real name. XD
Elven Ranger 2/Binder 3/Knight of the Sacred Seal 5/Revenant Blade 5/Exotic Weapon Master 3/? 2
Warforged Cleric 3/Totemist 2/Landforged Walker 5/Sapphire Hierarch 10
- needs law and travel domain to meet prereqs
- 9th level divine spells, incarnum for added punch and versatility
- plant shape + soulmelds for the smackdown
Nice idea, Surreal, but it doesn't meet requirement #3:


3.You must use a minimum of three (3) prestige classes in your build, and finish each of them. This should make a 10 level prestige class extremely difficult to use.
Title: Uber Shifter
Race: Longtooth Shifter
Build Stub:Sifter sub Ranger 1/Warblade 4/Warshaper 5/Weretouched Master 5/Bloodclaw Master 5
Build Progression:
[b]lvl Class Feats[/b]<br /> 1) Shifter Sub level Ranger 1: (Track), Longtooth Elite<br /> 2) Warblade 1: <br /> 3) Warblade 2: Shifter Ferocity<br /> 4) Warblade 3: <br /> 5) Warblade 4: <br /> 6) Warshaper 1: Extra Shifter Trait [Beasthide]<br /> 7) Warshaper 2: <br /> 8) Weretouched Master 1: <br /> 9) Weretouched Master 2: (Shifter Multiattack), Beasthide Elite<br /> 10) Bloodclaw Master 1: <br /> 11) Bloodclaw Master 2: <br /> 12) Warshaper 3: Improved Natural Attack [Claw]<br /> 13) Weretouched Master 3: <br /> 14) Bloodclaw Master 3: <br /> 15) Bloodclaw Master 4: Improved Natural Attack [Bite]<br /> 16) Weretouched Master 4: (Great Rend)<br /> 17) Warshaper 4: <br /> 18) Weretouched Master 5: Great Bite<br /> 19) Blood Claw Master 5: <br /> 20) warshaper 5:

Maneuvers/Stances:
Boost:
1st: Sudden Leap (Tiger Claw)
4th: Fountain of Blood (Tiger Claw)
5th: Dancing Mongoose (Tiger Claw)
8th: Raging Mongoose (Tiger Claw)
Strike:
1st: Wolf Fang Strike (Tiger Claw)
2nd: Claw of the Moon (Tiger Claw)
3rd: Flesh Ripper (Tiger Claw)
Counter:
1st: Moment of Perfect Clarity (Diamond Mind)
Stances:
1st: Hunter’s Sense (Tiger Claw), Leading the Charge (White Raven)

Notes:
The character is designed to maximize shifting. He has can use the ability 7/day and it lasts at least 24 rounds. He gains the following benefits from shifting:
• +12 to Str and +8 to Con
• 2 claw attacks doing 2d6+5 damage and having reach
• Bite doing 2d6+5 and 1 Con damage and having reach
• The Pounce Ability
• Fast Healing 2
• The ability to heal 10 HP with a successful Concentration Check
• Immunity to Criticals and Stunning
• +4 to Natural Armor

There are a couple other things to point out about the build:
• The build gets full strength to both claws
• Has no penalty to hit while using both Claws
• Rend damage of 2d6+1d4+5+Half Str

The down sides to the build are:
• Only BaB 14
• Low Will (Offset by Moment of Perfect Clarity)

This is a character I posted back on the original Tome of Battle: Build Compendium to qualify for the Challenge switched out warblade 5 for Warshaper 5.
How about an exalted fist of the forest?

Half-Orc monk (invisible eye variant) 2/Fighter 2/Stoneblessed (Dwarf) 3/Forskaker (MotW 3.0) 10/Fist of the Forest 3

Feats:
Improved Unarmed Strike
Power Attack
Great Fortitude
Iron Will
Lightning Reflexes
Sacred Vow
Vow of Poverty
TWF, ITWF,GTWF
Improved Natural Attack(unarmed strike)
Sanctify Natural Attack
4 exalted feats left over, sadly nothing useful

Stats:
STR 17+6+5* 28
DEX 8+2 10
CON 16+8+2+5*+5 36
INT 10 10
WIS 14+4 18
CHA 6 6

*inherent bonuses from forsaker

CON to AC twice (natural armor and untyped bonus) unarmored, plus various AC boosting effects from VoP
Show

AC bonus +10, deflection +3,Natural armor +2

Also gets:
endure elements,mind shielding,greater sustenance,freedom of movement, resistance +3, regeneration, true seeing, Ability score enhancement +8/+6/+4/+2, damage reduction 10/evil, Exalted strike +5 (magic,good), energy resistance 15


AC=10+10+13+2+0+3+13+4=51

Throw in DR from VoP and fast healing from Forsaker with his massive CON score and he should be pretty tough to kill.

Attacks (Unarmed Strike): +32/+27/+22/+17 2d8+14 or +30/+30/+25/+25/+20/+20/+15 2d8+14/2d8+9
Saves: 37/19/21
How about an exalted fist of the forest?

Half-Orc monk (invisible eye variant) 2/Stoneblessed (Dwarf) 3/Forskaker (MotW 3.0) 10/Fist of the Forest 3/Deep Warden 2
*snip*

Well done finishing a 10 level PrC, but the 2 levels of Deepwarden disqualify the entrant from this contest. Any 2 levels of a base class appear to solve that problem at the cost of some AC.
Fair enough; fighter levels, then
Never Mind. It was a bad idea.
half orc

HO para 3/ Orc Para 3/ menacing brute 5 / ewm 3 / streetfighter 5 /X 1 (barb by default)

full bab, unless X isnt.

very intimidating...

its a shame not to have bloodlines in it.. would have to find another good 3 lvl prc..
As a very simple approach to this problem: Druid 20. Feats include Natural Spell. After that, go nuts.
As a very simple approach to this problem: Druid 20. Feats include Natural Spell. After that, go nuts.

Doesn't fulfill the '3 prestige classes taken' requirement of the challenge, though. ;)
Binder 4 / Cloistered Cleric 1 / Tenebrous Apostate 5 / Knight of the Sacred Seal 5 / Ruathar 3 / Major Bloodline 2

EBL 20, 1 feat requirement, casts L3 cleric spells

or the less abusive non bloodline

Binder 5 / Tenebrous Apostate 5 / KoSS 5 / Scion of Dantalion 5.
Hmm... Gnome Wizard 5/Nightmare Spinner 5/Dread Witch 5/Shadowcraft Mage 5
The char I'm playing in our Campaign will become a

HumanParagon3/Sorcerer2/HarperParagon10/Abjurant Champion5
(using the regional feat "foe hunter" to get a favored enemy)

not exactly optimized but very funny to play
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