How to make Nightcrawler in D&D?

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I heard about a thread for the making of popular characters in D&D, but couldn't find it when I Googled it. Regardless, I wanted advice on how to mechanically portray Nightcrawler from the X-Men over 20 levels.

Relevant assumptions: Start at ECL1 with 300 gold and a 32 point buy. No favored classes or multiclass experience penalties. All sources allowed pending DM approval. LA buyoff and partial BAB stacking are in effect. RKV and Tome of Battle PrCs that advance initiator level apply this bonus to all classes. Shadow Blink/Stride/Jaunt qualify as dimension door for entering Telflammar Shadowlord.

Ruby Knight Vindicator (for a deity besides Wee Jas) and Telflammar Shadowlord seem like a spiffy mix.
Off-hand...

An Abrupt Jaunt Conjurer specialist wizard (PHB II) comes to mind.

As an immediate action move 10 feet in the desired direction a number of times per day equal to your Int mod.


Beyond that I have no idea. I'll have to think about it on the way home.
...or better yet, if you can get 4th level arcane spells: Dimensional Juant (reserve feat, Complete Mage) 5'/ lvl of spell in memory, unlimited number of uses/day =)
Ask and you shall receive. From the Warlock Information Compilation
Making Nightcrawler by Thinblade

A common request on the CO boards is help in creating a D&D equivalent of a character from some other area of fiction. We’ve seen Final Fantasy Dragoons, Sonic the Hedgehog, a rather scary Jean Grey telekineticist, and plenty of others. Recently, I gave a lot of thought to creating a version of Nightcrawler using warlock in response to just such a request, and I figured I’d share.

Warlock is actually a good choice to base a Nightcrawler build upon, since you can get unlimited dimension doors a day, allowing you to bamf around the battlefield at will, and the class’s flavor has the same dark feel as the inhuman-looking mutant. However, since invocations are standard actions, you’re forced to bamf, then wait until next turn to attack. Not very cool.

Enter the Forgotten Realms (for its last few months of existence) and the PrC ability shadow pounce: the ability to make a full attack after the conclusion of any teleportation. Now we’re talking. Alternately, you can take one level of monk and the Sun School tactical feat in Complete Warrior, but that only gives one attack after teleporting, and therefore isn’t as cool. On to shadow pouncing.

Of the two PrC’s that offer shadow pouncing (Crinti Shadow Marauder [Shining South] and Telflammar Shadowlord [Unapproachable East]), the Shadowlord gives it a level earlier, at 4th. Unfortunately, the entry requirements are brutal:

Non-good
Hide 10 ranks, Move Silently 10 ranks
Blind-fight, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack
Dimension Door as spell or SLA
Sneak attack +2d6

Ouch. Obviously, we’re going to need to multiclass, and there are two main options: thief or ninja 3 or swordsage 2. Thief gets you evasion, ninja gets you poison use and limited invisibilty, but requires a higher Wisdon. Scout, unfortunately, doesn’t get +2d6 skirmish until later.

Swordsage gets sneak attack through the shadow hand stance Assassin’s Stance (so make sure you’re DM’s okay with that way of qualifying). If you split the levels of swordsage around those of warlock, you can end up getting in with just Swordsage 2.

Finally, if you want to get in by level 8-9, you need to play a race with a bonus feat: human, strongheart halfling, azurin, etc. Almost all of your feats will be used for Shadowlord entry requirements, and the one you have free should be Quicken SLA: Flee the Scene to get two full attacks in a turn. If you want others (two recommended are able learning and the eldritch claw feat from Dragon Magic), you’ll need to pick up some flaws from Unearthed Arcana.

So your two basic Nightcrawler bases look like this:

Thief 3/Warlock 6/Telflammar Shadowlord 4/X 7 or
Swordsage 1/Warlock 6/SS +1/TS 4/X 8

X can be a lot of things. For this guide I’m going to assume you want to continue to advance warlock invocations. If you’re not, find some +1 BAB prestige class that looks interesting. If you are, a couple of PrC’s are interesting. Divine Oracle doesn’t give much in the way of BAB, but does have some nice defensive class features. Since you have SA dice (one way or another) and limited spellcasting from SL, you can also go into Unseen Seer, though you’ll have to use two of your three least invocations for the required divinations. The Child of Night PrC from Tome of Magic is a great atmospheric choice, advancing the shadowy nature of the character already established by the Shadowlord.

If you got into TS through swordsage, you’re in the rare position of being a warlock that can enter Jade Phoenix Mage. Use your limited list of second level spells to enter, and apply the JPM advances to warlock, and bask in the fact that it’s a +1 BAB class. JPM opens up several really nice higher-level maneuvers, including a counter that teleports you when attacked (setting off shadow pouncing again), and two boosts that add fire damage to your attacks.

Finally, if you have Tome of Battle, you should (regardless of path) pick up the maneuver shadow stride through the Martial Study feat. This allows you to shadow pounce twice in a round (three times if you quicken FtS as well). Get it at level 15 with JPM, level 18 without.

Here are two versions of Nightcrawler, one using ToB, the other not. Both are assumed to be humans, without flaws.

“Nightcrawler”
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Human Rogue 3/Warlock 6/Telflammar Shadowlord 4/Child of Night 7

Rogue 1: Trapfinding, SA +1d6, Dodge, Mobility
Rogue 2: Evasion
Warlock 1: Least invocation, Blind fight
Warlock 2: Least invocation, Detect Magic
Warlock 3: DR 1/cold iron
Warlock 4: Darkness, Decieve Item, Spring Attack
Warlock 5:
Warlock 6: Flee the Scene
Rogue 3: SA +2d6, Trapsense +1, Quicken: Flee the Scene
Telflammar Shadowlord 1: Shadowsight, shadow jump
Telflammar Shadowlord 2: Shadow blur
Telflammar Shadowlord 3: Shadow walk, Feat
Telflammar Shadowlord 4: Shadow pounce
Child of Night 1: Cloak of Shadows, cold resistance 5
Child of Night 2: Sustaining shadow (eat 1 meal/week), Feat
Child of Night 3: Dancing shadows 1/day
Child of Night 4: Cloak of shadows (blur 1/day) sustaining shadow (sleep 1 hour/day)
Child of Night 5: Cold resistance 10, Feat
Child of Night 6: Cloak of shadows (blur 3/day), sustaining shadow (immune to poison/disease)
Child of Night 7: Dancing shadows 2/day

BAB 13; F/R/W: 6/11/12; Casts as Warlock 12 (6d6 blast, 1 Greater invocation)

“Phoenix Nightcrawler” (ToB)
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Human Swordsage 1/ Warlock 6/SS +1/Telflammar Shadowlord 4/JPM 8

Swordsage 1: Quick to Act +1, discipline focus (weapon focus), Cloak of Deception, 5 others, Dodge, Mobility
Warlock 1: Least invocation,
Warlock 2: Least invocation, Detect Magic, Blind fight
Warlock 3: DR 1/cold iron
Warlock 4: Least Invocation, Decieve Item
Warlock 5: Spring Attack
Warlock 6: Flee the Scene
Swordsage 2: AC bonus, Assassin’s Stance, 1 maneuver (3rd)
Telflammar Shadowlord 1: Shadowsight, shadow jump, Quicken: Flee the Scene
Telflammar Shadowlord 2: Shadow blur
Telflammar Shadowlord 3: Shadow walk
Telflammar Shadowlord 4: Shadow pounce, Adaptive Style
JPM 1: +1 Man. known (4th) (Searing Blade), arcane wrath, rite of waking
JPM 2: Mystic phoenix stance
JPM 3: +1 Man. known (5th) (Leaping Flame), +1 Man. readied, Shadow Stride
JPM 4: Empowering strike
JPM 5: +1 Man. known (6th) (Rallying Strike), +1 stance
JPM 6: +1 Man. readied, Firebird stance, Jade Phoenix master, Feat
JPM 7: +1 Man. known (7th) (Inferno Blade)
JPM 8: Quickening strike

BAB 16; F/R/W: 9/11/11; Casts as Warlock 12 (6d6 blast, 1 Greater invocation)

Swashbuckler 3/Rogue 3/Jaunter 4/Something that can hit after pouncing or whatever
you cant take "cloak of deception" at first level its : swordsage 2

so i guess you have to start with warlock 4/ swordsage1
that way your initiator level is 3 when you take your level of swordsage and therefor you can actually take cloak of deception
but that way you'll lose lots of skillpoints
If you can get a spare feat (like with a flaw), you can take Shape Soulmeld (blink shirt) and start teleporting at level 1. Which of course takes 1st level adventures based on locked doors and breaks them wide open, as well as being heavily thematic. :D
I'd go with psion (nomad) + monk + either Tashalatora feat or Lucid Cenobite PrC (from Hyperconscious).

Dimension Hop, Dimension Door, Teleport, Greater Teleport, etc.
The above builds really don't so much make Nightcrawler as they do random teleportation guy.

Nightcrawler is a very solemn religious man. He is a master swordsman/fencer, his physical agility is simply amazing.

I really don't think that Warlock fits him that much. Not sure of a way to make it work, but honestly seems all that is being focused on is the teleporting. He really is much more than that.
The above builds really don't so much make Nightcrawler as they do random teleportation guy.

Nightcrawler is a very solemn religious man. He is a master swordsman/fencer, his physical agility is simply amazing.

I really don't think that Warlock fits him that much. Not sure of a way to make it work, but honestly seems all that is being focused on is the teleporting. He really is much more than that.

The only thing is that when most people think of Nightcrawler they envision the *BAMF* teleportation, which happens to be extremely difficult mechanically to simulate.

The other stuff is easy but this becomes a matter of sacrifice.
Realy simple to be honest.

Sword sage and monk with the sun school feat.

I would do:
Monk 2 /Sword sage x

Focusing on shadow hand, dimond mind and setting sun.

once you get high enough you can get the different shadow manuvers which qualify you for sun school so you can:
As a swift action teleport get your full attack plus the sun school hit.
As a swift action boost your self. teleport as a move action get a hit from sun school and then get a strike in.
As a swift action boost your self then teleport as a standard action get a hit in from sun school.

Some gms allow snap kick to apply to the teleport. Don't forget to pick up adaptive style so every 4 rounds you can refresh all your menuvers.

Pick other feats and manuvers to taste.
I consider Nightcrawler a Swordsage with shadow jaunt.
The above builds really don't so much make Nightcrawler as they do random teleportation guy.

Nightcrawler is a very solemn religious man. He is a master swordsman/fencer, his physical agility is simply amazing.

I really don't think that Warlock fits him that much. Not sure of a way to make it work, but honestly seems all that is being focused on is the teleporting. He really is much more than that.

Swashbuckler 3/Rogue 3/Jaunter 4/Something that can hit after pouncing or whatever

Swashbuckler or Swordsage (I'm not that familiar with ToB) or whatever into Jaunter. Jaunter is more Nightcrawler than almost anything I'm seeing here. Tack on either Sun School or one of those Prestige Classes that lets you do cool things after teleporting.

I would also snag a Shadow Cloak from Drow of the Underdark as it gets him abrupt jaunt 3 times per day.
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