3.5 large falchion, just how bad of an idea is this?

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So the story goes as follows:
My character is a hobgoblin fighter who, after being freed from slavery under the drow, became lawful good and decided to out and do good for others just as good was done for him. I picked up 7 levels in fighter and my DM allowed me to eventually earn the right to become a paladin (of raw goodness, no god involved) and turn my fighter levels into paladin levels retroactively AND he allowed me to keep my fighter bonus feats too so i'm sort of a gestalt fighter/paladin in a non-gestalt campaign. It's kinda cool I think.

My DM's world was pretty stinkin brutal up till now so most of my feats and items were oriented towards "oh god please don't kill me!"
Dodge, Mobility, Spring attack (to gtfo after i take a swing), Combat expertise
Then i got kinda tanky so i picked up combat reflexes and hold the line so I could stand my ground get more attacks in (which helps when i'm at -5 to hit from combat expertise)

I also picked up improved disarm for flavor- disarm em and use max ranks in intimidate to scare the evil doers into repentance (it worked once or twice).

Now I finally get around to the topic at hand:
I figure I'm built as a pretty solid tanking character especially with the fighter feats on top of the paladin bonuses so I'd like to go back to using a 2hander like I did at level 1. I love the falchion because it seems cool to me and the crit range excited me but 2d4 is kinda low damage compared to the greatsword and greataxe so I came up with a funky plan to make it more bursty and I want you all to tell me just how bad it is.

Have my wizard buddy craft me some "strongarm bracers" from the magic item compendium: wield weapons 1 size larger w/out penalty.
Craft my own Large Adamantine Falchion to get up to 2d6, on par with a greatsword but with 15% crit range.
Put +1 or +2 and defending on it to recover the AC from not using a shield anymore.
Put Keen on it for 30% crit range: I figure with the penalties to hit from defending and combat expertise the only way i'm hitting is if I roll high anyway, so when I DO hit, it'll be a crit threat (and/or a smite) though confirming will still take luck.

I'm absolutely sure that there are better/cheaper/smarter options out there but I feel like I'm a bit overpowered right now anyway so i'm taking artistic license to do whatever feels fun or cool to me instead of min-maxing and optimizing more. I just want to know how I can make this idea better or if there is anything absolutely terrible about it (like using a whip for ranged sunder attacks).

Thanks guys!
To open things up, you are by no means overpowered, and extremely likely only to be able to survive due to the DM pulling his punches. 



Here's the short answer about the weapon. 

The costs (in feats, gold and accuracy) to use a larger weapon are always outweighed by the benefits gained from investing the same costs into a weapon of your size.

It's only when you get larger weapons 'for free' - i.e. a size-changing effect alters your weapons as well, and so on - that you use larger weapons. You should never seek out larger weapons for their own benefits.

And as for reasons to enlarge yourself? They're never for the bigger weapons. They're always for the improved reach and slightly better modifiers (particularly on opposed Strength checks). 




Now, for a longer answer.

What books are allowed? You seem to be going core-only, but even there your feat choices are amazingly sub-par and suggest a character that is very likely to get himself killed. However, it CAN'T be core-only since you're considering strongarm bracers... so what gives?

Your bigger challenge shouldn't be your weapon - it should be fixing your character. Here's why.
-Spring Attack is nearly useless. You should really be focusing on making full attacks rather than moving and hitting once.
-Dodge and Mobility are usually completely useless. Generally speaking, defenses other than AC are much more effective than AC.
-Combat Expertise is almost always useless, and on its own it is useless. For it to work you need something like the Edge of the Light build in my signature; without that, Combat Expertise is largely only useful as a prerequisite for Improved Trip (and there are ways of getting around that prerequisite too!).
-Improved Disarm is worse than useless. I'm not even going to elaborate.
-Paladin isn't a class you "earn the right" to - it's actually a very, very, very bad class past level 2 or so. Unless you're doing something weird (like the A-Game Paladin in my signature), you should pretty much never have more than 5 levels in Paladin, "gestalt" or not.

Likewise, you're looking at weapons as if you're level 1. The major source for your damage should not be your weapon dice. It should be Power Attack. (And if you're trying to deal damage in melee without that feat, you may as well be trying to play a wizard without a spellbook or a monk wearing armor.)



As a closing note, "for flavor" is never good justification for taking a poor mechanical choice. You're a warrior - and now a divinely tasked protector of the weak. Taking **** like Improved Disarm makes you worse at your job. Unless your concept is a warrior who is bad at his job, you should not take feats that make you bad at your job.

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)

 

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.

Listen to Tempest. He knows whereof he speaks.

The main dirty, little secret of D&D is that it's a numbers game, and playing a numbers game well often takes a bit of thought. And as with all math, the results are often not what you expect.

The other dirty, little secret is that the things that the designers play up and describe as good ideas are generally, if not always, not. So things like strongarm bracers, Monkey Grip, Spring Attack, Combat Expertise, Paladins, not being a full spellcaster, etc. - all not-so-good ideas.

  
As a closing note, "for flavor" is never good justification for taking a poor mechanical choice. You're a warrior - and now a divinely tasked protector of the weak. Taking **** like Improved Disarm makes you worse at your job. Unless your concept is a warrior who is bad at his job, you should not take feats that make you bad at your job.


I LOLed.
Tempest beat me to it again, and was, as always, right.

Something he missed, though, was Hobgoblin. It is truly, incredibly awful. You really need a way out of it. That LA is killer, especially with no buyoff.

I am ORCutus of Borg, 3 of 6. Resistance... is futile. Your life as it has been... is over. From this time forward... you will service... us.

Resident flaming Frickin' Awesome Guy

Flamboyant Flamer of the House of Trolls

I assure you the DM pulls zero punches- if anything he throws extras hence I bought a breastplate of moderate fortification which has prevented TPK's three times. Our group is 6 players strong and I'm the only one with the AC, HP, and sheer luck to withstand the monsters he throws at us. We always manage to surprise him with our resiliency though- so far only one of our players has died (4 times, lol.)

We are not using core only, though this is the first campaign for a number of us including me so at the start we only knew of core feats.
I thought about power attack many times but I really didn't want to reroll after a death so I went for defensive feats. Can you explain why you don't recommend combat expertise for a defensive build but do recommend power attack for an offensive build?


Your A-game paladin seems useful but neither I, nor my DM, dig dipping into obscure classes for optimization- it seems incoherent when the DM is trying to weave a story for us to navigate. I can't say I would be interested in bard-song as a paladin either. I'd rather stick to something that makes more sense and fits my own personality better if i'm going to roleplay it.


I can agree that spring attack has not worked out to be as useful as I thought. When i picked it I was unaware that the full attack action was a full round action; I had anticipated being able to take all my swings during a spring attack but oh well. I will snag whirlwind attack soon since I have all the pre-reqs and I think that will make me feel better about it since I am almost always surrounded. In regards to dodge/mobility, what defenses other than AC were available to me that you would have recommended?


Ultimately I feel that my topic was not actually addressed- I'm going to re-iterate the last paragraph for clarity:

I'm absolutely sure that there are better/cheaper/smarter options out there but I feel like I'm a bit overpowered right now anyway so i'm taking artistic license to do whatever feels fun or cool to me instead of min-maxing and optimizing more. I just want to know how I can make this idea better or if there is anything absolutely terrible about it (like using a whip for ranged sunder attacks.) 
I assure you the DM pulls zero punches- if anything he throws extras hence I bought a breastplate of moderate fortification which has prevented TPK's three times. Our group is 6 players strong and I'm the only one with the AC, HP, and sheer luck to withstand the monsters he throws at us. We always manage to surprise him with our resiliency though- so far only one of our players has died (4 times, lol.)


Cute, honestly, but he is pulling punches.

A 6-person group should be able to take on CR+2 encounters without too much hassle (gestalt doesn't usually add much to the burst power of classes, instead dramatically improving their options and sustained power). You're ECL 8. CR 10 monsters include the Coatl (note the spells, and check against your saves, particularly your Will save) and 11-headed pyrohydra (33d6 fire breath (average 115), DC 20, and can continue to "full attack" on the move even after breathing).

The lack of immunities you're packing and the fact that you prioritize AC over saving throws tells me that you see things like critical hits with weapons more frequently than you see save-or-die effects, ridiculous energy damage (it's getting less useful around your levels, but things that synergize with it will keep it a threat at this point unless you take steps to block it), or anything that monkeys with the action economy. These things start showing up at level 7 or so. Your DM is pulling punches.

Compare with the game I'm in now. Group of 5. We're routinely taking on fights three or four CRs above us (frequently after extended dungeon crawls - and in one case, a "boss fight" immediately following another boss fight, itself followin a long dungeon - and often we have alternative objectives as well, such as "keep the monsters away from the NPC children; by the way the battlefield has no cover and you're outnumbered"), and we've had one KO (not a death) in all that time, and that's because of one bit of misdirection leading us to mis-assess the true threat rather than being unable to stand against it. I showcased this party at level 8 (it's in my signature as Dead for Nothing), and since two of the characters are single-classed (and two of them may as well be single-classed), I don't think you can say we're conforming to your idea of optimization.

We are not using core only, though this is the first campaign for a number of us including me so at the start we only knew of core feats.
I thought about power attack many times but I really didn't want to reroll after a death so I went for defensive feats. Can you explain why you don't recommend combat expertise for a defensive build but do recommend power attack for an offensive build?


Combat Expertise is capped at -5, doesn't have anything which multiplies its impact, and only modifies armor class (something which a good enemy only rolls against as a formality). If you use Combat Expertise, you might, in a very narrow range of situations, survive for one more round.

Power Attack is naturally uncapped, works with a LOT of different multipliers (most of which multiply each other to a greater or lesser extent, and some - i.e. holding it two-handed - are free to everyone), and it works off of melee damage. A good Power Attacker will terminate its target, or at least knock it to the point where the target will die before it gets another action off. An enemy that dies is an enemy that isn't attacking you - in effect, you negated all of its attacks, including things that wouldn't have looked at AC, by killing it faster.

While Combat Expertise looks symmetric to Power Attack, it really is much worse. 


If you play Magic (many of us are at least familiar with it), it's like comparing creatures with high power that attack every turn with creatures with high toughness and the Defender ability. The two appear to be symmetric, but the advantage is always with the aggressor.

Your A-game paladin seems useful but neither I, nor my DM, dig dipping into obscure classes for optimization- it seems incoherent when the DM is trying to weave a story for us to navigate. I can't say I would be interested in bard-song as a paladin either. I'd rather stick to something that makes more sense and fits my own personality better if i'm going to roleplay it.


Roleplay is linked to concept.

Class is distinct (though related) to concept.

Paladin (the class) is only useful for at absolute most 5 levels, before it starts tripping over its own mechanics and any prestige class option would outperform it at its own job. 

Holy warriors who defend the weak (including the paladin) can include classes which aren't gimped, such as the Crusader.

Your character can't tell the difference between a guy with two levels of paladin and the rest of crusader, and a guy with ten levels of paladin. It's just they'll recognize the second guy is much better at his job, and the first is probably struggling to even do his job.

I can agree that spring attack has not worked out to be as useful as I thought. When i picked it I was unaware that the full attack action was a full round action; I had anticipated being able to take all my swings during a spring attack but oh well. I will snag whirlwind attack soon since I have all the pre-reqs and I think that will make me feel better about it since I am almost always surrounded. In regards to dodge/mobility, what defenses other than AC were available to me that you would have recommended?


If you made a mistake that badly, then why doesn't your DM let you fix it?

Whirlwind, by the way, is even worse than Spring Attack, and you really should not touch it with a ten-foot pole. I've been at this since the dawn of 3e, and I've seen Whirlwind used in melee five times in nearly 14 years. It really is that hard to make good use of it. (The Slash and Burn build in my sig is the best we've found - and even then it's not because of Whirlwind itself. It's because of Pounce.)

I can't answer your last question unless you tell me what books are available. To begin with, I'd suggest a reach weapon (creatures who can't get close to you can't hit you), ideally with Combat Reflexes. I'd suggest looking into cheap items that grant miss chances (either directly or in forms like Mirror Image). I'd suggest things that flat-out negate attacks (like an Iron Heart Vest of Wall of Blades). And so on.

Ultimately I feel that my topic was not actually addressed- I'm going to re-iterate the last paragraph for clarity:

I'm absolutely sure that there are better/cheaper/smarter options out there but I feel like I'm a bit overpowered right now anyway so i'm taking artistic license to do whatever feels fun or cool to me instead of min-maxing and optimizing more. I just want to know how I can make this idea better or if there is anything absolutely terrible about it (like using a whip for ranged sunder attacks.) 


Forgive my bluntness, but your idea can't be functional, let alone "better".

Also, fun and cool are not mutually exclusive from optimization. Likewise, not all optimization is overkill.




EDIT: Okay, let me try to be a bit more constructive. I'll assume your character is absolutely fixed and cannot be changed, and you have to come up with a falchion to work with that character.

Your next feat is  Power Attack. No arguing on this point. You might want to do some research and keep a journal of enemy defensive techniques (read: a notebook recording your estimates of enemy ACs) - learning to estimate enemy AC is an important player skill when using Power Attack without Shock Trooper, and since your build won't have enough room for Shock Trooper...

(To make the most of your Spring Attack feat, if you're still worried about defenses, another one to consider is Elusive Target from Complete Warrior. See the Evasion Tank in my signature for an example of how this works. Most dramatically, it makes you immune to Power Attack, and gives you ways to flat-out negate attacks when you're surrounded or when you're moving. In early 3.5, people occasionally combined this with Shock Trooper and had melee warriors with NEGATIVE Armor Classes prove impossibly hard to hit. If that doesn't show you the value in non-AC defenses, nothing will.)

Your weapon is a falchion. To make this work better, make it +1 Keen, and then consider one of the following routes.
Route 1: Buy demolition and truedeath crystals from the MIC. As I recall, these allow you to deliver critical hits to undead. 
Route 2: Invest in the Collision property (also MIC, but it's from the XPH). It's the biggest source of multiplier-friendly bonus damage out there.
Route 3: Remember to attack enemy actions. If you've got the Charisma for your Paladin class, fit it with Sudden Stunning (DMG2) and save up for Dessicating Burst (MIC). The former lets you stun your target with it without increasing its effective enhancement bonus, and the latter turns every critical hit into a source of Fatigue (read: removing your enemy's ability to charge and reducing their Strength by 6).

Ultimately you'll want to explore all three routes, but for now concentrate on one of them until you get a lot of money. 

Finally, round it off by grabbing other equipment - ANY other equipment you can find - that will allow you to full attack and move at the same time, or make more attacks on a full attack. If you're not terribly creative, the Fleet Warrior's Array in the MIC is a decent starting point. Critical hits require you to make a lot of attacks for them to work (lots of attacks = lots of chances to crit), so oddly, Spring Attack works against critical hits.


That also assumes you're not looking into the Tome of Battle. If you are, GET MARTIAL ADEPT LEVELS. Specifically, you'd want either Crusader (it is a paladin, 'nuff said) or Warblade (which has access to Tiger Claw, for the Blood in the Water stance, which is basically every critical-hit specialist's best friend). If you're worried about fluff, look to Iron Heart, the warblade exclusive school - by default, it was developed by hobgoblins. (You'd be discovering the ancient martial art of your ancestors, and by using it as a paladin you not only seek to redeem yourself, but the heritage of your entire people). Iron Heart also provides you with Wall of Blades (great non-AC defense), Iron Heart Surge (excellent maneuver overall), and several maneuvers to make sure your attack connects (from Steely Strike to Lightning Recovery). They even have replacements for Whirlwind Attack (Steel Wind, etc.)! Top it off with a Martial Discipline weapon (+2 attack, or +3 with strikes or while in a stance from the corresponding school, at the cost of a +1 enhancement; this is a bargain) and you'll be golden.


(In fact, continuing to level from here as a warblade, while holding true to the paladin code, may very well salvage your character overall and give it a chance against the foes I've been describing.)

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)

 

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

 

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

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

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

I assure you the DM pulls zero punches- if anything he throws extras hence I bought a breastplate of moderate fortification which has prevented TPK's three times. Our group is 6 players strong and I'm the only one with the AC, HP, and sheer luck to withstand the monsters he throws at us. We always manage to surprise him with our resiliency though- so far only one of our players has died (4 times, lol.)

Tempest already addressed this, but, yeah, no.
I thought about power attack many times but I really didn't want to reroll after a death so I went for defensive feats. Can you explain why you don't recommend combat expertise for a defensive build but do recommend power attack for an offensive build?

Because defense doesn't work. Seriously. An enemy that's still alive can kill you, one that's dead can't. Monsters have lots of HD and lots of strength, so their attack bonuses will outstrip your defenses very quickly.

Power attack can also go as high as you cap spend and has plenty of multipliers and whatnot. It's simple damage. You never leave home without it, it's your main way to actually kill anything.
Your A-game paladin seems useful but neither I, nor my DM, dig dipping into obscure classes for optimization- it seems incoherent when the DM is trying to weave a story for us to navigate. I can't say I would be interested in bard-song as a paladin either. I'd rather stick to something that makes more sense and fits my own personality better if i'm going to roleplay it.

That crap has been done to death and dismantled so many times, I really don't even want to go into how much is wrong with that statement.
I can agree that spring attack has not worked out to be as useful as I thought. When i picked it I was unaware that the full attack action was a full round action; I had anticipated being able to take all my swings during a spring attack but oh well. I will snag whirlwind attack soon since I have all the pre-reqs and I think that will make me feel better about it since I am almost always surrounded.

Whirlwind Attack is terrible. Also, seriously, your DM should let you rebuild.
In regards to dodge/mobility, what defenses other than AC were available to me that you would have recommended?

This is a good start.
Ultimately I feel that my topic was not actually addressed- I'm going to re-iterate the last paragraph for clarity:

I'm absolutely sure that there are better/cheaper/smarter options out there but I feel like I'm a bit overpowered right now anyway so i'm taking artistic license to do whatever feels fun or cool to me instead of min-maxing and optimizing more. I just want to know how I can make this idea better or if there is anything absolutely terrible about it (like using a whip for ranged sunder attacks.) 

Claiming cool and optimized are mutualy exclusive? You want this one, Tempest, or should I take it?

But, yeah, printing out a new character sheet is probably the best way to go here.

I am ORCutus of Borg, 3 of 6. Resistance... is futile. Your life as it has been... is over. From this time forward... you will service... us.

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Flamboyant Flamer of the House of Trolls

Go ahead and take it; dictummortuum.blogspot.ca/2011/12/stormw... and my two comments (I couldn't log in; they're from 'unknown') are probably all I would say anyway.

Repeating my suggestion of taking Warblade levels from here on out, even if the DM won't let you rebuild. Warblade is a perfect, simple, no-nonsense warrior class, and a focus on Iron Heart checks all of the boxes marked "hobgoblin" on the flavor sheet. It helps that Iron Heart also provides non-AC defenses, accuracy effects, Whirlwind substitutes that actually work, and so on and so forth, so while you might take an Iron Heart focused warblade for  fluff reasons, you'd also be making good use of it mechanically too.

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)

 

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.

RPGs: The only games I know of where playing the game is considered the wrong way to play the game. Yell

I will say this: There is a difference between pulling one's punches and simply not being experienced enough to be able to field the most threatening challenges or not realizing what the best tactics are. It doesn't help that the "tactics" entries for monsters are often pitifully bad.

I once ran an adventure that specified the tactics for a "salt demon" as "gets in close and tears people up with its claws." This demon had acid fog and blade barrier at will. Srsly.   
"RPGs: The only games I know of where playing the game is considered the wrong way to play the game."
Amen to this.

Thanks for all the advice, but most of it is not what I was looking for- only the tiny section on advice for the weapon which I appreciate. Sadly I dont think my DM would let me get sudden stunning.
That's because you're doing the equivalent of wearing an evening gown on a spacewalk and are asking for advice on picking matching shoes. Sure, it's important to have the outfit match, but you have more pressing matters than that to contend with.

Also you didn't mention what books you're using. You only said it wasn't core. This is like the police asking for help locating a suspect, and when the media asks for a description, the police just say "he is hatless".

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)

 

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.

"RPGs: The only games I know of where playing the game is considered the wrong way to play the game."
Amen to this.



That was actually in reference to the sentiment that "class dipping is badwrong." Multiclassing is part of the game. Trying to have your character be good at things is part of the game.