Character Optimization Board 3.5 Build FAQ

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**********Section 1: Q&A**********

Q: What is the purpose of this FAQ/Handbook?
A: The purpose of the Build FAQ/Handbook is to provide a source for standard builds and concepts used in the min/max board.
The FAQ/Handbook uses a linked concept with most of the builds being featured in threads outside of the FAQ/Handbook. A good number of these threads were especially created for this.
The information provided in this FAQ/Handbook is essentially the building blocks used in many of the builds found in this forum.

This FAQ/Handbook is a place to start if someone is new to the min/max boards or just to min/maxing in general.

Q: How does the Min/Max Build FAQ/Handbook differ from the Min/Max Board FAQ?
A: The Board FAQ deals with defining the concept of min/maxing and discusses board etiquette. It does not contain any information on specific builds. The Build FAQ/Handbook contains specific character builds as well as dealing with the concepts of min/maxing.

Q: What criteria are used to determine what builds and information make it into the Build FAQ/Handbook?
A: This is largely subjective but there are common themes that continue to reoccur on this board. Many times there is a baseline for a particular build that is almost always mentioned. There are also builds and combos that are “tried and true”.
There has been quite some discussion about the content of the FAQ/Handbook as well as what the definition of a FAQ/Handbook-worthy build is.
Go on and resurrect such a thread, make up your own one or post your ideas as a reply, this text is in no way considered perfect.

Q: I totally disagree with stuff written here, what should I do?
A: Its fine to write a constructive reply to this thread. You can also deal with it in the linked thread of the section or contact me personally.

Q: Why isn’t each class or PrC given its own section? Why isn’t such and such a PrC or build listed?
A: There is an own section for each core-class
Listing all PrCs out there takes nearly as much space as this FAQ/Handbook, see the link-section for an useful collection.

Q: What books are considered "standard" for the builds list in this FAQ/Handbook?
A: The core-books as well as the FRCS.
The listed builds use all official WotC-material including dragon-magazine.
There are builds concerning 3rd party material, but they will not be part of this FAQ/Handbook

Q: Why aren’t Epic level builds listed?
A: It's tough to give generalized guidelines for epic level builds. This FAQ/Handbook will be concerned with 20-level builds as this is a quasi-standard on the boards. Epic builds have a vastly increased number of options so they are not covered in this FAQ.

Q: What is the format used to describe builds?
A: Builds are listed in two formats:
Short: core-classes X/PrCs X where X is the number of levels. The order is unimportant, its mainly for overview.
Long: A 20-level list with this format:
Characterlevel level class classlevel feat (special ability)
**********Section 2: Glossary, abbreviations, sources**********

A: Glossary

This glossary explains terms that are common on these boards and my be needed to understand this build-FAQ as well as postings on this board in general.

The glossary is maintained in a thread by stembolt here, for additions, critique etc use this thread please.
Its also the right point to ask if you dont understand a word and its not listed here, i will add it then.

Build
- A 20 level listing of core class and/or prestige class levels that defines a character's career path.

Character Optimization
– Min/Maxing. This term is more or less exclusive to the Wizards boards. By definition it is exactly the same as min/maxing. This name change has less to do with constituents of the min/max board searching for a new name and more to do with the hatred, prejudice and churlishness of outsiders.

Cleric Archer
– A popular build/concept based around a Cleric who uses Archery combined with Buff spells.

Dip/One-Level-Dip
– Taking only one or a few levels of a 10 level prestige class. This is because either those first few levels were the only ones worth taking or because you want to combine them with one or more other prestige classes.

Epic Ready
– This implies that a build is prepared for epic level progression. Either it has 20 levels of a base class or 10 levels of a prestige class.

Expiration date
- also departure point. The level of a class or PrC where the last real benefits are gained. Depending on goal and point of view it can be different.
Examples: Holy Liberator3, Fighter2 or 4, Ranger3, 6 or 11

Gish
– this is originally a term for Githyanki fighter mages. JospehKell introduced it with his Gish-thread and it is now used for mage/fighters in general

Min/Max
– To minimize a characters weaknesses and maximize their strengths.

Min/Maxers
– one who min/maxes

Monkey
- as in “(blank)-monkey” Trip-Monkey, Skill-Monkey, Trap-Monkey, Sneak-Attack-Monkey for example. Used to describe something devoted to its qualifier word. For example a trip-monkey wants to be a good tripper in exclusion of almost all else.

Junk level - A level of a class not worth taking in and of itself. eg. Fighter level 5 offers no saving throw increases, no Bonus Feat. There is no reason to take it unless you plan on taking Fighter level 6 as well.

Multiple Attribute Dependency [MAD]
– A class or build that depends on several ability scores.

Munchkin – Another term typically equated with min/maxing by outsiders. Munchkin usually means a cheater and is used almost exclusively as a derogatory term.

Payoff
- Payoff is the power you get for a level of a certain class or PrC.

Powergamer – A character or player who attempts to make the most powerful character possible. To outsiders they are essentially the same as min/maxers to min/maxers there are subtle differences.

Prefix
- The core-class component of a build, what you need to qualify for a certain PrC

Primary spellcaster
- Spellcaster with full casterlevels. Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard.

Secondary Spellcaster
- Spellcaster with few non-casterlevels or inferior spellprogression. Bard, Gish, Arcane Trickster, Nar Demonbinder etc.

Single Attribute Dependency [SAD]
– A class or build that only needs one stat at the expense of all other attributes.

Sub-optimal
- A poor-fitting game mechanics used in a build intended to achieve a certain structured or tactical objective. I.e. a Barbarian/Wizard build.

Suffix
- The PrC-component of a build, complement to prefix.

Synergy
- Effective multi-component builds that become even stronger when combined with similar & compatible mechanics.
A synergy-effect is, for example, when you take two PrCs with similar prerequisites.

Tertiary Spellcaster
- A build that has its focal point on something else but can cast spells nontheless. Templar, Hexblade, Paladin etc.

Threat, Triple or Quadruple
- A single build that comprises archetype components of 3 or 4 of the roles in protoypical Iconic-4 party.

[i]
**********Section 3: Barbarians**********

Barbarians as a type are about reckless offensive, they don’t pay much attention to civilized warfare and often neglect their defence.
Barbarians as a class can be found here(SRD)

A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Barbarians major strength?

A: Barbarians are the most offensive class in the game. Their major advantage is rage combined with fast movement, later on they do also gain uncanny dodge and damage reduction. With a d12 HD and the con-bonus from rage a Barbarian does normally feature the highest hit points in the group.

Q: What is the Barbarians Major Weaknesses?

A: A lower AC due to rage, the limitation on medium armor and the rare use of shields.
Another weak spot is the bad will-save

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: Barbarians have less feats then fighters. It is not very smart to try to build a Barbarian with long feat-chains or to use feats with only small benefits like weapon focus.
Barbarians should use their higher strength to their advantage when it comes to tactical feats.
It is important to cover the weak spots, otherwise the partys damage dealer is suddenly on the wrong side, being dominated.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Barbarian in a multiclass build?

A: Depending on the usefulness of uncanny dodge its either the first or the second level.
Rage and fast movement are the major features of the Barbarian.
The number of rages can be easily increased by the Extra Rage feat that gives a first level Barbarian the equivalent number to a 8th level one.

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
a. Most Important Source is the Complete Warrior, it features important Barbarian PrCs like Bear Warrior or Frenzied Berserker

b. Other Sources are Masters of the Wild and Sword and Fist as long as they feature non-updated material. Unapproachable East features the Runescarred Berserk, Races of Faerun the Battlerager and the Warrior Skald, the Book of Exalted Deeds the Champion of Gwynharwyv

II. Ability Scores

a. Overview
Barbarians need high stats in their body-attributes while they normally neglect the mind attributes.
i. Strength is the primary source of damage for a Barbarian. Its also useful for special actions like trip, bullrush etc.
ii. Dexterity helps with the low AC
iii. Constitution is the major attribute of a Barbarian. It determinates the number of rounds a rage lasts and the sheer number of hit points a Barbarian can have surprises friend and foe alike
iv. Intelligence is normally a dump-stat. with 4 skill points/level distributed to only 9 class-skills a Barbarian does not really need extra skill points.
v. Wisdom helps to balance the Barbarians low will-save
vi. Charisma is normally a dump-stat

III. Race
Humans and their extra feat are always a good choice for a Barbarian.
All races with a bonus to con and/or strength, like (half-) Orcs, are also favored choices.

IV. Skills
Intimidate can be a very good skill for a Barbarian, especially if you use the variant rule that allows strength as a linked attribute instead of charisma if its all about showing muscles.
Its good to have a few points invested in survival, would be shameful if your wilderness warrior dies of hunger because there is no inn nearby.
Listen is a good choice, if you hear your enemy you can charge him, better then the other way round.

V. Feats
Power Attack and Cleave are the standard Barbarian feats.
A very strong choice are, if available, the lodge-feats from UE, like Wolf Berserker (in conjunction with improved trip) fo a tactical buld or Snow Tiger Berserker for a TWF-charger.
Shock Trooper and Combat Brute are two interesting tactical feats from CW, the first works well in conjunction with Elusive Target (if you have a high enough dex and int)

VI. Deity
Depends on your choice, Barbarians does not gain any benefits or disadvantages

C) Builds

Iconic Min/Max Build: (by Funny Slaughter)

human barbarian5/fighter2/bear warrior10/warshaper3
1 barbarian1 [i]power attack, cleave[/i]<br /> 2 fighter1 [i]improved sunder[/i]<br /> 3 fighter2 [i]improved bullrush, extra rage[/i]<br /> 4 barbarian2 <br /> 5 barbarian3<br /> 6 barbarian4 [i]combat brute[/i]<br /> 7 barbarian5<br /> 8 bear warrior1<br /> 9 warshaper1 [i]shock trooper[/i]<br /> 10 warshaper2<br /> 11 warshaper3<br /> 12 bear warrior2 [i]great cleave[/i]<br /> 13 bear warrior3<br /> 14 bear warrior4<br /> 15 bear warrior5 [i]large and in charge[/i]<br /> 16 bear warrior6<br /> 17 bear warrior7<br /> 18 bear warrior8 [i]improved toughness[/i]<br /> 19 bear warrior9<br /> 20 bear warrior10

Why is this a strong build?
Its strong in the literal meaning, getting huge strength from bear warrior as well as war shaper. it features the "real" barbarian way of fighting: charge!

2nd iconic Build (by Funny Slaughter)

note: build is deprecated. simply use paladin of freedom instead of holy liberator and you even gain a free feat...

feral human rogue4/barbarian2/HL3/RSB10

Used sources:
Defenders of the Faith (Holy Liberator)
Unapproachable East (Runescarred Berserk, feats)
Miniatures Handbook (mage slayer feat)

1 feral-template<br /> 2 rogue1 survivor, iron will<br /> 3 barbarian1<br /> 4 rogue2 wolf berserker<br /> 5 barbarian2<br /> 6 rogue3<br /> 7 rogue4 improved trip<br /> 8 holy liberator1<br /> 9 holy liberator2<br /> 10 holy liberator3 power attack<br /> 11 runescarred berserk1<br /> 12 runescarred berserk2<br /> 13 runescarred berserk3 divine might<br /> 14 runescarred berserk4<br /> 15 runescarred berserk5<br /> 16 runescarred berserk6 improved grapple<br /> 17 runescarred berserk7<br /> 18 runescarred berserk8<br /> 19 runescarred berserk9 mage slayer<br /> 20 runescarred berserk10

Why is this a strong build?
The addition of Holy Liberator covers the first big weakness of the Barbarian, the will-save. Iron Will adds +2, the HL features a good will-save (a further +3) and makes you immune to charm and compulsion.
Runescarred Berserk adds spell-runes to the barbarians features and continues rage-progression as well as getting DR, you exchange some feats and get a better barbarian in fact.

If your DM allows the feral-template to work with class-HD the build is geared to work with natural weapons, otherwise they are only used in grapple.
With antimagic field on his spell-list this character becomes a deadly mage-hunter later on.

If you go with Rogue for your first level is a tradeoff:
6 HP at 1st lvl (evens to 3 at 2nd), weapon and armor proficiencies as well as fast movement and rage at 1st level.
vs.
~24 skillpoints more, 1d6 sneak damage

if you see this from 2nd level its mainly 3 HP vs 24 skillpoints, but if you start at lvl1 this may be a hard deal.

D) Links
Handbook: none so far
Builds: [URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=111360
] 3.5 barbarian thread[/url]

also see the 3.5 Frenzied Berserker Thread

Further links can be found in the [URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=213480
] optimization Library[/url]
**********Section 4: Bards**********

Bards are the jack of all trades.
While a core Bard can do many things but eventually none right you can specialize your Bard in quite some directions.

A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Bards major strength?

A: Versatility. The Bard features a load of skillpoints in a variety of skills, a wide array of arcane spells with a few clerical ones mixed

into, bardic knowledge as well as bardic music.

Q: What are the Bards major weaknesses?

A: A Bard can do many things, but unless you pay special attention he is outshined by a class spezialized in this area.
Arcane spellcasting limits him to light armor (if armor is used at all) and his weapon proficiencies are limited.
A d6 HD does

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: A Bard is no frontliner, its a bad idea to work a build around melee-feats.
If you have a big group a Bard should play his versatility to the max, but in a small one a Bard should concentrate on one of his

strengths.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Bard in a multiclass build?

A: Depends on the build, there are no levels with overwhelming abilities. Normally you break when you reached the required

skillranks or spells.

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
a. Most Important Source is still Song and Silence

b. Other Sources are Miniatures Handbook with the Marshal core class, Races of Faerun with the Warrior Skald, Complete Warrior with the War Chanter and the Book of Exalted Deeds with the Troubadour of Stars.

II. Ability Scores

a. Overview
Bards need Cha for spellcasting, other then this they do not have a preferred attribute, depends on your build
i. Strength is only useful if your Bard is a secondary fighter
ii. Dexterity helps with the low AC and is important if you focus on ranged attacks.
iii. Constitution is an important attribute for any character. If your Bard avoids the frontline you dont need a very high score here
iv. Intelligence is important if you want to focus on skills. With the wide array of class-skills its hard to have too many skillpoints.
v. Wisdom is normally a dump-stat
vi. Charisma is needed for many skills as well as for spellcasting

III. Race
Humans and their extra feat and skillpoint are always a good choice for a Bard.
Elves and their additional weapon proficiencies are also a good choice, as usual there is the right elven race for every subtype you may want to play.

IV. Skills
Depending on your party, most Bards favor the social skills like bluff, diplomacy, gather information and perform.
Use magic device does greatly increase a Bards versatility with magic while different knowledge-skills take care of skillpoints that are left over.

V. Feats
Disguise spell, lingering song, requiem and subsonics are all great feats if you want to concentrate on Bardic Music.
Words of creation is an exalted must-have, nymphs kiss is not bad either.


VI. Deity
Depends on your choice, Bards does not gain any benefits or disadvantages

C) Builds

none so far, follows


D) Links
Handbook: Bard Handbook
CaoSlayers Guide to the Bard (i do not agree to all he says and like yekojs better but up to you)
Pon Telons Spell Guide to the Bard

Builds: 3.5 Bard thread
Snow Savants Bard Spellcaster Builds
Further links can be found in the [URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=213480
] optimization Library[/url]
**********Section 5: Cleric**********

A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Clerics major strength?

A: Divine casting is the major power while domain features and turn undead can be very useful, too.

Q: What is the Clerics major weakness?

A: Weakness?

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: Choosing a domain that grants level-dependant benefits (strenght for example) and running for a PrC is not a smart move. Even with Clerics being able to compete at the frontline they mostly rely on buffs, not on feats. With a few exceptions its a smarter move to enhance the casting capabilities instead of mimicking a fighter.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Cleric in a multiclass build?

A: First level, obviously, as Clerics do not get anything beyond this.

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
a. Most Important Source is Complete Divine

b. Other Sources are Defenders of the Faith, Complete Warrior, Book of Vile Darkness, Book of exalted Deeds, Faith and Pantheons and the Players Guide to Faerun

II. Ability Scores

a. Overview
Clerics need Wisdom for spellcasting. Con is important for hitpoints and if you want to turn undead or power your feats with turning you need at least some charisma.

i. Strength is needed if you want to melee. 13 at least for power attack
ii. Dexterity is a dump-stat as you wear heavy armor
iii. Constitution is an important attribute for any character. If you plan to make up a frontlining Cleric you should put your points here.
iv. Intelligence is not that important if you dont have a skill-heavy build in mind.
v. Wisdom is prime for spellcasting.
vi. Charisma is needed for turning and divine feats, otherwise it can be dumped

III. Race
Humans and their extra feat and skillpoint are always a good choice for a Cleric.
Dwarves (especially gold) and their relation to heavy armors make a good move becoming clerics
Half-Ogres can dominate the battlefield if you plan on buffing spells.

IV. Skills
Knowledge(religion) and Spellcraft are the two primary skills, complemented by Concentration and Heal.

V. Feats
Divine Metamagic is one interesting new feat from Complete Divine.
Extend is a very useful feat, even with Persistant being nerfed into uselessness
Divine Feats like Divine Might can be interesting if you dont plan to use your turning attempts on undeads.
Reach spell is needed if your party wants you to be an walking healing machine and you dont want to wait for the Hierophant-ability.
The new Initiate-Feats from PGtF are worth a look, too.
(I see some new followers of Mystra and Bane coming up)

VI. Deity
Now, thats a difficult task.
As we are on the min/max board here we chose a deity for their available domains, of course.
A few good combinations:

Fharlanghn(luck, travel)
Kord(luck, strength)
Olidammara(luck, trickery)

in the realms:
Gond(knowledge, planning)
Grumbar(metal, time)
Haela Brightaxe(luck, war)
Labelas Enoreth(elf, time)
Mask(darkness, luck)
Mystra(rune, spell)
Sheverash(elf, war)
Tymora(luck, travel)

take a look here for further opinions.

C) Builds

The evil Leader, by Funny Slaughter (with special thanks to Balthanon)
Human Cleric of Bane 6/Bane of Infidels 2(MotW)/Dreadmaster 10(F&P)
(two levels to be added, waiting for complete divine)

1 Cleric1 (Destruction, Tyranny) [i]Spell Focus(Enchantment), Iron Will[/i]<br /> 2 Clr2<br /> 3 Clr3 [i]Skill Focus(Intimidate)[/i]<br /> 4 Clr4<br /> 5 Clr5<br /> 6 Clr6 [i]Leadership[/i]<br /> 7 Bane of Infidels 1<br /> 8 BoI2<br /> 9 Dreadmaster1 [i]Craft Rod[/i]<br /> 10 DrM2<br /> 11 DrM3<br /> 12 DrM4 [i]Magical Artisan (Rods)[/i]<br /> 13 DrM5 <br /> 14 DrM6<br /> 15 DrM7 [i]Dark Speech[/i]<br /> 16 DrM8<br /> 17 DrM9<br /> 18 DrM10 [i]Malign Spell Focus[/i]<br /> 19 <br /> 20

This build focusses on Leadership and gains a total of three cohorts.
A very powerful option here is a Fiend of Possession that enhances his masters weapon as well as givine special abilities.
While the vile feats can be easily exchanged it is unlikely that you can make the build significantly less evil.

The Cheater of Mystra, by Neonsamurai and Funny Slaughter

human Cleric of Mystra 5/ Dweomerkeeper 10/Divine Disciple 5

Dweomerkeeper is from the Complete Divine Web enhancement.
Divine Disciple is from Players Guide to Faerun

1 Cleric1 (Magic/Rune) [i]Magical Training, Extend Spell[/i]<br /> 2 Cleric2<br /> 3 Cleric3 [i]Persistant Spell[/i]<br /> 4 Cleric4<br /> 5 Cleric5<br /> 6 Dweomerkeeper1 [i]Divine Metamagic(Persistant)[/i]<br /> 7 DwK2<br /> 8 Divine Disciple1<br /> 9 DiD2 [i]Initiate of Mystra[/i]<br /> 10 DiD3<br /> 11 DiD4 (Spell)<br /> 12 DiD5 [i]Extra Turning[/i]<br /> 13 DwK3<br /> 14 DwK4<br /> 15 DwK5 [i]Quicken Spell[/i]<br /> 16 DwK6<br /> 17 DwK7<br /> 18 DwK8 [i]free feat[/i]<br /> 19 DwK9<br /> 20 DwK10

The feats are all tailored around a single use of free persistant spell, use it for persistant draconic polymorph or holy star. you'll better be prepared for counter-countermeasures, means all ways to avoid getting dispelled. in higher levels its no longer a problem as you run around in an antimagic field all day with only your own spells in function.


recommended Spells for Mantle of Spells:

6th summon monster III

this one is discussable. i think its quite handy to have some summoning ready all the time.
read my section about aid another in the tactics compendium...

13th greater anyspell

you can prepare any arcane spell of up to 5th level.
polymorph self, create magic tatoo, the list is endless

15th greater dispel magic

you never know when you need this one.
counterspell if you want, dispel when you want and never waste a spell-slot on the spell

17th heal

just in case your party thinks a cleric should be an healer. you can prepare combat-, utility and buff-spells and have some spontaneus heal ready nontheless.

19th miracle

just combine this one with your su-ability and after a few days no member of your party will feel the need to read a tome anymore

why is this build called "Cheater of Mystra"?

This build combines nearly all abilities from the new books PGtF and CD.

Spells at lvl 14 for example:
- persistant holy star: spell turning, +10 AC or 7d6 fire damage. the whole day.
- quickened divine favor: +6 to attack and damage
- extended spikes for +10 damage
- extended magic vestment (*2) for +8 AC
- extended greater magic weapon for +4 to attack and damage
- extended shield of faith (only 28 min) +6 AC
- polymorph self (planetar) for +17 AC, Str 25, Dex 19, Con 20, Immunity to acid, cold, and petrification, fly 90 ft. (good), large size
- persistant righteus might, size huge, +8 Str, +4 Con, +4 AC, DR 10/evil (if your DM let it stack with polymorph, otherwise get divine power)
- persistant draconic polymorph(draconomicon) is also an option!

(this list does not claim to be complete)

without magic equipment:
AC: 63 (10 + 12 (fullplate) + 6 (animated shield) + 6 (deflection) + 21 (natural) - 2 (size) + 10 (circumstance))
Attack: +30/+25 ( 9 (BAB) +11 (str) + 6 (divine favor) + 4 (gmw)) [smile into the face of ANY monster]
Damage: 4d6 (huge darkwood greatsword) + 36

For starters:
This build is just gamebreaking. I'll explain why.
At high levels you are surrounded by an antimagic field all the time. nobody can cast spells at you and all spell-effects you come close to are supressed. also all magic items. but YOU can still cast spells and all your normal spells are up and running. Everything but artifacts and deities is useless against you while you rain death and destruction and are buffed up to the head.
You are polymorphed all day into some big-a** outsider. at lvl 12 for example into an kelvezu, adding 1d6 con-drain and 8d6 sneak-dice to your attacks as well as giving you str 29, dex 31 and con 18 including the associated hitpoints...
Thats still not all folks. You can as well transform your spells into su-abilities certain times per day. means: no material components, no XP-cost. thats miracle, gate, everything for free. There are a lot of abuses a creative player can find, i wont mention them all here but if you dig the appropriate threads you'll find a few

Be prepared to 15-ton-bricks falling on you, DMs banning all and everything from their game and you being forced to play a commoner. anyhow, enjoy this build!


D) Links
Handbook: none so far
Builds: none so far
Further links can be found in the [URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=213480
] optimization Library[/url]
**********Section 6: Druid**********

Druids are the defenders of nature. They have mighty divine spells in their repertoire, call powerful companions on their side and wildshape themselves into strong forms to join combat.

A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Druids major strength?

A: There are several. Divine casting is the major power, but wildshape as well as their animal companion can be very powerful as well.

Q: What is the Druids major weakness?

A: A Druid normally suffers from a low AC because of his limited proficiencies and the missing ability to carry armor while wildshaped. With only medium BAB and HD Druids should avoid the frontline until they have powerful wildshape-forms and buff-spells in their repertoire.

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: I would say multiclassing is a serious error in many builds. Druids are best taken straight unless you want to focus on a special aspect, in most cases you lose all the others then so its a hard descision.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Druid in a multiclass build?

A: Druids have a well balanced list of features so its hard to say. If you need many levels for a PrC Druid 8th is a good point, you get wildshape (Large) which covers many things.
If you just want a few levels Druid 15 or 16 is a breakpoint with wildshape(huge) resp. wildshape(elemental)

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
a. Most Important Source is still Masters of the Wild

b. Other Sources are Complete Warrior with Natures Warrior and Warshaper, Book of Vile Darkness with the Vermin Lord, Book of exalted Deeds with the Lion of Talisid Unapproachable East with the Talontar Blightlord, the Players Guide to Faerun with the Divine Disciple and Defenders of the Faith with the Hospitaler and the Contemplative.

II. Ability Scores

a. Overview
Druids need Wisdom for spellcasting. Con is important for hitpoints
(short note: its still under debate if hitpoints change while in wildshape, this text assumes that it is not the case)

i. Strength is a dumpstat, just look out for your carrying maximum. Wildshape takes care about it otherwise.
ii. Dexterity is altered by wildshape anyway so all you need is to survive until then.
iii. Constitution is an important attribute for any character. If you plan to make up a frontlining Druid you should put your points here.
iv. Intelligence is not that important. Druids have 13 classskills, decide yourself how many above 4 you need to have maxed.
v. Wisdom is prime for spellcasting.
vi. Charisma is normally a dump-stat.

III. Race
Humans and their extra feat and skillpoint are always a good choice for a Druid.
Gnomes make up great Druids due to their good ability-adjustments. With wildshape being independant from size being small helps a Druid.

IV. Skills
Knowledge(nature) and spellcraft are the two primary skills, complemented by concentration, survival and spot.

V. Feats
Natural spell is the feat of choice for almost any Druid.
Spellfocus(conjuration) and Augment Summoning strengthen the summoning-skills,
Rashemi Elemental Summoning (Unapproachable East) adds a template to summoned elementals.
Vow of Poverty adds nice possibilities for a Druid while Exalted Wildshape and Exalted Companion power the good Druids. (all BoED)
Dragon Wildshape (draconomicon) is an interesting feat as well.

VI. Deity
As long as you dont plan to pick up a PrC like Divine Disciple or Contemplative the choice of a god is not influencing your power.

C) Builds

none so far, follows


D) Links
Handbook: [URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=165279
]The Druid Handbook[/url], the updated druids handbook (3.5)
Builds: The 3.5 Druid Thread
Further links can be found in the optimization Library
Also look into Druidic Spell Combos
**********Section 7: Fighter**********


A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Fighters major strength?

A: Feats. Loads of feats.
The Fighter is the only class that can follow several feat-paths and specialize in many forms of combat at once.

Q: What is the Fighters major weakness?

A: The classic weak spot is the Fighters will-save.
Other weak spots depend on the type of Fighter.

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: Not using the feats in advantage.
A Fighter should get feats other can not take as easily.
Feat-chains like whirlwind attack or the tactical feats from CW are good examples for this.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Fighter in a multiclass build?

A: The second level gives you the most bang for the buck, two feats in two levels are a good addition for nearly any fighting build.

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
a. Most Important Source is Complete Warrior followed by Sword and Fist.

b. Other Sources are:
As Fighters can achieve many goals nearly any sourcebook has ressources that can be valueable for certain Fighter-types.

II. Ability Scores

a. Overview
As frontliners Fighters have strength and constitution as primary attributes.

i. Strength: Melee damage, dont save too much here
ii. Dexterity: Depending on armor-type
iii. Constitution: Most important
iv. Intelligence: 13 is needed for Expertise, otherwise dump-stat
v. Wisdom: dont be too grasping here or your will-save will suffer
vi. Charisma: normally a dump-stat

III. Race
Humans and their extra feat and skillpoint are always a good choice for a Fighter.
Dwarves make up the Fighter-race if its all about tanking, nice ability-mods and full movement in full armor.

IV. Skills
skills?

V. Feats
Depending on the type of Fighter.


VI. Deity
As a Fighter the choice of a god is not influencing your power.

C) Builds

fighter20 by snow savant:
the gatling chain gun

Hu= Jotenbrud
01= EWP: Chain (Combat Expertise)
02= (Imp. Trip)
03= Combat Reflexes
04= (Weapon Finesse)
05=
06= TWF (Imp. TWF)
07=
08= (Dodge)
09= Karmic Strike
10= (Mobility)
11=
12= Side Step (Double Hit)
13=
14= (Greater TWF)
15= Deft Opportunist
16= (Spring Attack)
17=
18= Knock-Down (Power Attack)
19=
20= (Hold The Line)


D) Links
Handbook: none so far
Builds: Sword n Board Fighter Thread
The Complete Warrior Build Thread

Further links can be found in the [URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=213480
] optimization Library[/url]
**********Section 8: Monk**********


A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Monks major strength?

A: Monks are fast, they dont need weapons and they have many options in combat, may it with feats or with their su-abilities-

Q: What is the Monks major weakness?

A: Monks suffer from MAD, multiple attribute dependency. With Wisdom, Dex, Con and Str they have four important attributes, nothing a low pointbuy or bad rolls can fullfill.
AC is also often a problem

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: Using a Monk as a tank is not a good idea.
Monks should also take feats that benefit their strengths, not classic fighter-feats.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Monk in a multiclass build?

A: With two bonus-feats and three worthy abilities the second level has the best payoff.

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
a. Most Important Source is Oriental Adventures (if allowed) followed by Complete Warrior

b. Other Sources are:
Sword and Fist, Book of Exalted Deeds

II. Ability Scores

a. Overview
As an intermediate class the Monk needs nearly all attributes as high as possible

i. Strength: Melee damage, dont save too much here
ii. Dexterity: As Monks do not wear armor most of their career Dex is important for AC
iii. Constitution: Always important
iv. Intelligence: depending on your skills int can be low
v. Wisdom: Main-stat for special attacks, adds on AC
vi. Charisma: normally a dump-stat

III. Race
Humans and their extra feat and skillpoint are always a good choice for a Monk.
Large races like Half-Ogre or Minotaur or templated (Half-Minotaur from dragon) make up great Monks.
Dwarves, Half-Orks and Woodelves can also have good success in the class.

IV. Skills
Tumble is mandatory. Spot and Listen are always good, Hide/Move Silently or Diplomacy/Sense Motive depend on your focus.

V. Feats
Improved Natural Attack (MM)
Ability Focus (MM)
Pain Touch (CW)
In general you should improve the many built-in oprions of the Monk
Vow of Poverty: Monks can greatly benefit from this since they dont need armor or weapons to excel

VI. Deity
As a Monk the choice of a god is not influencing your power.

C) Builds

Tactician Monk by mean_liar

Final BAB: +15
Final Saves: +12

non-OA, non-FR build
Monk 20

Monk1 Improved Unarmed Strike*, Stunning Attack*, Ability Focus (Stunning Attack), Dodge
Monk2 Combat Reflexes*
Monk3 Mobility
Monk6 Spring Attack, Improved Trip*
Monk9 Pain Touch
Monk12 Rapid Stunning
Monk15 Expert Tactician
Monk18 Improved Natural Attack
Monk20 -

Notes: By remaining mobile, this Monk attempts to disrupt the battlefield. Capable of entering tough-to-reach areas, he can deliver a very effective Stunning Attack to an important foe. Ideally this build would be accompanied by a Rogue (or some other Sneak Attacker), though any melee combatant would be aided by a Stunned/Nauseated opponent.

Sacred Monk, by neonsamurai

01 sacred vow, vow of poverty*, nymph's kiss**, improved unarmed strike*, stunning fist*
02 ki-shout*, intuitive strike**
03 fists of iron
04 touch of golden ice**, ki strike (magic)
05
06 nimbus of light**, improved trip*, power attack
07
08 holy radiance**
09 sunder
10 sanctify ki strike**, ki strike (lawful), exalted strike (good)
11
12 stigmata**, eagle claw attack (empty hand mastery)
13
14 holy ki strike**
15 fist of the heavens
16 exalted spell resistance**,
ki strike (adamantine)
17
18 quell the profane**, resounding blow
19
20 gift of faith**

* : bonus feat
**: bonus exalted feat

BAB: +15
Saves: Fort +12 Ref +12 Will +12

This build is for everyone who wants to play the wandering monk type of character who is protected just by his faith and inner balance. You won't need magic items, you won't need to eat and later you don't even need to breath anymore.

The various armor and ability bonuses synergize well with the multi ability dependency that every monk has to deal with, which results in a very good AC, good saves and high save DCs for your stunning fist ability.

All this gets even better when you face evil foes. Then all your exalted feats kick in, and you benefit from an outstanding spell resistance (14+character level) awesome damage (see the table above) and an insane stunning fist save DC of 10+ half character level +WIS mod +2

D) Links
Handbook/Builds: Mean_liars Monk thread features both

Further links can be found in the [URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=213480
] optimization Library[/url]
**********Section 9: Paladin**********


A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Paladins major strength?

A: Paladins are the archetypical holy Warriors. They get a lot of special abilitiesto strengthen this part.
Paladins normally have the best saving-throws due to divine grace.

Q: What is the Paladins major weakness?

A: The lack of feats makes it hard to compete with other frontliners in the tactical department.
They do also suffer from MAD (mutiple attribute dependency)

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: Trying to be a Fighter. Paladins should use their built-in features to gain power.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Paladin in a multiclass build?

A: The fifth level is optimal as you qualify for many PrCs, get two smites at a serious bonus and nearly all special abilities like turn undead, divine grace etc.

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
a. Most Important Source is Defenders of the Faith

b. Other Sources are:
FRCS, Players Guide to Faerun, Complete Warrior, Sword and Fist

II. Ability Scores

a. Overview
As a frontliner the Paladin needs Strength and Constitution. Charisma is additionally needed for saving-throws and special abilities.

i. Strength: Melee damage, dont save too much here
ii. Dexterity: Depending on armor-type, normally low
iii. Constitution: Most important
iv. Intelligence: normally dump-stat
v. Wisdom: if you play straight pay attention to paladin spells, otherwise you can save here
vi. Charisma: Get it high, your saving throws are a real advantage

III. Race
Humans and their extra feat and skillpoint are always a good choice for a Paladin.
Dwarves, especially Gold, make up a good Paladin-race if its all about tanking, nice ability-mods and full movement in full armor.
Gnomes can be surprisingly good Paladins if you want to focus on a mount you can use everywhere.
Aasimar can also be worth it if you want to pay some ECL

IV. Skills
Diplomacy. Ride if you are mounted, Sense Motive if nobody else features it.

V. Feats
Power Attack
Extra Smite
Divine Might
Divine Shield
Mounted Combat
Ride-By-Attack
Spirited Charge

VI. Deity
As a Paladin the choice of a god is not influencing your power. You are a fighter for your god so be careful with your choice nontheless

C) Builds

The Defender of Good, by Funny Slaughter

Gold Dwarf Paladin5/Fighter2/Dwarven Defender10/Fist of Raziel3

1 Paladin1 [i]Endurance[/i]<br /> 2 Paladin2<br /> 3 Paladin3 [i]Power Attack[/i]<br /> 4 Paladin4<br /> 5 Paladin5<br /> 6 Fighter1 [i]Dodge, Ancestral Relic[/i]<br /> 7 Fighter2 [i]Improved Toughness*[/i]<br /> 8 Dwarven Defender1<br /> 9 DwD2 [i]Divine Might[/i]<br /> 10 DwD3<br /> 11 DwD4<br /> 12 DwD5 [i]Roll With it[/i]<br /> 13 DwD6<br /> 14 DwD7<br /> 15 DwD8 [i]Servant of the Heavens[/i]<br /> 16 DwD9<br /> 17 DwD10<br /> 18 Fist of Raziel1 [i]Dragon Cohort[/i]<br /> 19 FoR2<br /> 20 FoR3

*) If your DM does not allow Improved Toughness as a prerequisite for DwD take the standard toughness here

This is a classic Sword-n-Board Paladin.
Fighting with Urgrosh and Shield he can infuse his weapon with Divine Might while his armor, an powerful relic from his ancestors, protects him from harm.
A young golden Dragon that recognized his good deeds fights on his site.


The Whirlwind of Celestial Death, Champion of Lathander, by Snow Savant
(modified by Funny Slaughter)
(note: This build mixes campaign settings)

Human Paladin4 / Fighter2 / KnightoftheMiddleCircle1 / DivineChampion5 / SinghRager8 /

1 Paladin1 Tireless, Two-Weapon-Fighting<br /> 2 Paladin2<br /> 3 Paladin3 Iron Will<br /> 4 Paladin4<br /> 5 Fighter1 Improved Shield Bash<br /> 6 Fighter2 Ki Shout, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting<br /> 7 Knight of the Middle Circle1<br /> 8 Singh Rager1<br /> 9 SRg2 Shield Charge<br /> 10 SRg3<br /> 11 SRg4<br /> 12 SRg5 Greater Two-Weapon Fighting<br /> 13 SRg6<br /> 14 SRg7<br /> 15 SRg8 Shield Slam<br /> 16 Divine Champion1<br /> 17 DC2 improved initiative<br /> 18 DC3 Great Ki Shout<br /> 19 DC4 blind fight<br /> 20 DC5

This Lawful Good maniac eventually gets Greater Rage, free-actioned Greater Ki Shout, & the almighty Pounce ability (all via Singh Rager).

He likes fighting TWF-style with a light mace and a light shield. While charging with the Greater TWF feat, Rage, Ki Shout, Smite, Shield Slam & Pounce working in unison, he'll be a whirlwind of celestial death. Knight of the Middle Circle gives him the Blind-fight feat and the amazing +2 Combat Sense, which effectively negates the TWF penalty against any given foe he is fighting.


D) Links
Handbook: none so far
Builds: 3.5 Paladin Thread

Further links can be found in the [URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=213480
] optimization Library[/url]
**********Section 10: Psions**********



A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Psions major strength?

A: Augmentation. With augmentation a Psion can create a very versatile power list to have a power for any given situation. This means none of your powers become obsolete, and your 1st level power can be augmented to a 9th level power in quality. Also due to augmentation, you can make it very hard for someone to resist even a 1st level power.

Q: What are the Psions major weaknesses?

A: Burn-out. Burn-out is when a psion runs out of power points to manifest powers. Unlike Arcane and divine casters power points are much easier to blow through, esspecially with augmentation. You will need to learn when to fully augment your powers and when you should conserve them.

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: Multiclassing too much. Every level in psion not only gives you a higher cap to augment, but the number of power points you get are much more important.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Psion in a multiclass build?

A: If multiclassing, good break off points are the odd levels. The odd levels are where you gain a higher teir of powers known.

Q: Isn't the Psion just a wanna-be sorcerer?

A: The differences in the classes are enormous. Psions are limited in power points, not spells per day. Psion powers continue to be augmentable, while the automatic scaling of spells is capped. Strategies is both classes can be quite different.

Q: Isn't the psion broken? What's to stop me from spending my 343 power points at level 20 into one power making my enemies take 343d6 damage?

A: This is the most common mistake to people new to psionics. The number of power points spent on any given power at a time cannot be higher than you manifester level. The only thing that increases a psion's manifester level is the feat overchannel. While this question is not pertinent to Optimization, it is common enough of a question to note here.

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
a. Current only WotC book published for 3.5 Psionics is the Expanded Psionics Handbook
b. Mind's Eye articles also have several psionic PrCs and powers released for Psions

II. Ability Scores

a. Overview
Psion need Int most importantly because their ability to manifest powers is based off of it.
i. Strength is a dump stat. Psions have relatively no use for str.
ii. Dexterity is a third priority stat. It can be your second priority stat if you use psionic rays or other ranged touch attacks though.
iii. Constitution is your second most desired stat. With a d4 hd, and a poor will save, it covers one of the class' more prominent weak points. It also increases the psion's most valuable skill, Concentration
iv. Intelligence is the most important stat to the psion because it's the stat tied to his manifesting ability
v. Wisdom is relatively weak stat for psions since they already have a strong will save. Seers might want to have a higher wisdom because of their class skills.
vi. Charisma is another dump stat for psions, unless one is a telepath and wishes to make use of the telepath class skills.

III. Race
Humans are good for the bonus feat and the extra skill is never unwelcome.
Elans are very nice for their racial abilities, although it may limit your use of quickened and swift actions.
Also if grey elves are allowed in your campaign +2 int can help in the power point department.

IV. Skills
Concentration is more important to a psion than any other skill he possesses. It not only allows him to manifest powers in adverse conditions, but allows him to maintain a psionic focus more reliably, not provoke attacks of opportunity, and manifest his powers without a display. Knowledge (psionics) and Psicraft are also logical choices for Psions.

It's worth noting that Psions have different class skills based on their discipline

V. Feats
Psions gain bonus feats like a wizard, but have the choice to not get their psicrystal (the psionic version of a familiar) One really doesn't need to get it, but currently the only way to hold an additional psionic focus is through getting it. The following feats are common among psions:

  • Psicrystal affinity + Psicrystal Containment = Ability to hold 2 focii
  • Psionic Meditation = Ability to gain psionic focus as a move action, which allows you to apply a metapsionic feat once per round.
  • Overchannel + Talented = Increase your manifester level for further augmentation capability.
  • Extend power costs no additional power points to double the duration of your power. For many powers such as Inertial armor, this basically comes free for you because you'd be in a non-combat situation while manifesting it due it's already long duration. It also doubles the duration of powers such as temporal acceleration.
  • [thread=298304]Empower Power[/thread] is the best damage boosting metapsionic feat in a majority of cases.
  • Expanded Knowledge = Learn powers from another discipline, or psychic warrior powers. You can also research them if you DM allows, at the cost of Experience instead of a feat.



VI. Deity
Choice in your Psion's Deity is merely flavorful and has no mechanical effects on your character.

C) Builds

There are two common builds for Psions

  • Pure psion, 20 levels.
  • Psion10/Illithid Slayer 10. This build has the loss of one manifester level taking the feat Track, and putting 8 cross class skills into Knowledge (dungeoneering) netting the profit of full BAB and a d8 hitdie for 10 level. This results in 15 BAB and 19 manifester levels.
    Psion 1<br /> Psion 2<br /> Psion 3<br /> Psion 4<br /> Psion 5<br /> Psion 6<br /> Psion 7<br /> Psion 8<br /> Psion 8 / Illithid Slayer 1<br /> Psion 8 / Illithid Slayer 2<br /> Psion 8 / Illithid Slayer 3<br /> Psion 8 / Illithid Slayer 4<br /> Psion 8 / Illithid Slayer 5<br /> Psion 8 / Illithid Slayer 6<br /> Psion 8 / Illithid Slayer 7<br /> Psion 8 / Illithid Slayer 8<br /> Psion 8 / Illithid Slayer 9<br /> Psion 8 / Illithid Slayer 10<br /> Psion 9 / Illithid Slayer 10<br /> Psion 10 / Illithid Slayer 10




D) Power Choices

Psions defensive powers are also very different from that of wizards and sorcerers. Psions have very few defensive powers, but they are rather effective. Inertial armor and Vigor are the first and foremost. Offensive Precognition, concealing amorpha and vigor are other common ones. Quickened or Schismed Vigor is common for a psion since they tend to be less able to stay away from their foes as wizards and sorcerers have (mirror image being a good example of something a wiz/sorc has that the psion doesn't) Schism is a better choice in many cases where the psion has time to set it up, because each round he can replenish it for 6 power points less than quickening and can use that focus for something else each round.

As mentioned before, one of the Psions strongest strengths is AUgmentation. You could, foreseeably, be able to use energy missile throughout your entire career as your attack power since it's augmentable and hits 1-5 targets, deals multiple energies of damage and can entitle either a fortitude or reflex save. because of this you want to make sure that in picking powers you have very little overlap. There's no reason to get Psionic Charm as a telepath when you know you're going for Psionic Dominate later. They are both Will negates powers that are mind affecting telepathy powers. Not to mention you should pick Death Urge or Psionic Dominate. Not both. If you take both you have overlap - either one get's the job done exactly the same way by using a Will Negates Mind-Affecting power.

In choosing powers it's best to shoot for at least 1 fort negates and will negates powers because those are going to be your strong ones. Reflex half powers tend to be Energy powers which all overlap to a some extent. It's also a good idea to have Crystal Shard, because it allows you to affect targets that will make their saves but have low touch AC, too much global energy resistance, or have too high or power resistance for you to break consistently.

In short, making a versatile power list that doesn't overlap with itself makes a psion much stronger than one that has less options. Min/maxing a Psion largely comes in his chosen power list.

E) Links
Sphyre's [thread=298304]Treatise on Metapsionic Feats[/thread] analyzes Empower power, Maximize power, and Twin power for finding the optimum use of each dependant on manifester level and power used.
**********Section 11: Psychic Warriors (Psw)**********

A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Psychic Warriors' major strength?

A: Psychic Warriors have access to psionic powers and bonus feats. Some powers mimic some highly sought specials like Evasion and others. Psychic Warriors have the bonus feats and powers to really take advantage of Psionic Focus for such feats as Greater Psionic Weapon (4d6 damage) and Deep Impact (conclude a melee attack as a touch attack). The new self-contained Augment abilities in powers reduces the value of some metapsionic feats (Metaphysical Weapon has an augment that increases the duration by 60 times!).

Q: What is the Psychic Warriors' major weakness?

A: The Psychic Warriors have always needed a reserve of power points, but that reliance has been reduced-a lot. You only need at least 1 power point to get into a psionic focus. However, to get into psionic focus is a DC 20 Concentration check (ouch!).

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: Well this class hasn't been out all the long, but I imagine that the most common mistake will be similar to what people do when they try to make a cleric: relying on a half-dozen powers. While the Psychic Warrior seems to be a "faster" class than the Cleric, it still has to manage its power points. Another mistake might be trying to abuse the "Hustle + Psionic Meditation" combo with a feat like Greater Psionic Weapon, it costs 5 power points to use Hustle, and since Greater Psionic Weapon only applies to one attack (even if you miss). If either of those aren't the most common mistake that is made, then it will probably be trying to have the Psychic Warrior only use Psionic feats and powers.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Psychic Warrior in a multiclass build?

A: I really don't seem a good reason to multiclass the psychic warrior, with the exception of the Elocator, Illithid Slayer, and Pyrokineticist (but only for a few levels of the Pyro). The Psychic Warrior just looks so strong.

Q: But what about the War Mind? Wouldn't four levels of War Mind be great for the extra attack?

A: Well the War Mind is like a GIANT step back for the Psychic Warrior. Sure the Sweeping Strike that the War Mind gets at level 5 is great, but loss to manifester levels is just awful. As to the extra attack, it is level 20, AND that fourth iterative attack is never useful, if your enemies are so weak that you can hit them with your fourth attack (unless you use Deep Impact, but then you have to ask yourself why you didn't just take Great Cleave or use it with Greater Psionic Weapon and Power Attack).

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
  • You need the Expanded Psionics Handbook (XPH) and the three 3.5 Core Rulebooks. In a surprising twist, just about any source that helps a Fighter helps a Psychic Warrior, so check out the Complete Warrior.


II. Ability Scores
  • Overview
    Psychic Warriors are a lot like Melee Clerics (except for the Charisma for Turning).
    i. Strength is the primary source of consistant damage for the Psychic Warrior (face it, not every foe is worth expending your Psionic Focus for).
    ii. Dexterity is a potential dump stat. Psychic Warriors are a lot like Paladins in that they will definately tank on armor, if not also a shield.
    iii. Constitution is great for a Psychic Warrior just as it is great for a Fighter.
    iv. Intelligence can also be a dump stat for Psychic Warriors, unless you plan to go Combat Expertise for Improved Trip. But a Dex higher than 14 is probably a waste.
    v. Wisdom is the attribute for the powers of the Psychic Warrior; the higher your Wisdom, the most power points you get (and it is a HUGE deal).
    vi. Charisma is normally a dump-stat. Sure some Psionic Races bases their once/day power DC on Charisma, but you might have to cut corners somewhere.


III. Race
  • Half-Giants are crazy good for Psychic Warriors despite their +1 Level Adjustment. They get the ability to wield weapons a size category up without a penalty. They also get 2 bonus Power Points per day. They also get +2 Strength and +2 Constitution. Half-Giants may use Stomp once per day.
  • Maenad are maybe the best +0 Level Adjustment race for Psychic Warriors. They get 2 bonus Power Points per day, Energy Ray 1/day, and Outburst (-2 Int, -2 Wis, +2 Str for 4 rounds once per day).
  • Human... for once, humans aren't the best. As a human Psychic Warriro you will find yourself with a lot fewer power points: if you don't use a feat on Psionic Talent, you will only have your bonus power points at level 1 (and you might need that power point to get into Psionic Focus).
  • Half-Orc has the same problem as the Human. The bonus to Strength is great.
IV. Skills
  • Concentration should be at the top of your list.
  • All other skills are more useful, if not mandatory.


V. Feats
  • Psionic Meditation reduces the actions required to reach Psionic Focus from Full-Round to Move Equivalent.
  • Psionic Weapon is one of the key Feat Trees for the Psychic Warrior. Psionic Weapon is something akin to the Paladin's Smite Evil ability, only it is strong from the get go, and to increase it you can just take Greater Psionic Weapon.
  • Power Attack used to be a prerequisite for Psionic Weapon, it isn't any longer, but it is still a useful feat and feat-tree. It is important to not put all of your feats and abilities behind your power points and Psionic Focus.


VI Deity


C) Iconic Psychic Warrior:
Maenad Psychic Warrior 20 (Starting: Str 14, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8)
1 Psw 1: Power Attack, Psionic Weapon, [i]Expansion[/i], 3 pp/day<br /> 2 Psw 2: Cleave, [i]Biofeedback[/i], 5 pp/day<br /> 3 Psw 3: Weapon Focus, [i]Metaphysical Weapon[/i], 8 pp/day<br /> 4 Psw 4: +1 Wis (15), [i]Psionic Lion's Charge[/i], 11 pp/day<br /> 5 Psw 5: Psionic Meditation, [i]Hustle[/i], 14 pp/day<br /> 6 Psw 6: Great Cleave, [i]Animal Affinity[/i], 19 pp/day<br /> 7 Psw 7: [i]Vampiric Blade[/i], 24 pp/day<br /> 8 Psw 8: +1 Wis (16), Greater Psionic Weapon, [i]Dimensional Slide[/i], 33 pp/day<br /> 9 Psw 9: Deep Impact, [i]Ubiquitous Vision[/i], 38 pp/day<br /> 10 Psw 10: [i]Truevenom Weapon[/i], 44 pp/day<br /> 11 Psw 11: Narrow Mind, [i]Energy Adaptation[/i], 53 pp/day<br /> 12 Psw 12: +1 Wis (17), Psionic Body, [i]Weapon of Energy[/i], 64 pp/day<br /> 13 Psw 13: [i]Oak Body[/i], 72 pp/day<br /> 14 Psw 14: Improved Bullrush, [i]Adapt Body[/i], 83 pp/day<br /> 15 Psw 15: Improved Overrun, [i]Psionic Freedom of Movement[/i], 91 pp/day<br /> 16 Psw 16: +1 Wis (18), [i]Dispelling Buffer[/i], 113 pp/day<br /> 17 Psw 17: Craft Psionic Arms and Armor, [i]Form of Doom[/i], 127 pp/day<br /> 18 Psw 18: Expanded Knowledge ([i]Schism[/i]), [i]Breath of the Black Dragon[/i], 141 pp/day<br /> 19 Psw 19: [i]Personal Mind Blank[/i], 155 pp/day<br /> 20 Psw 20: +1 Wis (19), Expanded Knowledge ([i]Fiery Discorpation[/i]), [i]Strength of My Enemy[/i], 169 pp/day

Primary Strength is the ability to kill in a variety of ways. This Maenad also has a variety of defenses. Animal Affinity works sort of like a Psionic Rage for a mere 8 power points you can get +4 Str and +4 Con.

D) Links:
Handbook/Build-Thread: WyvernSlayers great analysis of the new PsyWarrior covers both.

Further links can be found in the [URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=213480
] optimization Library[/url]

this part was written by jonathan aka JosephKell
IMAGE(http://www.geocities.com/jonathanef/gejoehail.txt)
**********Section 12: Ranger**********


A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Rangers major strength?

A: Great skillpoints and skills as well as free fighting styles make the Ranger strong.
With favored enemies, animal companion and some spells the Ranger does also bear great versatility.

Q: What is the Rangers major weakness?

A: Limited to light armor and with a d8 HD Rangers are not the optimal frontliners. As for all fighter-classes the will-save is also a weak spot.

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: Trying to be a tank. Rangers should set on their skills and features, acting as secondary fighter at best.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Ranger in a multiclass build?

A: Most common is the 2nd, you gain the first combat style (TWF or RS) as well as track.
If you need Endurance a 3rd level may be worth it.
The 6th level gives an dropping point for a more straight build while there are only very little benefits gained after 11th, you will rarely see a Ranger-build with more then 11 levels.

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
a. Most Important Source is Masters of the Wild

b. Other Sources are:
Book of Exalted Deeds, Complete Warrior, Silver Marches

II. Ability Scores

a. Overview
Depending on the chosen fighting style constitution and strength or dexterity are the most important

i. Strength: Melee damage, dont save too much here
ii. Dexterity: Should be high due to light armor
iii. Constitution: Most important
iv. Intelligence: normally dump-stat, depends on your plans with skills
v. Wisdom: if you play straight pay attention to Ranger spells, otherwise you can save here
vi. Charisma: dump-stat

III. Race
Humans and their extra feat and skillpoint are always a good choice for a Ranger.
For every type of Ranger there is a special elf race, especially wood elves are a good choice.

IV. Skills
Survival, spot and listen are mandatory for a Ranger as a scout and tracker. Hide and move silently can help while ride and handle animal can be useful depending on the use of an animal companion.

V. Feats
Depending on the chosen weapon style.
Extra Favored Enemy is a good choice as it improves your old ones as well.

VI. Deity
As a Ranger the choice of a god is not influencing your power.

C) Builds

Iconic Build: follows

Tricked out build:

The casting Ranger, by Funny Slaughter

Ranger2/Favored soul5/Harper Paragon10/Windwalker3

used sources:
miniHB (Favored Soul will be in the upcoming Complete Divine, too), BoED, PGtF, F&P

1 Ranger1 (Track)[i]PBS, PS[/i]<br /> 2 Ranger2 (RS)<br /> 3 Favored Soul1 [i]Sacred Vow[/i]<br /> 4 Fav2<br /> 5 Fav3 (WF(GS))<br /> 6 Fav4 [i]Vow of Obedience[/i]<br /> 7 Fav5<br /> 8 Harper Paragon1<br /> 9 HrP2 [i]Nemesis(evil)[/i]<br /> 10 HrP3<br /> 11 HrP4<br /> 12 HrP5 [i]Lightning Reflexes[/i]<br /> 13 Windwalker1<br /> 14 WW2<br /> 15 WW3 [i]Extra Favored Enemy[/i]<br /> 16 HrP6<br /> 17 HrP7<br /> 18 HrP8 [i]Extra Favored Enemy[/i]<br /> 19 HrP9<br /> 20 HrP10

Just before you start to complain about too less ranger in this build:
The Harper Paragon advances nearly all features of the Ranger except the combat styles.

Why is this a good build?
because its exalted, hard to be more good ;)

Seriously: The cleric archer is a well-known concept and this one is even a bit better, mainly because of one thing: The Favored Enemy.
as Rng1 you chose Favored Enemy(Outsider(evil))
as HrP2 you get FE(evil), means +3 vs all evil creatures
(FE(evil) adds only +1)
Nemesis adds +1d6
HrP5 adds another FE, means +5 (+1d6) vs evil
Two extra FE add this to +9 (+1d6)
HrP10 adds another FE for +11 (+1d6)

every and each arrow you shoot gets +12+1d6 damage versus all evil enemies.

You can also cast as a 18th Favored Soul (means 3 9th-level spells), add air- and travel spells to your spells known, have a celestial companion as a Ranger20(!), air walk at will, smite evil 3/day (ranged smite instead of extra favored enemy is an option), cold resistance 5 and fire (or another) resistance 10, detect evil@will, benefit of harper knowledge (as bard 10), cast celestial spells, analyze portal@will and you are permanently under influence of featherfall.

The feat-setup reflects the devotion to archery and favored enemies, of course you can also do a TWF-setup or concentrate more on casting feats.

D) Links
Handbook: none so far
Builds: 3.5 Ranger Thread
**********Section 13: Rogue**********


A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Rogues major strength?

A: Skillpoints, you cant get more as with Rogue.
Sneak Attack is also a very strong feature of the class.

Q: What is the Rogues major weakness?

A: Limited to light armor and with a d6 HD Rogues should avoid going toe-to-toe. They do also have a low fort-save while the will-save is taken care of by Slippery Mind.

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: Building a TWF-Rogue with the highest stat not in constitution. Trying to substitute a Fighter is also a bad idea as a Rogue.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Rogue in a multiclass build?

A: 3rd level gives you skillpoints, 2d6 sneak and evasion. You can also add another (4th) level without losing a point of BAB if you like to have uncanny dodge.
If you take more levels you can just as good take some extra more to get the special abilities.

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
a. Most Important Source is Song and Silence

b. Other Sources are:
Book of Exalted Deeds, Players Guide to Faerun, Miniatures Handbook and Complete Warrior

II. Ability Scores

i. Strength: Melee damage, dont save too much here
ii. Dexterity: Should be high due to light armor
iii. Constitution: Most important
iv. Intelligence: You cant have enough skillpoint as a Rogue
v. Wisdom: dump-stat
vi. Charisma: important for quite some skills, otherwise dump-stat

III. Race
Humans and their extra feat and skillpoint are always a good choice for a Rogue.
Halflings, especially Deep Halflings (MM), are the archetypical Rogue-race, with full right.
Dwarves can make surprisingly good Rogues, too

IV. Skills
Search, Tumble and Use Magic Device are mandatory, Hide and Move Silently, Disable Device and the social skills are no bad choice either.

V. Feats
The classic Rogue-feats are Expert Tactitian, Flick of the Wrist and Quicker then the Eye.
Either the TWF or Spring Attack is a good addition for every fighting Rogue.
THE feat for you:
Darkstalker (Lords of Madness, p. 179). take a look. it's golden!

VI. Deity
As a Rogue the choice of a god is not influencing your power.

C) Builds

follows

D) Links
Handbook: Rogue Handbook
Builds: 3.5 Rogue Thread
3.5 breaking and entering thread: all about the rogue
**********Section 14: Sorcerer**********


A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Sorcerers major strength?

A: Spells, and many of them

Q: What is the Sorcerers major weakness?

A: Like Wizards Sorcerers with their d4 HD are fragile and due to ASF limited to bracers or special magic light armors (means low AC). An unprepared Sorcerer in melee is a very short phenomenon, he is either dead or escaped with a rescue-spell

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: Its not common over here, but maybe you dont know it: There is not much as bad as taking Sorcerer straight. The Class offers nothing but familiar-progression, means any single PrC that advances casting is better.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Sorcerer in a multiclass build?

A: None, never multiclass, simple as that.

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
a. Most Important Source is Toma and Blood

b. Other Sources are:
Book of Exalted Deeds, Defenders of the Faith, Complete Divine, Players Guide to Faerun, Complete Warrior, Draconomicon

II. Ability Scores

a. Overview
Charisma powers your casting, Con allows you to survive a lucky blow

i. Strength: You can carry your pouch? Should be sufficient
ii. Dexterity: Not too low, but your AC will suffer anyhow
iii. Constitution: Dont save here
iv. Intelligence: normally dump-stat, depends on your plans with skills
v. Wisdom: dump-stat
vi. Charisma: Wish you the best

III. Race
Humans and their extra feat and skillpoint are always a good choice for a Sorcerer.
Aasimar are a valueable choice, while the ECL+1 is hard to take the charisma-bonus is nice and especially being an outsider is more then good when you start casting alter- and polymorph- self.
As for every class there is an own elf race, star elf in this case
Gnomes do also make up good casters, small size is more a benefit then a drawback and some extra con is always good.
Halflings have dex instead of con, but small is small


IV. Skills
Spellcraft, Knowledge(Arcana). If you need concentration you normally made something wrong, but good to have maybe.

V. Feats
Depending on the type of Sorcerer, see the builds for details.
Take care to qualify for a PrC

VI. Deity
As a Sorcerer the choice of a god is not influencing your power, except for those planning to take Arcane Disciple

C) Builds

The Arcane Summoner, by Funny Slaughter

human Sorcerer5/Mage of the Arcane Order4/Thaumaturgist5/Sacred Exorcist6

1 Sorcerer1 [i]Arcane Preparation,Extend Spell[/i]<br /> 2 Sorc2<br /> 3 Sorc3 [i]Cooperative spell[/i]<br /> 4 Sorc4<br /> 5 Sorc5<br /> 6 Mage of the Arcane Order1 [i]Arcane Disciple(summoner)[/i]<br /> 7 MotAO2 [i]Energy Substitution(sonic) [/i]<br /> 8 MotAO3<br /> 9 MotAO4 [i]Repeat Spell[/i]<br /> 10 Thaumaturgist1<br /> 11 Tha2<br /> 12 Tha3 [i]Rashemi Elemental Summoning[/i]<br /> 13 Tha4<br /> 14 Tha5<br /> 15 Sacred Exorcist1 [i]Empower Spell[/i]<br /> 16 SE2<br /> 17 SE3<br /> 18 SE4 [i]Quicken Spell[/i]<br /> 19 SE5<br /> 20 SE6

some notes:
This character makes up a great summoner but does also have all types of low-level utility spells handy.
His summoned monsters stay double (or triple if extended) the time, are stronger and may get some buddies in the next round (repeat spell)

The metamagic sorcerer:, by Funny Slaughter

(human, strongheart halfling or bonus-feat via UA-flaw)<br /> non-human needs int 12 to fullfill skill-req<br /> <br /> sorc5/motao2/incantatrix10/sacred exorcist3<br /> <br /> feats:<br /> 1 arcane preperation (req)<br /> 1 metamagic feat (req)<br /> 3 cooperative spell (req)<br /> 6 iron will (req)<br /> 7 metamagic feat (bonus)<br /> 8 metamagic feat (bonus)<br /> 9 craft wand (for metamagic spell trigger)<br /> 12 feat <br /> 12 metamagic feat (bonus)<br /> 15 feat<br /> 15 metamagic feat(bonus)<br /> 17 metamagic feat(bonus)<br /> 18 feat<br /> <br /> recommended feats:<br /> empower, maximize, quicken, chain, extend, persistant

description:
this build features the metamagic variety the incantatrix offers together with the sheer number of spells a sorcerer is capable to cast. low-level utility-spells can be drawn out of the spell-pool.
this build lets you take 6 metamagic feats in addition to 3 free standard feat-slots and thus challenges a wizard totally dedicated to metamagic (4 bonus + 7 free) but with all the PrC-abilities on top. and as a sorcerer.
due to arcane preperation important spells can be prepared with metamagic already applied, this is a sorcerer that can use quicken spell pre-epic which is rarely seen.

the blaster sorcerer:, by Funny Slaughter

sorc6/<br /> elemental savant(chosen element)10/arcane devotee3<br /> <br /> feats:<br /> 1 education<br /> 3 feat<br /> 6 energy substitution(chosen element)<br /> 9 feat<br /> 12 feat<br /> 15 enlarge spell<br /> 18 feat<br /> <br /> recommended feats:<br /> empower, maximize, widen

description:
this build is the classic, easy-to-play blaster sorcerer with an acidball (fireball/electricity ball/waterball) for every enemy he encounters.

[edit]
with complete divine (p.20) sorcerers do no longer gain spells known from the domains they are aquiring. bad news everyone...


D) Links

Handbook: none so far, use the wizards one here until an own is published
Builds: 3.5 Sorcerer Thread
**********Section 15: Soulknife (Snf)**********

A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Soulknives' major strength?

A: The Soulknife isn't power point dependant like the other Psionic Classes. The Soulknife also has a d10 hit die (which seems weird).

Q: What is the Soulknives' major weakness?

A: The Soulknife has no psionic powers, only 2 power points per day (plus any bonus points from race or Psionic Talent Feat), gains no bonus points for a high attribute, and can't benefit from the Expanded Knowledge feat (you can't take a power 1 level lower than your maximum power known when you have no powers known).

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: Two-Weapon Fighting (if not going melee in general). Again, the XPH hasn't been out long, but just looking at it, the biggest mistake will be people using the Psychic Strike incorrectly. The next mistake will be the Multiple Throw (worthless, if you have multiple attacks, you are better off using a move action to do one ranged Psychic Strike).

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Soulknife in a multiclass build?

A: Level 5, as not only do you now have Free Draw to manifest the mindblade as a free action, you also get Sculpt Mindblade to make it into a Longsword or Bastard Sword. After 5th, 9th looks like a good place (Bladewind seems to allow you use make a single attack against all adjacent foes, so perhaps you could Psychic Strike a group of foes within reach). However it seems like a good idea to get out of Soulknife for a meleer.

Q: You say that for a Melee Soulknife you should get out at level 5, but what about a Ranged Soulknife?

A: While a Melee Soulknife will probably go Pyrokineticist or War Mind for his or her 6th level, the Ranged Soulknife has much to gain from remaining a Soulknife. One Ranged Attack per round with all that Psychic Strike damage is good (Psychic Strike has no maximum range), and Far Shot will double the Mindblade Range increment from 30 ft. to 60 ft.

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
  • You need the Expanded Psionics Handbook (XPH) and the three 3.5 Core Rulebooks. The Complete Warrior would be useful for a Soulknife as well.


II. Ability Scores
  • Overview
    Soulknives fall into two groups (Range and Melee), a Ranged Soulknife is a lot like a Rogue (in combat at least) and a Melee Soulknife is almost in a class of its own.
    i. Strength is important for Melee Soulknives.
    ii. Dexterity is a attribute in .
    iii. Constitution is great for a Soulknife as it is for every other class.
    iv. Intelligence can be a dump stat.
    v. Wisdom is important for Will Saves, and it is a DC 20 Will Save to manifest a Mindblade in a Null Psionics zone, also Psychic Warriors and War Minds use Wisdom for powers (and bonus power points).
    vi. Charisma is normally a dump-stat. Sure some Psionic Races bases their once/day power DC on Charisma, but you might have to cut corners somewhere.


III. Race
  • Xephs might be the best race for the Soulknife (and not just because it is their Favored Class). +2 Dex, -2 Str, Darkvision, +1 Racial bonus to saves against Powers, Spells, and Spell-like abilities. Their Burst ability is better than the level 1 power. It lasts 3 rounds, and it gets higher.
  • Humans could make good Soulknives for all the normal reasons.
  • Halflings and Elves can too.
IV. Skills
  • Concentration should be at the top of your list.
  • All other skills are more useful, if not mandatory. Treat the Soulknife a lot like a Rogue for combat, the loss of Bluff makes this a poor Assassin.
V. Feats
  • Point Blank Shot Tree for the Ranged Soulknife.
  • Dodge tree for Agile Soulknive meleers heading towards Spring Attack.
  • Power Attack is useful for more direct Soulknives.
  • Psionic Weapon/Shot isn't all that good because the Move Action you use to get into Psionic Focus (which also requires a feat) only gets you 2d6 damage when your Psychic Strike does about as much (or more) damage. The only real reason to take it is if you get Hustle from some source.


VI Deity


C) Iconic Soulknives:
i. Xeph Soulknife 20 (Ranged) (Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 8)
1 Snf 1: Mind Blade, Weapon Focus (Mind Blade), Wild Talent, Point Blank Shot, 3 pp/day (never goes up)<br /> 2 Snf 2: Throw Mind Blade<br /> 3 Snf 3: Precise Shot, Psychic Strike +1d8<br /> 4 Snf 4: +1 Dex (17), [i]+1 Mind Blade[/i]<br /> 5 Snf 5: Free Draw, Shape Mind Blade<br /> 6 Snf 6: Far Shot, Mind Blade Enhancement +1, Speed of Thought<br /> 7 Snf 7: Psychic Strike +2d8<br /> 8 Snf 8: +1 Dex (18), [i]+2 Mind Blade[/i]<br /> 9 Snf 9: Psionic Meditation, Bladewind, Greater Weapon Focus (Mind Blade)<br /> 10 Snf 10: Mind Blade Enhancement +2<br /> 11 Snf 11: Psychic Strike +3d8<br /> 12 Snf 12: +1 Dex (19), Up the Wall, [i]+3 Mindblade[/i]<br /> 13 Snf 13: Knife to the Soul<br /> 14 Snf 14: Mind Blade Enhancement +3<br /> 15 Snf 15: Improved Precise Shot, Psychic Strike +4d8<br /> 16 Snf 16: +1 Dex (20), [i]+4 Mind Blade[/i]<br /> 17 Snf 17: Multiple Throw<br /> 18 Snf 18: Narrow Mind, Mind Blade Enhancement +4<br /> 19 Snf 19: Psychic Strike +5d8<br /> 20 Snf 20: +1 Dex (21), [i]+5 Mind Blade[/i]

Mobile and fast, this ranged character can quickly get to higher ground and drop devistating mind blades on foes from a considerable distance.
ii. Xeph Soulknife 5/War Mind 5/Elocater 10 (Melee Mobile) (Str 12, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8)
1 Snf 1: Mind Blade, Weapon Focus (Mind Blade), Wild Talent, Dodge, 3 pp/day<br /> 2 Snf 2: Throw Mindblade<br /> 3 Snf 3: Mobility, Psychic Strike +1d8<br /> 4 Snf 4: +1 Wis (15), [i]+1 Mind Blade[/i]<br /> 5 Snf 5: Free Draw, Shape Mind Blade<br /> 6 Snf 5/Wmd 1: Spring Attack, Chain of Personal Superiority +2, [i]Biofeedback[/i], 6 pp/day (Manifester level 1)<br /> 7 Snf 5/Wmd 1/Elo 1: Scorn Earth, Sidestep Charge, [i]Thicken Skin[/i], 10 pp/day (Manifester level 2)<br /> 8 Snf 5/Wmd 1/Elo 2: +1 Wis (16), Opportunistic Strike +2, 11 pp/day (Manifester level 2)<br /> 9 Snf 5/Wmd 1/Elo 3: Weapon Finesse (Mind Blade), Dimensional Step, 16 pp/day (Manifester level 3)<br /> 10 Snf 5/Wmd 1/Elo 4: Flanker, [i]Hustle[/i], 23 pp/day (Manifester level 4)<br /> 11 Snf 5/Wmd 1/Elo 5: Opportunistic Strike +4 (Manifester level 4)<br /> 12 Snf 5/Wmd 1/Elo 6: +1 Wis (17), Speed of Thought, 30 pp/day (Manifester level 5)<br /> 13 Snf 5/Wmd 1/Elo 7: Capricious Step, [i]Vampiric Blade[/i], 38 (Manifester level 6)<br /> 14 Snf 5/Wmd 1/Elo 8: Opportunistic Strike +6 (Manifester Level 6)<br /> 15 Snf 5/Wmd 1/Elo 9: Dimension Spring Attack, Psionic Charge, 50 pp/day (Manifester Level 7)<br /> 16 Snf 5/Wmd 1/Elo 10: +1 Wis (18), Accelerated Action, [i]Truevenom Weapon[/i], 66 pp/day (Manifester Level 8)<br /> 17 Snf 5/Wmd 2/Elo 10: Chain of Defensive Posture +2, 78 pp/day (Manifester Level 9)<br /> 18 Snf 5/Wmd 3/Elo 10: Psionic Meditation, Enduring Body (DR 1/-), [i]Oak Body[/i], 93 pp/day (Manifester Level 10)<br /> 19 Snf 5/Wmd 4/Elo 10: 95 pp/day (Manifester Level 11)<br /> 20 Snf 5/Wmd 5/Elo 10: +1 Wis (19), Sweeping Strike, 97 pp/day (Manifester Level 12)

Highly Mobile, very fast attacker. Accelerated Action is amazing.
ii. Human Soulknife 6/War Mind 10/Pyrokineticist 4 (Melee "Stationary") (Str 14, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8)
1 Snf 1: Mind Blade, Weapon Focus (Mind Blade), Wild Talent, Power Attack, Cleave, 2 pp/day<br /> 2 Snf 2: Throw Mind Blade<br /> 3 Snf 3: Psionic Weapon, Psychic Strike +1d8<br /> 4 Snf 4: +1 Wis (15), [i]+1 Mind Blade[/i]<br /> 5 Snf 5: Free Draw, Shape Mind Blade<br /> 6 Snf 6: Mind Blade Enhancement +1, Speed of Thought, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bastardsword)<br /> 7 Snf 6/Wmd 1: Chain of Personal Superiority +2, [i]Biofeedback[/i], 5 pp/day<br /> 8 Snf 6/Wmd 2: +1 Wis (16), Chain of Defensive Posture +2, [i]Expansion[/i], 12 pp/day<br /> 9 Snf 6/Wmd 2/Pyr 1: Fire Lash, Great Cleave<br /> 10 Snf 6/Wmd 2/Pyr 2: Fore Adaptation, Hand Afire<br /> 11 Snf 6/Wmd 2/Pyr 3: Bolt of Fire<br /> 12 Snf 6/Wmd 2/Pyr 4: +1 Wis (17), Weapon Afire, Psionic Charge<br /> 13 Snf 6/Wmd 3/Pyr 4: Enduring Body (DR 1/-), 15 pp/day<br /> 14 Snf 6/Wmd 4/Pyr 4: [i]Psionic Lion's Charge[/i], 22 pp/day<br /> 15 Snf 6/Wmd 5/Pyr 4: Up the Walls, Sweeping Strike, 29 pp/day<br /> 16 Snf 6/Wmd 6/Pyr 4: +1 Wis (18), Enduring Body (DR 2/-), [i]Vampiric Blade[/i], 32 pp/day<br /> 17 Snf 6/Wmd 7/Pyr 4: Chain of Personal Superiority +4, 51 pp/day<br /> 18 Snf 6/Wmd 8/Pyr 4: Ghost Attack, Chain of Defensive Posture +4, [i]Weapon of Energy[/i], 65 pp/day<br /> 19 Snf 6/Wmd 9/Pyr 4: Enduring Body (DR 3/-), 78 pp/day<br /> 20 Snf 6/Wmd 10/Pyr 4: +1 Wis (19), Chain of Overwhelming Force, [i]Oak Body[/i], 92 pp/day

A different type of tank, more of a Psionic Barbarian (without the Rage) than a Psychic Warrior.

D) Links:
Builds: none so far
Handbook: none so far

Further links can be found in the [URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=213480
] optimization Library[/url]

this part was written by jonathan aka JosephKell
IMAGE(http://www.geocities.com/jonathanef/gejoehail.txt)
nothing so far, waiting for upload
**********Section 17: Wizard**********


A) Q&A:

Q: What is the Wizards major strength?

A: Versatility when it comes to spells. You can have a variety of spells known and researched. With Int as primary attribute you will also have quite some skillpoints, given a PrC that takes care of a good skilllist.

Q: What is the Wizards major weakness?

A: Like Sorcerers Wizards with their d4 HD are fragile and due to ASF limited to bracers or special magic light armors (means low AC). An unprepared Wizard in melee is a very short phenomenon, he is either dead or escaped with a rescue-spell

Q: What are the most common Min/Max mistakes for this class?

A: Loosing casterlevels in any way is, with little exceptions, really bad.

Q: What are good Break-Offs when using the Wizard in a multiclass build?

A: None, never multiclass, simple as that.

B) Techniques:

I. Sources
a. Most Important Source is Tome and Blood

b. Other Sources are:
Book of Exalted Deeds, Defenders of the Faith, Complete Divine, Players Guide to Faerun, Complete Warrior, Draconomicon

II. Ability Scores

a. Overview
Intelligence powers your casting, Con allows you to survive a lucky blow

i. Strength: You can carry your pouch? Should be sufficient
ii. Dexterity: Not too low, but your AC will suffer anyhow
iii. Constitution: Dont save here
iv. Intelligence: Roll well or buy at least a 16
v. Wisdom: dump-stat
vi. Charisma: do you want to be nice? or effective?

III. Race
Humans and their extra feat and skillpoint are always a good choice for a Wizard.
Aasimar/Tiefling are valueable if you cast alter- and polymorph- self a lot, otherwise the lost casterlevel is not worth it.
As for every class there is an own elf race, high elf in this case
Gnomes do also make up good casters, small size is more a benefit then a drawback and some extra con is always good.
Halflings have dex instead of con, but small is small


IV. Skills
Spellcraft, Knowledge(Arcana). If you need concentration you normally made something wrong, but good to have maybe.

V. Feats
Depending on the type of Wizard, see the builds for details.

VI. Deity
As a Wizard the choice of a god is not influencing your power, except for those planning to take Arcane Disciple

C) Builds
The Master of Creation, by Funny Slaughter
Human Wizard 5/Harper Mage 2/Loremaster 3/Techsmith 10

1 Wizard 1 [i]Alertness, Extend Spell[/i] (Scribe Scroll)<br /> 2 Wiz2<br /> 3 Wiz3 [i]Create Wondrous Item[/i]<br /> 4 Wiz4<br /> 5 Wiz5 [i]Craft Magic Arms and Armor[/i]<br /> 6 Harper Mage1 [i]Skill Focus(Knowledge(Arcana)), <br /> Leadership[/i]<br /> 7 HM2 [i]Skill Focus(Spellcraft)[/i]<br /> 8 Loremaster1<br /> 9 LM2 [i]Skill Focus(Craft(Metalworking))[/i]<br /> 10 LM3 [i]Magical Artisan(CWI)[/i]<br /> 11 Techsmith1<br /> 12 TS2 [i]Craft Rod[/i]<br /> 13 TS3 [i]Skill Focus(Craft(Alchemy))[/i]<br /> 14 TS4<br /> 15 TS5 [i]Forge Ring[/i]<br /> 16 TS6<br /> 17 TS7<br /> 18 TS8 [i]Create Portal[/i]<br /> 19 TS9<br /> 20 TS10

If anybody knows a PrC that requires you to have a minimum of 4 skillfocus-feats please let me know

description:
This character can craft nearly everything, has an assistant providing clerical spellcasting (for example) as well as a golem assistant carrying all his equipment (for example).
Its not suited for players who chose fireball as their first known spell at 5th level
To make it better suited for player characters a few item creation feats can be replaced, of course.

the researcher wizard, by Funny Slaughter
wizard5/MotAO2/Loremaster10/archmage3<br /> <br /> feats:<br /> <br /> 1 feat<br /> 3 metamagic feat<br /> 5 cooperative spell<br /> 6 skillfocus(knowledge(any individual skill))<br /> 7 metamagic feat<br /> 9 feat<br /> 10 skillfocus(spellcraft)<br /> (bonus via secret, int 20@lvl10 req)<br /> 12 spellfocus(first school)<br /> 12 feat (bonus via secret)<br /> 14 feat (bonus via secret)<br /> 15 spellfocus(second school)<br /> 16 feat (bonus via secret)<br /> 18 feat

recommended feats:
create woundrous item, other craft feats, extend spell, persistant spell

description:
this classic build is playable throughout its career. its a "loremaster", a researcher, capable of surviving all adventures as there are not many situations he can not analyze, not many things he lacks knowledge about and few encounters he can not excel in with a special spell.

D) Links

Handbook: Wizard Handbook
Builds: no own thread so far
**********Section 18: other “base”-classes**********

As there are:
The Favored Soul (Miniatures Handbook)
The Healer (Miniatures Handbook)
The Hexblade (Complete Warrior)
The Marshal (Miniatures Handbook)
The Mystic (Dragonlance)
The Ninja (Rokugan) pdf
The Samurai (Complete Warrior)
The Scout (Complete Adventurer)
The Swashbuckler (Complete Warrior)
The Warlock (Complete Arcane)
The Warmage (Miniatures Handbook)

Favored Soul:
With all good saves and spontaneous divine casting the Favored Soul is a very interesting Cleric-variation. WF at 3rd and Energy Resistance at 5th make it a pretty good base if you like the concept of spontaneous casting.
The biggest weakness is the missing domain-access, it’s nearly mandatory to enter PrCs like Divine Disciple or Contemplative to get it or take PrCs like Windwalker that give access to more spells known.
After 5th there are only very few abilities gained so it is a good idea to choose a PrC.
Turn undead is also missing, Sacred Exorcist or other PrCs can bring this into the mix.
The Favored Soul is also dependant on cha and wis to cast spells, not a good choice when using low pointbuy or with bad stats rolled.

The Healer (Miniatures Handbook)
A crippled Cleric specialized on healing. I never saw anybody using this class so nothing to say here.

The Hexblade (Complete Warrior)
A try on a Fighter/Mage base-class
The Casting ability is too weak to be of any real primary use, but good BAB, HD and some interesting abilities like arcane resistance at 2nd and mettle at 3rd can feature a good base for non-good fightertypes, especially Blackguards.
In my opinion straight Hexblade is quite weak, the abilities and spells gained do not outweigh the abilities of other classes so I recommend taking a few levels only. See below in the Fighter/Mage Section for more possibilities.

The Marshal (Miniatures Handbook)
A very interesting choice for a cohort or a Bard.
The Marshal features minor and major auras that grant special abilities to his allies. Since there can only be one of each active at any time it is best to choose the ones you need and stay with a few levels only.
The 2nd level offers one of each for example while the 4th gives “grant move action 1/day” which can be very useful in special situations.

The Mystic (Dragonlance)
Similar to the Favored Soul the Mystic grants spontaneous divine casting.
The Mystic is not bound to a certain god but features a single domain that he adds to his spells known. Its casting is based on wisdom only.
Since the class gains no abilities of any kind its even more forced into a PrC

The Ninja
With full BAB and useful abilities on the first few levels this class makes a great dip for any fighting-possessed rogue or a mobility-fighter.
Especially the first four levels grant good things with Speed of Darkness (int to initiative), uncanny dodge 1 and 2d6 sneak attack.
Rogue16/Ninja4 or other variations are an interesting base-only build.

The Samurai (Complete Warrior)
Why does WotC feels the need to publish not only one but a whole bunch of Samurai? You get EWP(bastard sword) at 1st and a limited TWF at 2nd, Kiai Smite 1/day may be nice, too, but the rest does not feel very appealing to me.

The Scout
a crossbreed of Ranger and Rogue, offers the skirmish-ability which is kind of sneak attack only when you move. with 8 skillpints/lvl at least a consideration for a character that intends to move a lot in combat (like dervish)

The Swashbuckler (Complete Warrior)
A very interesting crossbreed of Rogue and Fighter the Swashbuckler offers a full bucket of unique and powerful abilities.
The most interesting is insightful strike at 3rd (int to damage), but weapon finesse at 1st is also a good feature if you planned to take it anyhow.
There are some quite good abilities at higher levels and I consider it a well-rounded class that fits its niche quite well with insightful strike being near to overpowered.

The Warlock (Complete Arcane)
A Class with fery vew "Spells" but an unlimited supply of these, also a very potent ray-attack and some good class abilities.
If your DM loves epic days and a wizard has to fight with his quarterstaff for 3/4 of the encounters you will be teh man
Advice and furter analysis can be found in the Warlock Handbook by Tealgorthian

The Warmage (Miniatures Handbook)
While offering a few interesting abilities the spell selection of this Sorcerer-variant is really limited to blasting stuff and many of the abilities can be mimicked by PrCs
**********Section 19: other Archetypes**********
This mysterious topic should deal with old (AD&D) multiclass options that are now realized via PrCs or other ways.

As there are:
The Wizard/Rogue
The Cleric/Rogue
The Cleric/Mage
The Fighter/Mage

The Wizard/Rogue:

In fact there is not much space left by the Arcane Trickster PrC
You can find a pretty good thread about the arcane trickster [URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=95288
]here[/url]
As a Wizard/Rogue your main-question is thus how to get into the Arcane Trickster as effective as possible.

The Cleric/Rogue:

This one is a bit harder to pull off since there is no special PrC dealing with it. There are certain rather specific PrCs like the Strifeleader (F&P) and some tricks to get into the “Arcane” Trickster like my own [URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=57321
]here[/url]

In general it is much easier to combine one of the rogues features, the skills, with a cleric then to let a cleric gain sneak attack or a rogue divine spells.
The best way here is to play a human with nymphs kiss and an high intelligence and a PrC that grants a high number of skillpoints as well as a good selection of class-skills. Access to a domain like trickery or feats like versatile do also help.
Example PrCs are Harper Paragon (PGtF), Windwalker, Techsmith (both F&P) or Darkmask (Lords of Darkness)

The Cleric/Mage

With 3.5 there is now a standard solution, the Mystic Theurge.
It is a hard thing to be three casterlevels behind in each class so you should have a clear idea of what you want to do and what not.
If you leave certain abusive builds like Wizard/Ur-Priest/MT/TN out of the game a Mystic Theurge is not a powerhouse, but if you want to play one you may be looking for something else anyhow.

The Fighter/Mage

This one is maybe the most interesting Archetype.
Take a look here:
[URL=http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=150451
]the Comprehensive Gish Thread[/url]
Comprehensive Build Thread: The 3.5 Gish
this is reserved space #2

so long some ads:

Psycho Dave: "Hey are those the pictures from GEN CON?"

Deviant Boy: "Yeah. Take a look, there was quite the crop of booth babes this year."

Asenath: "I'll say."

Me: "Let me see."

Weasly Crusher: "Are the rumors of a second edition of Dungeons and Dragons true?"

Asenath: "Yes they are."

Psycho Dave: "Why? Why would they mess with perfection?"

Blobert Smith: "As long as I can still play an Anti-Paladin or an Assassin I will continue to greet each role playing experience with a lessened sense of ennui."

Me: "Great pictures Asenath but this one is kinda out of focus and it almost looks like you're... like you're... GREAT HASTUR'S GHOST!"

Weasly Crusher: "Is that...are they... is she...?"

[...] (note to self: not an adult board here)

Me: "What the Hell this?"

Asenath: "Sorry, don't how those got in there. Those are from our private collection."

Deviant Boy: "But they were taken at GEN CON."

Me: "Yeah well you two should keep that stuff to yourselves."

Asenath: "Sorry to have offended you- but I am especially proud of this picture here-"

Me: "MY EYES!!!!!"

Deviant Boy: "Oh come on we are adults here."

Psycho Dave: "Wait a second. If she's there... and he's over there... who's taking this picture?"

Asenath: "Well we ended up having a kind of with someone who worked for White Wolf."

do you want to know more?
the Optimization Library by necrosnoop110 features all links you want and saved me a load of work. thx for this.

read more about the tactics used in builds within this thread and on the boards in general:
the 3.5 tactics compendium

gs
Funny
w00t! New FAQ!
Originally posted by Funny Slaughter
- The Arachnomancer features as another example of adding spells to your list of spells known, a single level grants great benefits

I may be mistaken, but I don't think you add the spider spells to the list of spells known (it may have an errata, but i've never seen one). I'll quickly quote part of the Spider Magic feature:

Underdark - FRCS Campaign Acessory
Spider Magic: (...) Spider magic spells are added to the character's class lists of available spells, so that he may choose them whenenver he has the opportunity to acquire new spells of the appropriate level. He does not automatically learn them (in the case of a spellcaster who keeps spellbooks) or know them (in the case of a spellcaster who does not keep spellbooks).

By the way, nice work on the FAQ. We were really needing one for the 3.5e. I hope you keep the good work!

fusion!
iN.fuSioN, thanks for this errata, edited it.
seems that i should point this fact to snow who is steady advising it, i wasnt doublechecking anything so i am somehow reliant on people over here to find errors.

gs
Funny
Largest number of posts by the same person in a row... ever...

Either way, looks like you're off to a good start.

Edit:

Most of your links are broken. Remove the extra http. (They're all good now)
Originally posted by rich2939
Largest number of posts by the same person in a row... ever...

Either way, looks like you're off to a good start.

Edit:

Most of your links are broken. Remove the extra http.

I think Master of the Squirrels had a twenty-post once... it was over at the game boards... where the posts don't add to your total and the 1 post per minute limit isn't enforced.

!!

THAT IS WHY MY POST COUNT WENT DOWN! THEY DELETED THAT BOARD! *shudder in fury* Oh well... Better get back to pushing the rock uphill.
In your sorcerer description the links to 'definitive sorcerer spell list', '3.5 polymorph thread', '3.5 summon monster thread', and 'spells without SR' are all broken. Probobly scrolled off the boards history due to being too old
it was the auto-parse funtion.
i used copy&paste of course and there was a space that sneaked into the url. vB interpreted this and inserted an http so it was double.

fixed it

gs
Funny
The Ninja PDF link's broken!

-EE
Can I sugest my crappy and full of typos guide to bards 3.5?

(check my link)

isnt intended for powergaming instead it is a guide for those who dont have a clue of what to do with a bard.
Nice FAQ, Funny. I've never seen you start a sentence with a capital letter until now.

Dwarves can move normally in heavy armor, they have some good abilities and with con+2 and dex-2 some very tankish ability adjustments, together with the favoured class fighter this draws a path.

The core dwarf's penalty is to charisma, not dexterity.
I've never seen you start a sentence with a capital letter until now.

normally i dont write my posts with word :D

The core dwarf's penalty is to charisma, not dexterity.

core? whats this?
course you are right, will correct this right now

gs
Funny
Some clerical domains changed in 3.5, especially animal domain. It no longer has Animal Friendship, so it's no longer a so good domain.
Ok First, not to candy coat anything, this FAQ has not been properly optimized. In short it needs a lot of work. You could basically cut and paste Chris’s original FAQ and have a much better FAQ.

My suggestion is to tackle things one section at a time. Pick each section (of Chris’s FAQ not your FAQ) and ask for input from the community. Then edit all that info into a coherent mass. You should also read the 3.0 FAQ, it will teach you a thing or two about Min/Maxing (and FAQ writing).

PS- You are violating the CoC accidentally. You have links to the “Min/Max Vault.” The Web site in question does not have the OGL agreement posted (at least I can’t find it) and it reproduces copyrighted material. For Example: Forgotten Realms information. Now I am not going to Narc on you, but sooner or later someone will see.
It's impossible to discuss minmaxing without giving minor spoilers on copyrighted material. If you say THIS is good with THAT there should be an explanation, and there the copyright is not respected in strict regards. Usually people only do it in a way that it says something but it doens't reveal all the material, so if you don't have the book you can't really use it.

It's like saying: "Persistent Spell is now +6! Damn! It's so crappy!". If you own FRCS material you will understand it, but if you don't you will have no clue!
Thus the brilliance of the OGL. If you post it you are allowed to use the entirety of the SRD in any way you see fit, however you are willingly prohibiting yourself from using any other copyrighted material.

If you do not post it you are allowed to use any copyrighted material (including the SRD) through the normal course of fair use.

We get away with it here only because this is the wizards site and they have the option of editing any material, at their discretion, that violates copyright. And since they are the rights holder they are allowed to say “ok here you are allowed to say this much.”

Even on a website with the ogl you should still have a reasonable amount of leniency, but there are limits. By its very nature a min/max site will exceed those limits. Remember we are not, for example, talking about a fan eberron site. We are talking about a site that reproduces significant rules content.
So am I a Narc now?

I've checked out the website in question-- to clarify, if a website is linked to and goes against our CoC, the link is removed. I've had to do it a couple of times on this board (unfortunately) so it does happen.

With the Min/Max vault though, it looks like quite the fuzzy line. I admit I'm not too familiar with licensing information which I realize I should be because of the number of times this issue comes up. So I'm going to do my homework and do some investigative work and Funny Slaughter (and others) I encourage you to do it as well. My first look through the Vault though is that while there is some info there that is against the OGL, it seems to be minor enough to fall into the Fair Use act so for now it stays. I hope my investigative work supports that. (If anyone has an issue with that, feel free to email me or contact my lead, WizO Paradox)

But I don't want to bog the FAQ down with info like this-- if anyone would like to futher discuss the OGL/ d20 licensing, the d20 General board is the place for it. If you wanted to have a discussion, create a thread there and link to it in this thread so that people could join in if they wanted but didn't have to wade through it to see the FAQ on min/max builds.

Game on!
thx for the support autumn, the vault is not my page but neonsamurais, he put a lot of effort into it and is mainly archiving builds from these boards. while any discussion is OT here i am sure that he would change his side if there are problems with the copyrights.

In short it needs a lot of work. You could basically cut and paste Chris’s original FAQ and have a much better FAQ.

feel free to contact me personally or post some backgrounded critizism here. i took chris' FAQ as a base, but if i continued his system it just wont fit onto this board. there are loads of builds, PrCs, books and other things that were published by the time.

chris7476 sent me the drafts of his FAQ and after some time i decided to use another system. using the 3.5-build threads and external handbooks etc. was a great way to include much more information without bloating the text too much imo.


Pick each section (of Chris’s FAQ not your FAQ)

the main descision was to use another format.
and in fact i used a good part of the old text 1:1

and ask for input from the community

that is basically what this thread is for, getting input.

In short it needs a lot of work

in short: it needed a lot of work and there is, i admit, some more work to do. i have some ideas to expand the FAQ further and to add stuff, but i just came back from my tournee in russia where i spend two weeks and had no time to put work into the FAQ.

while i appreciate your general opinion i think your criticism is far to general .
just start nitpicking, this is what the thread is for, info like "ah, all crap" is not very helpful as you, as a respected FAQ-writer, should intrinsically know.


feel free to contact me personally (not only stembolt, all of you) if you want something changed without big discussion here, i will then use my personal judgement.
or post some new ideas or changes over here and i will decide upon the position of the community.

gs
Funny
while i appreciate your general opinion i think your criticism is far to general .
just start nitpicking, this is what the thread is for, info like "ah, all crap" is not very helpful as you, as a respected FAQ-writer, should intrinsically know.

Perhaps I should have been clearer. I originally intended to offer specific criticism on your FAQ however upon reviewing it I realized that it basically needed a complete teardown. If you are lovestruck with your own format I think that could be salvaged. That’s about it.

As for input you need to specifically ask for help. That way you can collate things together. For example start with a race or class you like and ask for input. Take the best ten comments and the best two builds and post that, then go on to the next. Writing a FAQ is not a simple under taking, no one expects you to write it fast or right the first time. But it can be done and you can do it.

Not to be derogatory or anything but this FAQ is essentially useless. If you want help you need to ask for it. I don’t want to write the build FAQ I do not have the time, but I am willing to help you.

My final piece of advice is a FAQ is for Frequently asked questions, not comprehensive discussion. You may actually be better off going for a more classical Q&A approach. Just answer the basics and don’t worry about advanced stuff. If the question is not frequently asked it is not a FAQ question.
There is a whole board of FAQ's. This should actually be there... I'll get to it eventually.

Anyway, I suggest anyone who wants to offer suggestions to check out the formats of other FAQ's-- there is a plethora of them. Not just the FAQ maintainer either, I'd suggest that anyone interested check them out to give Funny S. some good ideas.

Finally- stembolt, you are exactly right about FAQ standing for frequently asked questions-- and on that note, I'd also like to suggest that more then just Funny S. get involved in collecting these questions. As the FAQ maintainer, it is his responsiblity to make sure they are collected, but that doesn't mean that others couldn't help out. Start other threads asking for suggestions for what the FAQ are about bards or halflings etc. To be as comprehensive as possible, you need as many opinions as possible.