Posting here instead of the Druid vs. Fighter post where they DEMANDED a build and just waved away anything which shattered their image of the invincible Druid.
If you find a weakness in this Pure Fighter MELEE build, kindly post, and better yet, plug the hole.
This is not a scout build, a healer build, or a ranged build. Moreover, I'm not sure on Cash balance. Might have to take Ancestral RElic so the main weapon doesn't count against cash, or something.
To Wit, here we go.Re-Edited for minor Feat errors, AoO interpretations!
Edit: Changed halberd references to Glaive. Halberd doesn't have Reach.
Armor changed to Mithril BP. Alternatively, keep it if you'd rather rely on skill tricks for things. I like my 10' steps, tho.
Added Previn's revised gear, with no feat changes as might be used to exceed normal wealth guidelines. Revised stats in accord with wealth limits.
Edit: Please check out the reply to Njemke, Post 191, Page 7, for some questions on tactics and ability vs. various situations.
Added a Covering Strike Item option to build to ward against enemy Robilar's.
Edit: Add in Occult Opportunist as a highly recommended feat for generating more AoO's against casters.
Edit: Add Supernatural Opportunist as an optional feat for campaigns heavy with them (Cite Archrpwr and Omen of Peace.) I have some reservations because defining 'use a Supernatural ability' can be construed almost as many ways as 'use iron heart surge'.
Edit: Supernatural Instincts does the same thing as Supernatural Opportunist, but requires Combat Reflexes as a pre req (Khan the Destroyer).
Edit: Added Precise Swing as an optional feat. It's from Eberron, and eliminates miss chances from all cover except total cover, which allows AoO's to pretty much always get off.
Archerpwr has a QUick Lockdown thread doing a lot of multiclassing and using Decisve Strike as a replacement for OVerwhelming Assault to get the Lock effect earlier (his build is based on the premise that DS is usable in armor, unlike the Flurry it replaces. I happen to disagree with this). Check out his thread for an alternate build!
Edit: QUick Lockdown is now on post 937, page 32. The premise of the build is to get a double dmg lockdown effect in place by level 10, at the cost of some hitting power and accuracy.
Please check out Page 10, post 286, for Howland Reed's level by level build of a Warblade/20 that I pasted over here.
Edit: Khan the Destroyer posted a Half-Ogre version on page 29, post 864. Remember the +LA!
Sir Kenny has put up a 'Divine Lockdown' with level 18 casting ability using Ruby Knight Vindicator to keep advancing casting levels. It departs substantially from the tank theme, but does get level 9 spells! (and no, it doesn't rely on burning turns for swift actions, either) Page 32, post 940, with commentary in the successive posts on the build.
, NG F/20, Human. (alignment is not important, nor is race)Fighter Bonus Feats
1- Improved Initiative
2- EWP Spiked Chain. Alternatively, Short Haft and use a glaive so you can set against a charge for double dmg. Picked the chain for the easy area threat. ALTERNATE: Take a big piercing polearm (guisarme or longspear) and wear SPiked Gauntlets. This frees up a feat while allowing you to threaten near and far, letting you take Power Attack or (wait for it!) WEAPON SUPREMACY! Note that with Adaptive, all your Weapon Focus chain could apply to your Gauntlets, too, including Supremacy. You also become hell against a charge...and hey, Lances do piercing dmg, too, don't they?
4- Weapon Spec
6- Stand Still (i.e. Don’t Move, you.)
8- Greater weapon focus
10- Martial Stance – Thicket of blades (All movement out of squares threatened is AoO)
12- Close Quarters Fighting (oh, grapple me, PLEASE)
14- Greater Weapon Spec
16- Overpowering Assault (Double dmg instead of full attack, affects AoO’s) === Build is now MATURE.
18- Deft opportunist
20- Defensive Sweep (if someone adjacent to you does not move, triggers AoO)General Feats
1- Weapon Focus
3- Combat Reflexes
6- Martial Study (Foehammer, punches DR, +2d6, Standard Action)=== Unlikely to ever be used. Should probably choose a save or boost feat.
9- Melee weapon Mastery (piercing) === slashing if Glaive.
12- Mage Slayer (No casting defensively, or Spell Likes)
15- Pierce Magical Protection (gets rid of uber buffage)
18- Robilar’s Gambit (Generates heaps of double dmg AoO’s)Human
– Able Learner (no real impact on build, except doesn’t waste skill points)Comments
: As you can see, I’ve taken almost the whole weapon Spec tree for this build. This is completely unnecessary, and probably actually somewhat self-defeating. However, such a tree is only possible to a Fighter. And given how it’s poo-pooed so often, we can happily say that it doesn’t really do much for the build. Effectively, I’ve used up every single General Feat on something absolutely irrelevant.
Thus, the only really important thing is what I did with the extra Fighter Feats. If some of these feats weren’t restricted to being General Feats (ex. Mage Slayer, Pierce Magical Protection), I could literally hand-wave away the feats everybody gets and just make a build with Fighter bonus feats. The WeaponSpiked Chain
: Taken because it allows you to threaten your whole area, not just at reach.
The same effect would happen if you used a Reach weapon (glaive, guisarme, etc) and Short Hafted it. Also, its a trip weapon, but this is unimportant with the way we trip at late levels. You can make this just adamantine +5 and be pretty good. Making it Shadow Striking
deals with all DR, making it Wounding
means you deal Con damage. Since you are always going to be in a Thicket of Blades
stance, making it +4 and a Devoted Spirit weapon means it is +7 TH all the time. On the other hand, getting rid of Wounding opens you up for Binding
and other enchantments which enhance tripping. Tripping is good, even though we don’t use it like normal folks do.
There are doubtless Augment Crystals which should be used with the Chain. The Ghost Touch one and vampiric/healing one are probably the best (heal 1 hp/3 inflicted).
Making the Chain a Dispelling
weapon means every hit does a dispel at your level. If you are making a dedicated caster killer and love taking AoO’s, this is doubly cruel…not only are you blowing the Concentration check to the moon, but you can dispel the spell they are casting AND get rid of any spells they are putting up on themselves. You’ll have to rely on other things to punch thru DR tho, which is pretty key.
Note: No Power Attack. While useful, going first is generally more important to locking a character down. If you like, lose greater weapon spec for it.
No Weapon Supremacy. We make Overpowering Attacks…weapon supremacy is redundant. And trying to get us into a grapple is good news for us, bad for you.
Highly recommend the feat Occult Opportunist as an option. This feat allows you to make AoO's off Quick/swift actions, spell like abilities, and activating magical items, among other things. Extremely powerful against casters.Key Build Items
+5 Mithral BP (+5 Dex allowed). Of whatever. I’m sure there’s some augment crystals which would be nice to have, esp if they give DR.
A +5 Animated Heavy shield would be nice, but eh. It’s not needed.
+5 Inherent bonus to Dex, Con, Str. Yes, you do have to be good at your job. Likewise, +6 boosters to those stats are core at level 20.
A Mind Blank item because, well, everyone has to have one at this level. Otherwise people moan and groan about scry and die, and pathetic Melee Will Saves. Completely removes a weakness of the class. Strong will classes go from ‘eh, to Cool.” You go from “Oh God I suck” to “BWHAHAHAHA try again.” Fighters get SOOO much from good buffs and their gear...don't you love cash? (and if you whine about class problems, just about EVERYONE has one of these, if you are smart...it's just MORE useful to the fighter!)
+5 resistance, +5 Nat Armor, +5 deflection. They all stack freely, so what the hey. For a backup weapon, a +5 Morningstar is always nice, and you have MWM for it. So is a +1 Valorous Lance, if you want to go charging, and some sort of magic bow, since you have a decent Dex.Winged Steadfast boots of speed and striding.
Combining items is fine. This gets you both a Haste effect, and Flight, both needed by a high level guy, and some additional land speed. Note the fly spell increases speed to 60’. Land Speed is a decent 40’. Steadfast means that you effectively always have a readied action to hit something charging you...it's even better then Hold the Line!
A +10 Tumble Mod item. Because it's nice to have. It effectively lets you 'take 10' on all your key Tumble Checks. 10k, real cheap.
Other nice items are a Belt of Battle
, for some opening extra actions (and +2 Initiative!). Adding Boots of Teleportation effect to your footgear gives you supreme mobility. A ring of blinking and a ring of invisibility should both be present for your stealth options, and a way to get out of ‘locks’, like force walls or the like. Gauntlets of War from Complete Champions gives +3 to melee dmg if you follow a deity with the War domain, and are cheap. Really, you should have something cheap in every equipment slot you can. None are ESSENTIAL for the build, however, and are commented on in passing.
There are now items which grant Pounce, but we’ll ignore them for now. For mundane gear, a Locking gauntlet for +10 vs Disarms, and we’ll assume someone Hardened
your Chain to give it a total hardness of 40ish for those fools who like to sunder stuff.
A way to get Enlarge is needed. While the real trick is using a wand of Polymorph self with UMD to get a killer Large form and really smoke your enemy, having 3-5 potions of Enlarge in a potion holder means you can suck one down as a move action. We’ll just go with the potions, for now, tho likely an item that cast Enlarge would be more useful, given how often we use these. Likewise, an Enlarge effect with a longer duration is probably what the Polymorph Wand is best at, all things considered.
And to really, really cheese off the spellcasters with this build, an Anti-Magic Torc or one shot item you can replace. SA to activate is okay, but a move action would be better. If you have a Belt of Battle, it’s irrelevant which.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++Previn's Revised List O Gear
Weapon: +3 Adaptive Devoted Spirit adamantine shadow striking spiked chain (or glaive)(+7 weapon = 98,000 for enhancements +3000 for material)
Body: +5 Mithral BP w/ +5 natural armor (75000 for enhancements +5000 for material)
Non Slotted: +3 Inherent bonus to Dex, +5 to Str. (110,000 for +5, 82500 for +3 so 192,500 (Manual of whatever x2))
A Mind Blank item (43,200 for 1 command word use per day)
Back: Cloak of Resistance +5 (25,000)
Ring1: Ring of Blinking w/ +5 deflection bonus (77,000)
Ring2: Ring of Invisibility (20,000)---Optional (for stealth use!
Feet: Winged Steadfast boots of speed and striding. (Total cost for this item: 44,350)
Neck: Anti-Magic Torc w/ +6 con (71,000)
Waist: Belt of Battle w/ +6 str (48,000)
Hands: Locking Gauntlets of War w/ +6 dex (40,000)
Torso: Vest of +10 Tumble (10,000)
Tossing in the potions of enlarge for free.
Edit: Looking through, I see no teleportation effects on the boots. You definitely need the ability to teleport, so finagling some approximates, perhaps by having your party caster make them to conserve gold, is a definite need.
~752k out of 760.
You still want a teleporting effect. If you are in a party, having a caster around who can cast GMW and/or GMVestment on your weapon/armor will free up sufficient gold for you to do so. Alternatively, swapping out GWSpec for Ancestral Relic and sacking trash magic items to it for full value instead of half value selling your share of loot as you level will free up you the additional gold to do so.
I just noted that Adaptive from ToB is a +1 enhancement cost that lets anyone use your Spiked Chain/Glaive as if they were proficient/spec/focus etc in it. If you have a Focus feat for it, it gives you +1/+1 and pays for itself. I'll adjust the default weapon accordingly.
More desirable is a continuous Mind Blank then a dispellable 1/day, but we take what we can live with.
At level 14, acquire a White Raven enhancement to your helm (20k) that grants Covering Strike and Battle Leader's Charge, if you can. As the manuver is only usable 1/encounter/enemy, it's perfect for you. This is the perfect anti-Robilar's tactic, as it prevents an enemy from making AoO.
You still need some visual enhancement (Darkvision, at least, Blindsight preferable). True Sight usable for 10 min/day or something would take care of most of your miss chances from magical effects.
A +1 Heavy Fortified set of bracers = the cost of a set of Bracers +6. Desirable.
Soulforge on something, if you are going to fight any kind of undead. Adding it to the BP will be pricey, however. Perhaps a helm.
More initiative, if you can get it cheaply. Wearing a +1 spiked Gauntlet of Warning for an additional +5 to Init was recommended, and add on Eager for another +2 would bring your Init bonus to +20 or so (and would actually fit in your budget).
Lockdown has no energy resistance to speak of, nor freedom of movement (CqF does the job in a fight). Disposables or buffs from the party caster would have to suffice for those.
You can lever your wealth with the party caster if they have Create Arms and Armor. However, the fact of the matter is that an adventuring situation requires a huge amount of flexibility and versatility to compensate for. Your 'laundry list' probably won't finalize until you get the huge Wealth bump going from 20 to 21.
I wish to reiterate that this is not a duelling build, and not meant to trash every Nova build alive. It's meant to:
1) Lock down a potentally large number of people, and be a solidly contributing member of any adventuring party.
2) Be able to lock down a spellcaster. At higher levels, this is done by exploiting their incredible vulnerability in an Anti-magic Field. At lower levels, Mage Slayer, Pierce Magical Protection, Thickets, and hope they don't have an item that allows porting.
3) be mobile enough to get to who needs to be gotten to, and once there, keep them there.
4) Have a high enough initiative that going first is entirely possible.
I will be making adjustments based On Previn's new default list, and leave changes and leveraging to those who are building individually.
--- Note, this is the Elite Array, a default Set. I am NOT using Point Buy, which could change the look of the build significantly.
Str: 15 (20 by level)
Int: 12 (4 skill points a level)
Wis: 10 (Mind Blank item, tyvm)
Cha: 8Modified Stats:
Str: 31 (+5 Inherent, +6 booster) = +10
Dex: 22 (+3 Inherent, +6 booster) =+7
Con: 20 (+6 booster) = +5
Cha: 8AMField stats
Con: 14Hit points
: Base 115 +5/level = 215 or so. AMF: 155ishInitiative
: +11 (+13 with Belt of Battle). Getting this score up is probably key, especially if you can enchant a weapon for it. A Warning Spiked gauntlet+1
gives you another +5, for instance...and fits into your budget. Add Eager for another +2 (so potentially +20 Init).Movement
: 40 land, 60 flying. +30 to each if hasted.TH
: (Assuming a +3 Adaptive Devoted Spirit weapon of Shadowstriking/Wounding) BAB 20, Str 10, Feats: +4, weapon +7 = +41, 36, 31, 26.
For AoO’s, the TH base is +45, due to Deft Opportunist. +1 possible from Haste.Dmg:
2-8 +15 Str +6 Feats +3 war gauntlets = +24, avg of 29.AC
: Armor +10, NAC +5, Deflect +5, Dex +5, = 35. If you get an animated Shield, tack on another +7 Shield for AC 42. Fighting Defensively adds +3, Haste from boots adds +1.When Enlarged
: AC goes –1 (size) to 34. TH is unchanged. Dmg rises to 2-12 +27 (avg 34). Reach goes from 10' to 20'.Saves
: In the absence of minor buff items, Fort: +22, Will: +11 (eh, Mind Blank) Reflex: +17Grapple Mod
: +30 + CQF (for another +29 on average = +59 Anti-Grapple). +36 w +34 when Enlarged. +58/+68 CQF if Overpowering.# AoO’s
: 7, 6 if Enlarged. 4 in AMF.In Anti magic Shell
: AC: Drops to 18, +3 if defensive for 21. TH goes to +32 base. Dmg goes to +16 base (21 on average). Grapple goes to +27Trip Modifier
: +20 Bab +10 Str = +30, +36 if Enlarged, +27 in AM field.Skills
: The only real important one is swapping out Climb for Tumble (UA), and having max Ranks of Tumble (23). This gives you a defensive fighting effect of –4 TH/+3AC, which is about as good as Expertise ( it improves to +4AC/-4 Th at 25 ranks. Total Defense gives you +6 AC).
You can get 11 ranks in any cross class skill you desire, such as UMD, Spot, Balance, Sense Motive (whatever you want). Your total skill points to spend are 92 –23 for Tumble = 69 to spend. You also need to reserve another ten points for the requirements of Mage Slayer and PMP.
Knock yourself out. I'd default to Spot, Sense Motive, UMD and Balance with 11 ranks each, at the least. You can get a +10 Competence item to enhance these for 10k a pop (which I might do for Spot, at the least).Tumble Modifier
: +40. Among other things, this allows you to make a 10’ adjustment instead of a 5’ (DC 40) on a rolled 1, and to stand upright from Prone as a Free Action (DC 35). Moving through an opponent’s square is also child’s play.Tactics:
You are NOT trying to Trip people. Trips just ‘naturally happen.’ (if you have the right feats). What you are doing is making them Stand Still.
Your job is very, very simple. You get your opponent(s) within reach, and you do not let them move. On your turn, you give one of them ONE almighty swat for double damage. (Knockdown means this provokes a Trip attempt). You’ve a good trip modifier, and if they go down, cool…getting up provokes AoO’s from you.
You are always in Thicket of Blades stance (it’s the only one you have). You threaten either a 10’r, or a 20’r if Enlarged
Anything entering your Reach on a charge triggers an AoO...and you are considered to have a readied action for it. Anything moving anywhere in your reach triggers an AoO. Anyone getting up triggers an AoO.
Because you use Overpowering Assault, all your attacks deal double damage. Stand Still forces a Reflex Save = 10+ Damage dealt. That means when something tries to move around you, it has to somehow pass a DC 60 or 68ish Reflex save. If they are flying, they drop to the ground, too!
In other words, nothing is going to be moving. Not 5’ steps, not Withdraws, not anything.
And we all know that at high levels, mobility is king, right?
You don’t NEED to win initiative, but it certainly helps.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++Edit: Please check out the reply for Njedmke on Page 7, post 191 for some specific situations and responses he was curious about.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Round One/Surprise round:
Tap your heels, activate boots of speed as a Free Action.
How far away is the enemy? How many are you facing?
For a standard combat, you probably want to draw a Potion of enlarge as part of a Move action, then activate your Belt of Battle for an extra Move action. Move forward until your enemies(?) are in proper position (not a charge). Once they are, use a full attack action to initiate an Overpowering Assault, and clock one for 50 pts dmg and force a Massive Damage save. (This also might force a Knockdown save, so +30 or they are tripped.)
Choosing initial position is crucial, because you have to threaten them. This is where Boots of Teleportation come in handy, as you can pick whatever spot you want to go to. In a group, swapping out one of the enemy’s henchmen for you is a fine tactic if the party is ready for it (uses Baleful Transposition with you).
Now, as long as you threaten them, they simply can’t move or cast spells…all they can do is attack you.
If there are some credible melee threats among the enemy, then make sure you do defensive fighting. It won’t affect your AoO if they try to move and get you in reach, due to Deft Opportunist, and your AC goes up to 39 (better if you use a shield, somehow).
Watch your AoO numbers. If you have enough AoO and think your hit points can take it, go into Robilar’s while Defensive Fighting. Your AC is still 36, but now, your enemies are generating all sorts of double damage offense. Keep track of your AoO’s remaining, because you need to keep enough to lock down any spellcasters in range, and keep people from moving (that generally means 1 AoO/person, +1 per spellcaster). Since all your AoO’s do double damage, however, you shouldn’t have a problem with it.
Your biggest problem is going to be spellcasters using swift spells, which don’t provoke AoO. In this event, you’ll have to give up your Overpowering Assault at some point, to ready actions against any quickened spells they’ll use to get out of your threat range. Note that if you are hasted
via your Boots, you might want to let it go for the moment. You don’t need a lot of movement once you are in position, and you can move 10’ instead of 5’ as a free adjustment.Against single spell users
: This should end up being a lock if you go first. As long as you aren’t dead and go second, this should also end up with a lock.
The tactic is simple. Click your heels, activate haste
, and perform a move up next to them. RIGHT next to them…over top of them is nice. Activate your AM field via the torc.
If you have a Belt of battle, use it instead to get a free SA so you can use Pierce Magical Protection. Activate Boots of Teleportation, if you need them, or perform a double move with your SA, if needed. Ideally, your Hasted movement should get you close enough. Any AC increasing buff spells, which is pretty much all the really good ones, go instantly away (and you ignore their AC effect for this attack, too).
Then unleash your Full attack (Overpowering Assault), and put up the AM field. You might still have to do the AM Field before the Full Attack…that’s fine. The Caster is still hosed.
The AMF immediately negates ALL of their magical bonuses and spells, including alternate forms, wildshapes, animated shields, etc. Furthermore, any magical armor, etc, they have is now non-magical, so their AC is likely dropping into the low 20’s at very best, and more likely into the teens. Furthermore, any summonings in mid summon go away. If they have any summoned minions in the AMF, those take a powder, also.
The spellcaster now has exactly one choice. He has to get out of the AM field to be effective…he’s totally useless otherwise. So, he has to distract you with any minions or animal companions he has, while he tries to get away from you. Note that while there are tons of spells he can cast that can ENTER a AMF (like orbs, walls, deadfall, etc), he can’t CAST while he’s in one (barring specialty priests of Mystra, or something).
He can’t withdraw. His Reflex save probably isn’t going to make the damage you wield to Stand Still (a healthy 31, without magic to boost him...52 against Assault). He has to move at least 10’ to get out of the field, which will trigger a minimum of 2 AoO’s from you (and all of which might trigger Knockdown, ending in him being flat on his face). Without the ability to cast spells, use magical devices or abilities, he’s pretty much useless and a victim. You’ve likely got a +8-11 or so Trip Advantage on him, too.
This leaves you the Animal Companion to deal with, if we’re talking a Druid. An Animal Companion is so not a problem for you.
Remember you’re in an AM field, so you have a lower AC…but it has a lower TH too, and does less damage. You’ve got a lot of HP. You can take it for one round. You should have Robilar’s Gambit up, and be Defensive Fighting to offset it.
If the Animal Companion can attack you, return the favor. You’ve still got 10’ reach. If it enters your reach, hit it. If it moves a square in your reach, hit it (and try to Stand Still it). If it takes a swing at you, hit it. (Remember, every single time you hit it, you might initiate a Knockdown at +27 to the roll).
If you got off an Overpowering Assault, the Stand Still is still a DC 52 Reflex save. It's not going to be moving anytime soon.
Ideally, you should force the Animal companion completely into the Anti-magic Shell, getting rid of any and all magical buffs. This can be done fairly easily, since you determine the center of effect of the AM field. By
a) keeping the (prone) caster between you and the AC, you force it to move around the caster to get at you, since its master gives you cover and thus it doesn’t threaten you. This restricts it to a single attack, which you can Robilar back for damage, and even if it has 10’ reach, so do you…and you get more AoO then it does. And remember, every time you hit it, it could get Knocked Down. And if it moves and you threaten it, you get another AoO.
b) keeping the center of the AM field between you and the caster, you both force the caster to move 10’ to get out of it and force anyone with 10’ reach to move 5’ into it to attack you, unless they circle all the way around the field and thus restrict themselves to single attacks. You can move 10’ as a 5’ step with a DC 40 Tumble check if you must, which is a 7+ or so in mithral armor in an AMF, so switching your own position should be easy. If you have 15 ranks in Jump, it’s a 3+. Continue with the Overpowering Assaults on the (prone?) caster
. Your job is to kill him. A Druid/20 with 18 Con inherent has 180 hp or so. You’ll be doing 42 pts a hit, so he’s dead in five rounds, faster if he actually gets up or tries moving away (one round less per swing you get at him. Be faster if you had Power Attack.)
His animal companion is a non-factor. To attack you, it has to wade through at least one AoO, Robilar’s means another one (and if you have Knock-Down, there’s pretty much 100% probability it’s going to get knocked flat every turn, generating a third when it gets up). If it doesn't move, Defensive Sweep lets you pound it anyways. Every hit is 42 pts or a DC 52 Reflex save to Not Move. You’ll probably kill it before the caster, and definitely before it kills you.
If the druid dies first, then the Animal Companion is suddenly…not. It’s a 5HD dinosaur with normal stats wearing 1,000’s of gp in gear. It likely dies instantly as it’s extra HD and stat buffs evaporate, and accumulated damage kills it promptly. Hence, kill the caster.
To make this killing quicker, take Power Attack instead of Greater weapon spec. A Druid or cleric in Full (Dragonhide?) Plate + Shield is a Max AC of 23 or so. You will hit that every single swing in an AMF. Remember the chain/glaive is a two handed weapon, so PA is doubled with it, and then doubled again for Overpowering Assault once you hit. If they are Prone, that’s a ‘free’ +4 TH, and you are also getting +4 for your AoO later. A +4 Power Attack generates +16 Damage. Note that while you might be able to kill the caster faster by taking a full attack action on his prone arse (Note: if you take a Power Attack of 15, you still have +22 TH , meaning Auto-Hit…and for your AoO’s, too), since even with +5 BAB you’ll auto Hit AC 23, and just might be able to kill him off in two rounds…but you run the risk of letting his Animal Companion waltz around and breaking the lock.
Better safe then sorry.Summary:
Making this build required 12 feats, two of which were General (Mage Slayer and Pierce Magical Protection). The latter is not necessary to the build, but comes in nice for taking buffed enemies down a very sudden peg in size, if they are casters. It also requires F/16 for Overpowering Assault, which makes Stand Still the Lock that it is.Key Feats
: Stand Still, Martial Stance (Thicket of blades), Hold the Line, and Mage Slayer, with PMP as a chaser. CQF is there for the inevitable Grab/Grapple attempts, which we welcome as a chance to do more dmg to the enemy. Defensive Sweep at high level punishes people for not moving, which generates more AoO.Completely optional
are WF, WS, MWM, GWF and GWS. Able Learner is there as a kicker…any fighter can afford the skill points if they want the Mage Slayer tree Feats.
Thus, SIX feats are left completely open and optional, if you are human. I included those in this build for simplicity, and because the key thing for this build is HITTING stuff…a guaranteed +4 TH if you fight for one round or fifty is key to this build, so no raging.
I didn’t pay much attention to getting what when, as long as I met the pre-reqs. Also, ‘wasting’ feats on the Spec tree took up Bonus slots at specific early levels. Martial Stance
: Thicket of Blades works wonders on this build, because ALL movement provokes…very key for an AoO build. Note that this stance requires a level of 10 from the Fighter, and ONE Devoted Spirit Strike. Thus, the earliest the build can finish is F/16.Other possible feats I considered:Sidestep
: Combined with Robilar’s gambit, Sidestep means that no one will ever attack you more then once if you don’t want them to. Take your AoO as a 10’ tumble step, and get out of their reach…but probably not out of yours. This is worth giving up GWS for.Power Attack
: For obvious reasons once they are down and prone, especially useful in an AM shell against unlucky spellcasters who have to suck up a BAB and Str penalty and Tripping weapon vs you. Worth swapping out GWF.Occult Opportunist
: I was notified of this feat by Howland Reed, which adds just about every magical action possible to the AoO trigger of the build. Specifically, Swift actions now trigger AoO, so you don't need to Ready actions against them.Cleave
: Well, being able to shuffle an Overwhelming Assault from one person to another is nice, once you kill them. Once you have Robilar’s, this is probably an okay feat to grab, as someone could literally be helping you butcher their friends every round. Also, you can put it on your weapon and save the feat.Law Devotion
(Complete Champion): Not totally sure on the pre-reqs, and would probably require a Lawful alignment. But having a +3 or higher bonus you can switch between AC, TH, or Dmg is worth tossing MWM and the Spec Tree, especially if you have Power Attack. 1 minute/day kind of a downer, however.Expertise
: Would require buying a +2 Int book to work in an AM field as the build stands, but gives a startlingly high non-magical AC, with potential for an even higher magical one.Improved trip +Knock-Down
: Getting this requires Expertise, and so Int 13 (so tying up 3 Optional Feats!!!). This isn’t a dedicated Trip build…it’s a dedicated Stand Still build. At lower levels, Improved Trip would be useful for generating extra attacks while pinning down opponents by tripping instead of using Stand Still, And getting Knock-Down will generate plenty of free Trip attacks. However, given that its much less useful against a whole lot of bigger monsters, this tactic should be untrained and abandoned in favor of a pure Stand Still/Overpowering Assault maneuver. I don’t CARE how big your anti-Trip modifier is…let’s see you make a DC 60 Reflex save. No? Then don’t move. And let me Defensive Sweep you dead.
This pairing of feats will probably result in a very good Caster lock, since you can effectively prevent lower Str+BAB individuals from ever moving out of their square, and then Defensive Sweep/Assault them to death. Combined with Defensive Sweep, this is a killing combo.Superior Expertise
: As above, but moreso. Hard to justify the extra feat, tho.Martial Study (Shadow Stride):
Teleport 50’ as a move Action. Level 18 requirement again. The range is limited, it only works once an encounter, but if you really have to get to or out of somewhere, it’s hard to beat. The move req combined with a Belt of Battle can take you right next to someone and let you Full Attack them, very useful. Gets around the ‘stick em in a forcecage and cloudkill them’ argument, too, and the gear moaning. I personally believe that at level 20 every character should have some means of dimensional travel available, preferably teleport, as there are far too many ways to kill people who don’t have it.
note that instead of getting this feat, you could buy a pair of Shadow Hands items for 15k that grant it, but said items won't work in an AMF, and the actual learned manuver will.
The highest level version of this maneuver would be the best, of course, but since Fighters don’t get a full IL, for some odd reason, it’s beyond their reach.
And why do the boots cost 75% of the helm that does the same thing? Weird.Adaptive Style
: This is only useful if I want to use more Maneuvers, and be able to refresh them, since Fighters don’t get a Refresh mechanism. Two key things to get would be Iron Heart Surge
(to remove conditions…good bye negative levels, poisons, disease, daze, etc) and a healing maneuver (so I can heal out of combat without relying on casters). This could probably be done with two Martial Study Maneuvers replacing WF and WS, training and untraining back into the build. They’d simply have to be juggled into the higher levels with untraining. Note again, that once you HAVE the maneuver you want, you can untrain any prereqs and get something else. To do this, simply remove MWM, GWF and GWS, and arrange the build. Really, if you are considering this, then take One Level of Crusader, don't take Martial Study, and you get a better refresh mechanism, more strikes, Cha to Will Saves, delayed dmg pool, and a lower level stance, too.Supernatural Opportunist
: (Cite Archrpwer and Omen of peace for pointing this out): The pre-req means taking this feat ties up two optional feats, and the leery language leaves me wondering at balance. I mean, 'using a supernatural ability' could be an energy drain that's part of an attack, a medusa's 'always on' gaze weapon, or whenever Supernatural DR kicks in! If you use it as something against triggered Binder abilities, for example, it's balanced and probably underpowered since it will rarely come into play except against the few creatures that have pseudo-spelllike SU abilities. If you use it as RAW...well, then, it might be really really busted, and core to ANY Combat Reflexes build. By the way, it lets you have an AoO, but it does not INTERRUPT said SU ability.Supernatural Instincts:
The same as Super Opp. requires only Combat reflexes. Same as above. (Khan the Destroyer).Precise Swing:
This feat from the Eberron books eliminates miss chances from all cover except total cover. It's a General feat, however, but does a good job insuring that nothing but an absolute turtle interferes with your AoO swings.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other Notes
: Any magical item which increases your ability to hit/dmg, your AC, increases your Reach, and increases your initiative is something to look at. You can fly, and Stand Still on flyers sends them into free fall. You have the Dex to be good with a ranged attack, and could blow feats on Warslings to use your Str for missile attacks and the like. You could swap in feats to get some mounted combat. Some Bracers of Archery and a good bow and you’re a decent archer, if not a Manyshot fool.
Any magical item which might be able to turn the area you threaten into difficult ground is a must to pick up.
If you don't want to carry Enlarge potions and Quaff them, Get Permanently Enlarged. It's cheap, and doesn't affect the build.
------------------------------------ You’ve got Six Feats to play with, Five if you aren’t human
The build works very well as stands…it needs very little buffage (the Enlarge is for the Reach…
. There is no other class that can as powerfully initiate a Stand Still Lockdown as the Fighter can, because of the Overwhelming Assault requirement sending the Reflex save into the stratosphere, and the absolute requirement that you must be able to hit the enemy
. PMP is there for those enemies so buffed they think they cannot be hit. One SA gets rid of Righteous Might, the whole Polymorph/Shapechange chain, the Bite of WereX
chain, Mage Armor, Prayer, Haste, Magical Vestment, Shield of Faith, Animal Growth, Nature’s Avatar, etc etc.
YOU DO NOT “NEED” A SPIKED CHAIN. Short Haft and a reach weapon will do! A Glaive will do more dmg, can be set against a charge (which dovetails with your AoO feats!), and so forth. The Disarm bonus means nothing. Choosing instead Spiked Gauntlets means using Gaunts as your back up weapon, and remember that Piercing gaunts don't stack with a Slashing Halberd for MWM.
You will NOT slaughter the enemies with this build…pure dmg is average/decent. However, you should get a ton of full attack actions once you lock an enemy down…he’s not going to be able to get away. If you are worried about concealment or blinking, then pick up Pierce Magical Concealment and Blind Fighting, you have all the reqs.
In a group situation, this build sets up everyone for your secondary damage dealers, since you are a threatening fool and can flank like nobody’s business. Since the enemy is not going to be moving or casting if you threaten them, the rest of the party gets to pound away, and you deal relentless, continual damage to one person, and anyone who tries anything in your reach.DefensesFort
: Save is fine. A hero's feast a day keeps the poison and disease away.Reflex
: I have hp for this. If I need healing, cure belts, rings of healing, maneuvers, and vampiric augment crystals all do wonders for me. They are options for the build.Will
: Mind Blank. Since everyone has one at this level.Getting trapped
: Ring of blinking, or Boots of teleportation, or Shadow Stride feat, as you prefer and wish it.Grappled
: Oh, please try to grapple me. The average grapple check once the Assault is under way is going to be +78 or so, and you get 50 pts dmg for your trouble, too!Tripped
: Get up as a free action with Tumble DC 35. Not sure if AoO on free actions. Otherwise, might need to invest in counter-tripping, or blink away/port away. Prone Attack would be nice, but the Lightning Reflexes req is odious. Alternatively, just attack while prone…it’s only –4 TH, and doesn’t affect your Knockdown or Stand Still’s at all.Pure melee:
They should never reach me, ideally. Stand Still’s Reflex save should be waaaay too high for anyone short of Epic.Spellcasters
: Lock them down, or AMF the lock, as need be. Just remember…you don’t trigger the AMF until they are inside it with you. With Knockdown, they should never be able to move out of it.Stealth
: You still threaten any squares they enter. They aren’t going to be able to get away.Fliers:
You can fly, if need be. And unless they’ve perfect flight, Stand Still sends them into a killer spiral. A Free 20d6 dmg is always good…and what’s funnier is you get AoO’s as they pass thru the squares below you on the way down.Ranged
: The best defense against a ranged attack is always a higher AC. Get a Shield effect, do Defensive Fighting, and possibly pick up expertise. Ideally, you want to move up on ranged attackers, lock them in place, and AoO them to death. Disarm their quivers, not their bows...no arrows means who cares about the bow? And then you get an AoO when they go for the ammo.
===========================Note For DM's
: You need to clarify the effect of Thicket of Blades vs. Tumble and the X-By Attacks stuff. I personally believe that the Thicket trumps a measley DC 15 Tumble check (restoring the balance of things, as it were), but the X-by Attacks feats would require you to have a readied action to stop/trip them.
The Build stands as totally useful as soon as you pick up Thicket of Blades. It matures at level 16
with Overpowering Assault making Stand Still a lock effect. At 20, Defensive Sweep punishes anyone subjected to the Stand Still, with Deft Opportunist contributing to the fact that you can hit ANYONE (which is key, let Assault do the damage!).Crusader
: If you want to delay one level, take a level of Crusader instead of Martial Study at level 5 or 6. You likely won't use the strikes much, if at all, or the other stance...but Foehammer is decent in its own way, and at least you get a Refresh Mechanism. If you want to be serious about the strikes, make sure they are all from one discipline so you can get that discipline added to your weapon for another net +2 to hit when not Assaulting. Other benefits are Cha to Will saves (yay), 5 pt delayed dmg pool for +1/+1, and possibly a healing manuver or two. At the least, if you go White Raven (recommended), you have something to use on a charge.Psychic Warrior
: Although you might want Able Learner access to the skill list earlier, you should probably save any Psy Warrior levels until 17. You can pick up Deft Oppotune and Defensive Sweep in two levels, and grab another feat at 20 to use with your psionics. Deflective Armor is a good choice (Armor to touch AC while Focused). You do lose a point of attack, but you might make up for it with Psychic Blow or something.
Also, remember your Mage Slayer Feats mean a -8 to your Psy Warrior Manifester level, so you can't use any Manifester powers unless you swap out those feats.
And there you have it. No caster alive is going to be able to do what you do. Unless you are dead before their action, all you have to do is get right next to them and they are dead.
No caster can do this. No caster can say “Stay There” to a Great Wyrm Red Dragon, and watch them stew, and from out of their reach, too.
And guess what? I haven’t even dipped into base 36 Str Firbolg polymorph cheese to do this. He can take apart the biggest, baddest, meanest buffed Animal Companion you ever saw like Swiss Cheese, then go around it to kill its boss.
Can you scout? Well, Flying boots + a cheap ring of invis means, kinda. Can you divine? No. Are you a social maven? No..Intimidating, maybe. But you can Able Learner at least core competency. Can you heal others? Riiiiight. Can you buff? Potions at the ready, boots on feet, all the buffs you really need. If you do get buffed, you are a monster. If you don’t, you’re just a terror.
Can other classes make this build? A Psychic Warrior has enough feats to do it…but he won’t have six left over, and he won’t be able to get the kind of Stand Still Lock a Fighter can. His BAB is going to be horrible, and he won’t be able to use any of his Psi stuff in an AMF, which means a real caster lock is going to be almost impossible since they can buff up higher then he can. And the -8 to his casting level for the Anti-Mage feats would kill him.
A Barbarian can’t manage all the feats. He could get an average Reflex Save of 40ish for his Stand Still, but I’m sorry, that just doesn’t do the job as well. The only real damage difference, assuming they get the same gear, is his rage...which is about the same dmg as my spec tree.
No way a Caster can manage all the feats needed to do this build reliably AND be a good dedicated caster. Especially with the –8 hit to caster level for the caster lock feats.
A Warblade or Crusader could get close to doing it, but they’ll be feat starved in the end. However, I’ll point out that a Warblade gets an awesome capstone of two Stances at once. He might not be able to get the Stand Still numbers, but remember he adds his Int to all AoO’s for TH/Dmg. He’s going to get off huge dmg/AoO if built for it, and with Power Attack might almost rival Overwhelming Assault.
Hmm. A Warblade using an Iron Heart/Devoted Spirit weapon, in two stances, has a weapon that is +9 TH/+3 dmg. With AoO’s, a starting 12 Int would be a +6/+6 bonus on AoO (suitably boosted). If he could finagle Deft Opportunist, that would be +10/+6 on AoO. Power attack for 10 would be +20 dmg on AoO. Would work nice in a AMF too. So his attacks would be at +39, +29 dmg. Not as good on AoO’s, but better for normal attacks, to some extent.
The Fighter is still better, however. And it's because of his class abilities...11 bonus feats.
Comments and suggestions welcome. Any poo-pooing about how he can't master a non-Melee role isn't worth the typing...this is a Melee build, with 5/6 feats worth of flexibility in it, more then sufficient to customize to taste.
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade
The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you