Optimized Zone Controller
This build assumes the use of Cross-Style Training. If you read this and have any ideas of how I can improve it, please let me know!
32 point buy: Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 16 Cha 8
Alternate Class Features
- PB2 Monk Decisive Strike
- 1 - Exotic Weapon (Spiked Chain)
- 1h - Jotunbrud
- 1b - Cross-Style Training (Spiked Chain)
- 2b - Improved Trip
- 3 - Weapon Finesse
- 3b - Psionic Weapon
- 4b - Combat Reflexes
- 5b - Psionic Meditation
- 6 - Practiced Manifester (Warmind)
- 9 - Hold the Line
- 12 - Deep Impact
- 15 - Robilar's Gambit
- 18 - Power Attack
- 18b - Mounted Combat
- 20b - Deft Opportunist
Thicket of Blades
I assume power retraining is allowed. Otherwise the build is really weak until War Mind 2 or so.
- Psywar 1 - Expansion (will retrain to something else when warmind takes this)
- Psywar 2 - Inertial Armor (will retrain to something else when warmind takes this)
- War Mind 1 - Expansion (Psywar retrains to Force Screen)
- War Mind 2 - Inertial Armor (Psywar retrains to Catfall)
- War Mind 3 - Thicken Skin
- War Mind 4 - Hustle
- War Mind 5 - Psionic Lion's Charge
- War Mind 6 - ?
- War Mind 7 - ?
- War Mind 8 - Psionic Freedom of Movement
- War Mind 9 - Steadfast Perception
- War Mind 10 - ?
Improving the Build
Spiritual_Weapon_(3.5e_Feat) can reduce MAD significantly. Swap weapon finesse for it.
Alternate Build Idea
Trade 5 War Mind levels for 5 Psionic Weapons Master levels. This gives Wisdom to the number of AoOs you can do in a round. You can also trade the second fighter level for a 6th Psionic Weapons master level so that you still have 8th level Warmind manifesting.
Requires: Power Attack, Dodge, Mobility, Psionic Dodge, and Weapon Focus by level 12 (yuck)
Halfling Skiprock Master
Fighter 4/Warblade 1/Master Thrower 1/Bloodstorm Blade 2/Master Thrower +4/War Mind 5/Exotic Weapons Master 1/Bloodstorm Blade +2
Race: Strongheart halfling (Or human if EXP penalties are in effect)
Ability Scores: Str 13, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 8
- Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Halfling Skiprock)
- Point Blank Shot 1h
- Two-Weapon Fighting 1b
- Weapon Focus (Halfling Skiprock) 2b
- Rapid Shot 3
- Power Attack 4b
- Improved Two-Weapon Fighting 6
- Quick Draw 6b
- Wild Talent 9
- Snatch Arrows 11b
- Greater Two-Weapon Fighting 12
- Iron Heart Aura 15
- Stormguard Warrior 18
- Improved Precise Shot 19b
(I'd like to fit practiced manifester in here -- need to check if stormgaurd warrior can be taken as a fighter bonus feat)
- Offensive Precognition -- a useful buff to increase your attack rolls if needed.
- Compression -- more bonuses to attack rolls. Plus, being tiny is fun.
- Hustle -- It is just a good power.
- Moment of Perfect Mind (Counter)
- Greater Crystal of Mind Cloaking
- Boots of Speed
Level 6 Highlights
- Attack routine can be: +2/+2/+2/-3/-3 (before other modifiers like enhancement, dex, etc).
- With halfling bonuses, dex, weapon focus, point blank shot: +11/+11/+11/+6/+6
- Each attack uses 2 skiprocks (so they hit twice and each bounce)
Level 12 Highlights
- Have the option to power attack with skip rocks
- Attack routine is: +8/+8/+8/+3/+3/-2/-2 (before other modifiers like enhancement, dex, etc).
- With halfling bonuses, dex, weapon focus, point blank shot: +18/+18/+18/+13/+13/+8/+8
- These attacks can all be made against touch AC
Level 20 Highlights
- Dexterity: 36 (20 base + 5 levels + 5 tome + 6 item)
- Using Compression, Dexterity is 38
- Attack Routine: +38/+38/+38/+38/+33/+33/+28/+28/+23 (+13 dex, +1 halfling, +1 size, +5 weapon, +2 feats, -4 rapid shot * TWF, speed weapon)
- These attacks are considered melee attacks in addition to ranged attacks (Thunderous Throw) and allow power attacking.
- They are also touch attacks (Weak Spot), but don't add Strength Mod to damage.
- If you expend a maneuver, you can have your super rock return to your hand after each attack in the routine (don't ask how it possibly flies that fast in 6 seconds).
Against a single target there are a few ways to go about attacking:
1. Power Attack right away.
- Against a touch AC of 20, this will deal (1d3 weapon +4d6 elemental enhancements +5 weapon enhancement +20 power attack) x2 Palm Throw, per attack.
- This equals 81 on average per primary hand attack, 41 on average per offhand attack
- 475.43 DPR.
2. Use Stormguard Warrior to get a +5 unnamed bonus to damage for each melee touch attack that hits in one round for the next round (Combat Rhythm). These touch attacks don't deal damage. Because of Thunderous Throw with Bloodstorm Blade 2, you can Palm Throw all of your attacks to get 18 Combat Rhythms against your opponent. Combat Rhythms don't deal damage, so DPR is averaged over the 2 rounds.
- Against a touch AC of 20, this will deal (1d3 weapon +4d6 elemental enhancements +5 weapon enhancement +45 stormguard warrior) x2 Palm Throw, per attack.
- This is 131 average damage per attack
- 589.5 DPR (1179 damage in the second round).
3. Combine Stormguard Warrior with Power Attack.
- Against a touch AC of 20, this will deal (1d3 weapon +4d6 elemental enhancements +5 weapon enhancement +45 stormguard warrior +20 power attack) x2 Palm Throw, per attack.
- This is 171 average damage per primary hand attack, 131 per offhand attack
- 554.065 DPR (1108.13 damage in the second round).
Option 3 may seem worse, but it is really a matter of the enemy's touch AC. Against a high touch AC, Stormguard Warrior will allow you to deal high damage per round, but you only attack every 2 rounds. Against a low touch AC, combining power attack and Stormguard Warrior should yield better results. Against low touch AC, low HP opponents, a straight up power attack should be sufficient to just finish them off in the first round.
Doing More Damage
Here are the things this build wants to do to really kill enemies.
- Whenever a halfling skiprock hits an opponent, it ricochets against an adjacent target with the same attack roll modifiers -2.
- Two For One Blow with the master thrower can allow him to take a -4 to attacks to hit an adjacent target in addition to the original target.
- Thunderous Throw (Bloodstorm Blade) + Sweeping Strike (Warmind) allows an attack to target a square adjacent to the target's square, as long as you haven't moved more than 10ft. and you threaten those squares.
So, how do you trigger Sweeping Strike?
First, you obviously need to threaten the target. So, you will need to be in melee range of the target. You also need to have a second target in melee range. Here are some tips to do that:
- Get an ally to be in a square you threaten that is adjacent to the target.
- Use a bag of tricks to get a critter to be beside the target.
- Possibly (this is shady rules territory), you can target yourself as the "adjacent target".
Here is what will happen (assuming all the attacks hit). The two skiprocks hit the original target (Palm Throw). They trigger Two For One Blow and Sweeping Strike, hitting the adjacent target once each (possibly twice, it is a tricky ruling issue). The skiprocks ricochet and hit the adjacent target twice. This means each attack hits the initial target twice and the adjacent target four times (or six times depending on the ruling). I assume the lesser ruling of 4 hits per attack.
To abuse this, we are going to use Stormguard Warrior (Combat Rhythm). You target the ally, critter, or yourself as the primary target. This means that the enemy gets targeted with 4 attacks for each 1 you make. You have 9 attacks, so this translates to a +180 unnamed bonus to damage on your next round's attacks against the target.
If you can target the ally, critter, or yourself next round to actually take damage (WARNING: This will deal big damage to your friendly target), you can deal the following damage:
- Against a touch AC of 20, this will deal (1d3 weapon +4d6 elemental enhancements +5 weapon enhancement +180 stormguard warrior) x4 ricochets, per attack you have.
- This is 802 average damage per attack
- 3609 DPR (7218 damage in the second round).
If you can't target the ally, critter, or yourself next round to take damage, you can deal the following damage:
- Against a touch AC of 20, this will deal (1d3 weapon +4d6 elemental enhancements +5 weapon enhancement +180 stormguard warrior) x2 Palm Throw, per attack you have.
- This is 401 average damage per attack
- 1804.5 DPR (3609 damage in the second round).
Sweeping Strike is Tricky To Trigger
No kidding. I totally agree. You only lose a single ricochet without sweeping strike.
Let's look at the damage if you can't get into melee and trigger sweeping strike. If you can keep the primary target adjacent for both rounds:
- Against a touch AC of 20, this will deal (1d3 weapon +4d6 elemental enhancements +5 weapon enhancement +135 stormguard warrior) x4 ricochets, per attack you have.
- This is 622 average damage per attack
- 2799 DPR (5598 damage in the second round).
If you cannot keep the primary target in melee both rounds (or you don't want a bunch of rocks targeting your buddy):
- Against a touch AC of 20, this will deal (1d3 weapon +4d6 elemental enhancements +5 weapon enhancement +135 stormguard warrior) x2 Palm Throw, per attack you have.
- This is 311 average damage per attack
- 1399.5 DPR (2799 damage in the second round).
Really Intimidating Dude
Race: Desert Half-Orc
32 point buy: Str 16, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 8 Cha 16 Level 20 (without items): Str 23, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 8 Cha 16
- Menacing Demeanor (RoD) - 1
- Righteous Wrath (BoED) - 3
- Knight of the Stars (BoED) - 6
- Extra Rage (CW) - 9
- Intimidating Rage (CW) - 12
- Imperious Command (DotU) - 15
- Instantaneous Rage (CW) - 18
- Level 1: +15 (4 ranks, +4 Menacing Demeanor, +4 Monstrous Mien, +3 cha)
- Level 6: +22 (9 ranks, +4 Menacing Demeanor, +4 Monstrous Mien, +3 cha, +2 bluff synergy)
- Level 20: +36 (23 ranks, +4 Menacing Demeanor, +4 Monstrous Mien, +3 cha, +2 bluff synergy)
- With a circlet of persuasion: +39
- With a +6 cloak of charisma: +42
- With a +4 charisma tome: +44
- With a +30 skill item: +74
(and if you want to be really cheesy, pick up leadership and get a marshal/tattooed monk with a crazy cha to motivate cha with his bellflower tattoo active. Given a +13 cha modifier, which becomes +19 or +20, that would be a hefty bonus).
Some Neat Synergies
When you intimidate to demoralize, it affects every creature that can see or hear you within 30ft. (Scarlet Corsair) and lasts a number of rounds equal to your Charisma bonus. Imperious Command allows the dudes you intimidate to be cowering the first round.
When you attack someone, you can feint as a free action once every 1d4 rounds or as a move action (or both if needed). You can trade 2d6 sneak attack damage to render a creature you hit as shaken (or worse if they are already shaken).
Fearsome Fury makes every creature within 30ft. be forced to save against a DC set by your intimidate check (DC 45 minimum) or become shaken when you rage for the rage duration. You can do this as an immediate action! Against already shaken foes, this can allow you to counter their actions.
Optimized Shadow Ninja
Requires Fractional BAB to be really successful and flaws. Otherwise, it is basically a combination of the machine gun assassin and shadowpouncer.
Monk 1/Ninja 7/Master Thrower 5/Sword Sage 2/Shadowlord 5
Race: Strongheart Halfling
- +16 BAB (using fractional), +12 BAB otherwise
- Does 2 full attacks with +4d6 sudden strike +2d6 sneak attack.
- Each full attack routine has 9 attacks (that get doubled with palm throw, +1 hasted). They will likely hit because they are touch attacks.
- Assuming you have a +5d6 elemental damage set of shurikens, you will do 36x5d6=180d6 elemental damage (200d6 hasted)
- On average, adding in 108d6 precision damage and +5 shurikens, you deal 216 + 288d6 damage (1008 average).
- Hasted average: 240 + 320d6 = 1360
- With a monk's belt, you deal unarmed damage as a 14th level monk.
- Trade 1 shadowlord level and 3 ninja levels for an extra 4 sword sage levels. Maybe trade the ninja levels for rogue levels if you are feeling saucy.
- With fractional BAB this is a non-issue for reqs.
- You get shadow blink, which adds an extra full attack to your routine (54 attacks including palm throw)
- Precision damage is 4d6 total, but there are more attacks to capitalize on
- Non hasted: 324 (shurikens) + 108d6 (precision) + 270d6 (elemental) = 1647 average
- Hasted: 360 (shurikens) + 120d6 (precision) + 300d6 (elemental) = 1830 average
Ursa Major 2.0
Assumes that XP penalties and alignment changes are being ignored.
Barbarian 1/Fighter 2/Warblade 2/Fist of the Forest 3/Deepwarden 2/Frostrager 5/Bear Warrior 1/Warshaper 4
- Great Fortitude
- Improved Unarmed Strike (flaw)
- Extra Rage (flaw)
- Power Attack (fighter)
- Frozen Berserker - 3
- Superior Unarmed Strike (fighter)
- Endurance - 6
- Track (deepwarden)
- Improved Natural Attack (unarmed) - 9
- Using a 32 point buy: Str 16 Dex 8 Con 20 Int 8 Wis 14 Cha 6
- After Items, levels: Str 30 Dex 8 Con 40 Int 8 Wis 24 Cha 6
- Raging: Str 38 Dex 10 Con 44
- Unarmed Damage = 8d6. Add permanency + enlarge for 12d6. Add 1d6 cold damage.
- Use flaming frost shocking etc. scorpion kamas +5
- Attack routine (raging): +38/+33/+28/+23
- Attack routine (raging, flurry): +36/+36/+31/+26/+21
- Attack routine (raging, flurry, one-two): +34/+34/+34/+29/+24/+19
- Average damage per attack (enlarged + raging): 83 = 12d6 + 5 + 15 + 1d6 + 5d6
- Average HP: 421.5 = 12 + 11 + 13 + 15.5 + 13 + 32.5 + 6.5 + 18 + (20 * 15)
- Average HP (raging): 461.5
- Fast healing
- Extra reach
- Con to AC twice, Wis to AC (+37 AC, +47 -2 raging)
- Spiritual weapon to dump Str (or at least even out the other dump stats with Str).
- Psywar 2 instead of fighter 2
- Still legal, plus it allows you to manifest expansion
- Crusader for zone control.
- Change race to human (maybe), trade Deepwarden 2, Bearwarrior 1 and 2 warshaper levels for bloodclaw master 5
- Shift qualifies for warshaper :)
- Deepstone Sentinel can be taken instead of Bearwarrior & Warshaper
Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 2/Duskblade 13/Crusader 1/Psychic Warrior +2
- Exotic Weapon: Spiked Chain - 1
- Jotunbrud (human) - 1
- Combat Expertise (bonus fighter) - 1
- Improved Trip (bonus fighter) - 2
- Dodge - 3
- Mobility (bonus psywar) - 3
- Spring Attack (bonus psywar) - 4
- Whirlwind Attack - 6
- Practiced Spellcaster - 9
- Combat Reflexes - 12
- Hold the Line - 15
- Practised Manifester - 18
Extra feats that would be nice:
- Stand Still
- Knock-down (cheesy :P)
- Power Attack (works ok with true strike)
- Somatic Weaponry/Eschew Materials (if your DM sucks and you need these)
- Inhuman reach (with the prereq)
You can remove the whole dodge tree by getting a whirling weapon (usable 3 times per day). If your DM is nice, you should be able to buy whirling several times to get it to 15 times per day. Alternatively, you could buy a bunch of +5 whirling spiked chains (3 cost a bit more than the one usable 15 times per day).
Here is the feats I would pick using the grimoire extra feats at 2nd, 4th, and 5th levels and a nice DM:
- Spiritual Weapon (dex) - 1
- Jotunbrud (human) - 1
- Exotic Weapon: Spiked Chain (bonus fighter) - 1
- Combat Expertise - 2
- Improved Trip (bonus fighter) - 2
- Combat Reflexes - 3
- Hold the Line (bonus psywar) - 3
- Wrong Place, Right Time - 4
- Practised Manifester (bonus psywar) - 4
- Aberration Blood - 5
- Practiced Spellcaster - 6
- Inhuman Reach - 9
- ? - 12
- ? - 15
- Defensive Sweep - 18
- +18 BAB
- Can manifest augmented expansion to increase size to huge.
- Trip bonus = +8 (size) +4 Jotunbrud +4 (improved trip) +2 (armbands of might) + strength mod
- Use a whirlwind attack to attack each opponent in your 30ft. reach and use the same touch spell against each of them.
- Use improved trip to deliver the touch spell as a touch attack and follow up with a chance to trip and a melee attack if you do trip the opponent.
- If the melee attack hits, technically, the touch spell should hit the target again.
- Use combat reflexes with your reach to trigger AoOs. If these are triggered after you just channeled a touch spell, you should be able to affect the target with the touch spell.
- Combine with Improved Trip again for delicious results.
- Thicket of blades from crusader 1 helps provoke a ton of AoOs.
For the ideal grimoire build, as above, except:
- Opponents provoke AoOs whether they move or not.
- Use your dex for attack, damage, and trip attempts (much less MAD).
Human Factotum 3/Marshal 1/Warblade 1/War Mind 10/Warshaper 4/Warblade +1
- Or Human Factotum 3/Marshal 1/Warblade 1/War Mind 10/Warshaper 2/Warblade +3 (exp penalty at level 19)
- Or Human Factotum 3/Marshal 1/Warblade 1/War Mind 10/Warshaper 2/Swashbuckler 3 (exp penalty into epic)
- Or Human Factotum 3/Marshal 1/Warblade 1/War Mind 10/Factotum +5 (extra standard actions)
- Exotic Weapon: Spiked Chain - 1
- Jotunbrud (human bonus) - 1
- Combat Expertise (flaw) - 1
- Improved Trip (flaw) - 1
- Wild Talent
- Practised Manifester - 6
- Expanded Knowledge (Metamorphosis) - 15
- Adds Int to trip attacks at level 3
- Adds Cha to trip attacks at level 4
- Final trip (in expanded sun giant form): +4 (Improved Trip) +4 (Powerful Build/Jotunbrud) +16 (Size) +20 (Strength) +2 (armbands of might) +Int +Cha = +46 +Int + Cha.
- Strength is 37 (sun giant base) +4 (warshaper) +6 (item) +4 (expansion)
- Levels can boost Int or Cha instead of Str.
- 14 + 5 levels + 5 wishes + 6 item =~ 30 Int (+10)
- 14 + 4 wishes + 6 item =~ 24 Cha (+7)
- The final build should be able to achieve a +63 trip check pretty easily.
- Compare to the Tarrasque, which has a +37 to oppose the trip: +16 (size) +17 (str) +4 quadrupedal.
- Reflex saves get Int modifier as a bonus as long as he is not flat-footed.