PDA

View Full Version : need help with finding the perfect feat.



Ianuagonde
2009-01-09, 08:04 AM
I'm playing a (dwarven)fighter/ dwarven defender.
I have focussed my character on not getting killed.
I have invested a lot in AC en HP, and for my will-save I have the feat; "steadfast determination", wich works very well with my con +5.
I'm trying very hard to fill up all the obvious holes in my defense. And the one I'm strugling with now, is my reflex save.
We are now playing an adventure with quite a lot of dragons and the like, and I notice very often the lack of a decent reflex save.
I am aprocing level 12, and looking for my next feat. I want it to be one for my reflex save.
As I know of the existence of "steadfast determination", I think the feat "lightning reflexes" is rather....
well, it's okay, but not more than that.
I want something better!!!
But I can't find it.

Can someone help me find one?
Every 3.5 book can be used. And homebrew is o.k. too, as long as it is balanced (my DM wants to be able to explain it).

my stats:
str. +5
dex +2
con +5
int +2
wis 0
cha 0

Soepvork
2009-01-09, 08:17 AM
This may not be what you want to hear, but normally I'd suggest to just forget about the reflex save. Personally, I think the reflex save is the least important of the saves anyway: normally, a failed reflex save just means you have to soak up more damage, while a failed fort/will save spells bad news. Therefore, as an alternative, anything that allows you to take more damage will do fine.

Ianuagonde
2009-01-09, 08:32 AM
I have thought about that, and normally I would agree.
But I think it does make a lot of difference in my current adventure, because of the amount of reflex saves I have to make.
But if I can't find anything better than 'lightning reflexes', I will let it go.

BRC
2009-01-09, 08:47 AM
If you use a tower sheild, you can use it for total cover, providing a big bonus on reflex saves.

Person_Man
2009-01-09, 09:54 AM
Dive for Cover from Complete Adventurer, which let's you reroll any Reflex Save, and then you fall Prone after you roll the second Save. If you also buy a magic item or two in order to boost your Dex and Ref Save, then you should be fine.

Or you can take Martial Study (Action Before Thought) from Tome of Battle, which let's you replace a Reflex Save with a Concentration check. It's cross class for you, but at least its based on Con, and ridiculously easy to boost.

A long term solution would be to go into Kensai. In addition to various other perks, they can also replace any Reflex Save with a Concentration check, which is a class Skill for them.

Llama231
2009-01-09, 10:04 AM
If this were lower level, I would say endurance.
But at 12th level, you need magic not to die. Her are some suggestions:
Skill Focus (Use magic Device):smalltongue:
One of those broken Dragon Magazine feats that lets you use con for ref instead of dex.

As for homebrew, I would suggest a feat that lets you have DR/- or fast healing equal to 1/2 or 1/4 of your level.

Finally, I think that another good way not to die is to kill the enemy first. Maybe try some offensive feats. Or improve your initiative. (Improved Initiative)

Fixer
2009-01-09, 10:11 AM
I would also suggest forgetting about the reflex save. Only AoE spells need it. Concentrate, instead, on getting resistance to energy types you are facing. A dragonbreath dealing 4d10 fire damage won't have much chance against Fire Resistance 30, and that is with a botched save.

If you are REALLY wanting to help your save, take a level in something to get Action Before Thought (Warblade works with your concept well). Max out your concentration ranks and your 'reflex save' will become your best save, provided you keep that maneuver ready (and you can always recover it with an attack, which is easy).

Darrin
2009-01-09, 10:23 AM
I am aprocing level 12, and looking for my next feat. I want it to be one for my reflex save.
As I know of the existence of "steadfast determination", I think the feat "lightning reflexes" is rather....
well, it's okay, but not more than that.
I want something better!!!
But I can't find it.


Here's a few ideas...

1) Martial Study feat, a 1-level dip into Warblade, or a novice Ring of the Diamond Mind (3000 GP) would allow you to pick up the Action Before Thought maneuver. This lets you make a Concentration check instead of a Reflex save. You didn't mention if you had put any ranks into Concentration, but if not, the high Con at least helps and there are a lot of fairly cheap items that buff Concentration checks (in the MIC: Tunic of Steady Spellcasting, +2, 2500 GP; Circlet of Mages, +5, 5000 GP; Third Eye Concentrate, +10, 10000 GP).

2) Dive For Cover feat, Complete Adventurer. Requires Ref +4, allows you to reroll a failed Ref save but renders you prone (although that can be fixed with a skill trick).

3) Agility armor property (MIC p. 6). 500 GP for +1 Ref. 4500 GP for +3 Ref. 12500 GP for +5 Ref. Doesn't count as an enhancement bonus, so you can add this onto any existing masterwork armor without driving up the price to insane levels.

4) Leadership feat, pick up a cohort with at least one level of Marshal and a Charisma bonus up the wazoo. The Watchful Eye minor aura adds the Marshal's Charisma bonus to your Ref saves (and all allies within 60'). The major aura Resilient Troops would add at least a +1 to all saves as well.

Hmmm... after that, start looking at some base classes or PrCs with good Ref saves. A 1-level dip into Ranger would get you +2 Ref.

Curmudgeon
2009-01-09, 11:39 AM
3) Agility armor property (MIC p. 6). 500 GP for +1 Ref. 4000 GP for +3 Ref. 8000 GP for +5 Ref. You didn't read these correctly, because these have the [SYNERGY] tag; that means you add successive prices together. So it's indeed 500 gp for +1, but 4,500 gp for +3, and 12,500 gp for +5 to your Reflex saves.

Saph
2009-01-09, 11:47 AM
This may not be what you want to hear, but normally I'd suggest to just forget about the reflex save. Personally, I think the reflex save is the least important of the saves anyway: normally, a failed reflex save just means you have to soak up more damage, while a failed fort/will save spells bad news.

I honestly think this is one of the myths of this forum. Failed Reflex saves can be just as bad as failed Fort/Will saves. Sure, a failed Reflex save usually just means more damage. Here's the thing: damage KILLS you. Count up the times you've seen a character die in D&D, and you'll probably find that most of those times it was from HP damage.

My players in Red Hand of Doom are 8th-level and about to go into the battle of Brindol. In it they'll be facing the red dragon Abithriax, whose breath weapon deals 8d10 damage per shot - that's 44 damage on average, and the average party HP is about 60 or so. They're going to really wish their Reflex saves were better before the end of the battle.

Anyway, I'll third the recommendation for Action before Thought. It works great with a high-Con character, and helps a lot for dodging the really big nasty hits.

- Saph

Epinephrine
2009-01-09, 12:15 PM
My players in Red Hand of Doom are 8th-level and about to go into the battle of Brindol. In it they'll be facing the red dragon Abithriax, whose breath weapon deals 8d10 damage per shot - that's 44 damage on average, and the average party HP is about 60 or so. They're going to really wish their Reflex saves were better before the end of the battle.

Hmm, I've been careful not to read the RHOD thread, because I'm playing in a RHOD campaign at the moment.

RHOD spoiler
Luckily I knew about the dragon, having already scouted him out, and we're 8th level now, so we're getting toward a smilar stage - but perhaps we should hide that in a spoiler tag for those who aren't this far?

I agree though about the importance of Reflex saves, I'm really hoping to hit 9th level before we face him - right now my defense plan includes Cloudbursts and Slow Burns, to reduce fire damage by 2 points per die, but if I can hit 9th level I'll be able to add Fireward and Cold Snap to the mix, negating even magical fire and adding to the damage of cold-based spells. I'm playing a winter court druid with the Piercing Cold metamagic feat, so I can't wait to hurl some ice.

Saph
2009-01-09, 12:25 PM
Hmm, I've been careful not to read the RHOD thread, because I'm playing in a RHOD campaign at the moment.

Oops. I keep forgetting how popular this module is. :P

- Saph

Telonius
2009-01-09, 12:33 PM
The best defense is a dead opponent. Unless you're fighting a ghost of course, but that's getting nit-picky.

Is there a particular type of Dragon that you seem to be facing most often? If so, you could just get (energy type) Resistance Fullplate. Potions of Resist Energy 30 are 1,100 gp, Potions of Protection from Energy (would work out to 60hp) are 750gp.

Which feats do you have already?

Keld Denar
2009-01-09, 12:57 PM
I don't know what armor you have atm, but MIC has the Energy Immunity armor upgrade. Its a +2 equivalent, meaning you need at least +3 armor (9000g + base cost), but as an immediate action gives you immunity to the energy flavor of your choice for a full minute. Thats TOTAL IMMUNITY. For a melee character, I find this to be the most economical prospect, since on any given day, you typically only need that really big energy immunity for one combat, like that one dragon, or that one lich who pulls the ol' Time Stop + 4x Delayed Blast Fireball, or whatever the situation. You can get the enhancment bonus upgraded on armor if you have a cleric present through the use of the all day buff Magic Vestaments. This frees up your gold and enhancements to add other stuff.

My ideal armor set for a melee character would probably be:
+1 Aporter Energy Immunity Deathward Armor
+1 Animated Energy Immunity Deathward Shield

This gives my 1/day Dim Door, 2/day Immunity to the energy of my choice, and 2/day Immunity to a single negative energy effect, which is typically long enough to either get a Death Ward cast on you, or to kill whatever is trying to drain you. Plus, it frees up both hands to use your weapon 2handed for more damage.

Just curious, what is your dwarven tank build, and would you be interested in seeing my dwarven tank build? It doesn't use Dwarven Defender, which is kind of crappy, but instead has decent defenses while maintaining credible damage output to make you a threat worth concentrating on. I'll link it later if you are interested.

Tacoma
2009-01-09, 01:44 PM
Also consider your tactics. As a Dwarven Defender you're not going to be moving around much. Dragons can just move away from you and concentrate on everyone else. As such, you want to have your friends pin down the enemy somehow and let you move up to it where it can't get away. This is much easier indoors and against enemies that can't fly. So against dragons you might be kind of screwed.

Well, more so than usual against dragons ;)

Anyway, if your Reflex saves suck, I'd suggest moving away from the party at first. Everyone should be spread out in an open formation marching order so a Fireball or dragon breath can't hit more than one person. That means the "one person" doesn't often include you, whereas if you're all bunched together the target includes you too because you're all right there.

Another option is to get a flying platform of some kind where you can stand, controlling its movement mentally. This way, as you would be standing still on a moving ship, you can fly around and still be standing still for purposes of your Dwarven Defender abilities.

You might have to make the platform bigger than a 5' square.

Keld Denar
2009-01-09, 01:49 PM
Another option is to get a flying platform of some kind where you can stand, controlling its movement mentally. This way, as you would be standing still on a moving ship, you can fly around and still be standing still for purposes of your Dwarven Defender abilities.

You might have to make the platform bigger than a 5' square.

You mean like...a Carpet of Flying?

Ianuagonde
2009-01-09, 02:37 PM
A lot of usefull suggestions, and I will research some of them nearer.
Funny to hear about the Red hand of doom, because that is the adventure we are playing now!
And the idea of a moving something (platform or other use) to use defensive stance while moving has crossed my mind already too. We have a duskblade in our group who can do short-distance teleportations, and we have been planning to use those for this idea too.
I have also been thinking about the energy resistances, but I come acros too many different type's of energy for that, and with a druid and a duskblade in the group, the energy resistance covering is quite okay.
And about not being were the rest of the group is, when the dragon uses his breath weapon. Well, I'm trying that, but I'm a dwarf, so I'm not very fast...

So, when you're looking for me, I'm buried in the books!

EDIT:
So, I'm in my books, in Tome of battle to be precise, to look for the action before thought maneuvre.
Someone here said that even though concentration is cross-class for me, it is still worth it.
But if I am correct, the feat says that the key skill for the discipline you choose, becomes a class skill for you. And the key skill for 'diamond mind' is concentration. If that's correct, than the feat is even better.
So, did I read this right?

Person_Man
2009-01-09, 02:41 PM
Another option is to get a flying platform of some kind where you can stand, controlling its movement mentally. This way, as you would be standing still on a moving ship, you can fly around and still be standing still for purposes of your Dwarven Defender abilities.

You might have to make the platform bigger than a 5' square.

Or you can ride a chariot and take Leadership to get a cohort to pull it around. Or just ask another player to do it (or summon something to do it).

Draz74
2009-01-09, 03:10 PM
Another thing about dipping Warblade is that it will allow you to add your Warblade level, to a max of your Int modifier (+2 currently), to your Reflex save.

Keld Denar
2009-01-09, 03:35 PM
I have also been thinking about the energy resistances, but I come acros too many different type's of energy for that, and with a druid and a duskblade in the group, the energy resistance covering is quite okay.

That's the great thing about the Energy Immunity armor upgrade that I mentioned, from the MIC. Its reactionary, and you pick the flavor at the time of activation. Red dragons today? Done! White dragons tomorrow? Done. Chocolate dragons the next day? Done!



So, when you're looking for me, I'm buried in the books!

EDIT:
So, I'm in my books, in Tome of battle to be precise, to look for the action before thought maneuvre.
Someone here said that even though concentration is cross-class for me, it is still worth it.
But if I am correct, the feat says that the key skill for the discipline you choose, becomes a class skill for you. And the key skill for 'diamond mind' is concentration. If that's correct, than the feat is even better.
So, did I read this right?

Yea, you read correctly. If you take Martial Study, though, you would only have the save available once per encounter. If you got the maneuver from taking a level of Warblade, you could use it more often, even as much as every other round, which is more often than a standard dragon can breath.

Tacoma
2009-01-09, 04:23 PM
Red dragons today? Done! White dragons tomorrow? Done. Chocolate dragons the next day? Done!


Red dragon = fire
White dragon = marshmallows
Chocolate dragon ...

We need a graham cracker dragon!

PS does everyone else jostle to be in the area of effect of the Chocolate Dragon's breath too?

Telonius
2009-01-09, 04:38 PM
Chocoloate Dragon obviously targets Will saves. :smallsmile:

Fixer
2009-01-09, 05:41 PM
If you got the maneuver from taking a level of Warblade, you could use it more often, even as much as every other round, which is more often than a standard dragon can breath.
Actually, as a warblade, you CAN use it every round, provided you go after you need to save.

Dragon's Turn: Breathes
Dwarf: Uses AbT instead of save.
Dwarf's Turn: Recovers maneuver with an attack or a standard action.

Keld Denar
2009-01-09, 05:47 PM
ABT is an immediate action, which is counted as the swift action of your next turn. You can't recover manuvers in the same round you used any maneuver. Since you're swift action for the turn is spent, from using a maneuver, you can't recover.

Lycar
2009-01-10, 07:23 AM
Another thing about dipping Warblade is that it will allow you to add your Warblade level, to a max of your Int modifier (+2 currently), to your Reflex save.

Yes, but only up to your actual Warblade level. So, if he only takes a 1 lv. dip, he will only get +1 to Reflex saves.

Of course, with a lv. of Warblade at 12th level, he can take up to 3rd lv. manouvers. Either the whole range of 'Concentrate instead of save' manouvers like Moment of Perfect Mind, Action before Thought and Mind over Body. Although taking Insightful Strike instead of MoB means to have the Concentrate skill pull double-duty as damage dealer. :smallwink:

If you put all your skill points from the Warblade level into Concentrate (all 6 of them), this will give you a Concentrate check of +11. An attack worth 12-31 damage is nothing to be sneezed at.

Lycar

Heliomance
2009-01-10, 07:52 AM
That's the great thing about the Energy Immunity armor upgrade that I mentioned, from the MIC. Its reactionary, and you pick the flavor at the time of activation. Red dragons today? Done! White dragons tomorrow? Done. Chocolate dragons the next day? Done!



Yea, you read correctly. If you take Martial Study, though, you would only have the save available once per encounter. If you got the maneuver from taking a level of Warblade, you could use it more often, even as much as every other round, which is more often than a standard dragon can breath.

Not if the dragon gets a 1 on its "when can I next breathe" check.

Curmudgeon
2009-01-10, 01:37 PM
Survivorís Luck will let you reroll any saving throw, but it requires another Luck feat as a prerequisite. Maybe Lucky Start, to reroll an initiative check?

Keld Denar
2009-01-10, 02:52 PM
Not if the dragon gets a 1 on its "when can I next breathe" check.

I thought the roll for BW recovery was 1d4+1, and a dragon could never breath twice in a row without the Recover Breath feat? Hmmm, may be wrong.

Heliomance
2009-01-10, 03:16 PM
Not sure - is the wording "A dragon's breath weapon is uable every 1d4 rounds" or "A dragon must wait 1d4 rounds before using his breath weapon again", and are those two the same or not? I've never been able to work out what the correct interpretation is.