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Faulty
2009-05-05, 11:24 PM
I'm making a Lesser Drow Cleric of Eilistraee for a PbP game here and want to make her a competent melee combatent. I'm considering some levels in Sword Dancer, an Eilistraee specific PrC. Other than that, not quite sure what to choose. Assume anything is availible for the sake of potential builds, though I have to OK it with the DM. SWL, starting at level 10 and if the entire module is played through, we should end around 18th levelish.

Thanks.

TheCountAlucard
2009-05-05, 11:27 PM
Divine Power is always fun. If your DM is willing to allow DMM Persist cheese, you can keep Divine Power up on yourself the whole day.

monty
2009-05-05, 11:30 PM
If you can do Persist cheese, then make sure to pick up Craft Rod at level 9 (and Extra Turning at some point prior) so you can get cheaper Nightsticks and without having to rely on the DM to give them to you.

Starbuck_II
2009-05-05, 11:37 PM
I'm making a Lesser Drow Cleric of Eilistraee for a PbP game here and want to make her a competent melee combatent. I'm considering some levels in Sword Dancer, an Eilistraee specific PrC. Other than that, not quite sure what to choose. Assume anything is availible for the sake of potential builds, though I have to OK it with the DM. SWL, starting at level 10 and if the entire module is played through, we should end around 18th levelish.

Thanks.

Nightsticks (Libris Mortis): As many as your DM allows to stack. They function like Extra turning so they should stack, but some DMs ruile otherwise.

You can use these Nightsticks for Divine Metamagic: allow you to spend turning attempt instead of slot adjustment. Example, extend is +1 level, but you can spend a turn attempt instead.

If you can Divine Metamagic: Persistent metamagic is useful. That makes any personal or fixed range spell last 24 hrs.

Spells:
1st level: Divine favor: +1 hit/damage per 3 levels.
1st: Shield of Faith: Deflectiom bonus to AC.
3rd: Magic Vestment: Boost enhancement to a certain number. Who needs to buy +X armor when you can have it all day.
4th level, Divine power gives you BAB =Character level. +1 temp hp/level, +6 Str.
4th: G.M.W: who needs to buy a +X weapon when you can make any weapon one all day.
5th level: Righteous Might: Increases Size, gives Con/Str (stacks with Divine power), and some aligned DR to boot.


The minimum: Divine power would be useful. It means you get Str boost and great BAB.

The spells aren't bad without Persisting, but they are better without (less actions used).

Talic
2009-05-05, 11:38 PM
For optimal?

Any gear a fighter can use + Nightsticks.

Any spell that increases combat stats, most notably divine power.

Feats? Power attack/Shock trooper tree is good, as is Combat Reflexes/Tripper tree.
Other useful feats: Extend Spell, Persistent Spell, Extra Turning.

monty
2009-05-05, 11:40 PM
You can use these Nightsticks for Divine Metamagic: allow you to spend turning attempt instead of slot adjustment. Example, extend is +1 level, but you can spend a turn attempt instead.

Not quite. It uses adjustment+1, so Extend would cost 2 turn attempts. Persist takes 7, but it's worth it.

Faulty
2009-05-05, 11:41 PM
Could I do this all as a straight Cleric without detriment? The Sword Dancer PrC have four feats of prereqs, one of which is Skill Focus (Perform) so I'm thinking of not taking it.

I wanna be good, but I don't want to cheese and overshadow my fellow party members.

Starbuck_II
2009-05-05, 11:42 PM
Not quite. It uses adjustment+1, so Extend would cost 2 turn attempts. Persist takes 7, but it's worth it.

Right, I'm used to Illumians who get it as a racial feature: they get it for exactly adjustment cost instead of adjustment +1.

Illumians: best sub-race of humans there is.

monty
2009-05-05, 11:44 PM
Could I do this all as a straight Cleric without detriment? The Sword Dancer PrC have four feats of prereqs, one of which is Skill Focus (Perform) so I'm thinking of not taking it.

I wanna be good, but I don't want to cheese and overshadow my fellow party members.

I'm not familiar with that PrC, but Cleric 20 is perfectly viable. Not quite as powerful as Cleric 5 / Combination of PrCs with questionable fluff interaction 15, but it's still well above any non-caster.

Faulty
2009-05-05, 11:46 PM
Yeah, I don't want to do anything unfluffy. The main reason I wanted to take Sword Dancer was the fluff, mainly. The prereqs are killer though.

TheCountAlucard
2009-05-05, 11:47 PM
Could I do this all as a straight Cleric without detriment?You betcha. :smallsmile:

monty
2009-05-05, 11:54 PM
Yeah, I don't want to do anything unfluffy. The main reason I wanted to take Sword Dancer was the fluff, mainly. The prereqs are killer though.

In-character, there's no such thing as classes. So, unless you really need the mechanics of it, just take straight cleric and fluff your attacks as dancing or whatever. Same result for most purposes, fewer headaches during creation.

Faulty
2009-05-05, 11:58 PM
Yeah. I'm going to take the Intiate of Eilistraee feat, so I guess that's enough as far as fluffy mechanics.

Thank you for all the advice.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-05-06, 12:34 AM
A fairly standard melee Cleric build goes Cleric 6/ Divine Oracle 4/ Contemplative 10. You can say you've already cast Planar Ally or a similar spell at least once to meet the special requirement for Contemplative. Say you've visited the Frog God's Fane detailed in Complete Scoundrel and pay 2,000 gp and you can get Skill Focus: Knowledge (Religion) without spending a feat on it.

Sword Dancer's prerequisites would need to be updated for the 3.5 changes to the Perform skill. At worst you'll need 5 ranks in two Perform skills, and Skill Focus: Perform twice, in which case it may not even be worth taking. Otherwise, maybe go Cleric 5/ Divine Oracle 4/ Sword Dancer 10, you'll have just enough feats if you've visited the Frog God's Fane, not counting flaws. Even with flaws you won't have room for Extend, Persistent, and Divine Metamagic: Persistent starting out, so this may not be the best build to use.

Another idea would be to use Divine Bard (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#bardVariantDivineBard) instead of Cleric, then you can say you've visited Heward's Hall (CS) and pay 5,000 gp to get Skill Focus: Perform without spending a feat on it. In that case, I'd say go Bard 8/ Sword Dancer 10, with two flaws get Dodge (1), Combat Expertise (1), Melodic Casting (1), Weapon Finesse (3), Weapon Focus (6), Item Familiar (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/itemFamiliars.htm) (9), and after that maybe get Snowflake Wardance, Ironskin Chant, Elusive Target, Extend Spell, etc. Sword Dancer looks likes better suited to a Bard anyway.

Faulty
2009-05-06, 01:01 AM
That sounds complicated. I don't have CS, what exactly is all that?

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-05-06, 01:39 AM
Complete Scoundrel has magical locations, you can visit them and endure a test or perform a task to gain a benefit, some give a temporary benefit and some are permanent. The Frog God's Fane permanently gives you Skill Focus: Knowledge either History, Nature, or Religion. Heward's Hall grants Skill Focus: Perform, though you need at least 10 ranks to do it. If you're creating a character higher than 1st level and want to have reaped the benefit of a location prior to your current level, you have to pay a gp cost, otherwise every character would start with free feats. They're useful for gaining feats that are mostly useless other than being prerequisites for prestige classes.

Justin B.
2009-05-06, 02:12 AM
I was fascinated to learn that there is a full BAB full Divine caster level prestige class in the Forgotten Realms setting, something called Windwalker, from the Faith and Pantheons Forgotten Realms book.

Requires that you be Human, Half-Elf, or Air gensai, access to the travel domain, and worship a certain God. Perhaps it's not what you're looking for, but I bring it up because it really is the best PRC for a melee based cleric I have ever seen.

Faulty
2009-05-06, 08:06 PM
Complete Scoundrel has magical locations, you can visit them and endure a test or perform a task to gain a benefit, some give a temporary benefit and some are permanent. The Frog God's Fane permanently gives you Skill Focus: Knowledge either History, Nature, or Religion. Heward's Hall grants Skill Focus: Perform, though you need at least 10 ranks to do it. If you're creating a character higher than 1st level and want to have reaped the benefit of a location prior to your current level, you have to pay a gp cost, otherwise every character would start with free feats. They're useful for gaining feats that are mostly useless other than being prerequisites for prestige classes.

Thanks for the detailed explanation and help, but I don't think I'm going to go Sword Dancer now. I really appreciate it though. :smallsmile:

Anyway, I'm definitely doing the Extend/Persist/DMM feats. Also Power Attack, of course. I want to pick up Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bastard Sword), as it's Eilistraee's favored weapon. I also want to take Intiate of Eilistraee and maybe Day Light Adaption.

Assuming I take EWP (Bastard Sword) should I wield it two handed or wield it one handed with a shield and pick up Somatic Weaponry so I can still cast spells while wielding them?

My casting is focused more on improving my melee ability, so I assume a 1 level dip in Fighter for an extra feat wouldn't hurt me too much.

Also, can I have some suggestions as to enhancements placed on my arms and armour? I was thinking +1 Everbright Full Plate, maybe mithril. If I use the Bastard Sword, a +1 heavy shield, and a +1 weapon, maybe with keen, holy, or sure strike. Any other suggestions?

Thanks for all this help guys.


I was fascinated to learn that there is a full BAB full Divine caster level prestige class in the Forgotten Realms setting, something called Windwalker, from the Faith and Pantheons Forgotten Realms book.

Requires that you be Human, Half-Elf, or Air gensai, access to the travel domain, and worship a certain God. Perhaps it's not what you're looking for, but I bring it up because it really is the best PRC for a melee based cleric I have ever seen.

Yeah, it's a class devoted to Shaundakul, God of travel. My character is worshiping Eilistraee, Goddess of good Drow, unfortunately. :smalltongue:

Starbuck_II
2009-05-06, 08:10 PM
Complete Scoundrel has magical locations, you can visit them and endure a test or perform a task to gain a benefit, some give a temporary benefit and some are permanent. The Frog God's Fane permanently gives you Skill Focus: Knowledge either History, Nature, or Religion. Heward's Hall grants Skill Focus: Perform, though you need at least 10 ranks to do it. If you're creating a character higher than 1st level and want to have reaped the benefit of a location prior to your current level, you have to pay a gp cost, otherwise every character would start with free feats. They're useful for gaining feats that are mostly useless other than being prerequisites for prestige classes.

Complete Champion gives 7 uses Sudden Empower (1/day limit) and 7 uses Suddem Maximize (1/day limit): cost 2000 gp.

Yes, it is that good. Duration until you've used up all 14 uses (7 of each).

Eldariel
2009-05-07, 02:21 AM
Few solid options really.

Cleric 20 is the simpliest
Cleric 10/Generic Divine PrC 10 (Sacred Exorcist [CD], Radiant Servant [CD] Contemplative [CD], Church Inquisitor [CD], etc.) is just plain better
Cleric 3-5/Generic Divine PrC 10/Short Divine PrC 5 (Divine Disciple [PGtF], Ordained Champion [CC], etc.) is even better
Cleric 3-5/Divine PrC 5/Prerequisited Divine PrC 10 (Dweomerkeeper, Divine Oracle, etc.) tends to get you the best results

A melee Cleric can go Cleric 4/Ordained Champion 5/Melee Cleric PrC 10 (Knight of the Raven [ExpCRavenloft], Fist of Raziel [BoED], etc.) or Generic Cleric PrC in the end for lower BAB (Divine Power) and better casting
OR
Cleric 4/Crusader 1/Ruby Knight Vindicator 10/Generic Cleric PrC 4
OR
any normal Cleric-build

But the above two are specific melee Cleric builds (of course, you have to refluff Ordained Champion or Ruby Knight Vindicator, but c'est la vie); the #1 is pretty much like a Paladin (with Cleric-casting) and the second one is very close to a Crusader. Best Clerics are probably something like Cleric 5/Divine Disciple 5/Dweomerkeeper 10 or so.

Dweomerkeeper is the best PrC for Clerics, but it's really an arcane/divine combination PrC and has quite a bit in terms of abusability (Supernatural Spell: Cast anything without XP components!). In FR in particular, Mystra is the most kickass deity simply because of Initiate of Mystra. But of course, Cleric is stong enough without digging for every ounce of power available, and Eilistraee is a fine deity on her own right.


Under no circumstances should you really dip the Fighter-level; it just doesn't give you something quite as good as added levels of casting. Some of Cleric's best buffs are from higher level slots so the sooner you get them, the better (hell, to cast Giant Size without the Hero-domain, you'll need Miracle which is a level 9 spell; and Giant Size gives you +32 Str among other things).

But yeah, the biggest use of PrCing as a Cleric is getting additional Domains. This is why Contemplative should be at least 1, and probably a 6-level part of all builds (not to mention it makes a fckton of sense; as you grow stronger, you grow closer to your deity) possible. Of course, as it can only be entered on level 11, it's not that important. Other than that, since straight Cleric really gives you nothing but spells, it's generally in your best interests to PrC out ASAP (besides, most PrCs continue Cleric fluff in a way or another so it's not that bad, really).

Church Inquisitor can be entered level 4, Ordained Champion level 5. Those are really your earliest PrC options. Most others start from level 6, with some (such as Sacred Exorcist, Dweomerkeeper & Divine Oracle) taking a bit longer, starting from level 7-8 and Contemplative being the level 11 option.


With regards to your feats, I suggest against Daylight Adaptation simply because of "Sundark Goggles" from Races of the Dragon. For a couple of gold, you'll be rid of your light issues (although initial exposure still blinds you for a round - they counteract the Dazzled-effect though).

I'd probably go with Two-Handing the Bastard Sword simply because you have Power Attack. Animated Shield solves that entirely anyways, and Two-Handing a weapon means you can let a hand go to cast spells thus removing the need for Somantic Weaponry. You'll probably want to pick Extra Turning once or twice, especially if your DM doesn't like Nightsticks stacking to fuel your Divine Metamagic.

cdrcjsn
2009-05-07, 02:49 AM
The Power Attack feat is really all you need to be an effective melee type. The rest is just fluff.

Tactically, long term buffs/instant cast buffs are preferred (you don't want to spend the first two rounds of every fight casting buffs).

You'll also need a way to deal with fliers and maneuverability in general.

FinalJustice
2009-05-07, 08:04 AM
Vorpal Weapon + Surge of Fortune (RoD or Dragon Magic, don't remember exactly).

Surge of Fortune is a round/level +x luck bonus to a whole lot of rolls. And you can discharge it to treat a roll as a natural 20. With vorpal weapon, you're pretty much a confirmation from beheading whoever you feel like. Don't overuse it, or expect DM hammer. ;)

Gear wise, since you won't be spending much in armor and weapon, you can load up on useful items like those Discipline thingies from ToB. A cleric capable of Iron Heart Surge an AMF away is scary. That's if you do not want to take the Ruby Knight Vindicator route (will need some refluffing), which seems to me the best one for a melee oriented cleric.

Douglas
2009-05-07, 08:42 AM
Surge of Fortune is in Complete Champion as I recall.

If you like the DMM: Persistent Spell idea but don't want to overshadow the party too much, just pick buffs that affect the whole party. Righteous Wrath of the Faithful, Recitation, and Mass Lesser Vigor are spectacular whole party buffs that Persistent Spell can change from 1 round/level to 24 hours. Toss in Divine Power and Divine Favor for yourself and you'll be quite competent in melee without being too excessively better than everyone else.

Curmudgeon
2009-05-07, 08:57 AM
There's a nifty way to melee power, that works from level 7 on. You'll need to use the scholarly Cloistered Cleric (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#clericVariantCloistere dCleric) variant to get the Knowledge domain and extra skill points. Then add Knowledge Devotion feat (Complete Champion), and max out the 6 Knowledge skills related to creatures. This will give you bonuses to hit and damage against all creatures in the D&D game. The Cloistered Cleric has several limitations to offset the extra skills, but there are ways around all of them.

Firstly there's poor BAB, but the level 4 spell Divine Power fixes that entirely, making your BAB the same as a Fighter of the same level.

Secondly the Cloistered Cleric has only light armor proficiency, but as a scholar you'll have a Scholarís Outfit.
Perfect for a scholar, this outfit includes a robe, a belt, a cap, soft shoes, and possibly a cloak. According to Magic Item Compendium (page 234) you can add armor bonuses to Body slot items, which includes armor and robes. After that you can still cast Magic Vestment:
You imbue a suit of armor or a shield with an enhancement bonus of +1 per four caster levels (maximum +5 at 20th level).

An outfit of regular clothing counts as armor that grants no AC bonus for the purpose of this spell. So you get your regular robe improved to have an armor bonus, and are still able to add an armor enhancement bonus via Magic Vestment.

Thirdly, Clerics (all sorts) are limited to simple weapons. But the War domain gives you both Martial Weapon Proficiency and Weapon Focus with your deity's favored weapon. Mayaheine is a War deity whose favored weapon is the bastard sword (1d10; 19-20x2).
A character can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon. And Haela Brightaxe, Surtr, and Zarus are War deities favoring the greatsword (2d6; 19-20x2).

Finally, Cloistered Clerics only get d6 hit dice. But you can use weaponlike spells in melee. Vampiric Touch is a Sorcerer/Wizard spell that you can cast from a wand if you have the Magic domain.
You must succeed on a melee touch attack. Your touch deals 1d6 points of damage per two caster levels (maximum 10d6). You gain temporary hit points equal to the damage you deal. Note that your Knowledge Devotion bonus applies to the touch attack, to the damage you deal, and to the temporary hit points you gain.

Pretty nifty, I think. And you've still got your undead turn attempts to use however you like (such as making that Divine Power spell last all day long via Divine Metamagic (Persistent Spell)).

Faulty
2009-05-07, 03:32 PM
A melee Cleric can go Cleric 4/Ordained Champion 5/Melee Cleric PrC 10 (Knight of the Raven [ExpCRavenloft], Fist of Raziel [BoED], etc.) or Generic Cleric PrC in the end for lower BAB (Divine Power) and better casting
OR
Cleric 4/Crusader 1/Ruby Knight Vindicator 10/Generic Cleric PrC 4

I like these. I asked the DM. Hoping to go the Cleric/Crusader/"Moon Blade of Eilistraee"/Divine Disciple. If not, I'd go the other route, with Fist of Raziel. I didn't ask about Ordained Champion yet. Crusader also gives martial weapon proficiency, so I can wield a Bastard Sword two handed and not spend a feat. Makes fluff sense, too, because she came from an Underdark city and would have been forced to train as a Cleric before she'd have an opportunity to do anything else or proudly carry her secret Goddess' weapon.


But of course, Cleric is stong enough without digging for every ounce of power available, and Eilistraee is a fine deity on her own right.

I want to be skilled, but not make my party pointless, and Eilistraee is a personal favorite deity. :smallbiggrin:


Under no circumstances should you really dip the Fighter-level; it just doesn't give you something quite as good as added levels of casting. Some of Cleric's best buffs are from higher level slots so the sooner you get them, the better (hell, to cast Giant Size without the Hero-domain, you'll need Miracle which is a level 9 spell; and Giant Size gives you +32 Str among other things).

Thanks for the suggestion.


With regards to your feats, I suggest against Daylight Adaptation simply because of "Sundark Goggles" from Races of the Dragon. For a couple of gold, you'll be rid of your light issues (although initial exposure still blinds you for a round - they counteract the Dazzled-effect though).

I kinda like that. It creates this real... survivalist image. I like it.


I'd probably go with Two-Handing the Bastard Sword simply because you have Power Attack. Animated Shield solves that entirely anyways, and Two-Handing a weapon means you can let a hand go to cast spells thus removing the need for Somantic Weaponry. You'll probably want to pick Extra Turning once or twice, especially if your DM doesn't like Nightsticks stacking to fuel your Divine Metamagic.

I didn't ask about Nightsticks, and I wouldn't ask them to stack. That's cheesy. Thanks for the suggestions, very helpful.


@Curmudgen: thanks for the info, but Eilistraee doesn't get the war domain and Cloistered Cleric doesn't fit the role.


Also, something about stats. I got 18, 16, 15, 13, 12, 11 and Lesser Drow get +2 Dex, -2 Con. I was thinking about...

STR: 16
CON: 13
DEX: 13
INT: 12
WIS: 18
CHA: 13

Should I put two points in 18 or one into Con at 4 and one into Str at 8?

Trodon
2009-05-07, 06:55 PM
Also, something about stats. I got 18, 16, 15, 13, 12, 11 and Lesser Drow get +2 Dex, -2 Con. I was thinking about...

STR: 16
CON: 13
DEX: 13
INT: 12
WIS: 18
CHA: 13

Should I put two points in 18 or one into Con at 4 and one into Str at 8?

hahaha! the DM found your thread
well for the game i would put 1 in con and 1 in ether dex or cha depending on your armor you will probably need a decent ac

Faulty
2009-05-07, 07:31 PM
hahaha! the DM found your thread
well for the game i would put 1 in con and 1 in ether dex or cha depending on your armor you will probably need a decent ac

I thought you would have seen it earlier. :smalltongue:

I'm gonna get myself some full plate which has a max of +1 Dex unless it's mithril, so Dex isn't too much of a worry.

Trodon
2009-05-07, 07:34 PM
I thought you would have seen it earlier. :smalltongue:

I'm gonna get myself some full plate which has a max of +1 Dex unless it's mithril, so Dex isn't too much of a worry.

awesome then put it on cha you will need your turning ability

Faulty
2009-05-07, 10:22 PM
Decided to put 1 in STR and 1 in CON. I'll put 1 in STR at 12 and 1 in WIS at 16. A Nightstick and may Extra Turning will get me through. :smallbiggrin:

Thanks for all the help guys!