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AtwasAwamps
2010-03-17, 11:47 AM
So, my DM is letting me take a level in Crusader (hooray I can start helping the party!) on my happy lil paladin. This will make me a paladin 5/crusader 1. Iíve decided on picking up the Martial Spirit stance for my stance, as that will combo well with our dragon shamanís auras in keeping the party rolling with little cost.

My problem right now is picking maneuvers. Iím very inexperienced with Tome of BattleÖ

Obviously, White Raven and Devoted Spirit immediately jump out as very strong to me. But Stone Dragon is certainly not useless! Currently, my maneuver choices are:

Foehammer
Mountain Hammer
Charging Minotaur (Fun with Shock Trooper!)
Crusaderís Strike
Shield Block

Iím thinking of ditching Shield Block and something else to take a White Raven maneuver and grab War Leaderís Charge, which will combine well with the Charging Smite feature I chose instead of a mount (really, we donít have enough battles in mount-friendly areas). But I donít know what to take! I could really use some help from seasoned ToB knowledgable folks!

PS: Donít ask me to convince my DM to let me trade all my paladin levels. As much as I would love to, I know heíll say noÖthis group has had baaad experiences with TOB.

Satyr
2010-03-17, 12:10 PM
Remember that half your paladin level count as initiator levels, so I would wait a before you switch to Crusader so you qualify for 3rd level stances and Maneuvers. This is important because it gives you White Raven Tactics, which is probably the best maneuver you can get with a one level dip, so I would definitely try to get that one as soon as possible, meaning you need one White Raven maneuver to get the prerequisite. Douse the Flames is good if you have teammates that like to move around and flank, Leading the Attack is nice for boss battles when you turn the enemie in a sitting duck for your friends.

Apart from that, it depends on what you have in mind. If you want to charge a lot on your own, a warblade might be a better choice (mechanically, not thematically, obviously).

AtwasAwamps
2010-03-17, 12:16 PM
Apart from that, it depends on what you have in mind. If you want to charge a lot on your own, a warblade might be a better choice (mechanically, not thematically, obviously).

Agreed, but the only reason I was able to get this across was via fluff, so yeah...while I agree on waiting, I kinda want to get started on Crusader now. Agreed that mechanically, waiting is a good idea, but I wanna play around with ToB and I have no idea if we will make it to the next level in any short amount of time.

So I will most likely dump shield block for Leading the Attack. Of the remaining four maneuvers, what should I drop for Battle Leader's Charge, if anything?

Hand_of_Vecna
2010-03-17, 01:38 PM
Also waiting till level 9 would hurt alot, you really want him to suffer through 3 more levels of paladin mediocrity.

LichPrinceAlim
2010-03-17, 02:04 PM
I actually suggest taking 5 levels of Complete Champions' Feat-Based Paly, which you screw spells in favor of Bonus Feats. Then, take the rest in crusader and later into the PrC of your choice (Ordained Champion or Vassal of Bahamut as my suggestions)

Or, if you LIKE spells (and frankly, who doesn't?), then scrap Paladin altogether. Take 6 crusader levels, focusing on a god of LG (Me, I say Heironious) and then become a Divine Crusader from Complete Divine of the same god, take one level of Contemplative and of Divine Oracle, then finish with a dip or two in a Martial PrC for a couple levels (In the Heironious case, Shining Blade, Ordained Champ or even Shadowstriker)

AtwasAwamps
2010-03-17, 02:06 PM
PS: Donít ask me to convince my DM to let me trade all my paladin levels. As much as I would love to, I know heíll say noÖthis group has had baaad experiences with TOB.

As I mentioned, I cannot ask for a total rebuild of the character. If I could, my plan would be vastly different and I would have asked for entirely different help. I really am looking mostly for the advice I asked for in the original post, but thanks for your insight as well!

An odd coincidence, the character is a Paladin of Heironeous :)

Mongoose87
2010-03-17, 02:07 PM
...then finish with a dip or two in a Martial PrC for a couple levels (In the Heironious case, Shining Blade, Ordained Champ or even Shadowstriker)

Better yet, finish yourself off in Ruby Knight Windicator!

LichPrinceAlim
2010-03-17, 02:09 PM
Better yet, finish yourself off in Ruby Knight Windicator!

we don't need this to polymorph into a RKV thread...

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-17, 02:10 PM
Small tip: At 1st level, Crusaders can only pick from 5 of 6 different maneuvers. The end result is that most look the same at that level. Since you are taking your first level at 6th though, you have an advantage: More maneuvers to pick from.

Here's my advice (I know, I haven't finished the maneuver section of my Crusader Handbook at BG yet): Look for maneuvers that lack prerequisites instead of taking lower level maneuvers, if at all possible. The Mountain Hammer line, for example, has no prerequisites other than Initiator Level. If Psionics are allowed, learning a few of the Mountain Hammer line every so often and using PsiReform to swap them out at your leisure when they get outpaced is a good idea.

The above can also apply to your lower-level healing maneuvers. Those are sure to get outpaced in the long run, so PsiReform those into other maneuvers whenever you feel them tapper off. 1d6+5 isn't much at level 8 or 9, so that's a good level to exchange that one at.

Don't use PsiReform on your stances though, at least not if you want to keep your Crusader levels. The DM may throw both books at you for messing with your maneuvers like this at all, but reason with him about the lowest level ones (and remind him that some spells scale far better than these maneuvers, like the Orb line).

White Raven Tactics is a near-must, but since your DM has had poor experience with the book I'd recommend holding off on that until everyone else has purchased a Belt of Battle or has a similar ability to gain extra actions, and even if you do take it you should never attempt to use it on yourself (which is the main reason the maneuver is considered unbalanced, never mind when two Crusaders start targeting each other).

jiriku
2010-03-17, 02:14 PM
Mountain Hammer is slightly superior to Foehammer.

Crusader's Strike is ok, but IME I'd often rather use an offensive maneuver and drop my foe, so he stops dealing damage to me, than forfeit the extra damage in order to heal myself for 8-9 points.

Shield Block is not actually that useful, because you frequently won't be adjacent to the target you want to protect. Further, clumping up in anticipation that you might want to use Shield Block simply encourages the enemy to hit you with an AoE.

You'll really like White Raven Tactics.

You'll like War Leader's Charge, but you should definitely talk with your DM about the resources you're putting into performing a charging smite and make sure he appreciates the opportunity costs you're paying to be good at it. If he's leery about ToB and he doesn't understand the character resources you're devoting to this, he might pop the banhammer on you if he's caught off guard by the damage you deal with a smiting War Leader's Charge. That said...once you're a little higher level, get a valorous enchantment for your weapon. :smallamused:

How's your Concentration skill? Do you have Power Attack? Do you use a two-handed weapon? I ask these questions because if you're good at these things, the Diamond Mind maneuver Emerald Razor really lets you milk power attack for all it's worth.

KillianHawkeye
2010-03-17, 02:19 PM
@Sinfire: I find that the Crusader's natural ability to replace maneuvers is readily sufficient to upgrade those low level abilities to the higher versions.



As far as stances go, technically the RAW states that you get a 1st level stance at Crusader 1, regardless of any multiclassing you've done to increase your initiator level. However, recall that you get a second stance at Crusader 2.

Douglas
2010-03-17, 02:20 PM
Mountain Hammer is slightly superior to Foehammer.
Only if you're always on the ground. Mountain Hammer can ignore hardness, Foehammer can be used while flying or swimming. Neither is strictly superior to the other.

AtwasAwamps
2010-03-17, 02:26 PM
White Raven Tactics is a near-must, but since your DM has had poor experience with the book I'd recommend holding off on that until everyone else has purchased a Belt of Battle or has a similar ability to gain extra actions, and even if you do take it you should never attempt to use it on yourself (which is the main reason the maneuver is considered unbalanced, never mind when two Crusaders start targeting each other).

I may be avoiding White Raven Tactics entirely for that reason. The group I play with is EXTREMELY restrictive about magic items and they...really...don't use wealth by level at all. I don't expect to see a Belt of Battle.

I really would like to work Battle Leader's Charge in there, just to combine it with Rhino's Rush, Charging Smite, and Shock Trooper-power attacking charges. (10+15+6)x2 = 62 damage before adding in weapon damage and strength. That's not enormous, I know, and I really shouldn't be swording + boarding it, but this guy was the first thing I came up with when I cracked open a book for the first time, so he's not really that impressive.

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-17, 02:28 PM
@Sinfire: I find that the Crusader's natural ability to replace maneuvers is readily sufficient to upgrade those low level abilities to the higher versions.

I'd need to see some math on that myself before I'll be convinced of it. I know they timed the maneuvers and stances so that there are no technical dead levels in each class, but I lack sufficient evidence to say that you won't need to use methods like Retraining or PsiReform. I speak from a bit of personal experience with a Warblade character I made; I remember having several low level maneuvers that I would never actually ready because they didn't scale enough. But I lack Crusader experience, so I can't make the same statement about the class.

Hand_of_Vecna
2010-03-17, 09:02 PM
Here's your numbers on non rebuilt no psireformed crusader.

Well at level 1 you have 5 first level manuevers
Level 4: 2 level 2's, 4 level 1's
Level 6: 2 level 3's, 2 level 2's, 3 level 1's
Leve 7: 1 level 4, 2 level 3's, 2 level 2's, 3 level 1's (at this point you could have 0 level one manuever's prepped in your standard day)
Level 8: 2 level 4's, 2 level 3, 2 level 2's, 2 level 1's
level 12: 2 level 6's, 2 level 5's, 2 level 4's, 2 level 3's, 2 level 2's, 0 level 1's ( at this point you will only have a level one manuever known if it scales to your level.)

Master_Rahl22
2010-03-17, 09:12 PM
I can't believe nobody mentioned Thicket of Blades yet. It's good enough that with your less than perfect situation for grabbing it, it may be worth spending a feat on Martial Stance. Thicket of Blades + reach weapon + Stand Still feat (SRD) = enemies you threaten can't move unless you roll horribly.

As for getting one of the WR charge maneuvers in there, I'd drop either Foehammer or Mountain Hammer. They are almost the exact same maneuver, so pick the one you think will be more useful (Foehammer if you fly or swim often, Mountain Hammer if you fight things with DR/Hardness often) and drop the other.