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DragonsAion
2010-06-18, 12:25 AM
Ok Iím working on a character build and thought it would be a good idea to ask you all.

the build is 20th level and sword sage 10/ shadow blade 10. I'll be using the spiked chain as the main weapon as I'd like to focus on the shadow hand maneuvers I'm just not sure witch ones to take. I'm also going to be taking the unseen arrow feat.

DragonsAion
2010-06-18, 01:12 PM
no one has an idea on what maneuvers and feats whould go with this build?

Ernir
2010-06-18, 01:30 PM
I have never heard of a class called Shadow Blade. Nor an Unseen Arrow feat. What are those? :smallconfused:

But since you seem to be asking for feat and maneuver advice... what is it that you want your character to be able to do?

Keld Denar
2010-06-18, 01:49 PM
Tiger Claw and Desert Wind both synergize with Shadow Hand pretty well. Diamond Mind is outright powerful, and splashes of Setting Sun (Baffling Defense) are often strong.

Picking maneuvers is generally a long, and rather personal, decision. If you want the best feedback, do the legwork yourself, set up a table, and lay out a proposed manevuer progression yourself. Its much easier to provide critisism on something than to generally guess what you are aiming for.

Also, as the above poster mentioned, could you cite sources for things that aren't core? I'm pretty versed in nearly all published D&D things, but I've never heard of either Shadow Blade (as a class) or Unseen Arrow.

Telonius
2010-06-18, 01:53 PM
Looks like it's a Dandwiki class (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Shadow_Blade_%283.5e_Class%29).

Full BAB, 10+int skill points per level, free TWF, Rogue sneak attack, good Fort and Reflex saves, assorted other goodies ... yeah, there's no way that class would appear anywhere but Dandiwiki. :smallyuk:

EDIT: Ah, that explains it.

Author's Note

This class was compiled by me, Aidragonus, for use in a gestalt campaign,

Anyway, if the DM is permissive enough to allow that, you really don't need our help.

balistafreak
2010-06-18, 01:56 PM
Eeeew, D&D Wiki.

That site needs a good cleansing.

Gnaritas
2010-06-18, 01:57 PM
The class is Shadowblade (no space) and it is from Tome of Magic, so is the feat.

You need to be a level 7 Swordsage before you can get into Shadowblade, so at best you get three 7th level maneuver, two 8th level maneuvers and a 7th level stance.

I suggest going for a Dex build, using Weapon Finesse and Shadow Blade (the feat :smallsmile:).

Stances (2 x lvl 1, 1x lvl 3, 1x lvl 7)
Assassin's Stance (lvl 3) nice with unexpected strike from your Unseen Weapon
Thicket of Blades (lvl 3) nice with your reach weapon

Maneuvers (2x lvl 8, 3x lvl 7, 1x lvl 4, 3x lvl 3, 3x lvl 2, 3x lvl 1)
(you can exchange a higher for a lower obviously)

some random maneuvers i think are good:
lvl 8


lvl 7
Swooping Dragon Strike (assuming you can focus on Jump)
Shadow Blink (or Shadow Stride lvl 5)

lvl 6
Stalker in the Night
Moment of Alacrity

lvl 5
Pouncing Charge
Shadow Stride (or Shadow Blink lvl 7)

lvl 2
Mountain Hammer
Cloak of Deception

DragonsAion
2010-06-18, 02:13 PM
The class and the feat are from TOM. Unseen arrow lets you use your Unseen weapon class power with ranged weapons as well as melee.

Tome of battle is new to me as I've never used any of the classes out of it and for some reason it's always on the list of banned books. The system seems easy enough to understand from what I can see of it.

A level 10 swordsage knowns 15 maneuvers, can ready 8, and knowns 4 stances. I don't have the book in front of me so I could be off. ShadowBlade has some really neat tricks for melee weapons and gives you 5d6 worth of sudden strike.

Gnaritas
2010-06-18, 02:30 PM
ToB is often banned for being to good. Personally i think your SS10/SB10 build is not that optimized.

jiriku
2010-06-18, 02:37 PM
I know little of shadowblade but much of swordsage. I can offer a tip or two, however.

Swordsage 10/shadowblade 10 will give you mostly low- and mid-level maneuvers.

Swordsage 7/shadowblade 10/swordsage+3, OTOH, will give you a large helping of 7th and 8th level maneuvers. Definitely take shadowblade as soon as you can, and finish out your progression with swordsage.

A focus on ranged weapons isn't likely to pay off with 10 levels of swordsage, because many of your maneuvers can't be used with ranged attacks. You would be wise to either a) choose many maneuvers that work with ranged attacks, or b) pass on Unseen Arrow.

Keld Denar
2010-06-18, 02:39 PM
What you need to do then is sit down and figure out how you are gonna place your levels. If the above is right, and you can't get into Shadowblade until SS7, then you have some options in your build. Since Shadowblade isn't a martial PrC, it only gives 1/2 an IL at each level. Thus, consider spreading your Shadowblade levels out evenly.

Something like:

Swordsage7/Shadowblade4/Swordsage1/Shadowblade4/Swordsage1/Shadowblade2/Swordsage1

That gets you 4th level manevuers when you start Shadowblade, then allows you to swap out a manevuer for a 5th level manevuer at ECL12, gain a 6th level manevuer at ECL17, and swap out a manevuer for a 7th level manevuer at ECL20.

Does that make sense?

Gnaritas
2010-06-18, 02:51 PM
I made some changes to the earlier post.

For the Swordsage i was planning to play next (but i got to DM instead) i had the following trick:

Before combat: hide and delay

round 1:
Full round: Pouncing Charge
Swift: Moment of Alacrity (since you delayed to just after your opponents turn, the +20 ini boost will get you before him).

round 2:
swift: Cloak of Deception (greater invisibility)
Attack and move+hide (or full attack if you can handle the fight).

refresh rince and repeat.
If you got a good nearby place to hide, you can get an attack and a full-attack in without the opponent getting a turn to hit you (unless he is readying).

By the way, you defenitely need a way to cast deeper darkness....

Gnaritas
2010-06-18, 02:53 PM
What you need to do then is sit down and figure out how you are gonna place your levels. If the above is right, and you can't get into Shadowblade until SS7, then you have some options in your build. Since Shadowblade isn't a martial PrC, it only gives 1/2 an IL at each level. Thus, consider spreading your Shadowblade levels out evenly.

Something like:

Swordsage7/Shadowblade4/Swordsage1/Shadowblade4/Swordsage1/Shadowblade2/Swordsage1

That gets you 4th level manevuers when you start Shadowblade, then allows you to swap out a manevuer for a 5th level manevuer at ECL12, gain a 6th level manevuer at ECL17, and swap out a manevuer for a 7th level manevuer at ECL20.

Does that make sense?

No. You are wrong and not making sense either.
How would this be better than simply taking the Swordsage levels last????

Also, in your example, if you take the 8th swordsage level you are IL 8+4/2=10 (which is not an odd IL, which you should aim for....), at 9th swordsage level you are IL 9+8/2=13, which gives a 7th level maneuver (not a 6th) and at your last swordsage level you get a 8th level maneuver.

Keld Denar
2010-06-18, 03:04 PM
Bah, I was still close.

The reason you'd want to intersperse them is because manuvers are strong. You don't want to be stuck with the same manevuers you had at level 7 when you hit level 17. My way keeps your manevuers slightly up to speed as you progress.

In a level 20 starting build, I fully accept your build as the most optimial. However, if he is playing a 1-20, or even a 10-20 campaign, I think he's gonna have more fun with access to a few higher level maneuvers sprinkled in. Then again, I don't really know where the level breaks in Shadowblade are to make the final call.

Maybe change mine to:

Swordsage7/Shadowblade6/Swordsage1/Shadowblade2/Swordsage1/Shadowblade2/Swordsage1

That gives you a manevuer at IL11, IL13, and IL15 for a 6th, 7th, and 8th level manevuer on top of his 4th level manevuers from Swordsage 7.

DragonsAion
2010-06-18, 03:12 PM
@_@'

How does splitting up the levels make any difference? I don't see what changes between swordsage 10/ Shadowblade 10 and swordsage 7/Shadowblade10/swordsage +3, or any other combo for that matter. The end result is still 10/10....right?

and what's an IL?

As for Unseen arrow being a waste I don't see how? You can use swordsage for melee and shadowblade for ranged or use them both for melee.

Gnaritas
2010-06-18, 03:25 PM
In a level 20 starting build, I fully accept your build as the most optimial. However, if he is playing a 1-20, or even a 10-20 campaign, I think he's gonna have more fun with access to a few higher level maneuvers sprinkled in. Then again, I don't really know where the level breaks in Shadowblade are to make the final call.

Ok, you are right, i was assuming he was starting at level 20.


and what's an IL?

IL = Initiator level (page 39 in Tome of Battle).

Ok, i hope i can explain this easy without confusing you more.

You can add your Swordsage level to your IL and every other class level you can add for one half (rounded down).
This means a Swordsage 5 can take a 3rd level maneuver, but a Fighter 2/Swordsage 4 also has acces to 3rd level maneuvers (2 even because he can exchange a maneuver into a 3rd level at level 4).

This means in your example that a Swordsage 10/Shadowblade 10 can use 5th level maneuvers at max.
But a Swordsage 7/Shadowblade 10/Swordsage 3 can use 4th level maneuvers at level 7, but at level 18 he can use (8+10/2=13 IL) 7th level maneuvers increasing it to 8th level maneuvers at level 20 (14 IL).


As for Unseen arrow being a waste I don't see how? You can use swordsage for melee and shadowblade for ranged or use them both for melee.

Sure, lots of maneuvers work for ranged also, simply because they are not an attack (Shadow Jaunt/Moment of Alacrity) However some of them will only work for melee attack, none will only work for ranged attacks.

Keld Denar
2010-06-18, 03:30 PM
IL is Initiator Level. Its basically the same thing as spellcaster level for a wizard. It determines the power of the manevuers you can learn, and is also used as a variable in some manevuers similar to caster level. (like...Searing Blade adds 1d6 + IL to all attacks in a round).

The levels next to the manevuers (Crusader3, Swordsage6) are the same as the levels next to spells (Evocation3, Conjouration6/Wind6). They aren't the level you have to be, they correspond to what is essentially the 9 level wizard spell progression. You need an IL of 3 to learn 2nd level maneuvers, similar to how you need to be a wizard3 to learn 2nd level spells. You need an IL of 17 to learn 9th level manevuers, just like you need 17 levels of wizard to learn 9th level spells.

I HIGHLY suggest you go back to your ToB and read up a bit on IL, since its one of the most important factors when you build a ToB character.

EDIT: Tables are fun!

{table=header]ECL|Class|IL|Class|IL
7|Swordsage7|7|Swordsage7|7
8|Shadowblade1|7|Shadowblade1|7
9|Shadowblade2|8|Shadowblade2|8
10|Shadowblade3|8|Shadowblade3|8
11|Shadowblade4|9|Shadowblade4|9
12|Shadowblade5|9|Shadowblade5|9
13|Shadowblade6|10|Shadowblade6|10
14|Shadowblade7|10|Swordsage8|11
15|Shadowblade8|11|Shadowblade7|11
16|Shadowblade9|11|Shadowblade8|12
17|Shadowblade10|12|Swordsage9|13
18|Swordsage8|13|Shadowblade9|13
19|Swordsage9|14|Shadowblade10|14
20|Swordsage10|15|Swordsage10|15[/table]

On the left, you see the 7/10/3 build, on the right you see the 7/6/1/2/1/2/1 build. They both end with the same IL, but mixing the Swordsage in at certain points (when IL would hit an odd number) gives to manevuers throughout your career, rather than lumping them all at the end. You'll end up slightly weaker at levels 18-20, but you'll be more thoroughly strong from ECL14-ECL17. So yea, it depends on when you want what abilities. If you think Shadowblade has strong enough abilities to keep you going through till 17, then stick them at the end. If you want some maneuver assistance at mid levels, spread your Swordsage levels out a bit.