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View Full Version : [3.5] Abjurant champion and Horizon Walker build advice



herrhauptmann
2010-08-29, 06:37 PM
Finally getting into another game after a rather long time off. Don't entirely agree with some of the new DM's choices, particularly book restrictions, but I'll see if I can tough it out.
I get to make a level 7 character, rolled stats are 15,11,10,14,17,12 before increases. 19000gp
Allowed books: Complete warrior, arcane, divine, adventurer. Though he is allowing dragon magazine on a case by case basis.

The DM is a believer in that level dip=bad, which probably includes multiple prestige classes. Fortunately, I don't believe the game is going to be too tough overall, his wife is playing.
Wanted to play a neanderthal, but he refuses to believe that a neanderthal would leave the glaciers on his own, so no neanderthal until the party gets to that region.

Starting at Fighter 7, intend to get deadly concussion when available.
Str 1718
Dex-12
Con-15
Int-14
Wis-11
Cha-10
Feats:
1) Power attack
H1)Cleave
F1)Imp Bullrush
F2)Imp Sunder
3) blank
F4) EWP: Minotaur Greathammer
6)leap attack
F6)Shocktrooper
F8) blank
9)Deadly concussion
Skills 50 points total, max of 10 IC, and 5 CC
CC 5 perform (need for deadly concussion)
CC 5 Spot
10 Jump
10 Climb
10 more points...
items:
+1 Smoking Minotaur greathammer (+2 cost) +3k for adamantine, or +5k for starmetal :(
Gauntlets ogre strength +2 (4k)
Backup slashing weapon
Backup ranged weapon
Armor (probably breastplate) mithril is +4k, so I doubt it

edit: I'll need a valorous weapon eventually. That's another +1, so technically more than I can afford at level 7, and I'd rather get the smoking weapon first. Miss chances for defense before I make myself an even bigger target.

So I guess my question is, should I take my feats in a different order, what should I put in the Fighter 8 feat, and what suggestions does everyone have for later feats and levels?

Hawk7915
2010-08-29, 08:13 PM
Probably the strongest thing to do would be to delay getting Combat Brute until level 8, so you can take Leap Attack; it'll break the game wide open on a charging Shock Trooper attack.

If your DM is game for letting you get away with it, Three Mountains Style would complement your character nicely (hit twice with your bludgeoning weapon = opponent saves or is nauseated for one round. Normally for Morningstar, Flail, or Greatclub only though). If he's willing to let you take it later, you sadly have to take Weapon Focus first, but you have that free feat at level 8 anyways.

Cometary Collision is a fun feat from PH2 that lets you "counter charge" people who charge you. You qualify for it and it's fighter bonus, so no juggling around.

When in doubt, Improved Toughness is always an option. +8 HP, and extra HP at each level up, never hurt anyone.
====================
Being stuck straight fighter means eventually you'll run out of fun stuff to do with feats, but here's a few feat paths to try to run past your DM (require SRD and/or PH2)
- Combat Expertise -> Improved Trip -> Knock-down (SRD, Deities and Demigods): You actually have the stats for it, and it's a fun combo. You get a free trip attempt every time you deal 10+ damage. With power attack and a high strength, even a "1" for damage is 10 damage or more.

- Improved Critical -> Staggering Critical (Drow of the Underdark): Might as well use that nice x4 crit multiplier and move on down to a 17-20 range and free Staggered condition on each crit.

- Weapon Focus -> Weapon Specialization -> Bludgeoning Weapon Mastery (PH2) -> Crushing Strikes (PH2): Tidy bonuses to fighting with your hammer (+3 attack, +4 damage), and when full-attacking you get +1 attack for each hit you already had in the round. Can add up while hasted (well, adds up to completely negating the to-hit penalty on the last attack).

herrhauptmann
2010-08-29, 09:54 PM
Really wish the DM would let me take a single level dip. Take it early, then I get fighter4 at level 5, and fighter 6 at level 7, it would get me Combat Brute, Leap attack, AND shocktrooper by level 7.

Staggering strike + improved crit, what IS the correct crit range of the greathammer? Anyway, staggering strike is not from the initial approved books, so I'll need permission on that, and it's at level 12 anyway.

Exotic weapon master occurred to me, though it'll require weapon focus.
So did Abjurant Champion and Horizon walker.
Perhaps a level of wizard (or ranger) somewhere early and abandon travel devotion for combat casting or endurance, and at level 7 take the first of the prestige class.

Hawk7915
2010-08-29, 10:21 PM
I thought I'd read that Greathammer was 19-20, x4, but I've seen 20, x4 as well. I'd be inclined to give it 19-20, because seriously the Greathammer is scarcely worth a feat otherwise (i guess a Scythe that deals 1d12 base and does bludgeoning is worth it, for Enlarge/Strongarm Bracer shenanigans?).

If your DM isn't a fan of 1-level dips, I wouldn't sweat it. Fighter 7 is a lame place to be, straight fighter is rough, and it'll be hard to qualify for much besides Exotic Weapon Master (which is a smashing idea btw), but depending on your DM's idea of "power" and "balance", a character that charges in and wallops people for 1d12+55 at this level at no attack penalty, then full attacks next turn for massive damage, is probably over the curve already. (Also, if you were going to dip and Complete Champion is a go, you should dip Spirit Lion Totem Whirling Frenzy Barbarian instead :smallwink: )

And for armor, I'd just grab a +1 Chain Shirt and call it a day. Your AC is going to suck most of the time thanks to Shock Trooper anyways. Better to buy potions of Enlarge Person, or a Cloak of Resistance, or better back-up weapons, or an Amulet of Health +2 instead, I think.

Greyfell
2010-08-29, 11:28 PM
Uhm, what is "deadly concussion' and what does it do? I've never heard of it and found scant references when I did some google fu.

herrhauptmann
2010-08-30, 08:24 AM
Deadly concussion is out of dragon magazine, if I successfully sunder armor or shield in one shot with a bludgeoning weapon, the person wearing the stuff takes as much damage as their equipment did.

hamishspence
2010-08-30, 08:38 AM
I thought I'd read that Greathammer was 19-20, x4, but I've seen 20, x4 as well. I'd be inclined to give it 19-20, because seriously the Greathammer is scarcely worth a feat otherwise (i guess a Scythe that deals 1d12 base and does bludgeoning is worth it, for Enlarge/Strongarm Bracer shenanigans?).

If you take the view that "original appearance" trumps "appearance in a monster's statblock" then the description of the weapon itself is 19-20/x4 on page 101 of MM4.

Since statblocks are sometimes (often?) wrong, then using 19-20/x4 may be "more accurate".

Person_Man
2010-08-30, 10:18 AM
Deadly concussion is out of dragon magazine, if I successfully sunder armor or shield in one shot with a bludgeoning weapon, the person wearing the stuff takes as much damage as their equipment did.

Reread the Sunder rules:


Sundering a Carried or Worn Object

You donít use an opposed attack roll to damage a carried or worn object. Instead, just make an attack roll against the objectís AC. A carried or worn objectís AC is equal to 10 + its size modifier + the Dexterity modifier of the carrying or wearing character. Attacking a carried or worn object provokes an attack of opportunity just as attacking a held object does. To attempt to snatch away an item worn by a defender rather than damage it, see Disarm. You canít sunder armor worn by another character.

So Deadly Concussion is only useful against enemies using shields, ie, it's mostly a waste of a feat.

Telonius
2010-08-30, 10:25 AM
Even if the Sunder rules apply to armor, you have the usual Sunder problem. If it works, by RAW, you've destroyed your loot with no way to repair and sell it.

herrhauptmann
2010-08-30, 12:35 PM
Reread the Sunder rules:
So Deadly Concussion is only useful against enemies using shields, ie, it's mostly a waste of a feat.

I had figured that deadly concussion was an exception to the 'can't sunder armor' rule.
And yes, I do know that sundering has the problem of destroying loot, that's why it's not going to be used all the time. Strictly, disarm is better.

Lans
2010-08-30, 12:49 PM
Even if the Sunder rules apply to armor, you have the usual Sunder problem. If it works, by RAW, you've destroyed your loot with no way to repair and sell it.
Not so, if you have a truenamer in your party.

Which might be the only thing they are actually good for at.

Greenish
2010-08-30, 12:56 PM
Allowed books: Complete warrior, arcane, divine, adventurer. Though he is allowing dragon magazine on a case by case basis.I notice Complete Champion isn't on the allowed list, yet your fighter sports Travel Devotion.

herrhauptmann
2010-08-30, 03:48 PM
Eck, yeah, that's true.
Weapon focus for Exotic weapon master?
Or a level in wizard for abjurant champ?

Person_Man
2010-08-30, 03:51 PM
I had figured that deadly concussion was an exception to the 'can't sunder armor' rule.
And yes, I do know that sundering has the problem of destroying loot, that's why it's not going to be used all the time. Strictly, disarm is better.

Actually, improving your ability to Sunder and Disarm are both poor feat investments. Unless you're playing in a heavily urban and/or gladiatorial campaign, most enemies do not use weapons or shields. They use natural weapons, spells, psionics, supernatural and/or spell-like abilities. Also, each attack action that you spend on a Sunder or Disarm attempt is an action that you're not dealing damage with.

true_shinken
2010-08-30, 04:48 PM
Actually, improving your ability to Sunder and Disarm are both poor feat investments. Unless you're playing in a heavily urban and/or gladiatorial campaign, most enemies do not use weapons or shields. They use natural weapons, spells, psionics, supernatural and/or spell-like abilities. Also, each attack action that you spend on a Sunder or Disarm attempt is an action that you're not dealing damage with.

The Deadly Concussion feat actually fixes one of those problems.

Hawk7915
2010-08-30, 04:56 PM
Combat Brute also removes the drawback from Sundering (free attack each time you Sunder). Just taking Combat Brute seems better (prereqs are less harsh and Combat Brute does other fun stuff like the Momentum Swing ability). If they stack up, however, than each time you smash a shield or armor in a single blow you get an extra attack for that round. So at 9th level, hasted, you actually get 4 attacks (sunder attempt which deals damage, hasted attack, secondary attack, "cleave" attack from sundering). So if the campaign is sure to involve lots of people with swords and shields, it does give his character something to do.

If your DM is willing to let you do Abjurant Champ, though, you should certainly go for it instead.

herrhauptmann
2010-09-19, 12:53 PM
Well the DM seems to have canceled the game. But I wanted to finish and post these builds anyway, using what I know he would allow, and what I expect would be ok. And of course I hope to get some feedback.
-Both builds are obviously built around an ubercharger base, which would have pretty much ended by level 9 given the DMs restriction on level dipping and a lack of anything interesting in later levels of fighter.
-So 1 variant included the exotic weapon master who eventually goes to Horizon Walker, another went abjurant champion to eldritch knight.
The Exotic Weapon master is based around the assumption that Deadly Concussion provides an exception to the rule that you can't sunder armor worn. Should a DM nix that idea, that'll free up 3 feats and 2 levels (Exotic Weap Prof, Deadly concussion, Weapon Focus, and 2 levels in EWM)
The builds are intended to be usable from level one, rather than a build like Jack B Quick which rather sucks until level 7 or 8, and doesn't get good until 12 or later.

************************************************** ******* *************************


Fighter 1, Bard 1, Fighter 2-8 (could swap fighter 1 and bard 1 for more skill points), EWM 2, Ranger 1, Horizon 8
Ftr8/Brd1/EWM2/Rgr1/HW8
Bab 19 Fort: 17 Ref: 8 Will: 6
Str 17 18 19 20
Dex-12
Con-15
Int-14
Wis-11
Cha-10
Feats:
1) Power attack
H1)Cleave
F1)Imp Bullrush
F2)Imp Sunder
3) Deadly concussion
F4) EWP: Minotaur Greathammer
6)leap attack
F6)Shocktrooper
F8) Combat brute
9)Weapon focus
EWM Tricks: Exotic sunder, Trip attack
12)Endurance
15)
18)
Horizon walker terrain: Underground, Desert, Plains, Mountain, Aquatic,
Planar terrain: Shifting, Aligned (Evil), Cavernous
items: (partial wishlist for later levels)
+X Valorous Smoking Minotaur greathammer (+2 cost) +3k for adamantine, +5k for starmetal, +9K for gold/platinum (which will require another +1 of magic enhancements, or a feat), everbright
Belt of giant strength and belt of battle
Strongarm bracers
+X Armor (probably breastplate) mithril is +4k, Blueshine/durable, soulfire, retaliation, healing,
Custom boots of haste. As the spell, 5 rounds per use, infinite use. Approx 27k
Hewards haversack
Cloak of resistance

Ftr6/Wiz1/AbjChamp/5/EK8
Bab 19, CL 19 (21 for abjuration), Fort: 12 Ref: 5 Will: 10 and spells per day as a 13th level abjurer
Fighter 1 (armored mage ACF), Abjurer 1 (immediate magic ACF), Fighter 2-6, Abjurant champ 5, and Eldritch knight 8?
-There's probably other, easy entry Gish PrC's for me, but I can't think of any.
-Losing my familiar via immediate magic might suck, but weakening the spells coming at me should help make up for the sucky reflex save I'll have.
Str 1718
Dex-12
Con-15
Int-14 15 16 17 18
Wis-11
Cha-10
Feats:
1) Power attack
H1)Cleave
F1)Imp Bullrush
F2)Imp Sunder
3) Collegiate wizard (learns 4 spells per level, rather than 2, right?)
F4) Leap attack
6) Combat casting
F6)Shocktrooper
9)Combat Brute
12)Magic disruption (CM)
EK1)
15)
18) Mystic backlash (CM)
-It would be nice if Abj Champ's extended and swift abjuration class abilities let me qualify for feats as if I had the extend or quicken metamagic feats. Even if I could only use those other metamagics on my abjuration spells.
Spells:
All 0th,
9 1st: Shield, Detect Magic, Read magic, Nerveskitter, fist of stone
8 2nd: Wraithstrike, rope trick
8 3rd: Dispel magic, Suggestion, Haste, Invisibility, Fly
8 4th: Luminous armor, Dimension Door, Polymorph
8 5th: Acid Sheath, baleful polymorph, teleport
8 6th: Contingency, Greater Dispel, Disintegrate
8 7th:Energy Absorption, Force Cage, Limited Wish, Prismatic Spray, Reverse Gravity

items:
+X Valorous Smoking Greatsword (+2 cost) +3k for adamantine, +5k for starmetal, +9K for gold/platinum (which will require another +1 of magic enhancements, or a feat)
Belt of giant strength, combined with something.
Backup slashing weapon
Backup ranged weapon
+1 Light Armor (not for the AC, but as something to hold extra enchantments). Soulfire, Agility, durable, retaliation, healing (greater)
Headband of intellect
Tunic of steady spellcasting
Custom boots of haste. As the spell, 5 rounds per use, infinite use. Approx 27k
Amulet of natural armor +1
Hewards haversack
Cloak of resistance

Question:
Scintillating scales is an abjuration spell that turns my natural armor bonus into a deflection bonus. So even if my natural armor bonus is from an item, I should still get the +5 from abjurant champion right?

-Is there a way for a wizard to learn a normally divine spell? I was flipping through some Faerun books last night, and found a few divine abjurations that work almost as well as Luminous armor, but without the ability damage. I'd swear I also saw an arcane spell in one of them that would do the job too, but can't remember which book I saw it in.

-I've got a lot of spells known to fill out here as well. I'll look for the Swiftblade and Abj Champ handbooks later, that should be enough to fill me up.