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StreetPizza
2010-09-23, 05:29 PM
Howdy, playgrounders!

Like it says on the tin, I'm looking to make a build centered on the Three Mountains feat from Races of Stone for great justice nauseating power, so here are my first thoughts on the build:

I could probably make something work with the pre-reqs. Power Attack and Improved Bull Rush, for example, might work with Dungeoncrasher Fighter ACF and a Powerful Build race to make something that Knockbacks targets into walls for damage and stuns them at the same time. What concerns me is Cleave. What feats can I take to get any use out of it? Are there any other feats I could take in its place to fulfill the pre-req like Stone Power does for Power Attack?

At the moment, I'm thinking maybe a Goliath (Spirit Lion Totem) Barbarian/Fighter/Warblade/(Maybe) ToB PrC might do the trick. Don't worry, I'll be looking fairly extensively on Person_Man's Optimizing Power Attack (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7165087) thread for some info on this.

For maneuvers, I'm not quite sure what to get asides from the jump-based ones from Tiger Claw. That being said, I'm probably not going with mounts and Spirited Charge ridiculousness because of jump-pouncery.

Anyways, here's the build's first draft. Feel free to comment and criticize.

Mineral Warrior Goliath Barbarian 2/Fighter 6/Warblade (6 or 7)/Not quite sure what PrC to put here, if any

ACFs Used: Spirit Lion Totem, Wolf Totem, Whirling Frenzy

Levels 19 and 20 are assuming the DM allows LA buyoff from UA.

Flaw: Power Attack
Flaw: Cleave
1: 1st Level Feat: Improved Bull Rush; Barbarian 1: Spirit Lion Pounce
2: Barbarian 2: Wolf Totem Improved Trip
3: 3rd Level Feat: Knockback; Fighter 1: Weapon Focus (Greatclub)
6: 6th Level Feat: Three Mountains Style; Fighter 4: Shock Trooper
8: Fighter 6: 8d6 of Bull Rush-y goodness
9: 9th Level Feat: Battle Jump
12: 12th Level Feat: Leap Attack
13: Warblade 5: Improved Initiative
15: 15th Level Feat: Improved Trip
18: 18th Level Feat: Knock-down

From here, it looks like the usual combat action for this character is "Sudden Leap-assisted Jumping Pounce Power Attack! Oh, did you trip? Another attack!" at the same time as "Knockback-Knockback-Knockback-Knockback!" Yes, I do intend to call out my attacks in traditional Large Ham style if I ever find a DM willing to let me play this cheeseburger (geddit? Cheese + beefy character?).

The club will, of course, be Valorous. Also, what are my equipment options for spontaneously creating walls into which to knock targets?

EDIT: Combat Brute feat chain added for 15th and 18th level feats; I already have one of the two pre-reqs and heyo, more power to Power Attack and a sundering cleave to neuter equipment-dependent enemies too.

EDIT^2: Just realized that Spirit Lion's Pounce comes at 1st instead of 3rd level. Shaved off 2 levels of Barbarian to make room for Initiator levels.

EDIT^3: Switched out Combat Brute for Knock-down, got a second level of Barbarian for Wolf Totem Improved Trip.

EDIT^4: Whoops! I must have misread the entry on Wolf Totem Barbarian. Thanks for the correction.

Marnath
2010-09-23, 06:00 PM
I can't speak as to the effectiveness of the build, not having access to whatever book dungeoncrasher is in, but I do have to add that you need to get your friendly sorceror/wizard friend to learn Greater Mighty Wallop to increase the base damage die. :smallsmile:

StreetPizza
2010-09-23, 06:19 PM
Whoa. Just read Greater Mighty Wallop. Nice stuff, I says. If the high-optimization game this character gets into has a Wizard/Sorc, I'm definitely gonna beg him/her to keep this on me at all times. Either that or magic item fiddling.

Also, Dungeoncrasher Fighter is there because at 6th level, it gets the ability to do 8d6+3xStr Mod damage to any creature you successfully bull rush into a wall. Combine that with Knockback, which grants free bull rushes on a successful Power Attack hit (and a bonus to the opposed strength check :smallamused:), Shock Trooper, which lets me drain my AC instead of to-hit for power attack, and something that lets me create walls and stuff happens.

Thurbane
2010-09-23, 06:59 PM
This thread might offer some ideas: Not called GREAT Club for nothing (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49522)

Marnath
2010-09-23, 07:28 PM
Dungeoncrasher Fighter is there because at 6th level, it gets the ability to do 8d6+3xStr Mod damage to any creature you successfully bull rush into a wall.

O.o
.
..
And in exchange you give up what? It's an acf right? No wonder people on these boards love that combo, if thats what dungeoncrasher and shock trooper are. :smalleek:

*edit: Can you get the GM to say a buddy holding a tower shield counts as a wall, since it provides cover? If so, take leadership and get a cohort. :smallcool:

Forged Fury
2010-09-23, 07:31 PM
2nd Level & 6th Level Bonus feats (corrected). It might be superior to getting the feats, but you need to be built correctly to really make use of it. Plus it helps the Fighter suck ever so slightly less.

Edit: For equipment, spend a bunch of money for a Barrier Shield from MIC to create instant Walls of Force in any environment. There's probably a much easier way to do it, but the first thing that popped into my head.

Dusk Eclipse
2010-09-23, 07:32 PM
O.o
.
..
And in exchange you give up what? It's an acf right? No wonder people on these boards love that combo, if thats what dungeoncrasher and shock trooper are. :smalleek:

*edit: Can you get the GM to say a buddy holding a tower shield counts as a wall, since it provides cover? If so, take leadership and get a cohort. :smallcool:

level 2 & 6 bonus feats

StreetPizza
2010-09-23, 08:04 PM
Thanks for the link! I read through the thread and saw a few gems, namely Brutal Strike, Overwhelming Assault, and Knock-down. Here are my thoughts on them:

Brutal Strike: Given enough Power Attack damage, I can probably make the DC on this one pretty high. However, this, like Three Mountains, is entirely dependent on the enemy having vital organs for me to smash into pulp. If the DM starts throwing undead and constructs at me, I'd have two useless feats instead of two awesome ones, so I'd really like to minimize my losses if that happens, and nauseated beats sickened for me.

Knock-down: This, I like. It works as a suitable replacement for Combat Brute/Improved Sunder with this and Improved Trip, but the decision's a tough one: with Combat Brute, I can apply my super-charge damage to sunder more or less anything, but Knock-down would win if there was nothing to sunder.

Overwhelming Assault: I'm tempted to grab myself an actual high-level feat, especially one that gives my melee to-hit a cumulative +8 combined with Knock-down, but (and this also applies to Knock-down) I'm just not that scared of the target running; that just opens them up for another charge attack.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-09-23, 09:25 PM
You don't need Combat Expertise for Knock-Down, just Improved Trip. If you get Wolf Totem Barbarian (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#wolfTotemClassFeatures ) 2 you can get Knock-Down and still have Int as a dump stat. Since Wolf Totem still gets Fast Movement you can still use the Lion spiritual totem ACF in CC to get Pounce. Also, Whirling Frenzy (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/classFeatureVariants.htm#rageVariantWhirlingFrenzy ) allows you to benefit from Three Mountains before you have a +6 BAB.

Edit: Ability Focus (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsterFeats.htm#abilityFocus) in the good ol' core MM can give Three Mountains a +2 DC.

Thurbane
2010-09-23, 09:46 PM
I'm not sure if you can apply Ability Focus to a feat...I asked once, in relation to Stunning Fist, and the prevailing wisdom seemed to be "no".

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-09-23, 10:21 PM
I'm not sure if you can apply Ability Focus to a feat...I asked once, in relation to Stunning Fist, and the prevailing wisdom seemed to be "no".

"Add +2 to the DC for all saving throws against the special attack on which the creature focuses."

Any special ability with a purely offensive use would be listed in a creature's statistic block under Special Attacks. Three Mountains grants an offensive ability, that ability permits a saving throw, therefore you can use Ability Focus with it. The same goes for Stunning Fist, if a creature has any special ability which is offensive in nature and allows for a saving throw, that creature can take Ability Focus to improve its DC. This is the feat's intended use, and there is absolutely nothing that even implies otherwise. Furthermore:

I noticed that the Ability Focus feat in SS is listed as a
general feat instead of a monstrous feat. To me, that implies
that some class abilities are considered special attacks.
Which qualify, if this isnít a typo?

You can use the Ability Focus feat with pretty much
anything that you can use to hurt or hinder a foe and that allows
a saving throw. A short list includes the monkís stunning
attack, the assassinís death attack, and the bardís fascinate
ability. Things that donít allow saving throws, such as sneak
attacks, arenít affected.

StreetPizza
2010-09-23, 10:24 PM
Just looked through a few sourcebooks and realized that I'm an idiot for not knowing that Improved Trip gives me a free attack on a successful trip. I'm gonna follow Biffoniacus_Furiou's advice and switch Combat Brute/Improved Sunder for Improved Trip/Knock Down and get that second level of Barbarian for Wolf Totem's free Combat Expertise. Besides, with Powerful Build, I'll end up with a +8 to Sunder for having a large (maybe even larger if I can get Greater Mighty Wallop), two-handed weapon anyways. Also, Whirling Frenzy's additional attack looks to be right up my alley of repeatedly hitting things with a big stick more often.

EDIT: Not sure if I have enough room for Ability Focus, though, seeing as how I'm really not willing to part with any of my damage multipliers. :smallfrown:

Marnath
2010-09-23, 10:26 PM
Two handed weapon? Three mountains requires a mace in each hand, doesn't it? Or am I thinking of the other mace tactical feat?

StreetPizza
2010-09-23, 10:37 PM
Three Mountains just needs you to hit the target twice, regardless of whether or not those two hits are with the same or different weapons. Plenty of other cool beans tactical feats that do need two weapons, though.

Actually, they might all be TWF-dependent except for Three Mountains. :smalleek:

Marnath
2010-09-23, 10:40 PM
Three Mountains just needs you to hit the target twice, regardless of whether or not those two hits are with the same or different weapons. Plenty of other cool beans tactical feats that do need two weapons, though.

Actually, they might all be TWF-dependent except for Three Mountains. :smalleek:

The one I'm thinking about uses a light or heavy mace in each hand. As far as non-twf tactical feats goes, Turtle Dart uses a single weapon.

StreetPizza
2010-09-23, 10:49 PM
Found it. Lightning Mace from CWar.

Marnath
2010-09-23, 10:53 PM
I seem to have misplaced that one. Whats it do again? It stuns on two successful hits right?

StreetPizza
2010-09-23, 10:57 PM
It gives you an additional attack every time you make an attack roll that threatens a critical at the same attack bonus. Useful if you could lump on enough crit range mods, but requires Combat Reflexes, among other things.

Marnath
2010-09-23, 10:59 PM
Thats not as cool as I remembered it being, since mace crit ranges leave a lot to be desired. That style would be worth a lot more if it used scimitars.

Gralamin
2010-09-23, 11:06 PM
Aptitude Weapon (Tome of Battle). Now weapon type doesn't matter.

Person_Man
2010-09-23, 11:13 PM
1) Knockback + Knock-Down = Enemy across the room and Prone. Finish the rest of your attacks against anyone standing next to you. Basically you're a bowling ball (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4108954&postcount=22).

2) Knock-Down + Three Mountains Style = Enemy Prone in front of you incapable of doing anything but trying to stand up or crawl away. One of many lock-down combos (and mathematically not a particularly great one)

3) Knockback + Three Mountains Style = Enemy across the room, and you can't hit him a second time. Enemy acts normally on his turn, and has the safety of some distance between you and him.

So I would go with combo 1 or 2, but not 3.

I would also note that while Dungeoncrasher is freaking awesome at ECL 6-12ish, beyond that you can generate 50-100 damage per attack pretty easily with your standard Power Attack multipliers and/or Tome of Battle maneuvers. Anything beyond that means your damage becomes so absurd that your DM has to start making your enemies have ridiculous hit points and AC in order to challenge you. So the added bonus of 8d6 + Str*3 loses it's importance, and pushing your enemy away from you is counter productive to completing a full attack against him.

May I ask, what ECL are you actually going to play this build at?

StreetPizza
2010-09-23, 11:25 PM
May I ask, what ECL are you actually going to play this build at?

I'm still working on finding a game that would accept this build, so... yeah, ECL isn't determined yet. :smallfrown:

As for the Knockback feat, I wasn't thinking of actually knocking anyone back, but instead summoning a wall of some sort behind my target to keep them from moving during my full attack. Then, I could effectively have Knockback, Knock-down, and Three Mountains all at once. I got this idea from the Iron Chef Optimization Contest--one of the entries was a Dwarf Were-Spider with Knockback, the Dungeoncrasher ACF, and I think some kind of wall-summoning schtick. Maybe it was a huge Earth Elemental?

Err... there are magic items that can summon walls, right?

Marnath
2010-09-23, 11:47 PM
Do you have the MiC? I think there's a bracers that lets you make walls of force 3/day.

StreetPizza
2010-09-24, 12:16 AM
Yessir, and I found it too: Ring of the Forcewall. The wall of force it erects only lasts a few rounds, though.

Also, I found the post I was looking for: Old Lob (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8441606). Unfortunately, the whole "Earth Elemental as a mobile wall" thing requires the Stonelord PrC just to summon, so without another way to get that Elemental, I'm better off taking Person_Man's advice and ditching the Dungeoncrasher Fighter ACF. On the other hand, this frees up three feat slots, finally giving me the feat space I need for 6 levels of a good PrC like Runescarred Berserker, Frenzied Berserker, or Champion of Llanfairpwllgwyngyll Gwynharwyf.

I'll probably have it up by tomorrow afternoon. Now is sleepy time.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-09-24, 03:25 AM
1) Knockback + Knock-Down = Enemy across the room and Prone. Finish the rest of your attacks against anyone standing next to you. Basically you're a bowling ball (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4108954&postcount=22).

2) Knock-Down + Three Mountains Style = Enemy Prone in front of you incapable of doing anything but trying to stand up or crawl away. One of many lock-down combos (and mathematically not a particularly great one)

3) Knockback + Three Mountains Style = Enemy across the room, and you can't hit him a second time. Enemy acts normally on his turn, and has the safety of some distance between you and him.

So I would go with combo 1 or 2, but not 3.

I would also note that while Dungeoncrasher is freaking awesome at ECL 6-12ish, beyond that you can generate 50-100 damage per attack pretty easily with your standard Power Attack multipliers and/or Tome of Battle maneuvers. Anything beyond that means your damage becomes so absurd that your DM has to start making your enemies have ridiculous hit points and AC in order to challenge you. So the added bonus of 8d6 + Str*3 loses it's importance, and pushing your enemy away from you is counter productive to completing a full attack against him.

May I ask, what ECL are you actually going to play this build at?

You don't have to use Knockback every time you hit (it says you can make a bull rush, not that you must). You can hit them once, Knock-Down if you have it but not knock them back, and make a second attack to use Three Mountains and with that one you can use Knockback.


Note that Knock-Down does not give you an extra attack like Improved Trip normally would. You either use your attack to make a trip attempt, and if successful Improved Trip gives you a chance to deal damage, or you make a normal attack and if it does enough damage you can make a trip check to knock them prone. "If you trip an opponent in melee combat, you immediately get a melee attack against that opponent as if you hadnít used your attack for the trip attempt." If you don't use an attack to make a trip attempt, you don't get a free attack from Improved Trip.

Greenish
2010-09-24, 08:48 AM
second level of Barbarian for Wolf Totem's free Combat Expertise Improved Trip.Fixed (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#wolfTotemClassFeatures ).

Also, using Biff's interpretation of Knock-Down, it becomes a trap. With just Imp. Trip, you can trip with touch attack, then hit normally with +4 to hit (prone enemy), while with Knock-Down you'd have to hit normal AC to deal damage, then trip. Consult your DM (if you find a game :smallwink:).

Person_Man
2010-09-24, 10:14 AM
You don't have to use Knockback every time you hit (it says you can make a bull rush, not that you must). You can hit them once, Knock-Down if you have it but not knock them back, and make a second attack to use Three Mountains and with that one you can use Knockback.

That is definitely true. You could Charge someone, hit them on the first attack, hit them on the second attack, and then Bull Rush them. But that's "giving up" a free Bull Rush. It's an inefficiency which further reduces your chances of success. And in general, you want there to be a synergy between your feat choices, especially when your build is wasting 8 levels on Fighter. In this case, there is very little such synergy.



I'm still working on finding a game that would accept this build, so... yeah, ECL isn't determined yet. :smallfrown:

Not to worry. We can throw out a bunch of options, and you can play it when you find a group.

It seems like you're wedded to Knockback and Dungeoncrasher - yes? If that's the case, then my suggestion is that you don't need to bother with creating walls. Doing so wastes an action. (Though if you can convince a party member to do it - more power to you). Instead, you may wish to consider:

Flight: Get wings or a ring or whatnot. Knockback your enemy from directly above him into the floor when needed.
Shock Trooper: You're taking this anyway to improve Power Attack. Don't overlook the two Bull Rush related maneuvers: The ability to move your target one square to the left or right for each square that you Bull Rush them back, which should ensure that you can knock an enemy into a wall when in a dungeon. You can also knock enemies into each other, knocking both Prone (although living beings don't count as "objects" - remember that dead bodies do!). This can be used to hilariously awesome effect.
Free Movement (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103358): Something like Travel Devotion or Hustle or Dimension Hop allows you to move both before AND after your attack, which gives you a lot more flexibility to "steer" your enemy around the battlefield with Shock Trooper, effect as many enemies as possible, and keep them in your threated area.
Combat Reflexes + reach weapon: Superior to clubs/maces, in that when enemies move towards you to attack you can smack them away.
Shield of the Severed Hand: Gives you a free Bull Rush when an enemy attacks you and misses. A great way to prevent full attacks, and potentially knock them into their friends or a wall. (Complete Divine pg 102 or MIC)
Karmic Strike or Robilar's Gambit: The latter is stronger. But either is great when combined with Knockback for the same reason as the Shield of the Severed Hand. Comp Warrior and PHBII.
Brutal Surge weapons: Free Bull Rush when you hit an enemy, usable 1 + Cha times per day IIRC. If you end up mixing a Cha based class into your build, this is a nice piece of extra insurance for when you miss a Knockback attempt (MIC).
Akkabarís Battleblade Ring: Blade Barrier once per day. Although a total waste of resources (25,920 gp) and an action (it takes a Standard Action to use), and really something your Cleric should be doing for you, there are few feelings as satisfying as Bull Rushing your enemy through a Blade Barrier and into a wall. Playerís Guide to Faerun pg 122.
If you're playing at ECL 12ish or lower, consider strait Barbarian 1/Fighter 11, and replace Three Mountains Style with Imperious Command (Drow of the Underdark) and the Fighter add (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060327a)on that lets you Demoralize as a Swift Action.
If you're playing at ECL 16ish or lower, consider Half-Giant Fighter 6/Warmind 10. This lets you replace Barbarian with Psionic Lion's Charge, adds Hustle and Psionic Hop to your movement options, and gives you Expansion - which drastically increases your reach and opposed checks.


Now if you really want to optimize Three Mountains instead, then my suggestion is that you do your best to lock down the enemy instead of Bull Rushing them away from you. Consider:

Knock-Down: You already know this. But just to reiterate, a Prone enemy who is also under a status effect like Nauseated is pretty much screwed.
Improved Grapple -> Scorpions Grasp: A Grappled enemy who is Nauseated can't escape. The only issue is that his friends will have an easier time hitting you, so this combo is only useful if you've already thinned the crowd and are down to the last few tough enemies.
Other status effects: Three Mountains is only 1 Save per enemy that you hit 2+ times per round per turn (which is why I'm not a fan of it). You want your enemies to be making a Save for every attack. So pile them on. I'm particularly fond of Daze effects (Ironsoul Forgemaster, Dazing Strike maneuver, Ragewild Fighter, etc). But the more the better. You should also look for magical weapon enchantments that impose Save or Lose/Suck effects.
Sand Snare: If you successfully Trip and enemy in an area of sand/loose dirt/etc, they must take a Full Round Action followed by a Move action to stand up. No Save. If they're Nauseated, they basically can't act. Working with someone who has a Bottle of Endless or sand creating spells. Sandstorm pg 52.
Debuffs: A Binder, Hexblade, Blackguard, Paladin of Tyranny, etc. Debuffs can seriously improve your Save effects.


Hope this helps.

StreetPizza
2010-09-24, 07:42 PM
Okay, here's the revised feat build. I'm removing the Fighter levels and Knockback and saving them for another build.

Flaw: Power Attack
Flaw: Cleave
1: 1st Level Feat: Improved Bull Rush; Barbarian 1: Spirit Lion Pounce
2: Barbarian 2: Wolf Totem Improved Trip
3: 3rd Level Feat: Weapon Focus (Greatclub)
6: 6th Level Feat: Three Mountains Style
7: Warblade 5: Improved Initiative
9: 9th Level Feat: Battle Jump
12: 12th Level Feat: Leap Attack
15: 15th Level Feat: Shock Trooper
18: 18th Level Feat: Knock-down

Unfortunately, this leaves me at a loss for a prestige class and without fighter, all I have is Barbarian 2/Warblade X. What if, disregarding multiclassing penalties, I took a 2-level dip in Fighter for the feats to clear out some space for pre-req feats? How does Barbarian 2/Warblade 6/Fighter 2/Champion of Gwynharwyf 10 with these feats sound?

Or, for that matter, Frenzied Berserker 10?

Also, I could maybe change the race to Human now that I don't need large size/powerful build for Knockback, make the first class Warblade, and then take the Spirit Lion-Wolf Totem Barbarian and Fighter 2 level dips. That wouldn't result in any multiclassing penalties and gives me an extra feat.

Edit: I could spend that extra feat on something like Brutal Strike. Weehee.

Edit 2: Okay, finished the feat build.

Mineral Warrior Human (assuming LA buyoff)
Warblade 6/Fighter 2/Spirit Lion Wolf Totem Whirling Frenzy Washer-Dryer Combo Barbarian 2/Champion of Gwynharwyf 10

Flaw: Power Attack
Flaw: Cleave
1: 1st Level Feat: Battle Jump; Human Bonus Feat: Knight of Stars
3: 3rd Level Feat: Weapon Focus (Greatclub)
5: Warblade 5: Improved Initiative
6: 6th Level Feat: Leap Attack
7: Fighter 1: Shock Trooper
8: Barbarian 1: Spirit Lion Pounce
9: 9th Level Feat: Righteous Wrath; Fighter 2: Improved Bull Rush
10: Barbarian 2: Wolf Totem Improved Trip
12: 12th Level Feat: Three Mountains Style
15: 15th Level Feat: Brutal Strike
18: 18th Level Feat: Knock-down

I'll start looking for good items to supplement this build.

How good is the Paralyzing effect from BoED? +2 for a DC 17 will save or be paralyzed for 10 turns, save ends, effect.