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Smeggedoff
2011-01-07, 06:53 PM
...In ways other than "not taking it"

I'm looking at creating a level 5 character for a Shackled city game and happened to find myself looking at the Diopsid from the Dragon magazine compendium.

Who doesn't love giant beetle men amirite?

Since they get all sorts of racials towards if I thought I'd dust off the ol' dual wielding combat-guy

However I'm aware that TWF is considered sub par.

So without resorting to ToB, I'm looking for a decent Whirling Frenzy Barbarian/Fighter build (potentially building into Champion of Gwynharwyf) that gets the most out of blatting things with a pair of large fullblades/greatswords

(I'll also point out that Frenzied berserker is right out due to a silly campaign where two players were playing them)

If necessary, I might be able to convince the DM to houserule TWF if a good enough argument is provided, but if it's not necessary I'd rather not cross that bridge.

Thanks Playground
Smeggedoff

Urpriest
2011-01-07, 07:03 PM
It's not horrible, actually. Essentially you're sinking a -4 penalty to attacks for the ability to get full Power Attack while TWFing on all attacks. Revenant Blade is a better way to do that, but it's also generally viewed as much cheesier. Go for standard charger optimization and you should be fine, especially with the strong Champion of Gwynharwyf PrC.

Smeggedoff
2011-01-07, 07:29 PM
Assume I don't know how to optimise a charger...

I'm also now aware that my DM makes frowny faces at lion-Totem Barbarion, so getting pounce there is a no no (That's assuming you mean the charge action not the horse + lance stuff that turned up when I googled charger builds)

Urpriest
2011-01-07, 07:46 PM
Assume I don't know how to optimise a charger...

I'm also now aware that my DM makes frowny faces at lion-Totem Barbarion, so getting pounce there is a no no (That's assuming you mean the charge action not the horse + lance stuff that turned up when I googled charger builds)

The horse+lance stuff is also the charge action actually, but it's not the direction you'd be going.

If Lion Totem is frowned upon, you'll want some other method of getting a full attack and moving in the same round, as otherwise you get much less benefit from lugging around that extra weapon. Person Man has a handbook of melee combos that you will want to look into...unfortunately, most other ways to get pounce are on the cheesy end of things.

Should you be able to get pounce, you'll want the following feats and their prerequisites: Shock Trooper and Leap Attack. One of them lets you take the penalty to attack from Power Attack to your AC rather than your attack bonus, and the other multiplies the damage you do with Power Attack. Both of these only occur on a charge, which is why you need some form of pounce.

Basically, two-handed weapons are better than one-handed and light weapons because you get a good Power Attack ratio with them, but you can't take advantage of that if you're constantly missing, which you will be if you try to Power Attack in the normal way with that -4 penalty. An alternative is making your attacks as touch attacks, but the ways for your character to do that are even cheesier in general. Though come to think of it, a dip in Pyrokineticist would be an interesting option, depending on how your DM interprets the whip ability as working.

Smeggedoff
2011-01-07, 08:00 PM
Kewl
Martial study will get me Pouncing Strike once per encounter, but this is pretty feat intensive already.

TWF tree
Leap attack & Shock Trooper
Martial Study
Entry to Gwynharwyf (2 feats)

I'm thinking I'm definitely going to have to take a 2 level dip into fighter for the bonus feats after all.

I'll go check for person man's guide now. Thanks for the help

true_shinken
2011-01-07, 08:08 PM
Sadly, the optimal choice here is Lion Totem. Charging is really really fitting for a Barbarian, after all.
I believe at level 5 your idea will not work very well. You're taking a very high penalty to hit - you would get what, Power Attack from it? An extra penalty to hit? That is hard to work around without being a gish.
Oversized weapons are probably not a good idea. Whirling frenzy does not match very well with the most pounce-like abilities your DM would probably accept if he frowns on the lion totem (Snow Tiger Berserker, Two Weapon Pounce).
At this levels, you could use items, though. The bad news is that most good movement items take up the feet slot. Quicksilver Boots, Anklets of Translocation, Boots of Big Stepping... Bolt Shirt is simply too expensive for youd budget.
Hidden Talent (dimension hop) is a good feat choice. 2/day, teleport 10ft. Getting Tumble high enough to make a 10-ft step is very hard at this level. I'd still grab it as a class skill from the Cityscape web-enhancement, though.
Gauntlets of War from Complete Champion are very very good for TWF. +3 damage for 4k is very very tasty.
Dragonfang weapons (from Draconomicon) are another +1 to damage for 600gp. And hey, they are freaking cool. Add least crystals of energy assaults for 300gp, for +1 damage. There, that's +5 damage on each attack, before Strenght modifiers. With this, you should do fine with two light weapons or a double weapon.

If you are set on dual-wielding oversized weapons, your best bet is to convince someone else to play a Bard optimizing Inspire Courage so that you'll hit every now and then.

tyckspoon
2011-01-07, 08:12 PM
I would probably try for this, if your DM is accepting of some of the pieces:

Barbarian 2/Fighter 2 (..'cause with what you're doing, you need the feats. Unfortunately. You could do Barb 1/Fight 3, but Barb 2 provides a somewhat useful trait and Fighter 3 does not. See if you can use the animal totem ACFs in Unearthed Arcana- Wolf Totem for prereq free Improved Trip is pretty awesome.)

Feats:
Power Attack
Quick Draw
Two-Weapon Fighting
Improved Bull Rush (if you want to go in for Shock Trooper, this is the pre-req.)
Carry a +1 Valorous (whatever) and a Masterwork (Whatever.) Normally, you just have the Valorous weapon readied. When you get into a fight, you charge somebody with it, dealing [(weapon damage)+2.5xStr (Savage Species rule for using more than 2 hands on a weapon)] x2 (Valorous weapon property- double damage on a charge.) Then, next round, you either charge off somewhere else if you killed your target, or you Rage, Quick Draw your other weapon, and begin slice-and-dicing.

Future improvement would be getting Leap Attack, Shock Trooper, Improved Two Weapon Fighting, and Two-Weapon Pounce (since your DM probably isn't going to like you going for a lot of the other ways to get real pounce or free movement.) If you're willing to suck up another 2 levels of Fighter, you could get two of those at level 6, one with your level feat and the other with your Fighter bonus. Level 6 is incidentally basically when you can qualify for all of those.

Edit: Oh, and you'd probably want Extra Rage in there somewhere as well. Try for Flaws or at least ask about re-training, since if the game lasts long enough for you to level into a decent number of rage/day then Extra Rage loses almost all of its value.

Smeggedoff
2011-01-07, 08:15 PM
The only reason I'm talking about oversized weapons is because of the Diopsid Race

+1 level adjustment, Can wield weapons 1 size category larger than normal, can wield a two handed weapon in both hands with no penalty apart from the whole "light weapon in off-hand" thing and they get to ignore the Dex prerequisite for any feat with "two-Weapon" in the name

They get some other stuff too but this is the main Jazz in respect to a two-weapon build

I'll prod my DM, see if I can't talk my way into Lion-Totem barbarian anyway but I don't hold out much hope :-/

BenInHB
2011-01-07, 08:26 PM
I would probably try for this, if your DM is accepting of some of the pieces:

Barbarian 2/Fighter 2 (..'cause with what you're doing, you need the feats. Unfortunately. You could do Barb 1/Fight 3, but Barb 2 provides a somewhat useful trait and Fighter 3 does not. See if you can use the animal totem ACFs in Unearthed Arcana- Wolf Totem for prereq free Improved Trip is pretty awesome.)

Feats:
Power Attack
Quick Draw
Two-Weapon Fighting
Improved Bull Rush (if you want to go in for Shock Trooper, this is the pre-req.)
Carry a +1 Valorous (whatever) and a Masterwork (Whatever.) Normally, you just have the Valorous weapon readied. When you get into a fight, you charge somebody with it, dealing [(weapon damage)+2.5xStr (Savage Species rule for using more than 2 hands on a weapon)] x2 (Valorous weapon property- double damage on a charge.) Then, next round, you either charge off somewhere else if you killed your target, or you Rage, Quick Draw your other weapon, and begin slice-and-dicing.


This is a solid fall back route to go if you can't get pounce.

Smeggedoff
2011-01-07, 08:34 PM
Cool
Thanks Tyckspoon, I would have thanked you sooner but I don't want to double post

also, reply from my GM regarding Pounce


Pounce is a broken powerful ability for any melee combatant. Especially two handed wepon specialists.

Lion totem barbarian is just pure munchkin cheese.

People are prepared to take a +1 la template just to get it. Lion totem gets you that and more.

Frankly, feral template is considered munchkin cheese. Lion totem Munchkin Cheese Plus.


Summary- Just because it is extra good for you compared to other melee types, really does not make a good argument for letting you have it.

Nertz

true_shinken
2011-01-07, 09:45 PM
also, reply from my GM regarding Pounce

So casters can get color spray, glitterdust, celerity and melee can't have nice things. :smallmad:
Actually, this is good news. You can have pounce, you just have to work extra hard for it. Go for prc that grants pounce. Singh Rager (Oriental Adventures) gets it at ECL 11, requires two crappy feats to get in and gets lion flavor. It requires lawful alignment, though, so you wouldn't be able to play a raging barbarian (it does give you rage, though). :smallannoyed:
Other alternative is Psychic Warrior. Psionic Lion's Charge is a good thing; since it requires both a swift action and a few power points, it's a lot better balanced than Lion Totem Barbarian (even though I made that joke up there, I'm afraid your DM has a point - lion totem is just too good compared to any other class feature a melee class gains at level 1).

Greenish
2011-01-07, 10:21 PM
So casters can get color spray, glitterdust, celerity and melee can't have nice things. :smallmad:
Actually, this is good news. You can have pounce, you just have to work extra hard for it. Go for prc that grants pounce. Singh Rager (Oriental Adventures) gets it at ECL 11, requires two crappy feats to get in and gets lion flavor. It requires lawful alignment, though, so you wouldn't be able to play a raging barbarian (it does give you rage, though). :smallannoyed:Ki Shout isn't actually that bad, at least when you get to do it as a free action. That it only works for weaker enemies is a bummer, but 2d6 rounds of panicked to every enemy within 30' when you do a full attack is pretty sweet when you're cutting down armies. :smallcool:

Smeggedoff
2011-01-07, 10:30 PM
Psychic warrior O.O oooooh
Dang that'd be another feat down the drain for teh floaty skittery crystal of shiny... maybe

So something like
1 Diopsid/1Barbarian/4 Psychic Warrior/1 Barbarian/XChampion of Gwynharwyf/Y something?

Unless there are any decent barbarian-friendly psionic prestige classes out there...

Any other prestige classes that grant pounce?

true_shinken
2011-01-07, 11:04 PM
Unless there are any decent barbarian-friendly psionic prestige classes out there...
Psionics itself is not Barbarian friendly. You can't manifest while raging, unfortunatelly.

Smeggedoff
2011-01-07, 11:25 PM
Ah Nertz
Would it be worth dipping Ranger to make use of a wand of Non-psionic Lions pounce?
It'd keep my BAB intact for one thing.
But Barbarian X/Ranger1/Fighter 2/ChampionY seems a bit fruit salad-y

Urpriest
2011-01-07, 11:27 PM
Ah Nertz
Would it be worth dipping Ranger to make use of a wand of Non-psionic Lions pounce?
It'd keep my BAB intact for one thing.
But Barbarian X/Ranger1/Fighter 2/ChampionY seems a bit fruit salad-y

Ranger 2 would get you Two-Weapon Fighting.

BenInHB
2011-01-07, 11:28 PM
If you are planning on multi-classing Ardent is superior to Psychic Warrior. You will have access to better powers faster and have more power points. The way Ardent gains powers in a different manner than other classes that makes multi-classing and practiced manifester a lot better. Plus mantle bonuses are pretty cool, the only thing you miss out on is the psychic warrior bonus feats.

For the build your describing i would look at the Freedom mantle and Conflict or Natural World mantles.

true_shinken
2011-01-07, 11:29 PM
Get that wand in a wandchamber and you're golden.
You can have a wand of blade storm in one weapon and lion's pounce in the other. Go to town.

Urpriest
2011-01-07, 11:31 PM
Get that wand in a wandchamber and you're golden.
You can have a wand of blade storm in one weapon and lion's pounce in the other. Go to town.

Can you use spell trigger in rage though?

true_shinken
2011-01-07, 11:32 PM
Can you use spell trigger in rage though?
I'm pretty sure you can, since it does not require concentration.

Smeggedoff
2011-01-08, 01:45 AM
so I figure my Early progression's gonna be

1 - Diopsid
2 - Barbarian - Two Weapon Fighting
3 - Ranger
4 - Fighter - Knight of Stars - Power Attack
5 - Fighter - Quick Draw
6 - Barbarian - Righteous Wrath
7 - Champion of Gwyharwyf

Sound about right?

also

nor can he cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll)
which sucks but I can make use of the pounce wand on the first round of combat at least...

actually if I'm taking a pounce wand should I still be using the quick draw McCharge strategy suggested by Tyckspoon earlier?
I'm probably way overcomplicating this mind, it IS an unoptimised campaign module this guy's gonna be in (Shackled City)

true_shinken
2011-01-08, 01:53 AM
If it's unoptimized, your best bet is either
dropping whirling frenzy and sticking with Two-weapon Pounce.
Ignoring charging altogether and using other movement tricks (Hidden Talent -> dimension hop, Quicksilver Boots, Anklets of Translocation, etc)

Combat Reflexes
2011-01-08, 03:58 AM
Ignoring charging altogether and using other movement tricks (Hidden Talent -> dimension hop, Quicksilver Boots, Anklets of Translocation, etc)


A better alternative would be Travel Devotion from the Complete Champion (i think). It lets you move your speed as a swift action and lasts 10 rounds, and if you dip Cleric you can recharge it with a turn undead use.

true_shinken
2011-01-08, 08:19 AM
A better alternative would be Travel Devotion from the Complete Champion (i think). It lets you move your speed as a swift action and lasts 10 rounds, and if you dip Cleric you can recharge it with a turn undead use.

He is in an unoptimized game, with a DM that finds lion totem cheesy. I believe dipping Cleric for cherry-picked devotion feats would be seen as cheese as well.

Urpriest
2011-01-08, 01:46 PM
Thinking more about it, a Pyrokineticist dip isn't a bad idea. You won't get the benefit of a Large weapon, but you will get to dual-wield weapons with a 15 foot reach that allow full Power Attack and hit on a ranged touch attack, so your -4 won't be as much of an issue. You also can trip with whips, so get Improved Trip from Wolf Totem Barbarian to trip enemies and whip them for full Power Attack when they're anywhere up to 15 feet away. Just remember to form your whips before combat so you aren't spending move actions to get them. With Hidden Talent (Dimensional Hop) you get the required power points and the ability to teleport short distances and still make a full attack.

true_shinken
2011-01-08, 01:59 PM
Thinking more about it, a Pyrokineticist dip isn't a bad idea. You won't get the benefit of a Large weapon, but you will get to dual-wield weapons with a 15 foot reach that allow full Power Attack and hit on a ranged touch attack, so your -4 won't be as much of an issue. You also can trip with whips, so get Improved Trip from Wolf Totem Barbarian to trip enemies and whip them for full Power Attack when they're anywhere up to 15 feet away. Just remember to form your whips before combat so you aren't spending move actions to get them. With Hidden Talent (Dimensional Hop) you get the required power points and the ability to teleport short distances and still make a full attack.

...and it's awesome, as well. :smallcool:

Scarlet-Devil
2011-01-08, 03:07 PM
Hmm, the whole ranger dip for pounce doesn't work anyway, does it? Until 4th level the ranger is entirely non-magical; they have no spellcasting, and thus no spell list.

Edit: Just became a dwarf, huzzah!

true_shinken
2011-01-08, 03:27 PM
Hmm, the whole ranger dip for pounce doesn't work anyway, does it? Until 4th level the ranger is entirely non-magical; they have no spellcasting, and thus no spell list.

It works just fine. Ranger spell list is always there, no matter your level.

Scarlet-Devil
2011-01-08, 03:29 PM
It works just fine. Ranger spell list is always there, no matter your level.

I really don't think so; until fourth level you have no spells, the ranger spell list only exists if you can cast them. Consider this: until fourth level, the character has no caster level.

Smeggedoff
2011-01-08, 04:10 PM
Urpriest & True Shinken - Oooh, fiery whips do sound awesome.

Scarlet-Devil - hmmmm yeah, ok. The SRD specifically stated that they get the ability to cast spells beginning at level 4. At the very least it's debatable.

true_shinken
2011-01-08, 04:55 PM
I really don't think so; until fourth level you have no spells, the ranger spell list only exists if you can cast them. Consider this: until fourth level, the character has no caster level.

I'm pretty sure there are official statements otherwise, but I can't be bothered to check right now.

Greenish
2011-01-09, 12:26 AM
I really don't think so; until fourth level you have no spells, the ranger spell list only exists if you can cast them. Consider this: until fourth level, the character has no caster level.Try this for size:

Anyone with a spell on his or her spell list knows how to use a spell trigger item that stores that spell. (This is the case even for a character who canít actually cast spells, such as a 3rd-level paladin.)

Smeggedoff
2011-01-09, 12:48 AM
Result! Thanks Greenish.

Fizban
2011-01-09, 04:39 AM
Additional magic item advice: Gloves of the Balanced Hand, from MiC give you TWF, or ITWF if you already have the first feat. Since they give diminishing returns (Greater giving you a third extra attack... at a -10), I've never seen any reason to take the TWF line past Improved. With the gloves you only need one feat to get the two extra attacks that actually have a chance of hitting. Something to think about.