View Full Version : Melee Duskblade build

2007-04-24, 08:31 PM
Starting stats, after racial adjustments: (36pb) 14,18,15,18,10,6 / 18,20,17,20,10,10
Level: 24
Alignment: CN/CE
Race: Tiefling/Half-Fiend (homebrew pseudo-lycanthropy)
Class levels: Swashbuckler 3/Duskblade 21 (I was considering a level of Wizard for wand usage, but the XP penalties and the further loss of caster levels put me off. Is there any PrC that will add to Duskblade levels and give me access to a Wizard's spell list? :smallcool:)
Weaponry: Flaming burst rapier (good crit range, Power Attack if feat taken), screaming burst (MIC) kukri (good crit range). Both pitspawned (DMG II), keen, possibly speed, possibly mithral, possibly wounding, and with appropriate damage dice abilities. No opposing elements on the same weapon. Backup weapons: Quarterstaff and distance comp. longbow (abilities on the arrows)
Other equipment: Not sure. Is it possible for a pure arcane caster to use a Bead of Karma? That plus Enervation plus Blasphemy would be fun. So would a ring of True Strike (for the low low price of 400,000gp!) which would make Power Attack fairly appealing.
Feats: Unknown, except for TWF and Arcane Strike (CW). Weapon Finesse and Combat Casting are free as class features.
Spells: Would depend on which ones work well with chosen feats.
Ability raises: All to Int. Tomes/manuals in the following order: Dex, Int, Str, Con, Cha, Wis. Not sure how many I can take advantage of, or if inherent bonuses can be gained +1 at a time.
Books: Core, SRD, C Adv, ToB, and PHB II preferred, since I have them at hand.
Focus: Mobility, crits, offence.
Other notes: Character is unable to wear magical items that use the bracer/bracelet magic item slot. No TWF tree (single feat). No epic magic. Would like to get some spells permanenced, but I don't think I can get my UMD mod high enough at mid-levels to take my chances with the checks.

I'll just admit that this is one of those 'hey, I wonder what would be like as a D&D character?' builds, and that it was easier for me to do this than fart around with existing class features. Short version: he turns into a half-fiend for a number of rounds a day equal to his character level and takes Con damage in the process. Long version:
He is a half-fiend by blood, and at an early age was spared by a (perhaps foolish) paladin of Heironeous who believed that nothing was irredeemable. The paladin was able to convince a few others that, being half-human, the half-fiend had the potential to be a force for Good. After a while, a pair of bracelets were developed that would suppress the half-fiend's Evil blood and allow his human side to emerge. These bracelets are 8-shaped bands of magical cold iron that pass through each of the character's wrists, almost completely suppressing his demonic side. It can still emerge from time to time, and as the character grew more powerful he learned how to control it.

Shift DC: 25 minus character level
De-shift DC: 45 minus character level
Control Shift DC: 35 minus character level

More details:
Shift: Character must be conscious. This is a swift action.
De-shift: Character must be conscious. This is a swift action.
Control: If the character takes 4d8 damage and accumulates enough damage to reduce his current maximum hitpoint total by a third, he must make a Control Shape check to avoid involuntary transformation. The check must be repeated after each 4d8 and each additional one-third hitpoint loss. Magical healing resets the d8 counter.
If any checks are failed, the character transforms at the beginning of his next turn. Returning to normal form requires a Control Shift check and is a standard action.

The character takes 1 Con damage upon transforming, and a HD-dependant amount of Con damage at the beginning of the third round after transformation and at the beginning of every third round thereafter. Upon returning to regular form, he takes 1 Con damage. If at any time his Con falls to or below a certain number or he is rendered unconscious, he automatically returns to regular form at the beginning of his next turn.


I'm mostly happy with the system, but I'm still working on the Con damage numbers. I also have no idea what kind of LA this guy would have (+3 after the first two or three levels?), though even if it's the full +4 he'd have been able to finish buying it off at 21st level.

2007-04-24, 09:21 PM

Are you looking for a build? There's a thread for those requests around... somewhere.

2007-04-25, 04:51 PM
Yes, I'm looking for a build.

There are unfulfilled requests from February in the character builder thread. If I posted there, how long should I wait before reposting?

2007-04-27, 08:26 AM
Not sure. The Character Builder Thread doesn't seem to get a lot of traffic.

2007-04-27, 08:56 AM
Personally I think its fine out here. You already have a build ^^, you are just asking for help finishing it. That is perfectly reasonable.

2007-04-30, 06:14 AM
Okay, slight update. I've swapped two of the Swash levels for fighter levels. Int to damage pales in comparison to two extra feats.

Feats (+ denotes a feat taken at the earliest possible level):

1. Weapon Finesse (Swash)
1. TWF
2. Power Attack (Fighter)
3. Combat Reflexes
3. Improved Bull Rush (Fighter)
5. Combat Casting (Duskblade)
6. Shock Trooper+
9. Leap Attack
12. Arcane Strike+
15. Robilar's Gambit
18. Two-Weapon Pounce
21. ?
24. ?

I'm aiming for two things here -- opportunities to use the damage dice on my shiny pitspawned weapons, and the ability to beat the crap out of anything that's resistant to crits or elemental damage. A valorous quarterstaff* would be perfect for the job, if a little... odd. Spells with somatic components are an issue; I'd need either a slotless glove of storing or the ability to tuck a weapon under my arm and retrieve it as two free actions (damn wizards, being able to rummage around in their bags of powders and spiders and bat poo and take whatever they want as a free action. I hate them SO MUCH).

With these feats, he's more like a barbarian with an arcane bent than a gish. Caster level is three less than character level, but Spell Power and Enervation can help with that. Save DCs are going to be on the low side due to the focus on Dex. Again, Enervation can help, but I'm going to try and avoid spells with saves (except Disintegrate. I like Disintegrate).

*Quarterstaff: the only double weapon I can use without a feat, and as a small bonus it rounds out my damage types. Being able to switch between THF and TWF has only minor mechanical advantages considering my choices, but there aren't any disadvantages except for decreased weapon damage.

Spell choices:

L0: All of them gained at first Duskblade level.

Tripping Hand: With a maximum effective strength of 24 it's unlikely to win any checks. Also, I don't know what size the hand is. The fluff says the size of a human torso, the text say it's large (but not Large). Probably not worth it.
Blade of Blood: By the time I get this I should be able to take 15 points of damage. Take early, drop if 3d6 untyped on a single attack becomes worth less than some other 1st level spell.
Burning Hands: Kind of rubbish, really. Avoid.
Cause Fear: Good at level 1, not so good at (at least) ECL5. If I took this I couldn't get rid of it until ECL10 at the earliest. Avoid.
Chill Touch: Uncapped scaling Strength damage, and undead repellant? Okay, maybe, but it still has saves.
Color Spray: Again, not much good at the level I get it. Avoid.
Jump: Nice spell, but I'd rather have it as a scroll.
Fire Bolt: Whatever. No.
Lesser Deflect: Maybe, if I don't already have a Ring of Protection.
Magic Weapon: I should have a +1 weapon by now. Maybe get a scroll or two.
Obscuring Mist: Scroll, yes. Learn, no.
Ray of Enfeeblement: No save? Yes please. Especially if the DM allows damage to be applied after penalties. I wouldn't.
Resist Energy: A solid spell, but probably better to buy the strongest scrolls I can afford.
Rouse: Scroll.
Shocking Grasp: Another one of those low-level spells, but this one has potential due to its attack bonus against metals. And what's one of the things a high AC opponent likely to be wearing? Also, no save.
Stand: Very situational. Not very useful in an item, as its advantage is that it's an immediate action.
Swift Expeditious Retreat: Sometimes you need that burst of speed right now. Take, but keep scrolls handy to preserve spell slots.
True Strike: Yes.

Animalistic Power: It lasts longer than 1 round/caster level and it doesn't scale with caster level. Scroll.
[Animal's Con, Str, Dex]:Scroll.
Striking Fist: I really want to push someone off a cliff from 150ft away, but it's probably not worth it for the same reasons as the other Bigby spell. On the other hand, the caster level bonus doesn't have a cap. Okay, maybe I'll take this one.
Darkvision: I have darkvision anyway. Keep a couple of scrolls for those who don't.
Deflect: Ehh, maybe, once the AC bonus outstrips what I have already.
Dimension Hop:Once again, my first thought involves cliffs. My second involves avoiding AoOs, so I guess I'll keep this after Dimension Door becomes available.
Ghoul Touch: Nice, but it has a save. On the other hand, it's a save-or-suck and I can channel it. Take.
Acid Arrow: Might have been worth it as Force Arrow. Get scrolls, in case of trolls.
Scorching Ray: No save, but unimpressive damage.
See Invisibility: Keep several scrolls until I can get it permanenced via UMD.
Seeking Ray: Damage is nothing much, but +4 against successive ray attacks (Dis-iiin-te-graate[/Dalek])is pretty neat. Quickening it with a class that gets a ton of low-level slots is even neater.
Spider Climb: Keep as potion.
Stretch Weapon: No.
Sure Strike: It's inferior to True Strike, higher level, and doesn't stack with True Strike. Originally I thought it would hold until the caster chose to discharge it (like MoP), but the '1 round or until discharged' duration put paid to that idea. Rubbish.
Swift Fly: Why?
Swift Invisibility: It buys you time to get away and get a longer-lasting version of the spell active. Maybe. There are other 2nd-level spells I could be using.
Touch of Idiocy: The spell applies a penalty, so no dropping any scores by more than 6. But it drops save DCs and will saves, lasts a good while, and it's a no-save touch spell. See? This is one of the other spells I could be using.

Crown of Might: Nice for charging, but keep as scroll.
Crown of Protection: Keep as scroll.
Dispelling Touch:Take, swap after Dispel becomes available.
Doom Scarabs: It seems underwhelming. Avoid.
Energy Aegis: I'm two levels away from being able to do this with Resist Energy, and resistance 10 for 10 minutes/level is way better than resistance 20 for a single attack. Okay, it's an immediate action where Resist Energy is a standard one. Nowhere near good enough.
Greater Magic Weapon: 1 hour/level, and it caps at the maximum +5. It's a winner at high levels, but scrolls will suffice until then.
Halt: Stops charges dead in their tracks, immediate action, has a Will save. Maybe.
Keen Edge: 1 minute/level for a +1 special ability. I think not. Scroll.
Protection From Energy: How much would a 10th level scroll of this cost? 1125gp? Maybe take this once my caster level goes up a bit.
Ray of Exhaustion: Can be useful even on a successful save, if the target doesn't have Mettle. Anything I'd want to use this on would probably have a good Fort save anyway.
Regroup: Keep as scroll until caster level increases, maybe.
Vampiric Touch: Yes.

Interposing Hand: Maybe, if I don't have anything better to take. It gives cover, slows an opponent (or opponents), and if said opponent turns invisible I have a rough idea of where it is. Where does the hand go, anyway? Next to me, next to my designated opponent, or wherever I like?
Channeled Pyroburst: NO.
Dimension Door: Yes.
Dispel Magic: Sure, why not? Even if I'm not the master of debuffing, a +6 stat item only has a CL of 8.
Enervation: Yes.
Fire Shield: I have better spells to be taking, but combining this with Robilar's Gambit could be fun. Scroll?
Phantasmal Killer: Good spell, but not for me.
Shout: No.
Toxic Weapon: Nice spell, and even with starting stats only the DC is 18. Maybe worth taking, if I boost the DC ahead of time and wreck my opponent's Fort save. But with that amount of preparation I could get the party wizard to cast the spell. No, then. Buy poison instead and have the wizard cast Increase Virulence. Or do both.

Clenched Fist: Has some use for knocking wizards out of their pesky globes of invulnerability, but a scroll will suffice. I only get four 5th level spells.
Chain Lightning: No.
Disintegrate: Okay, so it allows a Fort save and it's direct damage. But it's a lot of direct damage and you can use it on objects. Ready an action to five-foot step back and cast it on the ground in front of you when the frenzied berserker gets close enough. Quick-cast it again. FB now has to make a DC 48 jump to grab the edge and haul himself up.
Hold Monster: Will save, which is easiest for me to drop, but immunity to mind-affecting effects becomes more common at high levels.
Polar Ray: No save, but it's close-range and deals a non-overwhelming amount of elemental damage.
Slashing Dispel: Deals 2 points of damage per spell level of active buffs. Probably not worth it.
Sonic Shield: Like Fire Shield, but eats up one of my 5th level spells known. Avoid.
Waves of Fatigue:Ehh, I'd leave this one to the guy whose specialty is throwing out spells with high DCs. Charge, enervate, whatever, swift DD or DH out and let the wizard blast them all with Waves of Exhaustion.