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Olethros
2007-04-30, 02:13 PM
I am running a game that is composed largly of new players, this is cool, but it does mean that I am requiered to gove more advice than I normally would.

I have a player that is fealing a little lack-luster about the leveling up process largely because she doens't feel like it is really going anywhere, which is to say she isn't working tward anything right now.

She likes the idea of a prestige class as a "leveling target goal" and I have recently been talking to her about the use of multiclass/strait class build options as a "goal" into and of themselves. In that discussion we are trying to boil down just what she wants her character "stat wise" to grow into. She has the RP end pretty well covered, so Im not worried there.

My request to the assembled is to aid me in some options of advice.

She is playing a Half dragon (other half elf) Ranger. She currently has 2 levels of Ranger, and the party just leveled up so she has a new level of possibilities to add now before next session. He overall goal is to be the best-durn-tank the party has ever seen. When asked what that ment to her I got the unsurprising answer of being able to hit things hard and take lots of damage. She is very new to the rules so complex combinations of feets and class abilities is currently difficult for her to pull off, but she is a quick study and I have confidence she can manage most any build eventually.

She is chaffing slightly under the "rock-paper-scissor" aspect of D&D mechanics, and gets frustraited when cast against something that negates some of her usefullness (globes of darkness, etherial creatures, etc) so keeps looking for a build that reduces or negates the chances of that happening, but I don't think any build she makes will completly solve that; the problem seems to be decreasing as she realises just how solid a build she is sporting already.

For her weapon style she went 2 weapon fighting, primary bastard sword with her secondary attack usually being her natural bite attack (I realise this isn't strictly RAW). She is generally loath to use this as it gives her a negative to attack, and she is perpetually afraid of negatives. She has High strength and Dex, good Con and wis.

So send on some suggestions, either of good builds in general, or prestige classes that you thing might fit. Part of my problem with giving her advise is I don't know any prestige classes for fighter types, and don't own any of those books. Only stipulation is no psionics, they havn't been incorporated into the world.

Arbitrarity
2007-04-30, 02:38 PM
Uhhh.... the natural attack if free anyway. She gets a FREE attack with it. No TWF penalties. She could also claw, if she has a free hand. She could use the hand for another weapon, and only attack on hand, no penalty, and bite.

Yeesh. The bite being counted as TWF is penalizing her!

Anyway. She wants to be a tank, who fights melee, who can attack even peculiar, abnormal things, i.e. incoporeal, i.e. in darkness, etc? (BTW, darkness isn't actually totally dark, you can still see, just 20% miss chance.)

Sounds like she wants blind-fight, maybe, and a ghost touch weapon. Also, there's probably a PrC for this, but I can't remember any off the top of my head.

Of course, as usual, I now must add: People don't like people who kill their teammates.

El Jaspero, the Pirate King
2007-04-30, 02:56 PM
I'd also toss in that if she wants to be a melee demolisher, having already started as a Ranger she might want to multiclass into Barbarian for the increased hit dice, move speed, and raging, possibly even eventually headed into Frenzied Brokenserker.

Olethros
2007-04-30, 04:03 PM
Uhhh.... the natural attack if free anyway. She gets a FREE attack with it. No TWF penalties. She could also claw, if she has a free hand. She could use the hand for another weapon, and only attack on hand, no penalty, and bite.

Can ya give me a rules reference here, I went back and forward on this for a long time and eventually decided to work it like a creature with multiple natural attacks, the first is made normal, the rest at a penalty unless they have the multi-attack feat.



Of course, as usual, I now must add: People don't like people who kill their teammates.

Why would she kill her teammates?

Arbitrarity
2007-04-30, 05:08 PM
El Jaspero recommeded the FB. They kill teammates.

The other bit's in my MM. Just look at the example half dragon. It's full attack is both sides of a two-bladed sword, and a bite at -5!

The text also says, "If armed with a weapon, the half dragon usually uses the weapon as a primary attack with the bite as a natural secondary attack. If the half-dragon has a hand free, it uses a claw as an additional natural secondary attack."

Here!

A half-dragon fighting without weapons uses both claws and its bite when making a full attack. If armed with a weapon, it usually uses the weapon as its primary attack and its bite as a natural secondary attack. If it has a hand free, it uses a claw as an additional natural secondary attack.

So, you get you're regular attacks, and free naturals.

Tellah
2007-04-30, 05:25 PM
Yeah, but a natural secondary attack is made at -5. The player is using it the way one would normally do TWF with a pair of swords, amirite?

LordRahl
2007-04-30, 06:15 PM
If she has a decent Int mod I'd recommend taking a 3 level dip into Swashbuckler so she can apply two ability mods to melee damage. The Dervish is a great class for dealing damage and has some really useful class abilities for movement skills like tumble and jump. But it has some hefty feat requirements and you can't use heavy armor (of course that can be solved with Mithral). With enough ranks in tumble and the dervish movement mastery she won't provoke AoO when moving around/through threatened areas, which is always useful. Frenzied Berserker and Barb have already been mentioned. Can't really think of anything else to mention right now.

Olethros
2007-04-30, 11:27 PM
Yeah, but a natural secondary attack is made at -5. The player is using it the way one would normally do TWF with a pair of swords, amirite?

You are correct, I am treating her bite attack as a light weapon for the puposes of the TWF feet.

The player did not consider a -5penelty "free"

Matthew
2007-05-01, 08:34 PM
You know, she could use the Bastard Sword as a Two Handed Weapon (Power Attack + Cheese) and still make that Natural Attack (and by the rule you are using make it as an Off Hand Attack). However, if she takes Improved Unarmed Strike or wears Spiked Armour she could conceivably even be making three Attacks per Round (if I am not mistaken), one of which would be Two Handed. Her fear of penalties is a problem, but here's how it would look:

Standard Attack
AB X (1D10 + [Strength Bonus x 1.5])

Full Attack:
Primary: AB X-2
Off Hand: AB X-2
Bite: AB X-7

Laesin
2007-05-01, 08:43 PM
Olethros. You say she has the RP end down. In that case, in your place I would advise her to not worry about her future build and concentrate on her character, then you can introduce opportunities for prestige classing ingame that her character is free to accept or decline as she sees fit IC. My favourite peeve is people who plan their progression all the way to 20 from character creation, I advise you not to encourage it.

Arbitrarity
2007-05-01, 08:46 PM
If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. You suffer a -6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a -10 penalty to the attack with your off hand when you fight this way.

Actually, X-2, X-2, and X-5.

Matthew
2007-05-01, 09:00 PM
Sadly not:

Dungeons & Dragons 3.x FAQ (December 2006), p. 13.



Can a monk fight with two weapons? Can she combine
a two-weapon attack with a flurry of blows? What are her
penalties on attack rolls?
A monk can fight with two weapons just like any other
character, but she must accept the normal penalties on her
attack rolls to do so. She can use an unarmed strike as an offhand
weapon. She can even combine two-weapon fighting with
a flurry of blows to gain an extra attack with her off hand (but
remember that she can use only unarmed strikes or special
monk weapons as part of the flurry). The penalties for twoweapon
fighting stack with the penalties for flurry of blows.
For example, at 6th level, the monk Ember can normally
make one attack per round at a +4 bonus. When using flurry of
blows, she can make two attacks (using unarmed strikes or any
special monk weapons she holds), each at a +3 bonus. If she
wants to make an extra attack with her off hand, she has to
accept a –4 penalty on her primary hand attacks and a –8
penalty on her off-hand attacks (assuming she wields a light
weapon in her off hand).
If Ember has Two-Weapon Fighting, she has to accept only
a –2 penalty on all attacks to make an extra attack with her off
hand. Thus, when wielding a light weapon in her off hand
during a flurry of blows, she can make a total of three attacks,
each at a total bonus of +1. At least one of these attacks has to
be with her off-hand weapon.
A 20th-level monk with Greater Two-Weapon Fighting can
make eight attacks per round during a flurry of blows.
Assuming she wields a light weapon in her off hand, her three
off-hand weapon attacks are at +13/+8/+3, and she has five
attacks (at +13/+13/+13/+8/+3) with unarmed strikes or any
weapons she carries in her primary hand. If the same monk also
has Rapid Shot and throws at least one shuriken as part of her
flurry of blows (since Rapid Shot can be used only with ranged
attacks), she can throw one additional shuriken with her
primary hand, but all of her attacks (even melee attacks) suffer
a –2 penalty. Thus, her full attack array looks like this:
+11/+11/+11/+11/+6/+1 primary hand (two must be with
shuriken) and +11/+6/+1 off hand.

Can a monk who has natural weapon attacks (such as a

centaur monk) attack unarmed and still use his natural
weapons? For example, let’s say he’s a 4th-level monk. Can
he use a flurry of blows and attack at +5/+5/+0 unarmed
(plus other bonuses) and then at +0/+0 for 2 hooves?
If the creature normally is allowed to make both weapon
attacks and natural weapon attacks as part of the same full
attack routine, the monk can do the same (making unarmed
strikes in place of weapon attacks). Since a centaur can make
two hoof attacks in addition to his longsword attack, a centaur
monk can make two hoof attacks in addition to his unarmed
strike attack (or attacks, depending on his base attack bonus).
The monk can’t use his natural weapon attacks as part of a
flurry of blows, but he can make natural weapon attacks in
addition to his flurry. Such attacks suffer the same –2 penalty
as the monk’s flurry attacks in addition to the normal –5
penalty for secondary natural attacks.
An 4th-level centaur monk has a base attack bonus of +7
(+4 from his 4 monstrous humanoid Hit Dice, and +3 from his
8 monk levels). If he performs a flurry of blows, he makes
three unarmed strikes, at +5/+5/+0. He can add two hoof
attacks at –2/–2 (–5 as secondary weapons, and –2 from the
flurry).

Jasdoif
2007-05-02, 05:11 PM
Using a natural attack in TWF? And a player who hates penalties? This gives me an idea....

A half-dragon has a bite and two claw attacks, so qualifies for Multiattack (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsterFeats.htm#multiattack). Multiattack reduces the penalty for using a secondary natural weapon by 3, so...if you let it work with this TWF bite thing you have going on, that would change the -2 (from TWF) into +1!

Yes, you would end up getting a bonus from TWF. Maybe TWF would be more worthwhile if this was an option for all TWFers to take....

Arbitrarity
2007-05-02, 05:29 PM
How does the monk Flurry ability relate to two weapon fighting?
Ahhh! It says all attacks! What the...

Odd.


Such attacks suffer the same –2 penalty
as the monk’s flurry attacks in addition to the normal –5
penalty for secondary natural attacks.



If Ember has Two-Weapon Fighting, she has to accept only
a –2 penalty on all attacks to make an extra attack with her off
hand.
Yet the text for TWF contradicts that -_-.

Jasdoif
2007-05-02, 05:37 PM
How does the monk Flurry ability relate to two weapon fighting?
Ahhh! It says all attacks! What the...Let's take another look at that section in the FAQ.


For example, at 6th level, the monk Ember can normally make one attack per round at a +4 bonus. When using flurry of blows, she can make two attacks (using unarmed strikes or any special monk weapons she holds), each at a +3 bonus. If she wants to make an extra attack with her off hand, she has to accept a 4 penalty on her primary hand attacks and a 8 penalty on her off-hand attacks (assuming she wields a light weapon in her off hand).

If Ember has Two-Weapon Fighting, she has to accept only a 2 penalty on all attacks to make an extra attack with her off hand. Thus, when wielding a light weapon in her off hand during a flurry of blows, she can make a total of three attacks, each at a total bonus of +1. At least one of these attacks has to be with her off-hand weapon.

The flurry of blows penalty stacks with the TWF penalties. That's how you end up with three attacks at +1 on the bottom: Flurry of blows (at 6th level) gives you an extra attack at a -1 penalty on all your attacks, that makes +3/+3. Using TWF (if you have the feat) gives you an extra offhand attack with a -2 penalty on all your attacks, that makes +1/+1/+1.

Olethros
2007-05-03, 12:34 PM
Update:

Thanks everybody for helping out with suggestions. The player decided to go with multiclassing as a fighter building into the Tempest prestige class and possibly Dervish after that. She liked the, "I hit it lots" schtick better than "I hit it hard" schtick. I think it will make a solid build and the player is excited again.

Fax Celestis
2007-05-03, 12:39 PM
...the player is excited again.

That, right there, is the reason for DMing.

Matthew
2007-05-03, 10:20 PM
Update:

Thanks everybody for helping out with suggestions. The player decided to go with multiclassing as a fighter building into the Tempest prestige class and possibly Dervish after that. She liked the, "I hit it lots" schtick better than "I hit it hard" schtick. I think it will make a solid build and the player is excited again.

Cool. I strongly suggest Quick Draw if she ends up going Two Weapon Fighting with two Melee Weapons, by the way, as that will enable her to take advanatge of Two Handed style until the opportunity to make a Full Attack presents itself.
Otherwise, it is worth noting that many DMs consider it a reasonable House Rule to allow Two Weapon Fighting to work on a Standard Action (my preferred solution).


That, right there, is the reason for DMing.

Indeed.