View Full Version : Parkour!

2008-04-06, 06:41 AM
Based off of Free Running/Parkour, and to no little extent the character Leito from the movie B13...how to build an effective unarmed character with that kind of very mobile style?

I thought about this somewhat, and with a little cherrypicking came up with the following:

Scout5 - Using some of the Cityscape web enhancement materials to swap out class skills for more 'urban' theme. Skirmish damage is there to represent momentum-damage, at least as well as it can.
Class skills can go into Climb/Balance/Jump/Tumble, all necessary for T-A as well as the theme, and there's still enough room left for Search/DD/Hide/MS so the PC can be party-useful.

Thief-Acrobat - Whether it's one level or five, I think this is about as close as you can get to the skillset of the Parkour performer. Alternatively, a dip into the Exemplar PrC?

Shou Disciple (FR-specific, Unapproachable East) - 5-level PrC that rapidly advances unarmed strike damage, while still allowing the PC to wear armor. Requires Dodge (can pick that up at Scout4), Imp. Unarmed Strike, and Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike), as well as a double handful of skills (mostly Jump) that the T-A PrC has probably already taken care of.

Build, probably...
Scout5 --> T-A1 --> Shou Disciple1 --> Mix 'n' match from here on.

Feat-wise, probably...
Imp Unarmed Strike (1st)
Spare feat slot, if human
Weapon Finesse (3rd)
Dodge (B Scout 4th)
Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike) (6th)
Mobility (B Shou Disciple 2)
Spring Attack (9th)

Thoughts? Suggestions for equipment to do this well?
Should I take Spring Attack sooner?

2008-04-06, 06:46 AM
If you've got Tome of Battle (and yes, I know, it gets brought up for every non-caster, but it's applicable) the Superior Unarmed Strike feat will up your damage as well, you may need to check and see if shou disciple will work with it.

Additionally, swordsage or possibly just martial study as a feat will allow you to do cool things like run along walls or jump stupidly high as a swift action. Lots of fun stuff.

2008-04-06, 06:51 AM
ToB is not an approved book for the game in question. Nor is PHB2.

2008-04-06, 06:52 AM
Pick up Complete Scoundrel for skill tricks - there are quite a few that fit this style very well.

And I would be remiss in my duties as a nagging know-it-all if I did not point out that there are some fundamental differences between Parkour and Free Running.

Some fun and educational reading:

And an awesome video of some free-runner kids for inspiration:

2008-04-06, 06:58 AM
Yep, I'm aware of the differences...read the Wiki articles, at least :smallwink:

2008-04-06, 07:10 AM
More to the point of the build - I am not familiar with Unapproachable East (It's a FR book, I'm guessing, which means I probably will never touch it) but Scout/Thief Acrobat is about as good as it's going to get in D&D. As I said, Complete Scoundrel's skill tricks are great for this, there's all kinds of movement related ones.
I would say make sure you have at least 6 scout levels for Flawless Stride, that's a necessity. Acrobatic Charge would be good, except the only class I can think of that gives it early enough is Dread Pirate, which doesn't really fit your flavor. Anything to up your speed is good.
If Oriental Adventures is legal, there are several classes in there with utterly broken bonuses to speed and jump checks, but that may be a bit overboard. Likewise, dipping into Psychic Warrior could get you two good feats (Speed of Thought and Up the Walls) but again, that may not fit.
Actually, the 3.5 Ninja gets Great Leap at 4th level and Speed Climb at 7th, both of which fit well - maybe you could talk your DM into making a Ki-power free Ninja variant?
Just a few ideas, hope some of them are helpful.

Squash Monster
2008-04-06, 11:03 AM
Since boosting monk damage has been brought up, I'd like to point out Improved Natural Attack. You do qualify for it as a monk, and it is quite a nice boost.

Otherwise, the only suggestion I have for you is to dip into a casting class, honestly. You can pick up a few daily uses of Expeditious Retreat and Spider Climb, among other things.

2008-04-06, 11:17 AM
Up The Walls (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicFeats.htm#upTheWalls) fits this character very well. You could ask your DM if you can take the feat and apply it "once per day" or something similar, so you wouldn't have to actually get power points and Concentration; it could be worth a one-level dip even if that isn't allowed.

2008-04-06, 12:44 PM
Did a little work on the feat tree...

Feat-wise, probably...
Imp Unarmed Strike (1st)
Dodge (B Human)
Weapon Finesse (3rd)
Mobility (B Scout 4th)
Spring Attack (6th)
Elusive Target (CWar) (9th)

Only difficulty here would be, this does not qualify me for Shou Disciple. I'd probably have a few more levels in either Scout or Thief-Acrobat, though, and that fits closer to the core theme of this build.

Still, this lets me zig in between two opponents, tag one of them with my Dodge feat (and an attack at -4, Fighting Defensive), then zag back out again. AoO hits the *other* guy, not me, and I get a free trip attempt against both of them. Definitely parkour style, I'd say.

Of course, I could take out Weapon Finesse in favor of Focus, which'd let me take the extra PrC. Shuffle around stats a bit to get a better trip mod.

2008-04-06, 10:38 PM
B13 is NOT parkour.

2008-04-07, 08:02 AM
*nods* I think you're right, at least by the strictest definition of it. And I'll admit to being no expert.

Is it Free Running, then? Or just Parkour-like?

2008-04-07, 08:23 AM
Um, Cuddly, its pretty parkour like and the main actor was David Belle who invented (with the help of his dad) parkour. Having seen the movie I can't help but feel that it is at least rather strongly influenced by parkour.

2008-04-07, 09:08 AM
Parkour is about getting from 1 spot to another, in the straightest path, with the greatest efficiency.

Free Running is about getting from 1 spot to another, in the straightest path, in the coolest manner possible.

Anotherwords, Free Running is Parkour with stunts and showing off.

Parkour is to Flight as Martial Arts are to Fight.

Its very much something a monk class could have, given that monks already have the improved movespeed equivalent to if not more than expeditious retreat. Give the Monk a lot of ranks in Jumping and Climbing and you are more less set.

2008-04-07, 11:54 AM
Maybe you could fit in some Swashbuckler levels as well. It gives you Weapon Finesse at lvl1, intelligence to damage with light and finesseable weapons at lvl3, Acrobatic Charge at lvl7 (this is probably too late though), and has decent class skills for your purpose.

2008-04-07, 12:36 PM
I did seriously consider it, but...

Not enough skills. Not really enough of an Int modifier (+2 at present) to make that much of a difference, either. Plus, too many other PrCs which require at least a few levels in order to be much good to really delay them by another 3 levels.

I've dropped Weapon Finesse from my list, and put his Str up at 14 (Dex 16). It'll allow for better tripping.

I've also tweaked around with intended class/PrC/Feat selection...I wanted Improved Natural Attack (unarmed strike) to go with the Shou Disciple PrC, and couldn't figure out how to fit it in.


Scout1 --> Imp Unarmed Strike, Dodge (B)
Scout3 --> Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Scout4 --> Mobility (B)
Shou Disciple1 --> Imp Natural Attack (unarmed strike)
Shou Disciple2 --> Spring Attack (B)
Thief-Acrobat2 or Shou Disciple3 --> Elusive Target