View Full Version : Battlefield control: How to?
05-06-2011, 01:47 AM
I'm building a crusader based on battlefield control for an upcoming PbP game on here, but I recently realized that I have just short of zero clue of how to do so.
So what I was thinking was a character based on AoOs, tripping and possibly other special attacks, if there are any that are worth much. I'd probably want Improved Trip, Power Attack, EXP Spiked Chain (unless I want to settle for a Guisarme), TWF, maybe Improved Bull Rush into Shock Trooper if that attack's worth anything. What else am I looking at? Robilar's Gambit, Thicket of Blades, Karmic Strike?
How do you get optimal battlefield control on a crusader chassis?
05-06-2011, 03:56 AM
There are some other feats worth looking at:
Combat reflexes (for more AoO's)
Hold the line (might be covered by ToBlade stance)
Mage slayer to prevent casters from casting defensively
Increasing in size can be useful as chain reach doubles.
Adding on some Knight levels to get Bulwark of defence and Test of Mettle
Use Bracers of Opportunity (MIC) for +2 on AoO attack rolls and 2 extra AoO's/day
05-06-2011, 04:54 AM
Actually, I think a superior option is boomerang daze and boomerang ricochet, personally. Standstill's an excellent fallback though, since ToB hardly works with ranged attacks at all. You could definitely do a bit of bloodstorm blade though and get a sweet boomerang build, though, I suspect.
Mage slayer really doesn't help that much, in my experience, but I suppose it's better than nothing. A lot of options exist. There's also a barbarian combo that you could use if you're dipping for pounce anyway.
05-06-2011, 07:39 AM
Here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=127026) is the guide which covers most of your melee battlefield control options.
The exact strategy you choose should depend heavily on your attributes. At a minimum, a good AoO tank needs/wants Str 13+ (Power Attack or Stone Power), Dex 16+ (AoO), Con 14+ (hit points), Int 13 (if any of your combo's require Combat Expertise), and Cha 16+ (for Indomitable Soul and your maneuver Save DC's). That's horribly MAD, and it pretty much requires that you burn a feat or magic item to get your To-Hit moved (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125732) to Dex or Cha at higher levels.
Can you pull that off? If not, then you'll need an alternate strategies. You could forgo Power Attack and Stone Power and rely solely on your maneuvers for bonus damage. You could ignore Combat Reflexes and instead take Robilar's Gambit and Evasive Reflexes to move away from enemies whenever they attack you. You could avoid Combat Expertise fairly easily if you don't want to Trip or Disarm. And you can dump Cha if you're willing to avoid maneuvers that require Saves. But you really don't want to do all of those things. What are your attributes and priorities?
05-06-2011, 10:08 AM
Consider dipping Psychic Warrior- they get Expansion as a first level psi power, which you can use to double your size. Be certain to get combat reflexes, and you now threaten 96 squares with a spiked chain.
Exotic Weapons Master may also be worth a dip- two levels of that will give you +2 on trip attempts, and the ability to flurry with your chosen weapon.
Get a grasping chain, to be certain of landing touch attacks.
Consider improved disarm as well- some enemies will be trip-resistant, it's good to have backup options,
05-06-2011, 10:39 AM
There's basic Knock-down (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/divine/divineAbilitiesFeats.htm#knockDown) chain, which generally gives you as much as the Chain can do. You can't combine Improved Trip with maneuvers, but Knock-Down works just fine. As Doc Roc said, you can combine that with Stand Still as a fallback against opps that can't be tripped and be fine.
And yeah, the rest of the chain is Mage Slayer & Defensive Sweep (and Thicket of Blades the stance; you get that through Crusader tho 2-level dip out of Crusader is heavily suggested so you get it on the right level; otherwise you can't take it with the 3rd stance you get). Deft Opportunist can help but it shouldn't be necessary.
Really, all you need is high Str, 14 Dex and 14 Con. 3 AoOs is generally plenty and you'll get more out of Dex-boosting magic items (though you want to become Large and Enlarge Person is -2 Dex so that's something to keep in mind). Combat Reflexes and some maneuvers (particularly White Raven-ones) are very efficient control, and Devoted Spirit has good stances, particularly Thicket of Blades (and Martial Spirit for little help on your allies' part).
Bull Rushing is another option but generally requires Large size for Knockback or Rampaging Bull Rush and optimally, Fighter-levels for Dungeoncrasher to deal some damage while at it. It's also quite feat intensive.
If you have the Cha to pull off Imperious Command (15 min), you can do Barbarian-dip with Instantaneous Rage and Intimidating Rage. That's fairly solid, but only if the Cha is there (it synergises with Crusader class features as well, though).
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