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Thread: [3.5]Fear build

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    Default [3.5]Fear build

    Human warblade 6.
    What feats, items, skills, and ability scores would be needed to make this guy really scary (ie, shaken, scared, panicked, etc)?

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    The biggest one is Imperious Command [Drow of the Underdark]. 15 Charisma means you make intimidated opponents cower (which is a fairly brutal status) for 1 round. It basically makes intimidation worth it alone.

    I'd definitely add Dreadful Wrath [Player's Guide to Faerun] too (although it's a Regional feat from Forgotten Realms; it's in no ways broken though so I suggest at least asking your DM for it and if you're playing in Forgotten Realms, of course picking it up and being a Rashemi). It gives you Frightful Presence that works on opponents regardless of their HD when you full attack or charge (in other words, when recovering maneuvers or doing the first attack in a combat) for 1 round; affects opponents for 1 minute.

    You may actually want Skill Focus (Intimidate), and someone to increase your size, since Demoralize-check can be tough. It's something to consider anyways - don't let it get in the way or better feats though.


    Other than that, get a reach weapon (you need to threaten someone in melee to intimidate them), try to dip a level of Barbarian to qualify for Intimidating Rage [Complete Warrior] and get size increases if possible, for Intimidate-bonus along with bigger reach to intimidate people further away. Finally, get the Never Outnumbered Skill Trick [Complete Scoundrel] for ranged intimidation, and intimidation against multiple opponents.
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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Thanks. That seems a relatively easy build for a focus elsewhere (being a badass with a spiked chain and tripping people).

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    My current character (melee oriented Dragon Shaman) has a lot of success with the Intimidating Strike feat. Daunting Presence is another feat you may want to consider - although probably not both, as I don't think either can push the foe beyond shaken...

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Never Outnumbered skill trick from Complete Scoundrel. Demoralizing checks apply to everyone you want within 10 feet of the guy you are targetting.
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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    There's the feat Frightful Presence in the Draconomicon, it only affects opponents lower HD than you but it stacks with any other fear effects including another frightful presence ability.

    The skill trick Never Outnumbered in Complete Scoundrel that makes your Intimidate check affect all opponents within 10 feet, rather than just one opponent. You can only use it once per encounter, but it could be worth it if you make them cower.

    A feat called Intimidating Strike in PHB2 that lets you make an Intimidate check on a foe you attack as a standard action, plus you can take a penalty to hit up to your BAB and add that to your Intimidate check. It can't worsen them past Shaken, but with Imperious Command and Never Outnumbered you can make every opponent within 10 feet Cower for a round while still making an attack, plus you'll get the bonus on the check.

    I'd get Dreadful Wrath and Ability Focus: Dreadful Wrath at level 1, Intimidating Strike at 3, Stone Power with your 5th level bonus feat, Imperious Command at 6, and Frightful Presence at 9. Be sure to spend the skill points to get Never Outnumbered and keep Intimidate at max ranks and you'll be good to go. Maybe see if your DM will let you spend your 5th level Warblade bonus feat to get Imperious Command, then get Frightful Presence at 6, but if you can't then you'll be fine.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    'Cause I'm lazy but good with Google: check out this guide.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Where do those to feats come from, Thurbane?

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    Last edited by Myrmex; 2009-04-14 at 09:43 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Take 9 levels of Fighter for the Zhentarim Soldier variant. It lets you demoralize as a swift action, and you don't give up any class features. Of course, it is setting-specific and will probably require a huge commitment to an organization, so I don't think you can just decide to take it.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Daunting Presence is in Libris Mortis and the Miniatures Handbook, according to the feat index. It makes an opponent Shaken but can't contribute to making them Frightened or worse, and it doesn't work with Imperious Command like Intimidating Strike does. It could be used to make a single powerful foe Shaken before you activate Dreadful Wrath, but I wouldn't spend a feat on it.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Quote Originally Posted by Faleldir View Post
    Take 9 levels of Fighter for the Zhentarim Soldier variant. It lets you demoralize as a swift action, and you don't give up any class features. Of course, it is setting-specific and will probably require a huge commitment to an organization, so I don't think you can just decide to take it.
    Uhhhh, 9 levels of fighter would suck, hard.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Zhentarim Soldier isn't a bad choice at all, if you're already planning on taking Fighter levels. For no drawback, you get Skill Focus: Intimidate at Fighter 3, an enhanced ability to Intimidate someone's attitude toward helpful at Fighter 5, and the ability to Demoralize as a swift action at Fighter 9, plus Bluff and Diplomacy are added to your class skills at those levels. I wouldn't spend that many levels on Fighter in the first place, but there's no reason not to use this variant if you're planning on making such a heavy investment.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Resounding Blow: on a crit you make opponent cower for 1 round. (from Book of Exalted Dees; it is a general feat) Requires power attack + Intimidate 7.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    I'd go with a whip dagger rather than a spiked chain for that extra reach.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Depends on how heavily you want to focus on fear.

    If all you want is a dip, the Intimidating Strike feat is really rather good. It can't make a foe more than Shaken, but if you successfully Intimidate a Shaken foe, he goes up to Frightened and stays there for as long as the longest fear effect lasts. This means your victim is running away from you for one full minute- two standard actions and you've made someone just plain not be a problem anymore. And if the victim makes his save, then you've hit him with your sword. Not a huge waste of time.

    The more involved fear dip is the Reactive Rage combo. Warblades like to take 2-level dips for their 2 and 3 character level, it gives them another higher-level maneuver, and the opportunity to pick up Full Plate proficiency. Grab Barbarian 1/Fighter 1, or Wolf Totem Barbarian 2, or Half-Orc Paragon 2 (if you weren't a squishy human) to get Rage- or more specifically, Ferocity. Pick up Intimidating Rage and Imperious Command, and you can make someone Cower as an Immediate Action. Two feats and one class level, and you get the melee version of Celerity/Time Stop. Kind of.

    If you're an Intimidation addict, then you want Zentarim Soldier to intimidate as a swift action, and you'll want to wear Fearsome Armor to intimidate as a move action, and learn the Never Outnumbered skill trick to intimidate an area, and Uncanny Trickster to do it twice an encounter.

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    Last edited by Fishy; 2009-04-15 at 03:40 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Dark Speech: A potent low level Fear effect that loses effectiveness as your enemies gain hit die. Fiendish Codex I pg 85.

    Subjugating weapon enhancement: Enemy must make a Will Save or be Shaken for 5 rounds. Stacks with other Fear effects, but not with itself. +2 bonus. Heroes of Battle pg 130.

    Amulet of Fearsome Might: Increases the area and Save DC of your Frightful Presence. 11,000 gp, Dragon Magic pg 93.

    Imperious Command: When you Demoralize an enemy, they Cower for the first round and are Shaken on the next. Ridiculously useful. Drow of the Underdark pg. 50.

    Roaring weapon enhancement: Evil creatures must Save or be Shaken. Deals extra sonic damage on a successful critical hit. +3 bonus, Book of Exalted Deeds pg 113.

    Bloodsoaked Intimidate: When you kill an enemy, you can make an Intimidation check as a Swift Action. Requires Snatch Trophy. Champions of Ruin pg 17.

    Dilate Aura: Doubles the range of any aura. Fiendish Codex II, pg. 83.

    Fearsome armor enhancement: May Demoralize as a Move Action. 2,500 gp, Drow of the Underdark pg 97.

    How to optimize Demoralize.

    There's also a wide variety of feats and items that improve your ability to Intimidate.

    IMO, you should never invest serious resources into a fear build, because there are just too many enemies who are immune. So my suggestion is that you take Daunting Presence and buy a Subjugating weapon, or take Daunting Presence and buy Fearsome armor and the Never Outnumbered Skill Trick.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    I wouldn't trust so much in a fear built in general (as said, many enemies immune) but in some campaing could work.

    I don't know if can be useful, but I would add Kiai Shout and Greater KS from CW. Kind of fear area effect (useful with may low HD enemies).
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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    As far as equipment goes, what about these two?

    Crystal Mask of Dread from the Magic Item Compendium gives +10 (competence) on Intimidate for 10,000 gp.

    Bully Chains from Dragon Magazine 339 gives +4 (type unnamed) to Intimidate and extends the effect of an Intimidate check by one round for only 2,600 gp

    Both would seem invaluable.

    Also, It's worth noting that there seem to be two "Fearsome" armor enchantments.

    Fearsome from Drow of the Underdark is +5,000 and gives you a +5 enchantment bonus to Intimidate, lets you demoralize as a move action, and gives the armor spikes.

    Fearsome from Magic Item Compendium is +15,000 and 3/day on activation creates a 20' aura that panics foes for 1 round if they fail a DC16 will save (shaken for 1 round on success).

    For my gold, neither would really seem worth it in a fear build. The latter is expensive with a low save and the former's bonus is nice, but the other bonuses are available elsewhere and would be made redundant.


    That said, can someone clear up a fear question I had. I asked it in the Q&A but got lost in the shuffle there.

    How does Imperious Command work with other fear effects?

    It states that if you demoralize a foe, they cower for one round and are shaken for the next. How does this work with foes already shaken for multiple rounds? If, for example, a foe is under the effects of an Avenging Executioner's Bloody Blade (Will save or be shaken for a number of rounds equal to Avenging Executioner levels), and is then is intimidated, invoking Imperious Command, would the foe Cower for the duration of the original effect? Would they then be shaken for one round after? Would IC override and cut short the previous duration with it's specific "one round this, the next round that" structure?

    Also, does Imperious Command apply to flat intimidate checks or does it extend to similar effects that aren't specifically intimidate such as Avenging Executioner's Bloody Blade?
    Last edited by Jastermereel; 2009-04-22 at 10:17 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Imperious Command only stacks with the keyword "demoralize", and only if the result is unspecified. Any fear effect that requires a Will save instead of an Intimidate check works normally.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Quote Originally Posted by Faleldir View Post
    Imperious Command only stacks with the keyword "demoralize", and only if the result is unspecified. Any fear effect that requires a Will save instead of an Intimidate check works normally.
    So it would stack with the skill trick Never Outnumbered (Complete Scoundrel), but it wouldn't do so with Intimidating Rage (Complete Warrior) because the result ("A foe you successfully demoralize remains shaken for as long as you continue to rage") is specified?

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Magic Item Compendium also has a number of items that let you inflict fear on people. The main two I'm familiar with are Fearsome and Menacing Armor/Shields.

    This version of Fearsome armor is different enough from the DotU version that I don't think either of them is supposed to replace the other; I think they're both supposed to exist.

    Either MIC enhancement makes enemies Shaken even if they succeed on a save, which makes them pretty cool because fear effects stack (so if you can make them Shaken twice, they'll run away from you). They both work 3 times per day and, rather than adding to the +-equivalent cost of your armor, add a flat cost to it.

    Fearsome has a low save DC and its effect only lasts one round, but it works on multiple targets as a swift action. Menacing lasts longer and has a scaling DC, but costs twice as much, takes a standard action to activate, and only affects one target. I think Fearsome is much better.
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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Something no one at all has mentioned, look in Heroes of Horror for the Dread Witch prestige class (page 98). It's a 5 level spellcasting class that gives you free boosts to your intimidate check throughout. At the final level you get a touch attack that allows you to potentially intimidate enemies, even those that are supposed to be immune to fear effects.
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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Quote Originally Posted by Jastermereel View Post
    So it would stack with the skill trick Never Outnumbered (Complete Scoundrel), but it wouldn't do so with Intimidating Rage (Complete Warrior) because the result ("A foe you successfully demoralize remains shaken for as long as you continue to rage") is specified?
    It stacks with Intimidating Rage. The opponent is Cowered for one round and then Shaken, which in this case lasts for the duration of your Rage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faleldir View Post
    It stacks with Intimidating Rage. The opponent is Cowered for one round and then Shaken, which in this case lasts for the duration of your Rage.
    So might the best way to think about it is to see it as two separate fear effects applied simultaneously (albeit, with a one round wait period on one) rather than one fear effect that is lessened after a round?

    So just to further clarify , a foe already shaken for 10 rounds (from whatever else) getting an Imperious Command enabled Intimidating Rage would now Cower for one round, and be Frightened (cower stacked on cower) for the duration?

    I'm sorry to be so questioning on this, but it seems a very peculiar feat and I imagine I'm not the only one unsure about it. I don't think I've seen any other instance where a fear effect is explicitly lessened after a time frame as it would seem to thoroughly mess with the whole fear-stacking thing.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Just thought I'd add another smaller find to the thread.

    While it doesn't grant a big bonus, Dolweave fabric from the Magic of Eberron gives a +1 intimidate (circumstance) bonus for only 150gp (and 1 extra pound).

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    An update from the OP:
    The player of said warblade took leadership instead, to get a healbot cleric so he has better control over what buffs are put on him, and when, and our party lacks a cleric, anyway (3 people party). We just found a sweet helm that gives +5 to intimidate checks.

    Sooo, as far as intimidate checks go, it uses up time he'd rather spend spike-chaining the snot out of everything with 3 attacks/round.

    Oh well. My Beguiler would have really liked the -2 penalty to everyone's saves.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    So...with a fear-build, that it isn't that hard to boost the scores and DCs up to the point where you'll likely win the check and saves every time, how do you convince your DM that it isn't just a more combat oriented diplomancer?

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    An Intimidate check to demoralize is an opposed roll that an opponent has a chance to resist, a Diplomancer makes a check against a flat DC to turn any opponent, regardless of HD, CR, etc., into a fanatic follower. Plus the demoralize only lasts for one round, the diplomacy changes their attitude indefinitely.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Just a note...if you're Evil (which is unlikely, but possible), don't take Skill Focus (Intimidate). Take Willing Deformity, from Heroes of Horror (or this Web Preview). It does the same thing (+3 to Intimidate checks), and opens the door for several other useful feats, such as the following:

    Deformity (Tall):
    You gain reach at the expense of -1 AC and -2 Hide. Not a bad trade.

    Deformity (Tongue): You gain Blindsense out to 30 feet.

    Deformity (Teeth): You gain a secondary Bite attack and an additional +1 to Intimidate checks.

    Not a bad set of feats, and it also fits with the "freakin' scary" concept.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Fear build

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    An Intimidate check to demoralize is an opposed roll that an opponent has a chance to resist, a Diplomancer makes a check against a flat DC to turn any opponent, regardless of HD, CR, etc., into a fanatic follower. Plus the demoralize only lasts for one round, the diplomacy changes their attitude indefinitely.
    Yes and no.

    The check is easy to boost past most level appropriate opposition's ability to save (1d20+HD+Wis+FearSaveBonuses is actually pretty low). Intimidate (sans demoralize) shares some effects with Diplomacy in that the target will act friendly as long as you're near. Demoralize only lasts 1 round if you don't have any other elements of a fear build.

    While it won't necessarily work against some BBEG, it would seem relatively easy to have a reasonable mid-level build that has most everyone else running in fear after your first turn.

    So yeah, it may not be quite as powerful as a simple Diplomancer, but it similarly hammers on a widespread weak-spot for most foes.
    Last edited by Jastermereel; 2009-04-28 at 11:00 AM.

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