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    Default [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Looking for advice on a build that would cover the role of both tank and skillmonkey (including trapfinder), but preferrably not a caster. For the sake of argument, let's say around level 6 or 8. Most books are in, except Psionics, ToB, MoI & Dragon Magazine. Also, would prefer not to have weird races or templates (core races preferred).

    My first thought is a single level of Rogue or Factotum with the Able Learner feat, then into Ranger or Swashbuckler. Problem is that these builds are pretty restricted in the armor department.

    I know Cloistered Cleric (with Divine Power) is an option, but as I said, I would like to steer clear of casting if at all possible.
    Last edited by Thurbane; 2009-08-19 at 10:23 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Define what you're looking for in a "tank".

    Dwarven Fighter 2/Rogue X is something I always wanted to try. Heavy armor, sneak attack with a Dwarven Waraxe, and absolutely nobody with suspect you're able to pick locks after being thrown in jail. High CON gives you a healthy amount of HP. Look into two levels of Deepwarden to add your CON to AC, instead of DEX.

    <EDIT> Heck, Deepwarder itself looks pretty good, as long as you don't mind losing sneak attack.

    Beyond that? Almost anyone can pick up an armor/DEX combo of +8 AC, so lightly armored rogues have about as much AC as heavily armored fighters. Improved Toughness gives you +1 HP/level, IIRC. Between that and CON boosting items, you'll have a decent chunk of HP. There isn't much difference between d6 and d10 when you're adding +5 or more each level.
    Last edited by erikun; 2009-08-19 at 10:49 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Ranger/Scout with Swift Hunter is always a good option. You get trapfinding and the necessary skills for skillmonkeying (see the Errata), and you can get some pretty ridiculous damage. And there's lots of ways to get free movement, so you can get Skirmish Full Attacks pretty reliably. You're not QUITE as tanky, with at most d8 HD, I think, but it fills most of your requirements.
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    If you are looking for a high health rogue race take a look at the Mongrelfolk in Races of Destiny, they seem cool to me.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Might I suggest three levels of Barbarian with the Trap Killer substitute from Dungeonscape combined with Scout to fill out the rest of the skillmonkey?

    I might just be biased, but trap killer is just amusing. "I find traps 'cause I'm good at living in da woods, then I break them with my face."
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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Good ol' tank? Yeah, go Barbarian with Trapkiller. You'll have some penalties in your search rolls (-5 to be exact) and you can't disarm magical traps (but you can find them and just get casters to Dispel them), but you only need to max out Survival as opposed to Search & Disable Device, and it just so happens Barbarians are excellent tanks. Just invest some extra into buffing your Survival and you should be fine.

    Naturally I strongly suggest against Frenzied Berserker 'cause if TRAP SMASH goes wrong and the save fails, that would be a disaster for the party. But yeah, with sufficient Wisdom- and Survival-buffing, you should find and disable traps pretty consistently, and making a Barbarian Tank isn't the hardest thing in the world.


    Next best easiest thing would probably be some multiclass monster; Ranger can get Trapfinding through Trap Expert ACF from Dungeonscape without losing BAB, so you could make a very decent Ranger/Fighter/Barbarian/Knight/whatever tank with trapfinding skills, especially with Able Learner.

    Note that what I understand by Tanking is the guy in the front who takes hits and forces opponents to hit him. For that, a glass cannon-type character like Swift Hunter or Rogue isn't really optimal; those need to often move and act to generate opportunities for their precision damage, while a tank specifically needs to position himself as such that opponents cannot pass him to protect the rest of the party. For such a role, damage should definitely come from Power Attack which means BAB is preferably full and weapon reach and abilities geared towards making passing him difficult/bad idea (tripping, stand still, some manner of ways to stop tumbling/spring attack [I can only think of Martial Stance: Thicket of Blades right now...], etc.).


    Factotum Tank could actually be doable, if some work. They have martial weapon profs and the ability to add Int to Str-checks (TRIPPING!) and such, so you could probably reach a point where you can be the frontliner while also doing all the skillz.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-08-19 at 11:35 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Rogue/Swordsage with Able Learner to keep Open Locks and Disable Device on your skill list.

    Swordsage is awesome 'tank', in that with Setting Sun, you have so many 'no' buttons that it's almost impossible to get hit. Shifting Defense means NO ONE gets a full attack on you, because you can take a 5' step to keep out of reach after the first hit. Scorpion Parry means they end up hitting themselves.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Sorry, no Swordsage allowed...
    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Most books are in, except Psionics, ToB, MoI & Dragon Magazine.

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Sorry, no Swordsage allowed...
    Reading Comprehension > me

    Scout/Ranger. Rangers are already practically a skillmonkey tank, but needs Trapfinding. Scout brings that to the table. Swift Hunter makes it more fun. One level dip in Cleric for Travel Devotion makes it much more fun.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Reading Comprehension > me

    Scout/Ranger. Rangers are already practically a skillmonkey tank, but needs Trapfinding. Scout brings that to the table. Swift Hunter makes it more fun. One level dip in Cleric for Travel Devotion makes it much more fun.
    Isn't that more of a glass cannon than a tank though? The reason I specifically suggested against it was because Swift Hunter has trouble forcing opponents to face him and to cover area and to take hits; he'll be dealing damage but can he truly tank the damage too?


    For the Barbarian, note that Cityscape gives nice alteration options for their skill list making it work out for a general monkey with at least basic social & wilderness prowess.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-08-20 at 12:47 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Really all you need is trapfinding, heavy armor, and enough skill points to max out search & disable device. That's 4/level cross-class, and less as class-skills. Rogue plus any class with heavy armor proficiency will do it, or even a straight rogue with two armor feats. With both rogue and ranger the only thing you lose is evasion. Since you're wearing heavy armor there's not much point to a high dex and strength should be your primary hitting stat. If playing a straight sneak attacking rogue you'll want to grab mobility or otherwise get a safe way to flank, or be a dwarf so you can tumble in full plate. The problem with that is a dwarf's already low movement speed won't mix well with tumble. So you'll probably want some kind of speed boost. Not to mention the large armor check penalty and low dex. Ya, you probably want to get around w/o tumble.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Honestly, if you're going to just be a rogue in heavy armor, ignore skills like balance and climb and just suck up the doubled check penalty... Disable Device, Open Lock, and Search are all not afflicted by armor check penalty --these sounds like the three skills you're really worried about anyhow; and as a tank the party shouldn't be expecting you to be too gifted in the realm of tumble.

    Personally, I'd just do the Barbarian with Dungeonscape and Cityscape variants and possibly the City-Brawler substitute from Dragon #349, but that would just be my preference.
    ...actually, that character sounds fun... I'll have to try that with my next barbarian I play.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Isn't that more of a glass cannon than a tank though? The reason I specifically suggested against it was because Swift Hunter has trouble forcing opponents to face him and to cover area and to take hits; he'll be dealing damage but can he truly tank the damage too?


    For the Barbarian, note that Cityscape gives nice alteration options for their skill list making it work out for a general monkey with at least basic social & wilderness prowess.
    Wildshape Ranger + MoMF makes for an extremely beefy tank, plus versitility in shifting forms...
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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    Here a Rogue/Swashbuckler build I'd like to try sometime.

    It's level 10, so you might have to screw down a bit.

    Norrik, male human Rogue 4/Swashbuckler 6

    Rogue 1 (1): Sneak Attack +1d6, Trapfinding, Combat expertise, Imp. Feint; (8+Int)*4 skills, 6 hp
    Swashbuckler 1 (2): Weapon Finesse (Rapier), 4+Int skills, d10 hp
    Swashbuckler 2 (3): Grace +1, Imp. Disarm, 4+Int skills, d10 hp
    Rogue 2 (4): Evasion, +1 Dex, 8+Int skills, d6hp
    Rogue 3 (5): Sneak Attack +2d6, Trapsense +1
    Swashbuckler 3 (6): Insightful strike, Daring outlaw, 4+Int skills, d10 hp
    Swashbuckler 4 (7): 4+Int skills, d10 hp
    Swashbuckler 5 (8): +1 Dex, Dodge +1, 4+Int skills, d10 hp
    Rogue 4 (9): Uncanny Dodge, Telling Blow, 8+Int skills, d6 hp
    Swashbuckler 6 (10): 4+Int skills, d10 hp

    BAB: +9/+4
    HP: 6+6d10+3d6+10*Con-modifier
    Skills: (8+1+Int-mod)*7 + (4+1+Int-mod)*6
    Fort: 1 + 5 + Con-mod
    Ref: 3 + 2 + Dex-mod
    Wil: 1 + 2 + Wis-mod
    Special features: Sneak Attack +5d6, Dodge Bonus +2, Grace +1, Insightful strike (+Int-mod on dmg), Trapsense +1, Uncanny dodge
    Feats: Combat expertise, Weapon Finesse (Rapier), Imp. Feint, Imp. Disarm, Daring Outlaw, Telling Blow


    Thanks to combat expertise, grace and dodge feat you can really push your AC a little. If you don't have to tank, you can deal damage using sneak attack. It's suppost to be some kind of duellist, but to me, the RP aspect of this character is more important.

    In addition you can go with some skilltricks to be able to get around the battlefield without being hit too often or take acrobatic backstab for a nice way to use sneak attack during a fight.

    Cheers,
    Farlion
    Last edited by Farlion; 2009-08-20 at 06:57 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Tank skillmonkey combo?

    I'll second dwarven deepwarden.

    Full BAB, d12 HP, 6+Int skill points per level, and Con bonus to AC (instead of Dex). I think you could get in on Rogue 1/Ranger 4, or perhaps some other class combo; if you can avoid grabbing Track you'll get it for free with the first level of Deepwarden. A dungeoneer scout would likewise work for entry.


    Failing that, Dread Commando (Heroes of Battle) offers a lot of what you'd be looking for, though it's only 5 levels long.
    Full BAB, no armour restriction, d8 HD, greatly reduced armour penalties (I believe it can reduce the penalty by 4, so masterwork full plate can end up at only a -1 penalty), and class skills that include all the stealthy stuff and Opeln Locks/Disable Devices.

    A Fighter 3/Rogue 3/Dread Commando 5 could sneak around in full armour with nearly full BAB (+10 rather than +11), granting a +5 initiative bonus to his team, and getting 2d6 sneak attack and 3d6 of sudden strike, and is sitting on a pretty nice HP total. Finish it off with Nightsong Enforcer (C Adv) if you want, the stealthy combat variety of fighter/rogue. The enforcers get 4+Int skill points, full BAB, 4d6 of sneak attack over 10 levels, some team-based combat/stealth stuff (skill teamwork - can grant up to +4 on balance, climb, escape artist, hide, move silently, listen, and spot checks to all allies within 30'), and d8 HD.

    Between dread commando and nightsong enforcer you've essentially got the stealthy warrior who excels in leading commando-style raids.
    Last edited by Epinephrine; 2009-08-20 at 09:07 AM.

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