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    Default Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook

    Masters of the Sword
    A Warblade’s Handbook




    Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.
    -Confucius


    Why Play a Warblade?

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    Warblades, introduced in Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords, are one of the three martial initiator classes. Exemplars of sheer martial skill, they are arguably the strongest of the three.

    Here are just a few of the warblade's selling points.

    - They're free to play. Wizards of the Coast kindly provided the full warblade class on their website, along with maneuver cards, which can help streamline play.

    - You’re as good as it gets. Before we even get to maneuvers and all the rest, you have a d12 hit die, two good saves, and full BAB.

    - You have efficient use of the action economy. Warblades can move, initiate a standard-action strike for respectable damage, mix in a swift-action boost and still perform a counter when it's not their turn. Fighters, on the other hand, just move and attack.

    - As you advance, you gain a number of useful class features which boost your overall combat capability, from free feats to abilities that grant you excellent Int synergy. And your capstone is undoubtedly the best of the three martial adepts', providing an incentive to stay in warblade all the way to the end.

    - You can refresh maneuvers at a moment’s thought. To refresh their maneuvers, a warblade just has to make a normal attack.

    - You’re great straight out of the box. This applies to all Tome of Battle characters, but it’s worth bringing up - it’s very hard to screw up as a warblade unless you try to. Although this guide can help, just picking maneuvers that sound cool will make you quite capable. Nor do you even need to multi class; warblade 20 is an excellent build.



    Why Use Tome of Battle?

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    Naturally, opinions on the Tome of Battle vary widely. Martial adepts have a style of play far removed from the standard martial character in Third Edition. But I’ve found that Tome of Battle greatly enriches the playing experience at my table, for two reasons:

    - It makes melee characters fun to play. Some people enjoy endlessly repeating their full attack routine, but many want something more. Tome of Battle provides melee combatants a wide array of new options and tactics, as well as the ability to make tactical decisions more meaningful than simply how much they'll Power Attack for.

    - It levels the playing field. Around here it’s an oft-recited saying that fighters scale linearly, while wizards scale quadratically. Tome of Battle by no means closes that gap, but it unquestionably narrows it.



    This handbook will use the following system for ratings:

    Red - Awful. Never, ever take these.
    Purple - Meh. These can be situationally useful, but aren’t usually worth it.
    Black - OK. Not the best, but not the worst, either.
    Blue - Good. An excellent option, and worthwhile.
    Cyan - Great. You should take these.
    Gold - Incredible. These are amazing options, defining aspects of a build or even the entire class.


    Any kind of feedback is welcome and appreciated.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2011-12-23 at 12:52 AM.

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    Default Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook

    Roles: Using the Sword

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    Primary Melee - This is you. You excel at melee combat; whether you’re a dervish of whirling blades or a crashing, maul-wielding juggernaut, it’s your job to always be out there on the front line.

    Mobility - You have the potential to become an extraordinarily mobile combatant. Many Diamond Mind and Tiger Claw maneuvers enhance mobility, and you’ll probably have a high Jump score if you’re using the latter (which you usually should, at least to some degree). It’s also a fair bet that you’re wearing light (or at least medium) armor – and hey, if you need to spend a round getting into position, no biggie. You can just use that round to refresh your maneuvers.

    Tank - You likely won’t be able to match the stickiness of, say, a crusader, but nonetheless you’re a formidable target. D12 HD, medium armor proficiency, and, very likely (due to Diamond Mind counters) good saves mean you won’t be going down any time soon.

    Battlefield Control - Pick up some tripping-related feats, enlarge yourself, and go to town; or heck, just get a reach weapon. Once again, you’re no crusader – and definitely no caster - but with the right tools you can become quite adept at manipulating the battlefield.

    Debuffing - Many strikes incur debilitating status effects on your enemies. But don’t kid yourself; you’re no match for casters when it comes to debuffing. These debuffs should be augmenting your abilities rather than becoming an end in their own right.

    Ranged Combat - Sorry, no. Always keep a ranged weapon on hand, just in case, but be aware that you're a pretty mediocre archer. No disciplines enhance ranged combat (unless homebrew is allowed), though full BAB and a decent Dex mean you can still function.
    But ranged combat should be a last resort.



    Class Features: Crux of the Sword

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    Fundamentals:

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    D12 hit die - Excellent. With your role as a front line combatant, you need a lot of hit points.
    Full BAB - You could probably still function with something less – but it would be tough.
    Good Fortitude save - Every melee class gets it, but let’s be honest: every melee class needs it.
    Bad Reflex and Will saves - Always the warrior’s Achilles heel, these are of less concern to you; Battle Clarity helps make up for the former, and Moment of Perfect Mind helps compensate for the latter.
    4 Skill Points/level - You can always use more skill points, but 4/level is pretty decent for a melee class. Better than a fighter’s, anyway, and unless you dump Int (not a good idea) it should be enough to cover all your basic needs.


    Class Features:

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    Maneuvers - This is what makes a warblade a warblade. Without them, you’re even worse than a fighter – and that, my friend, is a low bar indeed.

    Stances - See above. Stances are perhaps less essential, but they’re still a defining aspect of the class.

    Battle Clarity - This helps make up for your low Reflex save. You may want to pick up the counter that replaces this with a skill check eventually, but at the low levels it’s pretty useful.

    Weapon Aptitude - This feature’s use is limited, as its main purpose seems to be qualifying for the lackluster Weapon Focus/Specialization lines. However, there’s potential use here, especially when it’s combined with Exotic Weapon Proficiency.

    Uncanny Dodge - Retain your Dex bonus to AC even when flat-footed? Can’t argue with that.

    Battle Ardor - Quite good, especially on those double-kukri crit fisher builds. There’s little as disappointing as threatening a critical and then failing to confirm it.

    Bonus Feats - At first glance, the list to choose from doesn’t seem great – and while they may not be fantastic, there are a lot of ‘gateway’ feats available. And at worst, hey, free feats are free feats.

    Battle Cunning - Just another incentive to catch your opponents flat-footed. Nice.

    Battle Skill - Hm. The bonus is nice, but at this point the extra couple of points from your Int isn’t going to help much – high-level monsters have mean modifiers. And unlike when you’re attacking, those extra points don’t have the potential to become more damage via Power Attack.

    Battle Mastery - If you’re making use of Karmic Strike/Robilar’s Gambit, this is great. Even if you’re not, it’s bound to come in handy.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge - Unfortunately, this isn’t much. Flanking doesn’t happen all that often, unless you’re up against a bunch of rogues.

    Stance Mastery - Can someone say 'capstone'? This is just amazing, and it's one of main reasons to stay in warblade until the end.



    Skills: Sheathing the Sword

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    Class Skills:

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    Balance - It's the key skill for both Iron Heart and Stone Dragon, and it helps you avoid those pesky Grease spells. Almost always worth taking five ranks in it; after that, it becomes much less enticing.
    Climb - You simply don't have enough skill points for this. Climb can be useful, but it's a very, very low priority.
    Concentration - The biggest priority on the list. This is Diamond Mind's key skill, and Diamond Mind has the save-replacing and Nightmare Blade maneuver lines - both lifesavers, and both keyed on Concentration rolls.
    Craft - If you have your heart set on being a master smith or forging warheart weapons, well, indulge yourself. Otherwise, give it a miss.
    Diplomacy - It's White Raven's key skill, and pretty dang useful besides. Definitely worth it if you have the points to spare.
    Intimidate - Who doesn't want people to quiver in fear at the sight of them? A very nice skill.
    Intimidate is also used in Duels of Wills, a new feature introduced in the ToB, and the skill really shines when utilized in an Imperious Command build.
    Jump - Tiger Claw is a great discipline, and I'd advise nearly every warblade to make at least some use of it. Many Tiger Claw maneuvers hinge off Jump...so, there we go. But if you're not making any use of Tiger Claw, skip it.
    Knowledge (History) - It can be useful. Not great, though.
    Knowledge (Local) - Same as above, but history is often more useful.
    Martial Lore - Knowing your military history can be important, and combat is sort of your schtick. Martial Lore's other function - identifying maneuvers being used against you and the maneuvers in other adept's repertoires - is not as great, but still handy on occasion. Overall, a pretty decent Knowledge skill; if you have skill points to spare, it can be worth taking a few ranks, especially if you're in a game heavy in martial adepts.
    Swim - As with Climb, you just have too many other priorities.
    Tumble - Acrobatics and avoiding AoOs are pretty darn nice. Unless you're a retaliation build, in which case, not quite so nice.


    Cross-Class Skills

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    Listen and Spot - Perception skills are always useful. If you have extra skill points, they're a reasonable investment.
    Search - In my experience, Search is generally less useful. But maybe that's just me.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2011-12-23 at 03:35 PM.

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    Default Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook

    Abilities: What it Takes to Use the Sword

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    Strength - This is your main stat. It determines your melee attack and damage; get it as high as possible. Absolutely crucial.
    Recommended score: 16-18, before racial adjustments.

    Dexterity - Quite important. It's the key skill for Balance and Tumble, your lack of heavy armor means you'll likely be able to benefit from the extra AC, and higher Reflex saves never hurt. Plus, since no disciplines enhance ranged combat, you'll be relying mostly on your Dex for it.
    Recommended score: 12-16, before racial adjustments.

    Constitution - A high Con score is a huge boon, and at least decent score is essential. You can never, ever have too many hit points, and it increases your Concentration bonus. A higher Fort save is just icing on the cake.
    Recommended score: 14-18, before racial adjustments.

    Intelligence - Your class abilities grant you great Int synergy, and Int also raises your skill points - a scarce resource. Get a good score if you can afford it.
    Recommended score: 12-16, before racial adjustments.

    Wisdom - Quite useful, since it raises your perception skills and Will saves. But neither are too essential: the latter, as I've said, can be compensated for, and you're usually not going to be the party scout, anyway.
    Recommended score: 8-14, before racial adjustments.

    Charisma - You may be a glory-hound, but you'll have to find some other way to accomplish it than Cha. This is a dump stat, pure and simple.
    Recommended score: 8-10, before racial adjustments.


    Sample Stat Arrays:

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    Elite Array: 15, 12, 14, 13, 10, 8
    25 Point Buy: 16, 10, 14, 13, 10, 8
    28 Point Buy: 16, 12, 14, 14, 10, 8
    32 Point Buy: 16, 12, 16, 14, 10, 8
    40 Point Buy: 18, 14, 16, 14, 10, 8
    60 Point Buy: 18, 16, 18, 16, 14, 10



    Races: Born to the Sword

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    Core

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    Dwarf - Essentially a free +2 Con, since Cha is a dump stat. And all those little bonuses can add up. But the speed penalty can be annoying, especially since you can't wear heavy armor to cover it.

    Elves:
    For a warblade, elves have the added bonus of being the only race able to qualify for the amazing Eternal Blade PrC.

    Grey Elf - Strength and Con penalties. Next.
    High Elf - These are a little better than grey elves, but not by much. Dex is good, but it hardly compensates for lost Con.
    Wild Elf - A strong pick. Losing Int stings, but it's hardly as tough as a Con penalty. If you're restricted to Core races and want to play an elf (especially on lower point buys), I advise playing a wild elf.
    Wood Elf - These are also a strong choice; I'd recommend them only on higher point buys, though, as you'll need to purchase mid to high scores across the board in order to end up with decent Con and Int.

    Gnome - Gnomes don't make very good warblades, losing Str and using small weapons. But the smaller damage die can be compensated for without much trouble at all, and losing two points of Str won't cripple you too much - and on the other hand, you'll gain bonuses from your small size.
    If you really want to be a gnome, go ahead; otherwise, though, you can do better.

    Half-Elf - Ew. They're basically humans, but much worse. The only use here is qualifying for Eternal Blade without any penalties - but even so, snow elf is usually your best bet.

    Halfling - At first these might seem like an awful choice, but, as ShneekeyTheLost notes,

    A point of note about halfling warblades...

    It's not as bad as you might think. The Str penalty equates to a -1 damage. The size modifier does about the same thing. In the long run, it doesn't hurt as much as you might think it does.

    If you go with Halfling, you'll need to build specifically for this task. There's a couple of ways to do this:

    1) Dip swordsage or blow a couple of feats to get a Shadow Hand stance. Then take the feat Shadow Blade, and make sure you can make it appear as though it was a shadow hand weapon (spiked chains, by the way, are shadow hand weapons). Replaces Str with Dex for damage. Weapon Finesse to use Dex to attack. Str is now a dump stat, but rather feat intensive.

    2) Bloodstorm Blade/Master Thrower. Seriously, two points of damage isn't going to be hurting you here, and you can do an awful lot of havoc to someone who is bigger than you, so being small is an asset rather than a disadvantage.

    Also, as a halfling, you can pick up Confound the Big Folk for more obnoxiousness.

    Half-Orc - These are a nice pick. The damage to mentals isn't good, but it's better than penalties to physicals - and the Str boost is delicious.

    Human - When Wizards wrote 3.5, they obviously had an inflated racial ego, because humans are awesome for basically anything. For a warblade, they're no exception. Feats are horribly scarce, especially if you're not allowed flaws, and the extra skill point is great.


    There are a bewildering number of races to choose from, and so from here on out the only ones mentioned will be those black and higher. If a race isn’t here, assume it’s not worth taking (though you are, of course, welcome to take it up with me).

    Non-Core

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    These races are only those without level adjustment and/or racial HD – those with can be found below.

    Aventi (Stormwrack) – Wonderful in an aquatic-themed campaign, though not as useful otherwise.

    Changeling (Races of Eberron) – Changelings make awesome spies – and while you are perhaps not the best spy, their shapeshifting is still a very cool toy.

    Darfellan (Stormwrack) – A prime pick in an aquatic campaign where you're forced to play a water-breathing race, and nice all-around. But make no mistake: you will get made fun of for looking like a whale.

    Mongrelfolk (Races of Destiny) – While -4 Cha shouldn't be too big a problem, and the Dex-for-Con trade is good, the stats are lacking when compared things like orcs and neanderthals. Nonetheless, you could do much worse.

    Neanderthal (Frostburn) – Not fantastic, as it has a penalty to both of your secondary stats. But still, that’s far outweighed by the bonus to both primaries.

    Orc (MM) – A penalty to all your mental stats, but a +4 Str boost is really enormous. Definitely a fine pick, and better than those puny half-orcs.

    Raptoran (Races of the Wild) – A great pick; the wings are more a boon than any measly +2 to Str or Con.

    Shifter (Races of Eberron) – Longtooth or Longstride shifters are the obvious choices, and they make quite good warblades. They trade Int for Dex, but that’s a pretty fair exchange, and the goodies from shifting more than make up for it.

    Skarn (Magic of Incarnum) - Bonus to Str, penalty to Dex. Come with built in natural weapons so you can still initiate maneuvers while unarmed without having to take Improved Unarmed Strike.

    Warforged (Races of Eberron) – You’re a robot with a bonus to Con and more immunities than you can count. At first level you can potentially have armor better than plate, and with feat investments you can gain potent bonuses to it.


    Racial Variants

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    The only variants here are those that are better than the standard race.

    Badlands Dwarf (Sandstorm) – Again, if you’re in a desert campaign it’s worth looking at, but not otherwise.
    Deep Dwarf (MM) – Slightly better than the standard, but not by much.
    Earth Dwarf (SRD/Unearthed Arcana) – Str for Dex is a very nice trade – and the extra bonuses certainly don’t hurt. Superior over the hill dwarf.

    Painted Elf (Sandstorm) – Dex and Int are really on equal footing for you, making this a pretty even trade.
    Snow Elf (Frostburn) – The best elf, with the Con penalty traded for one to Cha (your one true dump stat).

    Chaos Gnome (Races of Stone) - +1 LA.
    Bonuses to Dex, Con, and Cha, though at the cost of Str. You trade the normal gnome benefits for a couple of SLAs; you are also, notably, immune to compulsion effects. You also - and this is the main draw - gain a reroll once per day, for anything. Rerolls are precious, and the immunity to compulsion is invaluable: with LA buyoff, these are potentially even cyan.
    Whisper Gnome (Races of Stone) - A great race for small, more dextrous warblades; strictly superior to their standard counterparts. You gain a bonus to Con in exchange for a hit to Cha, plus a +8 bonus (half size, half racial) to Hide, a +4 racial bonus to Move Silently, a +2 racial bonus to Spot and Listen, and Silence as an SLA.

    Strongheart Halfling (Forgotten Realms) – Without a doubt the best halfling, thanks to the free feat; however, you may be better just going human.

    Aquatic, Arctic, and Desert Half-Elf (SRD/Unearthed Arcana) _ These are better picks than the standard half-elf, especially in a campaign geared towards their respective terrains.

    Aquatic Half-Orc (SRD/Unearthed Arcana) – It’s…a half-orc, but better. Remind me why you wouldn’t pick this over its standard counterpart?
    Jungle Half-Orc (SRD/Unearthed Arcana) – If you want to make a dragoon build, the Jump bonus can help.
    Scablands Half-Orc (Sandstorm) – In a desert campaign (*cough*Dark Sun*cough*), the heat and thirst endurance can be a lifesaver. Otherwise, skip it.

    Aquatic Orc (SRD/Unearthed Arcana) – In an aquatic or naval campaign, likely a better choice than standard orc.
    Desert Orc (SRD/Unearthed Arcana) – Endurance as a bonus feat is excellent, allowing you to qualify for Steadfast Determination immediately. Very nice.
    Water Orc (SRD/Unearthed Arcana) – Woah. Like a normal (already superb) orc, but they slipped an extra +2 Con in there, in addition to your already delicious bonuses. This is without a doubt the best kind of orc, and a truly fantastic warblade.


    +1 Level Adjustment

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    Half Giant (SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook) - Bonuses to Str and Con, but a penalty to Dex - so it might be a good idea to start with at least a 12 in the last. They have the always saucy powerful build (great for those tripper/knockbacker warblades), as well as LLV. There's also a mildly useful Psi-like ability for crowd control, but expect this to drop off in effectiveness dramatically at higher levels. Naturally psionic even makes these guys a possible choice for a psionic dip or for a warblade//psion in gestalt.

    Goliath (Races of Stone) - Huge bonus to Str, a bonus to Con, and Powerful Build. Like a half-giant, but potentially even better - especially with the added benefit of bonuses in mountainous terrain.

    Sharakim (Races of Destiny) - Bonus to Str and Int, with penalties to Dex and Cha. This is synergistic with the warblade's important stats, and you get some other minor benefits: darkvision, shadow affinity and orc racial enemy. Get cool shades to negate the light sensitivity.

    Thri-Kreen (MM2) - With multiple limbs suitable for Multiweapon Fighting, tasty bonuses to Strength and Dex, and an absurdly high bonus to Jump checks, thri-kreen are a Tiger Claw adept's dream (and worth considering even if Tiger Claw isn't your focus). An older version granted them limited psionic abilities in exchange for an extra point of LA; for a warblade, the current version is much superior.


    +2 Level Adjustment


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    Half-Ogre (Races of Destiny) - An enormous bonus to Str and Con, but penalties to Dex/Int/Cha. Large size, some natural armor, darkvision and the Giant sub-type. These guys will hit hard, fast and bring people down. Combining them guys with knockdown/knockback sounds utterly terrifying. If you can afford the LA, start at a high enough level to buy some or all of it off, or if it only eats one side of a gestalt, these guys can even become great.


    Higher Level Adjustment

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    Flind Gnoll - +2 LA, +2 RHD.
    You'll score some considerable bonuses to your physical abilities - +6 Strength, +2 Dex, and +4 Con - (as well as a small natural armor bonus) which are the flind gnoll's main appeal. Only consider playing this race if you can buy off the LA; even so, the combination of LA and Racial Hit Dice will dog (pun not intended) you throughout your career.


    Templates

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    Dark (ToM) - LA +1.
    A nifty little template, it gets you Hide in Plain Sight and 10' extra movement, as well as a very large bonus to Hide. While perhaps better suited to the swordsage, and less appealing if you're not into hiding, this can make an excellent template for a small, deft warblade. Combines particularly well with races like whisper gnomes or strongheart halflings.

    Draconic (Draconomicon) - LA+1.
    This is good stuff. We land bonuses to Str, Con, and Cha, natural attacks to use with maneuvers as well as some minor skill/save bonuses, Darkvision, and LLV. Compares well with other LA +1 races but is a template! As a result, you can find some excellent synergies combining this with efficient LA +0 races. Draconic warforged? Draconic orc? Draconic water orc?

    Dragonborn (RotD) - +0 LA.
    Mechanically, this template takes your original racial abilities then tacks on +2 Con -2 Dex. You gain access to a draconic aspect, the dragonblood subtype and a few other minor benefits, while losing most of your other racial traits.. Can be combined with wood elf to net a +2 Str, -Int. Makes water orcs fairly insane.

    Draconic Aspect can be a powerful ability as well. Mind Aspect culminates in Blindsense (an excellent perception boost), Wings Aspect gives solid flight (effectively replaces a flying magic item at high level). Breath Aspect could be fun, but doesn't scale (haha!) very well.

    Feral (Savage Species) - +1 LA.
    An excellent template. While you suffer a significant -4 to Int and -2 to Dex, and your hit dice become d10s, you gain +4 to Str, +2 to Wis, Darkvision, +10' to your movement speed, claw attacks (with Improved Grab and eventually Rake and Rend), a +6 natural armor bonus...but most significantly, at 4 HD - and this is why it's turquoise - Pounce. If you're using the LA buyoff rules, this template becomes simply superb, as it means you can gain Pounce without needing to spend a level in Spirit Lion Totem barbarian - and thus, while retaining a full 20 levels for whatever progression you wish. Do note, however: Savage Species was released under 3.0, so its use in 3.5 is subject to DM approval.

    Shadow (LoM) - +2 LA.
    Right off you gain +50% to your movement speed, some scaling Cold resistance, Darkvision, LLV, and a neat ability called Shadow Blend. Every four HD you also gain a special ability of your choice, ranging from a large bonus to Move Silently to DR5+1/HD to the ability to Plane Shift once per day to the Plane of Shadow.
    Like Dark, potentially better for a swordsage, but useful for stealthy, dextrous warblades. Even you're not interested in stealth, there are some potentially very useful benefits to be gained.



    Combat Styles: Ways of the Sword

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    As a warblade, it’s not exaggerating in the least to say that picking your combat style is the most important and influential choice you’ll ever make.
    It’ll affect your entire career – your tactics, feat choices, maneuvers learned. Basically, your success rests upon the weapons in your hands – so you better make sure those weapons are good ones.

    Shield Bashing – If you choose to pursue it, shield bashing can be a very nice choice. Once you can afford an animated shield (shield bashers should get one ASAP), you should switch to a two-handed weapon to maximize damage; a reach weapon is excellent, since feats like Shield Slam enhance your tank capability. Add shield spikes and you can enchant your shield like a normal weapon – and obviously, you’ll want the Bashing shield property from the DMG.

    Shield bashing is a combat style that can take a while to pan out, and requires a heavy feat investment – but at mid to high levels, a shield basher has the potential to become a great tank.

    Sword and Shield – Sword and shield – colloquially, sword-n-board – is infamously awful as a style. The big problem is that you don’t get 2:1 Power Attack returns or 150% of your Strength bonus to damage; that said, in the early levels, when AC is important, it’s very viable for you. Especially since you have maneuvers to make up for damage potential, I’d go so far as to recommend using a shield up to around level three. But by level six, you should be usually be going two-handed, and by the time you can afford an animated shield, there’s just no excuse.

    Two-Handed Fighting - Two handed weapons (greatswords, greataxes, ranseurs, and the like) can pump out huge amounts of raw damage with little investment. As such, two-handing is the default - and from a purely numerical standpoint, likely the best - choice of combat style. Why? When wielding a two-handed weapon, you gain 1.5* your Strength bonus to damage, and you get double returns from Power Attack. From the mid levels onward, these two sources will be providing you with the greater part of your base damage, and so simply using a two-hander boosts your damage output enormously. If you actually invest feats in the style (which, and make no mistake, you should), your damage output can become truly obscene. If you're going for an ubercharger or dragoon build, then you definitely want to two-hand. It is worth noting, however, that warblades, since they use maneuvers to boost their damage output, are less reliant on this style than other martial classes.

    Two-Weapon Fighting - This is probably the style you want to go for if you don't want to use a two-hander. If you want to focus mainly on Tiger Claw it's definitely the best style for you, seeing as many of the maneuvers from that discipline require that you're dual-wielding. Two-weapon fighters (or TWFers) are often used to create crit-fisher builds, as more attacks mean more chances to crit: the kukri, with its high crit range, is the optimal weapon for this type of build. But be aware that TWFing requires a high feat investment - the three feats in the Two-Weapon Fighting line are mandatory if you want to use this style.

    Keep in mind that armor spikes can be treated as an off-hand weapn, meaning you could potentially dual-wield a two-hander and a spiked gauntlet.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2011-12-23 at 05:50 PM.

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    Default Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook

    Maneuvers: Sword Magic

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    Choosing Disciplines

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    As a warblade, you have access to five different disciplines - Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, Stone Dragon, Tiger Claw, and White Raven.
    One of the hardest choices any warblade makes is what disciplines to specialize in. Remember that it's always a tradeoff, and you probably can't get everything you'd like.

    If you're primarily a warblade, it's often best to choose a primary discipline, a secondary discipline, and a tertiary discipline. If you're something like half warblade, leave off the tertiary; if you're only dabbling, just pick a primary and scavenge off everything else.

    Here's a brief list of the warblade disciplines and their merits.

    Diamond Mind - This is a fantastic discipline, and there's no reason at all not to take at least a few maneuvers from it. It's really not geared towards any particular type of character, being simply chock-full of melee goodness.

    Iron Heart - See above. The main difference is that, while some maneuvers are geared towards particular combat styles, the discipline as a whole isn't. Really, you can't go wrong with either this or Diamond Mind.

    Stone Dragon - This is likely the weakest discipline available to you. Besides the annoying 'must be standing on the ground' clause, its maneuvers simply don't offer as much as other disciplines'.
    The exceptions being, of course, the Mountain Hammer line and Mountain Tombstone Strike. The former provide excellent ways to overcome DR, and the latter is a capstone maneuver - yes, a 9th level strike - with no prerequisites. Even if you skip Mountain Hammer, grab Mountain Tombstone Strike and run.

    Tiger Claw - Tiger Claw is geared towards TWFers, and it shows. But THFers, chargers especially, gain lots of benefits as well. It doesn't have any counters at all, but it's famed for its boosts. They really pack a punch.

    White Raven - If you want to play a marshal-type character, this is for you. However, White Raven's effectiveness depends heavily on your party's makeup: if you have lots of other meleers, it really comes into its own. If you don't, it's not that great.


    First Level

    Spoiler
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    This is a really nice level. There are loads of different options, and quite a few gems sprinkled about. My personal favorites are Charging Minotaur, Moment of Perfect Mind, Steel Wind, and Sudden Leap.

    Diamond Mind:

    Moment of Perfect Mind - It's the best maneuver in the Moment of X line, and just level 1. You really want this.
    Sapphire Nightmare Blade - This one is good, but quickly loses steam. If you're playing in a low-level game, it might be a good choice; otherwise, skip it.
    However, if you have sneak attack (probably from multiclassing), this becomes much better. As it renders your opponent flat-footed, you can use it to set up sneak attacks.

    Iron Heart:

    Steel Wind - Excellent. While it only works when you're facing two foes, at the low levels you're often squared against gangs of mooks - situations in which Steel Wind can double your effectiveness. However, it's probably wise to trade it away before too long.
    Steely Strike - Quite good for solo fights, as the AC penalty applies only to foes other than the one you attacked. And at the low levels, +4 attack greatly increases your chance of hitting. While awesome at the beginning of your career, it ages quickly.

    Stone Dragon:

    Charging Minotaur - Now this is a nice maneuver. Charging Minotaur does become relatively obsolete before too long, but you'll have a lot of fun playing with the thing.
    Stone Bones - At first level, DR5 is plain awesome, and can mean near invulnerability for a round. But by 2nd or 3rd it's already starting to age - and by level 5, the thing is history. It's much like Steely Strike in this regard.

    Tiger Claw:

    Sudden Leap - Niice. This is an excellent mobility enhancer, and provides benefits well after most 1st-level maneuvers' have expired.
    However, it's worth noting that it has a prerequisite of 1 Tiger Claw maneuver - you'll need to either take a Tiger Claw stance or Wolf Fang Strike to qualify for this at 1st level.
    Wolf Fang Strike - Sounds good to me. Why not? Especially nice because it allows feat-less TWFing, as its penalties supersede those of two-weapon fighting.

    White Raven:

    Douse the Flames - In the right situation, this is a great tool, letting you cover for an ally (or allies) while they escape or run past. And it completely shuts down reach/lockdown/Stand Still builds for a turn.
    Leading the Attack - If you have a party with lots of melee firepower, this is a good one. Otherwise, not so good.


    Second Level

    Spoiler
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    No matter what your build, you're in for a treat this level. Even better than first; the best are Action Before Thought, Emerald Razor, Mountain Hammer, and Wall of Blades.

    Diamond Mind:

    Action Before Thought – Like all of the save-replacing maneuvers, this is great. Reflex is your second weakest save, so pick this up if you can afford it; however, your Ref is usually at least decent, and there are lots of goof maneuvers this level. Plus, Ref saves tend not to be SoL/SoDs the way Will saves do.
    Emerald Razor – Touch attacks are incredibly easy to make, so this maneuver is great when you’re up against a heavily armored foe. It only allows a single attack, but that’s no problem at level 3 – and the fact that you can Power Attack to your heart’s content makes up for that, anyway. As a rule of thumb, all the gem maneuvers (except for Sapphire) are worth taking.

    Iron Heart:

    Disarming Strike – It’s good, definitely, and brings use to a generally maligned combat action. But when compared to the other 2nd level maneuvers you have available, I think it comes up wanting.
    Wall of Blades – Superb. The perennial weakness of the charger is a pitifully low AC. Pick up this maneuver and you can forget about that (and even if you’re not Shock Trooper-ing, your AC will generally be lower than your attack). This is a maneuver that never ages.
    Saph's favorite use of Wall of Blades is to use it against touch and ranged touch spells, which generally have a much lower bonus than melee attacks. Plus, deflecting rays with your sword is awesome.

    Stone Dragon:

    Mountain Hammer – Remember how I said that the Mountain Hammer line was one of the best things about Stone Dragon? This is the most basic of them, and while the bonus damage soon becomes mediocre, its main function – ignoring all DR and hardness – never ages. Even better, it's free of prereqs.
    Stone Vise – Look at the average monster’s Fortitude save, and you’ll realize that the DC for this maneuver is just awfully low. If it were a Will save, maybe, but as it is, this is just awful.

    Tiger Claw:

    Claw at the Moon – The bonus damage is good at this level, but it ages quickly. This isn’t terrible, but with all the other great 2nd level maneuvers available it’s not really worth taking, especially since many others also provide bonus damage in the same range.
    However, as Draz notes,
    Claw at the Moon is awesome for characters who multiclass into warblade at later levels. A Jump check that will beat AC is not hard to get for most characters. Hunter's Sense is often the most useful Level 1 stance for such a multiclasser, and to take it, first you have to take Wolf Fang Strike, Claw at the Moon, or Rabid Wolf Strike. Some characters never TWF and aren't particularly reckless, but have ranks in Jump, so CatM is their best option. YMMV though.
    Rabid Wolf Strike – Your classic ditch-it-all, KO strike. Not bad at all if you plan on going Shock Trooper; combine with Wall of Blades for extra fun.

    White Raven:

    Battle Leader’s Charge – +10 damage at level 3 is fantastic, and this allows you to get into the thick of things without trouble. Just make sure not to get in over your head. A very worthwhile choice if you’re focusing on White Raven.
    Tactical Strike – Nice bonus damage, and if you’re fighting in a cluster with your teammates it allows you to close on nearby foes or flee. Sadly, it doesn’t allow them to avoid full attacks, though.


    Third Level

    Spoiler
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    There’s no question at all as to the best maneuvers this level. The standouts are Iron Heart Surge and White Raven Tactics, hands down.

    Diamond Mind:

    Insightful Strike – The Insightful Strike line is really nice, and though this one has the least oomph of the bunch, it’s still excellent. At around the level you get this, with maxed Concentration and a masterwork tool, it’ll sport an average of something like 23 damage – and the damage scales naturally as long as you keep improving Concentration.
    Mind Over Body – Fortitude is your best save, and as such this isn’t a very good choice. Sure, a Concentration check might be higher, but you’ll generally have Fort high enough already. It does stop you from failing on a natural 1, which is nice, but Mind Over Body isn’t generally worth learning.

    Iron Heart:

    Exorcism of Steel – Not bad at all. The save’s low, but it’s Will, which for melee enemies is usually weak, and the long duration ensures it’ll be in effect for the whole battle, at least most of the time. The downside is that it only works against manufactured weapons, but Exorcism of Steel is a very solid debuff to begin a fight with.
    Iron Heart Surge – IRON HEART SUUURGE! C’mon, you really can’t get more badass than that. IHS is an absolute must as long as you have its prereqs; it will save your life countless times, I guarantee it. If it doesn’t, your money back, no questions asked.

    Stone Dragon:

    Bonecrusher – It’s fairly straightforward, and not bad at all, with a nice dose of bonus damage. Unfortunately, by now you’re nearing the point where the bonus damage ages, and the Fort save for the extra effect is really low (though when you do sink the bonus to crit confirms, your resident crit fisher will love you). All in all, it’s pretty decent – but eclipsed by the level’s other choices.
    Stone Dragon’s Fury – So…you can take this maneuver and get +4d6 damage against objects and constructs…or you can take Bonecrusher and get +4d6 damage against everything. Your choice.

    Tiger Claw:

    Flesh Ripper – This maneuver is a prime example of ‘meh’. The effects are negated by a Fort save with a low DC, and even if they hit last for just one round. Skip it.
    Soaring Raptor Strike – Quite nice, as you’ll be certain to run into larger enemies sooner or later. A load of extra damage and a bonus to hit; who can argue?

    White Raven:

    Lion’s Roar – All right, especially if you have a melee-heavy party. But you shouldn’t usually take it, because it lies far, far in the shadow cast by White Raven Tactics.
    White Raven Tactics – Wow. The most valuable currency in D&D is that of the action economy, and this is quite a large check. It essentially lets you trade a swift action of yours for a full turn of an ally’s – and by RAW you can even use it on yourself!
    There's no excuse not to take WRT if you can afford it.


    Fourth Level

    Spoiler
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    This is a level dominated by Diamond Mind and Iron Heart. The best picks are Bounding Assault, Ruby Nightmare Blade, and Lightning Recovery.

    Diamond Mind:

    Bounding Assault – A lifesaver. It lets you close on a faraway enemy or change places on the battlefield easily, being basically a charge that lets you move freely. If you’re a charger, especially one with Pounce, this is really good.
    Mind Strike – Nice. Ability damage is always good, and Mind Strike lets you soften up targets for Will SoD/SoL spells, or, if you’re up against divine casters, rob them of spells.
    Ruby Nightmare Blade – Double damage. How can you misread that?

    Iron Heart:

    Lightning Recovery – One of the classic Iron Heart counters. Missing is one of the most annoying and frequent setbacks a melee character faces, and rerolls can be priceless.
    Mithral Tornado – Just like Whirlwind Attack, but it requires no feat investment and gives a bonus to attacks. Sounds good to me.

    Stone Dragon:

    Bonesplitting Strike – Boils down to an attack that does bonus damage equal to your enemy’s HD. Nice, and it scales naturally as you face tougher monsters. The only downside's that it doesn't work against foes immune to Con damage.
    Boulder Roll – Just say NO to overrunning.
    Overwhelming Mountain Strike – 2d6 bonus damage may not be exactly as overwhelming as the maneuver implies, but denying your enemy a move action can be quite useful. Overall, a solid choice.

    Tiger Claw:

    Death From Above – The Jump check is easy to make, the bonus damage is yummy, the target is flat-footed, rendering them vulnerable to Sneak Attacks and the like, plus it allows you to maneuver around into another square.
    Fountain of Blood – If you’re facing a bunch of mooks, this can be quite nice. Ensures the foe you kill is dead and the save is against Will, which makes it more palatable. Plus, the effects last a long time

    White Raven:

    Covering Strike – An upgraded version of Douse the Flames, this deprives your foe of AoOs for three whole rounds, allowing you and your allies a lot of freedom to get into position or get out of there.
    White Raven Strike – Excellent for setting up sneak attacks.


    Fifth Level

    Spoiler
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    This is Tiger Claw’s time to shine: it has two splendid maneuvers this level, Dancing Mongoose and Pouncing Charge. But Iron Heart Focus is very good as well.

    Diamond Mind:

    Disrupting Blow – Awesome for shutting down tough opponents, especially brute types with low Will saves. The save is reasonably tough, and denying opponents actions is fantastic.
    Rapid Counter – An extra AoO never goes amiss, and can be used to feed Channel the Storm; this is a strong choice.

    Iron Heart:

    Dazing Strike – There’s no point taking this when you could take Disrupting Blow instead. Even if you don’t qualify for Disrupting Blow, the Fort save will be easily made by most monsters at this level.
    Iron Heart Focus – Rerolls are priceless, and a single bad saving throw can put you out of the fight. Extremely useful.

    Stone Dragon:

    Elder Mountain Hammer – The second Mountain Hammer maneuver, this is similar to its predecessor but with 4d6 more bonus damage. It requires a heavier investment in Stone Dragon, though, which can be problematic. If you qualify for it, it’s an obvious pick, but if you don’t then you can feel fine skipping it. The real point – avoiding hardness and DR – is just as intact in Mountain Hammer.
    Mountain Avalanche – Quite decent. If your specialty is Stone Dragon, it’s a fine pick, though there are better choices at this level.

    Tiger Claw:

    Dancing Mongoose – Awesome for TWFers, and great even for others. You really can’t go wrong with extra attacks, and since this is a boost you can even use a strike in the same round.
    Pouncing Charge – Pounce. Is. Fantastic. You want this a lot. Unless you already have Pounce, in which case, you don’t.

    White Raven:

    Flanking Maneuver – As with so many White Raven maneuvers, this maneuver’s effectiveness depends heavily on party composition. It’s best used when there are sneak attackers present, as it allows them another sneak attack.


    Sixth Level

    Spoiler
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    There are no enormous standouts this level, but on the flip side nearly everything is pretty solid. Manticore Parry, Greater Insightful Strike, and Moment of Alacrity are likely top, with honorable mention going to Rabid Bear Strike and Order Forged from Chaos.

    Diamond Mind:

    Greater Insightful Strike – Just like its predecessor, Greater Insightful Strike is excellent. At 11th level, this will net you something like 2d20+40 damage, an average of 61: +4 or so from Con, +14 skill ranks, +2 masterwork tool, all doubled. It might not be as impressive as an ubercharger’s damage, but that’s all in one standard action attack.
    Moment of Alacrity – Moving when you want to is good. Sometimes, really good.

    Iron Heart:

    Iron Heart Endurance – When stamina is a virtue, it can be a big plus never to start a battle with less than half hit points. Still usually a good idea to full heal via wands of lesser vigor or similar after every battle, though.
    Manticore Parry – It’s very hard to go amiss with not only dodging an attack, but redirecting it at an enemy. And even if you're in a fight against a solo enemy, well...empty squares have 5 AC.
    Unfortunately, though, this maneuver functions only against armed attacks. If you see a lot of armed opponents, it's fantastic; if you don't, it loses a fair bit of use.

    Stone Dragon:

    Crushing Vise – It can be useful, but the downside’s that melee brutes (who increasingly become some of the only land-based foes) often have large reach that partially negates the downside of not being able to move. And if you’re in melee range, they’re likely to full attack in any case.
    Iron Bones – At first level, DR 5/Adamantine for a round was incredible. At eleventh, DR 10/Adamantine for a round is nearly useless.
    Irresistible Mountain Strike – What have I said about maneuvers with Fortitude saves? In case you missed it, here’s a recap: No, no, and no. The again, on a failed save this one carries a pretty nasty effect, so that serves as a partial salvation.

    Tiger Claw:

    Rabid Bear Strike – Like most Tiger Claw maneuvers, this one is pretty straightforward. +4 attack and +10d6 damage in exchange for -4 AC: a worthwhile trade by anyone’s standards.
    Wolf Climbs the Mountain – At the very least quite cool. I’d usually choose Rabid Bear Strike over it, but if you want to take this it’s a solid choice. Defensive bonuses and extra damage are always nice to have.

    White Raven:

    Order Forged from Chaos – The perfect tactical retreat or regroup, and it can be used very effectively to charge if your allies delay until after your turn; this way it can get everyone in position to full attack.
    War Leader’s Charge – An upgraded Battle Leader’s Charge, this one’s identical but carries 25 more bonus damage. That’s never unwelcome, and because you’re likely to have traded the earlier version away by now, this is an excellent pick for chargers.


    Seventh Level

    Spoiler
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    Similarly to last level, seventh is pretty hard to screw up. Avalanche of Blades, Quicksilver Motion, Finishing Move, Swooping Dragon Strike, and Swarming Assault are all stellar.

    Diamond Mind:

    Avalanche of Blades – Very nice. It’s best used against foes who you’re sure to make at least a couple attacks against, though, because unlike a normal full attack, you stop as soon as you miss. Because of this, you probably won’t be able to Power Attack as much, but it's useful for a Combat Rhythm warmup.
    Quicksilver Motion – An extra move action is superb. Not much more to say, really, except reiterating that bit about the action economy ruling D&D. Then again, there are other ways to accomplish this.

    Iron Heart:

    Finishing Move – Needless to say, you’ll never want to use this maneuver unless your target has less than half health, a point which you’ll find up will come up surprisingly often (who’d have guessed?). And 14d6 is quite a lot of bonus damage.
    Scything Blade – An extra attack as a swift action is good, but this maneuver's use is limited. Dancing Mongoose is strictly better.

    Stone Dragon:

    Ancient Mountain Hammer – At this point, you’ll only qualify for the last Mountain Hammer maneuver if you have a heavy investment in Stone Dragon, in which case you should take it without a thought. But otherwise…well, you won’t qualify for it anyway, so it doesn’t much matter.
    Colossus Strike – At level thirteen, expect your opponents to make the save regularly. But if you’re standing on the edge of a cliff or over a pit of lava…well, you know you want to.

    Tiger Claw:

    Hamstring Attack – 1d8 Dex damage is nothing to laugh about, and even better if it’s complementing Dex draining from the party caster.
    Penalty to movement speed is just gravy.
    Swooping Dragon Strike – A simply stunning maneuver. (Get it? Stunning? Heh.)
    Normally, I know, I wail on every maneuver that allows a save. But in this case it’s not a measly Xteen-plus-Strength DC: the DC is actually equal to your Jump check. And if you’re picking out 7th level Tiger Claw maneuvers, your Jump modifier better be pretty high.

    White Raven:

    Clarion Call – Extra actions are what high level White Raven is all about; Clarion Call is a prime example (and therefore a prime pick). ‘Specially because, quite often, ‘allies within 60ft’ means the whole party.
    Swarming Assault – Whoa! If you have a melee-heavy party, this is a primer pick yet. Ganging up on a foe like this is especially useful in a boss fight.


    Eighth Level

    Spoiler
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    Too much goodness. The best are White Raven Hammer, Diamond Nightmare Blade, Adamantine Hurricane, and Raging Mongoose.

    Diamond Mind:

    Diamond Defense – This is a real disappointment, overshadowed by the save-replacing line. With so many great maneuvers this level, you just can’t afford to take it.
    Diamond Nightmare Blade – Like the rest of the Nightmare Blade maneuvers, this doesn’t require a whole lot of explanation. Times four damage. Seriously.

    Iron Heart:

    Adamantine Hurricane – If you’re adjacent to two or more foes, this is better than a full attack. And since you’ll often be in the thick of melee, that should come about quite frequently: this is a superb maneuver.
    Lightning Throw – If cutting through hordes with impunity is your shtick, you can’t get much better than this.

    Stone Dragon:

    Adamantine Bones – DR 20/adamantine is pretty awesome, but if you think that’s going to stop CR 15 monsters, you’re mistaken. Nonetheless, the fact that it stops a whole lot of Power Attack does make this better than its predecessors.
    Earthstrike Quake – First of all, am I the only one who saw this and thought it was a typo? Really, it does look a lot like ‘Earthquake Strike’.
    Anyway, this one’s pretty decent. While yes, the save is usually going to be made, if you’re surrounded by casters it can help. But on the other hand, no caster in their right mind is going to be within 20ft of you.

    Tiger Claw:

    Girallon Windmill Flesh Rip – It’s rend-o-mania, and an obvious choice for TWFers. Take it and go to town (though of course, since it requires that you’re TWFing, non-TWFers shouldn’t touch it). Something to consider, though: Feral Death Blow is much better, and so it’s wise to trade this away.
    Raging Mongoose – Nice! I was sold at ‘two extra attacks’.

    White Raven:

    White Raven Hammer – Automatic stunning for a round is insanely brutal, especially on solo encounters where you can gang up on it or sling around debuffs. An amazing choice.


    Ninth Level

    Spoiler
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    This is what you’ve been waiting for. You’ve finally racked up seventeen Initiator Levels. You’re near the BBEG’s doorstep. So, what are the best?
    Well, the thing is, you basically want to take whatever you qualify for. They’re all amazing. But the gold medal has to go to Time Stands Still, and silver perhaps to War Master’s Charge (though most of the time you’ll want Mountain Tombstone Strike as well).

    Diamond Mind:

    Time Stands Still – Come on. It’s Time Stands Still. If you qualify for this, you’re taking it. Period.

    Iron Heart:

    Strike of Perfect Clarity – 100 extra damage is great. If you have the prerequisites, SoPC is an excellent choice, especially as it requires only a standard action and functions fine against enemies immune to crits. It's usable in pretty much every situation.

    Stone Dragon:

    Mountain Tombstone Strike – Luckily for you, now that 3.5 is out of print there’s no chance of the prereqs being errata’d. In case you missed them: there aren’t any. Take it, for the love of the gods.

    Tiger Claw:

    Feral Death Blow – The save is sort of low, and crit-immune creatures (read: a whole lot) are immune as well - plus it's a full-round action. But then again, it’s a SoD, and 20d6 damage even if they succeed.

    White Raven:

    War Master’s Charge – Amazing for a melee-focused party? This is the dream of every White Raven warblade, and if you qualify for it there’s no question as to whether you should take it.
    There are, however, a few caveats to be aware of: it takes a full round action to initiate, sucks up an immediate action from your allies, and perhaps most importantly, allows an attack only against a single foe.



    Stances: Bearing the Sword

    Spoiler
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    First Level

    Spoiler
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    All in all, a very solid level for stances. The choice is usually between Blood in the Water, Hunter’s Sense, and Punishing Stance.

    Diamond Mind:

    Stance of Clarity – Not bad at all, especially if you’re up against solo monsters. Ultimately, though, Punishing Stance is better.

    Iron Heart:

    Punishing Stance – During the low levels, +1d6 damage is significant, more so than -2 AC. An excellent choice.

    Stone Dragon:

    Stonefoot Stance – Sadly, Stone Dragon isn’t known for its stances, and you can see why. You won’t often be facing Large or larger foes at level one, and most Strength checks aren’t in combat situations, so you’ll often be able to take 20 on them anyway - exploits like bull rushes and overruns being the exception.

    Tiger Claw:

    Blood in the Water – Nice. On double kukri crit fishers, the damage stacks up quickly, and as such this is usually the default choice for them. Even if you’re not TWFing, with iteratives and a keen weapon this stance can be a very solid source of attack and damage bonuses.
    Hunter’s Sense – Another great stance. The Scent ability is really useful.

    White Raven:

    Bolstering Voice – The +4 bonus against fear effects isn’t very useful, since you won’t be facing foes with them for a while. But even without that, there are worse things than granting your allies free Iron Will. Unfortunately, it ages quickly - and unlike a maneuver, it can't be swapped out.
    Leading the Charge – If you have allies who charge on a regular basis, Leading the Charge is really nice.
    Still, though, Leading the Charge is good even if you're the only charger in your party. It's a scaling flat bonus to charge damage, and since it's a stance, you can combine it with other maneuvers that involve charging - or, if you want to be really nasty, combine it with Pounce.


    Third Level

    Spoiler
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    A pretty unappealing level, unfortunately. The ones to consider are Tactics of the Wolf and Leaping Dragon Stance.

    Diamond Mind:

    Pearl of Black Doubt - Less useful than you may think. Bonuses only last a single round, and if they're going to be missing you, more AC isn't going to do much more good. And if they are hitting you, you're not going to be piling up bonuses. But it can be useful if you're surrounded by mooks, or facing monsters with a ton of natural attacks (which all tend to be made at the same attack rating).

    Iron Heart:

    Absolute Steel Stance - Extra speed and a +2 AC bonus if you move around. Not bad, but there are better 1st level stances to be in.

    Stone Dragon:

    Crushing Weight of the Mountain - This is one of the few Stone Dragon stances that can be used in mid-air and doesn't end if you move more than 5'. It's also one of the easier ways to pick up Constrict damage (2d6 + 1.5xStr bonus) without resorting to wild shape or polymorph shenanigans. However, unless your build is specifically designed around grappling, it's pretty useless. If you do have a grappling build, then this is pure gold.
    Roots of the Mountain - Well, if you could keep it up while moving, it would be pretty decent for a battlefield-control specialist. Any creature that goes into your threatened space gets a -10 on Tumble checks. That makes it a lot harder to tumble past you to avoid AoO's. DR2/- isn't bad either. However, you have to plant and stay put for it to continue being effective. This makes it far less useful.

    Tiger Claw:

    Leaping Dragon Stance - Very good for a Hood-type or Jumplomancer. If you want to jump high, this helps a lot; note that it doesn't provide simply a +10 to Jump checks, but in fact gives +10 feet. But you don't have any interest in jumping, look elsewhere.
    Wolverine Stance - Negates the -4 penalty for attacking with an unarmed strike/natural weapon/light weapon in a grapple. Also, if you're opponent is larger than you, you get a +4 damage bonus. However, you'll get better damage with Crushing Weight of the Mountain (3.5 avg + 1.5xStr bonus), and that works regardless of your opponent's size.

    White Raven:

    Tactics of the Wolf - Extra damage while flanking equal to 1/2 IL. If you can reliably set up flanking opportunities, this has a lot of potential. Remember, your buddies get this too, so flanking rogues are now doing even *more* damage. This is like half-again what Craven can do for them. If you've got several melee users who like to flank, or if someone has Clarion Call or Island of Blades or some other way of making flanking happen easier, it can be pretty nasty. Requires some forethought and setup, though.


    Fifth Level

    Spoiler
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    Again, not fantastic. If you can't use Magic Item Compendium, Hearing the Air is the obvious choice; if you can, it's Press the Advantage, with Dancing Blade form coming in next.

    Diamond Mind:

    Hearing the Air - Blindsense is awesome. You can buy Blindsight, though, for 9000gp, with MIC's Blindfold of True Darkness, which is even better - but if that's not on the table, or if you'd prefer not to blindfold yourself, this is a great pick.

    Iron Heart:

    Dancing Blade Form - Five extra feet of reach is delicious. Whether it's worth a stance or not is up to you.

    Stone Dragon:

    Giant's Stance - It ends if you move more than 5 feet for any reason. Now why would you ever want to do that? Really, though, it's just like Monkey Grip, but worse (and Monkey Grip is already sub-par).

    White Raven:

    Press the Advantage - An extra 5-foot step each round? Nice!


    Seventh Level

    Spoiler
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    As a warblade, by the time you can get a 7th level stance, you'll already be able to get an 8th level one. So it's not generally worth it.

    Tiger Claw:

    Prey on the Weak - It can definitely be useful against large numbers of enemies, but it's probably best to choose an 8th level stance rather than this.


    Eighth Level

    Spoiler
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    There's not a doubt as to the choice here. It's Stance of Alacrity, with the rest lagging far behind. Nonetheless, Wolf Pack Tactics and Swarm Tactics are both good if you can't take Stance of Alacrity.

    Diamond Mind:

    Stance of Alacrity - This is by far the best stance available to you. Imagine using Moment of Perfect Mind and Wall of Blades in the same round - nom.

    Iron Heart:

    Supreme Blade Parry - Sorry, DR 5/- is not going to help you at level seventeen. Look elsewhere.

    Stone Dragon:

    Strength of Stone - Again, the need to stay still is a big downside. But being immune to crits is a big upside, even if it can be bought ('tis expensive, though).

    Tiger Claw:

    Wolf Pack Tactics - It's clearly intended to allow TWFers to dart around the battlefield in between swings in a full attack, so it's a lot like Cleave in that respect. Except there simply aren't many circumstances where it works...it's just too narrow for your 8th level stance.

    White Raven:

    Swarm Tactics - Coolio. Might take some work to set up, but it pairs very nicely with a lot of White Raven maneuvers.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2012-02-04 at 02:00 PM.

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    Default Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook

    Feats: Mastering the Sword

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    Player's Handbook

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    Skill Feats (Skill Focus, Acrobatic, Agile, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Diligent, Investigator, Magical Aptitude, Negotiator, Nimble Fingers, Persuasive, Self-Sufficient, Stealthy) - No. Never. Absolutely not. Not even then.
    Armor Proficiency (Heavy) - Not worth it. If you really need the AC, just get mithral plate armor.
    Combat Expertise - As it doesn't scale with BAB like Power Attack does, this is a pretty abysmal choice. But it's a prerequisite for Improved Trip, and so for trippers - though it pains me to say this - it's a must.
    Improved Disarm - Flick your opponent's épée out of his hand with a flourish! Or, y'know, take the Exorcism of Steel maneuver.
    Blind-Fight - A nice feat. Being able to reroll miss chance can be a lifesaver when it comes up, but the real benefit is that invisible attackers get no bonuses against you. It's especially useful because it's a prerequisite for Pierce Magical Concealment, which you should definitely get if you can - it's pure gold.
    Combat Reflexes - This one's a great choice. You should have a good Dex, so you'll gain even more benefits than usual - and later on you can use those extra AoOs to fuel Channel the Storm if you choose to go that route.
    Improved Initiative - +4 to Initiative is pretty straightforward and pretty delicious. This is always a good standby.
    Improved Feint - Have you ever actually seen anyone try to feint? Didn't think so.
    Improved Trip - Excellent. It's the cornerstone of every tripper build, and without it you're not much of a tripper anyway.
    Whirlwind Attack - It's a fine feat, but is insanely feat-intensive to get. Plus, the Mithral Tornado maneuver does the same thing, and without sucking up half your feats.
    Dodge - This is one of the classic trap feats. Avoid it at all costs.
    Mobility - Mobility is actually OK, by Core standards. But Tumble is there to help avoid AoOs, anyway, and Dodge as a prereq makes this a no-no. Plus, you can buy the feat with Armor of Mobility from Draconomicon.
    Spring Attack - Rather underwhelming, especially since it doesn't allow you to make a strike. With its awful prereqs, this isn't worth it at all.
    Exotic Weapon Proficiency - On most melee characters this is on a case-by-case basis, but you take the case-by-case out of it. Weapon Aptitude combined with this feat lets you use basically any weapon ever made: enjoy waking up every morning and deciding what you'll fight with today.
    Improved Critical - You can buy this feat, and buyable feats are never worth taking. Skip it and get a Scabbard of Keen Edges or a Keen weapon.
    Endurance - This is a pretty terrible feat on its own. However, its saving grace is that it's the gateway to Steadfast Determination, which is awesome. But don't take it unless you're using it as a prereq for that.
    Diehard - It boils down to ten extra hit points, and while those can be nice, they're hardly worth a feat. The fact that this requires another mediocre feat, Endurance, makes it completely unappealing.
    Improved Unarmed Strike - Play an unarmed swordsage. The only reason you should be taking Improved Unarmed Strike as a warblade is to qualify for the Master of Nine PrC.
    Deflect Arrows, Improved Grapple, Snatch Arrows, Stunning Fist - See above. If you're an aspiring Master of Nine, skip Improved Unarmed Strike's offshoots; you'll be feat-starved enough as it is.
    Leadership - Many DMs ban it, in my experience. But if you can take it, it's fantastic - caster cohorts are especially useful for buffing purposes. Try not to destroy your game by abusing Leadership (or using it to make yourself the center of the game), though! Leadership is immensely powerful; use its benefits in moderation.
    Mounted Combat - Mounted combat is an unconventional style for warblades, but it can be very effective. If you want to give it a try, go ahead.
    Ride-by Attack - Not bad at all, and it's a prereq for Spirited Charge, which is essential for every mounted combatant.
    Spirited Charge - Triple damage with a lance. Triple damage. Simply amazing, this is the mounted combatant's Leap Attack.
    Trample - You probably have better things to spend feats on.
    Archery feats (Point Blank Shot, Far Shot, Precise Shot, Improved Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Many Shot, Shot on the Run, Mounted Archery) - Warblades just aren't suited for archery. However, Eternal Blades have the potential to excel at it.
    Great Fortitude - Your Fort save will already be quite high, due to a good base save and a good Con. No need to take this.
    Iron Will - Like all the save-boosting feats, Iron Will isn't great. But Will is a big weakness for you, and so strengthening it isn't as much a waste as it is with Fort and Ref.
    Lightning Reflexes - While not as great as Fort, your Ref save will usually be high enough. Best to look elsewhere.
    Power Attack - Simple, beautiful, and awesome. Very few warblades are going to be able to function without it.
    Cleave - Definitely worth taking if you're restricted to Core. Otherwise, it's lower priority, but still a good choice.
    Great Cleave - Less useful, unless your campaign is high on the mook-killing. If so, give it a spin.
    Improved Bull Rush - If you're really into Stone Dragon or have levels in Dungeoncrasher fighter, it's a nice pick. But the real use here is that it's a prerequisite for Shock Trooper, an insanely good feat for chargers.
    Improved Overrun - Why are you overrunning, anyway?
    Improved Sunder - It's a prereq for Combat Brute, which is the real reason you take this one. Still, you can use it to smash swords, spill potions, or sunder the BBEG's spell component pouch. Plus, you never know when you'll run into any hydras.
    Improved Shield Bash - If shield bashing is your thing, this is the gateway feat. But if you're not focused on shield bashing, you shouldn't ever have a shield which you actually hold.
    Tower Shield Proficiency - You're a mobile combatant, not a chunk of meatshield. Tower shields limit your mobility too much to be easily viable.
    Toughness - This is undoubtedly one of the worst feats ever printed. If you reeeally need more hitpoints, take Improved Toughness instead.
    Track - Survival is a cross-class skill for you, unfortunately. It could work, but if you want to play a tracker, consider the Hunter's Sense stance instead.
    Quick Draw - Plain and simple, Quick Draw is a fine choice. Worth taking, especially if you're into multiple weapons.
    Run - Erm...yeah. This is a trap, and not worth your time.
    Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Greater Two-Weapon Fighting - Tiger Claw provides a massive boost to TWFers, and you can go into the Bloodclaw Master PrC later, if you so choose. TWFing is a good option for warblades, but swordsages are often better.
    Two-Weapon Defense - Nooooo. The Two-Weapon Defense line is, in all honesty, a complete waste.
    Weapon Finesse - Wielding light weapons are a bad option, since they give you neither the ability to Power Attack or 1.5x your Strength bonus to damage. If you want to play a character like this, consider swordsage as an alternative.
    Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Specialization - These four are the classic fighter feats, and thanks to Weapon Aptitude you have nearly exclusive access to them. Unfortunately, they're generally derided as utterly, totally, completely awful, as small, static bonuses don't usually compare with the benefits other feats provide.
    But, in Runestar's words:
    "These small bonuses are all the more meaningful in the hands of a martial adept.

    One difference they have over a fighter is that if you build them around their standard action strikes, combat will typically involve 1 attack each round. Either you hit for a ton of damage, or you miss and don't deal anything. Compared to a fighter who can make 4-6 attacks each round. Assuming you hit with at least 1 attack, you should be doing at least a bit of damage each round.

    This makes hitting (and by extension, all those attack bonuses) all the more crucial. Granted, the attack bonus from weapon spec/mastery isn't so attractive when you are limited to 1 attack/round (compared to a fighter's 4-6).

    At least for me, I am willing to invest at least 3 feats to acquire melee weapon mastery, and maybe eventually work my way up to weapon supremacy."


    Long story short: these feats are OK. Nothing more, maybe a little less. But they're functional, provide solid bonuses, always help, and are simple to keep track of. If you're into optimization, avoid them at all costs, but a warblade who focuses on these two feat trees is a perfectly playable one.


    From here on out, the only feats mentioned will be those relevant to the warblade class.

    Tome of Battle

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    Adaptive Style – With so few maneuvers readied, versatility can be a problem; this feat helps a lot. It’s a great choice for any warblade, though much less crucial than it is to a swordsage.
    Avenging Strike – Cha is a dump stat for you, so there’s no reason to take this, anyway.
    Blade Meditation - Very similar to Weapon Specialization, even more so because you have Weapon Aptitude. Skip it.
    Evasive Reflexes – Pretty sweet. You never know when a little extra mobility can come in handy, but you can be darn sure it will.
    Martial Stance – Stances are rare and precious. You should usually get enough, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to get an extra. This also lets you branch out of the warblade disciplines if you’re so inclined; if you spend a feat on Martial Study (Crusader’s Strike), which can help low-level survivability a lot, you might as well take this feat to get the Thicket of Blades stance.
    Martial Study – Like stances, you can never have enough maneuvers. Then again, you can, to a limited degree, buy maneuvers with the appropriate items (the Crown of White Ravens and its ilk). Nonetheless, as I mentioned above, getting Crusader’s Strike can boost your early survival capacity (but remember - maneuvers gained through Martial Study can't be traded away).
    Rapid Assault – It’s…ok. But frankly, Weapon Specialization is better.
    Song of the White Raven – For bard/warblades, it’s absolutely awesome. But unless you plan on taking bard levels, you obviously don’t want it.
    Snap Kick – Very nice! If you’re fighting unarmed (likely because you’re a Master of Nine), it’s a great pick.
    Sudden Recovery – Erm. No. Using this feat prevents you from using a strike anyway, so you might as well just take the opportunity to refresh every maneuver rather than just one.
    Superior Unarmed Strike – Heck, if you’re fighting unarmed, you might as well take it.
    Vital Recovery – It’s only useful during the low levels, so you might as well just grab Martial Study (Crusader’s Strike) instead.
    Unnerving Calm - While Diamond Mind is one of the best disciplines available, this feat disappoints. Don't bother.
    Ironheart Aura - Like many of your bonus feats, Ironheart Aura at first seems underwhelming. But it's a requirement for Stormguard Warrior, which is par exsalonce.
    Stone Power - It's good in and of itself, and the fact that it's a prerequisite for Shards of Granite only sweetens the deal. But be warned: as you level up, it decreases in effectiveness.
    Tiger Blooded - If you're a shifter or have levels in barbarian, look no further; take it in a pinch. But obviously, otherwise you don't want it.
    White Raven Defense - Far from fantastic, but it leads to Clarion Commander, which is very nice.

    Tactical Feats:

    Clarion Commander – Following Up and Perpetual Flank can be pretty useful, the latter especially if there’s a sneak attacker in your party.
    Perfect Clarity of Mind and Body – Try saying that as a free action. Even if you do, it should only be to trash the thing, because it’s terrible.
    Reaping Talons – It’s slightly better than Perfect Clarity of Mind and Body, but not by much. Skip it.
    Shards of Granite – Eviscerating Strike is just awesome. If you’ve taken Stone Power, pick this one up as well.
    Stormguard Warrior – Now this? This is where it’s at. In tandem with Robilar’s Gambit or Karmic Strike, Channel the Storm can rack up some really mean bonuses, and Combat Rhythm can up your punch considerably.


    Player’s Handbook II

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    Acrobatic Strike – This is all right. The bonus is somewhat situational, and by the time you’re level 9 there are better feats to choose from. Conversely, there are worse ones.
    Active Shield Defense – If you’re playing a sword & board tank, this can be excellent. However, for a tanking role it’s usually best to use a reach (and often tripping) weapon, which makes it less useful.
    Adaptable Flanker – You’ll definitely see use if there’s a sneak attacker in the party, but it sucks up your swift action, which means no strikes for you.
    Agile Shield Fighter – It’s completely essential for shield bashers, though awful for anyone else.
    Armor Specialization – DR 2/- simply isn’t worth a feat, especially at the high levels.
    Bounding Assault – Spring Attack is awful. You better not have invested the feats in it, but if you have then you can consider this. You might also want to consider another gem from the PHBII – retraining.
    Brutal Strike – Love it. It helps a lot to take Shock Trooper as well: that way you can increase your PA damage (and thus this feat’s save DC) without worrying about missing. And combine with Three Mountains Strike for more goodies.
    Combat Acrobat – Quite nice. And you’ll likely have the skill prereqs anyway.
    Combat Tactician – This just confuses me. Taking Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization nets you +1 attack and +2 damage; taking Dodge and Combat Tactician gets you +1 AC (sometimes) and +2 damage (occasionally). Outperformed by the Weapon Focus/Spec line; ouch.
    Cometary Collision – Really nice for intercepting charges, and the attack/damage bonuses are just gravy. And it has the same prereqs as Shock Trooper, which means you often won’t have to throw out any feats to qualify.
    Crushing Strike – Look, if you’ve already gotten Melee Weapon Mastery, it’s time to pull out. If you fight with a bludgeoning weapon, check out Brutal Strike and Three Mountains Strike instead.
    Defensive Sweep – Ooh. Very, very nice for tanks.
    Driving Attack – If you can bully your DM into letting it work with single-attack maneuvers, this is an excellent choice. Otherwise, best left alone.
    Fade Into Violence – What sort of warblade are you? Your job is to be out there taking hits and winning glory, not cowering and creeping around.
    Flay – Very bad. No sort of half-competent foe will lack an armor bonus to AC.
    Grenadier – Maneuvers don’t work with splash weapons, so specializing in them is hardly a good choice.
    Hindering Opportunist – A vast majority of the time, an AoO from you will be much more helpful than a +2 on an ally’s attack.
    Intimidating Strike – A very solid choice if you have ranks in Bluff. Just make sure you don’t take so many penalties to your attack roll that you miss.
    Indomitable Soul – Really good. The prereqs can be annoying, but luckily, both can be taken as bonus feats.
    Leap of the Heavens – If you focus on jumping, the competence bonus will likely be lost on you. Nonetheless, this is a nice choice for a dragoon build.
    Lunging Strike - …Look, just 5-foot step up to them.
    Melee Evasion – You may notice that the effect is almost identical to the Wall of Blades counter. Skip it.
    Melee Weapon Mastery – This is the reason you take Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization. Investing three feats into these can be an excellent choice, but after getting it this one I advise you to pull out.
    Overwhelming Assault – “Only a fool ignores the deadly threat that you present”. You got that right, PHBII; unfortunately, you won’t get very far by assuming every enemy you meet is a fool.
    Rapid Blitz – Okay, so you ignored my earlier advice about retraining. I suppose that if you’re still alive by 18th level, Spring Attack hasn’t completely ruined you…but for the love of the gods, don’t throw any more feats down the drain. How do you expect to beat the BBEG with Spring Attack? Also: retraining. Look into it.
    Robilar’s Gambit – Pure awesome. Robilar’s Gambit is spectacular for just about any warblade; you can’t go wrong with free attacks.
    Shield Sling – As a shield fighter, you’ll be strapped for feats enough as it is. You can’t really afford branching out into thrown weapons.
    Shield Specialization – By itself, Shield Specialization isn’t great, but it opens a lot of doors when it comes to shield fighting. If you’d like to go that route, it’s basically a must.
    Shield Ward – If you use a shield, you could do much worse. Ultimately, a solid pick.
    Short Haft – It sucks up swift actions, which for you is terrible. A much, much better option is just to grab Exotic Weapon Proficiency and use a spiked chain or meteor hammer.
    Slashing Flurry – An extra attack is very nice, though the prereqs can be a drag.
    Spectral Skirmisher – If you’re invisible a lot, it’s not too bad. But there are better options, and many foes will eventually have Blindsense, Blindsight, or True Seeing.
    Stalwart Defense – Hindering Opportunist is bad. Stalwart Defense is worse.
    Steadfast Determination – This is a really good feat, especially because Endurance can be picked up as a bonus feat. It makes a key weakness, Will saves, dependent on your second most important stat, Constitution.
    Trophy Collector – If you’ve invested 6 ranks in Craft (taxidermy), you’re already a taxidermist. You don’t need a terrible feat to prove it.
    Two-Weapon Pounce – Bloodclaw Master and the Pouncing Charge maneuver provide nearly the same bonus, and without sucking up a feat.
    Two-Weapon Rend – TWFing is already feat intensive, but if you can spare more then this is a strong choice. Quite a bit of bonus damage.
    Versatile Unarmed Strike – Can be quite handy for overcoming DR. If you’re up against things like zombies and skeletons, it can be a good pick.
    Vexing Flanker – Honestly, I’d tend to pick Weapon Focus over it (in my book, a constant +1 tops a situational +2). Seeing as Weapon Focus isn’t a great feat, that doesn’t say much about Vexing Flanker.
    Weapon Supremacy – You won’t qualify for this until 20th level, which means you won’t be able to take it until 21st. But if a friendly caster can spare a heroics spell, this is an brilliant candidate – and if you qualify, you should take it at 21st without a thought.


    Complete Adventurer

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    Brachiation – If you encounter a lot of rough terrain, it might be useful. But this ages by high levels, and aging feats often aren’t a wise choice.
    Brutal Throw – A nice choice for a Bloodstorm Blade who wants to save swift actions.
    Combat Intuition – Meh. Not usually a wise choice to invest in Sense Motive, and even ignoring that, this isn’t a very spectacular feat.
    Danger Sense – Rerolls are awesome, and initiative can be crucial. This is a very solid pick.
    Death Blow – Ooh, nice. Very cool if a party caster is fond of hold spells (and who wouldn’t be?). Even better because you can use that standard action to refresh maneuvers.
    Deft Opportunist – Far from bad, and especially nice if you have Karmic Strike or Robilar’s Gambit.
    Dive for Cover – While rerolls are, as I’ve said, great, your Reflex save will usually be high enough. And while failing a Will save can mean losing a battle, failing a Reflex save often just means taking some extra damage.
    Dual Strike – Not strictly bad for a TWFer, but you’ll often be too feat-strapped to afford it.
    Expert Tactician – If you’re an AoO build, this can amount to giving allies bonuses against the foe you’re fighting every round. But they’re small bonuses, and only last for a round; not really worth a feat.
    Force of Personality – Cha is your only dump stat. Avoid it like the plague.
    Goad – Based on Cha, and it’s a mind affecting ability, which can be guarded against without a lot of trouble by the mid levels.
    Hear the Unseen – You can buy it with a Blindfold of True Darkness or get it with the Hearing the Air stance. Never, ever learn this.
    Improved Diversion – Why the heck would you want to make a diversion in the first place?
    Insightful Reflexes – Actually, since you already add Int to Reflex saves, this just makes your Reflex save worse.
    Leap Attack – Sheer, pure awesome. A really easy Jump check (and you should have the Jump ranks anyway) gets you get an enormous multiplier on your Power Attack damage – wow.
    Open Minded – You should have enough SP for your needs, and even if you don’t then you shouldn’t waste a feat on this.
    Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting – This is the same deal as Monkey Grip, doubly so. That is, it’s awful and you should steer way clear of it.
    Power Throw – If you specialize in thrown weapons, you should go Bloodstorm Blade, and that PrC gives you the same benefit as this feat.


    Complete Warrior

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    Clever Wrestling – By the high levels you should always get a ring of freedom of movement anyway, making this a wasted choice. The very circumstantial prerequisite doesn’t help.
    Close-Quarters Fighting – While you will, as I said above, want a ring of freedom of movement, extra attacks are very yummy; it also helps offset the usually large gulf between your grapple checks and that of a grapple-oriented opponent. A good choice, and in every way superior to Clever Wrestling.
    Dash – Five extra feet of movement is very nice. Five extra feet of movement is also not worth one of your precious feat slots.
    Defensive Strike – Considering that Dodge is an awful feat and the Fight the Horde use of Stormguard Warrior is better, this is just terrible.
    Earth’s Embrace – If you want to grapple, warblade isn’t the best choice. And you should be aware that this feat becomes much less useful when you start facing lots of crit-immune enemies; nonetheless, it’s an okay choice if you qualify.
    Eagle Claw Attack – Your Wisdom won’t be high, and even if it were…how often will you be attacking objects?
    Eyes in the Back of Your Head – Even if it were a constant +2 AC, it wouldn’t be worth it. As is, it’s just pathetic.
    Extra Stunning – If you have Stunning Fist, you might as well take this. But you will be feat-starved as an unarmed combatant, make no mistake, so only pick this if you can afford it. It goes without saying that non-unarmed combatants should never even consider this.
    Faster Healing – You should always heal between fights, anyway. And if you can’t, somehow I don’t think one extra hit point will be much help.
    Fist of Iron – Take this, and gain 1d6 extra damage a few times a day. Or take Weapon Specialization, and gain +2 damage all day. Yeah, it’s actually eclipsed by Weapon Specialization. What does that say about it?
    Fleet of Foot – Pick up the Twisted Charge skill trick. It’s two skill points rather than two feats.
    Flying Kick – If you fight unarmed and charge regularly, it’s all right. Otherwise, it sucks.
    Greater Kiai Shout – It’s good for dispatching mooks, but you normally want to dump Cha.
    Greater Resiliency – Wizards thought DR was spectacular, and handed it out to player characters accordingly stingily. Unfortunately, it’s far from as great as they thought, and DR 1/- is a waste of a feat.
    Greater Two-Weapon Defense – This is an awful line of feats. Just…no.
    Hold the Line – Extra attacks are always good to have, and out there on the front lines you’ll see charging opponents more than most.
    Improved Buckler Defense – The old trick of wearing and enchanting a buckler is now viable for TWFers as well. But it’s probably wiser just to get an animated shield – TWFing will suck up your feats as it is.
    Improved Combat Expertise – Honestly, I have no idea why this wasn’t just wrapped into the original feat. But if you took Combat Expertise, you might as well take this so that you can use it to its full potential.
    Improved Toughness – Improved Toughness isn’t the best feat to take, but it’s loads better than its counterpart. If you really want extra hit points, you can do much worse than this one.
    Improved Two-Weapon Defense - I hate to sound like a record, but this is a terrible, terrible, terrible line of feats.
    Improved Weapon Familiarity – Because you have Weapon Aptitude, this is nothing but a worse version of Exotic Weapon Proficiency.
    Karmic Strike – Pure awesome. This is one of the only reasons you should take Dodge, and it’s quite the incentive. Requires more investment than Robilar’s Gambit, but its effects are better and it can be taken at a lower level.
    Kiai Shout – If you have 13 Cha, this isn’t too bad an option. It’s best used in campaigns where you expect to face large numbers of low-level enemies.
    Monkey Grip – It’s a trap! All this really equates to is a couple more points of damage.
    Phalanx Fighting – “If you are using a heavy shield and a light weapon”. Why the heck would you be doing that? The only time you should be is if you’re TWFing with a light weapon in your off-hand and an animated shield…but by the time you can afford an animated shield, +1 or +2 AC will be quite an obsolete bonus.
    Pin Shield – The extra attacks from your off-hand weapon are much more valuable than denying your opponent their shield’s AC bonus.
    Power Critical – You already have a bonus from Battle Ardor, and if you’re pursuing the Weapon Focus tree, your unclaimed feats are very precious.
    Prone Attack – If you fall down a lot, this helps. You’re also not a great warblade. Anyway, this is the epitome of mediocrity. Lousy prereq, solid but situational bonus. You can usually do better, but if you like this one, you can also do a lot worse.
    Roundabout Kick – Really nasty (for your opponents, that is). If you can reliably score unarmed crits, it’s just brutal.
    Shield Charge – If shield bashing and tripping are your thing, this is excellent – and it’s a requirement for Shield Slam, too!
    Shield Slam – Just fantastic for shield bashers. It’s a Fortitude save, yes, but a pretty high DC, and dazing an enemy for a round is often equivalent to killing them.
    Throw Anything – Very nice. Bloodstorm Blades will get this automatically, but even if you don’t plan on throwing regularly, it’s still very solid.

    Tactical Feats:

    Combat Brute – Momentum Swing. Oh yeah. This is amazing for any warblade.
    Elusive Target – Remember how I said that Karmic Strike was one of the few reasons to take Dodge? This is another. Negate Power Attack is simply insane; Diverting Defense is excellent; for trippers, Cause Overreach is wonderful. Wear Armor of Mobility from Draconomicon, and you only have to take one prerequisite feat.
    Formation Expert – Decidedly meh. If you’re defending Osgiliath, that’s one thing, but you usually won’t see a lot of use out of this feat.
    Giantbane – Mediocre. It’s not a great choice, but it’s a fine one.
    Raptor School – Dreadful.
    Shock Trooper – Insane. Heedless Charge is the clear standout: it’s totally essential for chargers, and amazing for just anyone.



    Weapons: The Sword Rack
    Thanks to Harnel

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    Core

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    Simple

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    Dagger - If you want a light weapon, wield a kukri or a short sword. Carry one with you, though, just in case.
    Punching Dagger - It's like a regular dagger but without throwing.
    Spiked Gauntlet - This weapon's primary use is in combination with a reach weapon, as a backup in case foes get inside your reach. In those cases, it does its job perfectly. If you're looking for a primary melee weapon, though, look elsewhere.
    Light Mace - The Lightning Maces feat makes these quite useful. However, a better use for that feat is to use it with kukris that have been enchanted with ToB's Aptitude property.
    Sickle - Slightly more damage than the dagger, and trip as well.
    Heavy Mace - It's the hardest weapon to sunder, and its damage is fine, but it has a smaller crit range than the martial weapons. It could be useful with the feat Three Mountains Style.
    Morningstar - It's a cheap heavy mace that's easy to sunder. The only benefit is its ability to overcome more types of DR.
    Longspear - The damage is low for a two-handed weapon, but it makes up for it in flexibility: the longspear has reach and can be braced against a charge.
    Spear, Shortspear - Marginally useful in that they can be set against a charge or thrown, but without reach there isn't much to see here.


    Martial

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    Kukri - Amazing for crit-fishers and TWFers. If you're not TWFing, there's no reason to use one.
    Light Pick - Nothing worth mentioning.
    Armor Spikes - Always useful as backup weapon. They allow you to threaten adjacent squares while wielding a reach weapon, and you can use them in a grapple. You can also enchant them and make them Defending.
    Battleaxe - Comparable to the longsword.
    Flail/Heavy Flail - Reasonable choices. Better if you're planning to exploit tripping/disarming.
    Longsword - A reasonable choice for sword-and-boarders.
    Heavy pick - Like the scimitar, but with increased multiplier rather than threat range; inferior, since it's not as useful for crit-fishing.
    Rapier - Comparable to the scimitar. A good choice if you're a Dex-based warblade, particularly if you have your eye on a dip in the Champion of Corellon prestige class.
    Scimitar - A reasonable choice for sword-and-boarders.
    Trident - No real reason to take this over other comparable weapons unless you're planning on taking the Net and Trident style feat, and that is an awfully weird feat commitment for a warblade - you have far better feat lines available.
    Warhammer - A reasonable choice for sword-and-boarders.
    Falchion - A choice comparable to the greatsword. Gets nasty if you're planning on critical hit silliness.
    Glaive. Reach, THF, and slightly better damage than the other martial reach weapons. Okay, but the other polearms' special abilities typically make them better choices.
    Greataxe - A reasonable choice, comparable to greatsword. Like the greatsword, it lacks reach.
    Greatclub - Two-handed, comparable to the greatsword. Gets better if you plan on taking advantage of Three Mountains Style.
    Greatsword - A solid choice. High damage output, but it unfortunately lacks the reach that polearms provide.
    Guisarme - THF, Reach, and ability to make trips. If you're planning on becoming a tripper, this can become an amazing weapon.
    Halberd - THF, ability to make trips, and it can be set against charges. Lack of reach makes this inferior to the guisarme, but if you're a tripper it's potentially better than the greatsword.
    Lance - Reach. Incredible for a mounted combatant, but don't wield it in one hand even if you could.
    Ranseur - Reach and disarm bonus. Disarm isn't the best technique ever, but against other medium humanoids it can do okay. Reach means an enemy without a reach weapon of their own won't be able to claim the AoO trying to disarm normally provokes.
    Scythe - A two-handed weapon that can also be used to make trip attacks. Can be hilarious if you're able to expand the critical radius. Conspicuously lacks reach.


    Exotic

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    Keep in mind when looking through exotic weapons that, as a warblade, you have something that other classes don't - Weapon Aptitude allows you, with only 15 minutes' practice, to change what weapons weapon-specific feats (including Exotic Weapon Proficiency) apply to. Take EWP, fiddle with an exotic weapon for a while, and you're instantly proficienct.

    Kama, Nunchaku, Sai, Siangham - Disarm and trip are useful, but you can get both of them and more damage with a flail. A spiked chain nets you reach as well.
    Bastard Sword, Dwarven Waraxe - The extra point of damage isn't worth a feat if you're getting EWP just for these guys. However, if you're using them to bridge from sword-and-board style to THFing, and you're taking EWP to use, say, the spiked chain later, they are basically strict upgrades to the longsword and battleaxe. They also get better if you're planning taking at least 1 level of the Exotic Weapon Master PrC. One of the Exotic Weapon Master's abilities allows you to get a 2:1 return on PA rather than 1.5:1 so long as you're using a one-handed exotic weapon in 2 hands. Dwarves, who have free proficiency with their racial weapons, don't even need a feat to enter this PrC.
    Whip - While good for factotums, very bad for warblades.
    Orc Doubleaxe - Essentially the same deal as the the double sword.
    Spiked Chain - A superior choice. This weapon is the gold standard against which all others should be judged. It is a THF, it allows trips and disarms, it is finessable even though it isn't light, and it has reach even though it also allows you to strike adjacent foes. You need a good reason NOT to take EWP to use this weapon.
    Dire Flail - If you to trip, disarm, and TWF, just use a regular flail and something else.
    Gnome Hooked Hammer - Only slightly better than the warhammer and sickle combo. Skip it.
    Double Sword - If you're TWFing it's better to go with a weapon suitable for crit-fishing.
    Dwarven Urgosh - Meh. It's worse than a spear, and sucks up a feat. However, if you're a dwarf (and so have free proficiency), it's a reasonable choice.
    Net, Bolas - Both of these use ranged touch attacks, so even if you're not proficient with them, you can still use a THF weapon in melee.



    Non-Core

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    Bardiche, Bec-de-Corbin, Glaive-Guisarme (PAPG) - These are all decent. The bardiche is good if you face monsters who use sunder, the bec-de-corbin is good if you use sunder, and the glaive-guisarme is good against mounted opponents.
    Battle Aspergillum (PAPG) - Useful against evil outsiders and undead. Otherwise, give it a miss.
    Bill (PAPG) - Lower damage than most polearms, but it's useful against mounted opponents and has the disarm ability.
    Boar Spear (PAPG) - Identical to the regular spear, but can't be thrown; instead, it grants a very situational +2 to AC.
    Chain Spear (PAPG) - Why are you spending your Exotic Weapon Proficiency on this when you would be more effective with a shortspear and flail.
    Cestus (PAPG) - Exactly the same as the spiked gauntlet, but has a better threat range and is a monk weapon.
    Dragonsplits (MMIV) - This exotic weapon is one-handed, but counts as light for the purposes of Two-Weapon Fighting and Weapon Finesse. Excellent for TWFing, since you don't have to burn a feat on Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting. Alternatively, they can gain the same benefits as a bastard sword from a 1 level dip in Exotic Weapon Master.
    Double Hammer (CW) - Not that great. An extra point of damage won't be winning you any competitions.
    Double Khopesh (Sandstorm) - Probably the best weapon, aside from the kukri, for TWFing. It's a strict upgrade to the double scimitar as it allows you to make trip attacks. Not useful if you aren't TWFing.
    Dire Pick (CW) - It's a bastard sword with a different crit range. Good for coup de graces, but...well, meh.
    Dwarven Double Spear (ROS) - Not really worth it.
    Dwarven warpike (ROS) - This is hands down the best polearm there is, with 2d8 damage, x3 crit, and the trip ability. If you're a dwarf, there's just no reason not to get this.
    Elven Courtblade (ROTW) - It's useful for users of Weapon Finesse.
    Elven Lightblade, Elven Thinblade (CW, ROTW) - These aren't terrible weapons, but they're not exactly great ones either. Fairly flavorful, though.
    Falcata (PAPG) - Slightly better than the bastard sword.
    Foot Spike (ROTW): Pretty bad, but if you're a raptoran and can get the DM to let you use them with your feet, they become a whole lot better
    Fullblade (A&EG) - It's a souped up greatsword. Not bad.
    Goliath Greathammer (ROS) - The larger crit multiplier equates to one extra point of damage. Unless you're playing a goliath and manage to convince your DM to give you Weapon Familiarity, get a greataxe.
    Greatspear (CW) - If you want this, just get a greatsword with the Throwing enchantment. However, there are some spear-only feats, and this is the only spear that's not a simple weapon.
    Halfling Slingstaff - It costs one feat, and you get more damage, more range, and the ability to treat it as a club in melee. However, it requires a move action to reload, and if you have EWP you probably have a better exotic weapon to use.
    Heavy poleaxe (CW) - Get a dwarven warpike.
    Hellspear (FC 2) - Not a terribly high amount of damage, but consider the fact that it's a reach weapon that you can attack adjacent enemies with. That's what makes the spiked chain so awesome, isn't it?
    Khopesh (PAPG) - Typically not worth it. If you want trip, wield a flail.
    Lasso (PAPG) - Cheaper than a net, but not that great. However, if you make it a Spell Storing item and a persuade a friendly mage to cast a spell into it, making touch attacks against your enemy with this thing is pretty neat.
    Longaxe (CAdv) - Greataxe is good. Greataxe with the option of being a reach weapon is better.
    Lynxpaw (ROTW) - *Shakes head* WotC...what were you thinking?
    Minotaur Greathammer - This beast of a weapon weighs 30 pounds, but it deals 1d12 damage at medium size and has a crit range of 19-20/x4. That is absolutely ridiculous. There is a problem in that there's no listed price, so you'll have to work with your DM to figure out a reasonable one.
    Valenar Double Scimitar - A reasonable choice for TWFing crit-fishers. However, if you're a Valenar elf, and treat it as a martial weapon, it's much better.
    Warmace (CW) - Not worth both a feat and an AC penalty.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2011-12-23 at 05:45 PM.

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    Default Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook

    Magic Items: Tricking Out Your Sword

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    Dungeon Master's Guide

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    Armor

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    +1 Bonus:

    Arrow Catching – Shield. Only applies to arrows aimed at targets within 5 feet of you, and notably, doesn’t function if the ranged weapons have an enhancement bonus greater than your shield. Little use.
    Bashing – Shield. Mandatory for shield-bashers, holds little use for those uninterested in shield bashing.
    Blinding – Shield. Blinded is a pretty nasty status condition, but the save DC is only 14 and the ability functions only twice per day.

    +2 Bonus:

    Animated – Shield. A defining property for shields, and the only thing that makes them worthwhile: granting all the benefits they confer but leaving both your hands free. It’s likely you’ll want to pick up an animated shield at some point. You’ll absolutely need to if you’re a shield-basher.
    Arrow Deflection – Shield. A DC 20 Reflex save to avoid a ranged attack is pretty snazzy. This is going to put a crunch in any archer’s day, especially because, at high levels, the save DC will probably become close to trivial.

    +3 Bonus:

    Ghost Touch – Armor/shield. If you’re incorporeal, I guess. But for the more substantial among us, not worth a +3 bonus.
    Invulnerability – Armor. Sorry, but if you call DR 5 invulnerability, then you are kind of silly.

    +5 Bonus:

    Reflecting – Shield. Spell turning, even once per day, is a very potent effect, but a +5 bonus is quite significant (and it has to be weighed against the benefits you might glean from investing your gold elsewhere). I would not, ultimately, pick this property, even in a Core-only game; however, it would not be an awful choice.

    Variable:

    Fortification – +1/+3/+5 bonus. Armor/shield. Comes in three versions, each providing a degree of immunity against critical hits – variously, 25, 75, and 100 percent. Critical hits are unexpected and often devastating, and as such the light and moderate versions of this property are almost certainly worth thinking about. The heavy version is more of a question: a +5 bonus, but in exchange for total crit immunity. Generally I would stick with the moderate version, as it’s significantly cheaper and still gives a 75% chance at negation.
    Spell Resistance - +2/+3/+4/+5 bonus. Armor. It comes in five versions, which provide from 13 to 19 SR. The SR is, needless to say, ridiculously low; if you’re restricted to Core, the first version could maybe be on the table, but anything above that is absurdly overpriced.

    +X GP

    Energy Resistance (Acid Resistance, Cold Resistance, Electricity Resistance, Fire Resistance, Sonic Resistance) – +18,000/+42,000/+66,000 gp. Armor/shield. Simply too niche (and at too great a cost) to be worthwhile. You’d be much better off simply having the party caster prepare or acquire scrolls of resist energy or energy immunity if you expect to go up against foes who use a certain type of energy damage. Not only is that cheaper, it’s also far more versatile.
    Etherealness – +49,000 gp. Armor. The price tag is somewhat hefty, especially considering that one may only go ethereal once per day, though on the other hand, you can stay ethereal indefinitely. Handy for ambushes, hiding, and making a quick escape; functions as a form of both flight and invisibility. However, there are probably cheaper ways to accomplish what this property does.
    Glamered – +2,700 gp. Armor. Lets your armor appear as a normal set of clothing. Needless to say, very nifty.
    Shadow, Silent Moves, Slick – +3,750/+15,000/+33,750 gp. Armor. Competence bonuses ranging from +5 to +15 on, respectively, Hide, Move Silently, and Escape Artist checks. None are (for you, at least) worth getting.


    Weapons

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    To be imbued with a special ability, a weapon must have at least a +1 bonus.

    Numerical Bonuses (+2, +3, etcetera) - It's never worth getting a numerical bonus higher than +1. Unless you go out of your way to ruin yourself, special abilities will always confer much greater benefits than a simple +1 to attack and damage. Numerical bonuses don't hurt you, but when you can you should always choose a special ability instead.

    +1 Bonus:

    Bane – If you know ahead of time that you’ll be facing a lot of one type of enemy, a bane weapon of the appropriate type can be a very profitable investment to make. If you don’t know what you’ll be facing, you can still reasonably choose a type that’s likely to come up, like monstrous humanoids or undead, but it’s a gamble and you may get better returns from a different property.
    Energy (Flaming, Frost, Corrosive, Screaming, Shock) – The basic weapon property, and very serviceable. If you’re restricted to Core, you’ll probably want to pick up one (or even two) of these. Corrosive and screaming are from the MIC, but they’re grouped here for convenience. Be aware that at higher levels, resistance to fire and cold damage is rampant, so you’ll probably want to get one of the other three instead; screaming deals on average one less point of damage than the others, but resistance to sonic damage is very rare. Note that a greater crystal of energy assault can, for a cheap price, net you one of these properties plus another minor benefit.
    Defending –
    Ghost Touch – A lesser or greater truedeath crystal will grant you this same property for a cheaper price, and without binding you to enchant your weapon. If you’re in a campaign heavy with incorporeal foes, I recommend grabbing one of those instead – not only will a weapon crystal not suck up part of your weapon’s precious +10 maximum, but you’ll get some nifty bonus damage versus undead (and with the greater version, the ability to crit against them).
    Keen – A scabbard of keen edges will grant you this property for 150 minutes each day, for only 16000 GP; pretty much every warblade should have one or the other (it's not optional for crit fishers). I’d tend toward preferring the scabbard, as three fifty-minute segments every day should probably cover most of your adventuring needs (you can always buy another, as well). But be aware that the scabbard takes a standard action to activate, which can be limiting if you’re not expecting combat.
    Merciful – The utility of this property depends heavily on how often you use nonlethal damage. I know that some groups employ it heavily, while others ignore it entirely; if your party falls into the first grouping, a merciful weapon may be worth considering. But my default reaction would be to say there are better choices.
    Mighty Cleaving – If you have the Cleave feat, this will allow you an additional cleave attempt. Fairly decent, though if you can use the MIC there are definitely better properties. If you’re restricted to Core – likely, if you have Cleave – it may be worth considering. But if you find yourself facing clusters of weak enemies often enough that this property frequently comes into play, you may simply be better off taking Great Cleave. If you don't have Cleave, of course, you can't use it.
    Spell Storing – A nifty property with lots of possible utility. It does have the problem of needing to be refilled very frequently. Subpar in terms of damage potential.
    Thundering – Essentially an energy burst property with slightly lower damage and without the non-crit benefit. When compared with a normal energy property, you're looking at 1d6 damage on every attack versus, with thundering, a negligibly higher 1d8 damage on a crit.
    Better if you have a weapon with a x4 crit modifier, but still not great.
    Vicious – The extra damage against your opponent is going to greatly outweigh the minimal damage you sustain. However, it does mean you’ll end most battles with a fair number of scrapes, so if you don’t have access to easy healing between encounters it may not be the best choice. Nonetheless it is something to consider, especially if you can’t use the MIC.

    +2 Bonus:

    Aligned (Anarchic, Axiomatic, Holy, Unholy) – As an adventurer, it’s expected that just about every foe you face will be evil. As such, the holy enhancement is incredibly useful (for evil characters, vice versa). The anarchic and axiomatic properties are far less reliable, and as such not a good choice.
    Disruption – Most warblades aren’t going to be using a bludgeoning weapon, which this property requires. Even if you are wielding a bludgeoning weapon, by the time you can afford a disruption weapon most undead will be able to make the low save easily; don’t expect them to fail more than 5-10% of the time. While a 5-10% chance of instant destruction may sound formidable, remember that combat in D&D is quick and that, in the long term, you’ll likely get more benefit by using that +2 bonus elsewhere. And if you’re drooling over the prospect of KOing that ancient lich, remember that if you’re in position to be hitting them you’ve likely won anyway.
    Energy Burst (Acidic Burst, Flaming Burst, Icy Burst, Screaming Burst, Shocking Burst) – Potentially excellent if you’re a crit fisher, especially if you have a way to increase your critical multiplier (or are restricted to Core). Acidic and screaming are from the MIC, but they’re grouped here for convenience. If you’re wielding a minotaur greathammer or another x4 weapon, an energy burst property may also be worth consideration. Otherwise, though, there are better options.
    Wounding – A property with the possibility of becoming very nasty indeed, even more so if you’re TWFing with two wounding weapons. As you level up, it becomes more and more appealing; higher enemy HD mean the Con damage goes farther, and more iteratives mean more Con damage. On the flip side, more enemies become immune to crits (and thus, this property’s effect).

    +3 Bonus:

    Speed – Copies the extra attack effect of haste (which it doesn’t stack with). If you can afford to buy a +3 weapon property, you can afford to just buy a wand of haste instead (which also gets you the benefits of extra movement speed and the bonus to attacks and Reflex saves). However, haste from a default wand only lasts five rounds, so you’ll have to buff before every combat (and risk running out mid-fight); the habit can also quickly become expensive. The speed property’s permanent nature is a benefit that can’t be overlooked.

    +4 Bonus:

    Brilliant Energy – Yuck, lightsabers. A brilliant energy weapon can’t affect constructs or undead, so make sure to keep a backup weapon if you decide to use one. Its effect – ignoring armor bonuses to AC – is going to basically result in you auto-hitting; however, at a +4 bonus it is quite expensive, and you should be hitting nearly all the time, anyway (the Tarrasque only has 35 AC; pit fiends have only 40). You’d likely be better off spending that +4 bonus on other properties.
    Dancing – A dancing weapon will need to be a backup weapon, since it can’t dance and be wielded at the same time. At an additional +4 bonus, that means your backup weapon will probably be nearly equal to your main weapon in price – and that’s something you simply can’t afford, unless you’re inordinately rich. Especially because it won’t be doing all that much damage, a dancing weapon is prohibitively expensive.

    +5 Bonus:

    Vorpal – Vorpal weapons are a manxome issue. Their cost is frumiously expensive, both in terms of costing an outgrabe amount of gold and taking up a full half of your weapon’s maximum +10 bonus; however, the allure of a 5% chance (a greater chance with iteratives) of automatically whiffling your enemy can’t be denied. The severing effect does work against enemies immune to crits, but not against those who have no heads or can function without theirs, which can be problematic; and most combats are caloohly short. It’s also a death effect, to which (by the time you can afford this) most uffish foes are going to be immune. Generally, I would say that the vorpal property is a bit too gimble to be worth it.


    Jewelry

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    Throat:

    Fingers:


    Clothing

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    Head:

    Face:

    Torso:

    Body:

    Waist:

    Shoulders:

    Arms:

    Hands:

    Feet:


    Tools

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    Consumables:

    Utilities:


    Magic Item Compendium

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    Armor

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    Armor:

    Shields:


    Weapons

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    +1 Bonus:

    Banishing – Fabulous. At high levels you’ll be fighting loads of extraplanar creatures, and activating this property (you get three activations per day) forces them to make a DC 20 (or potentially higher) Will save or be banished. There’s not much to say about a SoL.
    Binding – It mimics the effect of dimensional anchor twice a day, for ten minutes. While potentially useful, if you know that you’re going to be needing dimensional anchor, it’s probably better to just have the party caster either prepare it or procure a scroll or wand of it.
    Blessed – You shouldn’t have trouble confirming critical hits, and the holy property, which you’ll probably want to get, covers DR/good.
    Bloodfeeding – A normal energy property is more reliable and often better.
    Bloodstone – Useless.
    Brutal Surge – Initiate a bull rush as part of an attack, 1+ Con modifier/day. If you’re a goliath or other large race, almost mandatory. The property gets even better if you have Improved Bull Rush, but is wonderful on its own terms.
    Chargebreaker – Let’s be real here, no enemy that’s charging at you is going to fail a DC 14 Fort save except on a natural 1 (if they can, they’re not a threat). When they do fail their save, though, this effect is utterly devastating.
    Charging – If you’re a mounted combatant, this property is mandatory. If you’re not, its effect is useless to you.
    Defensive Surge – You should not be using Combat Expertise as anything but a feat sink to qualify for Improved Trip. Even if you are, +2 AC isn’t worth a +1 bonus.
    Desiccating – For most purposes, identical to screaming and psychokinetic. Screaming is ineffective against sonic-resistant foes; desiccating is ineffective against nonliving ones. Psychokinetic is better than both, as it deals force damage.
    Dislocator – From now on, you will try to fight every battle on the edge of a lava pit. A DC 17 Will save isn’t too terrible, and moving your foe ten feet can be lifesaving.
    Also, lava pit.
    Dispelling – Because you have no CL as a warblade, you’re going to be unable to dispel anything with a CL higher than 9. That’s pretty limiting, especially when you consider that even on lower-CL effects, your chances of dispelling won’t be favorable – and the effect only functions three times per day.
    Divine Wrath – Not suited to warblades. Charisma is your dump stat.
    Dragondoom – No, just get a dragonbane weapon.
    Heavenly Burst – Unless you have a weapon with a x4 crit multiplier, superior to an energy burst property. A very solid enhancement, especially for crit-fishers.
    Illusion Bane – Becomes wonderful as miss chances become more common. It takes a swift action to activate, however, which for you is problematic.
    Impact – See keen. This is keen for bludgeoning weapons.
    Impaling – A nice property, but warblades should usually steer clear of it because it takes a swift action to activate.
    Knockback – Note that it only works against creatures of your size or smaller, and only thrice a day. Brutal surge is superior in every way.
    Lucky – Rerolls are priceless.
    Magebane – Like a bane weapon, but it works against all enemies who cast arcane spells or use invocations. The version that appeared originally in Complete Arcane also functioned against enemies with SLAs, but the MIC nerfed it. It's still excellent, though.
    Maiming – A vanilla energy enhancement is going to be superior.
    Morphing – Not a great deal of use.
    Paralyzing – While paralyzing your opponent is awesome, the effect only functions once per day and the save DC is too low for that to be justified. Look into paralytic burst instead.
    Profane – Evil is always getting the short end of the stick. I can guarantee that taking 1 Con damage every round is far worse than dealing an extra 1d6 damage. Get an unholy or energy weapon instead. If you’re undead, though, it’s a nice enhancement.
    Psychokinetic – Basically a superior version of screaming or desiccating. The extra 1d4 damage is force damage, which means it’s not subject to DR or even to incorporeality. Cool beans.
    Resounding – Just plain terrible. Skip it.
    Revealing – A very interesting effect – any foe you hit loses concealment. Concealment effects are terribly frustrating, and higher-level foes will use them if they are smart; this could be a very useful choice of enhancement.
    Sacred – You don’t get any benefit from Charisma, which makes this property less awful than it would normally be. With your low Charisma, wielding this for any length of time could become dangerous to you; it also makes you an obvious target for Cha-draining effects. Energy properties are much superior. Notice that the good guys only suffer Cha damage, while the bad guys take hits to Con.
    Shattermantle – If your mage is wise, they will be using no-SR spells against enemies with SR. And you won’t be making a full attack all that often, which makes the effect far less useful.
    Shielding – If you have an off-hand weapon, you don’t want a shield. If you use a shield, you’ll want a real shield. You’ll probably have an animated shield, anyway.
    Stygian – Very nice indeed. Automatically granting your enemy a negative level, 3/day, is excellent. It stacks with enervating.
    Sundering – Mediocre. There’s possible use, but not a great deal; a warblade will often take Improved Sunder in any case, to qualify for Combat Brute.
    Sweeping – Potentially useful for trippers, though at only a +2 bonus it seems like a different property would be more beneficial.
    Venomous – Like chargebreaker, a stupidly easy Fort save. Unlike chargebreaker, it only works three times a day.
    Warning – +5 to initiative is awesome, especially because it’s an insight bonus. Even better at high levels, when combat starts to resemble rocket tag. You only need to be holding it to gain the benefit; if you have Quick Draw, you can enter combat with a warning weapon held, get the bonus to initiative, and then swap to your main weapon.
    Weakening – An automatic -4 Str to your opponent when you score a critical hit. There’s no save, which is neat. Sadly, multiple hits aren’t cumulative, but it’s nonetheless a potent ability (even more so in the hands of a crit-fisher).
    Whirling – Functions 3/day as a superior Whirlwind Attack, and without all the terrible prereqs. Identical to the Mithral Tornado maneuver, and inferior to Adamantine Hurricane. Very nifty.

    +2 Bonus:

    Blindsighted – A blindfold of true darkness is better and cheaper.
    Blurstrike – For obvious reasons, less useful to you than rogues and their ilk. Still, it’s hard to argue with catching an opponent flat-footed.
    Collision – A no-nonsense +5 untyped damage with every hit. Beautiful in its simplicity, though, like all static bonuses, it ages.
    Consumptive – An inferior collision.
    Desiccating Burst – See energy burst.
    Disarming – For the last time, do not disarm. Interestingly, makes you disarm-immune; however, if your enemy wants to rid you of your weapon they will try to sunder it, not disarm you. Absolutely not worth a +2 bonus.
    Elemental (Aquan, Auran, Ignan, Terran)– Far too particular to waste a +2 bonus on.
    Great Dislocator – Lava pit.
    Greater Dispelling – Not a great deal more benefit to you, and it suffers the same problems dispelling does.
    Domineering – Not bad at all, but cursespewing is much better and only a +1 higher bonus.
    Doom Burst – While not terrible on its own terms, it’s as above inferior to cursespewing. If you’re considering this property, you should spring for cursespewing instead.
    Energy Aura – Collision and holy are both better choices. Both screaming and desiccating accomplish the same job of overcoming common energy resistances, and at only a +1 bonus.
    Energy Surge – Not bad at all, especially because the number of uses you get per day are keyed off of Con, one of your main stats. Better than an energy burst property, certainly. Never get fire or cold.
    Enervating – Pure awesome. No TWFer should be without a pair of enervating weapons, and it’s a superb choice of enhancement for any warblade.
    Fiercebane – Oh look, it’s Sting. Not worth it, sadly; you gain minimal benefits over bane.
    Fleshgrinding – A nice ability. The main benefit is the chance of depriving your opponent of a standard action. But be conscious of the fact that everything you spend on your alternate weapon is money that could have been spent on your main weapon.
    Ghost Strike – A greater truedeath crystal is cheaper, provides you with exactly the same benefit, and gives you an extra d6 damage versus undead to boot.
    Illusion Theft – Decidedly mediocre.
    Impedance – While it looks good on the surface, consider two things:
    One, the Spellcraft DC is absurdly low, and skill checks don’t automatically fail on a natural 1.
    Two, no spellcaster worth their salt is going to let you get into melee range.
    Metalline – As that pesky DR starts popping up, being able to change your weapon’s material at will is invaluable. Highly recommended.
    Paralytic – The Will DC is reasonably high, though it ages, and putting your foe out of action for a round is quite often equivalent to killing them. When you realize that with this property, critting is a SoL effect, it becomes extremely enticing – like all effects keyed off of crits, crit-fishers and TWFers get the most benefit out of it. Do remember that it doesn’t work against foes immune to paralyzation.
    Profane Burst – Even worse than profane. Even if you’re undead, this isn’t worth it.
    Psychokinetic Burst – The extra damage is far too little to be worthwhile.
    Sacred Burst – If you’re critting with enough regularity to consider this enhancement, it is going to send you to 0 Cha – and thus, out of the battle – in no time. 1d4 Cha damage every time you crit makes this ability worse for you than your foe.
    Soulbreaker – Why in the world are you leaving survivors?
    Transmuting – Superb, comparable to metalline. DR is very common at high levels, and overcoming it automatically is great.
    Vampiric – The untyped bonus damage is nice, and the healing is bound to come in handy. Very functional and a good choice.

    +3 Bonus:

    Bodyfeeder – At a +3 bonus, not worth considering unless you’re a crit-fisher. The temporary hitpoints don’t stack with each other, though they’ll definitely come in handy. The thing to consider is whether you’d get more steam by applying that +3 bonus elsewhere.
    Cursespewing – Amazing, especially for crit-fishers. Nice for softening up targets for a SoD.
    Ethereal Reaver - Never worth it.
    Holy Surge – While a great enhancement, you lack the Cha to fuel it. Still solid, especially if you’ve raised your Cha via inherent and/or enhancement bonuses.
    Implacable – Yay, +2 to +8 damage every round…for the price of a +3 bonus. And it’s only higher than +2 if you full attack. I guess those, um, ogres won’t know what hit them. Yeah. Er. Um.
    Incorporeal Binding – Not worth a +3 bonus.
    Unholy Surge – See holy surge.

    +X GP:

    Keep in mind that a weapon can't have a price tag of greater than 200,000 gp. If you add a +X enhancement to your weapon, you forfeit the chance of getting a full +10 bonus. This may or may not be worth it, but it's smart to be aware of.

    Aquatic – +2,000 GP. In an aquatic campaign (or one where you find yourself frequently underwater), it’s a steal. Otherwise, there’s no need to get it.
    Changeling – +2,000 gp. No concrete function.
    Everbright – +2,000 gp. Cheap. The effect is not very useful, and as such your money is probably best spent elsewhere.
    Hideaway – +2,000 gp. If you’re not going to invest in a +10 weapon, this is a nifty ability and is exceptionally cheap.
    Illuminating – +500 gp. Just get a light spell made permanent.
    Prismatic Burst – +30,000 gp. Utterly ridiculous. This ability alone can – and does – justify not getting a +10 weapon. Simply ludicrous for crit-fishers.
    Shadowstrike – +5,000 gp. Pretty cool; an extra 5 feet of reach is sometimes all you need. But it takes a swift action to activate, which is painful.
    Sizing – +5,000 gp. It can be useful to add to a weapon after you've acquired a pair of strongarm bracers.
    Slow Burst – +5,000 gp. At DC 14, an easy save to make – but slow is a nasty effect. If you’re getting prismatic burst, you may as well tack this on.
    Vanishing – +8,000 gp. 1/day dimension door with a 60-foot range as a swift action (but only after a melee attack). Could be a nice utility, but don’t count on a 60-foot teleport to save you if you’re in trouble.


    Jewelry

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    Throat:

    Amber Amulet of Vermin – 500-1,200 gp. Once per day, summons a large or huge vermin for ten rounds. Very nifty and very cheap, though the vermin are relatively weak.
    Amulet of Aquatic Salvation – 500 gp. Well worth the price. If you’re planning on underwater adventuring you’ll need something with a longer duration, but especially at lower levels this can be a lifesaver.
    Amulet of Emergency Healing – 6,000 gp. 1d4+5 damage, even as an immediate action, isn’t going to be much help for long; as you level up, that amount becomes trivial. If an ally is reduced to something like -14 HP, then this amulet is an awesome thing to have; but you shouldn’t expect that will happen very often. This amulet can be either a lifesaver or a waste of money.
    Amulet of Fortune Prevailing – 5,000 gp. I have said so before, and I will say so again: rerolls, especially on saving throws, are just about priceless. This one is just 5,000 gp, so if you’re high level there’s little excuse not to pick it up (especially given how devastating a high-level SoL can be). Do be aware, though, that you have to reroll before knowing whether you’ve succeeded or not.
    Amulet of Inviolate Form – 11,000 gp. Automatically resist transformations or polymorphs (ie, baleful polymorph and the like. Sounds good to me.
    Amulet of Second Chances – 40,000 gp. Redo an entire turn, once per day. A little pricey, but utterly incredible.
    Amulet of Teamwork – 2,000 gp. +2 damage when flanking. Could be worth it if you have a regular flanking pal, like the party rogue.
    Amulet of Tears – 2,300 gp. A handful of temporary hit points every day, as a swift action. The swift action is the dealbreaker – you’ll do far better by using a maneuver.
    Amulet of Toxin Delay – 400 gp. Very situational, unless your DM particularly enjoys poison. The delay poison effect only lasts two rounds, and you have to be wearing it when you’re affected by the poison; that means you can’t just hold one in reserve. Not a good buy.
    Badge of the Svirfneblin – 15,000 gp. The blur effect is useful, and the darkvision can be helpful, but it’s not worth 15k.
    Brooch of Avoidance – 3,100 gp. Not terribly useful.
    Brooch of Stability – 1,000 gp. Automatically become stable when reduced to -1 hit points or fewer. Can be a great help, though it shares the same problems the amulet of emergency healing has: the chances of being hit into the neat little window between -1 and -9 grow increasingly slimmer as damage increases.
    Cat’s-Eye Brooch – 9,000 gp. +1 to saving throws is nice, but you have better ways to spend 9,000 gp.
    Contact Medallion – 3,000 gp. A nice utility to have at hand, especially in situations where surreptitiousness is needed.
    Eagle Claw Talisman – 1,000 gp. Deliver “ruinous strikes” against that vicious furniture. Just like eagles do, I guess?
    Enduring Amulet – 1,500 gp. Useful for the permanent endure elements. You can use its charges to give yourself fire or cold resistance as an immediate action, which is handy.
    Enemy Spirit Pouch – 2,100 gp. +1 attack against creatures of a specific type. Needless to say, not worth it.
    Farspeaking Amulet – 6,000. One amulet lets your party speak with each other for three ten-minute segments a day, regardless of where you are (as long as you’re all on the same plane). Excellent if you get split up, as so often happens.
    Fireflower – 13,000 gp. Continuous fire resist 10, with the ability to make yourself immune for up to one round every hour. If you’re going up against a load of fiery foes, it can help, though you may want to just have your mage spring for energy immunity.
    Githborn Talisman – 1,800 gp. +2 to attack and damage rolls against aberrations, +4 if you’re a gith. If you know you’re going to be up against aberrations, it might be a good investment as it’s relatively cheap. Otherwise, it can be safely counted a waste.
    Hand of the Oak Father – 5,000. Allows you to use a handful of druid utility spells, each once per day. Not explicitly for druids – you can definitely get some use from it – but pretty mediocre.
    Heartseeking Amulet – 3,000. Thrice per day, make a melee attack as a melee touch attack. Touch attacks are horribly easy to make, which makes this wonderful. Because it takes a swift action to activate, essentially a 3/day Emerald Razor maneuver.
    Medal of Gallantry – 1,350 gp. Utterly useless.
    Necklace of Copper Dragon Scales – 570 gp. Acid resist 5 for an hour will do nothing to help you. Made even more insulting by the fact that, after six uses, it becomes useless.
    Necklace of Warning – 4,000 gp. +2 to your flat-footed AC. Consider that you have Uncanny Dodge, and also that +2 AC does little.
    Reins of Ascension – 3,300 gp. You’ll need to get a permanent method of flight eventually, so you’ll want to ditch it at some point. Until then, it’s quite useful.
    Retributive Amulet – 9,000 gp. Thrice per day, reflect half of the melee damage dealt to you back on the attacker. Pure awesome when up against melee brutes, especially a power-attacking charger.
    Safewing Emblem – 250 gp. Activates a feather fall effect if you fall, but only up to 180 feet. Shatters upon use. You probably don’t want to keep this on all the time.
    Scarab of Invulnerability – 40,000 gp. Once per day, become immune to all forms of damage for one round. Expensive, but its effect is incredible.
    Scarab of Stabilization – 20,000 gp. Identical to the brooch of stability, but if you are reduced to less than -9 hit points the amulet automatically brings you up to -1 and is destroyed. A literal lifesaver, though unavailable until the high levels due to its cost.
    Scentblinder – 8,000 gp. There are far better ways to spend your gold.
    Skull Plaque – 6,200 gp. 1/day death knell and detect undead. Little use.
    Spellsink Scarab – 2,000 gp. Three daily charges used to reduce damage taken from spells or psionic powers. If a caster is using direct damage, chances are that either they’ll be so weak as to pose little threat, or it’ll be so much damage as to render this scarab trivial. Useful at low levels, though.
    Torc of Displacement – 2,000 gp. Pretty neat for the price, especially since it takes an immediate action. You’ll probably want to get a cloak of displacement or another source of miss chance somewhere along the line, but a torc of displacement remains useful.
    Torc of Heroic Sacrifice – 6,000 gp. Once per day, when an ally within 30 feet takes damage, you can choose to take that damage instead. It’s likely you’ll have the most hit points in your party, which makes this an excellent buy. The 30-foot range can occasionally be mildly limiting.
    Torc of the Titans – 3,300 gp. Swift action to activate. I can guarantee that using a maneuver will always help you more than +5 damage will.
    Unicorn Pendant – 6,000 gp. Not utterly useless, but not particularly useful, either.
    Vampire Torc – 5,000 gp. Twice per day, heal damage equal to what you deal on your next melee attack. Swift action to activate, but the effect is pretty handy. Less useful if you’re a TWFer, though, as a single attack won’t mean much to you.

    Chronocharms

    Any number of chronocharms can be worn simultaneously. All chronocharms cost 500 gp.

    Chronocharm of the Celestial Wanderer – Listen and Spot checks are not as crucial as saving throws or attack rolls, and you are not likely to be the ears or eyes of the party; nonetheless, a reroll is a reroll.
    Chronocharm of the Fateweaver – Reroll a Balance, Climb, or Tumble check. Worth adding to your collection, if not stellar.
    Chronocharm of the Grand Master – You’re always better off pursuing miss chances rather than AC boosts; also, ranged attacks become less used at higher levels. Nonetheless, it’s worth its price.
    Chronocharm of the Horizon Walker – Move half your speed as a swift action. Nifty, though it sucks up a swift action.

    Fingers:


    Clothing

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    Head:

    Face:

    Torso:

    Body:

    Waist:

    Shoulders:

    Arms:

    Hands:

    Feet:


    Tools

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    Consumables:

    Utilities:

    Last edited by Elfin; 2011-12-23 at 05:46 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook

    Multiclassing: Half a Sword
    Thanks to Essence_of_War, ShneekeytheLost, and Draz74

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    Barbarian

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    Unfortunately, it doesn't give you much you don't have already. Full BAB? Got it. D12 HD? Got that too. Hulk smash? No problem for ya. DR? You have Stone Dragon for that. Rage? Maneuvers are a much more effective way of increasing damage output.

    In fact, there's only one real thing you can get from it. A single-level dip with the Spirit Lion Totem from Complete Champion lets you trade out the 10' speed bonus for Pounce. That means you don't need to wait to get Pouncing Strike, and can use it more frequently. Of course, since you've already got it, you may as well pick up Intimidating Rage and the skill trick Never Outnumbered for some battlefield control to go with your pounce. Other than that? Give this a pass.

    Draz74 has a few additional points:

    Eh, Whirling Frenzy is still pretty nice. Not worth it by itself, still, no. But if you're dipping for Pounce, I'd suggest taking Whirling Frenzy instead of Rage + Intimidating Rage.

    A second Barbarian level is also pretty viable, if you use some other ACFs, since it doesn't lose you any Initiator levels. In particular, the Wolf Totem gives you Improved Trip instead of a redundant Uncanny Dodge. Of course, you have to ask your DM if he'll allow you to take Lion Spirit Totem from CChamp and Wolf Totem from UA.


    Bard

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    Bards and Warblades go together like healbots and beatsticks. There's a feat that even makes this easier: Song of the White Raven. It lets your Bard levels and your Warblade levels stack for determining your level of Inspire Courage. There's been a lot of thought on how to maximize Inspire Courage, I suggest you look into it. While you are at it, look up Dragonfire Inspiration.

    What you lose: Two initiator levels, 1 BAB, 2 maneuvers known, 1 maneuver readied, and Stance Mastery with a traditional 4Bard/16Warblade build

    What you gain: Inspire Courage to give Morale bonuses to everyone's attack and damage, and because it is a Morale bonus, it should stack with just about everything else (other than another morale bonus, of course). Possible Dragonfire Inspiration to give a handful of d6's to everyone's damage rolls. Mind you, this includes yourself. Suddenly, you will find yourself being able to hit a lot more often, and doing a lot more damage per hit as well. And so does your allies. With Lingering Song, you can get both of them going simultaneously long enough to end the fight.

    If you are considering being the 'party leader' who wants to help and support the party as a whole in a meaningful way, and already considering White Raven to do so, then this is definitely a very viable option for you.


    Cleric

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    Cleric dips can be invaluable - and with Complete Champion's line of Devotion feats, a warblade can extract a noticeable benefit from cleric multiclassing.

    The Dip:

    For a primary warblade, we're here for one reason: the ability to Turn Undead and thus fuel Devotion feats. Anything more than a one- or two-level dip provides sharply diminishing returns. I like dipping Fighter 1/Cleric 1 to get the additional IL, a bonus feat, and Turn Undead in a simple package.

    Domains:

    Try to pick ones that give you an ability that isn't directed at full casting or keyed off of your cleric level. In core, Luck, Animal, and Travel are all fine. War is good if you're not planning to take a level in fighter.

    Devotion feats:

    This is the good stuff, and the reason you're dipping cleric. Devotion feats allow you to burn uses of Turn Undead to get extra uses of the feat's abilities. Your Charisma score is the chief factor in how many uses of Turn Undead you can use; you should thus choose your Devotion feat(s) and your Charisma stat with your methods in mind.


    Crusader

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    If you're an AoO build, Crusader 2 can get Thicket of Blades. This alone is worth writing home about.

    The crusader also earns 5 maneuvers known at 1st level. If you want to get some mid-level maneuvers from Devoted Spirit, White Raven, or Stone Dragon, and you've focused yourself into other areas, this can be a good choice. WRT is only 3rd level, and only requires a 1 maneuver pre-req, and the Stone Dragon school has a smattering of maneuvers that have no pre-reqs. If you're an elf who wants to become an Eternal Blade, but is mostly a Warblade, the crusader dip can help you pick up some Devoted Spirit pre-reqs.


    Factotum

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    When multiclassing into factotum, a primary warblade has two obvious options available: a two-level dip or a more committed four-level one. Generally, factotum dips are best for warblades who already have a high Int, or for higher ECL characters who have ways of boosting their Int through items. Since you may already want to be boosting Int to increase the benefit gained from your "Battle" line of class features, this can be very profitable.

    Two-level dip

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    What you gain:

    - An Improved Reflex save.
    - A cantrip (not big).
    - 3 Inspiration Points per encounter.
    - Cunning Insight - For 1 IP and no action, add your Int mod to any attack roll, save, or damage roll as a competence bonus.
    - Cunning Knowledge - For 1 IP, get a +2 to any skill check.
    - Trapfinding.
    - A ton of extra skill points to spend on ANY(!!!) skill. Nice for helping to fill out party roles; UMD is especially valuable.

    What you lose:

    - 1 point of BAB.
    - A few HP (d8 vs. d12).
    - 1 IL.
    - You'll probably miss 1 maneuver known and 1 maneuver retrain.
    - You may also lose one or more warblade class abilities, depending on the level at which you take the dip. The viability of this depends heavily on your warblade's build.

    Good level games for this dip:

    ECL 3 - Lose out on Battle Ardor and Uncanny Dodge, but the factotum benefits should make you forget those.
    ECL 5 - Factotum 2/warblade 3 works really well! You'll miss only the bonus feat.
    ECL 9 - Miss a bonus feat, but keep Improved Uncanny Dodge and Battle Cunning.

    Generally, this dip does best at low- and mid-levels. At higher ECLs you need to weigh any benefits of this dip against PrC benefits you may be missing out on.



    Four-level dip:

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    What you gain:

    - An improved Reflex save.
    - 3 Inspiration Points per encounter.
    - One or two first-level spells (very minor).
    - Brains over Brawn - Add your Int modifier to all Str and Dex checks and any skill check keyed off of those skills. This could be extremely useful to a tripping or bull-rushing warblade; synergy with the Knockdown/Knockback feats is delightful.
    - Cunning Strike - Gives minor sneak attack. By RAW, you can get 3d6 out of this once per encounter on a single attack. Fairly small.
    - Cunning Defense - 1 IP grants you your Int mod as a dodge bonus to AC against an opponent until the beginning of your next turn. Once per turn per foe. Useful for boss fights, or against ranged touch attacks if you don't have Wall of Blades prep'd.
    - Cunning Insight - For 1 IP and no action, add your Int mod to any attack roll, save, or damage roll as a competence bonus.
    - Cunning Knowledge - For 1 IP, get +4 to any skill check.
    - Trapfinding.
    - A metric ton of extra skill points to spend on ANY(!!!) skill. Nice for helping to fill out party roles; UMD is especially valuable.

    What you lose:
    - 1 point of BAB.
    - 2 IL.
    - A handful of HP (d8 vs. d12).
    - A point of Fort save.
    - 2 maneuvers known, and 2 maneuver retrains (depending on what your warblade level is).
    - Possibly a maneuver readied.
    - Possibly a stance.
    - You may also lose one or more warblade class abilities, depending on the level at which you take the dip. The viability of this depends heavily on your warblade's build.

    Good level games for this dip:
    ECL 5 - This is a fun one. You come in with a ton of skills and can go straight for the 2nd level maneuvers with your first warblade level.

    Weigh other levels carefully against PrC entrance and long term benefit.


    Gestalt

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    In a Gestalt game, a warblade//factotum can be a very powerful primary melee character. Keep an eye on the following levels:

    Level 8 - You get Cunning Surge. This is fantastic, breaking the warblade's action economy wide open. You can initiate a maneuver and make a full attack, initiate two maneuvers, or do a maneuver and recovery! Talk with your DM about whether or not this is usable multiple times a round. Avoid flying DMGs. If you have an ECL 8+ Gestalt game, and you'd like to play a Warblade, strongly consider the factotum for nothing other than this ability.

    If this is usable multiple times per round, you can take Font of Inspiration once (see below) to open every combat with WRT, Surge to recover maneuvers, Surge out WRT. Everyone in your party will thank you. Your DM will likely not. Even if you don't take Font, you can still use WRT, then on your next turn, recover maneuvers and surge out WRT!

    Level 11 - Cunning Breach. Allows you to bypass SR/DR for 2 IP. This can be very broadly useful with your arcane dilettante ability (or use it to punch the hell out of golems).

    Level 16 - Imrovedp Cunning Defense permanently gives you your Int mod as a dodge bonus to AC, though you have to be in light armor. That's a major downside if you aren't in a mithral breastplate or the equivalent. This can be much better if you're going for a more dextrous build to take advantage of TWFing.


    Feats

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    Font of Inspiration - If it is allowed can be very tempting. Usually the warblade has better things to do with its feats, but you could make an exception based on a couple of possibilities. The only time I would feel strongly about this is at factotum 8.

    If you're in a Gestalt game and trying to nab Cunning Surge, you'll have 5 IP at level 8. Cunning Surge costs 3 IP to use. Taking Font of Inspiration once gives you 6 IP total and 2 uses of this ability. As you don't normally get your 6th IP until Factotum 11, this can be very profitable.


    Fighter

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    This is a great one, because depending on your build, fighter 1, 2, 4 or 6 can all appropriate jump-offs.

    Fighter 1 gets you heavy armor, as well as all shields, and all of the usual ranged weapons. This is certainly worth considering. Fighter 2 and 6 have dungeoncrasher ACFs which combine VERY well with any large or powerful build race who is planning on doing some bullrushing.

    I find myself proposing fighter 2 to most people, but the fact that you can get value out of fighter 1 + odd number of another useful class to maximize IL is a handy trick.


    Monk

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    A two level monk dip gets you 3 bonus feats, and with the UA variants, two of these could be just about any applicable feats to your build. I'm partial to the "overwhelming attack" line, particularly when I'm building a warblade who has powerful build or large size, but just about any warblade could make good use of Power Attack and Improved Bull Rush.

    Notably, this also nabs you evasion, and if you're planning on using a mithril breastplate or lighter, this combines saucily with your 'action before thought' diamond mind maneuver.

    The bonuses to base saves are also nothing to sneeze at.

    It's also possible to get value out of monk 1 or monk 6, but I find neither of these to be as compelling as monk 2.


    Paladin/Hexblade

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    Almost certainly Pal/Hex 2, but potentially Pal/Hex 4 or Hex 5.

    Hexblade 3 is notably a fast way to get "mettle", an ability that could be very nice combined with your diamond mind save-replacements.

    Both of the 2 level dips gets you cha to saves (situational for hexblade), both of the 4 level dips get you casting, and the pal 4 gets you turning. If your build needs any of them, it's good to know you can get them with full BAB and goodies to reward you if you have a high Cha. But since none of the warblade's class features are keyed off of charisma, this is worth mentioning if it's relevant, but not really worth writing home about to everyone.


    Ranger

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    Ranger 2 gets free TWF. This is useful if you want to TWF, and you should know that you can probably argue THF+Armor Spikes works with this if you want a way to get another attack.


    Samurai (OA)

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    Like the fighter, this guy has jump out points that are both even and odd. Samurai 1 gets Ancestral Daisho, easily worth a feat (Ancestral Relic from BoED), and Samurai 2 gets a bonus feat. It also offers two good saves. Not as flexible as the fighter, but not having to rely on magic item marts to boost your primary weapon is SAUCY.



    Prestige Classes: Perfecting the Sword

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    Exotic Weapon Master

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    Good for no more than a one-level dip, only if you're using a one-handed exotic weapon in two hands. If you are, it's worth taking.

    Just make sure you're OK with taking either Exotic Weapon Proficiency or playing a race, like a dwarf, who gets weapon familiarity with the waraxe.


    Revenant Blade

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    Want to be a TWF warblade? Strongly consider this option, and take all five levels.

    It's feat intensive, but the capstone is WAY worth it, and you end up netting more feats out than you take in.

    I'll cross reference you to the appropriate handbook for more details.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2011-12-23 at 05:47 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook

    Sample Builds: Exemplars of the Sword

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    Blade of Corellon
    Amphetryon

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    Crunch:

    Snow Elf Warblade 7/Champion of Corellon Larethian 3/Eternal Blade 10.

    STR 13 DEX 17 CON 14 INT 16 WIS 12 CHA 6; boost DEX.

    Flaws: Murky-Eyed, Shaky

    Feats: Combat Expertise, Dodge, Mounted Combat, Improved Weapon Familiarity, Weapon Focus (Elven Courtblade), Combat Reflexes, Improved Trip, Weapon Finesse, Unnerving Calm, Perfect Clarity of Mind and Body

    Maneuvers: Moment of Perfect Mind, Douse the Flames, Wall of Blades, Insightful Strike, Iron Heart Surge, White Raven Tactics, Ruby Nightmare Blade, Rapid Counter, Moment of Alacrity, Avalanche of Blades, Diamond Nightmare Blade, Time Stands Still

    Stances: Punishing Stance, Leading the Charge, Hearing the Air.

    Description:

    Party role is primarily that of tank; the required feats for CoCC give some valuable defensive boosts early-game that the 3 levels of CoCC emphasize for mid-game. With a heavy flail as a second weapon and Combat Reflexes/Improved Trip, it's at least adequate as a battlefield controller and against undead and such. If there's an equipment-related or site-related way to pick up Mounted Combat, it deserves serious consideration since it's largely unsupported otherwise. Get out in front and provide boosts to your allies while simultaneously dealing with the most dangerous melee threat possible. Hit based on DEX; damage based on DEX + INT + STR in general, or on up to 4x Concentration check a few times a day.

    Heavy emphasis on Diamond Mind makes Concentration the skill to max out. 15 ranks in Tumble seems a minimum to improve mobility, max out Intimidate even with the CHA penalty, and pick up what Knowledges seem most appropriate to the campaign to compliment choices needed for PrCs; with the INT available this makes a decent secondary sage. Obviously, toss a point or two into the Ride skill for Mounted Combat. This might be easiest at 1st level, if you start with sufficient funds to have a mount, since your opponents will largely be accessible from horseback and the benefits of Mounted Combat are significant at low levels.

    Major issue is that Flaws are required for the build to work; it's impossible to get sufficient Feats otherwise to get CoCC 3 and still finish out Eternal Blade pre-Epic.


    Flick
    Keld Denar

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    Flick, the Flaming Knife Flinger
    Glimmerskin Strongheart Halfling Bardblade
    Bard3/Warblade5/Master Thrower5/Warblade7
    28 PB Str 12(10) Dex 16(18) Con 14 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 12
    Putting level up points into Dex to increase +hit

    Level/Feat Build
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    1 Bard1 [Dragonfire Inspiration] [Point Blank Shot] [Rapid Shot(flaw)] [Precise Shot (Flaw)]
    2 Bard2
    3 Bard3 [Song of the Heart]
    4 Warblade1
    5 Warblade2
    6 Warblade3 [Song of the White Raven]
    7 Warblade4
    8 Warblade5 [Quick Draw]
    9 Master Thrower1 [Two Weapon Fighting]
    10 Master Thrower2
    11 Master Thrower3
    12 Master Thrower4 [Improved TWF]
    13 Master Thrower5
    14 Warblade6
    15 Warblade7 [Greater TWF]
    16 Warblade8
    17 Warblade9 [Improved Initiative]
    18 Warblade10 [Feat?]
    19 Warblade11
    20 Warblade12

    Maneuver/Spell Progression
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    {table=Header]IL|Level|[Gain]|(Lose)|{Stance}
    1|Bard1||||
    1|Bard2|[Inspirational Boost]|||
    1|Bard3|[Grease]|||
    2|Warblade1|[Moment of Perfect Mind] [Wolf Fang Strike] [Sudden Leap]|| {Leading the Charge}
    3|Warblade2|[Action Before Thought]||
    4|Warblade3|[Tactical Strike]||
    5|Warblade4|[Mind over Body]|(Wolf Fang Strike)|{Leaping Dragon Stance}
    6|Warblade5|[White Raven Tactics]||
    7|Master Thrower1|||
    8|Master Thrower2|||
    8|Master Thrower3|||
    9|Master Thrower4|||
    9|Master Thrower5|||
    10|Warblade6|[Dancing Mongoose]|(Action Before Thought)||
    11|Warblade7|[Moment of Alacrity]||
    12|Warblade8|[Order Forged from Chaos]|(Tactical Strike)|
    13|Warblade9|[Clarion Call]||
    14|Warblade10|[Quicksilver Motion]|(Mind over Body)|{Press the Advantage}
    15|Warblade11|[Raging Mongoose]||
    16|Warblade12|[Diamond Defense]|(Moment of Perfect Mind)|
    [/table]

    Picking maneuvers was tough, since most of them require melee strikes. I REALLY wanted to draw heavily from Desert Wind, but all the boosts there specify melee only, whereas Tiger Claw boosts such as the Xing Mongooses don't. I really tried to avoid taking Strikes if possible, except to meet prereqs, since I'd rather use my high rate of fire on a full attack if possible.

    Granted, would have a lot of weakness against foes with DR and fire immunity, but would be fun to play in a campaign mostly against humanoid foes. The high rate of attack between Rapid Shot, TWF, and Palm Throw would stack on the d6s pretty fast. At level 20, you'd have an Dragonfire Inspiration of:
    +5 (level incuding Vest of Legends)
    +1 Song of the Heart
    +1 Inspirational Boost
    +1 Badge of Valor
    = +8d6 fire damage per hit

    19/20 BAB results in 4 attacks +1 for Rapid Shot, +3 for TWF, +2 for Raging Mongoose, +1 Haste for 11 attacks, which Palm throw makes 22. 22 attacks for +8d6 each would net ~176d6 fire damage per round on a full attack every other round, with 144d6 every round in between (to regain Raging Mongoose). Maneuverability would be increase with Sudden Leap and Leaping Dragon Stance, replaced later with Press the Advantage and/or Quicksilver Motion at later levels. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite get the IL up high enough to get Time Stands Still, which would ABSOLUTELY destroy just about anything.

    All in all, the build is pretty viable off the bat. Early on, you'll have a really low rate of fire, but you'll be a pretty good buffer with +1d6 fire at 1st level, +2d6 fire at 2nd, and +3d6 fire at 3rd. Low number of Bard songs per day could be an issue, but for continuous fighting, you could just maintain the same song over multiple encounters as long as you don't have to cast spells or chit chat. The build really comes into its own around level 8, when you have the Quickdraw to make multiple dagger tosses in a round. By then, your Inspire Courage is up to +5d6 (with Badge) and you are making 3 attacks/round or 4 with Haste. That's potentially 15-20d6 fire if all attacks hit. Level 9 is a huge step as well, bringing your number of attacks up to 4/round (or 5 with Haste), and level 13 brings Palm Throw into the equation. From there it's just silly.

    Most cash can be spent on improving defenses once requisite bardic gear is purchased, since magical weaponry wouldn't be that advantageous. Something that grants flight would be idea to increase mobility and defenses. At higher levels, a casting of 2-3 Chained GMWs would give you enough magic daggers to last an encounter before you could reclaim them.



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    In general, you want to keep in mind two ideas when multiclassing:
    • The number '6' - take more than this many levels that don't directly boost your warblade IL and you lose access to 9th level maneuvers.
    • Even numbers - your IL increases with every even-numbered level in non-warblade boosting classes.


    Some builds that I've found useful or illustrative:
    • Yes, it's that good. - Warblade 20
    • Crazed Dwarf Axe-wielder - Cleric 1/ Fighter 2/ Warblade 4/ Exotic Weapon Master 1/ Warblade 12
    • Need maneuvers? - Warblade 8/Crusader 2/ Eternal Blade 10
    • For the TWF - Ranger 2/ Fighter 1/Warblade 2/Revenant Blade 5/ Eternal Blade 10 (see Revenant Blade Handbook for details)
    • For a melee combatant with a late-game arcane flair - Duskblade 2/ Paladin 2/ Warblade 2/ Suel Arcanamach 4/ Spellsword 1/ Abjurant Champion 5/ Warblade 3-6.



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    Last edited by Elfin; 2011-12-24 at 03:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Excellent: handbooks for the individual ToB classes are long overdue but then I guess people haven't felt that they were needed as it's difficult to produce an ineffective ToB character.

    You may want to include a section on multi-classing and prestige classes or just reference the Tome of Battle for Dummies.

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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    What I like about martial adepts (and warblades by extension).

    More efficient use of the action economy. A higher lv wizard can move, fire off a spell as a standard action, cast another swift action spell, and still use an immediate action in response to his opponent, such as abrupt jaunt or duelward.

    Fighters move and attack. That's pretty much it.

    Warblades can move, initiate a standard-action strike for respectable damage, mix a swift-action boost into this somewhere (say lightning recovery to reroll that missed hit) and still perform a counter (eg: moment of precise mind vs mind flayer's mindblast) when it is not his turn.

    In the end, it boils down to options available.

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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    I approve of this. Looking forward to a complete build for the class with PrCs and maneuvers and good martial feats from PHBII, CC, CW, CS etc.

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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Hooray, a Warblade Handbook.

    This may just be my issue, but cyan coupled with the default spoiler background color is really hard to read...
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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Hooray, a Warblade Handbook...
    Ditto.
    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    This may just be my issue, but cyan coupled with the default spoiler background color is really hard to read...
    Ditto. It is mindblowingly painful to look at.
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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    The inevitable discussion on Iron Heart Surge will be most interesting, seeing as it's one of the big gimmes for the Warblade to counter magely tricks with.

    As for page quotations ... I have heard, though I don't know how verifiable it is, that an actual inscription on an actual cavalryman's sword reads: "Draw me not in anger. Sheathe me not without honour." Might be nice. :)

    In terms of feats and feat selections, about the only comments I could make are that the Moment Of X maneuvers from the Diamond Mind school tend to become less impressive as the levels go on, though for the first 5-9 levels or so they're just plain awesome ways to annoy the hell out of spellcasters.

    Bravo, sir!

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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Hooray, a Warblade Handbook.

    This may just be my issue, but cyan coupled with the default spoiler background color is really hard to read...
    Thirded. Why the use of so many colors? I belive the standard is four, or MAYBE five at most? "Not worth it", "Average", "Good", and "Exceptional, with the possible addition of "You're a moron to take this"?
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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Most handbooks I've seen, especially those from the Wizard's community forums, follow the same color scheme and categories. The Cyan isn't that hard to see, and there's not any other color that would really work.

    Anyways, following this with interest, Warblade is one of those classes I've always wanted to play but never had the chance to.


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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    I'm getting the chance to play one. Well, sort of. It's a Large-sized Monk/Stone Dragon Warblade. The concept I have is more of a "charges into combat and then stays there (read: George Foreman)" type of fisticuffs fighter than a highly mobile "floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee (read: Muhammed Ali)" type. The classes work well together to that end.
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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    As for page quotations ... I have heard, though I don't know how verifiable it is, that an actual inscription on an actual cavalryman's sword reads: "Draw me not in anger. Sheathe me not without honour." Might be nice. :)
    Well for page quotations you can always use the one from the Paladin motivational poster...sure, it's meant for paladins but that doesn't mean it's not also applicable to the 'glory-hound' kind of warblade.

    Blade with whom I have lived,
    Blade with whom I now die,
    Serve right and justice one last time,
    Seek one last heart of evil,
    Still one last heart of pain,
    Cut well old friend,
    Then farewell.


    ...Plus, you know, the whole 'masters of the sword' image of warblades and all that.
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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    I'm also going to throw another vote in for changing away from the Cyan color. I was really straining to read it. Granted, I'm a fan of Warblades, and so I was able to figure it out easily enough, but it was pretty nasty. Also, having fewer colors might help. Figure red for stop, don't take this; yellow for slow down, probably not the best choice; green for go ahead, this is a good pick; and blue for the blue light special, get it as soon as possible.

    MrRigger

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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by MrRigger View Post
    I'm also going to throw another vote in for changing away from the Cyan color. I was really straining to read it. Granted, I'm a fan of Warblades, and so I was able to figure it out easily enough, but it was pretty nasty. Also, having fewer colors might help. Figure red for stop, don't take this; yellow for slow down, probably not the best choice; green for go ahead, this is a good pick; and blue for the blue light special, get it as soon as possible.
    Thats not how handbooks are done though. I can see an argument for swapping Cyan for Gold (and just labeling any previous gold entries as compulsory in the description) but your suggestion is too different from the standard a lot of peopl are use to.
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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Thanks for all the advice.

    I've edited the reservation posts to provide a clearer overview of what I expect to add; I'm typing this on an iPhone right now, but as soon as I have access to my main computer I'll add the sections on abilities and races, as well as darknening the cyan color.
    How about turquoise?
    Last edited by Elfin; 2010-11-25 at 11:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    What I like about martial adepts (and warblades by extension).

    More efficient use of the action economy. A higher lv wizard can move, fire off a spell as a standard action, cast another swift action spell, and still use an immediate action in response to his opponent, such as abrupt jaunt or duelward.
    No he can't. Using an Immediate Action is essentially a Swift Action you can use at any time; it even says in the rules that if you make a Swift action during your turn, you can't make an Immediate Action until the start of your next turn and vice versa.

    Quote Originally Posted by d20 SRD
    d20SRD
    Swift Actions
    A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. You can perform one swift action per turn without affecting your ability to perform other actions. In that regard, a swift action is like a free action. However, you can perform only a single swift action per turn, regardless of what other actions you take. You can take a swift action any time you would normally be allowed to take a free action. Swift actions usually involve spellcasting or the activation of magic items; many characters (especially those who don't cast spells) never have an opportunity to take a swift action.

    Casting a quickened spell is a swift action. In addition, casting any spell with a casting time of 1 swift action is a swift action.

    Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 swift action does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

    Immediate Actions
    Much like a swift action, an immediate action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. However, unlike a swift action, an immediate action can be performed at any time — even if it's not your turn. Casting feather fall is an immediate action, since the spell can be cast at any time.

    Using an immediate action on your turn is the same as using a swift action, and counts as your swift action for that turn. You cannot use another immediate action or a swift action until after your next turn if you have used an immediate action when it is not currently your turn (effectively, using an immediate action before your turn is equivalent to using your swift action for the coming turn). You also cannot use an immediate action if you are flat-footed.
    Warblades can move, initiate a standard-action strike for respectable damage, mix a swift-action boost into this somewhere (say lightning recovery to reroll that missed hit) and still perform a counter (eg: moment of precise mind vs mind flayer's mindblast) when it is not his turn.
    Same as above. If you take that Swift Action to initiate a boost, you can't use a Counter or another Boost until the start of your next turn. Lets look at an Initiative Count for higher-level understanding!

    Initiative Count
    {table=head]Initiative | Creature
    20 | Enemy 1
    14 |Ally 1
    13 | YOU
    8 | Enemy 2
    2 | Ally 2[/table]

    Alright. Your initiative is 13. If, on your turn, you initiate a Boost maneuver (or use any other Swift action), you can't use an Immediate action until the initiative resets to 20. At this point, you can use an Immediate Action (i.e. a counter maneuver) during Enemy 1's turn or Ally 1's turn. However, if you use an Immediate Action before your turn starts in a given round, then you can't make an Immediate Action or a Swift Action for the remainder of the round. Using the example above, if you use a Counter Maneuver on Enemy 1's turn, you cannot use any more Counters for the remainder of the round and you cannot use a Boost Maneuver under the initiative count resets to 20 again, at which point you can either use another Counter Maneuver if need be or you can wait until your tun to use a Boost.

    Naturally, this also applies to spellcasters who use Swift Actions and Immediate Actions with their spells. For example, you can't cast a Quickened Spell on the same round you cast a Feather Fall, because a Quickened Spell is a swift action and a Feather Fall is an immediate action.

    Hope this helps :D.
    Last edited by Golden-Esque; 2010-11-23 at 03:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvenblade View Post
    Thanks for all the advice.

    I've edited the reservation posts to provide a clearer overview of. What I expect to add; I'm typing this on an iPhone right now, but as soon as I have access to my main computer I'll add the sections on abilities and races, as well as darknening the cyan color.
    How about turquoise?
    Turquoise, eh? Let's see...
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    Turquoise
    Cyan

    Turquoise is less painful, a bit dim, but still legible, IMO. I'm good. Anyone else?
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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    No he can't. Using an Immediate Action is essentially a Swift Action you can use at any time; it even says in the rules that if you make a Swift action during your turn, you can't make an Immediate Action until the start of your next turn and vice versa.
    But you can initiate an immediate action as soon as your turn ends, even if you used a swift action on your turn.
    Last edited by Boci; 2010-11-23 at 04:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    ...very long post about swift and immediate actions...
    Your post is well-intentioned, but incorrect. An immediate action uses your swift action for your next turn (the rules text you quoted says exactly that). You can still use one even if you used a swift action on your previous turn, but if you do, you lose your swift on your next one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    it even says in the rules that if you make a Swift action during your turn, you can't make an Immediate Action until the start of your next turn and vice versa.
    No, it doesn't say that. The underlined portion of the SRD text you quoted at no point states that you can't use an immediate if you've used a swift on your turn. It says you can't use one if you've already taken another immediate action, and that you can't use both an immediate and a swift ON your turn, which is where I think the confusion lies.
    Last edited by Grynning; 2010-11-23 at 04:15 PM.


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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    it even says in the rules that if you make a Swift action during your turn, you can't make an Immediate Action until the start of your next turn and vice versa.
    That's not what you just posted says.

    If you use a swift action on your turn, you can use a counter after your turn, but then you can't use swift action on your next turn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    Initiative Count
    {table=head]Initiative | Creature
    20 | Enemy 1
    14 |Ally 1
    13 | YOU
    8 | Enemy 2
    2 | Ally 2[/table]

    Alright. Your initiative is 13. If, on your turn, you initiate a Boost maneuver (or use any other Swift action), you can't use an Immediate action until the initiative resets to 20.
    Sure you can. If you use an Immediate Action before your own initiative count, you can't use swift actions on your turn, but you can use one after your turn is over (so in your table, you could use an Immediate Action during E1's turn, A1's turn or your own turn, and use another after your own turn).
    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    However, if you use an Immediate Action before your turn starts in a given round, then you can't make an Immediate Action or a Swift Action for the remainder of the round.
    Round and Turn are not the same. Read the rules you posted.

    [Edit]: Swordsage'd.
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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Awesome. I was going to play a warblade until another player had the same idea. Good to know this will be here for when I get the chance to again.

    Also, if I may be so bold, it would be easiest to just merge "Great" with "Fantastic" (using the lovely and easy to read gold color) and simply mark any must-haves as such.
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    Default Re: Princes of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    The reason I'd prefer to keep them separate is because gold options are meant to be those that are absolutely essential to a warblade or particular build: as an example, while Stance Mastery is awesome, you could could still function without it. On the other hand, without maneuvers you're no longer a warblade.
    Feat-wise, let's compare Leap Attack and Shock Trooper on a charger build. Leap Attack is amazing, providing you with an enormous damage boost - and yet Shock Trooper is absolutely critical, essentially negating Power Attack's drawbacks.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2010-11-23 at 04:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    On the skill list, you missed Martial Lore. Also, I think you're shortchanging Intimidate; don't forget that ToB gives it a whole new use for Battles of Will at the beginning of combat. (And then there's the standard Imperious Command/Never Outnumbered/Fearsome armor awesomeness ...)
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    How is Balance a key skill for Iron Heart and Stone Dragon? The term "balance check" isn't included in any of their maneuver/stance descriptions.

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