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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    I need help building a tank for a home campaign. He'll be 11 th lvl. 48 point buy for abilities. Maybe 100k for gear but no stat bump gear giving more than a +4. It's an old campaign we restarted up after a year or longer break. We also decided to go from 4e to 3.5. A lot books are allowed. He will probably have to be a dwarf or a med. sized warforge. I am far far far out of practice with 3.5, maybe a 5+year break? And have never made a tank. The campaign is mostly under ground. An oddly well disciplined army of trolls over ran and took most of the dwaven nation 50 some odd years ago. The order to the troll horde is explained in game. We are working as a kind of elite commando group. Taking on special jobs, to prepare areas for the army of good guys trying to retake the nation. So we mostly fight trolls. And lots of them. All manner, all classes. War trolls and all sorts of other things. A few giants and aberrant and of course human mages and such. Most of the fights are epic. The DM does a great job of drawing out huge battle maps, and filling about every square inch with trolls. Even the non well trained trolls usually take about a full round of attacks from one of the good guys to drop. The captains and other leaders even more. Much more. So the party has a kind of charging shock trooper type Minotaur charging, shock trooper type, a dwarf volley archer, a dwarf fate spinning evoker, and a shadri ki assassin. We are decent dps group. We often have a npc healer, We need tanking badly. The caster and assassin stay invisd mostly. Leaving the Minotaur and archer often being dropped. I was just granted permission yesterday to roll a cohort to tank for us. Our game is mon nights

    . So based on the size or our foes, and the large "venues" of battle. I was thinking some sort of reach weapon guy. Kind of hoping to hook up with the 2 feats from LoM for the extra 5' of reach. I think tripping trolls is probably not an easy thing to do. Just hoping to draw off a lot of their attacks off the rest of the very squishy party. I'd also like to try to have a decent a/c and hps. Should I go monk/fighter? I'm not too familiar with Knight and have no real knowledge of ToB and Crusader, though I'm sure they are allowed.

    Any help with the build, stats, classes, feats, abilities, or stances or what ever would be very helpful.
    Thanks.

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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Frenzied Bersterker would actually work well for this guy. Put him in the middle of your foes, and let him tear them apart.
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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Look at the knight in PHB2, if you want a tank build that is probably it, 3rd level any square that you threaten and an enemy wants to pass through counts as difficult terrain (4x move cost) knights challenge and the ability to take half the damage that an ally is going to take... sounds tank to me,

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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Knight and Crusader are definitely your first stop for classes. With Knight you can either do a 3-level dip (to make enemies who start threatened by you treat all the squares you threaten as difficult terrain. Note, you CAN NOT 5' step into difficult terrain.), or take it for every level. Most abilities other than that 3rd level one scale with you class level in Knight.

    With Crusader any number of levels will help, and it's pretty good about each level being as good as the last. Two notable stances are Iron Guard's Glare (enemies you threaten get a -4 to hit anyone except you) and Thicket of Blades (5-ft steps provoke from you, it might also nullify tumble).

    Another notable class, though you might not think about it initially, is Factotum. Factotum quickly adds their int modifier to all strength checks, including trip. This means that you get TWO stats to trip, instead of just one. 48 point buy is a lot, so you can afford high str and int.

    Of course get Improved Trip. Also make sure you have reasonable dex, or some other way of making multiple AoOs per round. The Bracers of Opportunity in the magic item compendium that grants extra AoOs, and a bonus to-hit on them if you have combat reflexes.

    If incarnum is allowed, you may want to take Shape Soulmeld (mauling gauntlets) for +2 on strength checks, and Bonus Essentia to increase that to +6. That is, of course, a heavy feat investment.

    You're right to want a reach weapon. Make sure you also have something that threatens the squares right next to you that you can wield at the same time. If you can trip with it, that's a bonus, but it might be hard to get.

    In addition to having a reach weapon, try to be able to become large easily. I don't remember if any exist, but an at-will or times/day enlarge person would be ideal. Becoming large will increase your reach to 20', which will let you cover your allies a lot better.

    And yes, if you want to you'll be able to trip trolls like there's no tomorrow. Let's say you have a base 18 str, +4 str item, +2 from levels, +2 from large. That makes your strength 26, which is a +8 modifier. Now factor in +4 from improved trip, +6 from mauling gauntlets, and +4 from being large. That brings you up to a +22 modifier. A standard troll's trip modifier is only +10, so you'd successfully trip them 93% of the time. Advanced ones would be slightly harder to trip, but it wouldn't go up quickly because it only scales with strength.

    I think for pure power (ignoring things like "GAAH but the spiked chain is so overused and awful!") I would go with Knight 3/Factotum 3/Fighter 1/Crusader 4, and use Iron Guard's Glare as your primary stance.
    Feats are
    1st: Combat Reflexes
    3rd: Improved Trip
    6th: Shape Soulmeld (Mauling Gauntlets)
    Fighter 1: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Spiked Chain)
    9th: Bonus Essentia

    18 in str, 16 in dex and int, which leaves you with 12 points to split between con, wis, and cha.

    Important equipment: +4 strength item, +2 or +4 dex item, +4 int item, something to go large frequently (worst case: a large stash of potions), Bracers of Opportunity

    End result trip bonus when medium: +7 (str) + 4 (imp. trip) + 5 (int) + 6 (mauling gauntlets) = +22
    End result trip bonus when large: +8 (str) +4 (imp. trip) + 5 (int) + 6 (mauling gauntlets) + 4 (large) = +27

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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Definitely use Dragonborn of Bahamut with the Heart aspect, and get the feat Entangling Exhalation from Races of the Dragon. Between being able to deal damage that bypasses their regeneration, and the debuff effect, it's the absolute best way to keep opponents focused on a tank character. Never ever apply it to a Dwarf, as you'll lose the ability to move at full speed in heavy armor but keep your slow land speed, and the entire entry implies heavily that it's only available to humanoids, so no dragonborn warforged. Water Orc is mechanically the 'best' race to use with it, since you keep your ability score adjustments and movement modes (swim speed!) but lose everything else (light sensitivity).

    For a tank character, the Mineral Warrior template (ignore the picture, that's a barbed devil) is definitely worth considering. Since this is a cohort, you can say he bought off the level adjustment and he'll still come in at 11th level. Mineral Warrior is an acquired template, so it can be gained after Dragonborn and you won't lose any of its benefits. You could even get the Wings aspect of Dragonborn, gain Mineral Warrior before 6th level, and once you hit 6th you'll still gain a fly speed, though it will take a few feats to fly in heavy armor.

    There are quite a few class choices for tanking: Crusader is a tank by default, and one of the best classes at surviving damage. Fighter can get trip feats and Knock-Back with Dungeoncrasher, maybe even include War Hulk and/or fear effects. Psychic Warrior can be extremely good for tanking, between Expansion for reach plus other buffs, and psionic AC feats like Deflective Armor and Focused Shield (RoS), plus enough bonus feats for Shield Specialization and Shield Ward (PH2). You could even go something like Crusader 4/ Sanctified Mind 1/ War Mind 10/ Sanctified Mind 5 for the build, though you'll have to plan your skill point spending carefully.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Wow lot to take in. I was hoping at some point, based on using the ring of regn from the dmg, as a basis for a ring of giant form from the wu jen's spells. As for starting off I'm hoping to buy a wand of quicken enlarge or something similiar for the wizard to use on me.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Sadly while most books are open for the build. The race has to be fairly "vanilla". I first asked that it was a dwarf that took some sort of blessing/curse and was now poly'd or reincarnated as an ogre, or minotaur or something like that. Resounding no. I'm pretty sure most templates are out too.

    Oh and he should get a bonus feat available at any lvl. Would bonus essentia be worth picking up to add 4 more to the soul meld gaunlets?

    Thanks for all the imput everyone.
    Last edited by Glarnog; 2012-04-08 at 05:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Crusader and possibly Knight is definetley the place to start as is reach stacking and you'll want standstill to actually stop enemies since your middling tank damage won't be one-shoting things. The thicket of Blades stance will guarantee you those AoO's.

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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Quote Originally Posted by Glarnog View Post
    Oh and he should get a bonus feat available at any lvl. Would bonus essentia be worth picking up to add 4 more to the soul meld gaunlets?

    Thanks for all the imput everyone.
    Unfortunately grabbing bonus essentia twice wouldn't help, because each soulmeld has a limit to the amount of essentia you can put in it, based on your level. At level 11, the max you can put in a single soulmeld is 2 essentia.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Cool. Before a couple of hours ago, I had never looked at MoI, or Dungeonscape. And shortly I'll be looking at ToB for the first time too.

    It seems I need to spend the bonus feat on combat expertise any ways. :) Not sure I'll be able to squeeze in those 2 abberant reach feats, but If I can get the arcane caster to enlarge me regulary, that should more than make up for it.

    Can wands of quicken enlarge be made? What of scrolls of the same? Could, would an over sized weapon type feat add to reach? Monkey grip, or titan grip or whatever it's called.

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=2030.0

    What you need is a Crackdown/Lockdown crusader build.

    Gist of it is: Thicket of Blades is a Crusader Stance that makes it so that every opponent you threaten provokes an attack of opportunity every time they move, even as a 5ft step. There's a feat, Stand Still (It's in the SRD), that can trade an Attack of Opportunity's damage for the ability of blocking your opponents movement. Combat Reflexes for the ability to make multiple attacks of opportunity in a round. Karmic Strike/Robillar's Gambit serve as AOO enablers. Later in the build, you get Defensive Sweep, so now you get to make AOO's EVEN IF THE OPPONENT DOESN'T MOVE.

    Effectively you turn it into a Lose/Lose situation for the opponents. If they move, they provoke an AOO and get hit with Stand Still, so they don't move and get hit by Defensive Sweep. If they don't move at all they get hit by Defensive Sweep and take damage anyway. If they resort to attacking you, you trade Blow for Blow with Robilar's Gambit & Karmic Strike. Only you are hitting HARDER... And with your Delayed Damage pool + the Healing Strikes & a Vampiric Weapon, you can stand fast and take it while healing and preventing all movement around a very large radius.

    It's desirable to have ways of boosting your size(Going Psywar, having a buff buddy...), so you can threaten a wider area, and also wield a reach weapon. Shorten Grip (From Dragon Compendium), or the inferior Short Haft (From PHB2... i think), make it so you can wield a two handed Guisarme, which is optimal because you can then also trip your opponents while threatening reach & adjacent. If not, you can go Spiked Chain, or the one handed Kusari Gama.


    The other, some would say more optimal approach, is be a Druid. A Druid gets some of the MOST AWESOME battlefield control spells, and most importantly, some of the WIDER RANGED ones. Control Winds/Control Weather, Entangle, Frostfell, Plant Growth... Many, many more. You get Double Actions with an Animal Companion, and you tank VERY WELL due to the wide range of Personal Range Buffs you can share with the animal companion, the massive CON bonus you get by wildshaping, the forms you can get, plus summons...

    And you get later on some very damaging wide-ranged spells, such as Sleetstorm and Earthquake. All in All, i'd wager Druid as a better, more optimized and more round-out choice.

    Tanking in D&D is not done like it's done in MMO's... To tank effectively you have to be a Threat and control large areas, in order to prevent damage to your team, and that is not effectively done as a Melee class, but as a Spellcaster.

    Plus, Druid's make great gishes, anyway.
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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Quote Originally Posted by Glarnog View Post

    Can wands of quicken enlarge be made? What of scrolls of the same?
    Unfortunately, no. The minimum activation time for wands and scrolls is a standard action. To get anything faster you need to find specific magic items, or talk to your DM about custom items.

    That said, it will often be worth it to you to use a standard action to become large. As an AoO and control specialist, a lot of the important things you do are actually not on your turn. That gives you a move action on your first turn to get into position, and then a standard action to enlarge (or vice versa).

    Quote Originally Posted by Glarnog View Post
    Could, would an over sized weapon type feat add to reach? Monkey grip, or titan grip or whatever it's called.
    No. Your reach is determined entirely by your size, not the size of the weapon you're using. Also, be forewarned that much of the interaction between longer-than-standard-reach (like whips, and possibly aberrant reach) and size increases is purely speculation.

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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Against massive hordes of large creatures, it's hard to tank everyone, nor is it survivable. IMO, better to buff the visible folk so that they survive longer and/or kill more quickly.

    High optimization solution is Incantatrix:
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    Grey Elf Wizard 5/Incantatrix X
    Class Features and ACFs: Elven Generalist (RotW) and Domain Wizard for lots of hassle-free slots and freeing up wealth. Moth familiar (dragon) for +6 spellcraft. I also like Spontaneous Divination (CC) with this setup, even post-errata, but that's more for out of combat versatility.
    Feats: Extend Spell, Persistent Spell (CA), Ocular Spell (LoM), Chain Spell (CA), spellcraft boosters (such as Skill Focus: Spellcraft and Shape Soulmeld: Mage's Spectacles [MoI]) if necessary
    Items: Headband of INT, Spellcraft boosters, Ring of Enduring Arcana (CM), Orb of Bodily Renewal (MiC), costly spell components, incl. rubies (see below)
    Spells: Craft Magic Tattoo (SpC), Fly, Haste, Greater Invisibility, Suffer the Flesh (MoE), Dolorous Blow (SpC), Polymorph, Heroics (SpC), Battlemagic Perception (HoB), True Seeing, Greater Magic Weapon, Superior Resistance (SpC), Greater Mighty Wallop (RotD), other ones I'm not thinking about right now.

    Step 1: Jack up her Spellcraft Check. Moth Familiar, synergy bonus, circumstance tool, and if necessary an item or Mage's Spectacles should obviate the need for an item familiar.
    Step 2: Jack up her CL, especially versus Dispel. Persist Suffer the Flesh for +5 CL. Orb of Bodily Renewal removes the CON damage. Extend Create Magic Tattoo for +1 CL. Always wear the Ring of Enduring Arcana on for another effective +4 versus dispels.
    ...Step 2a: Throw up Battlemagic Perception as well. Prepare enough Dispel Magic and Greater Dispel Magic to be able to counter their Dispels when they inevitably come.
    Step 3: Jack up your teammates' power. Put some combination of the rest of the above spells on everyone. If everyone is invisible, and flying, wielding +4 Greatclubs that deal 8d6 damage, and polymorphed into War Trolls for the irony, the Incantatrix should now be the target... if they can actually target him. (How do you Persist Polymorph on everyone, you say? First you make it Ocular, which gives it fixed range, which makes it Persistable. After all that you Chain so it affects everyone.)
    ...Step 3a. Use extra Metamagic Effect uses on personal defense, since the Incantatrix and/or her spells are now the target. Greater Mirror Image and Greater Blinking are two wonderful spells with some decent utility as well.
    ...Step 3b. The other casters likely have good spells for you to use Cooperative Metamagic on. Use them, obviously.
    Step 4. Decide what she's going to do with her actual actions in battle.
    ...Step 4a. She's buffed up enough to go into melee if you please; just throw on Wraithstrike, Bite of the Were[animal] (SpC), and Malevolent Tentacles (there are more, but you should probably use your other ME uses on your allies) and she's a killing machine.
    ...Step 4b. If you want her to stay back and blast, your best bet IMO is to nab the Outsider type somehow (otherworldly will do it) and use that Polymorph to turn her into a Kelvezu (MM2). Large DEX, large Natural Armor Bonus, massive sneak attack. After that you just persist however many Cloud of Knives you can and use your standard action on an Orb of Acid or whatever. BTW, Acid Sheath + Orb of Acid is a fun combination.
    ...Step 4c. If you're really dedicated to keeping those buffs up you can dedicate the rest of her actions as readying to counterspell. This also means she doesn't outshine anyone in combat directly, and enemy mages are quite neutered with the right feat choices. She does have a pretty marvelous caster level for those opposed CL checks. Note that there are other ways to get rid of the buffs, including Antimagic Field (lame), Pierce Magical Protection, and Dispelling Weapons.

    Okay, maybe that's a bit much. The slightly more reasonable solution is DMM Cleric:
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    It's a Cleric using Divine Metamagic (Complete Divine) to persist a couple key spells. These include Righteous Wrath of the Faithful, Vigorous Circle, Recitation... hm. Where are all the other party buffs? I'm not as good with Clerics. Someone can fill in here. Magic Vestments is great for AC, and they also have GMW for the hitting. DMM Clerics also make great tanks by persisting Righteous Might, Divine Power, Law Devotion (CC), and if you're feeling cheesy a Beastland Ferocity/Favor of the Martyr combo. Then again, if you're feeling cheesy, go back to the lovely Incantatrix. They can more easily ocular/chain stuff.


    Maybe even that's a little too much, or you don't want to deal with all those divine spells. DFI Bard it is!
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    Get Dragonfire Inspiration (DrM), Song of the Heart (ECS), Badge of Valor (MiC), Inspirational Boost (SpC), and Words of Creation (BoED) to give your party a big fistful of fiery d6s per attack with which they burn down the trolls. Lingering Song (CAd) means just one round of singing is needed, and then more slaughter can be done. But which way shall you go? Shall the bard stay single-classed and cast decent buff and debuff spells normally while retaining excellent skill-monkey utility? Or perhaps the bard will go into Warblade and take Song of the White Raven (ToB) + Snowflake Wardance (Frost) for melee goodness? Or perhaps she'll try to emulate the buffers above and go War Weaver (HoB), throwing down partywide buffs without resorting to T1 shenanigans?
    Or, y'know, lockdown crusader makes a good tank. You could combine DFI bard with lockdown crusader. 4 bard levels sounds about right.
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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    If the fighters can't tank, who in the world do you expect to do it any better? They need to get more defenses for themselves. For HP & AC they need constitution and armor, ring of protection, amulet of natural armor and dusty rose prism ioun stone. A mix of low bonuses is far cheaper than a single strong item. Assuming they also have 100k it should be pretty easy to be almost unhittable. CR 5 trolls have a +9 to hit so with class levels maybe they're at a +15 to hit. So 30 AC is good and 35 AC is untouchable. That's not too hard to get so pull out the numbers and tally up the costs in the face of any complaints you might get. Ya the shock trooper dumps his AC into the ground but he should only be doing that in rounds where he one shots enemies and so there's nothing left to hurt him.

    Cohorts are even worse at tanking because they tend to be 2 levels behind. They'll have a hard enough time keeping themselves alive, let alone drawing damage away from others. What I might suggest instead is a battlefield controller mage. The spells work very well even when you're behind in levels. Examples spells include web, sleet storm, solid fog, wall of force, evard's tentacles, repulsion and reverse gravity. You remove half your foes from the fight so that they can't hurt your allies. You can also tag allies with spells like haste, greater invisibility and fly. Resilient sphere is handy to use both offensively and defensively, especially against a troll's low reflex save. With an 80 foot diameter sleet storm is beyond awesome in large battles for saying "No thanks, I'll fight you 6 later". With half as many foes attacking your allies you should have a much easier time staying alive. It's normally a lousy feat but for these large scale battles you might even want to give him widen spell to make the areas on those spells truly ridiculous. If so I might also get him widened fireball for toasting large groups of mooks. It still won't steal the thunder of the battle mage against stronger smaller groups and single targets.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2012-04-09 at 05:12 AM.
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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    If the fighters can't tank, who in the world do you expect to do it any better? They need to get more defenses for themselves. For HP & AC they need constitution and armor, ring of protection, amulet of natural armor and dusty rose prism ioun stone. A mix of low bonuses is far cheaper than a single strong item. Assuming they also have 100k it should be pretty easy to be almost unhittable. CR 5 trolls have a +9 to hit so with class levels maybe they're at a +15 to hit. So 30 AC is good and 35 AC is untouchable. That's not too hard to get so pull out the numbers and tally up the costs in the face of any complaints you might get. Ya the shock trooper dumps his AC into the ground but he should only be doing that in rounds where he one shots enemies and so there's nothing left to hurt him.
    The problem with fighters and tanking is that they have no surefire way to make themselves the target. The key to being a good tank is to make attacking you suck (because it's hard to do damage to you, or you can just soak ALL OF THE DAMAGE), but attacking any of your allies sucks /even more/ (because you can prevent them from getting close, or give them penalties if they try to do so, or whatever). Otherwise, they'll just attack your allies instead of you. Trolls aren't the brightest creatures, but I think even they would figure out what to do in this situation:

    Troll attacks fighter: *tink*
    Fighter attacks troll: *tink*
    Wizard behind fighter fireballs the arena: 20-40 damage to each of 6 trolls

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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    That's not the issue at all in this case though. The problem is that the fighters are dying, the wizard and assassin in the back line are totally fine and invisible. Which is sad, the fighters should easily be able to protect themselves if they tried.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2012-04-09 at 01:25 PM.
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    Utilities: Magic Item Shop Generator (Req. MS Excel), Balanced Low Magic Item System
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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

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    In general, wealth replicates spells. So the solution to low wealth is moar spells. Getting a +bignumber set of armor is somewhat irrelevant if a Cleric is casting Magic Vestments on all your stuff, and the Cleric doesn't even care that he's using up all his 3rd level slots on MV because he's a Cohort. Mass Shield of Faith is another good defense booster. It's just a shame almost all the best buffs are personal only.

    Speaking of which, Spellguard of Silverymoon is good times, especially when combined with my above Incantatrix idea. Greater Mirror Image/Greater Blinking helps out a lot with a shock trooper.


    Hm, the post I was replying to got deleted, but the above may still be useful to the OP.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Thanks for the help.

    Here's the post I deleted:

    The assassin is way out in front. Using some sort of gimmicky HIPS nonsense to basically hide between all his attacks and switching foes. Drops one hides for a round or 3, then pops out kills and rehides. It's a bit of some house rule stuff the dm and him worked out.

    The minotaur is a bbn run up and swing away type guy. The concept and all worked much better in 4e. However that is how the character designed and how the player wants to play him.

    If the wiz ever pops out of invis, a dozen hurling, arching, javelin, warhammer throwing troll things would aim for him. He just picked up greater invis and some prot from arrows spells or something.

    The ranger has to be with in 30 to even try to do decent damage. Thus far 5' step and shoot isn't worth much with reach. And lining up a many shot and hoping to retreat 30 and out of charge range has been difficult to pull off. He just picked up camo so maybe he can try to do some of the nonsense the assassin does, but with it being an underground dwarven city, probably not many chances. He has tried to maximize firing from cover and backing away. Then the range trolls target him.
    And then the swarms of melee trolls. Come charging in. Some with reach weapons, some with tower shields. Most of the trolls are hitting for 50 pts of damn, either range or melee. That drops everyone in 2 or 3 hits.

    In 4e the ranger had plenty of powers and magic items to let him get out of harms way. Plus tanks did a great job of pulling and holding aggro.

    The party wears light armor and has high dex. But even so looking at high 20s to low 30s. The trolls are hitting at least 50% of the time. The party is in a war torn city underground that has been occupied and or resistance fighting for 50 years. Not a lot of magic items available to be bought. Not a lot of cash to go around.

    I know it's hard to explain everything that is going in the campaign and the encounters. And that this probably already "tldr". But any advice on how the fighters can be less sad and do a better job of protecting themselves would be appreciated.
    Thanks

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tank for dealing with hordes of trolls with classes

    Ah so that is the issue, I thought maybe it was. 4e has aggro, 3.5e does not. There are difficult ways to do it but not in your existing classes. Mostly you protect yourself.

    Shoot for 30-35 AC each. Ring of protection, amulet of natural armor, armor enhancement, dusty rose prism ioun stone, mithral shirts (for those with really high dex) or mithral breastplate (for those with moderately high dex, counts as light armor). Figure out the cost of the next upgrade and get that first; you may pay the difference between your new item and the old item so that's the upgrade cost. For example you get +3 armor before a +2 amulet of natural armor because it costs 9000-4000=5000 to upgrade the armor and 8000-2000=6000 to upgrade the amulet. A magic shield could easily give 4 more AC on top of that which would be huge for going from 50% to 30% or 40% to 20% (pain cut in half!) but I doubt anyone wants to change their fighting style. The wizard might also want to prepare extra greater invis for the party to save those that get hurt the most. But don't count on him doing that for more than 1 or 2 people besides himself, if any, because he needs to attack too.

    Besides that get a cohort sorcerer or wizard with the battlefield control spells I mentioned. He could also provide additional greater invis. Both the battlefield control spells and greater invis mean half the trolls won't even be able to hurt you.

    Before you piss of the DM with an untouchable fully invisible party, here are the invisibility rules to show him. They're also in the DMG under "Special Abilities". Basically the trolls make DC 20 listen checks (usually DC 20, sometimes higher) and if they pass they can still find you and attack you with a 50% miss chance. It would not be unfair for most/all the trolls to invest heavily in listen ranks. Even those that aren't rangers or barbarians get listen and spot as racial skills. Some might also want blind fight to go from 50% miss to (effectively) 25% miss, but that shouldn't be so common.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2012-04-10 at 01:32 PM.
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