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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Nevermore's Avatar

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    Question Build me a Sword Sage

    I am not sure I understand the Sword Sage class... I hope I'm not asking for too much, but could someone build me a lvl 6 Sword Sage, starting at lvl 1 to "peel back the layers" if you will, and explain why you add what you do? History is this:

    Silas Tanner was the page and apprentice of a powerful sword sage. He followed the evil, abusive bastard from town to town, for he had no choice at all. The resourceful lad bid his time, despairing in each merciless act of his mentor. One dark, cold, snow filled evening his master stumbled upon an ancient, ruined temple, simply pulsing with necromatic energy.

    However, it was not undefended. The guardian of the sight, one old Sword Sage, went forth to do battle with the dastardly wizard. The Sage did not stand a chance, atleast until the boy swept his master's feet out from under him, sitting on the wizard's back as he drowned laying face first in a pool of freezing mud.

    The Sage took him in, training him as an apprentice. Silas left his master when he was considered ready, going forth to battle the darkest of evil spell casters.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Person_Man's Avatar

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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    How many points are available for your stats, or if you rolled them, what are they?

    What books are available for you to use?

    What do you want to be able to do in terms of Skills and combat? Here are the maneuvers, if you need to look through them.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Nevermore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    stats are 18 17 17 16 16 15

    I have Core, Complete Warrior, Divine and Arcane, the Races, Tome of Battle, PHB 2 DMG 2 and many others.

    I am attracted to the Diamond Mind, Desert Wind and Shadow abilities.

    Other than that I like the story and philosophy of Sword Sages, I'm just not sure how to run one or build a decent one.

    Skill wise: Alert + sneaky

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    There are still builds to consider, but selecting swordsage has narrowed it down. You can be a DEX fighter, an assassin, a blaster, a ranger, giantslayer or a whole range of other possibilities... you can make up a style from kung-fu movies and a swordsage can probably emulate it.
    My mother says: those on fire should roll.

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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevermore View Post
    I am not sure I understand the Sword Sage class... I hope I'm not asking for too much, but could someone build me a lvl 6 Sword Sage, starting at lvl 1 to "peel back the layers" if you will, and explain why you add what you do?
    The SwordSage is essentially a Monk that doesn't completely suck. It's still got the nerfed BAB, but the Wis bonus to AC now allows Light Armor (although, strangely enough, not no armor... I'm not clear if the SwdSg bonus stacks with the Monk AC bonus, I think it doesn't). The flexible Weapon Focus is another concession that the Weapon Focus feat sucks, and this is at least an acceptable improvement.

    The SwordSage's key feature is they get a new maneuver every level, more than any other class. So I can't really give you a sample build unless you're more specific about which style you want to focus on and which maneuvers you want to take. A SwordSage that specializes in TWF, TigerClaw maneuvers, and Shadow Hand stances is going to look very different from a SwordSage maxing out Concentration and specializing in Diamond Mind boosts.

    Some common themes that show up frequently in SwordSage builds:

    * Adaptive Style. Pick this up early. The default SwordSage recovery mechanic is horrendously slow. At low levels you're less likely to run out of maneuvers, but as you level up battles will tend to get longer. Picking it up at 3rd is probably ideal, but you can probably put it off until 6th.

    * Shadow Blade. Adds your Dex bonus to damage while in a Shadow Hand stance and using a Shadow Hand weapon. If you took the Island of Blades at 1st, then pick it up either there or at 3rd. Otherwise, taking Assassin's Stance at 5th means you can pick up Shadow Blade at 6th.

    * Island of Blades and Assassin's Stance. Two of the most useful stances in the entire ToB, pick these up ASAP. ToB provided a variety of ways to abuse flanking. Adaptive Flanker (PHBII) + Island of Blades might let you flank with yourself (CustServ is contradictory on this combo). Clarion Commander is a little harder to pick up for SwordSages since they don't have direct access to White Raven stuff, but an Intimidate check DC 20 gives you 10 rounds of free flanking.

    Check the "Tome of Battle: Build Compenium" thread for a plethora of sample builds:

    http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=683941

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevermore View Post
    stats are 18 17 17 16 16 15

    I have Core, Complete Warrior, Divine and Arcane, the Races, Tome of Battle, PHB 2 DMG 2 and many others.

    I am attracted to the Diamond Mind, Desert Wind and Shadow abilities.

    Other than that I like the story and philosophy of Sword Sages, I'm just not sure how to run one or build a decent one.

    Skill wise: Alert + sneaky
    Damn, nice stats. I doubt I would allow them into a campaign I was DMing, but hey, its not my game.

    I suggest Str 16 Dex 17 Con 16 Int 18 Wis 17 Cha 15: You can up your Wis by one point later, but you need your Int to start at 18 in order to get extra Skill points.

    Race: Human or Whisper Gnome

    Skills: With 18 Int and 6 Skill points per level, you'll have buckets. Obvious choices for a scout like character are Tumble, Hide, Move Silently, Listen, and Spot. I also find that its very helpful for scout like characters to have Speak Language in whatever race(s) your DM primarily uses in your campaign, Craft (Trap) if your DM is reasonable about how how cheap it is to set up most simple traps/ambushes, and Use Rope if your party wants to take prisoners without them escaping in the middle of the night.

    Your feats will depend on what Maneuvers you want to use. There are literally hundreds of different combos. Try reading through this thread. Figure out what you want to do. There is no one or two combos that are "must haves" for Swordsages, there are many different impressive ones.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Vortling's Avatar

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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    I too am interested in how the Sword Sage works but I have more specific questions. Is a straight Sword Sage effective as a TWF'er? The group I play with rarely passes level 10 so multi classing becomes an issue. In the vein of the thread, what feats and maneuvers would a TWF Sword Sage take?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    Quote Originally Posted by Vortling View Post
    I too am interested in how the Sword Sage works but I have more specific questions. Is a straight Sword Sage effective as a TWF'er? The group I play with rarely passes level 10 so multi classing becomes an issue. In the vein of the thread, what feats and maneuvers would a TWF Sword Sage take?
    Feats: Weapon Finesse, Shadowblade (counters the twf penalties)
    Stance: Assassin's Stance
    Maneuvers: Shadow Hand, Diamond Mind and that one from Desert Wind where you conjure a small almost harmless elemental that flanks your opponent.
    My mother says: those on fire should roll.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Jack Mann's Avatar

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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    You'll also want some of the Tiger Blade maneuvers too. For example, being able to attack with both weapons as a move action.

    You might want to go into bloodclaw master as well, which has some very nice things for a two-weapon fighter. For example, getting your full strength modifier on your off-hand attacks.
    I am a poor man, some say Im half crazy,
    son of the sword and the knife
    Lady I pledge you my sword and my honor,
    my heart and my pride and my life
    --Bella Doa, by Joe Bethancourt
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    Alas, poor Draknir. By Mephibosheth

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    You will be missed, dear 'stache...

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    Chimera

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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    Quote Originally Posted by Vortling View Post
    I too am interested in how the Sword Sage works but I have more specific questions. Is a straight Sword Sage effective as a TWF'er? The group I play with rarely passes level 10 so multi classing becomes an issue. In the vein of the thread, what feats and maneuvers would a TWF Sword Sage take?
    It's tough, but doable. Investing in boosts, like Burning Blade, that add fire damage to your attacks, and you should get some decent damage. Especially if you get Shadow Blade and Weapon Finesse. But a lot of the good Swordsage strikes only allow a single attack anyway, and a few Shadow Hand stances require a free hand. A TWF Swordsage may want to grab a level or two of Fighter for the feats.

    Honestly, I prefer Warblades for TWF because I prefer Stormguard Warrior to Shadow Blade, and Stormguard is insanely hard for Swordsages to get, as they're feat intensive enough as is without TWF. Plus full BAB means a human warblade can take TWF and Weapon Finesse at first level, making them a strong Dex fighter from level 1. I also like having d12 hitdice.

    Obviously the pimp solution would be to get both Shadow Blade and Stormguard, but that really requires some multiclassing, and it's easier for Warblades to get Shadow Blade.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Mann View Post
    You'll also want some of the Tiger Blade maneuvers too. For example, being able to attack with both weapons as a move action.

    You might want to go into bloodclaw master as well, which has some very nice things for a two-weapon fighter. For example, getting your full strength modifier on your off-hand attacks.
    Nitpick: Tiger Claw.

    Also: I don't think there's a two-weapon-move-action-strike maneuver. You might be referring to Wolf Fang Strike, which requires a standard action.

    Plus: Bloodclaw Master also gets superior two-weapon fighting, which is cool.
    sorry to:
    -neophyte's game
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    apologies for flaking out of all that stuff

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    Ok, how about a straight Diamond Mind specialist w/ an Elven court blade?

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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevermore View Post
    Ok, how about a straight Diamond Mind specialist w/ an Elven court blade?
    Here's a build with both Int and Dex bonus on damage (Swashbuckler + Champion of Corellon + Eternal Blade):

    http://boards1.wizards.com/showpost....2#post10899092

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Jack Mann's Avatar

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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    Quote Originally Posted by Abardam View Post
    Nitpick: Tiger Claw.

    Also: I don't think there's a two-weapon-move-action-strike maneuver. You might be referring to Wolf Fang Strike, which requires a standard action.

    Plus: Bloodclaw Master also gets superior two-weapon fighting, which is cool.
    Gah. Sorry, meant Tiger Claw and Standard Action, yes. In my defense, I was in the middle of a tabletop game at the time...
    I am a poor man, some say Im half crazy,
    son of the sword and the knife
    Lady I pledge you my sword and my honor,
    my heart and my pride and my life
    --Bella Doa, by Joe Bethancourt
    Spoiler
    Show


    Alas, poor Draknir. By Mephibosheth

    Owl-atar by KingGolem
    You will be missed, dear 'stache...

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Vortling's Avatar

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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    Thanks to everyone who answered my questions.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Nevermore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Build me a Sword Sage

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Here's a build with both Int and Dex bonus on damage (Swashbuckler + Champion of Corellon + Eternal Blade):

    http://boards1.wizards.com/showpost....2#post10899092
    ummm thats not what I asked for at all....

    Any takers on Diamond Mind Sword Sage w/ the Elven Courtblade?

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