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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Oko and Qailee's Avatar

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    Default Where would you go with this build?

    I've recently leveled up in a campaign with some friends. The campaign is very difficult (we nearly die every fight, the DM is good though, it's just a hard campaign) and currently my character has been indirectly pulling a lot of weight. The concept I'm going with is "Defender/Aura tank" and my current build is:

    Crusader1/Cloistered Cleric 1
    Attributes:
    Str: 14
    Dex: 11
    Con: 16
    Int: 12
    Wis: 12
    Cha: 10
    Feats: Stand Still, Stone Power, EWP: Spiked Chain, Protection Devotion, Knowledge Devotion (Devotion feats from trading domains away, got EWP by taking flaws).
    Stances: Iron Guards Glare

    So basically, between protection devotion and IGG I do a good job of keeping enemies from hitting allies currently, my one remaining Domain is Destiny Domain, to let allies re-roll. We rolled stats and after re-rolling twice AND one of my teammates donating some of his points after rolling (he rolled an 18 and two 17's...) I've ended up with the stats above. I put most of my stats into Con because I thought I'd be eating a ton of damage, and I was right... by a lot.

    So this level I'm not 100% sure what I should do. I know I will eventually take two levels of Warblade once my initiator is high enough for IHS, Diamond mind saves, and the pre-req for IHS. I'd like to keep being this "Stand behind me" type of character.

    I'm just not sure what to take this level, I've considered:
    1) Crusader - I could take crusader here, but any other class I take now will add an Initiator Level since I already have a half from CCleric. This is a good time to add a multiclass...
    2) Marshal - this would have been fine for another party buff, but my charisma is garbage
    3) Ccleric2/3 - honestly, going up to CCleric 3 for Shield Other fits the theme, but I'll be losing sooo much tankyness and devoting two more levels for one more trick that I can probably do with a custom made magic item or just a wand.
    4) Warblade - I really want to wait on this for IHS
    5) Dragon Shaman - tempting, but I lose BAB which weakens my Halt and Stone Power, I'd like to lose less BAB if possible.
    6) Knight - Once again, low Charisma is an issue here and there's that pesky knights code thing. I can fulfill the RP requirements easily, but the mechanical detriments just suck...
    7) Fighter - Not sure what feat I'd take and I'm already taking one this level, this just seems a subpar choice compared to just taking another crusader level.

    I feel like the correct answer here is to just take another level of Crusader, but I'm willing to listen to advice if you guys have any.
    (Currently afk halfway across the country.)

    Attempting Homebrew:
    Requip Knight

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ComaVision's Avatar

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    Default Re: Where would you go with this build?

    On the lock-down/protection theme, I'd do two levels of Wolf Totem Barbarian so you can get Improved Trip without prerequisites. Full BaB and nice hit dice is a plus.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Where would you go with this build?

    Well, with you having both crusader and cleric levels i personally would say make a run for Ruby Knight Vindicator. The other question is what do you want to do with your spellcasting? As it stands you will be a single level behind other dedicated prepared caster (and even farther behind BBEG casters), but you can still lose 2 more caster levels and get 9's by 20 (i don't know how far your campaign is expected to go but lest assume you are going all the way). If you want 9th level casting then grab two more levels in cleric and then a level in Church Inquisitor (CD) (or if you don't care for Inquisitor then just another level of cleric) and enter RKV at 6 and finish with more cleric after 10 levels in that. If you want 9th level maneuvers and don't care about your casting then grab 3 more levels of Crusader, enter RKV at 6 and then progress Crusader after 10 levels, grab a level or 2 or warblade at whatever levels you want access to certain maneuvers (remember all initiator classes and PrC's stack with each other to determine total initiator level). Note that you can have up to 6 levels in non-initiator classes and still get access to 9th level maneuvers at 20, but you may have to take a feat to actually get a maneuver depending on when you initiating class gains new maneuvers.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Oko and Qailee's Avatar

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    Default Re: Where would you go with this build?

    @Coma
    The barbarian idea is solid, I feel like it would fit a build using Thicket of Blades a lot, but I really dropped the ball on stat assignment, I wont have a lot of AOO's for a while.

    @Ello
    I'm not really sure what I want to do with casting as a whole, I really only took CCleric for Know Dev and Protection Dev. With a level dip I got 2 feats and a domain. If i did RKV I'd probably go for 9th level maneuvers, though things like Circle Against Evil fit in really well with this build, maybe I can grab Extra Spell later and steal Holy Sword off the Paladin spell list also.

    Also, i thought that other Initiator classes only add 1/2 to a specific initiator class, not counting PRC's?
    (Currently afk halfway across the country.)

    Attempting Homebrew:
    Requip Knight

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Where would you go with this build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oko and Qailee View Post
    Also, i thought that other Initiator classes only add 1/2 to a specific initiator class, not counting PRC's?
    This is correct. They even point it out in the book.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Where would you go with this build?

    Quote Originally Posted by torrasque666 View Post
    This is correct. They even point it out in the book.
    Ah, you are right, my bad. Also, extra spell technically does not allow you to snag spells off of other class lists. You can ask your Dm if you can, or you can grab a level in Prestige Paladin to add it to your spell list.

    If you never take another level in cleric (and take RKV) you end up with cleric casting level 9 with 5th level spells. Which isnt bad, as you still get access to divine power, righteous might, and many other good buff spells.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Mine started in a Dwarven church of Pelor, now with a moon!

    Also, note to self, sacrificing KFC in a small apartment is not a good idea.

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Where would you go with this build?

    The mechanics of knight's code are basically "can't benefit from flanking or attacking flat-footed guys" which is not so bad.
    The real problem is that knight does nothing for you that crusader levels don't already do more of. Fighting Challenge is +1 to attack, damage, and Will saves (so basically Inspire Courage). You might as well go Harmonious Knight Paladin and get the real deal.
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    How many times, when the Fighter says "I draw my sword", did you just want to smack that cheating-optimizer in the face and say "No! You don't draw your sword! You draw Orcus!". When the Cleric says "I run away from Orcus!": "No! You run into Orcus! Rogue tries to hide? He hides behind Orcus! The bard in a tavern on the other side the town tries to order a drink? How about a nice frothy mug of Orcus?
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    nedz's Avatar

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    Default Re: Where would you go with this build?

    It's a bit off the wall: but if you hadn't grabbed EWP: Spiked Chain you could have dipped Warlock for Eldritch Glaive. This is still a good option since it gives you a reach magical touch attack, and someone may counter trip you if you use your chain for tripping.

    Another option would be to grab Otherworldly Whispers (CM p124) for a +6 Bonus on Knowledge Arcana, Religion, and Planes which should help with your Knowledge Devotion.

    See the Unseen See Invisible and Darkvision is also an option; unless you have some way in mind for doing this eventually anyway.
    π = 4
    Consider a 5' radius blast: this affects 4 squares which have a circumference of 40' Actually it's worse than that.


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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Oko and Qailee's Avatar

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    Default Re: Where would you go with this build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellowryn View Post
    Ah, you are right, my bad. Also, extra spell technically does not allow you to snag spells off of other class lists. You can ask your Dm if you can, or you can grab a level in Prestige Paladin to add it to your spell list.

    If you never take another level in cleric (and take RKV) you end up with cleric casting level 9 with 5th level spells. Which isnt bad, as you still get access to divine power, righteous might, and many other good buff spells.
    AH, for some reason I was thinking thats just how Extra Spell works. It just seems sooo silly to have it as a feat for Wizard when they can already learn anything essentially. Sorcerers also have a research "clause" independent of Extra spell. I'm not really arguing it's RAW, so much as complaining that I like it better for adding spells to lists

    Besides buff spells, I'd also like stuff that encourages enemies to want to attack me. IGG and Protection devotion do this since they give allies bonus AC and killing me removes that AC bonus. I do get that in that vein, going cleric would also give me: Shield Other, Magic Circle, Prayer, etc.

    I am considering RKV seriously though, it's tempting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    The mechanics of knight's code are basically "can't benefit from flanking or attacking flat-footed guys" which is not so bad.
    The real problem is that knight does nothing for you that crusader levels don't already do more of. Fighting Challenge is +1 to attack, damage, and Will saves (so basically Inspire Courage). You might as well go Harmonious Knight Paladin and get the real deal.
    Alright, so obviously scratching knight. Harmonious knight isn't a terrible idea and is in the same flavor as what I want.
    (Currently afk halfway across the country.)

    Attempting Homebrew:
    Requip Knight

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Oko and Qailee's Avatar

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    Default Re: Where would you go with this build?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedz View Post
    It's a bit off the wall: but if you hadn't grabbed EWP: Spiked Chain you could have dipped Warlock for Eldritch Glaive. This is still a good option since it gives you a reach magical touch attack, and someone may counter trip you if you use your chain for tripping.

    Another option would be to grab Otherworldly Whispers (CM p124) for a +6 Bonus on Knowledge Arcana, Religion, and Planes which should help with your Knowledge Devotion.

    See the Unseen See Invisible and Darkvision is also an option; unless you have some way in mind for doing this eventually anyway.
    I didn't think of it :/

    I know nearly nothing about warlocks
    (Currently afk halfway across the country.)

    Attempting Homebrew:
    Requip Knight

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Where would you go with this build?

    It's a good 1 or 2 level dip; but your build may be a bit class rich anyway.
    π = 4
    Consider a 5' radius blast: this affects 4 squares which have a circumference of 40' Actually it's worse than that.


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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Oko and Qailee's Avatar

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    Default Re: Where would you go with this build?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedz View Post
    It's a good 1 or 2 level dip; but your build may be a bit class rich anyway.
    Well I only have two classes now, the list I put earlier was just me expressing what I've thought of.
    (Currently afk halfway across the country.)

    Attempting Homebrew:
    Requip Knight

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Where would you go with this build?

    I don't want to give more information than what you asked for, so I'll give advice for the next level in the open and put any further build suggestions in a spoiler so you can skip it if you aren't interested.

    I would recommend taking a level of binder. This will allow you to bind Naberius. Naberius grants you a ton of great abilities:
    • fantastic ability damage mitigation
    • the ability to rush diplomacy checks can save your party, even if you aren't very good at diplomacy.
    • the ability to use several skills untrained is more valuable than you might think. A great use of this is to use knowledge(local, nobility and royalty, history, geography, etc...) to learn information about anything for free.
    • in the first round of combat, using command to force an opponent that is out of range of your weapons to fall prone isn't the worst strategy in the world
    • at-will disguise self is crazy useful: infinite first impressions

    In addition, you can exploit the faster ability healing via symbionts and grafts as well. If you can find a mind leech, you can effectively spam mind blast and psionic dominate as Naberius heals the int damage backlash almost immediately. Other symbionts and grafts are often 'balanced' by ability damage as well.

    Finally, Naberius' influence is basically an excuse to grandstand. This can offer some great roleplay opportunities if you let it.

    What follows is advice in the form of suggested 20 level builds, feel free to skip if you aren't interested.
    Spoiler: Future build advice
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    If you are reading this, I will assume you are interested in full 20 level build advice. For these, I had to make a couple assumptions about your current build; namely your race, alignment, and character concept. I am assuming you are a human since you you had 3 feats at level 1 with only 1 flaw. I am also assuming that your alignment is not evil and that you don't mind changing to anything along the law-chaos axis. Finally, I am assuming that you wish to continue to expand on the aura tank concept. If any of these assumptions are incorrect, hopefully these builds can at least serve as a source of inspiration for you.

    First, if you are human, I would recommend talking with your DM to change this to silverbrow human instead. Silverbrow humans retain the bonus feat, but trade the extra skill point for feather fall 1/day, disguise affinity, and the dragonblood subtype. The dragonblood subtype otherwise costs a feat to acquire and will be very useful for both of the builds I am about to suggest. The builds below assume you are a normal human, but a special note will indicate what change to make if you can change to be a silverbrow human instead.

    With that out of the way, there are two builds that I would suggest. The first is completely item independent and will work effectively even with purely mundane equipment. Knowing nothing about your campaign world, I wanted to provide an option that wasn't dependent on specific items. The second build requires 2 magical items to function effectively, and ends up being more powerful than the first.


    Here is the item independent build. It does not focus on spellcasting at all since your wisdom is too low to get much mileage from your spells.
    build: crusader 1/cloistered cleric 1/barbarian 2/crusader +2/dragon shaman 1/binder 1/warblade 1/crusader +1/hellreaver 10
    feats: stand still[1], stone power[human], EWP: spiked chain[flaw], dragontouched*[3], knock-down[6], martial stance(thicket of blades)[9], double draconic aura[12], mage slayer[15], pierce magical protection[18]
    * = if you are already dragonblooded (as in silverbrow human) swap dragontouched for extra granted maneuver.
    stances:
    crusader: iron guard's glare, bolstering voice, thicket of blades
    warblade: punishing stance
    maneuvers: (*=readied)
    crusader: douse the flames, vanguard strike->divine surge*, crusader's strike*, stone bones*, mountain hammer*, charging minotaur*
    warblade: iron heart surge*, moment of perfect mind*, white raven tactics*
    draconic auras: senses, resistance, vigor

    This build ends up with a BAB of +17 (+19 with fractional BAB rules). Hellreaver abilities can be used at-will in and out of combat thanks to Naberius. You have good lockdown ability in the knock-down + improved trip combo. You also gain a few decent auras to provide your party that scale with your character level.


    This build is a little more powerful, and requires two specific magical items to function properly: a wisdom boost of at least +4 and a nightstick.
    build: crusader 1/cloistered cleric 1/binder 1/dragon shaman 1/monk(passive way) 2/cloistered cleric +1/ruby knight vindicator 1/warblade 1/ruby knight vindicator +4/contemplative 1/ruby knight vindicator +3/death delver 1/ruby knight vindicator +2
    feats: stand still[1], stone power[human], EWP: spiked chain[flaw], dragontouched*[3], knock-down[6], extend spell[9], double draconic aura[12], persist spell[15], divine metamagic(persist)[18]
    * = if you are already dragonblooded (as in silverbrow human) swap dragontouched for extra granted maneuver.
    stances:
    crusader: iron guard's glare, thicket of blades, aura of perfect order
    warblade: punishing stance
    maneuvers: (*=readied)
    crusader: douse the flames, crusader's strike, leading the attack, stone bones*, charging minotaur*, mountain hammer*, divine surge*, rallying strike*, shadow blink*, white raven hammer*
    warblade: iron heart surge*, moment of perfect mind*, white raven tactics*
    draconic auras: senses, resistance, vigor

    This build casts as an 11th level cleric. The build has two pools of turn/rebuke undead(1 each) so a single nightstick grants 8 extra attempts. This gives you 14 attempts with a 10 charisma, which is sufficient to persist both divine power and righteous might. The levels are staggered to ensure you meet initiator level requirements for the different maneuvers/stances. This build works best as a lawful character because aura of perfect order is an amazing stance outside combat.

    Both builds work best if you use your stat boosts from leveling to increase your strength and wear some form of mithril plate mail.

    Hopefully this gives you some ideas as to where you can advance your character. While your stats are less than stellar, your build is definitely workable.

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