Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    May 2019

    Default Low Level Melee Build

    Hello to all!

    I am going to start a new campaign at level 3, with 3.5 rules where more or less everything is accepted but psionic.

    I would really like to create a melee build like a fighter with some twist and I stumbled across captain america and the fighter/rogue thief build that were really inspiring.

    I was thinking if a fighter with captain america build could work up from level 3 or not and if someone has some suggestions for another melee build that could be interesting to play (I have played standard barbarians and fighters before and wanted something different).

    The campaign setting is good vs evil, with pretty standard encounters against the evil.

    Another limitation is the races (only standards with some exceptions like sub races like sun elves) and the fact that i don't want an hyper dps build, but something more tactical (I saw the dungeon crushed fighter for example that seemed like a good choice).

    I am fully aware that a full fighter rarely is optimized but that is not what I am looking for; instead I would like to play in interesting character.

    The builds I like at the moment (and I would need an help to setup the basics over those if someone has suggestions) are:
    Dungeon crusher Fighter
    Totemic barbarian (boar probably)
    captain america (but I didn't really got the grasp on that one yet)

    thank you very much!
    Last edited by Trigor; 2019-05-18 at 08:06 AM. Reason: typo

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GrayDeath's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    In the Heart of Europe
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Low Level Melee Build

    In a classic Good vs Evil Setup, a paladin is a good Choice (and depending on what you want your Optimization to be, from full paladin to A-Game paladin has a lot of bandwith).
    Some Spells, Smiting and Lay on Hands give him more options than a fighter has.

    Another Option, depending on your Group Setup, would be a classic Tripping Build (maybe even Spiked Chain, but normally a Polarm version will cause less books thrown at you ^^).

    Can you give us more info about the Group setup?
    A neutron walks into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?” The bartender says, “For you? No charge.”


    Later: An atom walks into a bar an asks the bartender “Have you seen an electron? I left it in here last night.” The bartender says, “Are you sure?” The atom says, “I’m positive.”

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Default Re: Low Level Melee Build

    I'm not finding any Captain America builds that look viable, but if you want to go that route then Bloodstorm Blade (ToB) is your best bet. However, in that case you'll likely end up just melee attacking with the shield until 7th level. I'd recommend something different.


    Dungeoncrasher Fighter is a good tactical path to take. Ideally you would use something like Goliath (RoS), but if you can only use PHB races then Human with Jotunbrud (RoF) should work. You could also go with a Desert Half-Orc, use the Half-Humans variant in RoD p150 to qualify for feats as though you're Human, and still be able to say you visited the Otyugh Hole in CS to get Menacing Demeanor.

    Take the Zhentarim Soldier substitution levels (reflavored if necessary, or be a badguy-turned-good) and always take Dead Levels class features for free. Consider trading Ride for Tumble as a class skill as well.

    Go Fighter 9/ Warblade 10/ Fighter 1 for your build, in that order. Take two flaws (more here) for two extra feats. Get Jotunbrud (RoF), Dreadful Wrath (PGtF), EWP: Spiked Chain, Combat Reflexes, Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, Knock-Down, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Knock Back (RoS), Imperious Command (DotU), and the Never Outnumbered skill trick (CS). Also plan to get all the prerequisites for Weapon Supremacy (PH2) by 18th level so you can take that with your Fighter 10 bonus feat at 20th.

    With both Knock-Down and Knock Back, anything that comes into the area you threaten will get an AoO that knocks them prone and knocks them away. They'll need to spend a move action to get up and another to get back into the fight, so you'll cause them to lose their current turn and waste their next turn if everything you do works. With Dungeoncrasher if you knock them into a solid obstacle they'll take an absurd amount of damage.

    You'll also be very good at intimidating your opponents, between Zhentarim Soldier, Menacing Demeanor if you went that route, Imperious Command, and Dreadful Wrath. If a creature that's already Shaken would become Shaken again their condition is escalated to Frightened, and making them Shaken again escalates that to Panicked. Per the Rules Compendium that escalated condition lasts until every effect that contributed to it has expired. So as soon as you attack Dreadful Wrath can make every opponent Shaken for ten rounds, then you use Intimidate (as a free action at Fighter 9) with Never Outnumbered so it affects every enemy within ten feet of you. Those that are intimidated will cower for one round (Imperious Command), then be Shaken for one round (or have a previous condition escalated one step). After that you can Intimidate an opponent as a free action every round while attacking, causing that opponent to cower round after round.

    For gear, you'll want some decent armor (mithral full plate or mithral breastplate depending on your Dex score), a magical weapon, Armbands of Might (MIC), Healing Belt (MIC), Anklet of Translocation (MIC), and a visit to the Otyugh Hole (CS) prior to the start of play or during downtime costs 3,000 gp to get Menacing Demeanor or Iron Will without spending a feat on it. Future goals include the Fearsome property (DotU) on your armor, that's a more recent version than the one in MIC so it's the most current, plus an animated heavy shield. Add an enhancement bonus to strength and dexterity to your armbands of might (MIC p234), Necklace of Adaptation is a must-have, Shirt of Wraith Stalking (MIC) is a trump card, and fill out all the necessary magic items otherwise.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Low Level Melee Build

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayDeath View Post
    In a classic Good vs Evil Setup, a paladin is a good Choice (and depending on what you want your Optimization to be, from full paladin to A-Game paladin has a lot of bandwith).
    Some Spells, Smiting and Lay on Hands give him more options than a fighter has.
    I respectfully disagree, considering that this is for a low-level game. Everything the 3.5 paladin gets is small and limited at that level. Until you have the build resources to go full “A-Game,” you don’t have a lot to actually do with your actions.

    The OP said they’re starting at level 3. One smite per day doesn’t matter. They have no spells (and might have a single slot next level if the character has a WIS bonus, woo). Even with a very expensive 18 CHA (which they probably won’t have), LoH is a whopping 12 HP/day. Divine grace is useful in the long run, but it’s not very exciting when it’s your only meaningful ability, especially considering that it’s passive.

    I’m not super fond of fighters, but I’d definitely take a level 3 fighter over a level 3 paladin in the absence of a lot of houserules bringing up the pally.

    As for what I’d really suggest? Dungeoncrasher, as mentioned in the OP, is a great start if you want something a bit nontraditional. Alternatively, if Tome of Battle is allowed, you can never go wrong with a low-level warblade or crusader.

    Duskblade (PHB2) is also a fun choice at this level range (especially if you build towards taking Netherese Battle Curse, which is found in Lost Empires of Faerun): it’s clearly a melee weapon-user, but its bag of tricks is a bit deeper than that of a purely mundane character. (You CAN build a duskblade that just wants to throw damage around, but that isn’t the only way to play one.)

    I’m not sure what you mean by “Captain America build.” You’ve mentioned several times that you want to be melee focused, but when I hear “Captain America,” the only thing I think of is using shields as ranged weapons. Can you elaborate on what you had in mind there?
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently judging for Round 18!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

    (Note: I'm overseas from July 13th to the end of the month. Regular forum access is not promised.)

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bellona

    Default Re: Low Level Melee Build

    If you don't want to mess around with Tome of Battle classes, here's what I'd recommend for a Captain America style fighter. (In this instance I'm taking Captain America to mean an agile fighter who uses a shield as his primary weapon... you won't be able to throw it around without adding in something like Bloodstorm Blade from ToB though.)

    Human, Whirling Frenzy Lion Totem Barbarian 1/Fighter 2
    1. Barbarian1- Combat Expertise, Improved TripHuman
    2. Fighter1- Improved Shield Bash
    3. Fighter2- Shield Charge, Shield Specialization (heavy)Fighter

    Lion Totem from Complete Champion gives you pounce, which lets you make a full attack at the end of a charge. Whirling frenzy replaces rage, and gives you an extra attack.

    Charge and attack with your shield. Thanks to Shield Charge, you get a free trip attempt, and if you succeed, you get to attack them again because of Improved Trip. Once a day you can use your whirling frenzy as well, which lets you take two attacks. Because you have pounce, that means two shield bashes on your charge, and two chances to trip your opponent.

    Keep progressing fighter from there. On your next bonus feat at fighter 4, pick up Agile Shield Fighter, which is basically two-weapon fighting but for shield fighters. Now you'll always be making two attacks on your charge, or three with whirling frenzy. And at level 6, when you get another regular feat, pick up Shield Slam. That gives you the opportunity to daze enemies when you hit them with your shield too. Daze is a great debuff, so it should do well for you.

    Other good feats to take down the road include Shield Ward, which lets your shield apply to things like your touch AC, Extra Rage for more uses of whirling frenzy, Exotic Weapon Proficiency for a one-handed reach weapon like the kusari-gama or the spinning sword, Combat Reflexes so you can make multiple attacks of opportunity, etc.
    Current project:
    Optimization Showcase in the Playground

    Former projects:
    Shadowcaster Handbook
    Archer Build Compendium

    Iron Chef Awards!
    Spoiler
    Show

    GOLD
    IC LXXVI: Talos
    IC LXXV: Alphonse Louise Constant
    IC XLIX: Babalon, Queen of Bones
    IC XLV: Dead Mists
    IC XL: Lycus Blackbeak
    IC XXXIX: AM-1468
    IC XXXV: Parsifal the Fool
    IC XXX: Jal Filius

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Low Level Melee Build

    I'm a big fan of the following:

    Azurin monk 1/incarnate 1/crusader 1
    Decisive Strike martial monk. Azurin can be replaced with human; you won't notice the difference until higher levels.
    Abilities: 16/14/14/13/8/8
    27 point-buy, get more Strength if you get more points--the Arctic template can get you +2 con/-2 cha as well, allowing you to move some points into Strength.
    Feats: Combat Expertiseflaw, Combat Reflexesazurin, Improved Unarmed Strikemonk 1, Improved Trip1, Karmic Strike3, Midnight Dodgeflaw, Pole Fightermonk 1
    (Ab)using the no-prerequisite fighter feat to get Pole Fighter without Weapon Focus or Flurry of Blows (which we've traded out for Decisive Strike--though I personally let DS qualify for anything that requires FoB). Note that Combat Expertise is required for both Karmic Strike and Improved Trip.
    Flaws: Glory-Hound, Vulnerable
    Glory-Hound is from Dragon magazine. It's basically an AC penalty until you drop an enemy.
    Items: mwk guisarme, anklets of translocation, chronocharm of the horizon walker
    Reach and trip. No armour. Swift-action movement.
    Soulmelds: Astral Vambraces, Therapeutic Mantle.
    DR 4/magic and +3 points of healing from Martial Spirit. Expanded Soulmeld Capacity could increase that, but you'd need another (bonus) feat at level 3.
    Maneuvers: Martial Spirit (stance), Charging Minotaur, Crusader's Strike, Douse the Flames, Leading the Attack, Vanguard Strike
    There aren't a lot of boosts for low-level crusaders, so most of these conflict with Decisive Strike.

    Basically, you drop AC altogether, and replace it with DR and self-healing and counter-attacks and tripping. When I first brought this to the table, something like this happened:

    Me: I've got AC 6.
    Table: ...
    Me: Don't worry, I planned for this.
    Table: .....

    Worked well though.
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2019-05-18 at 12:42 PM.
    Spoiler: Collectible nice things
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    Read ExLibrisMortis' post...

    WHY IS THERE NO LIKE BUTTON?!
    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
    My incarnate/crusader. A self-healing crowd-control melee build (ECL 8).
    My Ruby Knight Vindicator barsader. A party-buffing melee build (ECL 14).

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    May 2019

    Default Re: Low Level Melee Build

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayDeath View Post
    In a classic Good vs Evil Setup, a paladin is a good Choice (and depending on what you want your Optimization to be, from full paladin to A-Game paladin has a lot of bandwith).
    Some Spells, Smiting and Lay on Hands give him more options than a fighter has.

    Another Option, depending on your Group Setup, would be a classic Tripping Build (maybe even Spiked Chain, but normally a Polarm version will cause less books thrown at you ^^).

    Can you give us more info about the Group setup?
    Hi, the setup at the moment is:
    rogue
    sorcerer
    cleric
    monk

    the group is not oing to go over level 10 I think

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    May 2019

    Default Re: Low Level Melee Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I’m not sure what you mean by “Captain America build.” You’ve mentioned several times that you want to be melee focused, but when I hear “Captain America,” the only thing I think of is using shields as ranged weapons. Can you elaborate on what you had in mind there?
    Yeah, I'm sorry if I didn't specify but the captain america build was from the ToB and was indeed ranged.

    nonetheless I really like all the suggestions given I'll look deeply into the dungeon crusher build which seems to be the most obvious choice!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •