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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    FinalJustice's Avatar

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    Default Swordsage or Warblade?

    Hey there folks, there's a 15th level short-adventure planned, and I'm stuck with the melee dude. I never used the ToB, although I liked the concept of maneuvers and all that melees doin' supernatural stuff, now I'm intending to put that to good use. Which class do you recommend me? Swordsage or Warblade? I intend to do no multiclassing since it's the first time someone will use ToB here, but if someone shows me some cool cheese, I'll probably won't resist. XD
    In two seconds I will hit the ground
    A moment stretched out over years
    And my eyes will flicker and then something has changed
    An empty cage, a crimson bud, a street of blood
    A city rose sprung out to greet the rain


    PoS: Enter Rain

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Tataraus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    Well, it really comes down to what style of melee you want. Do you want to be a finesse-y guy, dual-wielder, basher, etc.?

    Swordsage is best for finesse and monk-like stuff while Warblade is best for tanks and bashers.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    Warblade is easier to play and easier to build, since it knows fewer maneuvers and has a much more streamlined recovery mechanic. In addition, its properties make it much more forgiving (full BAB and d12 hit dice vs 3/4 BAB and d8 hit dice).

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    FinalJustice's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    I prefer finessers than tank/bashers. But cheese is an important factor here, since we're gonna probably face some overpowered advanced dragon/giant ready to beat the hitpoints out of us with 100~150 damage Full Rounds.
    In two seconds I will hit the ground
    A moment stretched out over years
    And my eyes will flicker and then something has changed
    An empty cage, a crimson bud, a street of blood
    A city rose sprung out to greet the rain


    PoS: Enter Rain

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    If you want the mildly supernatural schools, which are Desert Wind and Shadow Hand, you need Swordsage, as they're the only ones who get access to those schools.

    However, my personal recommendation, based entirely on my favoritism, between Swordsage and Warblade, I'd pick the Crusader. I just really really like the Crusader. He isn't mechanically superior or anything, he just rocks in my opinion.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    The Warblade can do finesse too if he pursues the Diamond Mind discipline. Then again the Swordsage can take that too.

    I'm partial to the Warblade myself.


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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    Swordsage 7/Bloodclaw Master 2/Swordsage +6:

    H: Adaptive Style
    1: Shadow Blade
    3: Weapon Finesse
    6: Two-Weapon Fighitng
    9: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
    12: Gloom Razor
    15: Greater Two-Weapon Fighting.

    If you can get a Flaw, take Shaky or something, and get Extra Readied Maneuver.

    Stats: DEX>WIS>CON>STR>INT>CHA.
    Max Concentration, Jump, Tumble, Hide, Move Silently, Listen, Sense Motive.
    For your Discipline Focuses, take Weapon Focus for Shadow Hand, Insightful Strike for Tiger Claw, Defensive Stance for Shadow Hand, and the second Insightful Strike for Diamond Mind.

    Maneuvers known:
    Sws 1: Burning Blade, Wolf Fang Strike, Sudden Leap, Moment of Perfect Mind, Counter Charge | Child of Shadow stance
    Sws 2: Mighty Throw | Flame's Blessing stance
    Sws 3: Rabid Wolf Strike
    Sws 4: Shadow Jaunt, swap Mighty Throw for Baffling Defense
    Sws 5: Insightful Strike | Assassin's Stance for your stance
    Sws 6: Mind Over Body, swap Rabid Wolf Strike for Soaring Raptor Strike
    Sws 7: Searing Blade
    Bloodclaw Master 1: Fountain of Blood or something
    BCM 2: nothing
    Sws 8: Dancing Mongoose, swap Fountain of Blood for Pouncing Charge
    Sws 9: Greater Insightful Strike | Step of the Dancing Moth OR Hearing the Hair as your stance
    Sws 10: Rabid Bear Strike, swap Soaring Raptor Strike for Mirrored Pursuit
    Sws 11: Inferno Blade
    Sws 12: Quicksilver Motion, swap Shadow Jaunt for Shadow Blink
    Sws 13: Raging Mongoose

    You should be in either Child of Shadow or Assassin's Stance most of the time.
    Maneuvers readied: Raging Mongoose, Inferno Blade, Pouncing Charge, Dancing Mongoose, Moment of Perfect Mind, Rabid Bear Strike, Mirrored Pursuit, Greater Insightful Strike, Quicksilver Motion, Shadow Blink.

    Thanks to Shadow Blade you use DEX for damage on top of STR. If you happen to have some STR, taking Bloodclaw Master 1 and 2 lets you get full STR to offhand damage and negates the -2/-2 penalty for TWFing. You'll need to use daggers (since they're both a Shadow Hand and Tiger Claw weapon).

    Open combat with Pouncing Charge + Raging Mongoose. You open combat with a 10-attack charge, each attack getting + WIS to damage on top of the normal high DEX + some STR.
    If they attack you... well, you have light armor, WIS to AC, and concealment from Child of Shadow. So you should be okay.
    If they move away, use Mirrored Pursuit to follow, and unleash a full attack, Rabid Bear Strike, or Greater Insightful Strike next round.

    You have base saves of +7/+11/+8; add your high DEX and WIS, a +5 for a cloak of resistance, +2 for Defensive Stance, and cover your Fortitude save with Mind Over Body, and you're good to go.

    P.S. The Crusader actually IS mechanically superior.
    Last edited by Reel On, Love; 2007-11-30 at 07:32 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Lord Tataraus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    On the cheese factor, it seems that Warblade has the advantage, though I'm partial to Swordsage because its so much easier to have a finesse build with Shadow Blade and the Shadow Hand discipline.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    FinalJustice's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    Wow, thanks for the insight people. Since I'm not too keen on ToB, I'll think I'll do a two-wielding focused on diamond mind, prolly I'll do warblade, since it really seems easier.
    In two seconds I will hit the ground
    A moment stretched out over years
    And my eyes will flicker and then something has changed
    An empty cage, a crimson bud, a street of blood
    A city rose sprung out to greet the rain


    PoS: Enter Rain

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    Dwarf Warblade 15

    Stats: STR>DEX & CON>INT>WIS>CHA
    Skills: max out Concentration, Jump, Tumble, Diplomacy (why not), and... uh, cross-class UMD, I guess. Buy a Jump-boosting item.

    1: Extra Readied Maneuver
    3: Power Attack
    WB 5: Endurance
    6: Steadfast Determination (PHB II)
    WB 9: Iron Heart Aura
    9: Stormguard Warrior
    12: Robilar's Gambit (PHB II)
    WB 13: Combat Reflexes
    15: Martial Study(Diamond Nightmare Blade)


    Maneuvers:
    1: Moment of Perfect Mind, Wolf Fang Strike, Leading the Attack | Punishing Stance
    2: Sudden Leap
    3: Emerald Razor
    4: swap Leading the Attack out for Battle Leader's Charge | Leading the Charge stance
    5: Iron Heart Surge
    6: swap Battle Leader's Charge out for White Raven Tactics
    7: Death From Above
    8: don't swap.
    9: Disrupting Blow
    10: swap Death From Above out for Lightning Recovery (IH 4) | Swooping Dragon Stance
    11: Greater Insightful Strike
    12: swap Wolf Fang Strike out for Leading the Charge
    13: Swooping Dragon Strike
    14: don't swap
    15: White Raven Hammer.

    Maneuvers Readied: White Raven Hammer, Swooping Dragon Strike, White Raven Tactics, Iron Heart Surge, Moment of Perfect Mind, Lightning Recovery, Diamond Nightmare Blade

    If you can take flaws, take two for Imp. Unarmed Strike and Snap Kick (move other feats down so you can fit Snap Kick in).


    White Raven Hammer auto-stuns on hitting. Swooping Dragon Strike can require exorbitant jump DCs, but Swooping Dragon Stance helps with that, and it forces a very high-DC save vs. Stun. Moment of Perfect Mind covers your weak Will save; after you've used it, Steadfast Determination lets you use CON instead of WIS for it, and you don't fail Fort saves on a 1.


    Get a wand of Heroics. UMD it before fights (30 min duration at CL 3), take Martial Study(Diamond Nightmare Blade), and make that the maneuver you. Alternatively, have a caster cast Heroics on you with a lesser rod of Extend Spell a couple of times a day (CL 15, Extend, means 5 hours per casting). You could take Martial Stance(Stance of Alacrity) instead, too, since it'll let you use a Boost/Counter and still have a swift action left (to, say, recover, maneuvers, use another counter, etc).
    Attack with powerful strikes like White Raven Hammer and Diamond Nightmare Blade.

    You use Robilar's Gambit in conjunction with Combat Reflexes and Stormguard Warrior.
    Robilar's Gambit means that every time someone hits them, you hit them back. Stormguard Warrior's Channel the Storm lets you give up the AoOs and get +4 AB/damage against that enemy your next turn.
    Refraining from taking the Robilar's Gambit attacks (let's say, three of them, for three hits) gives +12 AB/damage the next round. Power Attack turns the +12 into 24 damage. That means you get +36 damage... and Diamond Nightmare Blade will multiply that by 4 (along with your regular damage).

    If you have IUS + Snap Kick because of flaws, you can add a Snap Kick after each maneuver, and make it a touch attack to add +5 damage to your attacks next round (Stormguard Warrior's Combat Rhythm).

    And, oh, yeah, you get +INT to damage when flanking, and +INT AB/damage on AoOs (which you generally won't be taking), plus INT to Ref saves and to oppose combat maneuvers.
    Last edited by Reel On, Love; 2007-11-30 at 08:25 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    Quote Originally Posted by FinalJustice View Post
    Wow, thanks for the insight people. Since I'm not too keen on ToB, I'll think I'll do a two-wielding focused on diamond mind, prolly I'll do warblade, since it really seems easier.
    That would be fail, since TWF has no synergy with Diamond Mind. In fact, Diamond Mind has strikes, which are standard actions, and you can't use them and TWF at the same time.
    Last edited by Reel On, Love; 2007-11-30 at 08:26 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    Quote Originally Posted by FinalJustice View Post
    Wow, thanks for the insight people. Since I'm not too keen on ToB, I'll think I'll do a two-wielding focused on diamond mind, prolly I'll do warblade, since it really seems easier.
    Diamond mind is all about two handed weapons, IMO. Tiger claw is all about two-weapon fighting, and swordsages are a little better than warblades at TWF, due to their prioritizing dex higher than warblades. Also, swordsages can get dex, wis, and str to damage easily, while warblades can only get str and int to damage without taking martial stance.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    FinalJustice's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    Yeah, now that I've read all the maneuvers, my idea seems stupid.
    In two seconds I will hit the ground
    A moment stretched out over years
    And my eyes will flicker and then something has changed
    An empty cage, a crimson bud, a street of blood
    A city rose sprung out to greet the rain


    PoS: Enter Rain

  14. - Top - End - #14

    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    I might also recommed Swordsage, seeing as many people overlook the most basic combo it has.

    Get Raging Mongoose, Girallon Windmill Flesh Rip, use Dual Boost, and use the level 9 Diamond mind maneuver Time Stands Still. Must be one of the nicest and easier to discover combo's ever, and it has lots of cheese potential.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    I don't have the book on me, but if you wanna try...you can do cloud

    Monkey grip, some feat that allows you to use larger weapons (can't remmber the name or the book sorry 'oversized weapon fighting' I think)

    Then, do the stone mountian or whatever it is called tree with the biggest greatsword you can get. There is a stance that makes you count as a size catagory larger and ups your damage accordingly....

    combine that with some of the punishing strikes that cause immense damage and cripple and you have yourself a melee build that will just pound the enemy HARD...that build is just straightforward strength, with con & dex second for survival while you murder.

    the style begs for weapon focus, power attack, perhaps sunder if you think it a good idea.

    You will want a magical greatsword for sure, keen if possible (improved crit if it still stacks), +4 to str magic item, someone with a wand of bull's strength, and if your Dm will allow a custom magic job...cast true strike 'on use' for your sword using the formula it is cheap and easy...the old sword and fist book sets precidence for this with a bow with true strike as an 'on use' effect. That will allow you to make the most of your power attack. Consider another magic item (probably custom) that will cast enlarge person on you when you want it...much fun to be had...

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Tataraus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    @^ There is a Setting Sun Stone Dragon stance that allows you to deal damage as if 1 or 2 sizes larger (can't remember which) in addition to other effects.

    Edit: Nevermind, its not that great because it only increases damage by 1 size category to a maximum of Large and that's it. Additionally, you can't move more than 5ft for any reason. Not worth it at all, and definitely not as a 5th level stance.

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    That's surprising - I thought Setting Sun was all about battlefield control?

    EDIT: I choose my ToB classes depending on which discipline I'm planning on going into. Setting Sun, Shadow Hand, Desert Sun, or Tiger Claw I go Swordsage, Warblade for the others.
    Last edited by dyslexicfaser; 2007-11-30 at 09:47 PM.
    People seemed to like this better, but only marginally so - the way one might prefer to be stabbed than shot. Optimally, one isn't stabbed or shot. Optimally, one eats some cake! But there are times when cake is not available, and instead we are destroyed. This is the deep poetry of the universe. -- Tycho Brahe

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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    Er, I think you're talking about giant's stance, the stone dragon stance, 6th level, I think.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Tataraus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Swordsage or Warblade?

    Quote Originally Posted by VerdugoExplode View Post
    Er, I think you're talking about giant's stance, the stone dragon stance, 6th level, I think.
    Yeah, corrected by post after looking it up; horrible stance.

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