Berserker (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
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This one goes for the ones who love to beatdown enemies with pure brutal force and nothing more than that! Only the classic, a great warrior with his enormous weapon, and a bit of rage!!!
You can find it all in the core, swords and fists, complete warrior, races of the wild books.
Game Rule Components
Since this will be the main melee damage dealer of the group, and the character's primary focus is brute strength, you should consider it highly important to optimize your weapon first, then the strength attribute itself, followed by constitution and movement for increases to HP and speed. A great weapon to consider is any kind of quicksilver blade from The Swords and Fists, but probably the single best choice would be the Greathammer (1d12, 19-20/x4 Med. (Imagine the huge with Monkey Grip!)) from the Monster Manual IV.
Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): Using the base atributes from the DMG NPC creation: str:15, dex:13, con:14, int:10, wis:12, cha:08.
Race (Templates):I recomend Half-orc if you are based in the cores, but have in mind the limits of the Tribal protector prestige class!
Starting Racial Traits:It will depend on the race you choose, but for half-orc you will have +2 str and -2 cha, int.
|Saving Throws||Feats|| Class
|1st||Barbarian||+1||+2||+0||+0||Power Attack||Fast Movement, Illiteracy, Rage 1/day|
|3rd||Fighter||+3||+5||+0||+0||Destructive rage||Bonus feat(Cleave)|
|4th||Fighter||+4||+6||+0||+0||Bonus feat(Great cleave)|
|5th||Barbarian||+5||+6||+1||+1||Trap Sense +1|
|6th||Tribal Protector||+6||+8||+3||+1||Intimidating rage||Bonus feat (Monkey Grip!?), Tribal enemy, Homeland|
|7th||Tribal Protector||+7||+9||+4||+1||Wild Fighting|
|8th||Frenzied Berserker||+8||+11||+4||+1||Frenzy 1/day, Diehard|
|9th||Frenzied Berserker||+9||+12||+4||+1||Leap Attack||Supreme Cleave|
|10th||Frenzied Berserker||+10||+12||+5||+2||Frenzy 2/day|
|11th||Frenzied Berserker||+11||+13||+5||+2||Deathless Frenzy|
|12th||Frenzied Berserker||+12||+13||+5||+2||Headlong Rush||Frenzy 3/day, Improved Power Attack|
|13th||Frenzied Berserker||+13||+14||+6||+3||Inspire Frenzy 1/day|
|14th||Frenzied Berserker||+14||+14||+6||+3||Frenzy 4/day|
|15th||Frenzied Berserker||+15||+15||+6||+3||Improved Initiative||Greater Frenzy, Inspire Frenzy 2/day|
|16th||Frenzied Berserker||+16||+15||+7||+4||Frenzy 5/day|
|17th||Frenzied Berserker||+17||+16||+7||+3||Tireless Frenzy, Inspire Frenzy 3/day, Supreme Power attack|
<- anything not covered by the previous sections ->
The main point of this character is to deal as much damage as possible. You will always be the one in the front lines. You'll also have to keep in mind that you'll need to maintain a bit of distance from your allies because of the side effects of the Frenzy ability, unless your cleric has "Calm Emotions." In the first few levels with the Berserker class, your great strength and big (Keep Monkey Grip in mind) two-handed weapon (1+1/2 your strength bonus to damage) will be a very valuable asset to the party, especially once your levels rise high enough for multiple attacks. As you progress, you should always keep the bonuses in mind, and worry less about penalties. Keep getting more and more attacks with Frenzy and Wild Fighting, always use the maximum bonus from your Power Attack, leaving the attack bonus to your strength from Rage, Frenzy, and magic items. Another extremely important point is the use of Charge and Leap Attack, since Charging gains you a +2 bonus to your attack and Leap Attack will triple the damage dealt by your Power Attack.
If you want you could use UA opitional rules like the traits and flaws to put: Reckless (+1 melee damage, -1 melee attack rolls) Aggressive (+2 initiative, -1 AC), Quick (base speed +10ft., -1 hp per level) and Murky-eyed (role miss chance for concealment twice), Shaky (-2 to ranged attacks) or even another barbarians or half-orcs barbarian substitution levels.
The build could be even more complete but is important to leave some options for the ones that are going to use this character, other important point is the levels after that, in my opinion you could simple put become a "Barbarian" again since "Greater Rage" would be destructive with "Greater Frenzy" and there are a bunch of prestige classes that could get this build even more powerful, i recommend "Weapon Master", "Forsaken"(both from swords and fists) or the more rare "Gladiator"(world of warcraft the roleplaying game).And in the epic levels i could say "Legendary Dreadnought" has what it needs!
The one MAJOR limitation in this build is your insanely low will save! It could be devistating to you and your party. While calm emotions may save your party after the enemies are down, it is your worst nightmare if it is the enemy casting it. That is a will save vs exhausted! also enemy enchanters could turn you against you party rather easy since all of there saves a will also.
Invisible enemies (or ones that can become invisible), traps, and ranged attacks are all going to make encounters for your PCs more difficult. Remember, the Frenzied Berserker has to make a Will Save to avoid going into a Frenzy, and should he fail, he'll hit whatever is closest. The next time your PCs are adventuring with a Frenzied Berserker, have him get hit by anything, hoping he fails the Will Save, and watch hilarity ensue as players panic and try to shut him down before he lops off a head.
If you can convince your party wizard to go Red Wizard of Thay, a one-level dip in Thayan Knight(COmplete Warrior 86) nets you the Zulkir's Favor ability, which states that you automatically fail your save against any mind-affecting spell cast by a Red Wizard, allowing him to shut you down, guaranteed, if you turn on the party.