Diplomat (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
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This build allows for a ridiculously high Diplomacy score early on.
The Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Book of Exalted Deeds, Complete Adventurer, & Races of Destiny
 Game Rule Components
An instrument for your bardic spells and perform checks and anything that improves Diplomacy and/or Cha.
Class: Dragonfire Adept/Cleric/Half-Elf Paragon/Human Paragon/Exemplar/Apostle of Peace
Starting Racial Traits:
|Saving Throws||Feats|| Class
|1st||Marshal||+0||+2||+0||+2||Celestial Scion – Cranden, Complementary Insight, Nymph's Kiss, Skill Focus (Diplomacy)||Minor Aura (Motivate Charisma)||Character Traits - Polite & Honest||34|
|2nd||Dragonfire Adept||+0||+4||+0||+4||Dragontouched||Breath Weapon (1d6), 1 Least Invocation Breath Effect, Scales +2||Beguiling Influence||50|
|3rd||Cleric||+0||+6||+0||+6||Noble Soul||Turn or Rebuke Undead, 0 & 1st-level Cleric Spells||Herald & Mind Domains, Masterwork Item (Diplomacy)||60|
|4th||Half-Elf Paragon||+0||+6||+2||+6||Undead Empathy||Divided Ancestry, Elven Vision||+1 Cha, Medal of Gallantry||63|
|5th||Human Paragon||+0||+6||+2||+8||N/A||Adaptive Learning||Speaker’s Trumpet||69|
|6th||Human Paragon||+1||+3||+3||+6||Leadership, Master Manipulator||2nd-level Cleric Spells||Rhetorical Flourish, Cloak of Charisma +2||71 (51 when rushed)|
|8th||Human Paragon||+5||+5||+4||+7||N/A||+2 Cha, Breath Weapon (3d6), Breath Effect||+1 Cha||61|
|9th||Half-Elf Paragon||+5||+6||+4||+8||Undead Empathy||+2 Cha||63|
|11th||Exemplar||+5||+6||+4||+8||N/A||Skill Artistry (Diplomacy), Skill Mastery (1+Int)||69|
The following is the same build, except that it uses the Vow of Poverty feat.
|Saving Throws||Feats|| Class
|1st||Dragonfire Adept||-2||+2||+0||+2||Sacred Vow, Vow of Poverty, Celestial Scion - Cranden, Dragontouched||Breath Weapon (1d6), 1 Least Invocation||Half-Elven Racial Traits, Character Flaws (Noncombatant & Shaky), Character Trait - Polite, Beguiling Influence, AC +4||32|
|2nd||Dragonfire Adept||-1||+3||+0||+3||Nymph's Kiss||Breath Effect (Sickening Breath), Scales +2||AC +5, Endure Elements||41|
|3rd||Cleric||+1||+5||-1||+5||Complementary Insight||Turn Undead, 0 & 1st-level Cleric Spells||Herald & Mind Domains||51|
|4th||Half-Elf Paragon||-1||+5||+2||+5||Skill Focus (Diplomacy), Vow of Nonviolence||Divided Ancestry, Elven Vision||+1 Cha, Rhetorical Flourish, Exalted Strike +1 (magic)||55 (50 when rushed)|
|5th||Human Paragon||-1||+5||+2||+7||N/A||Adaptive Learning||Sustenance||56|
|6th||Human Paragon||+0||+5||+2||+9||Negotiator, Noble Soul, Vow of Peace||Breath Weapon (2d6), +1 Least Invocation||AC +6, Deflection AC +1||65|
|7th||Half-Elf Paragon||+0||+5||+3||+9||N/A||Persuasion||+2 Cha, Resistance +1||68|
|8th||Human Paragon||+1||+6||+4||+9||Nimbus of Light||+2 Cha, Breath Weapon (3d6), Natural AC +1, Mind Shielding||+1 Cha||71/73 vs good creatures|
|9th||Half-Elf Paragon||+2||+7||+4||+10||Undead Empathy||+2 Cha||AC +7||73/75/77 vs Int undead|
|10th||Cleric||+3||+8||+4||+11||Vow of Obedience||Exalted Strike +2 (good), Damage Reduction 5/magic||74/76/78|
|11th||Exemplar||+3||+8||+4||+13||N/A||Skill Artistry (Diplomacy), Skill Mastery (1+Int)||+2 Cha/+2 Wis||80/82/84|
|12th||Apostle of Peace||+3||+10||+6||+15||Master Manipulator, Vow of Chastity||Turn Undead (stacks), 0 & 1st-level Apostle of Peace Spells||+1 Cha, AC +8, Deflection AC +2, Greater Sustenance||81/83/85|
|13th||Apostle of Peace||+4||+11||+7||+16||N/A||Pacifying Touch, 2nd-level Apostle of Peace Spells||Resistance +2, Energy Resistance 5||82/84/86|
|14th||Exemplar||+5||+11||+7||+17||Servant of the Heavens||Lend Talent (one-half penalty)||Exalted Strike +3, Freedom of Movement||83/85/87|
|15th||Exemplar||+6||+12||+8||+17||High Society, Combat Expertise||AC +9, +2 Cha/+2 Wis/+2 Other, Damage Reduction 5/evil||85/87/89|
|16th||Exemplar||+7||+12||+8||+18||Words of Creation||Skill Artistry (Other), Sustaining Presence||+1 Cha, Natural AC +2||87/89/91|
|17th||Cleric||+8||+12||+9||+18||N/A||2nd-level Cleric Spells||Exalted Strike +4, Resistance +3, Regeneration||88/90/92|
|18th||Emissary of Barachiel||+9||+12||+9||+20||Leadership, Vow of Purity||Calling, 1st-level Emissary of Barachiel Spells||AC +10, Deflection AC +3, True Seeing||89/91/93|
|19th||Emissary of Barachiel||+10||+12||+9||+21||N/A||+2 Cha/+2 Wis/+2 Other/+2 Other, Damage Reduction 10/evil||91/93/95|
|20th||Emissary of Barachiel||+11||+13||+10||+21||Gift of Grace||Conversion, 2nd-level Emissary of Barachiel Spells||+1 Cha, Exalted Strike +5, Energy Resistance 15||92/94/96|
This section will be revised as soon as I can. I apologize for the numbers being incorrect. For now, please refer to the chart.
When you make a Diplomacy check, let's assume that you "Take 10." Let's also assume, as was stated above, that you have a Cha modifier of 4 (you probably shouldn't attempt this build unless you have a good Cha score, but you certainly don't need one that high). Add that to the +2 racial modifier that the Half-Elf has. Then simply put your 4 skill points into Diplomacy. Take take the feat "Nymph's Kiss;" This gives you a +2 in all Cha-based skill checks. Then finally, take the character trait "Polite." This gives you a Diplomacy score of 23, as is shown on the table below.
Before moving past the skill points section, BE SURE to put 4 skill points into each of the following: Bluff, Knowledge (nobility & royalty), and Sense Motive. Only the Bard has all of these skills as in-class skills.
At level 2, place your next skill point in each of the above skills. Diplomacy is normal, but Bluff, Knowledge (nobility & royalty), and Sense Motive all have synergy bonuses that aid Diplomacy. Since synergy bonuses do not stack, you will get a total of +2 synergy bonus on your diplomacy. Now the Diplomacy check looks like this:
See. At level 2, you already can change an attitude from "Indifferent" to "Helpful". You can even change an attitude from "Friendly" to "Helpful" as a rushed Diplomacy check. Clearly, this build has potential.
You can also succeed at a "haggle" attempt (usually DC 30, since most vendors start with an attitude of "indifferent". The DC is the normal DC to change the vendor to "helpful" + the vendor's Diplomacy modifier. This is not an opposed check). Haggling takes off 10% of the price of an item.
At level 3, put your skill point in Diplomacy (and whatever else you want), then take the feat "Skill Focus (Diplomacy)." This gives you a +3 in Diplomacy skill checks. Now your Diplomacy check looks like this:
Continue this until level 6, making sure that at level 4 you put a point in Cha.
At level 6, take the feat "Negotiator," thus gaining an additional +2.
By level 7, the calculations look like this:
This allows you to change an "unfriendly" character to "helpful" or changing one from "indifferent" to "helpful" as a rushed Diplomacy check (which is very helpful).
At level 8, increase your Cha modifier to 5.
At level 9, take the feat "Complimentary Insight," which improves only your Diplomacy by +3. You now have:
At level 12, take the feat "Sociable Personality," which allows you (or any other Half-Elf for that matter) to reroll a Diplomacy or Gather Information check.
Also at level 12, up your Cha score to 21.
NOTE: If you had taken the character trait "Honest," you could have gotten a 50 on your check at level 11, but that would hinder two of the skills that you already put ranks into (i.e. Bluff and Sense Motive), but if you want to, you can.
At level 12, you now have enough points to change a "helpful" character to a "fanatic" one.
Isn't it amazing? (I will be working on the math adjustment that needs to be made here.)
 Munchkin-Size Me
At level 15, you could take the feat "Nimbus of Light" to get an "everlasting torch" effect and +2 Diplomacy on good creatures, or you could work with one of the skills that you've worked up. You could even take Vow of Poverty or Vow of Peace, but keep in mind the downsides of each.
Once you character enters into the "old age" category, you could acquire the feats "Wise Elder" and the ones that follow.
Another option is to take Dragonfire Adept (Dragon Magic) as your class. This gives you access to the Invocation "Beguiling Influence" for a +6 bonus to Diplomacy for 24 hours (thus reaching +50 even earlier).
This character will probably suck at combat, but will work wonders for your party outside of it. Perhaps you should invest in Hide so that you can keep your character "away from combat" while he aids the actual combatants with Bardic Music and Bardic Spells.
 DM Counters
Single Combat. Nuff said. Like Bards in general, this build doesn't allow for even decent single combat (okay BAB, but terrible melee, range, and offensive magic), so the DM doesn't have to do a thing other than say the words "Dungeon" and "alone" in the same sentence.
 Other Components
If anybody has any additional components, simply post them here.
Using the class Binder to Bind to Naberius would allow a rushed check without penalty and allow for an automatic take 10, even when threatened and rushing the Diplomacy Check. It also would allow the player to alter self, so they can blend in better with NPCs in the environment.
Warlock can be used instead of Dragonfire Adept for the same aura of Beguiling Influence.
Once the PC gets 4th level cleric spells, they can use and persist Divine Power (though a feat must be used), so their poor BAB is a non-factor. A fanatic cleric follower might be willing to do so for them though.
A few levels in Legacy Champion can be very useful, as you can really rack up skill points by putting them into the PC's Legacy Item, and improve the item as they progress. A Diplomacy check can be taken 10 on to get a 100 easily by level 15 if a little planning and effort is used. Though at that point it is possible to have fanatical epic spellcasters (and even some divine beings) who would be glad to use Wish, Miracle, or even Alter Reality to make the game even more absurd.*
- More of a reference build at that point, as such a build would be game breaking or possibly require Divine Intervention from an angry deity.