Fifth Party Member (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
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What should the fifth person play as? a bard? In my opinion, the bard is a weak class on its own, so I decided to mix it up with some other classes.
Race and Templates
Human is the best choice for 2 reasons:
1-Your favored class is whichever the highest (which will take care of the stupid xp penaly)
2-Bonus Feat and skills are useful
Bard, Marshal, Seeker of the Song
Spells, Powers, Items
|2nd||Bard 1/Marshal 1||Skill focus (Diplomacy)|
|3rd||Bard 1/Marshal 2||3|
|4th||Bard 2/Marshal 2|
|5th||Bard 2/Marshal 3|
|6th||Bard 3/Marshal 3||4|
|7th||Bard 4/Marshal 3|
|8th||Bard 5/Marshal 3|
|9th||Bard 6/Marshal 3||5|
|10th||Bard 7/Marshal 3|
|11th||Bard 7/Marshal 3/ Seeker of the Song 1|
|12th||Bard 7/Marshal 3/ Seeker of the Song 2||6|
|13th||Bard 7/Marshal 3/ Seeker of the Song 3|
|14th||Bard 7/Marshal 3/ Seeker of the Song 4|
|15th||Bard 7/Marshal 3/ Seeker of the Song 5||7|
|16th||Bard 7/Marshal 3/ Seeker of the Song 6|
|17th||Bard 7/Marshal 3/ Seeker of the Song 7|
|18th||Bard 7/Marshal 3/ Seeker of the Song 8||8|
|19th||Bard 7/Marshal 3/ Seeker of the Song 9|
|20th||Bard 7/Marshal 3/ Seeker of the Song 10|
Lvl 1: Start things out by taking a level in bard. This will get you a lot more skill points than if you started as a marshal.
Lvl 2: Take your first level in marshal to get your auras up and going. Choose Motivate Dexterity for the bonus to initiative.
Lvl 3: Take another level in marshal and get your major aura. Get either Hardy Soldiers, Motivate Care, or Resilient troops as your major aura.
Lvl 4: Take bard in order to balance out your levels and to help with your spells.
Lvl 5: Take your third and final level in marshal. This gives you a second minor aura, which should be invested in motivate charisma, which helps in social situations and with perform checks.
lvl 6-10: Take bard for all these levels
lvl 11-20: Get your prestige class. I felt that Seeker of the Song would work really well with this.
This build makes you the party buffer/Diplomat. Your Marshal aura can be used to increase several different checks, such as initiative or saving throws. You also grant bonuses with your bardic abilities. The Seeker of the Song abilities also work well with this.