Paladinzilla (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
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This build is a highly exact mid to high level character specifically created to destroy evil. It has decently balanced saves and high potential HP (as all hit die are d10) and incredible damage to evil creatures. This build is not complete and open to editing for further optimization.
Book of Exalted Deeds
Defenders of the Faith
Player's Handbook II
Game Rule Components
Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...
One Level 1 Paladin Spell per day at level 4
Lay On Hands
A single Masterwork Greatsword (or other weapon, greatsword just has good damage) must be inherited from a family member in order to allow this character to function. If starting at a low level, speak with your DM about allowing an item that is potentially worth more than your properly allotted starting gold.
Any item that increases your Charisma or Strength would be obviously beneficial, but if the build is followed to the letter, they are not necessary to meet any prerequisites.
Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments):
This is barely better than standard array; the 15 of standard array is replaced with a 16. Depending on your DM, you may need to discuss these scores. These are the exact scores required for class-based skill requirements, feat prerequisites, and Anointed Knight class features. It should be easy enough to convince most DM's to allow this array as it does not call for a starting score of 18 and does still have a modifier of -1.
Race: Human or Aasimar
It should be noted that if the ability scores listed above are followed, human is not absolutely necessary, as you can scrape by with exactly the required amount of skill points and no leeway until level 11. While the Favored Class feature of humans is very beneficial, depending on the leniency of your DM, it might not be nearly as important. So long as the racial template taken doesn't lower any ability other than Dexterity or Constitution, it can be a race of your choice, even something with a level adjustment such as Aasimar. Given the bonuses of Aasimar, they are probably the best option other than human.
Starting Racial Traits:
Additional Feat at 1st level
4 skill points at 1st level, 1 additional skill point per level
Favored Class - Helps a lot with the multi-class penalty.
+2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma
Darkvision 60 ft
+2 to Spot and Listen
Daylight as 1st level caster
Energy Resistance to Acid, Cold, and Electricity
Level Adjustment +1
|Saving Throws||Feats|| Class
|Ability Score Increases|
|1||Paladin 1||+1||+2||+0||+0||Weapon Focus (Greatsword), Combat Expertise||Aura of Good, Detect Evil, Smite Evil 1/Day||-|
|2||Paladin 2||+2||+3||+0||+0||-||Divine Grace, Lay on Hands||-|
|3||Paladin 3||+3||+3||+1||+1||Ancestral Relic (Masterwork Greatsword)||Aura of Courage, Divine Health||-|
|4||Paladin 4||+4||+4||+1||+1||-||Turn Undead||1 Charisma|
|5||Paladin 5||+5||+4||+1||+1||-||Smite Evil 2/Day, Paladin mount||-|
|6||Paladin 5/Kensai 1||+5||+4||+1||+3||Extra Smiting||Signature Weapon +1||-|
|7||Paladin 5/Kensai 2||+6||+4||+1||+4||-||Power Surge, Signature Weapon +2||-|
|8||Paladin 5/Kensai 3||+7||+5||+2||+4||-||Signature Weapon +3||1 Charisma|
|9||Paladin 5/Kensai 4||+8||+5||+2||+5||Power Attack||Ki Projection (1/2), Signature Weapon +4||-|
|10||Paladin 5/Kensai 4/Anointed Knight 1||+9||+7||+2||+7||-||Anoint Self - Unbroken Flesh||-|
|11||Paladin 5/Kensai 4/Anointed Knight 2||+10||+8||+2||+8||-||Anoint Ancestral Weapon - Sunder Resistance||-|
|12||Paladin 5/Kensai 4/Anointed Knight 3||+11||+8||+3||+8||Melee Weapon Mastery (Greatsword)[you can't have without Weapon Specialization]||Bonus Feat - Cleave||1 Charisma|
|13||Paladin 5/Kensai 4/Anointed Knight 4||+12||+9||+3||+9||-||Anoint Self - Divine Clarity - Charisma||-|
|14||Paladin 5/Kensai 4/Anointed Knight 5||+13||+9||+3||+9||-||Anoint Ancestral Weapon - Sentience||-|
|15||Paladin 5/Kensai 4/Anointed Knight 6||+14||+10||+4||+10||Divine Might||Bonus Feat - Sanctify Weapon||-|
|16||Paladin 5/Kensai 4/Anointed Knight 7||+15||+10||+4||+10||-||Anoint Self - Inspired Strike||1 Strength|
|17||Paladin 5/Kensai 5/Anointed Knight 7||+15||+10||+4||+10||-||Withstand, Signature Weapon +5||-|
|18||Paladin 5/Kensai 6/Anointed Knight 7||+16||+11||+5||+11||Improved Smiting||Signature Weapon +6||-|
|19||Paladin 5/Kensai 7/Anointed Knight 7||+17||+11||+5||+11||-||Signature Weapon +7||-|
|20||Paladin 5/Kensai 8/Anointed Knight 7||+18||+11||+5||+12||-||Ki Projection, Instill, Signature Weapon +8||1 Strength|
Required for Kensai (Must be taken before character level 6)
Concentration: 5 Ranks Invest the maximum amount of points in Concentration as possible in order to fully utilize the Power Surge class feature
Ride: 5 Ranks
Diplomacy: 5 Ranks
Required for Anointed Knight (Must be taken before character level 11)
Craft (Alchemy): 5
Cross-class Knowledge (Arcana): 3
Cross-class Spellcraft: 3
Note that the amount of skill points required as prerequisites for both Kensai and Anointed Knight are the exact number of points that a non-human character would have gained total at that character level if Concentration is kept at maximum (3+ character level) and they have an Intelligence modifier of exactly 1. Until level 11, the player does not have any freedom to invest in other skills. Upon reaching level 11, the player no longer needs to meet prerequisites, however, Craft (Blacksmithing) is necessary to repair the character's weapon, as an ordinary shop cannot properly repair a Kensai's signature weapon. Depending on your DM, Craft (Blacksmithing) might or might not be a necessity.
Relevant feat and class feature explanation
Divine GracePlayer's Handbook: Add your charisma bonus to your saves
Smite EvilPH: As part of your attack, before you roll, add your charisma bonus to your attack roll and your Paladin levels as holy damage. Only usable against evil creatures. Usable once per day at character level 1, twice at level 2, and four times per day upon taking the feat Extra Smiting at level 6.
SRD:Turn or Rebuke Undead/SRD:Divine Might: Using Divine Might, spend turn attempts to add your Charisma modifier to damage
Weapon Focus (Greatsword): +1 to attacks
Combat Expertise: Required for Kensai, and certainly not a bad feat
Ancestral RelicBook of Exalted Deeds: You may invest gold in a masterwork or better weapon (example) that has been inherited from a family member or other person that the character has been somehow connected to in order to increase the weapon's potential. This basically removes the necessity to find a person to imbue a weapon with bonuses, and prevents the character from being unable to enhance a weapon because they are too secluded from town. This feat is also required for the Anointed Knight class. The character is largely based around this feat, as both the Kensai and the Anointed Knight center around their weapon, so obviously work something out with your DM before character creation that you will somehow have a masterwork greatsword given to you.
Signature WeaponComplete Warrior: According to the chart in Complete Warrior, spend XP to make your weapon considerably better. Used in conjunction with Ancestral Relic, you can be guaranteed to have the enhancement you wish. Point for point, Vicious is probably the best enhancement other than the straight x attack and x damage that comes from the generic +x enhancement. This number cannot exceed your Kensai levels.
Power SurgeCW: As a move action, make a Concentration check (DC 15, 20, 25, etc) to give a +8 bonus to Strength for a number of rounds equal to half of your Kensai level. Think of it as lawful raging.
<- Take it to the next level ->
<- overview of additional info about this build ->
<- conditions of when this build works ->
Low Ref Saves + Reliance on Armor for AC = Spellcaster's preferred target with most Damaging Spells.
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Sanctify weapon is only available if you can use the align weapon spell.