Savage Arm (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
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In the savage lands of the world, many frightening and awe-inspiring fighters roam, instilling fear in travelers. Not all of these vicious barbarians use weapons, which makes them more frightening. After all, if he doesn't have a sword to drop, you can't catch him without his mightiest weapon - his fists
Player's Handbook: Barbarian and Fighter; Complete Warrior: Swashbuckler, Reaping Mauler, Frenzied Berserker, and Clever Wrestling, Destructive Rage, and Intimidating Rage feats
Game Rule Components
Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...
Enchanted gauntlets will increase your damage, and shouldn't be neglected. A Monk's Belt and Bracers of Armor are indispensible. Items that increase one of the four stats listed below are also helpful.
Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): Strength is the most important attribute, because it's your main source of damage until you can afford magic items. High dexterity is important, as you'll be wearing at most light armor to qualify for many of your class features, and you get Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. Constitution is important because it affects how long you can rage and frenzy. Wisdom is important because it affects the DCs for the Reaping Mauler's sleeper lock and devastating grapple class features.
Race (Templates): The progression given here is for a human character. For other races, see the side notes. Keep in mind, though, that you need to be small or medium size to qualify for the clever wrestling feat. Starting Racial Traits: one extra feat, four extra skill points, and any favored class.
|Saving Throws||Feats|| Class
|1st||Barbarian 1||+1||+2||+0||+0||Improved Unarmed Strike, Clever Wrestling||Fast Movement, illiteracy, rage 1/day||none|
|2nd||Barbarian 1, Swashbuckler 1||+2||+4||+0||+0||none||Weapon Finesse(bonus feat)||put 2 ranks each in escape artist and tumble|
|3rd||Barbarian 1, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1||+3||+6||+0||+0||power attack||fighter bonus feat(get cleave)||put 1 more rank each in escape artist and tumble|
|4th||Barbarian 2, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1||+4||+7||+0||+0||none||Uncanny Dodge||put 2 more ranks each in escape artist and tumble|
|5th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1||+5||+7||+1||+1||none||Trap sense +1||none|
|6th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 1||+6/+1||+9||+3||+1||Destructive Rage||Improved Grapple, Mobility||none|
|7th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 2||+7/+2||+10||+4||+1||none||Adept Wrestling +1||none|
|8th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 3||+8/+3||+10||+4||+2||none||counter grapple, sleeper lock||none|
|9th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 4||+9/+4||+11||+5||+2||Intimidating Rage||Adept Wrestling +2||none|
|10th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 4, Frenzied Berserker 1||+10/+5||+13||+5||+2||none||Frenzy 1/day, Diehard (Bonus Feat)||none|
|11th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 5, Frenzied Berserker 1||+11/+6/+1||+13||+5||+2||none||Devastating Grapple||none|
|12th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 5, Frenzied Berserker 2||+12/+7/+2||+14||+5||+2||your choice||Supreme Cleave||none|
|13th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 5, Frenzied Berserker 3||+13/+8/+3||+14||+6||+3||none||Frenzy 2/day||none|
|14th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 5, Frenzied Berserker 4||+14/+9/+4||+15||+6||+3||none||Deathless Frenzy||none|
|15th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 5, Frenzied Berserker 5||+15/+10/+5||+15||+6||+3||go nuts||Frenzy 3/day, improved power attack||none|
|16th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 5, Frenzied Berserker 6||+16/+11/+6/+1||+16||+7||+4||none||Inspire Frenzy 1/day||none|
|17th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 5, Frenzied Berserker 7||+17/+12/+7/+2||+16||+7||+4||none||Frenzy 4/day||none|
|18th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 5, Frenzied Berserker 8||+18/+13/+8/+3||+17||+7||+4||if you'd like||Greater Frenzy, inspire frenzy 2/day||none|
|19th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 5, Frenzied Berserker 9||+19/+14/+9/+4||+17||+8||+5||none||Frenzy 5/day||none|
|20th||Barbarian 3, Swashbuckler 1, Fighter 1, Reaping Mauler 5, Frenzied Berserker 10||+20/+15/+10/+5||+18||+8||+5||none||Inspire frenzy 3/day, tireless frenzy, supreme power attack||none|
This is a fairly straightforward build. There aren't any special components.
This build exploits class abilities to be able to gain maximum levels in both Reaping Mauler and Frenzied Berserker before epic levels. To do this, you need to take a level in one class at 6th level. You can't take a Frenzied Berserker level until 7th level, and to take a Reaping Mauler level by 6th level, you need to get a level in a class that has escape artist and tumble as class skills and has a good base attack bonus. Swashbuckler is the only class I've found like that.
Use the class levels above. Make sure you have the feats and skill points you need, and to take a Reaping Mauler level by 6th level, and a Frenzied Berserker level by 11th level.
This build is great for unarmed fighters who also like barbarians. You also get a godly fortitude save.
Your - will - saves - SUCK!! That's a major downside to this build, so you need to work on compensating for this. Also, your reflex saves aren't too good either.
Anything that requires a will save. :(
The above advancement assumes that you are a human, or another race that gains a bonus feat at first level. If you're a creature of another race, (like orc, which makes more sense than a human Savage Arm) you need to substitute one of your barbarian levels for another level in fighter, which will give you another bonus feat.
You could take some flaws and/or some of the generic classes from the Unearthed Arcana. This would allow you to use any race you would like.