The Arcane Tank that actually works (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
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I saw an 'optimization' that failed miserably (Arcane Tank (DnD Optimized Character Build)), and felt the need to see if I could make something like it that would actually work.
Players Handbook 1, Dungeon Master's Guide 1, Complete Arcane.
Game Rule Components
Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...
Light armor, preferably a Medium Mithril armor, up until 13th level, which you should switch to Mithril full plate.
Good Finesse Weapons.
The stats were made with a 32 Point build, but are less than Optimal, Ioun stones would be Extremely useful to this build.
Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): Dex:16(19) Cha:17(19) Str:8 Con:13 Int:12 Wis:8
Race (Templates): Any
Starting Racial Traits:
|Saving Throws||Feats|| Class
|1st||Warmage 1||+ 0||+ 0||+ 0||+ 2||Weapon Finesse||Armored Mage(Light), Warmage Edge||Simple Weapon Prof. Light Armor Light Shields|
|2nd||Ranger 1||+ 1||+ 2||+ 2||+ 2||1st Favored Enemy, Track, Wild Empathy||Martial Weapon Prof. Medium Armor|
|3rd||Warmage 2||+ 2||+ 2||+ 2||+ 3||Improved Caster Level|
|4th||Ranger 2||+ 3||+ 3||+ 3||+ 3||Combat Style(Two Weapon Fighting)||+1 Dex|
|5th||Warmage 3||+ 3||+ 4||+ 4||+ 3||Advanced Learning|
|6th||Warmage 4||+ 4||+ 4||+ 4||+ 4||Two Weapon Defense|
|7th||Warmage 5||+ 4||+ 4||+ 4||+ 4|
|8th||Warmage 6||+ 5||+ 5||+ 5||+ 5||Advanced Learning||+1 Dex|
|9th||Eldritch Knight 1||+ 6/+1||+ 7||+ 5||+ 5||Power Attack||Improved Two Weapon Fighting|
|10th||Eldritch Knight 2||+ 7/+2||+ 8||+ 5||+ 5||+1 to Warmage Level/Spells Per Day|
|11th||Eldritch Knight 3||+ 8/+3||+ 8||+ 6||+ 6||+1 to Warmage Level/Spells Per Day|
|12th||Warmage 7||+ 8/+3||+ 8||+ 6||+ 6||Cleave||Sudden Empower||+1 Dex|
|13th||Warmage 8||+ 9/+4||+ 8||+ 6||+ 7||Armored Mage(Medium)|
|14th||Eldritch Knight 4||+ 10/+5||+ 9||+ 6||+ 7||+1 to Warmage Level/Spells Per Day|
|15th||Eldritch Knight 5||+ 11/+6/+1||+ 9||+ 6||+ 7||Greater Two Weapon Fighting||+1 to Warmage Level/Spells Per Day|
|16th||Eldritch Knight 6||+ 12/+7/+2||+ 10||+ 7||+ 8||+1 to Warmage Level/Spells Per Day||+1 Cha|
|17th||Eldritch Knight 7||+ 13/+8/+3||+ 10||+ 7||+ 8||+1 to Warmage Level/Spells Per Day|
|18th||Eldritch Knight 8||+ 14/+9/+4||+ 11||+ 7||+ 8||Great Cleave||+1 to Warmage Level/Spells Per Day|
|19th||Eldritch Knight 9||+ 15/+10/+5||+ 11||+ 8||+ 9||+1 to Warmage Level/Spells Per Day|
|20th||Eldritch Knight 10||+ 16/+11/+6/+1||+ 12||+ 8||+ 9||+1 to Warmage Level/Spells Per Day||+1 Cha|
The 2 levels in Ranger early on give you a variety of weapon proficiencies and Special Abilities, as the first level of Eldritch Knight does. The Majority of your BAB comes from Eldritch Knight, your spells and surprisingly ability to wear armor from Warmage, and your Combat Feats from Ranger and Eldritch Knight. The Armored Mage ability of Warmage allows you to wear armor with 0% spell failure, however it is restricted to lighter armors, so this build is best with Mithril armors.
There are a few ways to do this build, this is my take. This leaves you wearing decent armor. this is primarily a Spellcaster, however built to also function as a Finesse fighter, and a secondary Tank. This is by no means a high-Power build. It loses almost nothing in terms of Spell power, and gains the ability to function as a secondary tank, however as it is a finesse fighter will not deal large amounts of damage, however will get quite a few thanks to the Two Weapon Tree.
This can probably be edited in a variety of ways, I am not claiming this to be the most powerful build. Spellsword could be an alternative to eldritch knight however, to make Meelee-ing more effective and to increase damage output.
This article had almost nothing in it. Everything but the introduction has been rewritten by me in an attempt to save the build. It is quite fun to play, although any meelee/arcane build is going to be underpowered.
It functions primarily as a spellcaster, and it can function as a light tank.
I doubt it will be needed, however if it is you can always drop a dead magic zone on them.
You could also take a number of bow feats instead of the feats listed here.