Ultimate Mindhunter (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
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Among the more dramatically interesting ideas presented in the Eberron Campaign Setting was that of the Dreaming Dark, a cabal of extraplanar psionic villians, and their ongoing struggle against those who opposed them. Unfortunately, all of the prestige classes offered for those specializing in opposing the Quori (Quori mindhunter, Atavist, the kalashatar racial substitution levels) were long on concept but short on benefits. While juggling various options for optimizing monks, I realized I had the makings of a more potent variation on that theme.
Complete Psionic (Synad, Erudite base class)
Complete Warrior (Warshaper prestige class)
Secrets of Sarlona (Tashalatora feat)
Races of the Dragon (Dragonborn)
Champions of Valor (Fangshields Ranger, Carmendine Monk feat)
Tome of Battle (Superior Unarmed Strike feat)
Unapproachable East (Battle Jump feat)
Game Rule Components
Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...
Ring of the Greater Mighty Wallop
Torc of Power Preservation
Abilities (32 point buy): Str 14, Int 16, Wis 12, Dex 14, Con 14, Cha 8.
Traits: Quick, Aggressive.
Flaws: Murky-eyed, Shaky.
Region: Taer (or equivalent).
Rule Variants: fractional BAB (Unearthed Arcana), flaws and traits (Unearthed Arcana, p 86), alternative skill system (“Maximum Ranks, Limited Choices”) (Unearthed Arcana, p79), martial arts styles (Unearthed Arcana).
|Saving Throws||Special|| Flurry of Blows
|1st (Ranger 1)||+1||+2||+2||+0||Battle Jump (flaw), Up the Walls (flaw) Improved InitiativeECL, Track||–2/–2||1d3||+0||+0 ft.||0|
|2nd (Ranger 1/Monk 1)||+1||+4||+4||+2||Improved Grapple (Monk Bonus Feat), Improved Unarmed Strike (Monk Bonus Feat), Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike, New skill Concentration, New class skill Tumble||–1/–1||1d6||+0||+0 ft.||0|
|3th (Fangshields Ranger 2/Monk 1)||+2||+5||+5||+2||Ascetic HunterECL, Improved Natural Attack B||+0/+0||1d8||+0||+0 ft.||0|
|4th (Fangshields Ranger 2/Monk 2)||+3||+6||+6||+5||+1 Int, Monastic Training (Slayer) B, new class skill Balance, Evasion||+1/+1||2d6||+0||+0 ft.||0|
|5th (Fangshields Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1)||+4||+6||+6||+7||Psicrystal Affinity (Nimble)B, Practiced Manifester (Complete Psionic)B, New skill Autohypnosis||+2/+2||2d6||+0||+0 ft.||2|
|6th (Fangshields Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 1)||+5||+6||+6||+9||Carmendine MonkECL, Favored enemy +2, enemy sense, New skill Psicraft||+3/+3||2d6||+||+0 ft.||2|
|7th (Fangshields Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 2)||+6/+1||+6||+6||+10||Brain nausea||+4/+4/-1||2d6||+0||+0 ft.||6|
|8th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 3)||+7/+2||+7||+7||+10||Lucid buffer, +1 Int||+5/+5/+0||2d6||+0||+0 ft.||11|
|9th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 3/Warshaper 1)||+7/+2||+9||+7||+10||Tashalatora ECL, Morphic immunities, Morphic weapons, improved flurry (-1 to hit), new skill Disguise||+6/+6/+1||2d8 (3d8 in altered form)||+1||+0 ft.||11|
|10th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 4/Warshaper 1)||+8/+3||+9||+7||+11||Favored enemy +4||+7/+7/+2||2d8 (3d8 in altered form)||+1||+0 ft.||17|
|11th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 5/Warshaper 1)||+9/+4||+9||+7||+11||+8/+8/+3||2d8 (3d8 in altered form)||+1||+0 ft.||25|
|12th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 6/Warshaper 1)||+10/+5||+10||+8||+12||Superior Unarmed StrikeECL, Cerebral blind, +1 Int||+9/+9/+4||3d8 (4d8 in altered form)||+1||+0 ft.||35|
|13th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 7/Warshaper 1)||+11/+6/+1||+10||+8||+12||Favored enemy +6, improved flurry (no attack penalty)||+11/+11/+6/+1||3d8 (4d8 in altered form)||+1||+0 ft.||46|
|14th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 8/Warshaper 1)||+12/+7/+2||+10||+8||+13||Breach power resistance||+7/+7/+2||3d8 (4d8 in altered form)||+2||+0 ft.||58|
|15th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 9/Warshaper 1)||+13/+8/+3||+11||+9||+13||OverchannelECL, Cerebral immunity, Greater flurry||+13/+13/+13/+8/+3||3d8 (4d8 in altered form)||+2||+0 ft.||72|
|16th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 10/Warshaper 1)||+14/+9/+4||+11||+9||+14||Blast feedback, favored enemy +8, +1 Int||+9/+9/+4||4d8 (6d8 in altered form)||+2||+0 ft.||88|
|17th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 10/Warshaper 1/Shadowmind 1)||+15/+10/+5||+11||+11||+16||add power Read thoughts, New skill Bluff, new class skill Sleight of Hand||+15/+15/+15/+10/+5||4d8 (6d8 in altered form)||+2||+0 ft.||106|
|18th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 10/Warshaper 1/Shadowmind 2)||+16/+11/+6/+1||+11||+12||+17||Snap Kick (Tome of Battle)ECL, Sneak attack +1d6||+16/+16/+16/+11/+6/+1||4d8 (6d8 in altered form)||+2||+0 ft.||45|
|19th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 10/Warshaper 1/Shadowmind 3)||+17/+12/+7/+2||+12||+12||+17||add power Cloud mind||+17/+17/+17/+12/+7/+2||4d8 (6d8 in altered form)||+2||+0 ft.||126|
|20th (Ranger 2/Monk2/Erudite 1/Slayer 10/Warshaper 1/Shadowmind 4)||+17/+12/+7/+2||+11||+12||+18||+1 Int||+17/+17/+17/+12/+7/+2||4d8 (6d8 in altered form)||+2||+0 ft.||147|
Bonus Feat: At 1st level, a monk may select either Improved Grapple or Stunning Fist as a bonus feat. At 2nd level, she may select either Combat Reflexes or Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat. At 6th level, she may select either Improved Disarm or Improved Trip as a bonus feat. A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.
Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher if a monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Ki Strike (Su): At 4th level, a monk’s unarmed attacks are empowered with ki. Her unarmed attacks are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. Ki strike improves with the character’s monk level. At 10th level, her unarmed attacks are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. At 16th level, her unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction and bypassing hardness.
Slow Fall (Ex): At 4th level or higher, a monk within arm’s reach of a wall can use it to slow her descent. When first using this ability, she takes damage as if the fall were 20 feet shorter than it actually is. The monk’s ability to slow her fall (that is, to reduce the effective distance of the fall when next to a wall) improves with her monk level until at 20th level she can use a nearby wall to slow her descent and fall any distance without harm.
Purity of Body (Ex): At 5th level, a monk gains immunity to all diseases except for supernatural and magical diseases.
Improvised weapons (Ex): At 1st level, any object used as an improvised weapon by the monk does his or her unarmed strike damage +1d4. Additionally, the monk is exempt for the normal -4 penalty to hit when using improvised weapons.
Drink like a demon (Ex): Beginning at 1st level, the Drunken Master gains combat bonuses after drinking a number of alcoholic drinks (the maximum number benefited from being equal to his or her class level, and each portion being equivalent in alcohol content to a bottle of wine). Each drink takes one move action and grants +2 to Strength or Constitution but -2 to Intelligence and Charisma.
Stagger (Ex): At 2nd level, the Drunken Master gains the ability to charge in any pattern (i.e., not just in a striaght line) and, with a successful DC 15 Tumble check, is immune from attacks of opportunity whilst doing so.
Morphic weapons: At 1st level, a Warshaper is able to reshape an shapeshifting form's natural weapons (including the monk's unarmed strike), increasing the damage dealt as if the character were one size larger.
Morphic immunities: At 1st level, a Warshaper is immune to critical hits and stunning while in altered form.
Morphic body: At 2nd level, a Warshaper enjoys +4 to Str and +4 Con while in altered form.
Gameplay notes: The combination of the Battle Jumper feat (dropping from five feet above a foe is treated as a charge and does double damage) and the Up the Walls feat is very powerful, allowing you to move freely and still conclude with a charge, provided there is a wall handy.
Note that while taking the dragonborn option loses the Synad his power points and psionic abilities, a dragonborn retains their type and subtype, so the Synad remains a psionic race and is eligible to take psionic feats at ECL 1.
At 6 HD, the dragonborn with the aspect (wings) gains a charge attack that does double damage when used with a pierce weapon. Use a spiked gauntlet to add the piercing descriptor to your unarmed strike. This charge attack is useful against very large creatures who it is difficult to get the drop on (literally) as required by the Battle Jumper feat.
If you can free up a feat slot (Snap Kick is the only one where I see wiggle room) you can perform a sneaky maneuver to recover the Synad's multitasking ability, which is lost by taking the dragonborn option. Since you are treated as a member of your original race for the purposes of feat selection, you can select the Improved Synad Multitasking feat (Complete Psionic) regardless of the fact that you do not have the original ability. Generally, the feats in Complete Psionic have the race as a prerequisite, but not the ability itself, so this tactic works for other races, like a dragonborn Elan.
- BAB: +17
- Manifester level: 17th
- Monk unarmed base damage in altered form (M size, no magic): 6d8
- With Greater flurry and Snap Kick, 7 attacks per round.
- Total immunity to scrying and mind-altering magic.
'Nuff said. The build allows you to be a warrior, a first-rate caster, a sneaker and a skills monkey. With a few levels under his or her belt, the build would make an excellent solo adventure.
Like any character, the build is less effective in an antimagic field or similar.
The build's ranged attacks are less effective due to the flaws selected at first level. His tactics will generally emphasize closing with the enemy and striking, and when he can't get to the enemy, he will be less effective.