Arcane light tank (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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Everything started trying to bring an Elf Wizard/Fighter from the AD&D to the D&D 3.5.

We need a character that casts spells up to level 9th and has a decent Base Attack Bonus and Armor Class at the end.


  • Bard, Power Attack, Cleave: Player Handbook;
  • Battle Howler of Gruumsh: Dragon Magazine 311 page 69;
  • Education: Eberron Campaign Setting;
  • Eldritch Knight: Dungeon Master Guide;
  • Spellsword: Complete Warrior;
  • Sublime Chord, Battle Caster: Complete Arcane.

Game Rule Components[edit]

Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...[edit]

At the end our character will be a Bard 6/Battle Howler of Gruumsh 3/Sublime Chord 2/Spellsword 1/Eldritch knight 8.


Best Bow you can get, best Medium Armor (or Mithral Heavy Armor) you can get, best Charisma and Dexterity enhancers you can get, array as vast you can of Scrolls, Wands and similar.


Starting Ability Scores: You need Strength 13, try to keep your Charisma to at least 14 and an high Dexterity. An high Constitution helps.

Race (Templates): Any.

ECL Class/HD/LA Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Fort Ref Will
1st Bard +0 +0 +2 +2 Education
2nd Bard +1 +0 +3 +3
3rd Bard +2 +1 +3 +3 Power Attack
4th Bard +3 +1 +4 +4
5th Bard +3 +1 +4 +4
6th Bard +4 +2 +5 +5 Cleave
7th Battle Howler of Gruumsh +5 +4 +5 +5 Martial Weapon Proficiences,
Shield Proficiency (no Tower Shield)
This class continues Bard progression for songs and spells.
8th Battle Howler of Gruumsh +6 +5 +5 +5 Rage 1/day
9th Eldrich Knight +7 +7 +5 +5 Weapon Finesse Bonus Feat
10th Battle Howler of Gruumsh +8 +7 +6 +6 War Cry (Improved Inspire Courage)
11th Sublime Chord +8 +7 +6 +8
12th Spellsword +9 +9 +6 +10 Battle Caster -10% Arcane Failure from armor and shields And no failure chance at all with Medium armors.
13th Sublime Chord +10 +9 +6 +11 Song of arcane power
14th Eldrich Knight +11 +9 +6 +11 This class now continues the Sublime Chord spell progression.
15th Eldrich Knight +12 +9 +7 +12
16th Eldrich Knight +13 +10 +7 +12
17th Eldrich Knight +14 +10 +7 +12
18th Eldrich Knight +15 +11 +8 +13
19th Eldrich Knight +16 +11 +8 +13
20th Eldrich Knight +17 +12 +8 +13

Other Components[edit]

This build can easily arranged with a character with at least 10 of Intelligence of any race.


The character can wear any Medium Armor and any Shield with arcane failure at most 10% without any deficit.

As base he can cast spontaneously this number of spells per day, from level 0 to 9: 3 3 3 2 5 4 4 3 3 2;

The spell list is the union of the Sorcerer list with Bard list: so it is fairly comprehensive. The character will be very capable with scrolls and wands.

The BAB of 17 puts you between the Fighter and the Cleric, as expected from an Arcane Tank.

If forced in melee combat the character can rage (HP boost) and use some kind of light weapon while screaming for help: yet he is not squeezable as the average Sorcerer.

You are considered a caster of level 19 at the end: it is important when using spell like Dispel Magic.

You have the Bardic songs up to Inspire greatness, plus Song of Arcane power.


Not many HP, slight MAD.

DM Counters[edit]

There should be not need to keep the abuse to minimum, this is a decent spellcaster and a decent archer; but he is still a support character.


I find fairly interesting that the Sorcerer/Fighter does not have a single level of the Fighter class and of the Sorcerer class.

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