Halfling Hurler (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
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The halfling hurler (which doesn't actually have to be a halfling) is a simple Rogue-only build to show how you can make the Rogue decently powerful and playable at every level of the game. The halfling hurler is not as powerful as the Wizard, Cleric, or Druid, but is capable of sitting down at the same table with such classes and playing the same game.
The build is called the 'halfling hurler' because most of the time you'll want to throw flasks of acid or alchemist's fire. They're really sweet because they strike as touch attacks without using wraithstrike!
- Spell Compendium.
Game Rule Components
Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...
- Gravestrike (from Spell Compendium)
- Golemstrike (from Spell Compendium)
- Lots of acid and alchemist's fire.
- Ring of Blink.
- Wands of Gravestrike and Golem's Strike.
- Other normal rogue things, which probably includes lots of scrolls.
Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): High intelligence, high dexterity. Normal rogue stuff.
Deep Halfling is probably the best choice, for +2 dex, +1 to attacks for being small, and -another- +1 to hit with thrown weapons (seriously). You also get darkvision if you care. Otherwise, go human if you want an extra feat. You probably shouldn't need it, though.
|1st||Rogue 1||+0||+0||+2||+0||Point Blank Shot||Sneak Attack +1d6, Trapfinding|
|3rd||Rogue 3||+2||+1||+3||+1||Rapid Shot||Sneak Attack +2d6, Trap Sense +1|
|4th||Rogue 4||+3||+1||+4||+1||-||Uncanny Dodge|
|5th||Rogue 5||+3||+1||+4||+1||-||Sneak Attack +3d6|
|6th||Rogue 6||+4||+2||+5||+2||Weapon Finesse||Trap Sense +2|
|7th||Rogue 7||+5||+2||+5||+2||-||Sneak Attack +4d6|
|8th||Rogue 8||+6||+2||+6||+2||-||Improved Uncanny Dodge|
|9th||Rogue 9||+6||+3||+6||+3||Precise Shot||Sneak Attack +5d6, Trap Sense +3|
|10th||Rogue 10||+7||+3||+7||+3||-||Special Ability (feat (Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting))|
|11th||Rogue 11||+8||+3||+7||+3||-||Sneak Attack +6d6|
|12th||Rogue 12||+9||+4||+8||+4||Whatever||Trap Sense +4|
|13th||Rogue 13||+9||+4||+8||+4||-||Sneak Attack +7d6, Special Ability|
|15th||Rogue 15||+11||+5||+9||+5||Whatever||Sneak Attack +8d6, Trap Sense +5|
|16th||Rogue 16||+12||+5||+10||+5||-||Special Ability|
|17th||Rogue 17||+12||+5||+10||+5||-||Sneak Attack +9d6|
|18th||Rogue 18||+13||+6||+11||+6||Whatever||Trap Sense +6|
|19th||Rogue 19||+14||+6||+11||+6||-||Sneak Attack +10d6, Special Ability|
You've got a lot of free feats that you can use on whatever you feel like. You also need to get a few items when you can afford them:
- Acid/Alchemist's fire. Lots of this. Acid should start being affordable in those quantities around level 3.
- Ring of Blink. You should have one by level 10, I think.
- Wands of Gravestrike and Golemstrike. They're 1800 gold a piece, and they have 50 charges. You'll probably end up going through at most one wand through your entire adventuring career. Pick them up early, they are helpful. I think there's another spell for some other sneak-attack-immune creature. Get a wand of that too.
- An item that hastes you. Not really important, pick it up whenever. It just gives you another attack and a +1 to hit.
There are two important things to note here:
- Bonus feats, unless otherwise qualified, can ignore prerequisites (source: Monster Manual). The rogue's bonus feat from Special Ability is not otherwise qualified, and can ignore prerequisites. We use it to pick up Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting. If you don't want to be like that, you can use your free feats to pick it up whenever you feel like it.
- When you're blinking, your opponent counts as flat-footed. In addition, ranged weapons do not have the miss chance normally associated with Blink (it's the same rule that makes stuff dropped when you're enlarged turn back to normal size). If you don't want to do things that way, you could also pick up an Eversmoking Bottle and a Blindfold of True Darkness to make all your opponents flat-footed all the time.
This build is playable at every level in the game. At level 1, you're a normal rogue. Life is cheap at level 1, don't sweat it.
At level 5 you can afford acid and have Rapid Shot, so you're throwing two acid flasks a round. They strike as touch attacks so they'll probably hit, giving you a pretty good 8d6 damage a round. I don't think anyone can really beat that at level 5.
At level 10, you've really come into your own. You can afford a Ring of Blink, so you no longer need to flank with anyone to get all your attacks as touch attacks. You've also picked up Perfect TWF, so you have an equal number of off-hand attacks as you do normal attacks. You can probably guess what you'll do with those: throw more stuff! So now you get 5 attacks which all strike as flat-footed touch attacks, dealing a total of 30d6 damage per round.
From there it's pretty much more of the same.
Wands of Gravestrike and Golemstrike and the like are great, they let you bypass the sneak attack immunity of those sorts of creatures. They're swift-action spells too, so you can activate them as a swift action and then take your full attack. If you want to have a bunch of +1 throwing daggers on you too for creatures that might be immune to both acid and fire (though it's up in the air whether that makes them immune to the sneak attack damage resulting from those flasks), that's probably a good idea. Get a wand of Wraithstrike (also swift action) so they strike as touch attacks too.
Have a strength bonus! Or at least not a strength penalty. Bonus damage from strength can add up. Use some of your wealth for a belt of +6 strength, it's useful!
Obviously, sneak-attack immune stuff is painful. You're a rogue, so that's normal. But that's why you have wands. And there are more spells out there to bypass sneak attack immunity, I just don't know what they're called.
Actually, Blink works differently then the Enlarged Person rules: while both magic effects end when you drop something, in the case of Blink, you would actually be dropping the item into another (Ethereal) dimension. Like throwing an item at a portal just as the portal shuts, the item will simply fall into whichever plane it happens to be on in when it's thrown; if the monster's in the other dimension, then the item wouldn't hit it. Thus, the miss chance for attacking extends to thrown weapons as well.
The Eversmoking bottle option can be countered by throwing enemies without eyes or that are naturally blind at him, thus preventing FF status. Also, anything that's big and has wings could probably just fly in place and blow the smoke out of the way (especially Dragons, which actually have something similiar in their special attack descriptions).