Holy Warrior (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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This is a build that essentially is a Paladin-like Fighter/Cleric. Wielding a Bastard Sword he is incredible Strong at melee combat. In fact most melee opponents I encountered during his life (I played him up to epic levels) found themselves in "retreat-mode" after the first round. Besides that, he has Cleric spell powers increasing during his life. I played him as a Free Cleric, worshipping no diety in particular, but striving for battle against evil. The DM allowed me to pick my Weapon of choice freely so i picked the Bastard Sword, as it is an exotic weapon wieldable in two hands. This gives you access to the Exotic Weapon Master prestige class plus the War Domain Power gives you access to two Feats instead of one.


PHB, DMG, Complete Warrior, Complete Divine

Game Rule Components[edit]

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

Cleric spell powers increasing as the character advances


Essentially you donĀ“t need much. A Keen Bastard sword made of Adamantine comes in quite handy, since it supports your "Improved Sunder" ability as it ignores items hardness below 20, which is virtually anything short of another Adamantine Weapon. Additionally, try to get your hands on a Celestial Armor (found as a standard item in the DMG). Virtually the best set of armor you will ever get, as it is a light armor, providing very good protection, still being ridiculously cheap. Besides that, i was able to use a buckler as a defense item, still being able to fight two handed in conjunction with the "Improved Buckler Defense" feat, which is actually the DM's choice if you are able to do that. The description is not clear, if this feat applies to two weapon fighting only. My DM decided to apply this to two handed fighting too. All other items are somewhat optional, since any improvements to your ability scores will be (obviously) usefull. Focus on getting highest possible STR/CON/DEX and WIS scores


Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): STR 16 , DEX 14 , CON 14 , INT 10 , WIS 16 , CHA 10

Race (Templates): Human

Starting Racial Traits:

ECL Class/HD/LA Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Fort Ref Will
1st Ranger (1) +1 +2 +2 +0 Power Attack, Cleave Favored Enemy, Track, Animal Empathy
2nd Cleric (1) +1 +4 +2 +2 Turn Undead, War domain power: Proficience and Weapon Focus (Bastard Sword) Domains: War,Strength
3rd Fighter (1) +2 +6 +2 +2 Combat Casting Fighter bonus feat: Improved Buckler Defense
4th Fighter (2) +3 +7 +2 +2 Fighter bonus feat: Improved Sunder Apply Ability Score bonus to STR
5th Cleric (2) +4 +8 +2 +3
6th Cleric (3) +5 +8 +3 +3 Improved Bull Rush
7th Fighter (3) +6 +8 +4 +4 By this time, You need a Craft(Weaponsmithing) score of 3 or higher
8th Exotic Weapon Master (1) +7 +10 +4 +4 Exotic Weapon Stunt: Uncanny Blow Apply Ability Score Bonus to STR, The Exotic Weapon Master feat increases your STR bonus applied from 1,5 to 2 when fighting two handed. Imagine using your Strength domain power now! as i said, the enemy will be in "retreat-mode" ;)
9th Cleric (4) +8 +11 +4 +5 Combat Bute Tactical Feat taken from "The Complete Warrior" (page 110) Read this carefully, as it gives you some very powerfull maneuvers in melee combat. Actually at this time, your Fighter is as deadly as one can get
10th Fighter (4) +9 +12 +4 +5 Fighter bonus feat: Weapon Specialization (Bastard Sword)

Other Components[edit]


For obvious reasons, you will always want to open combat by charging your opponent. The tactical feat provides you with ridiculously high bonuses during the next round, in conjunction with power attack. Additionaly you have the option to attack his weapon(s) and a good chance to destroy almost any weapon in one blow (providing you an instant additional attack (sundering cleave) and at the same time weaken your opponents offensive power as he looses any benefits of wielding a weapon. If you have the time, or if it is necessary by any reason (e.g. for protecting one of your more squishy party members) you also can decide to bull rush the opponent, and further increase the damage and attack bonuses applied during the second round. If you add the domain power for your strength domain (providing a STR bonus of +1 for every cleric level you have) it sums up to be even more deadly. I personally developed a solid craft(weaponsmithing) and (Armorsmithing) score to be able to produce my own equipment. On later levels I picked the "Craft Magic Arms and Armor" feat, to enchant my stuff by myself. This is extremely usefull, not only for you, but for your party too. I started with one level of ranger, to boost my skill points a little. This somewhat restricts your multiclass options if you want to avoid xp penalties. To avoid this you could even get rid of this if you don't need this, and then being able to further advance as a cleric to boost your spell power. After 10th level, your fighting abilities with your bastard sword are pretty taken to the max (i know there are some interesting additional feats to choose, but they really are more of a "fine tuning" to me

Munchkin-Size Me[edit]

For the levels after 10th, its really up to you and your party how to progress further. I preferred to advance as cleric to be able to cast higher spells and craft more powerfull items. If you so choose, pick up the following feats: Practiced Spellcaster (increases your spell level by 4, helping to overcome Spell Resistence), Improved Toughness (taken from "The Complete Warrior" page 101, essentially increasing your CON score by 2), Craft Magic Arms and Armor. In my case, i was able to progress in the "Seeker of the misty Isle" prestige class, since it was part of our campaign to rediscover some ancient island. If you (as i did) for some reason get access to the Travel domain, you should pick the Domain Spontaniety feat (Complete Divine p.80) enabling you to spontaneously cast domain spells by spending turn undead attempts (actually you are no good at turning undead anyway due to your relatively low CHA score, and , to be honest, if you encounter some undead foes and want to destroy them, just tell your DM you want to charge the first within reach and beat the s*** out of them ;), or use your cleric spell powers)

Side Notes[edit]


None that I'm aware of. You can alter almost anything by changing the cleric's alignment and/or Diety

DM Counters[edit]

None needed. Imho this Character is pretty balanced, being strong in Melee combat (i repeatingly found myself saying: i deal like a D10+30ish damage with each of my 3 attacks at lv 12) and having some obvious weaknesses at the same time. Your AC will end up at something between 25 and 30, strongly depending on your equipment of choice and accessibility.


Key to this Character is the connection between your offensive abilities using the Combat Brute tactical feat

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