Talk:Inhuman AoO-er (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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Beat Me to It[edit]

I was going to put together a build similar to this, but since you've already done it, here's some more additions: Deformity (Skin) and its prereq, Willing Deformity, both in Heroes of Horror. Deformity (Skin) adds another 5 feet to your reach, allowing the character with Inhuman Reach to attack everything within 30 feet. There's also the psionic power extend reach in the Complete Psionic that increases the weapon's reach by 5 feet. Also, I'd recommend trying to fit Spring Attack and Whirlwind Attack into the progression. Being able to attack every creature within 30 feet (35 with extend reach) at your full BAB is nothing to sneeze at. —Sledged (talk) 21:56, 5 July 2007 (MDT)

That'd be Deformity (Tall); Deformity (Skin) gives you +1 Natural Armor. Deformity (Tall) gives you reach as a Large creature but imposes a -1 penalty to AC and a -2 on Hide checks. Whirlwind Attack would be lovely, but there's just too . . . many . . . feats . . . as it is, I could just barely fit all the feats in while still getting a 9th level maneuver. Anything more would likely require more Fighter levels than Crusader levels.
A build where I got *some* of the ideas for this from used Willing Deformity and Deformity (Tall), but I dislike them because they're Vile feats and require you to be evil. Aberrant feats make you weird, but they don't actually make you evil evil. --Son of Urza 22:35, 5 July 2007 (MDT)
Ah, yes, Deformity (Tall). As far as the alignment is concerned, it's good to remember optimizations are not just for players, they're for DMs, too. A human psychic warrior 5/fighter 1 with an augmented reach of 45 feat (using expansion and extend reach), makes for an interesting BBEG. —Sledged (talk) 10:05, 13 July 2007 (MDT)
Forgot that expansion can be augmented to increase your size by two categories. So imagine a human human psychic warrior 7 with an augmented reach of 55 feet (15' natural Huge + 5' Inhuman Reach + 5' Deformity (Tall) ×2 spiked chain + 5' extend reach). With the feats Dash (Complete Warrior) and Speed of Thought, some light armor of quickness, and a level of barbarian, your land speed is 60 feet. With the power hustle you can perform a full attack and move action. You're melee opponents will have to charge you just to be able to make a single attack against you. A haste spell becomes your best friend. —Sledged (talk) 17:31, 1 August 2007 (MDT)

I'd change some feats. First of all, I don't see the necessity for both Karmic Strike and Robilars Gambit. They are too similar.

Also, instead of Die Hard, I'd take Improved Toughness. Think about it: Is it better to be stable at -5 or to be at 10 hp in the positive?

Diehard also requires Endurance

Weapon Finesse? Weapon Finesse is for Rogues and Swashbucklers. You still need strength for damage, especially since the spiked chain is two-handed. So I'd rather keep my strength score up than relying entirely on Dex. I also don't know how you ever want to trip without a decent strength score.

Instead, take something that improves your chance to hit or your damage on the AOOs, like WP Focus and WP Spec (Spiked Chain) or Power Attack. Or, just get rid of the above feats and go for more Crusader levels. No real optimum build should have more than 4 fighter levels. --Mkill 08:12, 6 July 2007 (MDT)

Die Hard's a bonus feat from Crusader. Can't change it. Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization are . . . horrible. And the reason I have Weapon Finesse is simple: Combat Reflexes. With the number of AoO's this guy can make others provoke, he's gonna need a LOT of them per turn, thus Combat Reflexes and a hefty Dex. Weapon Finesse is essentially a fringe benefit of that large Dex score. Also, notice that nowhere here did I say to completely neglect Strength- you could put another 16 in Strength with a +4 tome and a +6 item and have a total of 26, for a +8 modifier.
And for something like this, potions of Enlarge Person or having the friendly party wizard cast Enlarge Person on you is pretty much elementary. Yay for 30' reach! --Son of Urza 12:02, 6 July 2007 (MDT)
Of course, but a passage on useful ways to increase your size is still missing, without that the build is not complete.
As for the Dex score, there is a maximum of how many AOOs you can usefully make per turn. Even if every action your enemies make provokes an AOO, there is only so many enemies you'll normally have in your reach and only so many actions they'll take. In the worst case the party faces one big tough enemy, which might move, attack, be tripped and try to stand up, so Dex 16 would be enough. Even a 5 foot step and a full attack against you would provoke 5 AOOs at best. If you have more enemies, they'll probably be weaker, allowing you to take them out with one or two attacks each (assuming you deal enough damage).
The other thing you have to keep in mind is that your effectiveness is not measured in number of attacks per round, but
number of attacks X percentage of attacks that hit X damage dealt per attack
So getting the 11th attack is just as effective as increasing damage by 10%
At the moment, I play a build based on the same idea: Swashbuckler / Artificer with Spiked Chain and Combat Reflexes. His Dex is only 18, so he doesn't get so many AOOs, and he doesn't have any of the Reach boosters or AOO special feats (yet, he's only 3rd level each), but if he gets an AOO the damage output is amazing:
2d4 spiked chain +1 (Str 13) +4 (Int 18) +2d6+2 Bane (Personal Weapon Enhancement Infusion) = 2d4 +2d6 +7
If necessary, he can use Enlarge Person (Scroll or the Spell Storing Infusion) for: large size, 10 ft. Reach (20 ft. with Chain), +2 size bonus to Strength, a -2 size penalty to Dexterity, -1 penalty on attack rolls and AC. Note that he can do this without the party wizard.
In two levels, he can enchant his own weapon and armor. The only reason he has no magic weapon yet is that it is cheaper for him to make his own woundrous items, such as gloves of dexterity.
Compare that to your build, that hardly does more than 2d4 damage per AOO. You can go down the Weapon Finesse Route, but then it would be better to have Swashbuckler (for Int bonus to damage) and Artificer levels. If you go Fighter, increase strength. --Mkill 22:50, 6 July 2007 (MDT)
one person may easily cause more than 5 AoOs. he provokes an aoo for leaving each of yout threatened squares, not just one. Imagine an adult red dragon. even if it doesn't fly, it provokes up to 17 AoOs in a charge (80 ft of movement, attacking once). plus, you're wrong about 10% damage increase is as good as 11th attack. unless you count critical hits as part of damage (ie 10% extra damage includes 10% extra crit chance). --Hijax 06:55, 26 February 2009 (MST)
Incorrect. Any one movement (such as a charge) can only provoke 1 AoO. If he changes direction or performs another action, then that can provoke a second. Alternatively, multiple feats can take advantage of the same AoO opening. (KS, RG). However, you do NOT get an extra AoO for each square he moves on a charge. - JD


Thanks to Improved Trip, I can trip and follow up with another attack on any AoO. Getting up from prone because they were tripped provokes ANOTHER attack of opportunity, which allows me to send them right back down again!

Everything here is wrong.

  • You cannot use Improved Trip with AoO. The RAW reads as if you hadn’t used your attack for the trip attempt which means you must use an attack not just an AoO.
  • When someone is prone, they provoke an AoO when they attempt to get up (with +4 melee bonus), not after they get up. You cannot use trip as an AoO in response to someone getting up (they are still prone).

Note that if I was a DM I'd counter with Thief-Acrobats (Kip-Up, Fast Tumble and disarm) and Druids (who can fly and blast you to pulp). Just keep that in mind if you want to play this. Still better than GD's attempt at a tripper though. --Pwsnafu 21:01, 8 July 2007 (MDT)

As for point one: An attack of opportunity is an attack. I mean, it is even called an attack. Or, as the SRD puts it "An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack". Of course you can trip with it, of course Improved Trip applies.
Point 2: Quote SRD: "Standing up is a move-equivalent action that provokes an attack of opportunity." You're right, you get the AOO when somebody tries to get up, not after the attempt.
The question is whether a successful attack of opportunity keeps someone from getting up. I remember that the GM of my current campaign rules that a successful AOO screws your current action, i.e. stops your movement etc. But I'm struggling to find a the official rule for it, so it could be a houseruled interpretation. Mhh.
In any case there is nothing preventing you from tripping a character that is prone and trying to get up. Being prone does not make you immune to tripping.
Point 3: You don't really need thief acrobats to counter this build. A good archer might do the trick, especially a sniper that gets the character flat-footed, where he can't use his great Dex bonus, especially a beguiler who could cast a spell against the flat-footed PC. A third way would be to keep him busy with summoned creatures, especially big ones with a high strength, or use swarms. Another idea would be a cloak of displacement, which gives all of his AOOs a 50% fail chance. --Mkill 23:32, 8 July 2007 (MDT)
Yep, you were right about 1, I take that back. As for point 2, I'm suspicious of that. Sure you lose a spell if you fail a concentration check, but that's in the description of concentration, not anywhere else. I'll email WotC to see what they say. As for point 3, its a universal problem of melee builds in general *sigh* --Pwsnafu 20:17, 11 July 2007 (MDT)
Update: WotC sent me this
Thanks for writing. You cannot trip a prone target. So your attack of opportunity while he is standing up could not be trip attack. You still can use your AoO, just not as a trip.
My interpretation of this is that attempting to trip a prone opponent cannot be attempted in the first place. Regards. --Pwsnafu 19:16, 13 July 2007 (MDT)
Out of curiosity, even if it were possible to trip a prone enemy within the context of the rules, why would you even attempt it? He's already prone. So you trip him, and he's what? More prone? You already get an AoO, so there's no point risking getting counter-tripped. The only possible application for this I could see is if the person was prone by the edge of a cliff or something and you wanted to trip him (again) so that he fell off the cliff. And to be honest, this might be better suited with some sort of improvised bull rush...--WithoutHisFoot 24:32, 27 July 2007 (MDT)
The build has improved trip which allows an free attack against a target you trip. Thus, if you were able to trip a second time, you would also get a second free attack; so, "tripping" a fallen foe (were if possible) would allow for an extra attack. —EldritchNumen 19:58, 6 September 2007 (MDT)
Common Misconception #3: Attacks of opportunity happen after the actions that trigger them.
Resolve an attack of opportunity before you resolve the action that triggered it, not after. Sometimes, the attack of opportunity will prevent the triggering action (such as when the attack of opportunity proves lethal to a moving character). If someone tries something that provokes an attack of opportunity, the attack of opportunity happens first. Attacks of opportunity you make in response to a foe's spellcasting or use of a spell-like ability are an exception (see the Making an Attack of Opportunity section), as is moving into a space another creature occupies.(
straight off the wotc site, so, when someone tries to stand up, the provoke AoO, you hit them, they stand up.
You make a trip attack in lieu of a melee attack.You can trip using the attack action or using the full attack action. >You also can make a trip attack as an attack of opportunity.< so the AoA can be a trip(
I am sorry if my formating sucks, i am still learning, but this is what i came up with for a couple of the problems posed here.Ganre 17:22, 30 April 2008 (MDT)
Sounds to me like WotC misunderstood the question. Of course you can't use a trip attack to knock someone prone who is already lying on the ground, but I don't see why shouldn't be able to use a trip attack to prevent him from getting up. You're not gonna do so before he even started.
This isn't true. You cannot use an AoO from someone standing, to trip them again. The AoO happens while they're still prone.
Thanks to Thicket of Blades stance you can Trip them again.
The wording on Thicket of Blades is quite poor. "Any sort of movement" could be interpreted as "any time someone moves out of a square" or "any time someone picks their nose". Assuming your DM lets standing up provoke an attack of opportunity(it already does, anyhow), this would still not allow you to trip them, as the attack would resolve before they stand up, just as if you were hitting them for standing up in the first place. However, if they decide to try and leave, feel free to trip them. --Ganre 21:20, 19 November 2010 (MST)

The purpose of both of the above items is pointless if you use the Greater Combat Reflexes feat shown in the Dragon Magazine #340 on page 87. The requires two extra feats which may be gained by taking two flaws (From Unearthed Arcana) at starting level. This feat has the prerequisite of Improved Combat Reflexes which is shown on the same page. This feat allows for no limit on the number of attacks of opportunity and in addition the the prerequisite feat Greater Combat Reflexes requires a Dex of 21, which means you should put in a value of between 16 and 18 for the starting stat, eliminating the need for the two items above. This is incorrect. In Class Acts of Dungeon Magazine, on page 66, we have the two following feats:

  • Improved Combat Reflexes [General] - Benefit: For any given opportunity in melee combat, you can make two attacks of opportunity. The second attack is at a -5 penalty, just like your second normal attack in any given round. You still cannot exceed your normal maximum number of attacks of opportunity in a round.
  • Greater Combat Reflexes [General] - Benefit: For any given opportunity in melee combat, you can make three attacks of opportunity. The second attack is at a -5 penalty, just like your second normal attack in any given round. The third attack is at a -10 penalty, just like your third normal attack in any given round. You still cannot exceed your normal maximum number of attacks of opportunity in a round.

As you can see, nowhere does it say that Greater Combat Reflexes allows for no limit on the number of attacks of opportunity. I am deleting this erroneous source from the main build page.

-- Zork

Feat Options[edit]

One thing about this build is that it be varied greatly just with the available feats alone:

Total (including prereqs): 29 feat options. —Sledged (talk) 16:38, 13 July 2007 (MDT)

I might add Martial Study and Martial Stance to add Shadow Hand maneuvers to your repertoire, which'll then let you take Shadow Blade. Add Dex to damage IN ADDITION TO Strength!--Ddragon Necrophades 17:13, 11 September 2008 (MDT)


Just an idea: Substitute one level for a Diopsid level adjust, you loose a feat for it, but can wield TWO spiked chains doubling your AoOs.--Gruegirl 17:19, 19 July 2009 (MDT)

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