The Living Chariot (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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A character that abuses the Mounted Combat rules, Elf traits, and an unusual mount to prove that bards are more than just nice company. Replicates the way that ancient chariots were able to maneuver on the battlefield, but with more fantasy flavor.


  • 3.5 Core books
  • Masters of the Wild
  • Lords of Madness (optional)
  • SRD

Game Rule Components[edit]

  • Arcane Spells: Bard List
  • Divine Spells: Windrider List (Masters of the Wild)
  • Fighter Bonus Feats (PH)
  • Windrider Bonus Feat List (Masters of the Wild)
  • Mount Feat List (Masters of the Wild)



Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): doesn't particularly matter, just remember to have a decent Constitution as well as high Charisma

Race (Templates): Elf

Starting Racial Traits: +2 bonus on Will saves against enchantments and sleep effects, make a Search check anytime you come within 5ft of a secret door as if actively looking for it, low-light vision, weapon proficiency: longsword, longbow (including composite), shortbow (including composite), rapier, sap, shortsword, whip. The relevant trait here is weapon proficiency: composite longbow, because bards do not normally have this.

ECL Class/HD/LA Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throw Feats Class
Fort Ref Will
1st Bard + + + + martial weapon proficiency: lance Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, countersong, fascinate, inspire courage +1 Monstrous Scorpion Mount
2nd Fighter + + + + Mounted Combat, Point Blank Shot good attack bonus, fighter bonus feat Handle Animal and Ride as class skills
4th Bard + + + + Metamagic feat of your choice other stuff
5th Fighter + + + + Far Shot, Ride-by-Attack good attack bonus
6th Windrider + + + + Appraise Mount, windrider spells, chosen mount, empathic link, mount proficiency
7th Bard + + + + Inspire Competence
8th + + + +
9th + + + +
10th + + + +
11th + + + +
12th + + + +
13th + + + +
14th Bard + + + + Music of the Outer Spheres Inspire Greatness
15th + + + +
16th + + + +
17th + + + +
18th + + + +
19th + + + +
20th + + + +

Other Components[edit]

You want to ride a Monstrous Scorpion (Huge size) as detailed in the PH. The main reason is the charge speed. The tail attack is handy, and the creature is also very tough. Optionally: the Monstrous Scorpion can be awakened and take levels of Barbarian for an even faster tougher mount.


The Fighter and Windrider bonus feats make this character very flexible in combat. The way that the lance rules interact with the Mounted Combat rules is a well kept secret of D&D. The bard can perform Bardic Music effects and attack at the same time. The Music of the Outer Spheres feat allows the bard to affect abberations who would normally be immune to Bardic Music, Music of the Gods is better in a campaign with more undead or plant enemies. The Windrider spells synergize well with Bard spells, and it's nice to have the flexibility of preparing spells rather than being limited to a single spell list.

Munchkin-Size Me[edit]

That's not the point of this. The point of this is delicious cheese.

Side Notes[edit]

Jack of all trades, master of none. This character stays within the Elf Bard archetype (flexible, highly mobile, self-sufficient) while straying from tradition significantly. Given how unfocused it is, it works reasonably well. Very cheesy.


This is not a dungeon delver. This character needs to be on her mount to be effective

DM Counters[edit]

Anything with a High AC. This is not the character you'll need to worry about though.

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