Transmuter Gish (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
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The Abjurant Champion from Complete Mage is a somewhat ridiculous PrC. Even without considering its excellent class abilities, it gets full base attack, full spellcasting, and a d10 hit die, making it significantly more powerful than the Eldritch Knight. Fortunately, the abjuration requirement is very minor (be able to cast one abjuration spell) so a transmuter can go into the class quite easily.
- Core, Complete Mage
- Complete Warrior
- Spell Compendium
- Magic Item Compendium
- Book of Exalted Deeds
- Unearthed Arcana
Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...
- Large, Magic Greatsword
- Strongarm Bracers
- Ring of Counterspells storing Greater Dispel Magic
- Wand of Lesser Restoration
|1st||Fighter 1||+1||+2||+0||+0||Weapon Focus: Greatsword, Improved Initiative, Extra Feat|
|2nd||Fighter 2||+2||+3||+0||+0||Power Attack|
|3rd||Transmuter 1||+2||+3||+0||+2||Scribe Scroll, Extra Feat||Enhance Attribute|
|6th||Fighter 4||+5||+4||+1||+4||Weapon Specialization, Combat Casting|
|7th||Abjurant Champion 1||+6/1||+4||+1||+6||Extended Abjuration, Abjurant Armor|
|8th||Abj Champion 2||+7/2||+4||+1||+7||Swift Abjuration|
|9th||Abj Champion 3||+8/3||+5||+2||+7||Arcane Strike|
|10th||Abj Champion 4||+9/4||+5||+2||+8||Arcane Boost|
|11th||Abj Champion 5||+10/5||+5||+2||+8||Martial Arcanist|
From here I went on to Eldritch Knight to keep my caster level up for Martial Arcanist, but there may be other options. The slashing fury feat can also make this pretty deadly.
At this point you'll have almost a full base attack, a caster level of 10 (this comes from the Martial Arcanist Ability, so it's important not to take any more levels without a full base attack), and level 4 spells. Devote many of your level one spells to shield (cast swiftly for +9 AC), level 2 spells to wraithstrike (more on this below), a haste or two at level 3 (when you get level 7 spells much later you'll want to quicken this), and level 4 spells for Polymorph and greater luminous armor (cast at the beginning of the day for +13 AC, and an additional +4 vs melee; you take 1d3 str damage when it ends, so make sure to have a Wand of Lesser Restoration or something similar).
At the beginning of the fight, polymorph into the best Giant your hit dice can afford (Fire has the best Str, but I liked Stone for the better AC). Since you have the strongarm bracers, your greatsword will already be large and perfect for your new giant form. Then when you have an opportunity to full attack, cast wraithstrike (swift action), arcane strike (free action), and Power Attack for full since you only have to hit their touch AC. Power Attack alone will do an extra 20 damage per hit.
Since you rely almost exclusively on transmutation and abjuration, focused specialist can be great, especially for having spells to burn for arcane strike. Bear in mind though that when you first get a new spell level, you will have ONLY transmutation spells, so greater luminour armor will come a level later. Luminous armor is available at level 2 though with only 3 less AC.
At level 18, I killed the Aspect of Asmodeus in one full attack.
I used a Great Swordbow, which is hilarious and highly recommended. If you use a normal weapon like a greatsword though, you'll have some free feats as labeled on the chart, which I spent on ranged attack feats.
Race: Any <but warforged* makes it easier since repair is a transmutation spell>
Barbarian is a nice first level to start out with; medium and light armor, all melee weapons, +10 ft. to base land speed, and the rage is useful at lower levels (warforges are immune to the exhaustion at the end of the rage*). Another option for the last levels could also be any melee-oriented or barbarian-related prestige classes. At higher levels, the desired spells take atleast the first two rounds of combat to cast, more spells just waste more time; but increased fighting abilities could make all the difference after using up your first two turns.
- Strength: medium (12-16),
- Dexterity: low (8-10),
- Constitution: medium (12-16),
- Intelligence: high (18+) <add most if not all ability increases from leveling to inteligence>,
- Charisma: low (8-10),
- Wisdom: low (8-10).
At lower levels, one can rely on "fist of stone" (+6 str and a slam attack) and then "Girillian's Blessing" (grow an additional two arms, all 4 arms are clawed, and rend damage)both from Spell Compendium. Repair* spells will be useful if you are a warforged too. At mid to high levels, one should cast "haste" <because it will help you and others in your party> and then any "Bite of the Were-" spells, the highest level of these spells, "Bite of the Werebear," a level 7 spell, provides +16 Strength, +8 Constitution, +2 Dexterity, +7 natural armor, claws, Power Attack, and alertness.
- Mithral Body* (if a warforged),
- Improved Initiative
- Combat Casting
- Empower Spell
- Power Attack (Power Attack is a nice feat to have but is often provided by "Bite of the Were-" spells so it is not needed to take.)
- +5 Twilight etc light or medium armor,
- +5 Twilight etc Docent* (if a warforged, reduces arcane spell failure to 5%, almost nothing),
- +5 Large Keen etc 2-handed Weapon,
Not much equipment is needed, especially if you are a warforged. Because of your spells with high enchantment bonuses, items with lower envhanment bonuses are pointless. All you need is a big weapon with a lot of damage dealing abilities. A two handed weapon is advised, with a high strength, the x1-1/2 strength bonus to damage is important. But a good weapon is not needed to medium or higher levels. Any item that adds more to your AC or speed is always good too. A ranged weapon is also worth having, not being a blasting sorcerer, a bow is usually more useful than a fireball to a transmuter under the effect of a high dexterity or ranged fighting increasement spell. A composite bow with the clouting and/or the explosive enchantment is advised. The Great Swordbow gives the best of both worlds.
Dispel Magic will take your AC from 50 to 20 in a hurry.
Sanctified spells such as Luminous armor require user to be of a non-evil alignment and able to prepare spells.