Well, the best laid plans of mice and men and all that good stuff. I meant to get these up last week, but then planning for my own game wound up taking precedence and then I wound up fighting something off at the beginning of the week, so I’ve been largely keeping myself in a cold medicine induced coma for most of the week when I wasn’t at work, and so now seems as good a time as any.
These build challenges were put forth by Powertank66, a new member on the d20 radio boards. The first build challenge was a 4th level character built around the Warden of the Sky tradition found in the Jedi Academy Training Manual, using any of the books available. The second build challenge was creating the most optimized 4th level Force user I could using only the Core Rulebook, the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide, and the Jedi Academy Training Manual.
Warden of the Sky
The Wardens of the Sky are more or less the self appointed defenders of the space lanes, Force Sensitive martial artists (to maintain a lower profile), capable of using their telekinetic powers to devastating effect with their unarmed attacks. Here are my considerations for a 4th level Warden of the Sky
Species: Human. I like Humans for my Force Sensitive characters. The bonus feat and bonus trained skill is never anything to sneeze at, and can be a great benefit for a character that is going to find himself feat heavy, which a Warden of the Sky (at least this build option) is going to do.
Strength – 14 (+2)
Dexterity – 14 (+2)
Constitution – 12 (+1)
Intelligence – 12 (+1)
Wisdom – 12 (+1)
Charisma – 11 (+0)
Use the Force
Knowledge (galactic lore)
Level 1 – Jedi 1
Starting Feats – Force Sensitivity, Weapon Proficiency (simple weapons, lightsabers)
Level 1 Feat – Martial Arts I – Your unarmed strikes are going to be your main options in combat, so pumping that damage is always a good choice whenever you can. Each time you do so, as a bonus, your Reflex Defense goes up.
Human Bonus Feat – Trip – The ability to prone your opponents with a grapple attempt is very nice, forcing them to use their Move Action to get up, preventing them from moving more than 6 squares away from you.
Level 1 Jedi Talent – Mobile Combatant – One of the major sticking points with a melee combatant is that Star Wars is primarily a game about blasters, making the ability to stick with your opponent and keep him from getting range on you a god send. In exchange for a swift action at the end of your turn, this lets you move with an adjacent opponent, frustrating him as he tries to get range on you.
Level 2 – Jedi 1/Soldier 1
Level 1 Soldier Feat – Weapon Proficiency (pistols) – While your unarmed strikes are going to be your main attacks, a back up choice is never a bad option should the need present itself.
Level 1 Soldier Talent – Expert Grappler – This talent gives you a +2 bonus to your grapple checks, making you better at them, plain and simple.
Level 3 – Jedi 1/Soldier 2
Level 3 Feat – Force Training – Picking up a few Force powers to help augment your combat abilities can’t hurt. My two picks are surge and battle strike.
Level 2 Soldier Bonus Feat – Throw – Sometimes you just want to toss an opponent around, and with this feat, you can do so. This also sets up the chance for the talent this build takes next level.
Level 4 – Jedi 1/Soldier 3
Ability Score Increases – +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity
Level 3 Soldier Talent – Telekinetic Throw – This talent increases the range of your Throw feat, from 1 square beyond your reach to 3 squares beyond your reach, really letting you toss your opponents around should you choose.
As you advance in this build, you want to keep an eye towards increasing your damage output, as you will always be lagging behind your other allies, melee and ranged. However, by sticking with your grappling feats, and adding others like Multi-Grab and Knock Heads from the Legacy Era Campaign Guide, you can become a real thorn in your opponents side, especially with your ability to stick with an opponent through your Mobile Combatant talent, and your ability to deliver a proned opponent at the feet of another melee combatant in your party with greater damage output and now a bonus to hit thanks to your Telekinetic Throw talent. You might consider Telekinetic Strike should you want to keep your damage output on the higher end, though this is really a sub-par way to go sbout it, since Force Points are such a finite resource to begin with.
If you really want to keep your damage up, pick up your Martial Arts feats as soon as possible and trade out your third level Force Training with Echani Training or Teras Kasi Training from Galaxy at War. Instead of increasing your Dexterity at 4th level, increase your Intelligence to 13, and pick up Melee Defense as a feat choice to get you into the Martial Arts Master Prestige Class which gets you access to the Teras Kasi Basics talent, which nets you an extra die of damage with your unarmed strikes.
The dangerous thing about this Force tradition, is that it’s very easy to cripple yourself by trying to do too much. Pick a certain trick and build around it, whether it’s putting an opponent down as quickly as possible through greater damage output, or keeping them tied up with grapple techniques, or maybe something else entirely.
Optimized Force User
The idea of an “optimized” Force user is a tricky one, because there is so many ways you can take a character like this: Force Wizard, Lightsaber Combatant, Negotiator, or any number of other ways. So, for this build, I’ve decided to build a character that is able to use the Force effectively, but is also able to hold their own in combat should it come to that.
Species – Miralukan. Normally, I don’t like the Miralukans for Force heavy builds, but for some reason, I’m drawn to them with this build. Maybe they just seem to be coming more and more iconic as more people play them. The penalty to Dexterity is going to hurt a little bit in combat, but the extra trained skill from the Intelligence bonus is going to help to keep you diverse in other aspects outside of the realms of the Force.
Strength – 13 (+1)
Dexterity – 10 (+0)
Constitution – 10 (+0)
Intelligence – 14 (+2)
Wisdom – 14 (+2)
Charisma – 14 (+2)
Use the Force
Knowledge (galactic lore)
Level 1 – Jedi 1
Starting Feats – Force Sensitivity, Force Training (I like energy resistance, move object, rebuke, and Force slam), Weapon Proficiency (lightsabers, simple weapons)
Level 1 Feat – Force Boon – More Force Points is never a bad thing to have, especially for a Force user who has at least double the number of things they can spend a Force Point on than other classes.
Level 1 Jedi Talent – Adversary Lore – Every time I read this talent, the more and more I like it. Applying a -2 penalty to one opponent’s Reflex Defense against both your attacks and any ally’s that can hear and understand you for beating their Will Defense with a Use the Force check is a really cool ability.
Level 2 – Jedi 2
Level 2 Jedi Bonus Feat – Skill Focus (Use the Force) – Increasing the power of your Use the Force skill as a Jedi is never a bad option.
Level 3 – Jedi 3
Level 3 Feat – Force Training (I like energy resistance, move object, Force whirlwind, and Shien deflection)
Level 3 Jedi Talent – Deflect – Ranged combat is the dominant form of combat in the Star Wars Universe, and any Jedi is going to find himself being shot at. The ability to negate a potential hit against you is an incredibly powerful ability to have and one that few Jedi without other strong defensive options should be without.
Level 4 – Jedi 4
Ability Score Increases – +1 Strength +1 Charisma
Level 4 Jedi Bonus Feat – Force Readiness – I like the option of being able to spend a Force Point to enhance an attack of opportunity or a rebuke attempt against an enemy Force user.
With this, you’ve got a Force-user that can hold his own in melee combat, as well as effectively use the Force offensively as well as defensively. You’ve also got the Force Points to spend should you need one, and even better yet, you can spend them when it’s not your turn. You’ve also got a strong defensive option in lightsaber combat as well as the ability to aid your allies in combat through your adversary lore talent.
Of course there’s lots of ways that one can change this build to optimize it to a particular role in Force use, and I won’t go into ways to tweak the build in order to do so.
So there you have my two build considerations for these challenges, Gamer Nation, and more specifically, Powertank66.