Eternal Blade Build Help

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Theuderic:
Hi everyone. I'm relatively new to D&D and I've been spending quite a bit of time recently reading threads on these forums, partially out of interest and partially for help creating a character for a game I'm joining. However, I've had trouble really figuring out exactly what direction I want to take the character in (not to mention what directions I can viably take the character in), so I decided to appeal directly for help.

Anyway, here's the deal: my character will be taking the Eternal Blade prestige class (for flavour reasons), but I'm not sure about anything before that. Obviously I'm looking at Crusader and Warblade (or a combination of the two), both of which would fit in terms of flavour, but I find myself unable to decide on which I prefer. Now, there is an important caveat: in addition to letting me take the prestige class with a human character, my DM is also lowering the requirements so that I can take it two levels earlier, after level 8. This is why the other threads I've looked at haven't been as helpful - because they all assume 10 levels before entering Eternal Blade.

The character will be starting at level 7, and while I don't know exactly how long the game will last, it's probably better to focus on the 7-12 range or so. Besides the changes to Eternal Blade mentioned above, I don't think there are many relevant house rules, though it might be worth noting that all skills are class skills for everyone and that there won't be a large number of magic items or equipment acquired during the game (although there are no specific restrictions on what we can buy at character creation). Books allowed are Core, Complete series, Tome of Battle, the psionics books, Spell Compendium, and Magic Item Compendium. However, the DM is not particularly draconian in general, so if something (from another book, or online, or perhaps a modified version of something) seems reasonable it's probably at least worth asking about.

As for what I want, part of the problem is that I'm not completely sure. I can tell you that I'm not looking for something super-optimized and cheesy; I just want to make sure that my character is effective and not overshadowed by others (this is helped by the fact that there are no full-progression spellcasters). Whether what he's effective at should be tanking or dealing damage or something in between, I don't really know (while I lean slightly toward a role that isn't entirely team-dependent, it's not completely set in stone).

Basically, what I'd really like is a few suggestions for what directions are most viable, given the situation and the fact that I'll be going for Eternal Blade either way. I don't mind either very general or very specific advice. Really, anything that will help me either make up my mind or give me a better idea of how to build my character once I've done so is very appreciated.

Thanks for reading through all of that, and thanks in advance for your help. :)

Endarire:
Look at Hood in my signature, specifically the Eternal Daughter build.

With a slight bit o' tweaking, you can adapt it for a level 9 entry.

PS: Expect to do a -lot- of damage.  A similar character was able to one-shot most enemies, even bosses, in Red Hand of Doom.

InnaBinder:
My 2cp:

While typically I favor crusaders, in your situation I would recommend starting as Warblade 7, because the Battle Cunning ability is immediately useful.  At 8th level, I'd pick up the Crusader level and the Stone Dragon Stance that gives DR 2/-, since it's the school shared in common with Warblade - check with your DM regarding the Initiator level there, as I've seen it counted as 1/2 IL AND full IL, depending on DM.  In my opinion, a focus on Diamond Mind maneuvers is the natural, obvious fit for Eternal Blade.  I'd grab Moment of Perfect Mind, Emerald Razor, Douse The Flames, Steel Wind, Insightful Strike, Iron Heart Surge, and White Raven Tactics with Warblade, with Punishing Stance and Pearl of Black Doubt for stances.  With the Crusader level,  Crusader's Strike, Foehammer, and Mountain Hammer are solid, with Stone Vise synergizing well with the Eternal Blade's ability to mess with relative action economy.

Jopustopin:
If you're allowed to play with level adjustment buy off from unearth arcana:

Phrenic Human Crusader 5 (ECL 7)   (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/monsters/phrenicCreature.htm) (Also found in the expanded psionic handbook)

Make sure to grab Stone Power to make up for the level adjustment.

Theuderic:
Thanks everyone so far for the suggestions.

Quote from: Endarire on November 27, 2010, 04:45:55 AM

Look at Hood in my signature, specifically the Eternal Daughter build.

With a slight bit o' tweaking, you can adapt it for a level 9 entry.

PS: Expect to do a -lot- of damage.  A similar character was able to one-shot most enemies, even bosses, in Red Hand of Doom.

While that whole concept seems pretty neat, I'm not really sure it fits my mental image of the character. I'll definitely look into it a little more, though, and I appreciate the suggestion. :)

Quote from: InnaBinder on November 27, 2010, 10:35:08 AM

My 2cp:

While typically I favor crusaders, in your situation I would recommend starting as Warblade 7, because the Battle Cunning ability is immediately useful.  At 8th level, I'd pick up the Crusader level and the Stone Dragon Stance that gives DR 2/-, since it's the school shared in common with Warblade - check with your DM regarding the Initiator level there, as I've seen it counted as 1/2 IL AND full IL, depending on DM.  In my opinion, a focus on Diamond Mind maneuvers is the natural, obvious fit for Eternal Blade.  I'd grab Moment of Perfect Mind, Emerald Razor, Douse The Flames, Steel Wind, Insightful Strike, Iron Heart Surge, and White Raven Tactics with Warblade, with Punishing Stance and Pearl of Black Doubt for stances.  With the Crusader level,  Crusader's Strike, Foehammer, and Mountain Hammer are solid, with Stone Vise synergizing well with the Eternal Blade's ability to mess with relative action economy.

Thank you, this is very helpful. Warblade7/Crusader1 was definitely a combination I was considering. My only concern was whether the Crusader level was worth the lost Initiator level, but perhaps that isn't worth worrying about (I'll be the first to admit that I really don't have a very good grasp of the relative importance of various mechanical aspects).

Do you (or anyone else) have any more advice as to other synergy I might find with those manoeuvres in others things (feats or equipment in particular)? Please keep in mind that very little is too obvious for me - like I said, I have very little experience actually playing D&D and most of what little knowledge I have comes from reading people's discussions here and in other places.

Quote from: Jopustopin on November 27, 2010, 04:56:35 PM

If you're allowed to play with level adjustment buy off from unearth arcana:

Phrenic Human Crusader 5 (ECL 7)   (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/monsters/phrenicCreature.htm) (Also found in the expanded psionic handbook)

Make sure to grab Stone Power to make up for the level adjustment.

That seems pretty neat, but I should have made it clear that I'll just be playing a regular human, with no templates or anything like that. I appreciate the suggestion nonetheless, however. :)

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