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Author Topic: The Totemist Handbook  (Read 96211 times)
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Sinfire Titan
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Posts: 5697

You've got one round to give a rat's ass.

« on: December 09, 2008, 10:11:13 PM »

The Totemist


Yes, I know, I all ready did the Incarnum Handbook. That was a generalized guide to making a meldshaper character. This handbook shall focus exclusivly on the Totemist and ways to optimize one.

So, what makes a Totemist a good class? Think of it like the Druid, only less broken. Why play one when the Druid is superior? Becuase some DMs don't like casters, some DMs don't like Druids, and some players don't like being a tree-hugger that can't wear studded leather.

Also, the Totemist is strickly superior when it comes to certain tasks. After doing the math, a Totemist is capable of getting certain skills and checks somewhere in the mid-80's without using spells. For example: they can get a Grapple check of +80 by level 20. Or 16 ranged attacks at his highest attack bonus.

Without templates or cheese, and before rolling the damn die.

In other words, they are close to being the ultimate Skill monkey. The can also be a hellishly powerful tank that can at least provide for a party of casters (they actually feel at home when there are three or more casters involved).

Tier-wise, I would put them somewhere between Tier 4 and Tier 2. They aren't capable of being Tier 2 without using certain classes, but they can avoid Tier 4 with even a slight amount of optimization. So, the average you should expect from this class is Tier 3.

A note about this class: They aren't capable of producing the damage a Charger build is. They can sure as hell deal damage, but the values are an average of 160 at level 20. This is just an estimate, and doesn't involved Totem Rager+Frenzied Breserker levels (which can boost that even higher). They are capable of using the Girallon Arms meld to 4-hand a Greatsword, which means they can do the job. But that's sketchy at best, and easily capable of getting a chair to the face.

Again, why play one? They can't out-damage a charger build without being one themselves, and they can't out-class the Druid without being heavily focused on a single task.

Because some DMs don't allow Charger builds. They dislike damage values that are in the 200s by level 10. They don't like Druids.

This class is the medium. It's a balanced mix of the two, but it isn't gimped enough to fall too far behind. They can keep up with ECL-appropriate encounters, and can keep the casters in your party happy by not sucking when the situation changes unexpectedly. Unlike a Charger build, they aren't fucked royally when they can't move, and they aren't crying when they miss with the first 4 attacks. Unlike the Druid, they aren't tree-hugging hippies by default. This is a man's class.

Enough chit-chat, let's get to the grit.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 11:08:18 AM by Sinfire Titan » Logged

Sinfire Titan
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Posts: 5697

You've got one round to give a rat's ass.

« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2008, 10:11:46 PM »

Racial Choice

When making a Totemist, it's important to remember one thing: You have no attacks at 1st level. You either need a weapon (which you don't want, as it consumes your gold), or a natural weapon built into your race (the best option, as you can expand upon this easily).

Favored class means bull shit. Most builds for a Totemist either ignore XP Penalties outright, or are single-classed to begin with. So when I post a race here, I post it because it's a good choice for the 1st level, and a solid option for the next 19. If you need to worry about Favored Class, play Azurin or Human. As much as I love the Duskling, they just don't make the cut when it comes to 1st level.

So, here are some solid races to look into:

Skarn: The racial sub-levels for Monk are amazing for a 2-level dip (more on this later) and Skarn get a bonus to one of the Totemist's most important stats (that being said, yes, you can focus on your Dex score via Weapon Finesse). The natural attack isn't bad at all, and odds are you have a Soulmeld on your Arms slot. Can't do much wrong with this as your race.

Elf (any): I mention elves because people seem to either love them or hate them. I'm somehwere in between the "Hate" camp and the "I want them to fucking rot in hell" camp. The reason? So many classes are dependent on the Con score that it isn't funny, and the Dex bonus is trivial. Totemists are very reliant on Con (meldshapers, remember?) so do everything in your power to avoid playing any Elf race. Especially the ones with a Level Adjustment.

Dwarf: +2 Con, badass PrC, and a penalty to a dump stat? Nothing to hate here. Even their 20ft speed is easily bypassed (and if you can't figure out how, Shape Soulmeld is the answer).

Rilkan: I like to think of the Rilkan as the red-headed-step-child to the Skarn. They aren't as awesome, and they lack a natural weapon, but they are good for Dex-focused builds. Better than Elves at least.

Halflings: What?! Red for Halflings?! Blasphamy! Hear me out: Totemists do not like halflings as their race. The small size hurts more than you think, as Totemist melds have small damage die sizes and the Str penalty is a bad thing. That said, if you are going for a Skill Monkey and not a combatant (which is fully viable, as Totemists and Incarnates make great Skill Monkeys), this race is Blue. They get some neat abilities that will help out in the long run, so this race is a really hard one to pin down.

Gnome: Wait, if being small is a bad thing, why are Gnomes blue? Because Shadowcraft Mage is broken, and Soulcaster exists. Oh, and Midnight Metamagic is absurd.

Orc: Don't go with the half-breed. Go full-on orc, and try to get it as Water Orc or Dragonborn (or
both, if allowed). The Str bonus is huge, and you can negate the Light sensitivity with a soulmeld.

Human: Azurins are better, but you may want the extra skills.

Azurin: Nothing wrong with playing one other than the lack of a natural weapon at 1st level.

Kobold: Desert variant works best, but any Kobold can make a Totemist happy, what with Races of the Dragon and Dragons of Eberron being abusable. 7 attacks at level 2 is some kind of stupid, but the Con penalty and Str hit hurts a little.

Dragonborn: Is there a reason not to take this? Azurins lose their Essentia and bonus feat, Skarn lose their Natural Weapon, and Kobolds lose a lot compared to Dragonwrought, but a bunch of races gain more than they lose. Orcs, in particular, make great Dragonborns.

Warforged: The irony is great for RP, the race is amazing for stats, and you can get 3 natural weapons off of two feats. Oh, and Adamantine Body does nothing to hinder you once you get a fly speed.

Duskling: A lot of people say this is the best race in the book. I'm inclined to agree, but I don't like fairies. Not even blue furry ones. Points for being able to make Sonic the Hedgehog without using Savage Species though.

Shifter: Hi-oh fluffy, away! The flavor behind a Shifter Totemist is really good, and the race can benefit any Meldshaper. Look into them. A Lion-totem Totem Rager Shifter in Beasthide or Razorclaw can be a real nightmare! Shame they didn't make a sub-level for them. By the way, you can make Wolverine with Sphinx Claws and your standard Shifter.

Elan: Elan Totemists scare me. Dragonborn Elan Totemists give me nightmares. Optimized Dragonborn Elan Totemists can give me a seizure. What a damn race! Aberration is one of the best types for playing a Totemist, so watch out for these guys.

Githyanki: Now we are talking stupid good. All those SLAs, for only a +2 LA? Not half bad. But +2 Dex and Con, with a penalty to Wis? Yes please! That LA is so much nicer if you can buy it off though. Be careful with how you play them too.

Githzerai: Oh. Dear. God! Look at that Dex bonus! Both of the Gith races are amazing for Incarnum, no matter what anyone will tell you. This one may be overkill for Archer builds though.

Mongrelfolk: The Int penalty hurts a bit, but the Con bonus is second to none for an LA 0 race. Dragonborn Mongrelfolk are amazing meldshapers, period.

Races with a LA: Very few are worth-while, so I'll just point out the ones that are worth it:

Thri-Kreen: Yes, this+Girallon Arms+Landshark Boots= Pain. Yes, they are stupid. Yes, you are allowed to play one.

Anthro Baleen Whale: Cheesey, but flavorful. And you can make Mobey Dick look like a push-over.

Lycanthropes: Of note the Rat, the Murder of Crows (Tome of Magic), and the Cat make a great Totemist. Be careful about the Racial HD thing, and Afflicted may be better than Natural (unless LA buy-back is allowed).

Karsite: If your DM is nice he may allow you to swap out the base Human's Skill Points for the Azurin's Essentia, in which case this race is great for only a +2 LA. Granted, you can get the SR from a Soulmeld, but that's a wasted slot. If LA Buy-back is allowed, then this race does just fine. If not, then it's just one of the good races with an LA.

Catfolk: Good race! Dragonborn Catfolk effectively have a +2 to 3 different stats, but the AC bonus may be worth more than the extra HP/level (just barely though).
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 12:15:04 PM by Sinfire Titan » Logged

Sinfire Titan
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 10:12:13 PM »

Class Features

In terms of sheer offense, the Totemist is rivaled only by Martial Adepts and Spellcasters. This class is the "Design your own Monster" class, and is unique to that respect by being one of the most balanced classes that grants natural weapons (the others being all spellcasters with access to Polymorph). But don't let that deter you from this class. Totemists are a nightmare in combat due to the sheer number of natural attacks they can make due to their Soulmelds, and their unique Totem Chakra is a very potent weapon to use. Sadly, they have few class features that don't involve Soulmelds, and as such they are vulnerable when caught with their pants down (do they even need to wear them?).

In spite of this weakness, their Soulmelds are the most versatile in terms of Binding locations, as all of them can be bound to at least 2 Chakras. This gives them a distinct customization to them rivaled by prepared casters; if one day goes by and you are bored of their current melds and abilities, rebind and reshape them into a new beast of destruction.

I'm not kidding around about this class. They are beasts in combat. It takes high-level optimization to out-tempo them at their own game. At the lower levels, they are unequaled in melee combat.

Key Ability Scores for a Totemist
Strength: This is one of your many stats you will be wanting in the higher numbers. Second to Con, and above Dex, this is a key score to have as a Totemist. You will be getting into melee quite a bit, so the higher this is, the better.

Dexterity: Thanks to Shadow Blade and Weapon Finesse, this can replace your Strength score for virtually everything. This is a tertiary score though. Keep it above 11, and you will be set for the long-haul. Ask your DM if Natural Weapons count as unarmed strikes. Oh, and Ranged Attacks kick ass. Too bad there's only one Ranged Totemist meld (Manticore Belt).

Constitution: The key Meldshaper stat rears its head. With a d8 for HD, you will be wanting the HP a high Con score grants. Because you are more resilient than the Incarnate, you don't have to worry about Reflex saves as much, as you can take a Twinned Fireball and shrug off most of the damage.

Intelligence: Totemists have a lot of skill points to work with, but this is only important if you are going to cover the Skill Monkey roll (which you can look the part if you want to). Neglecting this may not be a bad decision, but I like playing characters who are a least able to string a sentence together, so don't just dump it outright.

Wisdom: If it weren't for your poor Will saves, this would be a priority dump stat. Seeing as you have need of a higher than average Wisdom score, you may want to put a good number here. If you are rolling stats, and have a little luck, you can easily manage a 13 or 14 in it. If you are using 32 PB, then put it at 12. Some of your Soulmelds will shore up your weakness too.

Charisma: Curb-stop this stat. The only use is if you plan on making Magical Beasts your pets via Diplomancy, and even then this is negligible.

Hit Dice: d8. You can take a little punishment. But not nearly as much as you would like to. Still, this at least means you won't be on ice from a Shocking Grasp at 1st level, so it has a few perks.

BAB: Medium. Thankfully, you are more adept at hitting things that are pestering you. I get the feeling WotC didn't want to supercharge this class by making the entire thing into the same stats as a Magical Beast (d10, full BAB, two Good saves). If this instinct is correct, then try and talk your DM into fixing this and the Soulborn. Two of the Substitution Levels for the Incarnate upgrade Skill Points and HD, while none of the Totemist ones even touch either. I can see a fix of this class doing just that though.

Saves: Alas, where the Incarnate had to worry about Reflex, you have to worry about being Dominated. Literally. And no one wants the party's BSF Totemist being turned against them. Several feats and Soulmelds will help shore this weakness up. Good news, you have two good saves. This makes Gestalting very nice, as you can just choose Knight to upgrade everything you have but Skill Points. Not a bad deal there. I would personally use Crusader or Warblade for it though, or maybe the Duskblade (and go to town with Shocking Grasp).

Essentia: Second only to the Incarnate, Totemists have a final total of 20 Essentia at 20th level. Unlike the Incarnate, a Totemist can afford to leave most of his melds empty. The most important ones are the ones bound to your Totem or that grant save bonuses.

Soulmelds: You get the same number of Soulmelds to shape as the Incarnate, which may be overdoing it a bit. 20-27 Essentia really has a hard time taking care of 9 Soulmelds with a cap of 4-6. With access to one of the most dangerous list of Soulmelds, the Totemist really has its hands full just picking them out. Sometimes, you just want to have them look cool. Other times, you mean real business.

Chakra Binds: Ouch. The fact that your two special Chakra Binds take up this number means you will be hurting to have the ones you need. But those two Chakra Binds will be your key to dominating combat.

Class Features
Wild Empathy: Meh. It is somewhat better than the Druid's ability, but not useful enough to warrant a build around the feature. Next. Note: When fighting Magical Beasts who share a name with your Totem Bind's Soulmeld, do not neglect this ability! Points for being able to tame Big T without cheesing it up.

Illiteracy: Worthless waste of text. This really is only thematic, there was no reason for it to be here otherwise.

Totem Chakra Bind: The namesake of the class, this is the single, most power feature they get outside of Meldshaping. They are also the only Meldshaper class with it. Why? I don't know. But it is nothing to sneeze at. A lot of the Totemist's Soulmelds are tied to being bound to this Chakra, so it will be in high demand for you.

Totem's Protection: Meh. It is a nice boost. But there needs to be a way to switch it to other types. There are only a handful of Magical Beasts at the higher levels, so this won't see play while you are kicking ass and taking names.

Chakra Binds: The only thing you don't get is the Soul bind, but you had to make the compromise somewhere. The bad news is that your Totem still counts as a Chakra Bind, so you lose out on a total of two binds over 20 levels for some of the best tricks in the book. Oh well! By RAW, you can take the Open Chakra feats to get extra Chakra Binds (not just the slots!), so look into this if you are feeling high and dry.

Rebind Totem Soulmeld: This is nice to have. But it still doesn't alleviate their dependency on what melds are shaped. Only 4 uses also hurts.

Totem Embodiment: Wow. I see this and wish for it to come earlier. This is a really good ability.

The primary way to play a Totemist is to scout for the 1st level, then face-rape for the next 19. Seriously, this class can be mean! You can get about 8 Claw attacks from your Totem Chakra alone, and you can make those claws nasty with the right feats. Or you can get the 18 Ranged Attacks, and kill everything with a built-in Flyby Attack.

Sample Totemist Build
Warforged Totemist 8/Barbarian 2/Totem Rager 10


1st: Jaws of Death
Flaw 1: Expanded Soulmeld Capacity
Flaw 2: Cerulean Will
3rd: Multiattack
6th: Cobalt Rage
9th: Extra Rage
12th: Double Chakra (Totem)
15th: Second Slam
18th: Split Chakra (Arms)

This build is a monster in combat. Even from level 1, it shows what true ferocity can be with a pair of attacks (Bite+Slam). As soon as you hit 2nd, your damage output triples with the Girallon Arms meld. At 3rd, your chances of hitting increase. At 6th, you gain the house of all houses: Cobalt Rage. From this point until 17th, you are taking levels in Totem Rager.

An alternate route to conserve on Soulmelds is to drop Cerulean Will for Dragon Tail (Races of the Dragon) by being a Dragonborn or taking Dragontouched. This is less house-rules dependent, but more feat and item-intense.

Swap out the Fast Movement for Pounce via CC's Lion Totem variant. This easily breaks the combat wide open, as it allows you to dish out the damage on a Charge with ease.

Invest as much Essentia into the Girallon Arms and into one other Soulmeld (like Landshark Boots or Sphinx Claws) as you can afford. Then make sure the rest is in Cobalt Rage. While not needed, Rage Claws do have a nice touch to them.

If you can afford the PB, Dragonborn is a nice way to get extra HP. And it opens up another trick: The Dragon Tail feat from races of the Dragon. At the cost of your Composite Plating (and possibly your two slams) you get a Tail attack at 1st level. Vicious doesn't even start to describe it.

A good item to have is the Shadow Hand Gloves from the Bo9S (and have the Assassin's Stance as the 3rd level maneuver it grants). Heavily debatable, but man does it hurt if it is allowed.

I leave out Rapidstrike and its older brother for a few reasons: 1) BAB requirements puts it at the later-levels when it won't make much of a difference, and 2) Wrong race.

Totemist's Soulmelds:

I've listed all of the melds from the MoI below. Any of them labeled with a (Totem Bonus) offer extra Natural Attacks, all of which stack. The color of the Meld determines the effectivness of it's base abilities, while the color of the (Totem Bonus) tells you if the natural attacks are worth binding to your Totem.
Beast Tamer Circlet
Frost Helm
Hunter's Circlet
Shedu Crown
Threefold Mask of the Chimera (Totem Bonus)

Dread Carapace
Landshark Boots (Totem Bonus)
Totem Avatar
Urskan Greaves
Worg Pelt (Totem Bonus)

Bloodtalons (Totem Bonus)
Kruthik Claws (Totem Bonus)
Rageclaws (Totem Bonus)
Sphinx Claws (Totem Bonus)

Girallon Arms (Totem Bonus)
Kraken Mantle (Totem Bonus)
Lammasu Mantle
Riding Bracers

Basilisk Mask (Totem Bonus)
Disenchanter Mask
Great Raptor Mask
Krenshar Mask
Unicorn Horn (Totem Bonus)
Yrthak Mask

Displacer Mantle (Totem Bonus)
Pegasus Cloak
Phase Cloak (Totem Bonus)
Shadow Mantle

Ankheg Breastplate (Totem Bonus)
Behir Gorget (Totem Bonus)
Brass Mane (Totem Bonus)
Gorgon Mask
Winter Mask (Totem Bonus)

Heart of Fire (Totem Bonus)
Lamia Belt (Totem Bonus)
Manticore Belt (Totem Bonus)
Phoenix Belt
Wormtail Belt (Totem Bonus)

Blink Shirt

Wow. Now that is some list. Almost all of the Totemist's Soulmelds are unique unto the class. This makes them very predictable, but it is nice to have so many neat tricks for you to use. All of them can be bound to the Totem Chakra, but doing so counts as a Chakra Bind for the day. This is both a blessing and a curse, as the best abilities they get are from their Totem binds, and they only get 2 of them.

Which melds are the best? See the below portion of the handbook for an explanation of why each meld and bind got the rating it did.

Prestige Classes and Multiclassing

Unlike the Incarnate, the Totemist is very multiclass-friendly (well, sort of). These are a few of the better options.


Entry Requirements: Knowledge (Arcana) 8 ranks, Incarnum Spellshaping, ability to shape 3 soulmelds and bind a soulmeld to a chakra, ability to cast 2nd level spells. You can easily meet these requirements by 5th level.

Totemist entry into this PrC gives you access to some of the best options, provided your caster side has some good buffs (they likely will). A good way to do this is to take 4 levels of Legacy Champion at Soulcaster 5, advancing Soulcaster as much as possible. This gets you better BAB while still advancing your casting. Unfortunately, this costs you quite a bit on the caster side. The good news is that your customized Legacy Item can boost the power of your caster side considerably. One possible entry is Old Dragonwrought Desert Kobold Totemist 2/Sorcerer 4 with Greater Rite of Passage (and/or Loredrake, if possible). This allows you to focus on the caster side of the build a little more, and provides you with more powerful spells to work with. Note: The capstone isn't worth using.

Sapphire Heirarch

Entry Requirements: Knowledge (Arcana) 4 ranks, Knowledge (Religion) 4 ranks, Able to shape 3 soulmelds, Essentia Pool of 3 or better, Lawful Alignment, able to cast 2nd level Divine spells, access to the Law domain. Harder entry, but still possible. Note the lack of a feat requirement. Law Devotion may count as having the Domain, ask your DM (RAW says you lose the Domain, but the DM may be willing to handwave that because it's thematic).

Again, Totemist entry is really good (but Incarnate does just fine here). Cleric is the standard opposite, enabling Divine Power and DMM abuse (which is majorly OP'ed when Incarnum is allowed, as the Cleric handbook will tell you). Ur-Priest entry requires house rules, and is actually better left to the Teifling Incarnate entry. Again, Legacy Champion is a decent idea, but not as good since Cleric doesn't get shenanigans like Sorcerer does.

Totem Rager

Entry Requirements: Intimidate 5 ranks, Survival 9 ranks, Cobalt Rage, Rage class feature and Totem Chakra Bind. Entry is possible at 6th level, with any combo of 2+ Totemist Levels and 1+ Barbarian levels. A Warblade dip is optional, but very helpful for IHS/Punishing Stance/Tiger Claw strikes.

Readers of the previous Incarnum Handbook will know how powerful this is. It isn't that optimal for a Ranged Totemist, but the melee Totemist will love it. For the record, Cobalt Rage grants a +6 Insight bonus on melee damage rolls. Per attack. Considering you can easily get 5-7 attacks, and Power Attack, you can dish out the damage fairly quickly. It won't be at a true Charger-level, but it will be impressive.

Thayan GladiatorChampions of Ruin

Entry Requirements: Evil-aligned, Toughness, Weapon Focus (any Natural Weapon), BAB +5, must undergo a special ritual (fluff). Ok, the Toughness feat can be replaced by the infinitely more useful Azure Toughness (Hint: abuse Psycarnum Infusion or an Essentia Helm to max the essentia in it when you want the HP), and the Weapon Focus requirements can be met with Swordsage or Fighter dips. The Natural Weapons? Well, you have those, no questions asked.

Why do I mention this PrC? I've never even read it before today, but looking at it, the PrC is fairly solid for a Totemist. Granted, you lose meldshaping advancement, but you can live with that so long as Dispel Magic isn't being flung around left and right. The main reason is simple: It enhances your natural attacks. Only a +3 total in special abilities, so it isn't much, but it gives Full BAB and the enhancements don't override your Essentia investments. What's more, there's a few decent options (namely Speed) and some lovely class features to work with. And a d12 HD for good measure

Possible entry includes Swordsage 4/Totemist 3 (4 is better for the extra Essentia, as you will need it) focusing on Tiger Claw and Shadow Hand(because I said so). Here's the skinny:

  • Improved Natural Attack: The jury is out on if this applies to all attacks of that specific kind (the way Weapon Focus does, and I do believe INA does state the same thing), but either way this is a damage boost. Always welcomed.
  • Study Opponent: Not that good in combat, but if you haven't engaged them and are stalking prey, this is a decent way to open up. Get a +2 or +3 if possible. Only lasts 1 round, which is the other reason it sucks.
  • Improved Critical: Automatically applies to your natural weapon. Effectively, this is the Dread Carapace's Arms bind effect, but for free and constant. Normally not worth it, but this helps you out a lot.
  • Natural Armor Bonus: Stacks with everything, and +3 AC is always nice when it's free.
  • Stunning Critical: Save DC 15+Str mod, instant Stun on a confirmed crit. Stunning is meh, but this is OK. You have 4 Claw attacks, each with a threat range of 19-20. This should trigger every encounter unless they are immune to Stunning.
  • Silver Strike: Hello! Hard to get this without spending GP. This, coupled with a Ring of Adamantine Touch, helps your damage output.
  • Natural Weapon Focus: Not the feat. This is effectively Slashing Fury, from PH2. Any time you take a Full Attack action, you get an additional attack at your highest attack bonus -5 with your chosen Natural Weapon. The best part is that the penalty doesn't apply to any other attack, and you have a good BAB.
  • Imbue Natural Weapon: Twice, once at 5th and once at 10th, you can add a magical enhancement to the Natural Weapon you have Weapon Focus with. The options range from situational (Flaming, Thundering, Frost, Shock, the respective Bursts, and Disruption) to useful (Unholy, Axiomatic, Anarchic, Ghost-Touch), to HOLY **** (Wounding, Speed [explicitly stated to stack with the Natural Weapon focus class feature]). Some of the options are only available at 10th level (namely Speed and Wounding), but this is worth getting.

    So, 5 claw attacks/round from Girallon Arms, each doing 2 points of Con damage/hit+regular damage, or a flat 6 attacks/round each doing a decent amount of damage. Obviously, Wounding is the way to go. This is the reason to take levels in this class, unless you are allowed to apply Legacy Item effects to your natural weapons (which is debatable at best).
  • Adamantine Strike: Not done yet, there's class features at every level here. This is as the Monk ability.
  • Savage Strike: The critical multiplier of your Natural Weapons is increased by 1. So you have 6 19-20, x3 Claw attacks. Never hurts you to have this.
  • Natural Weapon Mastery: Remember that -5 to the extra attack from Natural Weapon Focus? It's gone now. Entirely. Start mauling people.
  • Magic Strike: The only other ability here that sucks, because you all ready have it (unless the DM says otherwise, in which case this is Blue). Still, you want 10th level.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 01:20:54 PM by Sinfire Titan » Logged

Sinfire Titan
Organ Grinder
Posts: 5697

You've got one round to give a rat's ass.

« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 10:12:35 PM »

Feats and Magic Items

Continuing onward, we arrive at the last things you need for a build: Feats and magic items.

This is a fairly straightforward section.

Magic of Incarnum
I'm very disappointed in the designers with the feats in the MoI. Over half of them are largely irrelevant and focus on boosting other classes and feats, rather than boosting the classes presented in the book (a major problem).

The good news is that you do have some very important feats in this book for you.

Bonus Essentia: While helpful, this feat isn't exactly needed. Personal experience has taught me that both the Incarnate and Totemist do not need maximum essentia in each Soulmeld; having only two melds maxed out is really all you need. That said, if you find yourself missing a feat then this one won't hurt you in any way.

Double Chakra
: You are going to want this on your Totem Chakra ASAP.

Expanded Soulmeld Capacity: Practically required, this feat improves the benefits of your primary Soulmeld. For a melee-based Totemist, this goes on either Girallion Arms or Landshark Boots. A Ranged Totemist has only one Soulmeld that qualifies, so it goes on the Manticore Belt. A skill monkey build should take this for whichever meld they want.

Heart of Incarnum: It's better than Toughness, but at the same time you won't need it. Still, if you got a spare feat at 18th level and nothing else you need to take, this always helps (it's roughly 24 bonus HP, which is the equal of 8 Toughness feats).

Improved Essentia Capacity: Totem Ragers only. Everyone else can skip this feat and never miss it.

Incarnum-Fortified Body: A majority of a melee-build's feats are going to be based around improving your natural weapons, so very few of those feats will have the Incarnum tag. What's worse is this feat lacks the tag itself, compare it to the Psionic or Dragonic equivilent to see why this is bad.

Incarnum Resistance: 1) You can't meet the requirements. 2) This feat sucks.

Necrocarnum Acolyte: This feat isn't for Totemists.

Open Chakra (Any): This feat has a mixed response. If the DM says it grants you an extra Chakra Bind/day (which it does by RAW), then these feats are a great asset for you. If he knows about the Cust Serv ruling on them and agrees with it, then these feats are bad news.

Shape Soulmeld: Depends heavily on the build. Most of them won't need it, but a few of them will like it. You can use this feat to get Evasion and Uncanny Dodge if you would like.

Split ChakraThis feat's benefits can be bought for an additional 5000gp using the MiC Item Creation rules. Next.

Azure Talent: For those of us going Totemist/Psion/Soulmanifester, this feat is needed. Everyone else can skip it.

Azure Toughness: Sucks!

Cerulean X: Take them only if you need the Essentia. Cerulean Will is allowed if you think you need it that badly.

Cobalt Charge: An extra 2-5 damage per attack on a charge isn't a bad thing to have. THe feat itself is meh, but the number of attacks you can make on a charge is retarded (which means this feat is a nice increase to your damage output).

Cobalt Critical: Fuck no!

The rest of the Cobalt Feats: Shity at best with one noticable exception.

Cobalt Rage: Anyone who goes into Totem Rager needs this feat just to enter the PrC, but the feat itself is nuts. It's worth the feat slot people, it really is.

Healing Soul: This feat isn't red for three reasons: 1) It beats Wholeness of Body. 2) It's a Swift action to use, so you can activate it whenever you need it. 3) Some DMs use the 4E HP Preview, which means this feat has the potential to bring you back up to the positives all the way from -30. That means each use heals you 2+X, where X is your maximum negative value. The reason this is a good thing? Rage Claws.

Indigo Strike: Do you have any idea how easy it is to get 2d6 Sneak Attack damage on every attack you have? It's called Martial Study+Warblade Levels, which effectively allows you to get 2d6+10 on every attack you make against a Flat Footed or Flanked target. An average of 17 extra damage per attack on 9 ranged attacks means a Ranged Totemist build can dish it out with ease! Don't start with the "Everything and it's mother is immune to Sneak Attack" bull shit on me either. There are ways around that.

Midnight Augmentation: Highly abuseable, and very useful. Let's just leave it at that.

Midnight Dodge: Better than the normal Dodge (both the feat and the car), but still sucks. The only people who will want it are the ones who need Dodge in order to get into a PrC, and there are no Meldshaping-focused, Totemist-Freindly PrCs that require Dodge.

: Skill monkeys like this feat, but can do much better.

Undead Meldshaper No! Fuck no! You should never take this feat. Ever!

Psycarnum Infusion: This is both decent and abuseable. It may prove helpful for certain builds. You can live without it though.


I'm going to breifly touch on feats from other sources that matter. Sources will be marked in ().

Arcane Strike
: A kobold can get this feat through trickery, but most builds can get it through Seul Arcanamach. The extra damage caused by this feat is sickening! (CW)

Arterial Strike: You remember what I said about Indigo Strike? Well, this is one of the feats that benefits a Totemist build that has Sneak Attack. 1d6 for an extra point (cumulative) every round adds up fast if you are a Totemist, though a magic item effect duplicates this feat (they stack too). The feat also has no set duration other than how to stop it, which means this can get nasty. (CW)

Extra Rage: Totem Ragers may want this. (CW)

Divine Might: FInd a way to get Turn or Rebuke cheaply, and this feat will make your enemies shit themselves. (CW)

Martial Study and Stance: The feats are nice, but you are a feat-intensive class. Better to buy the magic items or take level-dips than to burn through those feat slots. (Bo9S).

Rapid Assault: Nice, but noth worth it. Ask your DM if this feat counts as Sneak Attack, becuase if it does then this feat is worth something. (Bo9S)

Multiattack: Practically required for melee combat builds. Ranged ones may choose to skip it. (MM and SS)

Improved Multiattack: As above, but you can actually live with the -2 version. (SS)

Vile Feats: Your entire class can benefit from the Vile feats presented in Elder Evils, but not much else. That said, there's very little reason not to devote yourself to an Elder Evil. Most of them are meh, but a few gems are hidden in the book. Namely anything that adds to your damage rolls.

Special Note: Breath Weapons and You
Worth noting is that several Totemist soulmelds grant a Breath Weapon. While I don't really recommend relying on this outside of very specific campaigns, it bears mentioning that you can emulate a Dragonfire Adept fairly easily. What's better is that you can also cover up your weaknesses if something happens to be immune to your current breath weapon's damage type by entering Melee or going ranged combat. A lot of the stuff in the DFA handbook applies to the Totemist version of the concept.

Some of the Soulmelds in Dragon Magic help you out at the lower levels if you try this concept. This method is a bit tricky though, as you can't change your Breath Weapon damage that easily until the late levels (and even then, it's fairly difficult to do). Still, even if you mess up and get into trouble the odds are good that you can pull out of it thanks to the sheer number of options you have.

As with all meldshapers, this concept works best in Gestalt. If you are able to and have the urge to play a Dragonfire Adept, a wise idea is to follow it up with Totemist.

Magic Items

Dungeon Master's Guide
Most of the items in the DMG are going to be fairly worthless to you. Of note, Ioun Stones and stat boosters are the ones most likely to be on your list. For the rest, only Armor, Rings, and Rods are very important to you. Most of the other Wondrous Items can be forsaken.

Note: Avoid the hell out of Potions, Staves, and Wands. Yes, even wands. UMD isn't your forte, potions just suck, and Staves are overpriced. Leave this to the Incarnate.

The Ideal armor for a Totemist is Mithral Breastplate or Celesital Armor. You only need a +1 Enhancement on it, the rest can come from your friendly casters (many of whom will be more than willing to buff you if you are good at your job, which you will be).

Armor abilities

Glammered: Meh.
Fortification: Nice benefit for a melee character. Ranged Totemists can skip it or take it.
Slick/Shadow/Silent Moves: For the Skill Monkey in us all, you don't really need these. Your Soulmelds can do better. Don't wanna waste a soulmeld, but still need to scout ahead? These make fine replacements.
Spell Resistance: SR 13-21 isn't that powerful. You can get SR 31+ from Soulmelds.
Energy Resistance: While you don't really need it (your HP can handle it), worth noting is that this gets you Sonic Resistance. If you have the cash to spare, this is a fine way to fill out your armor if you've nothing better.
Ghost Touch: Red? Why red SiFir? There's a few reasons. 1: +3 price tag. 2: Phase Cloak. Use it instead.
Invulnerability: Next!
Etherealness: Better than Ghost Touch, but your Phase Cloak still beats it.


Protection: Meh... It's OK I guess. If you really care.
Featherfalling: You ought to have a Fly speed by the time you can shell out 2K.
Sustenance: Meh.
Climbing/Jumping/Swimming: Just shape the appropriate soulmeld if this comes up enough to matter.
Counterspells: A deadly weakness is Dispel effects. Avoid them at any cost.
Mind Shielding: What do you care?
Force Shield: If the DM lets you improve the Shield bonus, then this isn't too shabby.
Ram: You seriously think this is a good purchase?
Animal Friendship: Eh? Wild Empathy, much?
Chameleon Power: Better left to the other skill monkeys.
Water Walking: You ought to have a Fly speed at this level. If not, then swim. You won't be that effected by it.
Invisibility: If you didn't shape the Phase Cloak today, then this is a fine replacement.
Evasion: Meh.
X-Ray Vision: Not really worth it for you except in the off chance you need it.
Blinking: Again, Phase Cloak wins.
Meld Into Stone: Isn't there a Soulmeld that has a similar effect?
Freedom of Movement: Well duh!
Friend Shield: A decent buy. Helpful if the party casters want the benefit. Best when combined with a Crusader. Especially if you are the Crusader in question!
Three Wishes: Because it's broken too. Emergency use only.


Immovable: I'd carry at least one, just for giggles. That's really all.

Soulmelds and their Ratings

I'm skipping some of the magic items to make space for this section. It is absolutely vital that you know which soulmelds are worth binding and shaping, and why.
Beast Tamer Circlet: Neutral. Kinda useful at the low levels, what with Riding Dogs and Warhorses being really good.

Frost Helm:  That Totem bind? Massive Save DC=Death to the enemy! You can boost it fairly easily at the low levels.

Hunter's Circlet: Not that good. Another Soulmeld gives you Blindsight, and a feat gives you limited Blindsense.

Shedu Crown: The saving throw bonus is nice if you anticipate large numbers of Casters/Telepaths. The Telepathy is stupid good, as it qualifies you for Mindsight. The Heart bind is OK, but limited in use compared to the Phase Cloak. If you're Base Land Speed is high enough (Dusklings...) you can do some damage with the Trample ability at the low levels.

Threefold Mask of the Chimera (Totem Bonus): The extra actions it grants have drawbacks, and the extra attacks it grants are too weak to be good (should have granted a Breath Weapon). The base effect is OK if you're a Rogue or anticipate Sneak Attacks being prominent, but not always worth it.

Dread Carapace: A balanced version of Power Attack for all of your Natural Weapons is OK. You have the BAB to take advantage of this a little. The Arms Bind is OK. The speed bonus makes Monks cry a little. The Heart Bind loses to Shape Soulmeld: Spellward Shirt. The Totem Bind is good if one of your friends has Imperious Command.

Landshark Boots (Totem Bonus): WEE! Pounce, 4d6+2*Str+4*Enhancement Bonus=Damage. Great if you can kill things in 1 round. Combine with the Dread Carapace's base effect and a Dragonfire Bard for maximum damage. Oh, and get Sneak Attack too.

Totem Avatar: It's OK. The Morale Bonus to Damage rolls is killer, but not worth your primary Totem bind unless you have a large number of natural attacks from another source (like Wild Shape). The Arms and Feet binds are somewhat useful, but the Heart Bind sucks. The Shoulders bind may stack with INA. And the base effects are good.

Urskan Greaves: Sonic Damage on a charge. This+Landshark Boots=Death.

Worg Pelt (Totem Bonus):  Hide and Move Silently bonuses are appreciated. The Speed bonus and Bite Attack-related effects work nicely with a Warforged who has Jaws of Death.

Bloodtalons (Totem Bonus): The base effects are OK, but the Totem bind is sick (it applies to all Claw attacks). 1 damage/Essentia/hit next round, no save. Limited by the number of claw attacks you have, but that's bound to add up fast. Free Weapon Finesse.

Kruthik Claws (Totem Bonus): Acidic Claws. 'Nuff said.

Rageclaws (Totem Bonus): The base effect is what you want here. The rest can be mostly ignored. Combine this with the HP Preview from 4E (that gives you free HP when healed) and a Dragonic Aura (Vigor), and you effectively cannot be killed in 1 round (at least not easily).

Sphinx Claws (Totem Bonus): Claws and Pounce for free. Not as strong as the Landshark Boots, but works for other attacks.

Girallon Arms (Totem Bonus): And the other badass Totem Bind. Grapple checks of +70 are easy to get with this, and the claws are nice.

Kraken Mantle (Totem Bonus): The other Grapple Meld. If in an aquatic campaign, it may be helpful.

Lammasu Mantle: Mini-Magic Circle against Evil+Breath Weapon. Nothing wrong here.

Riding Bracers: Crap. You should be the mount, not the rider.

Basilisk Mask (Totem Bonus): Save or Die to an Adamantine Knife, at Will, based on your Con mod. Nothing says broken quite as much as this soulmeld. Even at the high levels, they need to be outright Immune to Petrification to resist this, and the party's tank can likely still cut them in half (arguably easier too).

Disenchanter Mask: Meh.

Great Raptor Mask: Meh too. If you need Evasion this badly, you should take Shape Soulmeld and bind the Impulse Boots to your Feet instead. At least then you get Uncanny Dodge too.

Krenshar Mask: Ouch. The Mind-Affecting part is the worst part. But it stacks with the effects of Imperious Command, so if someone has that feat you can very well take this.

Unicorn Horn (Totem Bonus): OK in an Undead campaign. Meh everywhere else.

Yrthak Mask: One of the rare sources of At Will Sonic Damage. The Brow bind isn't that good though, compared to Soulsight.

Displacer Mantle (Totem Bonus): The reach is nice, but the Blur effect is the key here. Kinda late-game...

Pegasus Cloak: One of the six or so lowest level Flight abilities there is. Constant Featherfall too. Jokes about a child's card game are mandatory when shaped.

Phase Cloak (Totem Bonus): And a game breaker! Sneak Attackers get an effective Invisibility spell every round they move (Swift Hunters love this), and the entire party benefits while you use the ability (free encounters=XP). The Bite Attack is a SoD at the low levels.

Shadow Mantle: Blindsight. Add in Rings of Darkhidden (MiC) and a way to see through Magical Darkness, and your entire party benefits from an effective (Improved) Invisibility Sphere and a Blur spell simultaneously. Makes Candle Jack shi

Ankheg Breastplate (Totem Bonus): Armor Bonus and Acid BW. And acidic bite attacks.

Behir Gorget (Totem Bonus): The electric counterpart to the Breastplate.

Brass Mane (Totem Bonus): Fatigue is painful. The Bite is standard, so meh.

Gorgon Mask: Again, a Trample attack. The Breath Weapon is somewhat weak though.

Winter Mask (Totem Bonus): Another Fatigue effect. As a bonus, you can play a DFA.

Heart of Fire (Totem Bonus): A second Totem bind means you're on fire. In any Frostburn campaign, that is bound (pardon) to kill something.

Lamia Belt (Totem Bonus): Meh, the penalty and Totem requirement is a deterrent.

Manticore Belt (Totem Bonus): This is your most powerful offense. Ever. Also, fastest Fly speed this side of a Full Caster.

Phoenix Belt: Fire Healing? OK, this is useful considering most things that are Immune to Fire deal Fire damage somehow.

Wormtail Belt (Totem Bonus): Highest Nat Armor bonus there is, but the Tail Attack sucks (even with poison).

Blink Shirt: Best. Teleport. Feat. EVER.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 04:08:19 PM by Sinfire Titan » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 07:28:59 AM »

Looking forward to this Smile

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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2008, 02:26:53 PM »

Looking forward to this Smile

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Man in Gorilla Suit
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2008, 03:26:18 PM »

LONG OVERDUE, I cannot suck the dick of this class enough. WAY better, in my opinion, than an incarnate. There's just something charming about grappling the Tarrasque.

EDIT: Include in the list of good feats for a totemist Scorpion Grasp. For a low level totemist, a monk dip is viable for the prerequisites, and it is great because you can take a penalty when grappling several lesser creatures, and effectively provide lockdown by grappling 4 people at once, as well as starting a grapple with a claw attack on a pouncing charge. Even for a high level totemist, you can take a -20 when grappling (and maybe even qualify with soulmeld granted feats, ask the DM), and carry the tarrasque around with you. Fun for the whole goddamn family!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 08:13:25 AM by woodenbandman » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2008, 12:05:41 AM »

Congratulations to you Sinfire Titan on another job well done! (I read your Diary of a totemist and it rocked!) I love incarnum, and most people I have gamed with, or talked to won't touch it with a 10 foot pole. Thanks for this awesome work! Cloud 9

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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2009, 07:35:36 AM »

I read your incarnum handbook (and your diary), and am definitely looking forward to seeing more. I'm just now working out a 1-20 totemist build (that is, someone who needs to be played 1-20) and am considering a few issues.

My DM has certain constraints: PHB races, multiclassing penalty enforced.

Within those constraints, I'm wondering if a 1-2 level prefix of Monk is a good idea for a totemist. Totemists seem to be able to do the grapple thing quite well. Another option would be to just get IUS and Imp Grapple, since I'd want to use either landshark boots or girallion arms for my main attacks eventually (so I can get the enhancement bonus to attack from invested essentia, mainly). IUS would be something of a waste, but I'm not sure if bumping the damage die to 1d6 is worth the meldshaper delay (and the BAB hit). Maybe if I could flurry with my natural weapons or something, but even then - a flurry when you only have one hit is MUCH better than a flurry when you've already got four.

I'm not super-keen on binding totem avatar to my arms every time I feel like grappling, given the small number of binds you end up getting (and also given that you can't even DO that until level 9).

Then again, unless you've got some handy way to get Large, grappling might not be a great idea anyway. Druid grapplers are pretty sexy, with their Large and Huge wildshapes. Totemists start medium and stay medium, even if they have girallion arms to buff up their grapple checks. On the other hand, I'm not looking to make a primary grappler, just to make a character who can shred in melee and can grapple when the situation calls for it (certain high-AC opponents are best grappled).

Another question I have is about Shape Soulmeld. It seems like this is a VERY good feat. For example, grabbing Dissolving Spittle gets you a nice ranged touch attack that doesn't require a totem bind to use. Would you pay a feat to get a 1d6 ranged touch attack? What about pauldrons of health? That's a lot of immunities. I can see picking those up at (say) 12 and 15, when you've got the extra soulmelds laying around, or getting Dissolving Spittle at 1 to have something to do instead of using a club.

Hmm - so I guess what I'm looking for from this handbook is: practical advice about making a flexibly-useful and survivable totemist that works from 1-20. What's worked in practice and what's not worked?

Have you found the meldshaping progression to be fast enough? When I look at totem rager (or any other PrC or the Monk dip), I worry about waiting for those later chakra bind tiers. You have to wait a LONG time, if you're not starting at a high level. Even still - arms, brow, shoulders at 15th level (instead of 9th), and you never get the waist and heart binds. Is that worth it for what the totem rager gives you? Dunno.
Man in Gorilla Suit
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2009, 08:59:17 AM »

I think that if you're doing a totemist that needs to be played 1-20 you should go for something like:

Human Monk1/Barbarian1(you'd have to change alignment)/Totemist some/Totem Rager. I don't know what balance of totemist/totem rager you should take, but the Monk level 1 is really the sweet spot, and barbarian 1 grants you entry to totem rager, which, since you're losing out on the capstone anyway, is probably your best bet. Problem is that you have to change alignment in order to gain rage. Does a first level class count for multiclassing? If not, go Half Orc Paragon 3/Monk1/Totemist6/Totem Rager 10. If so, then stick to human.

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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2009, 11:21:19 AM »

My DM would probably punch me in the nads if I tried to pull off a monk/barbarian. On the other hand, he might let a Singh Rager slip in.

This is precisely the thing I mean about totemist builds. So first of all: I've never played one. So I don't know what works out to be important in practice. I have  played lots of characters at lots of levels, though, and a lot of the sacrifices to get into totem rager seem pretty significant.

Let's look at what you give up to be a Totem Rager. For a vanilla Totem Rager, the choice works out to be Totemist 4 / Barbarian 2 or Totemist 5 / Barbarian 1 as the totem rager prefix. T4/B2 has an extra point of BAB, whereas T5/B1 has the Least chakra slots (crown feet hands). Importantly, T4/B2/TR3, at 9th level, has 2 chakra binds available but only has the totem chakra location. That is also NOT the level you pick up double chakra, since your meldshaper level is only 6. You can get double chakra at 12. So, let's assume T5/B1 as the prefix to Totem Rager 10. You still can't get double chakra before 12, but at least you can bind your crown, feet, and hands chakras. That gives you things like pounce (sphinx claws) or a ranged touch attack (frost helm) to make you more versatile. Of course, there are at least two other ways you can pick up pounce - Complete Champion Barbarian or Snow Tiger Berserker (from Unapproachable East, IIRC).

That makes you a Totemist 5 / Barbarian 1 / Totem Rager 10 / Totemist 4. You end up with a BAB of 14, so you only lose 1 BAB and it's not all that critical, since you'll be using your claw/claw/bite or landshark boots or girallion arms instead of actual iterative attacks. Still, having a higher attack bonus is nice, especially at mid levels (CL 10-14) when AC is relatively high on most monsters. On the other hand, being able to Rage is easily a flat +2 to attack, so the attack bonus is a wash. I'd also say that between the normal rage bonus and cobalt rage, you end up with a better will save, even though you're multiclassing in all bad-will classes.

Now, as you progress, you acquire the lesser chakras (arms, brow, shoulders) at level 15 instead of level 9. I consider this to be the biggest problem with the totem rager. Many games stop at around 15, either due to lack of interest or just ending the campaign. That's not always the case, but deferring access to these important chakra binds for that long is a pretty big sacrifice.

On the other hand, a hugely-embeefinated cobalt rage is pretty sexy too. At level 9, you could bind totem avatar to your shoulders, taking your natural weapons up a die size. On the other hand, you could have cobalt rage with what - 3 points (4 with the feat), which gives you about the same result, but you also get the normal rage bonus of +4 str (so another +2 damage). A +5 bonus while raging, vs a 3.5 bonus all the time (assuming you've taken improved natural attack(claw), which is a fair comparison since it balances the cobalt rage feat).

Totem Ragers also pretty much never get access to the waist, throat, or heart chakras. Again, if your game ends at 15, this isn't a big deal since totemists only get them pretty late in the game anyway. But if you do go on, there's other, very excellent binds for those chakras. You can also bind some of the incarnate soulmelds you picked up with Shape Soulmeld at this point (strongheart vest comes to mind at this level of the game).

Right now what it looks like to me in theory is that Totem Ragers come out ahead in pure damage output. This is a general feature to barbarians. Straight totemists look to be more flexible, and have more in-combat options with more available chakra binds, a bigger meldshaper level (being 2-3 levels behind in your essentia and number of melds/binds count is a big deal, I think).

This is all speculation, though. I'm thinking out loud, if you will.
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2009, 12:36:28 PM »

If you're going Totem Rager, you can also grab some Bear Warrior and Fist of the Forest. True it puts you even further behind on meldshaping, but it cranks up your pure damage even more, as well as ups your speed and defense.

Your assessment of Totemist vs Totem Rager is pretty accurate. Even looking at the chakras that TR's don't get, those are moreso utility rather than for direct combat. You've basically got most of your combat options figured out early on. You can always spend on of your (albeit very sparse) feats to open a chakra if you wanted.

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Man in Gorilla Suit
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2009, 08:09:15 PM »

Totemists, I find, are better tanks at low levels than damage dealers. Until you can maximise your to-hit and bonus damage, your natural weapons will miss often. they work great with a Dragonfire Inspiration bard, which at low levels grants up to +2d6 damage per attack.

Their AC, by the way, can go into the stratosphere. Warforged Dragonborn Totemist with Adamantine Body and AC boosting soulmelds can be near invincible, between their Damage Reduction and their 22 AC. it only gets stupider with a shield.

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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2009, 05:34:16 PM »

I've got a general question here. If I take a feat like cobalt charge, the way it's worded seems to indicate that I can leave it empty until I decide to use it. Then at that point, I stick some essentia in it and it's "frozen" there for the rest of the day. Or do I, instead, put essentia in it at the start of the day when I'm shaping soulmelds?
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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2009, 07:26:15 PM »

I've got a general question here. If I take a feat like cobalt charge, the way it's worded seems to indicate that I can leave it empty until I decide to use it. Then at that point, I stick some essentia in it and it's "frozen" there for the rest of the day. Or do I, instead, put essentia in it at the start of the day when I'm shaping soulmelds?

All of the Incarnum feats require you to invest in them when you shape your soulmelds, which I find a tad annoying.

That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
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« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2009, 10:15:10 AM »

Thinking about making a Kobold Totemist (has to be a Kobold), but I'm not sure about whether or not it's a good idea. Taking Multiattack is a no-brainer, and Dragonwrought (Though I'm not sure which Archetype from Dragons of Eberron would be best, maybe the one that gives bonus fighter feats?). Are natural weapons finesseable? I think so. This is more of an idle inquiry than a desperate request, so I didn't think it really deserved its own thread.

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That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
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« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2009, 03:54:54 PM »

Are natural weapons finesseable? I think so.

Yes they are.

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« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2009, 06:13:16 PM »

Advertising my thread:

Diary of a Totemist - just started, the campaign starts on wednesday.
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2009, 05:52:36 AM »

A note about this class: They aren't capable of producing the damage a Charger build is. ...

... some DMs don't allow Charger builds. They dislike damage values that are in the 200s by level 10.

 Laugh Flirt ... If that seems like an optimized charger build's damage to you, you really need to check my build compendium's Build #1. After all, its just not a charger build until you are doing thousands of points of damage MINIMUM at pretty much anything within 500'  Big Eyes  Smile Big Grin

An interesting read, nice to see a civil discussion
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But if your greedy for more [Wish] for something that only effects you, like another class level or two that doesn't count against your ECL.
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2009, 09:19:26 AM »

After all, its just not a charger build until you are doing thousands of points of damage MINIMUM at pretty much anything within 500

Idiocy  Rolls Eyes

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