So I've just started playing with a new group that I really like, and we are currently 0 level (bonus Commoner 1 HD). Due to the nature of the campaign, "wilderness" types will probably be somewhat advantageous. I've decided to go for a Scout base, but haven't decided much beyond that. Non-core books are allowed, though it doesn't seem as though the group members have a very wide selection amongst themselves. Very specifically, the DM is going to be using Heroes of Horror, Libris Mortis, BoVD, and BoED. The other party members are going to be a (gnome?) Druid, a half-elf sorcerer, and some type of warrior character (the player was sick at character creation, but he doesn't want to be a spellcaster).
We have seen some undead already, but the DM said most of the troubles of the world aren't monster related; rather, they are gangs of humanoid thugs, and the like.
I've thought about possibly going for Swift Hunter eventually, but my guess is the DM has never heard of it, so I don't know how receptive he'll be toward the power of that feat. I could certainly go this route at a moment's notice later on, but for right now I'd like to work on optimizing the character with respect to skirmish and skills/feats, as those will be present regardless of if I have Ranger levels later on or not.
Right now we are all Commoner 1, which in effect gives us a bonus HD-worth of HP's, and a few bonus skill points. We don't get our feats until 1st level.
I'm a Human with stats of Str 14, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 12 (I rolled pretty well
). I put my 0-level skill points into Listen and Spot.
I think I'm going to go for a melee skirmisher. My hope is to eventually take a level of Barbarian and get the pounce alternate feature from Complete Champion, along with the Fleet of Foot feat from Complete Warrior (so I can turn while charging). If I do go for Swift Hunter, I'll go with the Two-Weapon Fighting weapon style. I might also stick two levels of Highland Stalker in somewhere, so I would end up with Skirmish +6d6/+4 AC.
Question: Does the Scout's Flawless Stride allow him to charge when things might otherwise prevent him? Are there terrain obstacles that he can move through that might still prevent him from charging? Other than moving around creatures or trees, ect, would Fleet of Foot provide any benefit in regards to charging for a scout, or does Flawless Stride remove most such hinderances?
However, doing a full reread of the Scout class, it is a rather decent class in its own right. I'm tempted to play a straight Scout (possibly with 1 level of Barb for pounce), but I've never seen a scout in play in a real game, so advice and suggestions about their worth in an actual game would be much appreciated. I read the Scout Handbook over at the WotC boards, but there is just so much info to take in and digest for a class I've never seen in play, that I'm just sort of rambling out ideas.
How good is Spring Attack on a Scout? Is it worth the feat investment? Is Expeditious Dodge the better way to go?
Anyway, a rough idea of the skills and feats I plan to take:
Skills (11 skill points per level): Balance 5, Jump 5, max Listen, Spot, Hide, Move Silently, Tumble, Search, Disable Device, Survival, and then probably Sense Motive or Escape Artist.
3: Weapon Finesse
Scout 4: Track? or Swift Hunter?
6: Spring Attack?
Scout 8: Spring Attack? (to save my 6th level slot for other options)
A few other feats I came across in the Miniature's Handbook that might be good for a Scout:
Hurling Charge: Make both a thrown weapon attack, and a quick-drawn melee weapon attack as part of a charge. It doesn't specify when during the charge you make the thrown weapon attack, so you could do it after having moved 10 feet.
Sidestep: Make a 5-ft step after an attack of opportunity.
Would this allow you to then take a 5-ft step at the start of your turn, and then count as having moved 10 feet to activate skirmish? This would work well with a Longspear. Skirmish says it activates during any round in which the scout has moved at least 10 feet. The damage is restrained to only during the scout's turn, but the movement is during "the round," not the scout's turn, and a round could be measured from the end of the scout's actions to the end of the scouts actions on her next turn, could it not?
Thoughts? Ideas? Critiques? As I said, this is my first practical take at a scout, so I'm a bit lost as to how best to approach this from a combat/feat standpoint.
Edit: I'm starting to like the idea of Hurling Charge more and more, though the logistics of needing the throwing weapon in your hand at the start of your turn would preclude longspears, and thus reach weapons, making Sidestep nigh worthless.
I can pick up Quick Draw (req for Hurling Charge) from my 8th level Scout feat, and then get Hurling Charge with my 9th level feat slot. So, I'm probably looking at the following for my feats:
Human: Expeditious Dodge
3: Weapon Finesse
Scout 4: Quick Draw
6: Improved Skirmish
Scout 8: Spring Attack
9: Hurling Charge
Sadly, I don't yet qualify for Spring Attack at Scout 4, so I suppose I'll move Quick Draw up there.
I guess I'll be going more for the mobile attacker roll with this set-up, but it will be interesting to see it in action. If undead do become an issue, I'll throw in a level of Ranger, and take Swift Hunter after getting the OK from my DM. Thoughts?