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D&D 3E
Ranger/Scout Build In 3.5e 
26th-Aug-2009 05:13 pm
almost cool
Hi there! I'm hoping to gain some insight on a build I'm currently working on for the upcoming campaign my friends and I are having. I'm stuck being the party's trap disabler again, but this time I came up with a new build that will work both for me and for the party's needs. We're starting on third level, and I plan on taking my first level in scout and the next two in ranger to start off. I'm taking the able learner feat so I can always have disable device as a class skill (plus I need it for my eventual prestige class) and since I'm human that will leave me one more feat to take at first level. Third level will be taken up by the swift hunter feat which allows the scout and ranger levels to stack for favored enemies and skirmish.

My question is this: What should I take for my last first level feat?

I'm considering either taking Iron Will or Scorpion's Resolve from Sandstorm since my DM is letting us use that book. Considering I'll have +0 to my will save (not counting whatever my wisdom modifier would be) I'm hoping to do something useful to boost it until 4th level when I'll actually gain a +1.

Iron Will would obviously give me a +2 to my will save flat out. Scorpion's Resolve would give me a +4, but only to will saves made to avoid mind effecting spells and abilities. While this is a large portion of the "scary" effects you need a will save for (thinking Phantasmal Killer, Hideous Laughter, Dominate Person, etc.) it leaves a lot open.

Do you guys think it's worth it to have that +4 for those, or would it be better to have the +2 all around? I'm leaning more toward the +4, but that could be because I was almost Phantasmal Killer-ed to death last campaign when I was disabling a trap :P Feel free to suggest any other feats too since I was also tossing Dodge around, but to be honest the will save lack is a concern for me.

26th-Aug-2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
Darn good question. First, I submit to you the Swift Hunter's Handbook: http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=103.0

Everything you ever wanted to know, and probably more. I would also check for the same handbook on the Wizards forums, if they're ever up and running again.

For me, I like the fast-moving, dexterous Hunter. Dodge, for the win, because it lets you get into so many other things (Elusive Target comes to mind for one). I understand your concerns about Will saves, however. Do you use Tome of Battle? Martial Study feat can get you the Moment of Perfect Mind maneuver, which lets you use your Concentration check instead of a Will save. There are also items of Mind Blank, but they're terribly expensive.

Good luck, and let us know what you come up with!
26th-Aug-2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
Tome Of Battle: Book of Broken Swords, a DM's worst nightmare.

As for the question, forget about your will save, I would focus on optimizing what you are good at for now and angle my cash flow into a magic item to boost my will or wisdom.
26th-Aug-2009 09:58 pm (UTC)
Actually, I love it. Of course, my players didn't like it as much when my NPC's came up with maneuvers too. *grin* But to each their own.
26th-Aug-2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
I planned on getting at least a cloak of resistance +1 as soon as possible, but we're only having 2700g to work with and I'd like to get a +1 weapon and a +1 mythril chain shirt, lol.

But yeah, the Tome of Battle is kind of crazy. It's interesting but never fun when a DM throws an adept at you :P
27th-Aug-2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
Somebody should do a linguistics project on all the different ways to spell mithril. D&D does it "mithral" (possibly for copyright reasons), I see "mythril" here (probably because y's make words look sexy and magyckal*, also it fits in with "myth"), and I think I've seen it other ways too.

* Results may vary.
26th-Aug-2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
I probably should have mentioned that I will be a two weapon fighting ranger, so no use for ranged attack feats... also I will not need things like spring attack because I plan on maxing out my tumble skill so I can simply tumble the 10 feet needed for skirmish without drawing attacks of opportunity.

Thank you for the link, it's very helpful!

We are able to use Tome of Battle (actually our DM was a Swordsage/Warblade last session while he wasn't DM-ing and it was complicated, but wicked) but I don't know how my concentration check will be at this time, lol. That may or may not be useful depending on that :)

Edited at 2009-08-26 10:13 pm (UTC)
27th-Aug-2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
Are you aware that skirmish and two weapon fighting don't interact very well? Skirmish requires that you move 10 feet, which prevents a full attack, so you can't do both in the same round, unless you get some ability that allows two 5-foot steps or a class like Dervish that allows you to move during a full attack.
28th-Aug-2009 01:59 am (UTC)
or Pounce! or the Dual Strike feat.

But yeah, good point about the two not combining well at all.
28th-Aug-2009 07:32 am (UTC)
Actually from what I understand I'll only be running into that problem once my base attack bonus splits off around 6th level. With two weapon fighting you hit with both hands in one action. It's taking the third hit from your base attack bonus splitting that would cause the problem, and by then I'd have a feat that would allow me to do it... or an item depending on the route I took.
30th-Aug-2009 12:50 am (UTC)
I think you are misunderstanding the feat.

You can take one attack as a standard action OR you can make a full attack as a full-round action.

IF you make a full attack, and IF you have the TWF feat, THEN you may make an extra attack with your second weapon.

But if you just attack as a standard action, then move as your move action, then you do NOT get to make your TWF attack.

Does that make sense? Or did I just imagine it? (I really thought TWF only worked if you were doing a full-round action, but...?)
7th-Sep-2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
For your reference, vyrantium, you only get the benefit of the TWF feat if you make a full attack action. Anecdotal reference here.
8th-Sep-2009 08:57 am (UTC)
I just saw that, lol. I had spoken to our DM about it previously and it was news to him as well that it didn't work the other way. They'd just been playing it wrong the whole time which didn't seem to bother him much, but I decided to go with a variant combat style rather than choose between the ranged or two weapon trees. Neither of those upon further reflection really seemed to be what I needed as a swift hunter, so I looked elsewhere :P

Thanks for following up though!
27th-Aug-2009 12:05 am (UTC)
You don't really need Swift Hunter at 3rd level, depending on your ranger/scout split. If you're only dipping scout for skirmish, then yeah take it. But if you'll be getting at least 3 levels of Scout early on (my normal practice for skirmishers), then you can wait until 6th level without loosing more than a point of AC or so for a level.

Skirmisher's best friend is Travel Devotion (Complete Champion), though it may not fit your character and the DM might not like it anyway.

Do you encounter a lot of stuff that requires Will saves in your games? That will define how useful boosting Will is (in general, it's not that great. Better to use magic items to increase it when it becomes more deadly later in the game).

I guess it depends on what you want to do. I don't build a lot of melee skirmishers, so I'm not sure what the default options are. Don't discount Spring Attack--it's the ability to move both before and after, so you don't wind up next to the bad guy, that's great, not the avoiding AoO. Also the upgrade feats from PHB2 (Bounding Assault and such) are pretty nice at higher levels.

In general, find a way to get multiple attacks with movement. I think there are a number of methods out there (check the handbooks--even if Wizard's forums are down, google's cache is available).
27th-Aug-2009 02:40 am (UTC)
To answer your question directly:

Go with Iron Will. Specifying what saves you get the bonus for leaves the door open to all sorts of eventualities.

It's also an unfortunate truth that some DM's enjoy picking on the weaknesses of the players. Even if this isn't the case, it's best to avoid temptation.
10th-Apr-2011 12:33 am (UTC)
What a great resource!

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