Tuesday, November 11, 2008

D&D fun: Shifty character

I was going to make a post about PHB2 speculations, but I got distracted.

When the character creator finally getting released, I decided that I would work on a character idea I had thought of: extreme shifter!

Basically, a character that moves around enemies like nobody's business. When a character shifts, they do not provoke an attack of opportunity while passing or moving away from enemies. This would make a character who could get past stronger enemies and get to weaker ones, or move in, strike, and move away without giving the enemy a chance to him them.

Using the character creator and the D&D compendium I found everything that would make a good shifter.

Shifty Races:
kobold: best choice, can shift at-will as a minor action.
goblin: second choice, can shift when missed by an attack.
elf: third choice, can ignore difficult terrain while shifting, not great, but fits to some extent.
shifters, longtooth and razorclaw: has shifter in the name, good for a "shifty shifter" title. otherwise pointless.

I decided to make my character a kobold, as being able to shift one square every turn as a minor action seems the best option.

Shifty Classes:
The only good option here is ranger, and personally I think the two-weapon fighting style is perfect for this.

Ability Scores:
A ranger;s main ability scores are Strength, Dexterity, and Wisdom, but since Dexterity is mainly for ranged attacks, it is not as much of a concern, and the kobold's racial bonus gives it a boost anyway. Several of the shifting abilities let the character shift a number of squares in relation to his Wisdom modifier, so that becomes the main stat for this character. Damage is the next largest concern, making Strength next, followed by Dexterity for defense, Constitution for health, and Intelligence and Charisma as dump stats.

Wis - 16 (+3 mod)
Str - 16 (+3 mod)
Dex - 13+2 racial bonus = 15 (+2 mod)
Con - 11+2 racial bonus = 13 (+1 mod)
Int - 10 (0 mod)
Cha - 8 (-1 Mod)

At will powers: Hit and Run and Twin Strike.
Hit and run effectively works as shifting for the first square when moving away, and although Nimble Strike lets you shift, it requires a ranged weapon, so doesn't work with the close combat purpose of this character. Twin Strike works perfectly fine for more damage or careful strike for accuracy, this guy is going for damage, so I pick Twin Strike.

LVL 1 Encounter: Evasive Strike
Before or after the attack you can shift (1+Wisdom modifier) squares, before or after you attack. Perfect!

LVL1 Daily: Sudden Strike
On hit, shift 1 square and make a second attack against the target.

LVL1 Feat: Agile Hunter
Lets you shift as a free action after getting a critical! A good way to add insult to injury.

Adventurer's kit, every adventurer needs one.
Hide armor, light armor so Dex Mod is added to AC.
2 Scimitars, oh what fun!
Short bow + 30 arrows, just in case.

Name: (only time will tell)
Alignment: Neutral Good
Deity: Bahamut
Height: 3'8"
Weight: 70 lb
Age: 25

Level Ups:

LVL 2 Utility: Yield ground
An immediate reaction that lets you shift away (wis mod) squares.
LVL 2 Feat: Fluttering leaf style
Allows you to move an extra two squares after using hit and run. (from the gladiator article in dragon 368)

LVL 3 Encounter: Cut and Run
Make two attacks, and shift (1+wis mod) squares after the first or second attack.

The Character creator only goes to third level, though I may have another post to have the character progress further.

Other Shifty feats:
from players' Handbook:
Avandra's Rescue: if you want to multiclass into cleric, this would let you switch places with another party member by shifting, not great, but works.
from the gladiator article in dragon 368:
Deft Footwork: allows you to shift in the place of an opportunity attack.

Shifty Paragon paths:
Beast stalker: has action shift, which lets the character shift as a minor action for the rest of the encounter as a minor action (Good for everyone but kobolds, unless you can talk your GM into making so that you can shift 2 as a minor.) Hunters grace lets you shift up to your move if you go first during an encounter (and it helps you get there if you have training in stealth), but the other abilities don't really work, as they are for ranged weapons.
Draeven Marauder:
for those who multiclass into fighter. although its made for using spears, it has a feature and two abilities that let you shift 3 squares. (this is from dragon magazine 365, look for the cormyr section)

It would be a fun character to play but eventually the DM will get tired of it and decide to squish you how ever he can.

anti-shifting monsters:
Cyclops Hewer, death knight, dragonborn soldier, githzerai Cenobite, Hippogriff Dreadmount, kobold dragonshield, Orcus, Aspect of Orcus, spectral panther, Rakshasa warrior, Sahuagin raider, longtooth hunter, skeletal tomb Guardian, sword wing, and war troll.

I make people think twice before using my ideas.

Edit: Ah! I found that the water soul Ganasi from the forgotten realms guide has a shifting racial power as well!