Come help me craft my DnD3 character!

Looks like there will be a new Forgotten Realms game coming to a Knoxville near me! A friend of mine is starting one up, partly to give our porr GM a break for not having any fun, and partly to try out DM’ing. It is a full FR game, and so we can have the base books stuff.

I have some character ideas:

a) Rogue/Paladin: (1/19 @Level 20) A former street theif adopted by a Paladin’s family, and following in their footsteps.

b) Full Paladin/maybe split with martial PrC; but a 50-year old male human, former blacksmith called to serve Torm.
“In Torm’s name, I shall serve.”; For the Good."; “Good is on our side this day!”

c) Paladin/Sorcerer (5/15? @ Level 20)

d) Cleric of Hoar: Wears lighter armor than most clerics and wields a spear and javelins.

e) Full Sorcerer: Another player's is going Rogue/Mage, so this will easily equal him in firepower. I may go more for charm and utility than explosions. Its not like I need all that many different spells, and with the Energy Substitution Feat I'm good to go.

What should I go with? There will be at least one insane barbarian dwarf (that player loves Thwibbledworf Pwent), and one Rogue/Mage/Arcane Trickster.

How about a elvish Lawful Good Ranger/Cleric(5/15)? The Ranger skills can include tracking and two racial enemies (I think), while the Cleric is powerful enough to turn the Hell out of undead, while casting an 8th-level spell or two.

The history could be: This character comes from the Sunstream family of elves, who live in the woods (like all the other elves), using fresh holy/blessed water for healing. The family seeks streams in Faerun that can be blessed, providing healing for all.

I also like Monks. They don’t have to have East Asian names and kamas, either – mine is named after a flower (the rose, of course).

Good luck!

Why not be a regular fighter trying to become a Paladin. That’s a lot more interesting than a guy who already is one…

So, are you starting at 20th level or just interested in what the character can develop into?

Ack! No. Starting at level 2 (mostly cause one player wanted to start as Rogue/Wizard). But the final level progression does give a good idea of where the character is going and what I would take.

[slight hijack for someone familiar with 2e but not 3e]

Exactly how much freedom do the 3e rules allow for character classes? Could I play a swordmaster who can cast spells from the illusion and enchantment/charm schools (assuming that the schools of magic exist in roughly the same form)? Or is it a bit less free-form than that?

Sure. In multiclass characters, the classes are cumulative rather than concurrent. A Fighter/Wizard 2/2 is a fourth level character, rather than the 2nd level character he’d be in 2nd ed. He has 2d10 + 2d4 hit points, and can swing a sword like a fighter - although armor would get in the way of his spell casting. He also has the same amount of XP as a 4th level Fighter or a 4th level Magic User. When he goes up a level, he can add a level to his fighter class, his wizard class, or he can choose to become a first-level cleric.

It’s a much more flexible system, although figuring out high-level characters can be a pain in the ass.

Interesting. I think I’ll get a copy of the Player’s Handbook from my local library and check it out.

It’s changed a quite a bit but is still recognizable.

The big thing to wrap your head around is that it’s no longer the straightforward X amount of XP divided up among your classes for multiclass characters or “You start over now!” growth from dual classing. There’s a straightforward progression and each time you level up you can, in theory, take a level from whatever class you want. So a level 1 Rogue/level 1 Cleric is really a level 2 character. With me so far?

Now there are restrictions on that. Typically your classes should never be more than one level away from each other. If our Rog 1/Cle 1 became a Rog 2/Cle 1 he’d have to increase the cleric level next instead of the rogue again or he’d suffer a 20% xp penalty. Ah, but humans don’t have to follow that rule! They can stick class levels on whereever they want. As for the other races they have class that can progress without being one level off from the others (fighter for dwarves, rogue for halflings, like that).

That’s the ‘Favored Class’ rule. You receive an XP penalty if your classes vary in level by more than one, with the exception being your race’s favored class, which can be much higher in level than your other classes without penalty. The favored class usually makes sense to those who have played earlier editions - dwarves favor fighters, halflings favor rogues, etc. Humans have no favored class, but that does not make them exempt from XP penalties, the class that they have the highest level in is treated as their favored class, but if they have more than 2 classes the other two classes have to be within one level of each other or they will be penalized - i.e. you can be a Fighter 9/Sorceror 3 without penalties, but if that character decided to pick up a level as a Rogue he would have a penalty until he became a level 2 Rogue.

Ever try playing one of the nonstandard races? It’s challenging, fun, and will diversify the abilities of the group.

Or much lower. For example, a dwarven fighter/cleric could be 1st level fighter and 10th level cleric without penalty, or a 1st cleric/10th fighter.

Of the possibilities you mentioned, smiling bandit, the rogue/paladin and paladin/sorcerer could both be interesting to play, but there might be some difficulties in constructing them. A paladin’s most important ability scores are Cha, Str, and Con, while a rogue’s are Dex and Int, so you’re going to have a hard time distributing your scores well in a paladin/rogue combo. Pal/Sor would work fine on the ability scores (since both rely on high Cha), but remember that armor interferes with arcane spells, so you’re going to need either a lot of non-somatic / stilled spells, or wimpy armor. Of course, you don’t have to worry about any of this with a single-class character (cleric or sorcerer), but it can be a bit harder to customize a character that way. If you’re thinking of a charm-based sorcerer, by the way, you might also want to add a level or two of bard.

I disagree that single-class characters are hard to customize. With the feat system, you can take a single class character and give it abilities that it’s class normally would not have - for instance, a mage that can use martial weapons.

IMHO, prestige classes are the way to go. Find one you really like, and build up to it. The thing is, you don’t have to build up to it in the conventional way: while each prestige class seems to point to a specific basic class as the easiest way to reach, you can start out elsewhere - just as long as you’re prepared to wait longer to reach it.

For instance, take a fighter-bsed prestige class that requires a +5 base attack bonus. Now, the normal thing to do would be to start with a fighter, reach 6th level, and voila. But why not start with a bard? Sure, you’ll have to wait till 11th to change class, but by the time you get to 20th, you’ll have a pretty unique character.

Gosh, there are so many possibilities, I’m feeling dizzy!

BTW: As far as the Rogue/Paladin, since I couldn’t go back tp paladin if I left the class, the Rogue stats would be largely forsworn. The character is not being a thief anymore.

Sigh. I’m interested in being a Paladan/Sorceror. Since there is a meatshield already, perhaps I will try playing a non-standard Pally. I could become a Paladin archer/Sorceror/Arcane Archer.

Hmmm…

Or maybe Ranger/Sorceror. I love Rangers.

Be careful. Archery is hideously overpowered in 3e. A player of mine played a Fighter/Sorceror->Arcane Archer, and wound up routinely dealing 50+ damage per round against opponents that no one else could even hit. It got so bad that the campaign’s main villain had to take time out from his evil plots to research a high level anti-arrows spell, and that didn’t protect the blue dragon, who died in a single round from a series of lucky criticals.

Then again, you’re playing FR, so you’ll need all the brokenness you can scrounge up. Paladin5/Sorcerer2/ArcaneArcher10 is strong…you have minor divine magic (bless, divine favor, shield of faith) and minor arcane magic (true strike, shield, maybe mage armor) to back up your amazing shooting-stuff abilities.

The drawback to this build is that it misses out on one of the really cool abilities of the Arcane Archer, which is the ability to bind area-effect spells into arrows. Something like Paladin4/Sorceror4 or even Paladin3/Sorcerer6 would be better for that, giving you nice area spells like glitterdust and fireball, as well as good miscellaneous support magic like detect thoughts and cat’s grace.

On preview: have you seen Monte Cook’s alt.ranger? It’s on his website, and IMHO much more interesting than the core one. It’s also a lot more powerful, though, so ask your DM. If I were to start a 3e game as a player right this instant, I’d play a Monte Cook ranger and plan to never multiclass him in any way. Or a Druid, with Masters of the Wild. Druids rule.

[sub]I’m not a munchkin, I swear…[/sub]

Well, I actually like the Ranger as is and feel its balanced, though less combat-oriented than it used to be.

I’m prety sure I’m going to play an Elven paladin, but perhaps I’l be an older Elf, like a few hundred or so. Somethig to mix it up a bit. I think I will try Paladin/Sorceror. I’ll try to keep the levels balanced.

I like the Hospitlar. People say the Hospitlar is broken, and it probably is. I could go Templar, but my character is not so rooted. I suppose I could try Spellsword.

OK, narrowing to a couple of possibilities, here:

  1. Cleric of Hoar (may multiclass with a couple of Divine classes fom the FRCS, but that’s in the future)

  2. Paladin/Hospitlar

  3. Paladin/Sorceror/Spellsword

Stats are 12, 17, 14, 10, 11, 13