Swordflight Builds Only

New tread for the Swordflight series.
Post your favourite/ successful Character Builds here.
The series takes you so far to lvl 33 so lets stick to that level.

Here goes then, meet the:

Disciple of Zen Dragon

Monk 22/ Sorcerer 1/ RDD 10 (I haven’t played chapter 4 yet so forgive me if any of this is not perfectly optimised for this module, i am learning here myself)

Human, Any Lawful

STR: 18 (36)(All the points goes here! ;))
DEX: 14
CON: 14 (16)(RDD bonus)
WIS: 8
INT: 10 (12)(RDD bonus)
CHA: 8 (10)(RDD bonus)

Discipline, Listen, Tumble: 36, Lore: 8, Heal (or anything else): 36, Spellcraft: 21 (could be maxed out too by the cost of 1 monk lvl making it Monk 21/ Sorc 1/ RDD 11)

Saving Throws:
Fortitude, Reflex, Will: 22/21/20

AB (unarmed): +37
5 attack per round (6 with flurry)

AC (naked): 29 (with the right equipment it is easy to reach 50+)

Feats to choose (forgive me for skipping the Class Feats but the list is very long):
Dodge, Blind Fight, Mobility, Lightning Reflex, Wep. Focus: Unarmed, Improved crit. Unarmed, Toughness

Epic Feats: Epic Weapon. Focus: Unarmed, Epic Prowess, Armor Skin, Great Str. I, Great Str. II

Immunity to all mind affecting spells and effects
Immunity to sleep, fire and paralysis
Immunity to poison
Immunity to natural disease
50% concealment
Improved Evasion
Speed bonus +70% (!)
And some more i have probably forget about.

No Devastating critical
Low AC without right equipment
Monk/ Fighter/ WM would give slightly better AB

That’s about it. Criticism is welcome and i encourage anyone to post their own builds, thanks!

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My intention is that one should be able to get to Level 40 in Swordflight when the series is completed, so it seems people could just post Level 40 builds as well if they find it simpler to do so?

A few thoughts on this build:

  1. Remember to use the “Advanced Meditations for Monks” book you will find in later chapters of the series to cast Divine Power against high AC foes, mitigating the build’s relatively low AB. As a side note, in addition to monks, that book is also potentially useful to any build with UMD.

  2. It is probably worth trying to advance one of the 3 conversational skills, if you can manage it. Presumably Persuade in this case since it is a class skill of both Monk and RDD. Given the number of checks against them in Swordflight, I would be inclined to list “few non-combat skills” as another weakness of this build.

  3. Certainly not essential (there are advantages both ways), but you might want to consider reducing initial strength slightly to put a few points in Wisdom, for better AC and a few miscellaneous other benefits (e.g., in Swordflight WIS can sometimes offer extra dialogue options). Regardless, you should remember to use Owl’s Wisdom potions and such to increase your Wisdom for these purposes.


Hi and thanks for posting! :slight_smile:

Bout the Wisdom, as a power gamer i’d take +AB over extra defence point any day, but it’s just me. Agree with the non-combat skills tho. I was missing the choice of those beefy conversation from the dialog’s tree for the entire Chapter Two, but i don’t think those skills are so important in later parts. Non the less, for chapter 2 itself it is worth to have at least 1 conversational skill.

Nice to hear about series to be taking us to 40’s, it would be the only campaign that actually take one that far. Totally amazing :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

I’ve found this baby on Nordock PW. Looking total badass, gonna try it out next time Link Monk/Fighter/Wm with focus on Greatsword is always a winner :wink:

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My first build that have worked for me.

Elf Wiz/PM/Mk.
During SF1: 3 levels of Wiz, 1 of PM, then 1 of Mk. It’s tough, has good saves, good a/c, poor offensive ability. Relies on summons and longbow.
During SF2: Continue as Wizard only, as spellpower is all important.
SF3&4: Continued Wizard until L14 Wiz. The other levels are 4 Mk and 2 PM at Level 20, to get 3 attacks per round. At L21 took 1 PM level, then 1 Wiz level for spell purposes. Thereafter took PM until L10 PM. After that, almost always Wiz with a hint of Mk for tumble ac bonuses.

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The second incarnation replaced both Mk and PM with Rogue. At level 20 I was a L16 mage, L4 Ro for 3 attacks per round. In this case 1 took Ro at level 1 for the skill points. It proved to be tougher to play than the previous incarnation, but at the end of SF4 I was level 34 rather than level 33.

The 3rd incarnation was a HE Pal6/PDK4/BG+, taking full use/misuse of the alignment shift system. You do miss out on a very useful rune, but BAB and saving throws unsurpassed.

4th incarnation was a HO Barbarian with a hint of rogue and bard. Int 12 but Cha 6 so no spells. Bard levels for tumble, spellcraft and song. Started Ro1, then bard and rogue alternating from L7 onwards at 12/17/22 etc.

Current incarnation is Paladin with a hint of rogue, mainly because all my other builds descend to evil, and often chaos. Managed to stay 100/100 and stay there, although I believe I’ve lost a level doing so. Ended L32 at the end of SF4, evil PC’s have been L33 and L34.

Next incarnation will be Barbarian L1, Cleric L1 and then sorcerer. Cleric domains will be Knowledge (so I don’t need to learn identify) and Animal, which does positively effect arcane summonings. This should maximise my XP award potential. Barbarian fast movement should also help me to escape trouble.

I was thinking about a Ranger Build. They can be pretty good against their Favored Enemies once they take the Epic Feat “Bane of Enemies”.

The question is which favored Enemies to take.

There is enough variety in enemies throughout the series that almost any Favored Enemy would be at least somewhat useful, though some will certainly be encountered more frequently than others. The main exceptions would be “Beast” and “Fey.” These are monster types that you will only face on very rare occasions.

“Undead” is an excellent Favored Enemy throughout the series. Formidable instances of Humans and Outsiders are also fairly common (Outsiders especially so in the later chapters). Orc, Goblinoid, Reptilian, Giant and Monstrous will be frequently useful favored enemy types, especially in Chs 2 & 3. Elementals can be a fairly frequent enemy at higher levels. Shapechangers are a common monster type in Ch. 2 and Aberrations are an extremely common monster type in Ch. 4, though these will be comparatively rare in other chapters. Having Constructs as a Favored Enemy could grant you access to the “Fighter” class-specific quest in Ch. 2 (if you also succeed at a Persuade check, and are not otherwise eligible), and also represents a monster type you will encounter with some frequency throughout the series.

Thanks RogueKnight. Undead is pretty much always my first FE, I can’t remember it ever going to waste. I had a hard time deciding after that, because it seems like you throw everything at us. :smiley:

I’d just like to get this, or a similar build thread going again, getting peoples ideas for a good tough well rounded Swordflight build.

I know Rangers are often viewed as weak, but with Epic levels in the cards they can be pretty good, and they don’t have to be leather wearing, dual wielding Dexers. I usually build them Strength based, with Plate Armor, and heavy weapons. In a game were a lot of skills are utilized. Ranger is also full BAB with some extra skill points/level. Very well rounded.

Ranger 21+(Bane of Enemies)/Fighter 4+ (EWS)/Rogue 3+ (Skills…), worked well elsewhere.

Anyone Play a Ranger in Swordflight?

Other more common Warrior archetypes come to mind:

Dwarven Defender (Fighter or Paladin based, lot of hit points, lot of defense), but offense is nothing special.

Weapon Masters (Often Fighter/Rogue/WM). But I find these can be a pain since they are so feat starved to fill up the prerequisites, and defense is nothing special.

Fighter/Bard/Red Dragon Disciple. Another mainly offensive choice with VERY high strength.

Am I missing any other tough Warrior archetypes?

New build to Play test into SF3.

Neither Ranged, nor Melee is the best choice for all combats. So a character that can do both well is handy. Obvious choice. Higher strength AA, can get good ranged without higher dex, and good melee from higher strength, but good mighty bows are lacking (as they usually are).

Alternative: A strong Hafling hurler:

Halfling (+1 attack for small stature, +1 attack throw weapons racial trait, higher starting Dex)
Paladin: Divine might (melee and Ranged) and nice Paladin gear.
Bard: Tumble, UMD and qualifying class
RDD: High Strength, AC boost…

Pros: Halfling makes an ideal hurled weapon user. High strength makes for great melee, Scimitar with great crit range is a two handed weapon, and full strength damage is added to hurled as well. Divine can be added to either. Small stature gets an AC bonus, and RDD gets armor skin for more AC. So AC will be better than average Plate user.

Negative: Low starting strength(RDD handles that). Exp penalty to max out BAB, Alignment changes…

The biggest issue with the halfling build would indeed be the XP penalty due to neither Bard or Paladin being a favored class for the race. That could hurt you a lot in the early stages of the series (if you played it from the beginning) since you would probably be regularly lagging behind the expected level. It would be much less important in Ch. 3+ due to farming opportunities.

Opportunities for alignment changes certainly exist, but it does take time to switch completely. So if you are not planning something simple, like starting as a bard, regularly taking lawful shifts, and then switching over permanently to only taking Pal/RDD levels (e.g., you plan to regularly switch back and forth between Bard and Pal late in the series too) it could be difficult to manage without a lot of metagaming knowledge about where alignment shifts can occur.

Yeah. I’d never play that from the start. I am not fond of alignment shift, or xp penalty builds. It’s more of an experiment trying to make a char decent at melee and ranged that isn’t an AA. Plus it’s a bit of wacky fun.

It’s working pretty good though. Though I thought I would be more untouchable with 47 AC. Nice to be able to use a shield with ranged weapon. :smiley:

I built him in a Pretty good character builder with a Persistent Chest, where I transferred over the SF2 gear from a character that finished that one. The pre-epic Bard levels are done and he’s good to stay lawful till level 20. Then Switch ASAP… After that no more Paladin levels ever.

I may try a few builds before deciding what goes past the first island…

Edit: I am abandoning the Halfling hurler. He fails at ranged when he needs it most. The tough single enemies. His AB is too low for ranged combat against the tougher foes.

The better Archer/Melee balance is perhaps being best at archery to combat the tougher foes at distance, while being weaker but adequate to take on trash mobs with melee (and save ammunition).

Another build abandoned. After the Halfling Hurler failed, I continued with the Original Bard/Paladin/AA Divine Archer onto the SF3 second Island. His Ranged AB was good, his ranged damage was fantastic. Outdoor battles were easy and fun. But he gets murdered in close combat. Even with modified “spot” score of 29, he missed most stealth chars, and they just murdered him. Crippling strike on a low strength Archer is devastating, suddenly you are encumbered, moving at a slow crawl when strength is sapped even a little, so you can’t run and kite the enemy. The guy who wrote the Module can make Archery work here, but I can’t.

Stalwart Rogue/Paladin/Dwarven Defender soldiers on. Both decent strength, and partial immunity to sneak attacks made Island 2, a relative cake walk compared to the PITA it was with the Archer. This character really only had one problem fight, the final one of Island one, where they ranged characters had it much easier. But overall the Dwarven Defender is such a resilient class, he just keeps soldiering on where my other builds fail.