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Farcaster
07-20-2007, 05:06 PM
As an experiment, I recently created a Gnomish NPC fighter. Right off the bat, he gets stung with a strength penalty, although the constitution bonus is nice. And although the Gnome gets a +1 to hit from his size, he must use smaller weapons. Herein lies the problem I'm looking to solve. His reduced strength and reduced weapon size are destroying his damage potential. My goal is to within the first 10 levels make him a potent little melee attacker.

I've thought about some interesting tweaks that seem appropriate for a little tinkering gnome type, such as using Oil of Impact on his weapons, or alchemists fire coating his weapons. He could also become a little feat demon, but certain feats like trip and disarm he will always be at a disadvantage using because of his and his weapons size category. Certainly as he starts getting more magical gear in his career, his damage ratio will improve, but in addition to stat boosting gear and energy damage weapons, how would you optimize the small warrior? And can you think of some ways that my little gnome could really capitalize on his size in combat?

Ed Zachary
07-20-2007, 05:29 PM
Haste, Divine Power, Righteous Might, Bear's Strength, Harm spell on sword...

Farcaster
07-20-2007, 05:53 PM
Did I mention that he's a fighter? jeez!

shilar
07-20-2007, 06:48 PM
Offset low damage per hit with more hits per turn(perk more likely to hit with 2 attacks instead of one). The hooked hammer is a martial weapon for Gnomes. It's a double weapon. It does 1d6/1d4 damage, comparable to a short sword dagger combo. Has a massive critical damage of x3/x4(take improved critical). Take the two weapon fighting tree, It will cancel most penalties and give you two more attacks when you complete it. With your size bonus to attack and your fighter BaB you roll with no penalty for attacks. And once you start the weapon focus/specialization tree(or against racial enemies) you start getting bonuses again. Also improved initiative(for catching an enemy flatfooted to give them an AC penalty) and combat reflexes(for extra attacks of opportunity) should also make the feat list after a few levels. The Rapid shot feat tree does the same thing for ranged attacks but has harder requirements. The average damage for bows is only one less point for small characters than medium.
Average damage per round if all attacks hit and a strength stat of 18 for human 16 for gnome to reflect racial adjustment.
human fighter with longsword 5(average damage for longsword)+4(for strength)=9
gnome fighter with hooked hammer 4(for hammer end)+3(for strength)+3(for hook end)+1(for offhand strength)=11added average

shilar
07-20-2007, 06:50 PM
Haste, Divine Power, Righteous Might, Bear's Strength, Harm spell on sword...
Also make friends with spellcasters.;):cool:

Moritz
07-20-2007, 07:52 PM
Make him dex based

Farcaster
07-20-2007, 08:39 PM
Make him dex based
He does have a higher than average dexterity. So, how would you capitalize on that?

The Wandering Bard
07-20-2007, 09:21 PM
OK, two suggestions.

First, As previously mentioned, make him dex based. Use Weapon finess, which will allow hit to attack using his dex bonus instead of his str bonus, on damage rolls. Also look at Elven lightblade and elven shortblade, these nasty weapons do higher than average damage, and can be used as light weapons. VERY WORTH IT!!

Option 2. is very fun. Give his the monkeygrip this will allow hit to use larger weapons single handedly, Allowing a sheild. also the Oversized weapon feat is worth looking into though i doubt you will get it by level 10.


These are fun options to use for a close combat person, a fighter can also be ranged. thus CROSSBOWS there great. use posions, or acids, and alchemist fire, plus any number of newer one use items on them. Also if you have the money, physical bonus items, Gauntlet and belts of strength. Good stuff, anyways hope this helps. Have fun.

Ed Zachary
07-20-2007, 10:11 PM
Did I mention that he's a fighter? jeez!

On the first line, and it was implied two or three other times.

As Shilar said, make friends with a spell caster. Or he can gain the use of those spells through magic items or potions. Also look at Keen Edge.


Make him dex based

Finesse (feat) only applies to the attack bonus, not damage.

Moritz
07-21-2007, 08:25 AM
Yep, they beat me to it. Weapon Finesse (feat). There's another feat that helps with the damage aspect though, can't recall what it is.

RealmsDM
07-21-2007, 09:13 AM
Other than what has been mentioned, I like the idea of alchemical bonuses for gnomes. All types of oils & salvs that a gnome could dream up to beef up his combat potential (all non magical of course!)
And close quarter fighting & other similar feats are great for small creatures!

Argent
07-21-2007, 09:57 AM
A few levels of rogue could help with increased damage in the right situations. And you can take Improved Feint to make those right situations happen more often. And if you are going Dex-based fighter, the rogue skill points in Tumble, Balance, and Bluff will be useful as well.

As for feats that improve damage: Combat Tactician, Melee Weapon Mastery (Player's Handbook II); Gnome Foe Killer (Races of Stone); Expert Tactician (Complete Adventurer); Arterial Strike, Monkey Grip, Power Critical (Complete Warrior). I don't have any other books at hand at the moment, but I'll edit this if I come across others.

But Fling Ally is always a lot of fun...

shilar
07-21-2007, 10:26 PM
Never got why everyone always goes finesse fighter for small characters. While it is helpful for halflings who get a dex bonus. It really doesn't do much for gnomes. Unless you plan on making dex his high score he really wont see any bonuses and it really doesn't help with damage. If you want damage put high score in strength let the size mod take care of the strength penalty to hit. Gnome fighters have a constitution bonus. Make a double barrel tank out of him. between two weapon fighting and a few alchemical tricks you wont lack for damage.

starfalconkd
07-23-2007, 08:25 PM
Two words for your gnome: Titan Fighting.
Pre Reqs: Dodge, Racial Dodge Bonus to AC against Giants
Benefits: Whenever you designate a creature one size category larger than you as the target of your dodge feat, you apply your racial dodge bonus to armor class against giants to that creature (regardless of it's type) instead of your normal +1 bonus from your dodge feat.

It's from Races of Stone. That feat, a hooked hammer, the Exotic Weapon Master class, and maybe the tempest class plus a bunch of fighter levels will make one seriously dangerous gnome.

Karui_Kage
07-24-2007, 12:15 PM
As a gnome, I wouldn't worry too much about the damage dice you're using. You want to capitalize on the damage bonus. A 1d4 weapon, for example, only has an average 2 point difference compared to a 1d8 weapon (2,3 average for 1d4, 4,5 average for 1d8). I, in all honesty, wouldn't worry about your con as much as Dex and Str. You get the nice +2 bonus from con, so even if you put a 10 in there, you'll still have a +1 bonus. If you had an Elite array, I'd recommend the following:

Str: 15 (modified 13)
Dex: 14
Con: 13 (modified 15)
Int: 10
Wis: 12
Cha: 8

His strength will only be +1, so work on improving that first with stat points. Just one will bump him up to a +2.

Also, do what the others say, make use of dual-wielding and that gnomish hook hammer. Even with the -2 penalty to hit, you'll still have that +1 from being small, so overall it's a measly -1. Use Weapon Finesse, and you'll help offset it. I wouldn't waste the feat if he'll be 10th level though. You can make his strength equal to his dex with one stat point.

The biggest thing this character will have going for him is AC. Assuming nothing magical (I'm not sure what level he is, though you mention 10), he can have Full Plate and a Heavy Steel Shield for a total AC of 22 (Full Plate 8 + Dex 1 + Size 1 + Shield 2). Add in a +1 enchantment on each piece of armor, and you'll be at 24. Make the Full Plate mithril, you can add another dex for 25. You see where I'm going with this.

Use his fighter bonus feats to get weapon spec for either (or both) weapons he's using too. That +2 damage will be nice, especially with that high crit multiplier. Heck, get Shield Specialization, Two Weapon Defense, and other feats like that for more +1 AC bonuses. This guy may not do much damage every round, but I imagine most players will have a hard time hitting him.

If you need any more help choosing feats, or a theme for the guy, feel free to shoot me a PM.

starfalconkd's ideas are good too. Titan Fighting is a great feat for him. Exotic Weapon Master could go well, though I would personally take Tempest over it if you're going for dual-wield. Heck, even Dervish could be handy. Do that after you have all the bonus feats you want though, maybe at level 7 or so.

Ed Zachary
07-24-2007, 03:49 PM
There's a reason why small creatures don't do big damage.

If you want to up the damage, use magic.

Karui_Kage
07-24-2007, 04:47 PM
Not true, small characters can do plenty big damage.

Here's a sample Gnomish Fighter 10, using only core material, elite array. I'll go with NPC gear level, which is about 15,000 GP, I believe. I don't have access to my DMG at the moment. My guesses at prices may be a bit off too, so bear with me. I am especially unsure about the Protection/Natural Armor prices, if they are 1K or 2. I'll assume 2 for now:

Gnome Hooked Hammer +1 (2,320 GP)
Mithril Full Plate +2 (3,650 GP for cost of Full Plate +2...not sure on mithril, I'll assume 1K for now. It shouldn't be much higher or lower than that)
Gauntets of Ogre Power (Str +2) (4,000 GP)
Ring of Protection +1 (2,000 GP)
Amulet of Natural Armor +1 (2,000 GP)

Topspin, the whirling Gnome
Original Scores: Str - 14(12), Dex - 15, Con - 13 (15), Int - 12, Wis - 10, Cha - 8 ; 4th point put into Int to bring it to 13, 8th point put into Con to bring it to 16
Gnome Fighter 10
Abilities: STR 14 (+2), DEX 15 (+2), CON 16 (+3), INT 13 (+1), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 8 (-1)
Speed: 15 ft.
Hit Points: 10d10 (59) + Con (30) + I. Toughness (10) = 99
AC: 26; 10 (Base) + 10 (Full Plate +2) + 2 (Dexterity) + 1 (Ring) + 1 (Amulet) + 1 (Two Weapon Defense) + 1 (Size)
Saves: Fort +10 Ref +5 Will +3
Attack: Gnomish Hooked Hammer Blunt Side +16 (1d6+5) or Piercing Side +16 (1d4+5)
Full Attack: Gnomish Hooked Hammer Blunt Side +16 (1d6+5) and +11 (1d6+5) or Piercing Side +16 (1d4+5) and +11 (1d4+5) or Dual-Wielding +14/+14/+9/+9 (alternate Primary Hand and Offhand, either 1d6+5 and 1d4+3 or 1d4+5 and 1d6+3 damage)
Feats:
1st - Two Weapon Fighting
1stF - Two Weapon Defense
2ndF - Weapon Focus (Gnomish Hooked Hammer)
3rd - Improved Toughness (not Core, I know, but I just hate regular Toughness)
4thF - Weapon Specialization (Gnomish Hooked Hammer)
6th - Combat Expertise
6thF - Improved Two Weapon Fighting
8thF - Greater Weapon Focus (Gnomish Hooked Hammer)
9th - Improved Critical (Gnomish Hooked Hammer)
10thF - Improved Trip
Skills:
Craft (Alchemy) +16, Hide +6, Intimidate +12, Listen +2

This character knows his weaknesses. He tries to avoid fights in open ground, where his enemies can maneuver and out run him. He prefers to fight in small, enclosed rooms, where his 15 ft. movement can bring him within range of any opponent. He prefers moving within range of a full-attack, and using Improved Trip to knock his opponent prone before launching his full attack array. Getting a crit on this little guy can be nasty, doing 3d6+16 possible damage with the blunt end (19-34) or 4d4+20 damage with the piercing end (24-36), depending on which is his primary. He doesn't do much damage with each individual hit, but he usually *does* hit and is hard to hit in return. Using Craft (Alchemy), he may even have a few other things early on, like multiple Tanglefoot Bags. Sticking his opponents so they can't run is a very fun tactic for good ole Topspin.

Farcaster
07-24-2007, 06:26 PM
Two words for your gnome: Titan Fighting.
Pre Reqs: Dodge, Racial Dodge Bonus to AC against Giants
Benefits: Whenever you designate a creature one size category larger than you as the target of your dodge feat, you apply your racial dodge bonus to armor class against giants to that creature (regardless of it's type) instead of your normal +1 bonus from your dodge feat.
Oooh.. Very nice! That's an excellent idea.

Good ideas all around. Now we're talking.

* Balderdash flexes his gnomish muscles, beaming with pride *

Karui_Kage
07-24-2007, 06:50 PM
No love for Topspin? ;-;

On a more serious note, yes, Titan Fighting would be a good feat for him.

Argent
07-24-2007, 07:35 PM
No love for Topspin? ;-;

On a more serious note, yes, Titan Fighting would be a good feat for him.

I like Topspin, actually. Do you mind if I borrow him as an NPC? I think a Gnome Fighter is just what my party needs to encounter to teach them some...humility. :D

starfalconkd
07-24-2007, 09:09 PM
Oooh.. Very nice! That's an excellent idea.

See I think to maximize damage with a small fighter the trick is to hit them more while not being hit. Your +1 to hit and AC start that ball rolling. You have just as much, if not more, HP than them. They may land an occasional big 2d6 or 1d10 hit, but you nick and cut away with 1d6 and 1d4 and it adds up.

Ed Zachary
07-24-2007, 11:05 PM
Ahhh, the Killer Rabbit from Monte Python and the Holy Grail!

Why not give the little bugger a dagger with a few charges of Harm on it?

Karui_Kage
07-24-2007, 11:50 PM
I like Topspin, actually. Do you mind if I borrow him as an NPC? I think a Gnome Fighter is just what my party needs to encounter to teach them some...humility. :D

Be my guest. Let me know how he does. ^_^

Argent
07-25-2007, 07:38 AM
Be my guest. Let me know how he does. ^_^

Thanks, I will. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaa!

NikoONeil
07-25-2007, 12:51 PM
Just for a different idea I like running gnomes as mounted characters. Very usefull in tight dungeons, because his mount is only medium size. This build negates the speed penalty, allows wearing of heavy armor, and with the mounted combat and charging can do some serious damage. Its great to have a gnome on a wolf doing 50 pts of damage then getting the trip attack from the wolf, ah good times.

Farcaster
07-25-2007, 01:30 PM
Niko, that's a friggen awesome idea. I hadn't considered dropping my little bad boy down on a mount -- especially considering this particular campaign is taking place largely in Undermountain, but I hadn't considered the fact that the mount would be medium. Although, last game, he did use the half-orc in the party as a impromptu mount when he needed to cross some nasty water. And actually, the party ended up getting in combat while the gnome was still sitting on the half-orc's shoulders, which ended up being pretty amusing.

Schmall
06-04-2008, 08:22 AM
My brother DMs at a local card shop downstate from me. Well, he tells me about his low magic campaign with both a group of Vets and Noobs. He had a couple of NPC halfling fighters that whooped the Vet group. The halfling NPCs was seen traveling towards them on a road. The group decided to bully them and laughed at the ballista the halfings had in tow on a pony since it had no ammo with them. They kept laughing until one of the halfing shot himself out of the ballista wearing a helmet with a spear head on it, improved grapple, spiked armor (barbed by the way), improved unarmed strike, Str buffs, and a couple of other nasty tricks that complimented the tatic. Lets just say that the group shut up fast when the cocky wizard was slain in one round, and the other halfing was already aiming for the mighty barbarian!



As for your gnome, tricks. So many people think battles are all about trading hits. I dont think so. I once used my ring of telekensis to manuver an immovable rod just in front of the feet of a nasty look black guard that was gonna charge into the forray. I readied action against his movement and actived the rod just in his path in order to trip him up. Str DC 30 to move it, and a balance check while wearing full plate =) Point, be smart and any thing or anyone can have fun while killing or controlling opponents. Oh, if your gnome is at all evil, take some glass flasks of oil, throw it down in the path of the charging enemy to get them to slip, then ignite it with your alchemist fire while the target is still prone and covered in oil. Nasty trick.

I could keep going on and on. This is how I usually play my rogues. Tatics and tricks. Dont be afraid to take a bag of caltrops to slow down your enemies.

Shadow Dweller
06-04-2008, 11:00 AM
Just one problem with that build Karui_Kage, assuming you still around looking at this. Imp 2-weapon fighting requires dex of 17, so your gnome falls short of the pre-reques for it. :( I do have a 36 PB build, lvl 10, that focuses on TWF also, but duel weilding longswords.

Topspin, the whirling Gnome v2.0
Original Scores: Str - 18(16), Dex - 16, Con - 14 (16), Int - 10, Wis - 10, Cha - 8 ; both bonus points go to Str.
Gnome Fighter 10
Abilities: STR 18 (+4), DEX 16 (+3), CON 16 (+3), INT 10 (+0), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 8 (-1)
Speed: 15 ft. x4
Hit Points: 10d10 (55) + Con (30) = 85
AC: 23; 10 (Base) + 8 (Full Plate) + 3 (Dexterity) + 1 (Two Weapon Defense) + 1 (Size)
Saves: Fort +10 Ref +6 Will +3
Attack: +1Longsword +14 (1d6+7) Crit 17-20/x2
Full Attack: +1Longsword +14/+13/+9 (1d6+7) Crit 17-20/x2
Feats:
1st - Two Weapon Fighting
1stF - Two Weapon Defense
2ndF - Weapon Focus (Longsword)
3rd - Dodge
4thF - Weapon Specialization (Longsword)
6th - Mobility
6thF - Power Attack
8thF - Greater Weapon Focus (Longsword)
9th - Improved Critical (Longsword)
10thF - Combat Reflexes
Skills:
(This is up to you, but you only have 12 at first, and 3 each other lvl)

At lvl 12 you can bump your dex and get ITWF.
Items, going again on based on what Karui_Kage stated, as a lvl 10 NPC wealth of 15,000GP:

2x +1 Longswords (4630 GP)
Mithril Breast Plate (4200 GP)Mithril costs 1k forlight armor, 4k for Med and 9k for heavy...so you go with med(which counts as light) and get the ability to move around better in combat
That leaves you about 6k to play with. you could add bonuses to the armor(up to a +3) or +1 to one of your swords...but let's not worry about that for this. We'll leave some custimization up to the imagination!

Also, a double weapon +1 costs as a +2...and a +2 counts as a +4...it can get a bit hary to have a nicely stated double weapon. This Gnomes set up to move around the battlefeild and ocasionally power attack an unarmered/lightly armored opponent(talking to you mages/monk/Barbs...)

Valdar
06-04-2008, 01:28 PM
I played a gnome fighter for a while- it was fun.

One thing I noticed is that a small chara with a poor touch ac is very susceptible to grappling in 3e- I got him armor spikes, and talked to the DM about interpreting the armor spikes rules so that they do damage when someone grapples you.

Karui_Kage
06-05-2008, 01:55 PM
Doh! You are correct, that dex kind of nixes my build. I like the revision though, good work!

Karui_Kage
06-05-2008, 02:08 PM
Also, a double weapon +1 costs as a +2...and a +2 counts as a +4...it can get a bit hary to have a nicely stated double weapon. This Gnomes set up to move around the battlefeild and ocasionally power attack an unarmered/lightly armored opponent(talking to you mages/monk/Barbs...)

This last part is a bit incorrect though. Each end of a double weapon is treated as a separate weapon for the purposes of enhancement. So a +1/+1 Quarterstaff (for example) would cost 4,000 plus the cost of the masterwork quarterstaff. Not 8,000.

Shadow Dweller
06-05-2008, 02:29 PM
DOH! I re-looked at the build and noticed something. I still have the AC for a fullplate in there. Nix that AC and change it to 5 so your AC then is only 20. Granted you have 6k to play with, so you can add a +2 bonus to the armor and get back to 22, but then you have almost no room for other magic items aside from potions and what not really.

Shadow Dweller
06-05-2008, 02:38 PM
This last part is a bit incorrect though. Each end of a double weapon is treated as a separate weapon for the purposes of enhancement. So a +1/+1 Quarterstaff (for example) would cost 4,000 plus the cost of the masterwork quarterstaff. Not 8,000.
Huh, I always understood that differently. If that's the case, then have at it with the hooked hammer! Especailly since I realized that the longswords cost you more of a penality thanks to size :redface:

EDIT: There is another feat you can take though that allows you to weild one handed weapons as if they were light for two weapon fighting. It's called Oversized Two-Weapon FIghting from Complete Adventurer and the only pre-reqs are Str 13 & TWF...so it's easily useable.

tesral
06-05-2008, 09:35 PM
This last part is a bit incorrect though. Each end of a double weapon is treated as a separate weapon for the purposes of enhancement. So a +1/+1 Quarterstaff (for example) would cost 4,000 plus the cost of the masterwork quarterstaff. Not 8,000.

One of the stupider rules in the book. I say one thing is one thing no matter how many "bits" it has sticking off. A quarter staff is one stick, not two sticks with a good relationship.

Semaj
06-05-2008, 10:51 PM
See I think to maximize damage with a small fighter the trick is to hit them more while not being hit. Your +1 to hit and AC start that ball rolling. You have just as much, if not more, HP than them. They may land an occasional big 2d6 or 1d10 hit, but you nick and cut away with 1d6 and 1d4 and it adds up.

this was in regaurd to Topspin. a well rounded character. yes, he is very handy against a "hulk smash" mentality, but you are gonna get mopped by a similar style medium sized dervish... your only hope in that case would be the tanglefoot bag. And most dervishes realize they must keep a'movin'.

Semaj
06-05-2008, 11:00 PM
One of the stupider rules in the book. I say one thing is one thing no matter how many "bits" it has sticking off. A quarter staff is one stick, not two sticks with a good relationship.

AMEN!!! A stick is a stick. as in one solitary thwumping device.

nijineko
06-06-2008, 05:48 PM
the point of having a small (or smaller) dex fighter have weapon finesse is power attack.

if you can get an item which shrinks you, or better yet, psionic reduce, that increases your attack potential. which you can then convert to damage with the appropriate power attack feat.

in one of my campaigns we have a dex based bard, whom when confronted with combat, shrinks herself first thing. with the right items and spells (or spells via items), she is able to dish out almost as much damage as the fighter types, and she has the advantages of being hard to hit from size bonuses to dex and ac. don't stint on your tumble skill to avoid the AoO's you'll provoke and you have the makings of a hard hitting tiny ball of gnomish fury.

as an added bonus, and if you can spare the feats, pick up proficiency in one of the exotic elvish weapons from 'races of the wild'. one of the few two-handed finessable weapons out there. and two-handed plus power attack is always nice. ^^