Author Topic: The Crusader Handbook  (Read 66080 times)

Offline Sinfire Titan

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The Crusader Handbook
« on: January 06, 2012, 10:54:40 AM »
Tips for Playing the Ultimate Tank


Sometimes, a party just needs a really good wall between the enemy and them. This class is amongst the elite at filling that role. Capable of holding your own against a number of encounters in the MMs, you are the party's equivalent of a shield and a Dreadnought. DR? Don't care about theirs, but love your own. HP? Out the ass for you,  never enough for them. Healing? They can't heal anywhere near as effectively as you can (Heal spell, CL 20th, once every 3 rounds with no SR allowed). Skills? You are decent, and you can hinder your opponent's abilities to use various skills in combat. Spells? Ok, they have you beat there.



Table of Contents

Post 1: Introduction.
Post 2: Racial Choice.
Post 3: Class Features.
Post 4: Feats.
Post 5: Magic Items.
Post 6: Maneuvers and Stances.
Post 7: Sample Builds.
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Offline Sinfire Titan

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Re: The Crusader Handbook
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2012, 10:55:52 AM »
Racial Choice

Racial optimization is very important for a Crusader. Picking the wrong race may cut off a number of options for you, some of which may prove vital. You have a ton of options available for you; this list will cover the best, touch on the worst, and the reasons behind each of them.

Core Races
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Non-core Races
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Offline Sinfire Titan

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Re: The Crusader Handbook
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 10:56:13 AM »
Class Features


Let's look at what makes this class a unique class. Crusaders a known for their excellent HP values, ability to heal themselves, and for getting bonuses to attacks/damage when they take damage from anything.

Ability Scores
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Skills: 4+int modifier, but not that many skills to choose from. Max out Concentration, Intimidate, Diplomacy, Knowledge (Religion), Martial Lore, and Balance/Ride, in that order. They are your priorities.

HD: d10s. But you can take a lot more than just that, thanks to your high Con score and Steely Resolve.

Saves: You can ignore your Reflex save. Your Fort and Will are decent (Will is good because of your Indomitable Soul class feature).

Class Features
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Offline Sinfire Titan

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Re: The Crusader Handbook
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 10:56:47 AM »
Feats

The Crusader is a very feat-starved class. You get the base 7+Die Hard (like that last one really matters, but oh well), and that's it. Flaws, level-dips, and Legacy Items can all provide valuable bonus feats to work with, and Evil Crusaders may want to look into Elder Evil devotion for 5 freebies.

Word of advice: Never take Vow of Poverty. Crusaders are as item-reliant as Warblades/Fighters, and most of those bonus feats are meaningless to you. Totemists/Druids make better choices for that feat (and the Unarmed Swordsage is capable of pulling it off, but won't be happy about doing so). You have more important feats to worry about.

Feats: Core+Bo9S

If you are playing a Crusader, the odds are high that you are allowed to take feats from these two sources at minimum. In the rare occasion that you are playing a Crusader and the feats from one of these two books are barred, do yourself a favor and punch the person responsible for that decision. In the even rarer instance that both books are being blocked, do me a favor and shoot someone. Tzeentch knows we need less idiots in the world...

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Notable Others

These feats appear in sources outside of the Core rules and Bo9S. These feats are the major contributors, only the average ones and up are being posted.

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Offline Sinfire Titan

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Re: The Crusader Handbook
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 10:57:48 AM »
Magic Items

Weapons
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Armor
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Shield
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Clothing
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Tools
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Utility
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Re: The Crusader Handbook
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 10:58:32 AM »
Maneuvers and Stances

This section is dedicated to a recommended Maneuver+Stances list. In addition, I shall annotate each maneuver with a recommended exchange. In other words, I show you which maneuvers are worth keeping, and which ones you should take and swap out later.

1st Level
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2nd Level
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3rd Level
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4th Level
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5th Level*
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6th Level*
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7th Level*
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8th Level*
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9th Level
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*: Maneuvers of these levels are likely worth keeping until 20th. You really are running out of levels to swap them out anyway, and these tend to be solid options even when you hit 20th. 9th level maneuvers, for obvious reasons, should not be exchanged.



Maneuver Exchange Breakdown

One of the most difficult parts about building any Martial Adept is knowing what maneuvers to trade out. I outlined a few above, but here's a quick recap.
  • 04th Level: Exchange Charging Minotaur for Mountain Hammer.
  • 06th Level: Exchange Crusader's Strike for Revitalizing Strike, or exchange either Douse the Flames or Leading the Attack for White Raven Tactics.
  • 08th Level: Exchange either Leading the Attack or Douse the Flames for White Raven Tactics, or exchange Tactical Strike for White Raven Strike if you are focusing on White Raven.
  • 10th Level: Exchange either Stone Bones or Bone Crusher for Elder Mountain Hammer.
  • 12th Level: Exchange Foehammer, Mountain Hammer, or Tactical Strike for Rallying Strike, Irresistible Mountain Strike, or War Leader's Charge, respectively.
  • 14th Level: Exchange either Foehammer or Revitalizing Strike for Rallying Strike.
  • 16th Level: Exchange Tactical Strike for any maneuver of your choice. If you all ready traded it up, then exchange out Stone Bones for Adamantine Bones.
  • 18th Level: Exchange Elder Mountain Hammer for Tombstone Mountain Strike.

Bear in mind that you can't exchange maneuvers when multiclassing into non-Martial Adept classes, and cannot exchange any maneuvers when prestige classing.
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Offline Sinfire Titan

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Re: The Crusader Handbook
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 10:58:52 AM »
Sample Crusader Builds

These builds are recommended for their combat efficiency. Most o these builds capitalize on the Crusader's Maneuvers, and one or two abuse Steely Resolve specifically.

Lockdown
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Charger
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Captain America
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The Unhallowed
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Ruby Knight Windicator (Cleric entry)
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Ruby Knight Vindicator (Divine Crusader entry)
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White Raven Control
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Devoted Spirit Healer
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Jade Phoenix Mage (9o9 Entry)
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Jade Phoenix Mage (Seul Arcanamach Entry)
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Eternal Blade
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« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 04:55:18 PM by Sinfire Titan »
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