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I'm particularly interested in templates, but in general can anyone tell me what playable races and usable templates would grant Powerful Build to a creature? I only know of like, one. The Half-Giant race. I remember coming across others but I can't remember what any of them were.

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There are also a pair of bracers that give a similar benefit if you find that relevant. Strongarm Bracers, Magic Item Compendium p139. – ltab Aug 11 '14 at 3:20
@ltab They really, really don’t. They give one of several features of Powerful Build, specifically the least important one. – KRyan Aug 12 '14 at 4:20
@KRyan Maybe, but I think it is still worth noting here in case that is the feature someone is after. – ltab Aug 12 '14 at 6:10
up vote 3 down vote accepted


  • Half-giant, LA +1 (Expanded Psionics Handbook; stats but not fluff available in SRD)

  • Goliath, LA +1 (Races of Stone; fluff but not stats available in Races of Stone excerpt)


  • Stoneboned, LA +2 (Dragon vol. 350)

Reasonably sure these are the only ones. Of these, the goliath is by-far the best.1

Bonus: the opposite of Powerful Build, Slight Build, is found only in web enhancement kobolds.

1 Half-giants are quite poor for an LA +1 race; aside from slightly higher-than-normal ability scores, they could easily be an LA +0 race. That said, they qualify for the unreasonably-good LA +0 primordial giant template from Secrets of Xen’drik. Combining these results in a race that is almost sorta-kinda worth LA +1?

The goliath is probably still better, though. Especially since primordial tanks a lot of your melee abilities in order to give you superior spell-like ability use, and Powerful Build isn’t really that useful to someone who uses spell-like abilities much.

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I just wanted to add that the feat Jotunbrud is not the same thing, nor is a replacement, for Powerful Build. Everyone that reads this, do not fall victim to the many error-filled handbooks out there that suggest it is. – Ruut Aug 11 '14 at 7:53
@Ruut is correct; in particular, Jotunbrud is strictly Large, and does not stack with other size increases as Powerful Build does. So if you use giant’s size to become Huge, and have Jotunbrud, it’s now functioning more like Slight Build than Powerful Build. It also doesn’t allow you to use Large items, though this is a minor aspect. – KRyan Aug 11 '14 at 12:48
@Dorian Considering the original feat required you be human, intent’s hard to argue too, but certainly a houserule may be worthwhile (I’ve played in games where Powerful Build was available as a feat; it didn’t hurt anything). As a warning, though, larger weapon sizes add very little damage (usually +1 on average; at best, about +3), and you typically have to pay quite dearly for a relatively small increase in damage. Just be aware of that when considering how much you want any given option that offers it. – KRyan Aug 12 '14 at 3:52
@Dorian What advantage do you imagine a Medium weapon offers? It’s usually nothing more than an average of +1 over the Small version of the weapon. – KRyan Aug 12 '14 at 23:05
It's not the Medium weapon in general that would have an advantage, it's obtaining through one means or another an enemy's specific Medium weapon that might prove useful. And yes, I know DM's should make sure there's plenty of cool stuff for you to find of your own size and all, but not all DM's actually do that. – Dorian Aug 13 '14 at 23:13

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