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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

1 Answer 1

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
@KRyan For the sake of this question I was particularly looking into weapon usage, though the feat could prove useful regardless. Also, though the verbatim does specifically designate "Large" it would not be too much of a stretch for DM's to rule that in the event of somehow growing larger than Medium the feat would treat you as one size larger than your current size. But that would be depending on RAW vs RAI, and cannot be depended on for every game. – Dorian Aug 12 '14 at 3:30
@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
The main reason I was looking into it was mostly the ability to pick up and use Medium weapons as a Small character. Particularly useful on the versatility end. As for Large or Huge or etc versions, that was mostly on the cheese end because it would just be awesome to have a dwarf smashing things with a hammer multiple size categories larger than him, or pull a "anime guy with impossibly large sword" trope. Fundue! Also the versatility offered by say having a Tiny creature that can still use Medium weapons would be handy. – Dorian Aug 12 '14 at 22:08

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