14th level, drow, two-weapon fighter. Cheesy and stereotyped (but quite quite lethal). I think I can do better than the "default" build. Drizzle has a number of characteristic moves and equipment:
Drizzt's favorite weapon is the scimitar, and he carries two, nicknamed Twinkle and Icingdeath. He also carries a unique Figurine of Wondrous Power which summons his black panther companion Guenhwyvar11. The drow wears a pair of bracers of the blinding strike (obtained from Dantrag Baenre, weapon master of the first house of Menzoberranzan who challenged and lost to Drizzt) around his ankles, making him incredibly quick on his feet. He chose to wear them on his legs instead of his arms because when the enchantment combined with his natural speed, his sword swings became too fast for him to control (making it hard to change directions), and his feet could not keep up, resulting in extremely predictable attacks. Drizzt's attire is generally a cloth tunic, tough pants, soft boots and leather gloves12. Drizzt wears an enchanted suit of mithral chainmail, made by Buster Bracer that he now augments by wearing a spider silk shirt under his armour that can magically protect its wearer from all but the most lethal attacks. Drizzt carried Agatha's mask during his journeys in Calimshan. Drizzt is not above improvising in combat by taking what weapons are available to him. He has also been known to use Mooshie's Longbow and a dagger hidden in each boot.
Moves are not strongly detailed in the wiki, so we'll go with the cheesiest possible combination.
Most build details will be references from This Guide
Ranger, Two-blade fighting style (required, because scimitars don't have an off-hand property.) Prime shot, because of feats in paragon. Background: Cult Escapee, because I find it amusing to characterize Lolth's priesthesshood as a cult, and because the arcana skill represents his time at the academy.
PP options are: Blade-dancer, Pathfinder, Stormwarden, or Ruthless Punisher. if starting at level 16, Pathfinder is my recommendation, as rangers are incredibly squishy, but Drizzle doesn't behave that way. At 14, my recommendation is Ruthless Punisher as it seems to fit his usual enemies of humanoids. Looking at multi-classing, barbarian fits Drizzle's backstory the best, giving us the very sold "berserker's fury" feat that represents the "The Hunter" state he falls into. It costs us 2 points of strength, but we can't have everything. There are two useful powers that we'll be multi-classing into later, that get that lethal feel across as well.
Pre-racial ability scores are a fairly dismal: 16/13/14/10/14/8. The str/dex/con/wis MAD stems from the need for not-completely crappy melee defenses, though this is an argument for potentially trying to build this character as an Essentials build, to simplify all the requirements considerably. The PP and a number of powers require wis, and the barbarian requires con. This is one of the large problems inherent in trying to build a character to a fictional character set in a different edition. Try to get your GM to give you an extra +2 dex, if possible.
Trained skills to taste, I chose: Arcana, Athletics, Dungoneering, Nature, Perception (Barbarian Training), Stealth. Flavour to suit, and choose appropriate background, depending on what emphasis you want.
- At-will: Twin Strike, Shield of Blades.
- Twin strike is the must take of rangerhood. Shield of Blades is distinctly underwhelming, but matches Drizzle's flavour, inasmuch as he "hides behind a weaving curtain of steel" at some points in the books. (From what I remember reading them 15 years ago.) It doesn't matter, as 99.9% of the time, we'll be using twin-strike.
- Encounter 1 (ignorable): Off-hand strike
- Daily 1: Commanding Confrontation
- This is an extremely unusual choice. While it's technically a ranged attack (Drizzle must open the fight with a thrown knife from his boot, or a shot from the longbow) the 2+wis mod extra damage on every single attack is just too significant to overlook.
- Utility 2: Invigorating Stride: shift and second wind as move.
- Encounter 3: Disruptive Strike: Interrupts are fantastic. Debuffing interrupts more-so.
- Daily 5: Snarling Wolf Stance: MBA as IR as a stance anytime makes a melee attack against us? Perfect fit for the style of many many flashing blades seen in the books.
- Utility 6: Mighty sprint (not many really noteworthy choices at this level. Grab anything that looks interesting/fun)
- Encounter 7: Lashing Leaves: A great power to open up a nova with.
- Daily 9: Invigorating Confrontation
- While this means that drizzt will be opening up 2/3 fights with a ranged attack, the flow of 5+wismod THP against elites and solos is just too good to pass up. If you want simple damage, grab attacks on the run.
- Utility 10: Resume the hunt
- Encounter 13: Off hand Diversion
Retrain: invigorating or snarling-wolf for Tiger's claw rage, depending if you are OK with the "throw a dagger or shoot a bow to open" mechanic of invigorating.
- 1: Berserker's Fury
- 2: Silvery Glow (take weapon focus if you don't want to go frostcheese, or if you're in FR and Sehanie != Melikki)
- 4: Master at Arms
- 6: **
- 8: Wintertouched
- 10: Adept power
- 11: Lasting Frost
- 12: Scimitar Dance
- 14: **
Choice here: Two-Weapon fighting + Two-weapon Opening (if you like crits) versus Prime Punisher + Prime Quarry (instead of scimitar dance, optional) + Called Shot (Retraining).
My recommendation is to trade in scimitar dance for weapon proficiency bastard sword, and just call your bastard swords "scimitars."
Equipment wise, using the old rules, we start with a 15+14+13, and 13th level gold. While Icingdeath and Twinkle are statted, they are level 25 weapons and therefore not appropriate.
However, the "Chill Wind" weapon, Level 15, is a perfect match for icingdeath. An uninsipiring alternative for defensive is the "Shielding Blade" which provides a flat +1 to AC. (Better would be rhythm blade, but that applies only to light blades.
Armor is significantly harder, as the mechanics of mithril have changed over the last two editions. Given that Agile Armor is the closest but conflicts with the more appropriate level 15 item slot, I'll try to find a 11-13 armor that matches with the "damage absorbing spider-silk shirt" Unfortunately, the only decent armor at an appropriate level is "Predator's Hide" Speak with your GM about options here (try to get the hide reflavoured as chain, at least.)
We're now left with a choice between necessary neck slot and the last named equipment on Drizzle, that of his "feet-bracers." The Amulet of Scales seems to neatly suppliment the protection found from the spider-silk shirt, and can be trivially reflavoured to shirt or holy-symbol.
No singular piece of equipment allows an increase in speed and to dance circles around ones opponent. One item that approximates them are "Survivor's boots" that, as a level 16 item, cause you to not provoke in combat, while bloodied.
- Iron Armbands of Power (necessary for melee rangers.)
Assumptions: have hit the enemy in the previous round, and thus they have vulnerability 5 to cold. The current rules about keywords apply (specifically, if a power gains a keyword, all damage from that power has the keyword.) (Caution, reading the referenced threads will cause headaches) And we're the only ally in range of the enemy
To hit (with Twin Strike):
+22 to hit = +5 str + 2 weapon (boo) + 3 enhancement + 7 half-level + 2 master-at-arms +1 prime punisher (prime shot) + 2 combat advantage (lasting frost)
Average level 14 monster will have 28 AC, for an acceptable 55% to-hit (unbuffed) or 70% buffed. (60-75% with bastard sword "curvy scimitars").
Damage (twin strike):
1d8+3 +2d6 (once per round) + 5 (called shot, only on hit) + 3 (any humanoid designated as quarry) + 5 cold (through vulnerability) +3 silvery glow
Average damage per twin-strike (scimitars):
crit for chill wind: 2d8+3d6+10 (10 ongoing cold is just awesome.)
Crit for shielding: 2d8+3d6
(.65 * (4.5+3+7+5+3+5+3) + .05 * (8+3+7+5+3+5+3+9+10.5+10)) + (.65 * (4.5+3+5+3+5+3) + .05 * (8+3+5+3+5+3+9+10.5) + .3 * 4 + .3 * 4) =
43 average damage per round, not counting the many out of turn attacks, minor action attacks, etc...
Another test of this character is whether or not they can solo an equal level elite, as there are a number of quite epic fights in the books that feature that kind of duel.
Sample elite is the Drow Assassin, level 14. Assuming that it's mostly just a sword duel, with the assassin disengaging whenever stinging bolt recharges.
- Round 1 Assassin:
- Drow assassin wins init, attacks Drizzt with poisoned crossbow.
- Drizzt: II, armor of scales, resist 5 poison
- DA attacks Drizzt:
101-(1-((28-19)/20))*((10.5+6-5)+(10-5)+(15/2-5)) = 90.6 (28 AC, +19 to hit)
- Round 1 Drizzt
- Minor, "Named Dread" "I am Drizzt, the protagonist of this story. You don't even have a name. Give up now, and I will show you mercy" for a -2 to all attacks until the end of the encounter.
- Minor, "Hunter's Quarry",
- Standard: Invigorating Confrontation. (significantly less damage, from a dagger without frostcheese.)
DA @ 206-(1-(30-17)/20)*(2.5*3+4+5+3+7)-(30-17)/20*(2.5*3+4+5+3)/2=190.4 (rounded)
- Drizzt: Gains effect: +8 THP on hit.
- Round 2 Assassin
- moves in,
(1-((28-11)/20))*(4.5*2+6-5))+(1-((28-17)/20))*(4.5*2+6-5))=6 , absorbed by THP generated from II due to daily. Flavour is "the shirt's tough fibers deflect the poisoned tip of the assassin's keen blade"
- Drizzt II: Disruptive strike,
- Round 2 Drizzt
- Drizzt: Tiger Claw's Rage (+22 to hit = 3W with wintertouched, should have gotten it by now, not going to fully inform hit chances by leaving it out, if he doesn't have it, minor action to do an attack to get it.DA@
- Move: shift 1 square back
- Action Point: Commanding Confrontation:
- Round 3 Assassin:
- DA: Minor, cloud of darkness.
- 2*Hand crossbow =
- Round 3 Drizzt
- Drizzt: Minor, darkfire, +19 versus reflex. Will assume it hits, CA granted from wintertouched.
- Move: shift 1
- Standard: Crippling Shot,
- Round 4 Assassin:
- Move: shift 1
- Poisoned bolt recharges,
(1-(30-17)/20) * (((10.5+6)/2-5)+(10-5)+(15/2-5)) = 3.8 = 0 due to THP, and due to the resist + thp, most of extra damage ignored.)
- Round 4 Drizzt:
- Move, shift 1
- minor, off-hand diversion (nominally used when frost has faded, but we're working by averages),
- Twin strike
51-(4.5+8+5+3+5+5)*2= -10 assassin dead
-- I believe this combat illustrates the flavour of the hugely over-powered Drizzt perfectly. :)