I once was a D&D 3.5 player for about a year, and I was playing a dwarf fighter, but I needed to take a break. Now I'm returning, but I need to make a new character. The DM says to make a 9th level character.

I want to make an axe-dwarf "tank" that can keep up with the rest of my party with 12k gp for equipment. There aren't any forbidden books, but I would like a relatively simpler build without any prestige classes (remember, I've only played the game for a year and English isn't my first language.)

The rest of my party is a Barbarian, Cleric, Wizard, Rogue, and a Rogue/Fighter/something (I know it as a swordmaster, but I don't think that's the prestige class's real name).


closed as too broad by Miniman, doppelgreener, nvoigt, Ruut, Erik May 26 '15 at 11:14

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    \$\begingroup\$ @KebabuTurka Try not to be overwhelmed with variables. But think of it like this: Someone says, I want the best racecar ever made. An engineer would ask what kind of race will he be doing. If replied with street racing, the engineer would then ask what type of pavement the streets would be made of. Then other questions such as, does it rain there a lot? In order to fix a specific problem, we have to narrow down as many variables as possible. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut May 26 '15 at 9:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KebabuTurka You really need to add more requirements - right now Cleric or Wizard is a perfectly good answer, even though I suspect it's not what you have in mind. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 26 '15 at 9:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ By warrior, are you meaning Fighter? Are you meaning melee martial class? Are you meaning any martial class? Are you meaning gish? \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut May 26 '15 at 10:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ This seems like it would be way too broad to me. You have nothing to go by except "I want a level 9 tank with a dwarven axe". I could easily make a level 9 dwarf wizard that specializes in tanking, but how is that better than a level 9 fighter or level 9 walrus wearing a funny hat unless we know more information? \$\endgroup\$ – Theik May 26 '15 at 11:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Theik I suddenly imagined Wilfred Brimley wearing a funny hat and holding an axe in one hand, a bowl of Quaker Oats in the other, and delivering us a diabetes infomercial. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut May 27 '15 at 2:09

Your best bet, without prestige classes but a focus with a dwarven axe is a crusader or warblade. They are great single classed melee fighters that can keep up and are interesting to play.

For resources, take a look at the tome of battle for dummies.

For a Level 9 Dwarf... who desires to tank, go with Crusader: they can keep themselves alive and functional for an astonishing time.

For a recommended build, go with the Stomguard Crusader here:

This build is a good example of a leap-frogging pattern, acquiring Thicket of Blades as fast as possible before alternating between 2 Crusader levels and additional Warblade levels to allow for cherry picking of maneuvers.

It sacrifices the Improved Trip of the pure Crusader build and a slightly slowed maneuver progression so as to add in a smattering of useful warblade maneuvers and the powerful Stormguard Warrior feat. This feat is added on the existing Crusader strategy of pinning down your opponent and then creating a lose-lose situation for them - any attacks they provoke from Robilar's Gambit can now be sacrificed for bonuses to attacks and damage with Channel the Storm. Furthermore, you can spend a round charging up Combat Rhythm and then use Stand Still to prevent an opponent moving away from you - virtually guaranteeing that they will be on the receiving end of the hefty bonuses you're accumulated.

Put simply, compared to the straight Crusader build it trades a small amount of battlefield control capability for a significant increase in damage dealing ability.

Details of the build are in the post, but the heart is a Crusader 8 / Warblade 1 with powers chosen to beat people down and take a beating.

From here, we can reference the Crusader Handbook, which recommends a greatsword or falchion. And has a large list of enchantments to make spending your 12,000 gp (which is one third of what you should have -- this is really going to hurt. Ask your gm to reset it to the appropriate 36k) easier.

Alternatively, you could just go with a level 9 dwarf cleric designed to beat peoples' faces in (and not heal at all.) With the appropriate self buffs like divine power makes you absolutely amazing. With that said, a dwarven cleric would get significant mileage out of ordained champion, so... you may have to relax your rule on prestige classes here.


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