Epic Character Builds – The Versatile Kensai
Created by: MauvaisGuillam
Indispensable Edit Guy: Doug_G.
The Versatile Kensai can function in a variety of roles, either as a Dexterity based melee tank, an arcane spell caster, or a skilled and stealthy rogue. In short, he packs tremendous offensive and defensive capabilities into one neat, complete package: a Human Wizard (Illusionist) 20 / Rogue 13 / Weapon Master 7.
Weapon Master: 7
Alignment: True Neutral
Disable Trap: 43
Move Silently: 31
Open Lock: 43
Set Traps: 5
Use Magic Device: 21
Monk or Wizard Robes
Deadly Accuracy – The Versatile Kensai has trained long and hard as a Weapon Master to achieve his combat capabilities. This training, combined with its extremely high Dexterity and the Weapon Finesse feat, have enabled him to achieve an AB of +38/+33/+28/+23 at level 40 for a mundane rapier. As if this were not high enough, he can use its arcane spells to further bolster its accuracy, using True Strike, Cat’s Grace, and Greater Magic Weapon to achieve a minimum +64/+59/+54/+49 at level 40 with the same mundane rapier.
Frequent and Powerful Criticals – The Versatile Kensai’s long training and arcane capabilities have enabled it to precisely calculate strikes against its opponents. The rapier, a weapon with an already good critical line, 18-20/x2, becomes an amazingly powerful 13-20/x3 in the hands of the Versatile Kensai, who can cast the arcane spell Keen Edge to further increase the power of its rapier to 10-20/x3.
Rapid Attacks – Unlike many builds boasting level nine arcane spells, he receives four attacks a round, receiving a +16 BAB at level 20. He can easily Haste himself to receive a fifth attack at its highest attack bonus, meaning more hits, and by extension, more critical hits.
Massive Damage – As if the frequency of critical hits wasn’t enough, the Versatile Kensai can add significant damage to his Rapier. The Flame Weapon spell adds 1d4+10 fire damage to each blow, while Greater Magic Weapon adds an additional +5. The Bull’s Strength spell will also contribute damage, bringing Strength to a minimum of 16 for +3 damage. All of these bonuses are multiplied in the case of critical hits, which will be plentiful for the Versatile Kensai.
Sneak Attacks – He can use either an Invisibility spell or his stealth skills to sneak up on opponents for 7d6 sneak attack damage. Alternately, he can distract an opponent with a summoned creature or his panther familiar while racking up damage.
The Versatile Kensai Unleashing His Magic Tactical Movement – He will not provoke attacks of opportunity while moving around in combat, thanks to the Dodge, Mobility, and Spring Attack feats. This can come in handy when he needs to carry out a strategic retreat, possibly to come back later to wreak arcane retribution on his foes.
Exceptional Agility – The Versatile Kensai receives a large amount of AC thanks to his extreme Dexterity and training in the art of dodging. His 30 Dexterity will increase AC by ten points, his 40 ranks of Tumble will provide another eight points, and the Dodge feat provides another one point, for an unbuffed, unarmored AC of 29. Furthermore, the Uncanny Dodge feat ensures that he will never have to fear losing his Dodge AC bonus, which comprises a significant portion of the character’s AC.
Arcane Defenses – Through his training as a wizard, the Versatile Kensai has developed the ability to cast a number of defensive spells to further boost his defensive abilities. He may cast Cat’s Grace or Mage Armor to directly improve AC, and he may also cast Shadow Shield to provide AC and other useful defensive abilities. Premonition can provide damage reduction against especially persistent foes, while attackers will suffer damage from Mestil’s Acid Sheath, Elemental Shield, and Death Armor. Bigby’s Interposing Hand will make it very difficult for opponents to hit him. Finally, he may conceal itself entirely with a Greater Sanctuary spell, enabling him to cast buffs, retreat from combat for more preparation, or sit and watch as his Black Blade of Disaster does all the work.
Self-Concealment – The Versatile Kensai’s familiarity with the arts of stealth have enabled him to hide from view very effectively. Thanks to the feats Self-Concealment I, II, and III, only 7 out of 10 incoming hits will even have a chance to strike him.
Immunity to Smites – Staying true to his diverse heritage, the Versatile Kensai is a character of true neutral alignment, meaning he will never have to worry about being instantly killed from Smite by those pesky Blackguards, Champions of Torm, and Paladins. (Builder’s note: Sorry, couldn’t resist. It was too amusing to pass up. :-D)
Defense against Spells – Improved Evasion ensures that the he will take, at most, half damage against a spell allowing a Reflex save. Furthermore, with his high Spellcraft score, the Versatile Kensai receives +8 to all saves against spells.
I think his set of skills (at level 40) pretty much speaks for itself. He possesses an incredibly wide variety of skills, all of which enhance the character as a whole.
As a level 20 Illusionist Wizard, the Versatile Kensai has access to all spells 9th level and below. Buffing spells will particularly enhance the character’s combat prowess, while offensive spells enable him to wreak havoc from a distance. Because of his relatively low number of Wizard levels (20) and Intelligence (20), he will ideally want to take offensive spells that do not allow a saving throw, such as Ice Storm, Isaac’s Greater Missile Storm, Vampiric Touch, and the Bigby’s Hand spells. Here is a list of possible spell memorizations that will make him ready for nearly any situation.
Level 0: Ray of Frost x5
Level 1: Expeditious Retreat x1, Mage Armor x1, Magic Missile x2, Protection from Alignment x1, True Strike x2
Level 2: Bull’s Strength x1, Cat’s Grace x1, Death Armor x2, Flame Weapon x1, Melf’s Acid Arrow x1
Level 3: Clarity x2, Dispel Magic x1, Greater Magic Weapon x1, Keen Edge x1, Vampiric Touch x1
Level 4: Elemental Shield x2, Ice Storm x2, Lesser Spell Breach x1, Stoneskin x1
Level 5: Bigby’s Interposing Hand x2, Maximized Melf’s Acid Arrow x2, Mestil’s Acid Sheath x2
Level 6: Bigby’s Forceful Hand x2, Isaac’s Greater Missile Storm x1, True Seeing x1, Maximized Vampiric Touch x1
Level 7: Maximized Ice Storm x2, Shadow Shield x2, Spell Mantle x1
Level 8: Bigby’s Clenched Fist x2, Greater Sanctuary x2, Premonition x1
Level 9: Black Blade of Disaster x1, Greater Spell Mantle x1, Maximized Isaac’s Greater Missile Storm x1, Mordenkainen’s Disjunction x2
Remember, though, that you can use your stealth or the Greater Sanctuary spell to reconnoiter your opponents before a fight even takes place, enabling you to use your newly gathered intelligence to tailor your spell list for the occasion.
The Versatile Kensai In Combat The best weapon for the Versatile Kensai will be a high-quality magical rapier, ideally with high elemental damage so that he adds it to the tripled damage roll on a critical hit. The Versatile Kensai might also do well to carry a light, bludgeoning weapon such as a mace in case it finds itself confronted with undead or other monsters resistant to blades. When it comes to choosing armor, he will want to wear either Monk or Wizard robes, as these pieces of armor do not inhibit spell casting or agility. Isaac’s Sequencer Robe is a fine choice, as are the Master Robes of the Old Order, which may require the Versatile Kensai to use Charisma-boosting items to increase his Use Magic Device skill. The Versatile Kensai will also want to acquire a permanent source of Haste, such as a Platinum Helm, and another source of AC, such as Boots of the Sun Soul. A Belt of Storm Giant Strength wouldn’t hurt either.
Character Advancement History
Following is the path of the Versatile Kensai during the first forty levels of his life.
|Character Level||Class||Skill Increases||Feat Selection||Attribute Increase|
|1||Rogue||4 DT, 4 HI, 4 IT, 4 MS, 4 OL, 4 SE, 4 ST, 4 TU, 4 UM, Save 12||Dodge, Mobility|
|2||Rogue||1 DT, 1 HI, 1 MS, 1 OL, 1 SE, 1 ST, 1 TU, 1 UM, Save 16|
|3||Wizard||6 CO, Save 16||Weapon Focus: Rapier|
|4||Wizard||1 CO, 5 SP, Save 16||Dexterity|
|5||Rogue||3 DT, 3 HI, 3 MS, 3 OL, 3 SE, 3 TU, 3 UM, Save 7|
|6||Rogue||1 DT, 1 HI, 1 MS, 1 OL, 1 SE, 1 TU, 1 UM, Save 12||Spring Attack|
|7||Rogue||1 DT, 1 HI, 1 MS, 1 OL, 1 SE, 1 TU, 1 UM, Save 17|
|8||Rogue||1 DT, 1 HI, 1 MS, 1 OL, 1 SE, 1 TU, 1 UM, Save 22||Dexterity|
|9||Rogue||1 DT, 1 HI, 1 MS, 1 OL, 1 SE, 1 TU, 1 UM, Save 27||Expertise|
|10||Rogue||1 DT, 1 HI, 1 MS, 1 OL, 1 SE, 1 TU, 1 UM, Save 32|
|11||Rogue||1 DT, 1 HI, 1 MS, 1 OL, 1 SE, 1 TU, 1 UM, Save 37|
|12||Rogue||1 DT, 1 HI, 1 MS, 1 OL, 1 SE, 1 TU, 1 UM, Save 42||Improved Evasion*, Whirlwind||Dexterity|
|13||Weapon Master||16 DI, Save 32|
|14||Weapon Master||1 DI, Save 37|
|15||Weapon Master||1 DI, Save 42||Weapon Finesse|
|16||Weapon Master||1 DI, Save 47||Dexterity|
|17||Rogue||5 DT, 5 HI, 5 MS, 5 OL, 5 SE, 5 TU, 5 UM, Save 24|
|18||Weapon Master||1 DI, Save 29||Improved Critical: Rapier|
|19||Weapon Master||1 DI, Save 34|
|20||Weapon Master||2 DI, Save 38||Dexterity|
|21||Wizard||17 CO, 17 SP, Save 10||Great Dexterity I|
|22||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 14|
|23||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 18||Great Intelligence I
|24||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 22||Great Dexterity II||Dexterity|
|25||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 26|
|26||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 30|
|27||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 34||Great Dexterity III|
|28||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 38||Great Intelligence II||Dexterity|
|29||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 43|
|30||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 48||Great Dexterity IV|
|31||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 53|
|32||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 58||Dexterity|
|33||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 63||Great Dexterity V, Great Intelligence III
|34||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 68|
|35||Wizard||1 CO, 1 SP, Save 73|
|36||Rogue||19 DT, 12 HI, 11 MS, 14 OL, 19 SE, 10 TU, 1 UM||Self-Concealment I||Dexterity|
|37||Wizard||2 CO, 2 SP, Save 3|
|38||Wizard||1 CO, 2 SP, Save 7|
|39||Wizard||1 CO, Save 13||Maximize Spell, Self-Concealment II|
|40||Rogue||4 DT, 9 OL, 4 SE, 10 TU||Self-Concealment III*||Intelligence|
- Indicates Rogue Bonus feats. ** indicates Wizard Bonus feats.