Thanks I like the idea of flags (i'm assuming they can't be slagged?) - and although I probably wouldn't use Improved Expertise all that much (partly because of the -10 ab, partly because it can be tricky to use) it's still handy to have the option for tanking bosses or other particularly nasty spawns. I may add a howler version to the original post at some point. Cheers, -Bort
One thing about getting your weapon slagged would be that you'd lose 12 AC immediately too. That could hurt. Better keep that discipline topped up against certain things.
I agree that IE might be tough to use in combat, but tanking bosses or focusing on one creature would be more practical. Moving from creature to creature would make it tough to use.
I wonder if just taking "normal" expertise, and not improved, would be worth considering. You'd only lose 5 AB that way, and with the good AC you are getting anyway, +5 AC might be enough (as compared to possible +10 from the Improved version). Not sure what to take in IE's place though...
you will have quite a few uses of 100% critical hit immunity, iirc, so parry isnt all that useful in the higher levels. I'm currently leveling a Howler version, without expertise, but with all 3 dualing feats. starting stats were: 14(20) 16(16) 16(22) 14(14) 9(6) 7(4) netting me a higher strength, slightly higher fort and reflex saves and maximum dualing AC. i better start collecting them axes! it certainly looks like a nice build/template bort =)
although i just realised that, considering you will be wearing medium armor anyway, 15 dex and 9 charisma will give you same AC (with less flexibility in armor choices), but +1 fort and will. *shrug* 14(20) 15(15) 16(22) 14(14) 9(6) 9(6)
you will have quite a few uses of 100% critical hit immunity, iirc, so parry isnt all that useful in the higher levels.
The DD crit immunity is useful only in a few select circumstances, and some other source of protection from critical hits is desirable. Though, I don't know how hard it might be to get your hands on equipment for STR tanks that raises parry substantially to make it matter.
Hey Bort - Dod and I were talking about this, and any reason why you need to go 30 DD? From the docs, it doesn't look like you gain any HG changes. So it looks like you lose 1 epic, 3 natural DR, and 2 uses of Defensive Stance, if you go down to 26 DD. I was thinking of taking 4 more Fighter levels, for some more feats, to more easily fit in the TWF feats and Improved Expertise. Any thoughts?
(a) Sounds good (b) I want to reincarnate mine (c) I want to suggest some bonus for characters with 30 levels of DD, similar to how most other classes get bonuses for being 'pure' (i.e. Assassin, WM).. (d) You might want to consider using Blackguard instead of Paladin levels so your character maintains its saves in Rona, and also for the use of the crit immune ring for certain areas (mainly for levelling up).
After looking at this, the only thing you gain is 1 more feat. Since you lose one Epic bonus feat, and get 2 feats by taking 4 more levels of fighter, you really only net 1 more feat. Not sure it's worth it, on the chance that a pure DD could get some kind of benefit down the road.
This might be a very dumb questions as I'm still new at trying to figure out builds, but would using a dwarven war axe and a shield be better than a bastard sword and shield? I have a dual wielding dd with war axes and often find myself using the shield anyway, especially in hells where he gets hammered considerably. Afterall, what fun is it to play this guy if you can't run out in front and swing your beard off?
DD get the +12 AC for dualwielding waraxes, which is the only reason to use axes at all. bastard swords are superiour in dmg output, crit range, elemental types ( that can be crafted ofcoz ) but still.
For a build with one weapon and shield, I would go b-swords.