So, I've come up with a concept for a character and I have a couple options for how to actually implement her into the rules. That said, I look up to you, Gamebanshee forum-dwellers (specially Scottg who seems to be the Neverwinter Nights 2 build guru around this parts), for help and counsel. With that out of the way, here goes. The concept Well, she is a diplomatic envoy of some sort. She is more at home at a hallroom meeting, or a tense negotiation, than in an open battlefield, so, when possible, she likes to defuse situations with the minimal amount of violence. However, when the other shoe inevitably drops, she relies more on brute strength and huge weapons than on any real skill with them. A dwarf would be the ideal race, but, sadly, I can't find any way for them to conform to the concept. Mechanically, that means I want to maximize, at the very least, Lore, Diplomacy and Spellcraft (she has picked a couple magical tricks along the road, that help her be more prepared and capable), and have high Bluff, if at all possible. Her alignment would veer towards chaotic good, but I plan to play the OC and MotB, so maybe I'll end up nearer the lawful end of the spectrum. I also don't want to play her as a caster. She may cast spells, of course, since the class permits it, and it makes sense that she may have picked up some magic tricks from prior experiences, but I want it to be strictly low-key, buffing and controlling mostly. I'd allow for Wail of the Banshee, but only to be used very sparsely. My rationale is that the WotB'd be a trick used taught to diplomats to be used as a last resort measure if things are going very badly, but it shouldn't be used carelessly, lest it become foreseeable, and their usefulness compromised. That said, there are a couple ways we can do this, and the choice is yours (say that in your best Socucious Ergalla impression) Alternative A: The Piercing Tongue Rock gnome, chaotic good, 23 bard/ X Red Dragon Disciple / maybe something else Ability scores: Str 13 (+remaining level ups, +4 RDD upgrades). Should be a minimum of 20, +5 modifier Dex X Con 16 Int 12 Wis 8 Cha 16 (+2 level ups, , 18, enough to get Hymn of Requiem at 23 bard levels) Feats (in no particular order): Lingering song, Song of Requiem, Hymn of Requiem, Power Attack, Improved Power Attack, Cleave, Greater Cleave, weapon focus:rapier(?), Curse Song(?) I'm actually not sure about Curse Song. It seems to me SoR would make that feat largely redundant, but then again, I'd get that at 21 at the earliest, and probably much later, since I'd be putting the RDD levels somewhere in between to boost STR. And it's an incredibly good feat, no matter if SoR is even better. Skills: Max: Lore, Diplomacy, Spellcraft High (at least at every bard level): Tumble (at the very least, 20, because 30 seems unfeasible/too expensive to be worth pursuing) Concentration to 23 for auto-defensive casting, Perform for Hymn of Requiem and to boost inspirations, Bluff and the rest in Use Magic Device (probably 6 o 7 points. Largely useless) So, she is a rock bard. Rock gnome bard, rock bard. I know, I know, I just couldn't resist. For being a character largely based on a pun, I like how this one came out. Among the most skilled in the diplomatic corps of her realm, the Piercing Tongues have seen a little bit of everything, done a lot of everything questionable and lived to tell the (largely embellished) tale. However, there's a couple things I'm not so sure about. First, since she is a small race, she wields rapiers and other medium weapons as two-handed weapons, which is already a rather humorous image, worthy of the rather unorthodox build. My question is, does she get 1.5 enhacement per point of strength modifier when doing this? Do Power Attack and Improved Power Attack benefit from doing so? Also, when it comes to Red Dragon Disciple Levels, do I take 4 levels of RDD, losing a point of BAB, but gaining 2 points of attack and 2 of damage from strength modifiers, and then 3 of a high BAB class? I'd probably have to take Able learner, then, and I'm already starved for feats, but I guess I could lose Weapon Focus: Rapier, without any issue, specially since the benefit would then be reaped from the high BAB class anyway, and for all weapons, not just rapiers. or should I take the full 7 levels of RDD and gain the delicious, delicious Blindfight at level 5? It's a great feat, I'd take it anyway, and I'm already hurting to find places for more feats. Alternative B: The negotiator: Human (half-orc would be even-better, but probably not viable), chaotic good, 2 bard (to qualify for RDD, unlock Lore, Diplomacy and Spellcraft as class skills, and the attack bonus inspiration for 1 extra point of damage, or 4 bard, level 2 spells, namely a veeeeeeeeeeery short Bull's Strength, to be cast without armor before entering the fray. Largely useless)/X Fighter (Barbarian is also possible, even if it strains the concept a bit)/ 10 RDD (+8 Str, me likey) Ability scores: Str 16/18 (+every level up, +8 RDD upgrades, for crazy delicious damage dealing hypothetical capability) Dex 10 (maybe even 8. I plan on going VERY armored) Con X Int 10/12 Wis 8 Cha 12/14 if 4 bard, for the extra level 2 spell Skills: Maximize Lore, Persuade and Diplomacy. Fuck Bluff. Bluff is for the weak-willed, anyway, and she has no time for subtleties anyway. She has mob wars to stop. Feats: Since she is taking so many fighter levels, she can go a little crazy with the feat selection. Able learner is a must, obviously, but other than that, any feat regarding greatswords (or, for a non-optimal, but far more rewarding alternative, warhammers), but not the criticals feats, as I said, she is no skilled swordswoman, she just wants to hack or bludgeon her enemies to a fine paste, so she may live to try again. So, this one's concept is pretty clear, no nuances about it: she looks like something out of an 80's cop serial. Despised as a maverick for her methods, she's regardless the best when the unexpected happens. Living on stimulants and large helpings of cynicism, she gets dispatched to defuse the most dangerous situations, only to find herself thurst upon ever more entangled complications when the last one has been overcome. All in a day's work for the negotiator. So, what do you think? Are they viable? Which one is better? Do you have any tips on how to improve them without breaking character? Any help would be welcome! Have fun tearing them apart! And thanks for reading.