And if all else fails simply recruit a court wizard or three to help you.

Leadership is ENCOURAGED in this campaign, the cohort will be your most trusted advisor (Actually, to hell with that, you all get leadership as a bonus feat. submit me a concept for a court advisor and I will construct him) the followers you gain (if any) will be added to your start army.

Need to work on economy and mechanics now, Gavin could you find those unit templates you showed me?

Okay everyone, here is my list of 'WotC, WotC Affiliates, Pathfinder, and Homebrew classes which are arguably Tier 3 or Very Strong Tier 4 with a good solid schtick or two'.

With these classes, especially the houserule or homebrew ones, some of them have some strange rules associated with them, and might need conversion to 'normal' 3.5e, so caveat emptor and all of that (even though those are free; the pathfinder variants and the rogue, for example, will need backconversion). I'll be listing sources of these classes, and between all of them, you SHOULD be able to get the flavor you want!

Now, not all of these are designed as 'charismatic leaders', only some have that going for them. I am going to start by linking to two existing 'leadership' handbooks and thread discussions about the mechanical aspects of Leadership in D&D. If you plan to ask for changes for leadership stuff to do with the class you are choosing, this should help you in that task. One of these threads also tells you how to maximize normal leadership using the existing rules (unfortunately, even then, it is impossible to get leadership to the THOUSANDS for a true army...DM intervention may be needed..)

With that out of the way, onto the classes!

Bard (Player's Handbook)
Beguiler (Player's Handbook II)
Dread Necromancer (Heroes of Horror)
Binder (Tome of Magic, WITHOUT the Online Vestiges)
Shadowcaster (Tome of Magic)

Druid, with at least one, possibly more, of several nerfs:
Shapeshift Variant (Player's Handbook II)
Deadly Hunter Variant (Unearthed Arcana, SRD)
Druidic Avenger Variant (Unearthed Arcana, SRD)
Spontaneous Divine Caster Variant (Unearthed Arcana, SRD)
-note that even with this, this class might need DM buy in for the appropriate spells you choose since several Druid spells are army obsoleters-

Shaman (Oriental Adventures, possible Tier 2 due to spell access, especially to army obsoleters, DM may need to only allow access to specific spells)
Shugenja (Complete Divine)
Crusader (Tome of Battle)
Swordsage (Tome of Battle)
Warblade (Tome of Battle)
Factotum (Dungeonscape)
Duskblade (Player's Handbook II)
Totemist (Magic of Incarnum)
Incarnate (Magic of Incarnum)
Psychic Warrior (Expanded Psionics Handbook, SRD)
Psychic Rogue (Online, see: and )
Wilder (Expanded Psionics Handbook, SRD)
Ardent (Complete Psionic)
Ranger (Wildshape variant Ranger, Unearthed Arcana, SRD)

Now for WotC Affiliates and Pathfinder. Note that these are MUCH shakier in their statuses, and my info is dated
Nightstalker (Races of Ansalon, a Dragonlance book, possible Tier 4)
Summoner (Pathfinder)
Alchemist (Pathfinder)
Inquisitor (pathfinder)
Magus (Pathfinder)

Now for the homebrew stuff, I link you to every class which is also a link in this thread (from which I also got much of the inspiration to this post):

It has a variant of the Paladin, Rogue, Cleric, Druid, Warmage, Swashbuckler, Monk, Barbarian, Soulknife, MARSHAL, along with several custom designed classes and several classes which were still 'being examined'; if there is a class or a flavor which you prefer, you can probably find something like that in that thread.

I absolutely love this game idea and have been waiting for something like this for ages. I've actually been doing something like this a long time ago, it's one of the two tabletop 3rd edition campaigns I've been in that I have fond memories of, though it was actually a lot more cooperative (I'm really, really not a PvP person).

However, the fact that this game is 3rd edition is making me hold back, and as soon as you started discussing tiers and action economy I'm getting the urge to push the eject button and get the hell out of dodge, never to look back again.

So before I even try to throw an idea or two into the fray: is anyone going to scream and tears its hair out if I screw builds and disregard the metagame theoryD&D that has gruesomely murdered what little game there was? I'd rather a honest answer so as to spare everyone as much frustration as possible.

@Mokuren: Well, no, but that puts you at a significant disadvantage in any sort of PvP situation, and also reduces your ability to impact the game world in a PvM situation... What we were trying to do was figure out a set of restrictions that would let the game happen, ie, where masses of men fight other masses of men as a way of settling differences... which meant we kind of have to not allow Sorcerer / Wizard / Druid / Psion / Cleric / Favored Soul / etc., unless under arbitrary DM restriction (read: as NPC's). You COULD choose a less Heroic sort of character, I suppose, if you want? What flavor of character were you intending to have? Is it a complexity issue? Lots of these classes aren't complex? Could you tell us the sorts of things you see your character doing, IE, how you see him acting in your head?

I'm not sure what I'm going to play, as I said I'm not even sure I want to apply considering the ruleset and the fact I have never had one single experience with it in PbP that was less than harrowing.

My main worry is that, you see, I simply hate everything about what the internet as a whole has decreed about 3rd edition D&D, its One True Way CharOp based metagame is something I find annoying to no end and I simply cannot for the love of me think of that as a positive way to deal with the problems that the system doubtlessly has.

Which means I'll be sticking to SRD material since I can't be bothered to go supplement hunting: the novelty for that I lost about 7 years ago and it has never came back since. It's not even really a "complexity" issue unless by "complexity" you mean "finding a way to stack as much stuff as possible and try to do everything with spells because they're broken so everything must be broken or it sucks", I'm fine with complexity, what I'm not fine is 99.9% of potential "builds" being impossible because there is one way to build a character that just does everything better in every field.

That is to say: the game provides a swathe of options that are for the vast majority either pitfalls, newbie traps or overshadowed by something else, and rather than playing a character dictated by the metagame's ludicrously high bar without having a real choice on the matter, I rather not play at all.

Well... from what I understand, we are trying to put a maximum cap of the amount of char op that can happen, and targeting a particular power level. That's why the most powerful stuff is banned; we are trying to figure out in what ways can the system help the players and the DM tell the story we want to tell, rather than hinder it. If it matters, SRD has Psychic Warrior and Wilder and Bard, both of which are considered in the 'target' power level. Even more classes are completely online, and also in the target power level, like Psychic Rogue, Totemist, or Warblade. Further, three of the possible nerfs to Druid are in the SRD, potentially making the Druid a possibly viable class, but you might need to clear your spell selection and which creatures you plan on summoning via Summon Nature's Ally and any potential Animal Companions. Also, the Alternate Class Feature which makes Ranger fit in the target power level is on the SRD, too.

In other words, we aren't trying to MAXIMIZE power and versatility, because that would result in the game imploding if anyone used their spells intelligently to solve tactical or strategic problems. We also are trying to, in a game which can potentially go very much PvP (ie, we are overtly leaving this option open), normalize the advantage which someone can gain by gaming the system, or the detriment they can have by not paying too much attention to 'crunch'. Thus we are trying to REMOVE the pitfalls (in either direction) which would lead to a bad story.

The idea here is that D&D 3.5e provides tools like legos (in this case, the most relevant of those tools being 'classes'), which are or are not appropriate to certain types of storytelling; what we are doing is trying to choose the legos most appropriate to the form of storytelling implicit in this setting.

Well, I suppose there is no way to tell how much is too much without waiting to see what kind of character sheets come out.

So, Bard, Wilder and Psychic warrior, eh? Good, I'll make something out of those three classes combined in the worst way possible.

Seriously thought, since I've really been looking for a game like this for a long, long time, I'll give it a try before pushing the eject button. Just to clarify however, what is the "target" power level you're speaking of? I'll be unable to keep up with it regardless, but at least I'll have an idea as to what to expect.

I edited my post a bit to show a few more options in the SRD and online; there were a few I was forgetting. You might want to reread it. The target power level seems to be 'An averagely optimized, with access to at least a few useful splatbooks, and some thought given into spell choice, Bard'. If you are curious about a class which is a bit less 'swingy' in either direction, and not so dependent on 'build' choices as an example, you might just consider something like 'a Warblade', using only core and Tome of Battle options, as a telling choice.

Also note that in one of my earlier posts, I linked to a place that gave a large number of Homebrew character classes in the 'target' zone, which were COMPLETELY online. See here:


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