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MindxKiller
Genin


Joined: 19 Jul 2015
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:56 am    Post subject: Newbie Seeking Advice Reply with quote

Hello everyone, I'm pretty much brand new to naruto d20 so I hope my questions aren't too dumb but I was hoping to get a little insight on some character build choices. I want to make a taijutsu based character, but with the ability to fall back on some ninjutsu if necessary, and im interested in using the knuckle blades.

From what I've read it seems like taijutsu master is going to be a big part of my build but what taijutsu masteries should I take, and what strong hero talents should I take? Are any of the ninjutsu elements more suited for this style of build, and should this type of character invest in the eight gates? Any tips or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
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Dairius_Chi
Situationally Useful


Joined: 02 Jun 2010
Posts: 2633

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eight Gates are always a strong tool, if you can manage the HP drain and risks of debuffs once they're shut off. Going Fatigued or Exhausted mid-battle, besides limiting movement and hurting your primary stats, also disallows a fair bit of Taijutsu that has the P(Physical Health, or something) Component... mainly other stuff that enhances your body, and a fair bit of stances.

If your GM is allowing more than core d20 Modern material, then I'd say for Strong go for Melee Smash and Taijutsu talents, then take Strong Plus to get them both to Advanced. If you take the feat twice you'll only need 3 levels in the class, which is ideal as it's the soonest you can get into Taijutsu Master.

http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/MSRD:Feats#Strong_Plus

As written it technically doesn't apply to the Taijutsu Talents, but general consensus is that it would when used in Nd20... just one of those common sense calls.

As for Ninjutsu Elements... Earth always feels like a strong pairing with a heavy hitting Taijutsu specialist, but beyond a couple clans in Iwagakure this isn't really a consistent thing. Wind, Fire, and Lightning are all the 'material-less' Elements in that they don't require any material focus nearby for most of their damaging techniques. Of them, Fuuton has the most utility beyond raw damage... some fun techniques like 'Sarutobi no Jutsu' allow you to double-jump, then stuff like 'Torihane' can save you from a nasty fall, and 'Sarubou no Jutsu' is a combination giving you more options to use on the fly.

Also, when you get to stuff like 'Chakra Nagashi' which can coat your weapons in an elemental aura, the Wind version is generally the best allowing you to ignore up to 15 DR and 10 Hardness for several strikes.

For Taijutsu Masteries... It's kind of a crap shoot, you can basically make any of them work. Personally, if you were to take 10 levels of Taijutsu Master, I'd say definitely go for the Weapon Focus and Weapon Spec masteries, as well as the +1d6 Sneak Attack(for a total 2d6 from the class, can make a big difference). Critical Strike and Uncanny Critical are also a couple good ones, with Advanced Combat Martial Arts you get X3 on Criticals, and being able to bypass a confirmation roll with an AP expended is a nice trick to have. Uncanny lets you crit stuff normally immune, so have fun with that one.

Now, this is merely an option I'm putting out there, but you also don't really need to take Taijutsu Master to be a great Taijutsu or Unarmed fighter. Superior Combat Martial Arts, a feat in the Nd20 pdf, would eventually give you 1d10 Unarmed... only 1 step below what Taijutsu Master caps out at, and you'd be able to take some other Martial Class to improve your abilities.

Shinobi Swordsman, despite the name, can be taken with a specialization in any weapon. If taken with Unarmed you'd eventually have an 18-20/X3 Unarmed Strike, assuming you took Improved/Advanced Combat Martial Arts, on top of Greater Weapon Focus/Specialization, and the ability to so many times per day treat your Unarmed Strikes as if they were two-handed (1.5X str mod, better damage with Improved Power Attack).
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keksmuzh
Kage


Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, welcome to ND20! It's always nice to see new faces.

Do you know what level you'll be starting at? Or what sort of builds your teammates will be using? Anything like that can help with more specific advice.

Strong Hero is pretty limited as far as good melee talents. Personally I would recommend taking Melee Smash and Improved Melee Smash, then jumping into Taijutsu Master after level 3. Two extra damage is nice, and there are already plenty of ways to boost your attack rolls, so I think it ends up better than the Taijutsu Talent Tree.

If you're looking to make a character focused on unarmed Taijutsu, then Taijutsu Master is pretty much a necessity. Superior Combat Martial Arts is great for generalists that want to occasionally punch things, but taking levels in the class is the best way to become a specialist. One recommendation I have is to NOT use a Taijutsu Mastery on Weapon Focus: it opens up space for other masteries, and you can't take Uncanny Critical if you take Weapon Focus as a Mastery. Some of my favorite talents are below:

"Martial Arts Master": You get most of the benefits of the Training feat for Taijutsu techniques (though you will have to take Training eventually to get the higher Strength and Speed Ranks), plus a skill bonus and an increase to your skill threshold for Taijutsu.

"Weapon Specialization": The most obvious one ever. Take it and do more damage with your punches. Moving on!

"Stance Mastery": It's not a huge benefit, but being able to use stances for less chakra is a handy way to conserve it for techniques.

"Sneak Attack": It's sort of filler, but it's not a bad Mastery if you use techniques that leave your opponent flat-footed like Rendan Kidouki.

"Uncanny Critical": It may not come up so much, but it's cool to be able to score those nice x3 criticals on puppets or other immune enemies.

It's good to have Ninjutsu as a fallback plan, but which element you choose depends on how you want to use your ninjutsu. If you want to use melee ninjutsu as part of your close range fighting style, lightning is probably your best bet. There are plenty of lightning techniques for close range attacks. If you're more interested in having an option for long range, then pretty much element will work. At that point, you'll want to consider what elements your teammates have, and read through some of the techniques you can learn to find some favorites.

While you can use knuckle blades to deal slashing damage instead, your character may ultimately end up weaker; Knuckle blades don't benefit from improvements to your unarmed critical hit modifier. In Naruto D20, high level unarmed fighters have a relatively strong critical range(19-20 range, x3 damage), so using the knuckle blades can be detrimental.

EDIT: While you technically CAN use Shinobi Swordsman for unarmed attacks, there are tradeoffs. Shinobi Swordsman will increase your damage and attack bonus slightly higher, but has weaker saves and defense progression. Additionally, Shinobi Swordsman requires taking a fairly weak feat to qualify, and most of the bonus feats (along with the Quick Draw ability) are useless to an unarmed character.
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Last edited by keksmuzh on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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SirShadow
Biffu Aroi


Joined: 10 May 2009
Posts: 2654

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that Wind typically offers the most utility for melee-focused builds. The ability to move faster, jump higher (or even double-jump), leap off of buildings without fear of fall, etc will be immensely useful.
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MindxKiller
Genin


Joined: 19 Jul 2015
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for the replies! As far as starting level and builds of teammates goes, I havent actually gotten into a game yet, im trying to get a feel for what my first character build will be before I start asking around for a game =P

It seems like Wind style is what im looking for, good utility and decent ranged ninjutsu if melee isnt an option. Its unfortunate that knuck blades would make me weaker though, I was really hoping to use them, I didnt realize unarmed fighters had such good crits. What taijutsu techniques would you guys recommend?

Edit: Also, would one of the bloodlines be worth taking? Such as hyuuga?
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keksmuzh
Kage


Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MindxKiller wrote:
Thank you all for the replies! As far as starting level and builds of teammates goes, I havent actually gotten into a game yet, im trying to get a feel for what my first character build will be before I start asking around for a game =P

It seems like Wind style is what im looking for, good utility and decent ranged ninjutsu if melee isnt an option. Its unfortunate that knuck blades would make me weaker though, I was really hoping to use them, I didnt realize unarmed fighters had such good crits. What taijutsu techniques would you guys recommend?

Edit: Also, would one of the bloodlines be worth taking? Such as hyuuga?


There are a lot of interesting Taijutsu styles available, all with different benefits. Byakugan (the Hyuuga bloodline) is mainly designed to work with the Jyuuken style. Jyuuken is easier to hit with, but has lower damage overall. The other benefit to Jyuuken is Tenketsu damage, which can be a powerful debuff if you do enough damage with it.

For pretty much any style, Rendan Kidouki (Combo Starter) is a good technique that allows for follow ups and creative teamwork.

If you have access to the Way of the Master supplement, the Pressure Point style is also an interesting option. It's debuff-oriented, and has a unique flavor. There's also Ten-Ton Style, Gouken, and a half dozen other style to look through. I'd recommend reading through the different techniques a picking out what sounds appropriate for you.

Personally I like taking bloodlines 'out of context', and using them with concepts that they weren't used with in Naruto canon. An example would be using Byakugan with a ranged fighter or a different Taijutsu style. Most of the Eye bloodlines are good choices for Taijutsu focuses characters.
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MindxKiller
Genin


Joined: 19 Jul 2015
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading through a bunch of the taijutsu's I've decided on using gouken. Which feats would you suggest I take early on for this character? I know the obvious combat martial arts is super important, but what others are generally taken early on for this type of character?
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keksmuzh
Kage


Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MindxKiller wrote:
After reading through a bunch of the taijutsu's I've decided on using gouken. Which feats would you suggest I take early on for this character? I know the obvious combat martial arts is super important, but what others are generally taken early on for this type of character?


#1 is Training. It's a requirement for the higher strength and speed ranks, and even for the earlier ones it speeds up the training time immensely.

Another vital one is the Gouken feat, for basically the same reason.

The Taijutsu master feat is a prerequisite for the class, and power attack is good against tough but easy to hit opponents.
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