Bonny Builds and Tip-Top Tricks for the Marvelous Marshal
Now for your viewing pleasure, I shall present a handful of fully usable and entertaining marshals. Use them as springboards for your own character builds, copy them outright, or assimilate them piecemeal into one (hopefully) almighty marshal!
The Marvelous Marshal
Human Marshal 20
Stats (32-pt. buy): Str 12, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 18
Feats: Dreadful Wrath [Human], Skill Focus (Diplomacy) [Marshal], Improved Initiative, Draconic Aura, Imperious Command, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Double Draconic Aura, Leadership, Wild Cohort
Aasimar (LA Buyoff) Marshal 4/Cloistered Cleric 1/Mythic Exemplar 10/Warblade 2/Uncanny Trickster 3
Stats (32-pt. buy): Str 10, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 20
Feats: Skill Focus (Diplomacy) [Marshal], Combat Expertise, Draconic Aura, Knowledge Devotion [Cloistered Cleric], Weapon Focus [War Domain], Improved Initiative [Time Domain], Allied Defense, Martial Study, White Raven Defense, Clarion Commander, Ironheart Aura
Human Marshal 4/Fighter 2/Legendary Leader 5/Crusader 4/Marshal +5
Stats (32-pt. buy): Str 14, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 16
Feats: Iron Will [Human], Skill Focus (Diplomacy) [Marshal], Shield Specialization, Phalanx Fighting, Combat Reflexes [Fighter], Combat Expertise [Fighter], Leadership, Shield Ward, Improved Cohort [Legendary Leader], Allied Defense, Formation Expert, Hold the Line
Human Marshal 4/Bard 2/Legendary Captain 10/Honorable Dread Pirate 4
Stats (32-pt. buy): Str 8, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 18
Feats: Quick Draw [Human], Skill Focus (Diplomacy) [Marshal], Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse, Leadership, Snowflake Wardance, Draconic Aura, Double Draconic Aura, Improved Toughness
Always remember to switch your auras to suit the encounter. Knowing when to use what aura is a big part of being a successful marshal. Also, don't forget that your auras affect yourself as well as your party. Give your teammates what they need, but don't be afraid to be a little selfish from time to time with those auras either!
A word from Thurbane
* There's a couple of Marshal specific items in the MIC - Rearguard's Cape, and a couple of items in the magic item sets
thought of something I had completely missed:
Don't blanket rule out half-orcs. The Desert Half Orc from Unearthed Arcana does not have a charisma hit, and from there you could pick up Leadership, Might Makes Right, Extra Followers, and take 5 (or less, if you want) levels of Orchish Warlord to have an ASSLOAD of followers and a fairly decent army. In addition, there are quite a few sources of Intimidate bonuses for half-orcs. Take the first level of the Half-Orc Paladin substitution level to get Monstrous Mein, 3 levels of Half-Orc Paladin for Charisma synergy and more intimidate, then go marshal and take Motivate Charisma.Solo
, being the stupendous fellow he is, offers this idea for consideration:
Now, we all know that Marshal and Draconic Auras allow for a lot of buffing. But what if we combined it with the Paladin 5th level ACF which trades the mount for a Divine Companion?
Alternative Class: Divine Spirit
Most paladins form a special relationship with a celestial mount that aids them in battle. You, however, spend most of your time fighting below the ground or in enclosed spaces, where a mount is of little use. Instead, you have forged a bond with celestial spirits whose aid you can call upon when needed.
Replaces: If you select this alternative class feature, you do not gain the special mount ability.
Benefit: Upon reaching 5th level, you can call upon your deity for aid in the form of a celestial spirit. Using this ability is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. See below for detailed spirit descriptions and rules.
Your paladin level determines which kinds of celestial spirits answer your summons. You can summon the spirit available at your current level as well as any that became available at lower levels.
Paladin Level Spirit Summoned
5th-10th Spirit of healing
11th-15th Spirit of combat
16th-19th Spirit of heroism
20th+ Spirit of the fallen
The following entries describe how each of the different spirits function. Unless otherwise specified, all spirits share some characteristics, as set out below.
A spirit occupies a 5-foot square on the battle map.
When summoned, a spirit appears on the battlefield within 30 feet of you. You can use a free action to have it move once per round. The spirit has a land speed of 30 feet.
All spirits are insubstantial and transparent. Any creature can move through them normally, and they do not block line of sight or line of effect.
A spirit cannot attack or be attacked. It is not undead and cannot be turned. It is subject to dispel magic, dismissal, or banishment as if it were a summoned creature, using your paladin level as the caster level.
If you lose line of sight to a spirit, it disappears immediately.
Each spirit available to you can be summoned once per day.
A spirit remains for a number of rounds equal to your paladin level, until it is dismissed, or until special conditions in the spirit's description are met.
Spirit of Healing: This spirit increases your ability to heal damage dealt to you or your allies. When summoned, it can heal an amount of damage equal to twice the amount you can heal using your lay on hands ability.
To use its healing ability, you or an ally must begin or end your turn in the same square as the spirit. That character can then use a standard action to transfer some or all of the hit points from the spirit to herself. Once the spirit has used all its healing ability, it dissipates.
Spirit of Combat: This spirit enhances combat ability. Whenever an ally (including yourself) is adjacent to the spirit of combat or occupying its space, that character gains holy fervor. Holy fervor grants a +1 sacred bonus on attacks and damage rolls for every four paladin levels you possess (up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level). In addition, affected characters' weapons are treated as good-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Spirit of Heroism: This spirit automatically occupies your space and does not leave until dismissed or dispelled, or the duration of the summoning ends. You gain DR 10/--. In addition, you gain the benefit of the Diehard feat (even if you do not meet the prerequisite) and can use your lay on hands ability as a free action once per round instead of as a standard action.
Spirit of the Fallen: While you or any of your allies are adjacent to this spirit, it grants fast healing 10 to those characters. If an affected character's hit points drop to 0 or fewer while within 30 feet of this spirit, it revives that character at the start of his next turn, allowing him to take his action as normal. The character heals an amount of damage equal to twice your paladin level, though if his hit points are still at -10 or below, he still dies. The spirit can use its revive ability once per round.
A spirit of the fallen cannot revive creatures whose bodies have been destroyed (such as by a disintegrate spell), nor can it reverse the effects of bodily changes, such as from flesh to stone or baleful polymorph, or other effects that slay a character without dealing damage.
While reading the Dragon Magic, I noticed that it said a marshal could learn any of the draconic auras on page 86 in place of a marshal aura. Something to keep in mind.